Baba Nyonya and Jewelry Museums

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December 13th 2014
Published: February 5th 2015
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The Baba Nyonya museum and the Straights Chinese Jewelry museum are located close to each other, just one block off of Jonker Street. Both are well worth a visit, though the jewelry museum will probably be less crowded.

The Baba Nyonya museum is in 3 old houses that are still owned by the original family! Baba Nyonya refers to a specific group of people in Melaka. Over one hundred years ago, Melaka was a huge trade port and over 80 languages were spoken! During this time, many men came from China (Baba) and married local women (Nyonya), resulting in families that still maintain a special culture to this day. One of these families lived in these three houses/museum. The family still uses the house for big gatherings, so personal touches are throughout the; it feels more like a home than a museum. (Well, except for the coffee shop and hostel.) The tour is only in the middle house, but it's quite detailed and gives you a pretty good idea what life was like when the family lived there.

After having coffee with someone I met on the tour, I walked up the street to the jewelry museum. It was less busy and as a result I got a personal tour! My tour guide was happy to answer all of my questions, as well as explain a few pieces in great detail--some of these included items from the wedding night! (Ahem!) While many of the clothes and jewelry aren't practical in the slightest, they're all exquisite and make one dream of a different time. All of the jewelry, shoes, and clothes were nothing short of gorgeous. It would have certainly been fun to wear them! And unlike the Baba Nyonya museum I was able to take a few photos, which always makes me happy.

Feeling happy and sleepy, I decided to stop for a quick snack before heading back to my hostel for an afternoon nap.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20



Rain water collects in a fountain below. It's supposed to bring good luck and fortune.
The lanterns have a meaning!The lanterns have a meaning!
The lanterns have a meaning!

One says the family name, one says their trade. It's like the equivalent of a street address.

Someone had a tiny waist
Down the streetDown the street
Down the street

I like cool doors

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