1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Malays
MALAYS, the name given by Europeans to the people calling themselves Orang Malayu, i.e. Malayan folk, who are the dominant race of the Malay Peninsula and of the Malay Archipelago. Broadly speaking, all the brown races which inhabit the portion of Asia south of Siam and Indo-China, and the islands from the Philippines to Java, and from Sumatra to Timor, may be described as belonging to the Malayan family, if the aboriginal tribes, such as the Sakai and Semang in the Malay Peninsula, the Bataks in Sumatra, and the Muruts in Borneo, be excepted. For the purposes of this article, however, only those among these races which bear the name of Orang Malayu, speak the Malayan language, and represent the dominant people of the land, can be included under the title of Malays. These people inhabit the whole of the Malayan Peninsula to the borders of lower Siam, the islands in the vicinity of the mainland, the shores of Sumatra and some portions of the interior of that island, Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo, and some parts of Dutch Borneo, Batavia and certain districts in Java, and some of the smaller islands of the archipelago. Though in these lands they have for not less than a thousand years enjoyed the position of the dominant race, they all possess a tradition that they are not indigenous, and that their first rulers “came out of the sea,” with a large band of Malayan warriors in their train. In the peninsula especially, where the presence of the Malays is more recent than elsewhere, many traditions exist which point to a comparatively recent occupation of the country. It has been remarked that there is evidence that the Malays had attained to a certain stage of civilization before ever they set foot in Malaya. For instance, the names which they give to certain fruits, such as the duri-an, the rambut-an and the pulas-an, which are indigenous in the Malayan countries, and are not found elsewhere, are all compound words meaning respectively the thorny, the hairy and the twisted fruit. These words are formed by the addition of the substantial affix “-an,” the use of which is one of the recognized methods by which the Malays turn primitive words into terms of more complex meaning. This may be taken to indicate that when first the Malays became acquainted with the fruits which are indigenous in Malayan lands they already possessed a language in which most primary words were represented, and also that their tongue had attained to a stage of development which provided for the formation of compound words by a system sanctioned by custom and the same linguistic instinct which causes a Malay to-day to form similar compounds from European and other foreign roots. For any aboriginal race inhabiting these countries, such important articles of diet as the duri-an, &c., could not fail to be among the first natural objects to receive a name, and thus we find primary terms in use among the Sakai and Semang, the aborigines of the Peninsula, to describe these fruits. The use by the Malays of artificially constructed terms to denote these things may certainly be taken to strengthen the opinion that the Malays arrived in the lands they now inhabit at a comparatively late period in their history, and at a time when they had developed considerably from the original state of primitive man.
In the Malay Peninsula itself there is abundant evidence, ethnological and philological, of at least two distinct immigrations of people of the Malayan stock, the earlier incursions, it is probable, taking place from the eastern archipelago to the south, the later invasion spreading across the Straits of Malacca from Sumatra at a comparatively recent date. The fact that the semi-wild tribes, which are ethnologically Malayan and distinct from the aboriginal Semang and Sakai, are met with almost invariably in the neighbourhood of the coast would seem to indicate that they reached the peninsula by a sea, not by a land route, a supposition which is strengthened by their almost amphibious habits. Many of these tribes have retained their pristine paganism, but many others it is certain have adopted the Mahommedan religion and have been assimilated by the subsequent and stronger wave of Sumatran immigrants. A study of the local dialects to be met with in some of the districts of the far interior, e.g. the Tembeling valley in Pahang, whose people are now Mahommedans and in many respects indistinguishable from the ordinary Malays of the peninsula, reveals the fact that words, current in the archipelago to the south but incomprehensible to the average peninsula Malays, by whom these more ancient populations are now completely surrounded, have been preserved as local words, whereas they really belong to an older dialect once spoken widely in the peninsula, as to-day it is spoken in the Malayan islands. This would seem to show that in some instances the earlier Malay immigrants fell or were driven by the later invaders back from the coast and sought refuge in the far interior.
