Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1746 Javanese pendekar
Subjectpendekar warrior
Culture: Javanese
Setting: wars of succession, Mataram 18thc
Evolution1275 Singhasari warrior > 1342 Majapahit bhayankari > ... > 1746 Javanese pendekar

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Ricklefs 1993 p


* World of the Javanese keris p49
"In Surakarta ..., the waist sash sabuk is generally wrapped five times round the body and held fast by the narrow outer belt, èpèk.  The keris is inserted at the back between the third and fourth turns of the sash (counting from the bottom) while the back of the coat is cut in an arc to display it." 


* van Zonneveld 2001 p

* World of the Javanese keris 426
"The peḍang (sword) is usually single edged and straight, although serpentine blades are known.  It was more of a combat weapon than the keris, but could be equally elaborate.  There are many variant shapes, and examples occur with singa barongnaga, peacock and kala-cakra, some encrusted with gold.  Only peḍang have bulan (moons), hemispherical markings along the cutting edge which appear clearly when the patina is well done, popularly thought to be made by the lips of the empu cupping his mouth on a red hot blade, and believed to confer great power on it.  Peḍang were worn at the side either thrust horizontally through the belt, or hung down beside the left leg in a kind of holster, anggaran."

Keris Daggers (Surakarta, Majapahit)

​* Pusaka 1992 p24 caption (describing a Solo keris)
"The 'keris is the pre-eminent pusaka of central Java .... Great artistry is expended on the handle and sheath, but the heart of a keris' beauty is the pamor, the strong damascene of nickel and iron that makes up the blade. The ability of the empu, or smith, to control the forging process is crucial to the overall result."

* Zonneveld 2001 p63
"The keris serves various purposes. Apart from being a defensive or an attacking weapon, it is endowed with magical powers. In the past, especially on Java, it was part of a man's daily dress and often served as a status symbol. Depending on the region or event, strict rules and regulations existed on how the keris had to be carried. It still plays an important part in traditional marriage ceremonies.
    "The keris is last but not least, the carrier of invisible powers. These are auspicious, [and] protect and bring prosperity to its owner. On the other hand, evil can come from it if in the wrong hands. Countless stories are found about the supernatural powers of the keris. True or fantasy, they prove the belief in hidden powers is very much alive."


* Stone 1934 p665
"WEDONG.  A Javan ceremonial knife carried at court by all persons below the rank of princes. It has a blade shaped like that of the ordinary jungle knife but much shorter and broader; the handle is straight and fits into a socket on the end of the blade.  The sheath is of wood and has a very large horn belt hook on the back.  It is carried at the back on the right." [CONTRA van Zonneveld 2001 p153]

* van Zonneveld 2001 p152-153
A short, broad machete.  Its blade has a straight back and an S-shaped edge.  It may be made of smooth iron, but pamor forge work also occurs.  The back is sometimes sharpened along c.1/3 of its length from the point.  The blade's base is straight and stands at an angle of 90° to the back. This base usually has decorations shaped as filed-out indentations or small teeth (greneng).  A round 'eye' or hole (kembang kacang) is sometimes found. Furthermore, the base may be decorated with inlay work and representations of the mythical snake (naga), leaf and floral motifs.  The tang (peksi) is made out of the blade's thick back rim.  Between the spike and the blade, a pentagonal segment (metok) is forged.  The short hilt, which is pentagonal on Java, forms as it were, an extension of the metok.  The hilt is usually made of wood, but other materials such as animal tooth are also found.  Its smooth upper part is flattened. ... The wedung is carried in the palace (kraton) as a symbol of servitude to the sultan for performing such tasks as the cutting of shrubs (belukar) or even the most humble work such as grass cutting.  It is, therefore, no longer a real weapon but rather a work-tool carried on the left hip and used as personal decoration."  [CONTRA Stone 1934 p665]

* Tarassuk/Blair 1979 p500
"wedong (or wedung) A ceremonial Javanese knife with a broad blade, usually about 25 cm. (10 in.) long, with an S-shaped cutting edge. The horn handle is square in section and narrow, tapering toward the blade. The wooden sheath is mounted with bands of horn or braided cane and has a large belt hook of horn."

* Gardner 1936 p67
"Wedung is a type of parang worn by chiefs in Java, having a long horn spur to slip into the belt.  On state occasions these chiefs may only wear one kěris and that at the back; and the wearing of the wedung is intended to symbolise their readiness to cut down bělukar (undergrowth) or do anything else their sovereign may require."

​* World of the Javanese keris 1978 p26
"The weḍung is a ceremonial chopper worn by certain court personnel, including women attendants, to symbolize their willingness to do the bidding of their ruler.  In the Kraton Susuhunan weḍung with pamor were restricted to the use of princes. In the same court, huge heavy weḍung about two feet in length were said to have been used as execution weapon.  The weḍung sheath has a large horn clip, sangklétan, on the back allowing it to be hooked over a belt at the waist."

* Steel and magic 2020 p82
"This traditional blade is called wedung in the former realms of Yogyakarta and Surakarta in Central Java where it is predominantly used.  Short, heavy machetes are also sometimes referred to as bendo or bendho, particularly in Western Java."

* Steel and magic 2020 p83
"As a type of blade, the wedung became known in the West (1781-1826) through Governor General Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who discussed its importance for the courtly culture of Solo/Surakarta and Yogyakarta.  It was carried by high-ranking court officials of both sexes.  Traditionally, the wedung is thought to symbolise the willingness to carry out lowly work like cutting grass or chopping wood for the sunan (in Solo) or sultan (in Yogya).


* World of the Javanese keris 1978 p26
"There are many kinds of tumbak (lance or spear) used for both fighting and such ceremonial purposes as accompanying court processions.  They may be straight or wavy, sometimes with two or three more prongs.  Their long shafts are carefully selected wood.  In some Javanese houses they may be seen upright in special stands in a guardian role.  It is said that some tumbak became identified with the house and remain with it, even if the owners change.  Sometimes the tumbak blade is removed from its shaft and given a handle and sheath as if it were a short dagger.  This could be carried as a magical protection against mishap."

* Steel and magic 2020 p75
"Regalia spears ... were not used for regular combat, but as ritual weapons for the ruler to summon and channel divine forces for ritual or martial purposes."

​Kudhi Daggers

* van Zonneveld 2001 p75
"KUDHI WAYANG JAVA A kudi with a blade in the shape of a wayang figure. At fixed times, usually on Thursday evening, they are objects of worship and, as are the wayang puppets, placed in a vase or a trunk of a banana tree. This takes place indoors only in such a way that it is impossible for outsiders to see such objects, considered sacred heirlooms, pusaka." [reference omitted]