Golok (machete), Function and Social Status

Betawi’s Traditional Machete

Each region in Indonesia has its own characteristics in the variety of weapons, especially regarding sharp weapons. For example, the city of Jakarta, known as the Betawi’s community, for Betawi people the traditional weapon called “Golok” (Machete) is part of a civilization. Golok or better known as “Bilah” in Betawi society have a long history inherent in Betawi social life.

For today’s modern society, a Golok is a sharp weapon that has a variety of functions, but it is very regretted because the Golok leads to a negative impression, because criminals are often used to frighten or injure victims of crime.

In the story of History, Golok are used by Silat (Traditional Martial Art) fighter such as Si Pitung or Si Jampang (the legend of the hero of Betawi), but shifting to the modern era, Golok are still used as job aids. For example helping cut tree trunks, wood, or other household chores. There are also those who save it as a collection, then there are those who use it for social status.

Alfitroh – Traditional Golok maker

The Golok is an ancient Betawi civilization, not just a weapon, but as a tool of work, as well as about the value of self esteem and also at the same time as an accessory of the Betawi community, said the Betawi community leader named Alfitroh‎, and he is also a Traditional Golok maker in the East Of Jakarta area.

Alfitroh Traditional Golok Maker

According to Al Fitroh, Golok in each region in Betawi have various characteristics of each, according to the geographical conditions of their respective regions. In the area we all have Golok, according to the character of the area, like the Betawi people in the mountains area, and in the coast area.  But it is part of an Indonesian civilization.

There are several models of Golok seen from the shape of the blade, and from the shape of the handle, but if for the sheath there is no difference. So indeed the types of Goloks vary. Alfitroh told to the Java Private Tour (April 3, 2020).

Alfitroh also explained, that Machete types of blades consist of various types including slats Candung, Kopak Rawing, and Salam Nunggal. As for the Golok types of handles including knife handles, Jengkol handles, and others.

Traditional Machcete with Albino Horn Materials

And to maintain the sharpness level, this Golok must indeed be sharpened periodically, minimally sharpened in one month twice, and Golok has no occult elements or mysteries, treatment only uses oil, often sharpened using oil, said Alfitroh.

Alfitroh – Traditional Golok Maker

There are also some people who use machetes as a tool for slaughtering animals, and the materials for making them are also various, some are from waste steel, modern steel, swing arm steel from shockbreakers used by Jeep Willys vehicles.

And in terms of social status, wealthy Betawi people usually measure their Golok based on their own Golok material, one of them, Golok Kebo Bule. This type of Golok is considered prestigious and luxurious, because the price reaches millions of rupiah, because the handle is from a Caucasian buffalo horn meaning white buffalo (albino), looking for that type of buffalo It was already very difficult to find it, because albino buffalo is increasingly rare in Indonesia.

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Author : Java Private Tour

The founder of Java Private Tour, an adventurer, lover of nature, culture, art, culinary hunters, I am too in love with Indonesia! For those of you who have stories about Java, let's share the story with me by contacting me via email: info@javaprivatetour.com

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