Is a Malay word referring to the stiff oval headgear worn over the brow by muslim males only
Haja Mohidin was twelve years old when he first learned to make a “songkok”. He has been making making them now for more than 42 years!
He learned the skill from his father who has been working at the same premises for 40 years (1933-1973)
This shop was the first of such shops selling handmade songkok and managed to draw regular clients from all over Malaysia.
Haja Mohidin draws about 20 orders a day and can complete a songkok within an hour!
Many uniformed organizations like the police , the army and the cadets have been known to place bulk orders in colours of brown, purple and green.
The songkok is the headgear that completes a traditional Malay costume. It is usually worn by muslim men during prayers or other religious ceremonies.
Muslim headgear like the Kopiah”, the “tarbus”, and the “songkok”, were brought by traders and migrants from various muslim countries.
Haja Mohidin specializes in making the songkok which is the most commonly worn headgear. Malaysian songkok usually sport a plain black or blue velvet finish. Gold and silver trimmings are reserved for royalty.
Haja’s design is adopted from Achen probably to cater for the larger Acehnese settlers and haj pilgrims in Penang at the time.
The shop was actually built before independence in 1957 with a limited working space measuring 6 feet by 6 feet by 12 feet, Haja Mohidin still manages to house all his tools and machines although it does get a little hot.
The shop, set in an alcove next to the Nagore shrine, is especially meaningful to Haja Mohidin as it is his father’s trading legacy.Just beside him, you will find his uncle who also makes songkoks!
How is songkok made?