Terengganuan Malays

Terengganurians, Terengganuans or Terengganu Malays (Malaysian: Melayu Terengganu, Terengganu Malay: Oghang Tranung/Ganu/Ganung/Teganu), are a Malay ethnic group native to the state of Terengganu, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Besides Terengganu, they can also be found in the neighbouring states of Pahang (in the districts of Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin), Johor (especially in Mersing) and their descendants can also be found in the Anambas Islands (part of the Riau Islands province) in Indonesia.[1] As of 2010, it is estimated that the population of Terengganuan Malays is around 1.1 million people, and they form 94% of Terengganu's population, making them the dominant ethnic group in the state.[2]

Terengganuan Malay people
Oghang Tranung / Oghang Ganu
Melayu Terengganu / ملايو ترڠڬانو
A Terengganuan Malay woman in traditional attire, 1908.
Total population
1.1 million
Regions with significant populations
 Malaysia (Terengganu and significant populations in Johor (Mersing) and Pahang (Kuantan and Rompin) as well as Anambas and Natuna in Riau Islands province, Sumatra, Indonesia
Terengganu Malay, standard Malaysian
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Malaysian Malays (especially Kelantanese Malays, Patani Malays and Pahang Malays)

Terengganuan Malays have a distinct cultural, historical and linguistic identity from the rest of the Malay ethnic group in the country, especially their spoken language, which is somewhat mutually unintelligible to West Coast Peninsular Malaysian Malay speakers. Terengganu Malays also have a strong state identity and they used to have their own independent sultanate which still exists today but became part of Malaya (later Malaysia). Terengganuans, along with the Kelantanese and Pahangites are considered as Orang Pantai Timur (People of the East Coast) and these three groups have close ties in terms of cultures, languages, history and kinship.


There are several theories on the origin of the name 'Terengganu'. One theory attributes the name's origin to terang ganu, Malay for 'bright rainbow'. Another story, said to have been originally narrated by the ninth Sultan of Terengganu, Baginda Omar, tells of a party of hunters from Pahang roving and hunting in the area of what is now southern Terengganu. One of the hunters spotted a big animal fang lying on the ground. A fellow party member asked to which animal did the fang belong. The hunter, not knowing which animal, simply answered taring anu (Malay: 'fang of something'). The party later returned to Pahang with a rich hoard of game, fur and sandalwood, which impressed their neighbours. They asked the hunters where did they source their riches, to which they replied, from the land of taring anu, which later evolved into Terengganu. Terengganu was called Trangkanu (Thai: ตรังกานู) by the Siamese when it was under their influence.

Terengganuan Malays usually refer to themselves as Oghang Tranung, Teganu, Ganung or Ganu.


See: Terengganu Malay

Terengganuan Malays spoke a Malayic language called Terengganu Malay or in their native language as Bahse Tranung (which means "Terengganu language") or Ccakak Tranung (which means "Speak Terengganu"). Terengganu Malay is closely related to Kelantanese Malay (Baso Kelate) and Pahang Malay (Base Pahang) and these three can easily communicated with each other despite phonological differences (as well as some vocabulary differences). However, not all Terengganuan Malay people in Terengganu use Terengganuan; in the districts of Besut and northern Setiu, Kelantanese Malay is much popular among the people there as their culture and customs are much closer to Kelantan than other parts of Terengganu.[3] Terengganu Malay has several distinct dialects but it is divided into two major ones namely Coastal, or Terengganu Malay proper and Inland, also known as Base Ulu (Language of the inland) or Base Kole Berang (Kuala Berang language/dialect). Both varieties have a distinct phonology as well as some vocabulary and sometimes mutually unintelligible to one another (although Inland speakers are more exposed to Coastal dialects than vice versa). Coastal Terengganu Malay is further divided into several sub-dialects which only has minimal differences, mostly vocabulary.


a couple from Temquigui, from Boxer Codex s. 1590.[4]
A traditional Malay house in Terengganu, also known as Rumoh Beghatak.

