The Design of the Perahu Payang and Perahu Kolek
|Perahu Payang and its"caping also are know as koyan"|
That asymmetrical form is called Bangau, partly hidden behind another smaller piece, Caping
The bangau is a decorative guard placed on the port side of the boat. It is mainly a support where sails and fishing nets are hooked on to whenever the boat is not in use. Traditional Malays also believed the bangau to be the home for the spirit (semangat) of the boat to reside which brings luck during the catch and protects the fishermen from the vagaries of the sea and sea demons. Such an easy to please creature, i must say.For the kind of life preserving insurance it offers, it really should have claimed the whole vessel to itself instead of just the bangau, and call himself Davy Jones. The bangau is always heavily carved with typical Malay meandering awan larat design. The shorter end of the bangau, okok or ongkak that lies across the bow is attached to the keel acting as a prop to secure the anchor and counterbalancing the bangau.
|The Naga King from Perahu Payang Terengganu, know as bangau in east coast, the legend of naga is strong and sacred belief held by people living along the South China Sea.The Naga king will protect the fisherman from the sea monster.|
Bangau has its partner called caping. You would find the term caping in various parts of other Malay traditions that are not related to boats. Don't get confused though, caping is not actually a name given to one specific accessory or equipment, rather speculatively, it's the name of the shape that certain thing takes up. That refers to the spade like shape or something that resembles a spade. Let's call a spade a spade, traditional Malays were very superstitious lot that one harbouring place for the spirit is not enough they needed another one.
This caping certainly lives up to that expectation, beside being a tool for the seamen to navigate the sea at night. By somehow pointing the pointy edge of the caping towards certain constellation they would know where to go.
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Reference and Source :
- PERAHU/Bahagian Kebudayaan, Kementerian Kebudayaan, Belia Dan Sukan,
Malaysia/1984/Buku Bergambar: siri 2.