Photo credit: Tang Chun Cheu

Photo credit: Tang Chun Cheu

Rebana Ubi (KELANTAN)

Popular in the East Coast — particularly in Kelantan — the rebana ubi is the largest of the rebana family of drums. It is used as an accompaniment during ceremonial rites and festivities, particularly after harvest season, as well as for recreation and competitions. Almost one metre high and about 70cm in diameter, it is the only rebana that is vibrantly decorated on the body as well as the face. Each drum is painted brightly and adorned at the top with a large, beautifully carved Kelantanese coat-of-arms — the makhota (crown), a pair of salient kijang (barking deer), crescent moon and five-pointed star.

The art of rebana ubi making has been passed on for generations of Kelantanese craftsmen. The difficult process involves drying, stretching and pegging the buffalo hide; gathering and shaping the rattan; hollowing out the merbau wood for the body; and painting the frame of the rebana ubi. Over the past few decades, however, economic pressures as well as a lack of sustained efforts in training have resulted in declining interest in the art of rebana ubi making. Today, there are only a handful of rebana ubi masters left in Kelantan. 

KUMPULAN REBANA UBI
AMOK PERDANA

PUSAKA works closely with Kumpulan Rebana Ubi Amok Perdana in Pasir Mas, Kelantan. The group is led by Noralam Majid, who has organised the community at Kawasan Rukun Tetangga Banggol Perdana to actively participate in the preservation of their cultural heritage. He has done this by gathering rebana masters and makers of Kumpulan Amok Perdana, such as Pak Isa and the late Pak Ya, to teach the young their art. This includes the painstaking restoration of 150-year-old rebanas to enable them to be played again, as well as the crafting of new rebana ubi drums.

 Photo credit: Ahmad Fikry Mohd Anwar

Photo credit: Ahmad Fikry Mohd Anwar