Until recently many eminent scientists held the theory that the Malayan peoples were merely an offspring of the Mongol stock, and that their advance into the lands they now inhabit had taken place from the cradle of the Mongolian Theories of Origin. race—that is to say, from the north. In the fifth edition of his Malay Archipelago, A. R. Wallace notes the resemblance which he traced between the Malays and the Mongolians, and others have recorded similar observations as to the physical appearance of the two races. To-day, however, fuller data are available than when Wallace wrote, and the more generally accepted theory is that the Malayan race is distinct, and came from the south, until it was stayed by the Mongolian races living on the mainland of southern Asia. The cranial measurements of the Malays and an examination of their hair sections seem to bear out the theory that they are distinct from the Mongolian races. Their language, which is neither monosyllabic nor tonic, has nothing in common with that of the Mon-Annam group. It has, moreover, been pointed out that had the Malays been driven southwards by the stronger races of the mainland of Asia, it might be expected that the people inhabiting the country nearest to the border between Siam and Malaya would belong to the Malayan and not to the Mon-Annam or Mon-Khmer stock. As a matter of fact the Sâkai of the interior of the peninsula belong to the latter race. It might also be anticipated, were the theory of a southward immigration to be sustained, that the Malays would be new-comers in the islands of the archipelago, and have their oldest settlements on the Malayan Peninsula. The facts, however, are in exact contradiction to this; and accordingly the theory now most generally held by those who have studied the question is that the Malays form a distinct race, and had their original home in the south. Where this home lay it is not easy to say, but the facts recorded by many writers as to the resemblance between the Polynesian and the Malayan races, and the strong Malayan element found in the languages of the former (see Tregear’s Maori and Comparative Polynesian Dictionary, London, 1891), have led some students to think that the two races may have had a common origin. John Crawfurd, in the Dissertation to his Dictionary of the Malay Language, published in 1840, noted the prevalence of Malayan terms in the Polynesian languages, and attributed the fact to the casting away of ships manned by Malays upon the islands of the Polynesian Archipelago. The appearance of the same Malayan words in localities so widely separated from each other, however, cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by any such explanation, and the theory is now more generally held that the two races are probably allied and may at some remote period of history have shared a common home. It has been suggested that their separation did not take place until after the continent which once existed in the north Pacific had become submerged, and that the Malays wandered northward, while the Polynesian race spread itself over the islands of the southern archipelago. All this, however, must necessarily be of the nature of the purest speculation, and the only facts which we are able to deduce in the present state of our knowledge of the subject may be summed up as follows: (a) That the Malays ethnologically belong to a race which is allied to the Polynesians; (b) that the theory formerly current to the effect that the Sakai and other similar races of the peninsula and archipelago belonged to the Malayan stock cannot be maintained, since recent investigations tend to identify them with the Mon-Annam or Mon-Khmer family of races; (c) that the Malays are, comparatively speaking, new-comers in the lands which they now inhabit; (d) that it is almost certain that their emigration took place from the south; (e) and that, at some remote period of their history, they came into close contact with the Polynesian race, probably before its dispersion over the extensive area which it now occupies.
