Yellow is a colour that sometimes has negative connotations in the West -- leading to it being so that being called yellow is an insult that means that one is a coward. In Imperial China, however, yellow was the color associated with royalty, and the Yellow Emperor being the label bestowed onto the legendary ruler credited with having achieved immortality (and his wife, Empress Lei Zu, with having discovered that silkworms make silk and inventing the silk loom).
And yellow also is the color of royalty in Malaysia, the home of nine sultans who take turns being king (really!) as well as my native land.
The recent actions of the Sultan of Perak has helped create political turmoil in his state and country at large. But it is to more peaceful times that this Photo Hunt's entry largely hark back to: that is, some time last year when two friends and I visited Perak's royal town of Kuala Kangsar and spent time doing such as checking out its beautiful mosque and -- the building in the above photos -- Istana Kenangan, an old royal palace turned state museum.
A wonderful example of old Malay architecture, its relatively newly painted coats of yellow, black and white (the colours of Perak) may be what initially catches the eye but what really takes the breath away is the knowledge that not a single nail was used in its construction. Built in the traditional Malay way on stilts to deal with flooding, it also happens to have the symbolic distinction of being shaped like a keris, the wavy Malay sword whose aesthetic beauty belies its deadliness as a weapon.
With floors of wood and walls of woven sliced bamboo, it can seem on the less than solid side -- and I had to laugh as my two friends did such as literally knock on each step before putting their weight on them as we ascended the stairs up to the palace/museum! Suffice to say that the building really is pretty sturdy -- as well as surprisingly modest looking inside, especially compared to its outside (hence my preference for taking photos of its exterior over its interior!).