Robyn Eckhardt of the Wall Street Journal introduces the Singapore’s Peranakans (pronounced “per-rah-nah-kahns,”) a fascinating blend of cultures from the region.

The Peranakan—the descendants of marriages between local women and the foreign merchants who began arriving in the 1400s—grew wealthy working in real estate, shipping and banking. Their influence still permeates many aspects of daily life but the museum’s real highlights are the fabulously opulent items worn by the Nyonya, the female descendants: gem-studded jewelry, intricately embroidered silk clothing and handsewn slippers swathed in minuscule Bohemian glass beads.

The Peranakan Museum offers documents and artifacts, Peranakan wedding rituals and accessories, and interpretations of their religious choices, public life and food.

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