Rebana Entrepreneur Sells Globally

September 26, 2008 12:33 PM
Rebana Entrepreneur Sells Globally
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 (Bernama) — A young Bumiputera entrepreneur has been
inspired to market his artwork to the world, thanks to the strong demand for rebana,
a traditional single-headed drum.
“Besides producing rebana for dikir barat shows, marhaban and weddings, I also
produce miniature rebanas as souvenirs for foreigners and for corporate events,”
says Hapizi Husin, 26, the only young entrepreneur interested in this traditional
instrument in Besut.
“Praise be to God, with guidance from my father, I can afford to use my skill as a
source for income to support my family and God willing, I intend to develop the
rebana market internationally soon,” he said in a statement Friday.
Since the instrument is in high demand as souvenirs for tourists as well as for
musical performances such as dikir barat shows and traditional performances, a plan
is being hatched for the rebana to take its next big step.
Under the umbrella of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), the handicraft
industry such as batik and rebana are linked to the tourism and manufacturing
The making of rebana would fall under the ECER master plan’s wood-based cluster,
where the upstream segment can be found in the rural hinterland like Kelantan or
Exports from Malaysia’s wood-based cluster have reached more than 100 countries
and its value has exceeded RM15 billion.
According to the ECER masterplan, one way for the rebana to reach the international
market is to have a craft museum. It could be a one-stop centre for the manufacturer
to market and sell to tourists in the ECER.
“Usually once the products are ready, we will send them to the Besut district council
to be marketed. We will also take part in various expos and carnivals to promote
rebana,” said Hapizi from his workshop in Kampung Gong Ubi Keling, Besut.
Among the major challenges of the business are the availability of raw materials and
their high cost.
“The raw material can be searched as long as we are serious in doing it and I hope my sons will inherit and keep up the image of rebana as well,” he added.
Although rebana has its fans, it is not as famous as batik or songket due to shortage
of skilled workers and designers in Malaysia.
This means that in order to develop the industry, training is essential. There need to
be a large number of skilled people to sustain attrition and still maintain a sustainable
group of skilled artisans.
There are four types of rebana, namely rebana pengerum, rebana ubi, rebana
penganak and rebana dikir barat. In Johor, there a type which is known as rebana
The biggest rebana is the rebana ubi, which is at least 70cm in diameter. Rebana ubi
is widely used by the Malays in the east coast, predominantly in Kelantan and
The rebana was once used as a communication tool. However, it has been able to
withstand the test of time and survive as a unique traditional musical instrument