Thursday, 29 September 2011

Rumah Banda Hilir (1)

Rumah Banda Hilir was an old house adjoining Masjid Banda Hilir, where I had lived after I was born. According to Bapak, the hind (rear) portion of Rumah Banda Hilir was built first, and then the front portion. And that was why the rear portion looked more worn out, more dilapidated and older than the front portion. Bapak said the entire house did not use nails or screws. The rear portion used thatched roof (bumbung atap) while the front portion used small red-orange brick roof tiles as used in most town houses during that era. The entire house was on stilts, and there were large stone bases to hold the stilts. The stone bricks are the same ones used to make the Portuguese fort, A Famosa.

History has it that when the Portuguese attacked and conquered Malacca on 15 August 1511, they destroyed the mosques there and used the stones for making A Famosa. Thus, the same stones can be found in Rumah Banda Hilir and A Famosa.

The stones could have come from the distant hills. Some archaeological research needs to be done to locate the source of the stones/rocks to make A Famosa. Carbon-dating and rock-dating will be needed to know how old these stones/rocks are and where they came from (what period and source).

The only archaeologist I know is Bapak's relative, Professor Zuraina Majid, the youngest sister of Datuk Paduka Ruby Majid. I met her twice, once during my wedding in Penang and another when she was in the interview panel (I didn't know she was going to be in the panel anyway). I have to trace and see where she is today.

Long time ago, Bapak said that one of Datuk Alang's daughters did Architecture and had used Rumah Banda Hilir for her project. I could have been in secondary school when I heard this from Bapak. However, when I asked Mak Cik Jamilah (isteri Pak Cik Hassan), she said there is no such daughter doing Architecture nor has worked on Rumah Banda Hilir for her project. So I don't know what is real or unreal but that was what happened. All I know, Rumah Banda Hilir was studied by someone but I have no clue who studied that house. Maybe I can ask UiTM to look through its collection of students' projects and find out more details about Rumah Banda Hilir.

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