The Historic Kampong Penchalap

My friend, Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman, a prolific writer about Brunei on Borneo Bulletin wrote this recently about Kampong Penchalap and their renown Tudung Dulang. I did not about Kampong Penchalap until he wrote this article and published it in Borneo Bulletin on 23 November 2013 as follows:


Historic Kampong Penchalap Renown For Tudung Dulang

Kampong Penchalap, a village comprising seven houses circa 1930
by Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman

 A ‘TUDUNG dulang’ is a traditional food covering weaved from Nipah leaves. Kampong Penchalap was a village renowned for making tudung dulang. This kampong was located opposite Kg Tamoi and Kg Pengiran Tajuddin Hitam at the site of where Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Mosque stands today.

According to old stories, residents of Kampong Penchalap were very skilled in weaving Nipah leaves to produce a variety of household items including ‘tudung dulang’ (tudung segi), ‘takong’, ‘telaya’, ‘lakar’ and ‘bayong’. These items were used for daily activities such as making salted fish, storing powder as well as keeping rice. The name ‘penchalap’ comes from a type of colourful fine flour originating from India used for dyeing. Villagers would dye the Nipah leaves using the flour. The process involves boiling the leaves in the dye water for 30 minutes before hanging the leaves to dry.

A variety of tudung dulangs – a renowned product of Kampong Penchalap

Takong (basket) weaved from Nipah leaves used for washing fish prior to cooking

Young Nipah leaves used in the making of weaved handicrafts  -  PHOTOS: HAJI MOHD DAUD ABDUL RAHMAN
 The colourful leaves will then be used to make traditional handicrafts.

Besides being renowned for their weaving skills, the women of the kampong were also known for making traditional Malay kuehs such as ‘cincin’,  ‘penyaram’, ‘ardam’, ‘sapit’, ‘koya papan’ and ‘langa’.

The latter two are no longer found today as the utensils and expertise to cook them have gone extinct.

Luckily today, this craft still survives as there are still people producing items from weaved Nipah leaves thus preserving the heritage of Kampong Penchalap, a village that once produced beautiful traditional weaved handicrafts that were used both in daily life as well as ceremonies such as weddings and royal events.


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