بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

April 12, 2010

Air muleh: a traditional border decoration

Several Pasang Emas themes feature a Brunei traditional decoration called air muleh. It is a frieze pattern (group 2) formed using a sinusoidal backbone with tendrils curving back.

Here is an example:


Here is another example from the non-free version of Pasang Emas:


This version of air muleh adorns the mihrab and minbar of the mosque of Universiti Brunei Darussalam. It is also widely used to decorate university publications such as ceremony programme booklets.

It features simpur (or simpor) leaves and flowers, a kind of wild tree found in the jungle of Brunei. The leaves of the simpur tree are used to wrap food such as tapai (that's green packaging for you, no plastic waste). The simpur flower, though not prominent in this air muleh, is the national flower of Brunei.

Simpur is not the only plant used as a theme for air muleh. The logo of Brunei History Centre uses an air muleh border that prominently features keramunting flowers. Keramunting is a kind of wild berry, with red yummy flesh.

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