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Monday, April 28, 2014

Kasut Manik nyonya ( Peranakan beaded shoes )_ stepping into a vibrant world of peranakan embroidery

Kasut Manik Nyonya ( Peranakan beaded shoes )- stepping into a vibrant world of
peranakan embroidery

Just like any other woman's outfit which is never complete without a matching footwear, a nyonya sarong kebaya is considered incomplete without its signature footwear _ kasut manik nyonya or nyonya beaded shoes. 

Basically, there are two types of kasut manik nyonya: the first type is the closed toe beaded shoes which the peranakan call kasut manik muka tutup, while the second type which resembles a Chinese wooden clog  or chakiak is known as kasut manik chakiak.
Kasut manik muka tutup

Kasut manik chakiak

The 'face'of the shoes or muka kasut is usually made of cross-stitch cloth and hand embroidered with cut-beads ( manik potong ). The muka kasut is usually embellished with flower, bird, goldfish, and mosaic motifs.

Muka kasut

Threading the fine beads and sewing the intricate designs are pain-staking and time-consuming affair which requires a steady hand, good eyesight, plenty of patience and perseverance.

Recently, my niece, Lisa, showed us some photos of the kasut manik which she had purchased from a shop located somewhere along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock ( formerly known as Heeren Street ) in Melaka, Malaysia.

So, one fine morning we took a drive to Melaka town to check out the shop. After some inquiry from a boutique proprietor we were directed to a shop located mid-way along the short stretch of road. We soon came to a shop with light blue facade.

The shop with the light blue facade

Above a white-framed door we caught sight of the words: 'Colour Beads'. 

The words: 'Colour Beads' above the door

As soon as we stepped into the shop, we were greeted and welcomed by the sales lady, Mrs. Lim, who we later discovered was the original proprietor, but had since handed down the business to her son, Billy, and daughter-in-law. 

Waiting to greet the customers

Mrs. Lim  showed us the wide range of ready-made kasut manik shoes that was on display.

The kasut manik on display

My wife tried on the kasut manik and Mrs. Lim was at hand to advise her on the selection.

Trying on the shoes

 The shoes, depending on the quality of the beads and intricacy of design could cost from an affordable RM 200 to a pricey RM 2000.

We were told that customers could also pick the muka kasut of their choice from the wide variety on display in the glass showcases  and have them made according to the right shoe size and heels of their preference. The customers could then collect the completed shoes after three hours.

One for the album

Before we left the shop we we posed for a photo with Mrs. Lim, as a memento of our visit to the shop.

Photos courtesy of Billy 

Colour Beads Enterprise is located at
84, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock


  1. Adakah tempat ini di Kg Jawa? Ini tempat bapa bawa shopping Raya. Suka tengok Baba buat terompah. Peniaga di situ sangat peramah.

  2. Hi Iffahyusuf,
    Kedai ini di Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, dulu di kenali sebagai Heeren Street. Kedai ini hanya jual kasut manik dan baju kebaya.
    Dulu ada sebuah kedai membuat terompah, tapi kurang pasti samaada ia ada lagi. Kini bandar Melaka dah ada banyak perubahan. Kalau ada masa dan peluang silalah melawat bandar bersejarah ini.