Tengkolok with stand in the style of "Balung Raja"
"Balung Raja" is the style of fold for the official tengkolok for the Sultan of Selangor, Malaysia, and for the Sultan, it is exclusively made of yellow songket with full gold embroidery. "Balung" literally means the comb of a chicken and "Raja" means king. This tengkolok design is an adaptation of the original tengkolok called "Balung Ayam" which means the comb of a chicken, which is from the State of Perak. The Selangor royal house made the adaptation after an inter-marriage between the two states some time ago. This style of fold symbolizes power and confidence.
The tengkolok is a traditional Malay headdress for men.
The tradition of wearing the tengkolok dates back to the early Malay sultanate.
In the old Malay kingdoms, common Malay men put on their tengkoloks to protect their heads from the hot rays of the sun, and to absorb sweat and prevent it from running down their foreheads. Aside from the practical function, the tengkolok also serves as an accessory to add elegance and grace to the wearer especially when worn during special occasion.
Today in Malaysia, tengkoloks are adorned by men to fully complement the traditional Malay costume of Baju Melayu. This costume is the official dress code for men when attending official royal functions. In a Malay wedding, the groom also wears the tengkolok with the Baju Melayu.
According to a Malay legend, the rise in the importance and symbolic significance of the tengkolok in the Malay royal regalia is attributed to the first Sultan of Perak, Sultan Muzaffar Shah I Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah (1528 - 1549).
Sultan Muzaffar who was sent to exile in Johor by the Portuguese after the Portuguese concurred Malacca, was a descendant of the Malacca Sultanate. The legendary account involving the tengkolok took place when Sultan Muzaffar Shah set sailed to Perak to establish a new kingdom, the Perak Sultanate.
Legend has it that Sultan Muzaffar Shah 1 brought along on his ship many of the royal regalia of the Malacca Sultanate, including the Royal Crown of Malacca. During his journey, the heavily loaded ship ran aground as she entered shallow waters. The only way to get the ship sailing again was to reduce the load. So one by one the many items on the ships were thrown into the sea but the ship refused to move. Until finally, the only thing left to throw into the sea was the Royal Crown of Malacca. The Sultan then made an offering of the Royal Crown of Malacca to the sea and immediately and miraculously, the ship set sailed again.
Believing that the miracle was a divine sign, the Sultan swore that he and his descendants would never again wear a crown as Sultans and no Sultan would again be crowned during their installation. As the legend goes, this is how the Malay headdress known as tengkolok came to be the replacement for a crown. The rest of the Malay Sultans from the other states followed suit.
For centuries Malay Rulers have worn headdresses as part of their regalia. The style of the fold is called "solek" and there are various styles depending on the tradition of the royal family of the particular state, and each style of fold has its own name.
The royal headdress worn by His Majesty DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong during his installation is made of black songket embroidered with gold threads. It is folded in the style called "Dendam Tak Sudah", which originated from the state of Negeri Sembilan, which means unresolved vengeance.
PROTOCOLS INVOLVED IN WEARING A TENGKOLOK
The tengkolok is so much more than just a traditional headdress to the Malays. There are certain protocols and significant ethical and traditional connotations with the wearing of the tengkolok that must be understood by the wearer.
The way or manner in which the tengkolok is folded or worn signifies the social standing of the wearer. The loop and the upturn end have various symbols and significance, identifying the wearer’s status. The details of the fold; whether a tengkolok is wound right side or left, or it ends on the right or the left, or its end is turned up towards the sky, signify intricate meanings in accordance with customs and traditional practices.
In the days of the old Malay sultanate, the headdress for men signifies status symbol and social standing. Back then, only the noble and the wealthy wore it and it was part of the royal costume. There were specially appointed skilled artisans to make tengkolok for the Sultans.
The design and shape varied from state to state and each shape is folded in semblance of animals or other objects, to express abstract idea or philosophy. Hence, names like Lang Patah Sayap (eagle with broken wings), Ayam Patah Kepak (rooster with broken wings), Dendam Tak Sudah (unresolved vengeance), Gajah Berjuang (elephants fighting) and Menyonsong Again (facing the wind) came to be.
Since the tengkolok remains as an important part of the royal regalia today, part of the protocol is that commoners cannot wear the exact same designs worn by royalties. As such, what the commoners wear are designs with some twists and modifications to differentiate them from the original royal designs.
HOW TO MAKE TENGKOLOK
In the days of the old Malay Sultanate, royalties wore tengkoloks made from Indian fabrics and Chinese silk, while the commoners used ordinary local fabrics. The use of songket, which is a traditional Malay textile, to make tengkolok dated back only about 200 years ago.
To make a tengkolok, the folder needs a square piece of material such as songket, starched and folded into half to form a triangle shape with hard collar paper in between, before it is ironed and stitched at the sides. With this, the folder begins to fold it to the design that he or she wants. In order to keep the tengkolok in a particular shape, the folder inserts thin wires in certain folds.
TKL801-Tengkolok with Display Stand
Price: RM 1,430.00