The Orang Asli Museum or The Museum of the Indigenous People of Malaysia is a unique museum that provides everything you need to know about the Orang Asli including their history, customs, traditions, origins and so much more. For your information, the Orang Asli is the indigenous inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia. They are the earliest known people to have lived in Malaysia. Their population currently stands at around 100K.
Being the aborigines of Malaysia, the Orang Asli live their lives pretty much based on nature. Some of the things that they still practice in this modern age are they hunt for food in the forest, they grow their own crops, they make their own clothes out of the resources in the forests and they still practice ritual ceremonies. Some interesting culture of the Orang Asli is they wear weird and sometimes funny masks during religious rituals to represent their gods and spirits that they believe in. Their religions are all animist in nature. All in all, they live very close to nature and have a sustainable relationship with the forest.
The Orang Asli Museum is run by the Orang Asli Affairs Department. Through the museum, information such as the history of the 18 distinct groups within the Orang Asli community along with their geographical distribution, musical instruments, ornaments, medicines, models of their dwellings, and a collection of traditional hunting weapons, such as blow pipes and poison spoons are available for your research.
Some of the highlights of the exhibits at the museum are the impressive traditional handicrafts, which includes wooden head carvings with fierce facial expressions. Moreover, the displays of the details of daily life, including wedding rites and religious practices, are also described. Other interesting feature of the museum is the exhibit of the art of making clothes from tree bark. The way they do it is apparently they carve it off the tree and beat it and soak it to make clothes. It’s similar to sackcloth.
Even though the Orang Asli Museum is a small museum, it provides an impressive coverage on the indigenous people of Malaysia. In addition, the exhibits such as the hand made masks are some of the most exotic and one of its kinds in the country. Therefore, the Orang Asli Museum is definitely a place to go for everything you need to know about this unique group of people in Malaysia. The Orang Asli Museum is located in Gombak which is about half an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Driving Direction and Map to the Orang Asli Museum: