Devotion of a Johor ‘hadramaut’ gambus maker

Nobody is extra excited than Halidan Ithnin following the popularity of the Johor gambus as a singular product of the district of Batu Pahat by the Mental Property Company of Malaysia (MyIPO).

Halidan, 54, who’s well-known right here for the Johor “hadramaut” gambus that he makes, is assured the current inclusion of Batu Pahat district in MyIPO’s geographical indications (GI) register would augur nicely for the native gambus making business.

The gambus is a short-necked, pear-shaped stringed instrument that’s broadly utilized in ghazal music, a well-liked style in Johor.

GIs are any sort of image or mark which are used to establish the nation, area or space from which sure items originate. Solely producers finishing up their actions within the geographical space laid out in MyIPO’s GI register have the precise to make use of a registered GI in the midst of commerce.

MyIPO’s recognition of Batu Pahat and, particularly, its gambus business will allow this conventional musical instrument to garner extra consideration. Its GI standing, accorded in December 2019, doesn’t come as a shock because the gambus makers on this district have confirmed experience on this area and proceed to stick to the standard strategies of creating the craft.

A handmade gambus can last up to 20 years but its durability boils down to the quality of the wood and glue that are used in making the instrument. Photo: Bernama A hand-crafted gambus can last as long as 20 years however its sturdiness boils right down to the standard of the wooden and glue which are utilized in making the instrument. Picture: Bernama

To render the gambus that he makes a neighborhood identification, Halidan, who has been making the instrument since 2000, solely makes use of locally-sourced wooden similar to that of the rengas and merawan timber or soursop or ciku (sapodilla) fruit timber.

Gambus originated from Yemen and was dropped at Johor by Arab merchants prior to now.

“I need to give the gambus a Malay contact, improve its native traits and provides it its personal identification,” stated Halidan, whose late uncle Hassan Othman, higher often called Pak Hassan, was a well-known gambus maker throughout the 1970s.

“The wooden I exploit is near my coronary heart. Spruce and mahogany wooden are already well-known worldwide, so why should not we promote the specialities of our personal native wooden?”

The Johor gambus used to characteristic motifs bearing Arab affect however Halidan desires to vary this. He stated he desires to carry the standard instrument nearer to this nation by adorning it with designs of Malaysian fauna and flora, in addition to black pepper which displays Johor’s identification.

Halidan's late uncle Hassan Othman, better known as Pak Hassan, was a famous gambus maker during the 1970s. Photo: BernamaHalidan’s late uncle Hassan Othman, higher often called Pak Hassan, was a well-known gambus maker throughout the 1970s. Picture: Bernama

However in the case of making the gambus, the daddy of three, who was a part-time lecturer on the Nationwide Academy of Arts, Tradition and Heritage (Aswara), prefers the standard strategies and nonetheless makes it by hand.

He learnt the artwork of creating the instrument by simply observing his uncle Pak Hassan, who he thought to be his personal father as he had been dwelling with him from the age of three.

“Through the time Pak Hassan was concerned in making the gambus, I used to make two sorts of gendang (drum). I might sit beside him and observe him and ask just a few questions. That is how I developed an curiosity in making the gambus,” stated Halidan, whose workshop is positioned at his home in Senggarang right here.

Halidan himself just isn’t adept at taking part in the gambus however he has his personal method to make sure that the sound made by his instrument is of fine high quality. He additionally makes it a degree to get suggestions from gambus musicians.

“People who find themselves concerned on the earth of gambus are in a position to get the strategies and the ‘soul’ (of the instrument) proper,” he added.

Halidan, who has been making the instrument since 2000, only uses locally-sourced wood such as that of the rengas and merawan trees or soursop or ciku (sapodilla) fruit trees. Photo: BernamaHalidan, who has been making the instrument since 2000, solely makes use of locally-sourced wooden similar to that of the rengas and merawan timber or soursop or ciku (sapodilla) fruit timber. Picture: Bernama

A hand-crafted gambus can last as long as 20 years however its sturdiness boils right down to the standard of the wooden and glue which are utilized in making the instrument.

“Sure sorts of glue used abroad is probably not appropriate for our local weather and climate. The glue we use performs an essential half and the gambus we make can last more if we use the right sort of glue,” he stated, including that it might probably take two weeks and even as much as three months to make each bit.

Halidan, in the meantime, aspires to provide a e-book on the making of the gambus. He already has the supplies for the e-book however lacks writing expertise.

“I really feel there’s a want for a e-book that may educate the general public methods to make the gambus,” he stated, including that extra analysis needs to be finished on the historic background of the instrument.

He stated he’s additionally open to collaborating with different events to doc the making of the gambus.

“The gambus is a nationwide heritage however we’re weak in the case of documentation. I hope this heritage is preserved and monitored… in truth, will probably be higher whether it is made a part of our nation’s identification,” he added. – Bernama

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