The Malays to-day are Sunni Mahommedans of the school of Shafi’i, and they habitually use the terms Orang Malayu, i.e. a Malay, and Orang Islam, i.e. a Mahommedan, as synonymous expressions. Their conversion from paganism took Religion and Superstitions. place during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries of our era. The raja of Achin, in northern Sumatra, is said to have been converted as early as 1206, while the Bugis people in Celebes are supposed not to have become Mahommedans until 1495. Mahommedanism undoubtedly spread to the Malays of the peninsula from Sumatra, but their conversion was slow and gradual, and may even now in some respects be regarded as imperfect. Upon the bulk of the Malayan peoples their religion sits but lightly. Few are found to observe the law concerning the Five Hours of Prayer, and many fail to put in an appearance at the Friday congregational services in the mosques. The Fast of Ramadhān, however, is generally observed with some faithfulness. Compared with other Mahommedan peoples, the Malays are not fanatical, though occasionally an outbreak against those of a different creed is glorified by them into a holy war. The reason of such outbreaks, however, is usually to be found in political and social rather than in religious grievances. Prior to their conversion to Mahommedanism the Malays were subjected to a considerable Hindu influence, which reached them by means of the traders who visited the archipelago from India. In the islands of Bali and Lombok the people still profess a form of Hinduism, and Hindu remains are to be found in many other parts of the archipelago, though their traces do not extend to the peninsula. Throughout, however, the superstitions of the Malays show indications of this Hindu influence, and many of the demons whom their medicine-men invoke in their magic practices are clearly borrowed from the pantheon of India. For the rest, a substratum of superstitious beliefs, which survives from the days when the Malays professed only their natural religion, is to be found firmly rooted in the minds of the people, and the influence of Mahommedanism, which regards such things with horror, has been powerless to eradicate this. Mr W. W. Skeat’s Malay Magic (London, 1900) is a compilation of all the writings on the subject of Malay superstitions by the best authorities and contains considerable original matter.
The Malays of the coast are a maritime people, and were long famous for the daring character of their acts of piracy. They are now peaceable fisher-folk, who show considerable ingenuity in their calling. Inland the Malays live by Mode of Life, &c. preference on the banks of rivers, building houses on piles some feet from the ground, and planting groves of coco-nut, betel-nut, sugar-palm and fruit-trees around their dwellings. Behind their villages the rice-fields usually spread, and rice, which is the staple food of the people, is the principal article of agriculture among them. Sugar-cane, maize, tapioca and other similar products are grown, however, in smaller quantities. In planting rice three methods are in use: the cultivation of swamp-rice in irrigated fields; the planting of ploughed areas; and the planting of hill-rice by sowing each grain separately in holes bored for the purpose. In the irrigated fields the rice plants are first grown in nurseries, and are subsequently transplanted when they have reached a certain stage of development. The Malays also work jungle produce, of which the most important are gutta, rattans, agila wood, camphor wood, and the beautiful kamuning wood which is used by the natives for the hilts of their weapons. The principal manufactures of the Malays are cotton and silk cloths, earthenware and silver vessels, mats and native weapons. The best cotton cloths are those manufactured by the Bugis people in Celebes, and the batek cloths which come from Java and are stamped with patterns. The best silks are produced by the natives of Pahang, Kĕlantan and Johor in the Malay Peninsula. Lord Leighton pronounced the silver ware from Malaya to be the most artistic of any exhibited at the Colonial Exhibition held in London in 1886. The pottery of the Malays is rude but curious. When the first Europeans visited the Malay Archipelago the Malays had already acquired the art of manufacturing gunpowder and forging canon. The art of writing also appears to have been independently invented by the Malayan races, since numerous alphabets are in use among the peoples of the archipelago, although for the writing of Malay itself the Arabic character has been adopted for some hundreds of years. The Malays are excellent boat-builders.
