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Malay Magic and Divination Manuscripts

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Level 5, Possibility Room

100 Victoria Street

National Library Building

Singapore 188064

Singapore

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Speaker: Dr Farouk Yahya
This talk will be conducted in English

Malay manuscripts on magic and divination contain fascinating and diverse images. These include illustrations of spirits, human beings and animals, as well as diagrams and talismanic designs for protetion, healing and sorcery.

Join Dr Farouk Yahya as he explores the intriguing images found in these books.

This talk is held in conjuction with the exhibition Tales of the malay World: Manuscripts and Early Books.


Dr Farouk Yahya is the Leverhulme Research Assistant (Islamic Art and Culture) at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. His research intererest include illustrated and illuminated mansucripts of Southeast Asia, particularly those relating to magic and divination.


About the Exhibition Tales of the Malay World: Manuscripts and Early Books

For centuries, Malay was the language of trade, diplomacy, religious discourse, and literature for maritime Southeast Asia. This exhibition explores traditional Malay literature captured in ink on paper – from handwritten manuscripts to early lithographed books.

These rarely seen items provide glimpses into the society that produced and read these literary works. Discover lesser-known stories of women authors and 19th-century lending libraries in the Malay world. Learn about the dramatic impact of printing on the manuscript tradition, and Singapore’s role as the early Malay/Muslim printing hub for the region.

The exhibition features precious manuscripts on loan from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, shown in Singapore for the first time. It is a unique opportunity to view these collections together.

Highlights include a manuscript (copied in 1710) of one of the oldest existing syair (narrative poem), which tells of the war (1666–69) between the Dutch and Makassar; the earliest manuscript on the exploits of the legendary Malay hero, Hang Tuah; one of the most ornate Malay manuscripts; and an 1811 letter from the sultan of Pontianak in Kalimantan to Stamford Raffles.

Come, discover these and other fascinating stories.

Click here to learn more.

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Date and Time

Location

Level 5, Possibility Room

100 Victoria Street

National Library Building

Singapore 188064

Singapore

View Map

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