Tengkolok also known as ‘destar’ is a Malay traditional headgear worn by Malay men. The royal tengkolok has been part of the ceremonial dress of the Malay Rulers since the era of the Malay Sultanate about 2000 years ago. Tengkolok was made from songket. Before the discovery of songket, Malay rulers had worn headdresses made from Indian material and Chinese silk. The fabrics then were shaped into different styles as part of their regalia. The style of folding a headdress is called ‘solek’ The colours of the headdress vary from one state to another.
During the ceremonies, the rulers, delegates and commoners are expected to wear specific types of tengkolok. Those who do not follow the practice would be considered not respecting the ceremony events.
The royal headdress worn by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is black in colour with gold embroidery and its ‘solek’ is called “Dendam Tak Sudah” which originated from Negeri Sembilan. On the front of the headdress is affixed with a crescent and star with 14 angles (based on total of 14 states in Malaysia) in white gold, and the center of the star is the national emblem of Malaysia.