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School of Architecture Interim Dean Dr. William Chapman visits Kelantan, Malaysia

In April 2022, the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) asked School of Architecture Interim Dean Dr. William Chapman to contribute to a US government-funded project on a traditional Malaysian dance known as “Rebana Kerching.” Funding from the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation supported two webinars (April 28, May 11) and Dean Chapman’s July 2022 visit to Kelantan to discuss future opportunities for collaboration and exchange. 

An expert in Southeast Asian heritage management, Dean Chapman presented a talk on Heritage Conservation, visited the village of Kampung Kercing with its impressive 17th-century wood mosque, and toured examples of local vernacular architecture, and Thai Buddhist temples, and the state’s impressive royal residences.

“Rebana Kercing” is a traditional performing art form in Kelantan whose origins are still disputed. Whether tracing back to Arab merchants or Persian traders who came to Kampung Laut village for trade, Rebana Kercing is a largely unaltered dance form performed by young men during royal coronations, weddings, and Islamic holidays.  

Read more about the history of “Rebana Kerching”, visit Rebana conservation webpage [new window]