Kelantan Traditional Roof Designs: Preserving a Cultural Legacy

Kelantan, a state in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia, is known for its rich cultural heritage, including its traditional architecture. One of the most captivating aspects of Kelantanese architecture is its unique roof designs, which have been passed down through generations. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of Kelantan traditional roof designs and explore the efforts being made to preserve this valuable heritage.

Understanding Kelantan Traditional Roof Designs

Kelantan’s traditional roof designs are a testament to the state’s rich history and cultural diversity. The intricate and aesthetically pleasing roof designs serve both functional and symbolic purposes. Here are some key features of these traditional roof designs:

  1. Rumah Bumbung Lima: This is a distinctive roof style commonly found in traditional Kelantanese houses. It features five ridges symbolizing the five pillars of Islam. The complex structure of this roof design showcases the skills of local craftsmen.
  2. Genting Atap Serondeng: The roof design of traditional Kelantanese houses often incorporates serondeng, a type of ornamental carving that adorns the wooden components of the roof. These carvings are not only decorative but also carry cultural and religious significance.
  3. Sirih Junjung: In Kelantan, the craftsmanship of creating intricate sirih junjung (betel leaf-shaped roof finials) is highly esteemed. These ornamental pieces are placed at the apex of the roof and are considered a symbol of respect and hospitality.

Preservation Efforts

Preserving Kelantan’s traditional roof designs is crucial to maintaining the state’s cultural heritage. Efforts are being made to ensure that these architectural treasures continue to be appreciated and passed on to future generations. Some of the preservation initiatives include:

  1. Documentation and Research: Scholars and cultural enthusiasts are conducting research and documentation on traditional Kelantanese architecture. This includes recording the techniques, materials, and symbolism of the roof designs.
  2. Heritage Conservation Programs: Various heritage conservation programs and organizations work to protect and restore traditional Kelantanese houses, ensuring that the unique roof designs are maintained.
  3. Skills Transfer: Local artisans are being trained to carry on the craftsmanship of creating these intricate roof designs, passing the skills from one generation to the next.


Kelantan’s traditional roof designs are not merely architectural features; they are a living embodiment of the state’s cultural heritage. Preserving these intricate and meaningful designs is vital to ensure that future generations can continue to admire and respect the craftsmanship of the past. By documenting, conserving, and passing on the knowledge and skills required to create these unique roofs, we can contribute to the ongoing legacy of Kelantan’s cultural heritage.

As travelers and cultural enthusiasts explore the beauty of Kelantan, they are not just admiring the past but actively participating in the preservation of a vibrant and cherished heritage. Let us celebrate Kelantan’s traditional roof designs and help ensure that they continue to adorn the landscape of this remarkable state.

Ready to explore traditional Kelantanese architecture or need expert advice on your own home projects? Contact OKG UniHome today. Our team is here to assist you in preserving the cultural heritage and enhancing the beauty of your living space. Reach out to us for a consultation and let’s embark on a journey of architectural discovery together. Contact us here.




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