The esteemed role of women in Adat Perpatih

(Fr left) Ibu Soko Rusnawati, Normah Abu, Normaintan, Noraini and Maimun are the leaders in their clan and are held in high regard according to Adat Perpatih traditions. Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

Outside, the heat is almost unbearable. But it's cool in Noraini Muhamad’s picturesque ancestral home in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, even with the sun beating through the shuttered windows.

The house, with its upswept gables that mimic the horns of the buffalo, is characteristic of the local Minangkabau architecture and the most visible physical manifestation of the Adat Perpatih practised in Negeri Sembilan.

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