Old storybook

This is an example of “Chrita Dulu Kala” which is loosely translated as “stories from ancient times”. They were usually storybooks of the traditional Chinese classics that were translated from Chinese to Baba Malay. These tales of Chinese folklore, legends and historical epics include famous novels such as “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” and “Water Margin”. Although most of these works appeared in paperback form, it was possible that a few volumes could be combined to form a specially bound copy, such as this one. “Chrita Dulu Kala” were traditionally read by Peranakan men. Many elderly Peranakan ladies today remember being told stories from these books by their fathers, uncles and grandfathers. Many of the Chinese traditions of the Peranakan Chinese are believed to have been transmitted via these storybooks. This book is the 28th volume of the novel “Sam Kok” and bears the pseudonym of “Batu Gantong” which was used by one of the more prolific author-translators Chan Kim Boon.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
Singapore and Batavia, Indonesian Archipelago
Dimension
Object size: H:16.5 x W:10.4 x D:1.2cm
Accession No.
2009-02839
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Category
Rare Books