While the Malays were famous almost exclusively for their piratical expeditions they naturally bore an evil reputation among Europeans, but now that we have come into closer contact with them, and have learned to understand Character, &c. them better, the old opinions concerning them have been greatly modified. They used to be described as the most cruel and treacherous people in the world, and they certainly are callous of the pain suffered by others, and regard any strategy of which their enemies are the victims with open admiration. In ordinary circumstances, however, the Malay is not treacherous, and there are many instances recorded in which men of this race have risked their own lives on behalf of Europeans who chanced to be their friends. As a race they are exceedingly courteous and self-respecting. Their own code of manners is minute and strict, and they observe its provisions faithfully. Unlike many Orientals, the Malays can be treated with a friendly familiarity without such treatment breeding lack of respect or leading to liberties being taken with the superior. The Malays are indolent, pleasure-loving, improvident beyond belief, fond of bright clothing, of comfort, of ease, and they dislike toil exceedingly. They have no idea of the value of money, and little notion of honesty where money is concerned. They would always borrow rather than earn money, and they feel no shame in adopting the former course. They will frequently refuse to work for a wage when they most stand in need of cash, and yet at the invitation of one who is their friend they will toil unremittingly without any thought of reward. They are much addicted to gambling, and formerly were much given to fighting, though they never display that passion for war in the abstract which is characteristic of some of the white races, and their courage on the whole is not high if judged by European standards. It is notorious, however, on the coasts that a Malay gang on board a ship invariably gets the better of any fight which may arise between it and the Chinese crew. The sexual morality of the Malays is very lax, but prostitution is not common in consequence. Polygamy, though allowed by their religion, is practised for the most part among the wealthy classes only. The Malays are an intensely aristocratic people, and show a marvellous loyalty to their rajas and chiefs. Their respect for rank is not marred by any vulgarity or snobbery. The ruling classes among them display all the vices of the lower classes, and few of the virtues except that of courtesy. They are for the most part, when left to their own resources, cruel, unjust, selfish and improvident.
Much has been written concerning the acts of homicidal mania called amuck (amok), which word in the vernacular means to attack. It was formerly believed that these outbursts were to be attributed to madness pur et simple, and some cases of amok can certainly be traced to this source. These are not, however, in any sense typical, and might equally have been perpetrated by men of another race. The typical amok is usually the result of circumstances which render a Malay desperate. The motive is often inadequate from the point of view of a European, but to the Malay it is sufficient to make him weary of life and anxious to court death. Briefly, where a man of another race might not improbably commit suicide, a Malay runs amok, killing all whom he may meet until he himself is slain.
The nervous affliction called latah, to which many Malays are subject, is also a curious trait of the people. The victims of this affliction lose for the time all self-control and all sense of their own identity, imitating the actions of any person who chances to rivet their attention. Accounts of these manifestations will be found in Swettenham’s Malay Sketches (London, 1895) and Clifford’s Studies in Brown Humanity (London, 1897).
The Malays wear a loose coat and trousers, and a cap or head-kerchief, but the characteristic item of their costume is the sarong, a silk or cotton cloth about two yards long by a yard and a quarter wide, the ends of which are sewn together, Costume, Weapons, &c. forming a kind of skirt. This is worn round the waist folded in a knot, the women allowing it to fall to the ankle, the men, when properly dressed in accordance with ancient custom, folding it over the hilt of their waist-weapon, and draping it around them so that it reaches nearly to the knee. In the hall of a raja on state occasions a head-kerchief twisted into a peak is worn, and the coat is furnished with a high collar extending round the back of the neck only. This coat is open in front, leaving the chest bare. The trousers are short and of a peculiar cut and material, being coloured many hues in parallel horizontal lines. The sarong is of Celebes manufacture and made of cotton, to the surface of which a high polish is imparted by friction with a shell. The typical fighting costume of the Malay is a sleeveless jacket with texts from the Koran written upon it, short tight drawers reaching to the middle of the thigh, and the sarong is then bound tightly around the waist, leaving the hilt of the dagger worn in the girdle exposed to view. The principal weapon of the Malays is the kris, a short dagger with a small wooden or ivory handle, of which there are many varieties. The blade of a kris may either be wavy or straight, but if wavy the number of waves must always be uneven in number. The kris most prized by the Malays are those of Bugis (Celebes) manufacture, and of these the kind called tuasek are of the greatest value. Besides the short kris, the Malays use long straight kris with very narrow blades, shorter straight kris of the same form, short broad swords called sundang, long swords of ordinary pattern called pedang, somewhat shorter swords curved like scimitars with curiously carved handles called chenangkas, and short stabbing daggers called tumbok lada. The principal tools of the Malays are the parang or gôlok, a heavy knife used in the jungle, without which no peasant ever stirs abroad from his house, the beliong or native axe, and the pisau raut, which is used for scraping rattan. Their implements are very primitive, consisting of a plough fashioned from a fork of a tree, and a rude harrow. Reaping is usually performed by the aid of a curious little knife which severs each ear of grain separately. The fisher-folk use many kinds of nets, which they manufacture themselves. Sails, paddles, oars and punting-poles are all in use.
