10 Original Indonesian Traditional Weapons

Indonesia is known as an archipelagic country with various customs and cultures that characterize each region in the archipelago. Starting from culinary, traditional clothing, to local traditions that are rooted in the nation's invaluable cultural heritage.

One of the cultural products that is also a form of community identity is traditional weapons. These weapons were once used as a means of self-defense, farming, and hunting.

Curious about anything? The following is a summary of some of Indonesia's traditional weapons which are the nation's cultural heritage.

1. Keris from Java

Keris. Photo By: instagram.com/keris_nusantara_

Keris is one of the traditional weapons that is quite popular and widely known by the people of Indonesia. Besides being used as a complement to traditional Javanese clothing, this traditional weapon, which is identical with its twisty shape, is also often used as a photo and film property.

For the Javanese themselves, especially Central Java and Yogyakarta, keris is not just a weapon for self-protection, you know. Keris is also considered to have sacred values ​​and mystical elements in ancient Javanese beliefs. So, it is not surprising that some keris have a magical aura that cannot be explained scientifically.

2. Celurit (Sickles) from Madura

Celurit. Photo By: instagram.com/bustomy18

Furthermore, there is a celurit which is a typical weapon from the land of Madura. This traditional weapon with a curved shape resembling a crescent moon is still used in daily activities by some people in Madura, such as cutting grass for animal feed.

Still familiar in everyday life, it turns out that the use of celurit is not only for cutting grass. The celurit function can also be a medium to solve problems between individuals or other customary problems.

3. Daggers from Papua

Belati Papua
Photo By: instagram.com/indonesianculturephotography

Who is the first to see a dagger from Papua? This traditional weapon from the Land of the Black Pearl is made from the leg bones of the Cassowary which is easy to shape but has a strong structure. The characteristic of the dagger can also be seen from the decoration of Cassowary feathers on the hilt of the weapon.

Usually, tribes in Papua use daggers as weapons for hunting, war, and taking forest products. Besides daggers, Papuans usually carry bows and arrows made of bamboo or wood.

4. Salawaku Machete from Maluku

Parang Salawaku
Photo By: instagram.com/parangsalawaku

The name Salawaku machete may still be quite foreign to people outside Maluku. However, it's a different story if you see a photo of a national hero on a thousand banknotes (in rupiah currency). The iconic image of Pattimura turns out to be holding a traditional Maluku weapon, namely the Salawaki machete.

Salawaku machete or Salawaku kalawai actually consists of a machete (long knife) and salawaku (shield). During the colonial period, this traditional weapon was used for war as well as a symbol of the independence of the Maluku people. It turns out to be loaded with historical value.

5. Mandau from West Kalimantan

Mandau. Photo By: instagram.com/mandau_galerry

Kalimantan also has traditional weapons that are widely known to foreign countries. Mandau which looks like a sword is widely used by the Dayak tribe in Kalimantan. Usually in the mandau blade there are unique carvings and is equipped with a small knife called langgei puai.

The Dayak tribe itself used to use mandau to attack opponents during war. Now the mandau is actually being hunted by foreign and local tourists to be used as souvenirs typical of the Dayak.

6. Rencong from Aceh

Rencong. Photo By: instagram.com/niex_04

When asked the name of Aceh's traditional weapons, the answer is Rencong. As a weapon, the size of the Rencong is quite small and its shape is almost similar to a knife. During the war against the invaders, Rencong became a weapon that had an important role for the people of Aceh.

Not just an ordinary war weapon, in ancient times the Rencong was also a symbol of the status of the owner's valor, honor, and nobility. As a result, many people think that Rencong has a sacred value.

7. Badik from Sulawesi

Badik. Photo By: instagram.com/badik.sulawesi

Badik is a traditional weapon originating from the Sulawesi region. This traditional weapon that is widely used by the Bugis, Makasar, and Toraja tribes is almost similar in shape to the rencong. Its small and knife-like size makes badik widely used for self-defense in battles between individuals or groups.

According to history, badik has been used since the days of the kingdom of Sulawesi. In fact, in the past badik could not be separated from the waist of a Bugis man. Especially when wandering, badik becomes a sacred object that must participate as a friend overseas as well as to repel reinforcements.

8. An Arrowhead Spear from Jambi

Tombak Jambi
Arrowhead Spear from Jambi. Photo By: milenialjoss.com

This arrowhead spear or also called Kuju is a traditional Jambi weapon that is still produced today. This arrowhead spear consists of iron coating manau, handles or parts for holding, arrowheads, nipples, and ears.

Spears whose ends are made of selected iron can be made in various sizes according to their uses, such as hunting, security, and many others. Usually these spears are washed twice a year.

9. Sumpit from East Kalimantan

Sumpit from East Kalimantan
Sumpit from East kalimantan. Photo By kumparan.com

Not to be outdone by West Kalimantan, the East Kalimantan region also has a traditional weapon called sumpit. Weapons used by blowing are usually used for hunting.

Sumpits are about 1-2 meters long and 2-3 centimeters in diameter. The traditional weapon of the Dayak tribe is also equipped with items shaped like small arrows which will later be inserted into the sumpits and then blown into the targeted game.

10. Ciomas Machete from Banten

Golok Ciomas
Ciomas Machete. Photo By: 1001indonesia.net

As the name implies, the Ciomas machete is a traditional weapon originating from the Ciomas area, Banten. This Ciomas machete is very famous for its sharpness and mystical power in it.

During the colonial era, the Ciomas machete was often used as a weapon to fight against the invaders. Uniquely, this one machete is only made in the month of Maulid or the month of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad with a special manufacturing ritual.

Those are traditional weapons from various regions in Indonesia. Along with the times, now traditional Indonesian weapons are no longer a tool of war or self-protection. However, some people still believe that this cultural heritage object has mystical powers so that many keep it in a secret place.


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