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Negeri Sembilan is a state of Malaysia.

Literally, "Negeri Sembilan" means "Nine States" ("Sembilan is the Bahasa Melayu word for "nine"). This is because historically the area was a federation of nine smaller states.

The capital, Seremban is a few hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur (the capital of Malaysia) and is suitable for a half-day or day trip. There is some interesting architecture, including the traditional Minangkabau style houses, featuring "Bulls Horns" curved roofs.

Legend has it that a Sumatran tribe was fighting a Javanese tribe in the area. To avoid bloodshed, the tribes agreed to have a bullfight (between two bulls) to settle their differences.

Knowing that the Javanese tribe had a particularly large and strong bull, the Ceylonese tribe resorted to a ruse - they separated a baby bull from its mother and starved it for days. Then, just before the fight, they attached knives to its horns. When put into the fight with the larger, full grown bull, the bull calf went straight for the bull's underside, looking for milk. The bigger (and now somewhat surprised) bull was thus gored to death. The victorious Ceylonese tribe chanted "Minangkabau! Minangkabau!" ("Victorious Bull! Victorious Bull!"), and the Ceylonese tribe adopted "Minangkabau" as their tribal name. Their roofs were made to look like bull's horns to celebrate.

Originally, Minangkabau houses were made without nails, although now this is a lost art. Modern roofs in the area, sadly, are far more often the corrugated iron or modern tile variety, and the older Minangkabau style roofs are lost to decay. There are still some beautiful examples to be seen, however (particularly one of the government buildings near the palace).

Interestingly, the Minangkabau have matriarchal inheritence rights, that is, the eldest daughter inherits the wealth of the family.

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