Malay Language and Literature
The Malay language is a member of the Malayan section of the Malayo-Polynesian class of languages, but it is by no means a representative type of the section which has taken its name from it. The area over which it is spoken comprises the peninsula of Malacca with the adjacent islands (the Rhio-Lingga Archipelago), the greater part of the coast districts of Sumatra and Borneo, the seaports of Java, the Sunda and Banda Islands. It is the general medium of communication throughout the archipelago from Sumatra to the Philippine Islands, and it was so upwards of three hundred and fifty years ago when the Portuguese first appeared in those parts.
There are no Malay manuscripts extant, no monumental records with inscriptions in Malay, dating from before the spreading of Islam in the archipelago, about the end of the 13th century. By some it has been argued from this fact that the Malays possessed no kind of writing prior to the introduction of the Arabic alphabet (W. Robinson, J. J. de Hollander); whereas others have maintained, with greater show of probability, that the Malays were in possession of an ancient alphabet, and that it was the same as the Rechang (Marsden, Friederich), as the Kawi (Van der Tuuk), or most like the Lampong (Kern)—all of which alphabets, with the Battak, Bugi and Macassar, are ultimately traceable to the ancient Cambojan characters. With the Mahommedan conquest the Perso-Arabic alphabet was introduced among the Malays; it has continued ever since to be in use for literary, religious and business purposes. Where Javanese is the principal language, Malay is sometimes found written with Javanese characters; and in Palembang, in the Mĕnangkabo country of Middle Sumatra, the Rechang or Renchong characters are in general use, so called from the sharp and pointed knife with which they are cut on the smooth side of bamboo staves. It is only since the Dutch have established their supremacy in the archipelago that the Roman character has come to be largely used in writing and printing Malay. This is also the case in the Straits Settlements.
By the simplicity of its phonetic elements, the regularity of its grammatical structure, and the copiousness of its nautical vocabulary, the Malay language is singularly well fitted to be the lingua franca throughout the Indian archipelago. It possesses the five vowels a, i, u, e, o, both short and long, and one pure diphthong, au. Its consonants are k, g, ng, ch, j, ñ, t, d, n, p, b, m, y, r, l, w, s, h. Long vowels can only occur in open syllables. The only possible consonantal nexus in purely Malay words is that of a nasal and mute, a liquid and mute and vice versa, and a liquid and nasal. Final k and h are all but suppressed in the utterance. Purely Arabic letters are only used in Arabic words, a great number of which have been received into the Malay vocabulary. But the Arabic character is even less suited to Malay than to the other Eastern languages on which it has been foisted. As the short vowels are not marked, one would, in seeing, e.g. the word bntng, think first of bintang, a star; but the word might also mean a large scar, to throw down, to spread, rigid, mutilated, enceinte, a kind of cucumber, a redoubt, according as it is pronounced, bantang, banting, bentang, buntang, buntung, bunting, bonteng, benteng.
