‘Tanjak’ makes comeback

Popular demand: Mohd Iskandar arranging a ‘tanjak’ in his shop at Perkampungan Kraf, Johor Baru. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: Once worn by royals and nobles, tanjak – also known as tengkolok – is growing more popular among the younger generation, especially during Hari Raya.

Tanjak maker Mohd Iskandar Abd Rahim, 45, said the traditional Malay headgear was standard attire for royalty in the past.

“The tanjak is usually worn at weddings or during a silat performance. For the groom, this headgear symbolises that he is a king on his special day.

“In the past four years, tanjak has become popular during Hari Raya celebrations, ” he said when met at his shop in Perkampungan Kraf near Larkin here.

With the festive season just around the corner, Mohd Iskandar has his hands full trying to finish hundreds of orders for customers in Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

“Although the movement control order has dampened the festive mood, people still want to look good for Hari Raya.

“My customers are from various age groups but most of them are young. They don’t only buy for themselves but for family members as well, especially their children, ” he said.

His tanjak, made from cotton or songket (brocade), ranges from RM65 to RM130. Each piece is rectangular, which is folded into a triangle to symbolise a mountain.

Mohd Iskandar said there were many types of tanjak but among the most popular were the Tanjak Takur Tukang Besi, Tanjak Mahkota Alam, Tanjak Nakhoda Trong, Tanjak Bugis Tak Balik and Tanjak Daun Kopi.

He is proud that the younger generation like wearing the tanjak instead of a cap.

“Tanjak is our identity and to see it still in demand makes me very happy because it will not be lost in future, ” he said.

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