Desk 승인 2024.05.25 09:50 | 최종 수정 2024.05.26 21:37 의견 0

Mak Yong, also known as Makyong or Makyung is a form of traditional Malay performance that combines acting, dancing and singing accompanied by music. Mak Yong is said to have originated from the courts of Pattani, an ancient Kingdom, today know as Southern Thailand, which had existed since 400 years ago. According to the Story of Pattani (a set of tales chronicling the history of the Pattani Kingdom), Mak Yong was brought to Kelantan about 200 years ago and subsequently spread to Kedah and Besut, Terengganu.

In the olden days, Mak Yong was a theatre performance that was part of a royal tradition until the 1920’s. This art form was later made into a folk performance outside of the courts. Mak Yong is performed mainly as a farm of entertainment and rituals related to healing. The language used in a Mak Yong performance is the local dialect, with influences of Pattani Malay and also Terengganu dialect.

In essence, the instruments that make up the musical ensemble of Mak Yong consists of six instruments, namely the rebab, serunai, a pair of doubleheaded barrel drums (gendang) and gongs (tetawak). There are three types of Mak Yong performances in Malaysia; they are Mak Yong Kelantan, Mak Yong Kedah and Mak Yong Laut. Mak Yong has been recognized as one of the world’s ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 25 November 2005, in Paris.

Performing Arts Mak Yong
(Left Pic.) Rebab also main music instrument for Mak Yong performance.

(Right Pic.) Serunai is a wind instrument used in this performance.

Mak Yong's musical performance uses several instruments including small and large drums.

Contributed by Maisaraf Binti Marman <>
Curator, Music Museum Malaysia, Department of Museums Malaysia

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