Akademi Nik Rashiddin (The Malay Keris) - Bachok, Kelantan Malaysia

Nik Rashiddin Nik Hussein and his brother Nik Rashidee Nik Hussein used to spend their younger days scouring the backlanes and shops for antiques both in Kelantan and across the border into Thailand. The boys began carving at a young age and their interest was not left unnoticed. Having finished his education, he was sent to Java to study at the famed Jepara carving school. And later he apprenticed with the legendary local carver, a Kelantanese by the name of Che Long

His passion for the keris egged him into designing beautiful hilts to match old,ancient blades bought in bazaars and backyards. Later, a young carver by name Norhaiza Noordin joined Nik Din in the quest to salvage as much of the Langkasuka Art before it vanished as one civilisation replaces another.

With this realisation that there was a limited local knowledge of the art of carving, Nik Din and Norhaiza worked on showing it to the public. A small exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur in 2000 led to a flurry of interest from the attendees and soon it led to a plan to exhibit the collection in London

The Kandis Resource Centre was named after the area where the complex is located. It was set up in 2000 when a vast collection of antique and newly created specimens collected or carved by the late Nik Rashiddin Nik Hussein (1955-2002) and Norhaiza Noordin was collated and documented for the production of a very well researched book called Spirit of Wood by Farish Noor. The book involved a collaboration of deeply passionate historians, artisans and enthusiasts and was published in 2003. Unfortunately Nik Rashiddin fell ill and passed away after a short but intense illness. The exhibition was held in 2004 which drew thousands of visitors to the Brunei Gallery in London. http://www.tandfonline.com

Kak Ros, the widow of the late Nik Rashiddin Nik Hussein, lives in Kandis with her 4 children and a great part of her house is made up of a library and reading room. The annex and the rest of the complex is an assortment of 100+ year old kampong (Malay timber house on stilts) houses collected over the years and saved from dereliction. They now house another passion of the family.. a great collection of antiques. http://www.carvingcountries.com/?p=546 The complex was later renamed Akademi Nik Rashiddin.




Nik Rashidee Nik Hussein now runs a Keris shop, Art of Langkasuka Tel : (609) 773-7135 in Jalan PCB in Kota Bahru where interested visitors can browse around and for collectors, even purchase keris carved by his brother. Nik Rashidee, also carves keris in his spare time and is as well versed about the grains of wood collected to produce such beauty as his brother used to be.

Amongst all the exhibits is the jebak puyuh . a trap for birds especially quail & doves etc. Keeping birds are the favourite past time of Kelantanese and southern thais

A collection of bird traps show how in the old days, carving and decoration was borne out of not only necessity but of passion and hobby whether secondary or not

Norhaiza can be contacted at Norhaiza Noordin Malay Wood Carving, 79 Jalan Jerteh, Kg. Raja, 22200 Besut, Terengganu, Malaysia. Tel/Fax : (609) 695-7579 Mobile (6019) 983-4779, https://norhaizanoordin.wordpress.com

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