The Terengganuan Malay community is rich in culture and traditions and is considered as one of the "Cradles of the Malay civilization" in West Malaysia. In Terengganu, there are several types of traditional Malay theatres, such as Rodak, Teater Nur Sakti and Tariang Pula (Pulai dance), Tariang Saba (Saba dance), Tariang Bala (Balai dance) and so on. However, the most well known traditional dance of Terengganu are Tariang Ulek Mayang, the dance is usually performed by the seaside at the Pesta Puje Pata (Sea Worshipping Festival) at the end of the year and is meant to heal sickness. Nevertheless, such dances today are simply considered as cultural performance instead of using it as a worship. Like its neighbour Kelantan, Terengganu is one of Malaysia's most conservative states but the state is also known for its tolerance towards ethnic and religious minorities.


Terengganu has many unique traditional cuisines which added the diversity of native Malay dishes in the country. Among the nutritious and delicious traditional Terengganuan Malay food is the Keropok Lekor (which is also referred to as Keppok Gongdee, Keppok Panjang or Keppok Batang by Terengganuans). Apart from that, Budu (sauce) is also another popular dish in Terengganu. Now more and more people recognize and are aware of this nutritious Budu (sauce) as Sos bilis (anchovy sauce). In addition, the Nasi Dagang Teregganu is one of the most popular foods among the people of Terengganu and is easily available at almost every restaurant in Terengganu. There are a variety of traditional foods that are delicious and nutritious in Terengganu of which are such as Laksang, Tahi Itik, Cek Mek Molek, Akok, Nganang (a variant of Akok), Bronok Sagu, Sagong, Bekang Nyior, Belebak, Nek Bak, Tok Aji Serbang, Kuih Tepung Gomok, Tupak sutong, Bekang, Roti Paung, Buoh Bung Samba, Kuih Kapur Nyior, Apang Dewe, Apang Kuoh and many more.

Traditional dances

Besides the famous Ulek Mayang dance, there are also several unique traditional dances in the state, from Pre-Islamic dances like Saba to current folk dances like Rodat and Watimang Landok, mostly came after the arrival of Islam into the state.


Traditional songs:

Martial arts

  • Silak Gayongman Gerak Satu (from Kuala Terengganu)
  • Silak Kkughe (Silat Kura-Kura, from Hulu Terengganu)
  • Silak Taghi Jatuh (Silat Tari Jatuh, from Besut)
  • Silak Syed Habib Hamid

Notable people

Famous Malay people from Terengganu include:


  1. "Diaspora Terengganu". Coretan Seorang Insan. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  2. "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. iv. Archived from the original on 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  3. "Orang Besut: Anak Terengganu, Kelantan Pelihara? - Mohd Izzuddin Ramli". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  4. Souza, George Bryan; Turley, Jeffrey Scott (2015). The Boxer Codex: Transcription and Translation of an Illustrated Late Sixteenth-Century Spanish Manuscript Concerning the Geography, History and Ethnography of the Pacific, South-east and East Asia. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004301542.
  5. "TARIAN ULIK MAYANG". Bahagian RnD JKKN. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  6. "TARIAN SABA : ANAK BURUNG BANIUNG". Bahagian RnD JKKN. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  7. "Tarian Watimang Landak". hariezi. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  8. "TARIAN BALAI/PULAI". Bahagian RnD JKKN. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  9. "TARIAN YA ABANG". Bahagian RnD JKKN. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  10. "Watimang Landok With Lyrics". dzulkar9umar. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  11. "Anak Udang With Lyrics". dzulkar9umar. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  12. "Ayun Buai Kokek - Lagu Rakyat Terengganu". sekolah4udotcom. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  13. "PATENDU PATENDE (original) dengan LIRIK (original)". fbpauzi. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  14. "Inang Rodat - Lagu Rakyat Terengganu". sekolah4udotcom. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  15. "Ulek Mayang Full Version With Lyrics". dzulkar9umar. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
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