The typology of mortises in the traditional Malay house in Malaysia

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Abstract

This paper will discuss the formation of mortise typology in the architecture of the Traditional Malay House. The mortise system denotes one of the proofs of development in the traditional Malay construction technology. It functions as a connection between two pieces of wood to form a small component and henceforth connects this component to form the main structure of the building. The ingenuity of traditional Malay builders has produced a whole range of designs of mortises based on their functions and strengths. Apart from proving to be a very effective disaster prevention system for example earthquakes, the mortise construction system also make it possible for a traditional Malay House to be disassembled and reassembled if it has to be relocated to a new site. As one of the efforts to make records of construction of mortises in the Malay community sustainable, this paper will discuss one fundamental aspect in its relation that is typology. The formation of Malay mortise typology consists of aspects relating to the design, function, strength as well as the location of specific types of mortises being applied in the traditional Malay houses. Discussions relating to the formation of mortise typology in this paper are confined to the types found in the designs of Traditional Malay Houses. The basis to the formation of mortise typology is built upon existing written sources on mortises in Malaysia. The typology of mortises generated from this paper will function as the framework of the basic thoughts in the research on mortise construction technology in the Malay World in the future. Despite the high technological achievement in the construction of Traditional Malay houses at one time in the past, it is now facing extinction as a result of the ignorance of the modern Malay community of its existence. This is because of the lack of documentation on the mastery or types of mortises that exist in the Malay built environment. Even though there had been some research done on mortises prior to this, there has not been a comprehensive research done on the typology of mortises that exist in Malaysia. This research on typology of mortises is important not only because it is able to unearth hidden aspects relating to the construction of mortises but also because it will help to cultivate pride and self-esteem among the Malays through the knowledge of their technological heritage. The formation of mortise typology in the design of the Traditional Malay House set out in this paper is the first of its kind to be initiated in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-985
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology
Volume9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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Disaster prevention
Earthquakes
Wood

Keywords

  • Mortise System
  • Mortise Typology
  • Technology
  • Traditional Malay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Metals and Alloys

Cite this

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title = "The typology of mortises in the traditional Malay house in Malaysia",
abstract = "This paper will discuss the formation of mortise typology in the architecture of the Traditional Malay House. The mortise system denotes one of the proofs of development in the traditional Malay construction technology. It functions as a connection between two pieces of wood to form a small component and henceforth connects this component to form the main structure of the building. The ingenuity of traditional Malay builders has produced a whole range of designs of mortises based on their functions and strengths. Apart from proving to be a very effective disaster prevention system for example earthquakes, the mortise construction system also make it possible for a traditional Malay House to be disassembled and reassembled if it has to be relocated to a new site. As one of the efforts to make records of construction of mortises in the Malay community sustainable, this paper will discuss one fundamental aspect in its relation that is typology. The formation of Malay mortise typology consists of aspects relating to the design, function, strength as well as the location of specific types of mortises being applied in the traditional Malay houses. Discussions relating to the formation of mortise typology in this paper are confined to the types found in the designs of Traditional Malay Houses. The basis to the formation of mortise typology is built upon existing written sources on mortises in Malaysia. The typology of mortises generated from this paper will function as the framework of the basic thoughts in the research on mortise construction technology in the Malay World in the future. Despite the high technological achievement in the construction of Traditional Malay houses at one time in the past, it is now facing extinction as a result of the ignorance of the modern Malay community of its existence. This is because of the lack of documentation on the mastery or types of mortises that exist in the Malay built environment. Even though there had been some research done on mortises prior to this, there has not been a comprehensive research done on the typology of mortises that exist in Malaysia. This research on typology of mortises is important not only because it is able to unearth hidden aspects relating to the construction of mortises but also because it will help to cultivate pride and self-esteem among the Malays through the knowledge of their technological heritage. The formation of mortise typology in the design of the Traditional Malay House set out in this paper is the first of its kind to be initiated in Malaysia.",
keywords = "Mortise System, Mortise Typology, Technology, Traditional Malay",
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