by Raja Iskandar bin Raja Halid
[ABSTRACT] Unlike any other traditional Malay music, nobat has a tradition that prohibits anyone other than the ruler and members of his family, and the court musicians from playing or even touching the instruments. In the courts of Perak, Kedah and Selangor, these royal musicians are called orang kalur and hereditary in nature. Also known as orang muntah lembu (people of the bull’s vomit), this ancient Malay family has been an indispensible part of the royal adat istiadat (customs and ceremonies) throughout the ages. This paper attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the orang kalur, their origins, status and roles; and how their strict adherence to traditional beliefs and taboos affects the music of the nobat.
Read the rest of the scholarly article on orang kalur in PDF format by clicking here.