Malay is essentially, with few exceptions, a dissyllabic language, and the syllabic accent rests on the penultimate unless that syllable is open and short; e.g. dātang, namā́ña, bĕsár, diumpatkanñā́lah. Nothing in the form of a root word indicates the grammatical category to which it belongs; thus, kāsih, kindness, affectionate, to love; ganti, a proxy, to exchange, instead of. It is only in derivative words that this vagueness is avoided. Derivation is effected by infixes, prefixes, affixes and reduplication. Infixes occur more rarely in Malay than in the cognate tongues. Examples are—gūruh, a rumbling noise, gumūruh, to make such a noise; tunjuḳ, to point, telunjuḳ, the forefinger; chūchuk, to pierce, cherūchuḳ, a stockade. The import of the prefixes—mĕ (mĕng, mĕñ, mĕn, mĕm), pĕ (pĕng, pĕñ, pĕn, pĕm bĕr (bĕl), pĕr, pĕl, ka, di, tĕr,—and affixes—an, kan, i, lah—will best appear from the following examples—root word ājar, to teach, to learn; mĕngājar, to instruct (expresses an action); blĕājar, to study (state or condition); mĕngajāri, to instruct (some one, trans.); mĕngājarkan, to instruct (in something, causative); pĕngājar, the instructor; pĕlājar, the learner; pĕngajāran, the lesson taught, also the school; pĕlajāran, the lesson learnt; diājar, to be learnt; terājar, learnt; tĕrājarkan, taught; tĕrajāri, instructed; [pĕrāja (from rāja, prince), to recognize as prince; pĕrajākan, to crown as prince; karajāan, royalty]; ājarkanlah, teach! Examples of reduplication are—ājar-ājar, a sainted person; ājar-bĕrājar (or bĕlājar), to be learning and teaching by turns; similarly there are forms like ājar-mĕngājar, bĕrājār-ajāran, ājar-ajāri, mĕmpĕrājar, mĕmpĕrājarkan, mĕmpĕrajāri, tĕrbĕlājarkan, pĕrbĕlājarkan, &c. Altogether there are upwards of a hundred possible derivative forms, in the idiomatic use of which the Malays exhibit much skill. See especially H. von Dewall, De vormveranderingen der Maleische taal (Batavia, 1864) and I. Pijnappel, Maleisch-Hollandsch Woordenboek (Amsterdam, 1875), “Inleiding.” In every other respect the language is characterized by great simplicity and indefiniteness. There is no inflexion to distinguish number, gender or case. Number is never indicated when the sense is obvious or can be gathered from the context; otherwise plurality is expressed by adjectives such as sagāla, all, and bāñak, many; more rarely by the repetition of the noun, and the indefinite singular by sa or sātu, one, with a class-word. Gender may, if necessary, be distinguished by the words laki-lāki, male, and pĕrampūan, female, in the case of persons, and of jantan and bĕtīna in the case of animals. The genitive case is generally indicated by the position of the word after its governing noun. Also adjectives and demonstrative pronouns have their places after the noun. Comparison is effected by the use of particles. Instead of the personal pronouns, both in their full and abbreviated forms, conventional nouns are in frequent use to indicate the social position or relation of the respective interlocutors, as, e.g. hamba tuan, the master’s slave, i.e. I. These nouns vary according to the different localities. Another peculiarity of Malay (and likewise of Chinese, Shan, Talaing, Burmese and Siamese) is the use of certain class-words or coefficients with numerals, such as orang (man), when speaking of persons, ekor (tail) of animals, kĕping (piece) of flat things, bīji (seed) of roundish things; e.g. līma bīji, tĕlor, five eggs. The number of these class-words is considerable. Malay verbs have neither person or number nor mood or tense. The last two are sometimes indicated by particles or auxiliary verbs; but these are generally dispensed with if the meaning is sufficiently plain without them. The Malays avoid the building up of long sentences. The two main rules by which the order of the words in a sentence is regulated are—subject, verb, object; and qualifying words follow those which they qualify. This is quite the reverse of what is the rule in Burmese.
The history of the Malays amply accounts for the number and variety of foreign ingredients in their language. Hindus appear to have settled in Sumatra and Java as early as the 4th century of our era, and to have continued to exercise sway over the native populations for many centuries. These received from them into their language a very large number of Sanskrit terms, from which we can infer the nature of the civilizing influence imparted by the Hindu rulers. Not only in words concerning commerce and agriculture, but also in terms connected with social, religious and administrative matters that influence is traceable in Malay. See W. E. Maxwell, Manual of the Malay Language (1882), pp. 5-34, where this subject is treated more fully than by previous writers. This Sanskrit element forms such an integral part of the Malay vocabulary that in spite of the subsequent infusion of Arabic and Persian words adopted in the usual course of Mahommedan conquest it has retained its ancient citizenship in the language. The number of Portuguese, English, Dutch and Chinese words in Malay is not considerable; their presence is easily accounted for by political or commercial contact.
