Malaysia’s Star reviews the latest exhibition at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur, Coffin Exhibition â€” Tradition and Mystery.
The Star, 17 April 2010
Currently, the museum is hosting 30 coffins sourced from the different cultures and tribes within the country and around the region â€” big ones, tiny ones, plain ones, elaborate eye-popping ones, conventional ones and even those that look like works of art.
â€œIt was an idea that came up during a brainstorming session,â€ said National Museum director-general Datuk Ibrahim Ismail, 55.
â€œWe thought it would be interesting to expose the public to the customs and traditions of other cultures. For instance, some people donâ€™t understand why it is necessary for music to be played at certain funeral processions. They close their eyes when a coffin goes by. We hope to change these perceptions,â€ he explained.
Throw in some eerie mood music and life-sized props, and youâ€™ve got the recipe for a great (and hopefully educational) Malaysian day out. For the past week or so, visitors young and old, have gasped and shuddered at the sight of these funereal artefacts. However, the museumâ€™s piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance had yet to arrive.