Craft and Legacy of the Traditional Woodcarvings of Adiguru Kraf, Allahyarham Wan Mustafa Wan Su
The art and craft of traditional Malay woodcarving may be forgotten by the modern generation. Consequently, it would gradually become an extinct craft in Malaysia if without effort to save its legacy. This paper aims to uncover traditional woodcarving's art and craft heritage and its visual attributes and craftsmanship in the works of a master craftsman, Allahyarham Wan Mustafa Wan Su, who was actively involved in the craft industry before he passed away in 2019. Traditional Malay wood carving is synonymous with the Malay heritage, especially in the Northern Eastern states of Peninsula Malaysia. Safeguarding of this intangible heritage is crucial after the departure of the master craftsman, who had contributed a lot to the woodcarving industry. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to analyse his works concerning his crafts and styles of craftsmanship. His opinions that served as inferential evidence were obtained through a face-to-face interview conducted within an informal setting. The semi-structured conversation focused on the craft and craftsmanship of woodcarving, with particular emphasis on the visual attributes and technique used. Observation and photographic documentation of his works were necessary measures to complement the interviews. Hence, this paper also addresses the examination of the woodcarvings produced by the master, which exemplifies his distinctive craftsmanship. The research founds that additional values, including artistic and design skills, further enrich the products of the master carver, which not only provide a stimulus for admiration but also serve as valuable references for the present and future generation of woodcarvers. Thus, from this research, the knowledge about woodcarving could spread for further research to ensure the future survival of the craft heritage.
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