The Malay language abounds in idiomatic expressions, which constitute the chief difficulty in its acquisition. It is sparing in the use of personal pronouns, and prefers impersonal and elliptical diction. As it is rich in specific expressions for the various aspects of certain ideas, it is requisite to employ always the most appropriate term suited to the particular aspect. In Maxwell’s Manual, pp. 120 seq., no less than sixteen terms are given to express the different kinds of striking, as many for the different kinds of speaking, eighteen for the various modes of carrying, &c. An unnecessary distinction has been made between High Malay and Low Malay. The latter is no separate dialect at all, but a mere brogue or jargon, the medium of intercourse between illiterate natives and Europeans too indolent to apply themselves to the acquisition of the language of the people; its vocabulary is made up of Malay words, with a conventional admixture of words from other languages; and it varies, not only in different localities, but also in proportion to the individual speaker’s acquaintance with Malay proper. A few words are used, however, only in speaking with persons of royal rank—e.g. santap, to eat (of a raja) instead of mākan; bĕrādu, to sleep, instead of tīdor; gring, unwell, instead of sākit; mangkat, to die, instead of māti, &c. The use is different as regards the term Jāwī as applied to the Malay language. This has its origin in the names Great Java and Lesser Java, by which the medieval Java and Sumatra were called, and it accordingly means the language spoken along the coasts of the two great islands.
The Malays cannot, strictly speaking, be said to possess a literature, for none of their writings can boast any literary beauty or value. Their most characteristic literature is to be found, not in their writings, but in the folk-tales which are transmitted Literature. orally from generation to generation, and repeated by the wandering minstrels called by the people Pĕng-līpor Lāra, i.e. “Soothers of Care.” Some specimens of these are to be found in the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Asiatic Society (Singapore). The collections of Malay Proberbs made by Klinkert, Maxwell and Clifford also give a good idea of the literary methods of the Malays. Their verse is of a very primitive description, and is chiefly used for purposes of love-making. There are numerous rhymed fairy tales, which are much liked by the people, but they are of no literary merit. The best Malay books are the Hikāyat Hang Tūak, Bĕstāmam and the Hikāyat Abdullah. The latter is a diary of events kept during Sir Stamford Raffle’s administration by his Malay scribe.
Authorities.—Hugh Clifford, In Court and Kampong (London, 1897); Studies in Brown Humanity (London, 1898); In a Corner of Asia (London, 1899); Bush-whacking (London 1901); Clifford and Swettenham, Dictionary of the Malay Language, parts i. to v. A-G. Taiping (Perak, 1894-1898); John Crawfurd, History of the Indian Archipelago (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1820); Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language (2 vols., London, 1852); A Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands and Adjacent Countries (London, 1856); Journal of the Indian Archipelago (12 vols., Singapore, 1847-1862); Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 33 Nos. (Singapore, 1878-1900); H. C. Klinkert, Nieuw Maleisch-Nederlandisch Woordenboek (Leiden, 1893); John Leyden, Malay Annals (London, 1821); William Marsden, The History of Sumatra (London, 1811); Malay Dictionary (London, 1824); Sir William Maxwell, A Manual of the Malay Language (London, 1888); T. J. Newbold, Political and Statistical Account of the British Settlements in the Straits of Malacca; W. W. Skeat, Malay Magic (London, 1900); Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula (London, 1906); Sir Frank Swettenham, Malay Sketches (London, 1895); The Real Malay (London, 1899); British Malaya (London, 1906); H. von-de Wall, edited by H. N. van der Tuuk, Maleisch-Nederlandisch Woordenboek (Batavia, 1877-1880); Malay Dictionary (Singapore, 1903), Wilkinson.
- (H. Cl.)