Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1873 Achinese 'alim

Subject: 'alim religious warrior
Culture: Achinese
Setting: Dutch war, Aceh 1873-1904
Object: daggers


* van Zonneveld 2001 p113-114
A dagger not only found in Aceh, but also in Gayo and Alas.  It has a sharp blade with a slightly convex back.  Its edge is somewhat S-shaped because it curves towards the back at the tip, and due to a broadening (duru seuke) near the hilt.  The blade has a strong back.  Its sides (gliba) can be totally smooth, or partly cut out bringing about a slight concavity (muka) on both sides.  This also causes slightly elevated ridges (beuneung si urat).  Blades with a blood channel (kuro) along a part of the blade's length are also found.  Where the blade enters the hilt, we see an octagonal stem-ring which has been forged on.  On both sides hereof a small lip protrudes (taku rungiet).  the blade often has a fine play of lines, due to the forging together of iron and steel.  These flames or stripes (kuree) become more pronounced by the metal being exposed to the biting effect of lemon juice.  Sometimes arsenic (warang) is added causing the metal to turn dark, almost black.  Chasing and encrusting of blades also occurs. [...]
    "The rencong is carried on the left hand side, inserted between the body and girdle."

* Tropenmuseum > Nederlands-Indië  
"Rentjong  Dit type dolk behoorde tot de standaarduitrusting van elke krijger." ...

* Steel and magic 2020 p31
"Unlike in the rest of the Malay Archipelago, in the trade centre and early Muslim stronghold of Aceh (on the northern tip of Sumatra), the keris was never the favoured national weapon.  The peculiar rencong has been associated with the Aceh Wars against the colonial ambitions of Portugal, Great Britain, and the Netherlands since the sixteenth century.  Some rencong are regarded as sacred and supposed to have intrinsic spiritual power, resembling the beliefs surrounding the keris.  In modern Aceh, the saying is that the rencong takes the shape of Bismillah (In the name of God), the first words in the Qur'an.  For a male Acehnese in traditional costume, the rencong tucked into the waistband is an absolute essential.  It is also worn in nearby coastal regions during a man's wedding day and symbolises a confluence of masculinity, Islam, and power."

* Richter 1993 p34-35 f15 
"The unusual shapes of parts of the rencong form the Arabic letters necessary to make up the words for 'in the name of Allah'.  Rencong are worn by bridegrooms and on ceremonial occasions."

* Gardner 1936 p30
"The renchong acheh is ... a tumbok lada with a different hilt.  It is also worn as a dress weapon in places where a kěris would not usually be worn; but it can be used with great effect as a ripping knife."

* Draeger 1972 p151
"The Atjeh revere the blade.  Their special weapon is the rentjong.  Its peculiar shape seems to fit well with the air of magic and mystery connected to it.  Each blade has distinct markings, usually Arabic characters which tell of mystic powers.  The rentjong is employed according to its length, which varies from about five to twenty inches.  The shorter lengths are highly favored because they can easily be concealed.  The rentjong is worn sheathed at the left-hand side of the bearer.  It is usually drawn with the left foot forward so that by a quick short step forward with the right foot, the thrust of the knife receives added impetus.  The blade is withdrawn from its sheath cutting edge toward the enemy.  It is then whipped to the right by a snap of the hand which brings the palm upward; the elbow is held fairly close to the body.  The thrust is made by extending the right arm almost to full extension and turning the palm downward just prior to penetration of the target.  Vital areas include the abdominal cavity, the groin, the throat, and the kidney regions."

* Stone 1934 p


* Gardner 1936 p30
"Sewar: a tumbok lada with a different hilt but used in the same way, i.e. for thrusting."

* Steel and magic 2020 p33
"The siwah is a status weapon in Aceh, carried by men of subtantial wealth or with close ties to the Sultan."

* van Zonneveld 2001 p121
"Especially with the ceremonial sewars much attention is paid to the stem-ring between blade and hilt.  If tis stem-ring (tampo) consists of one or more triangular seemingly interlocking wreaths, which form the hilt's lowest part, it is called puco.  If these ends of the triangles do not end in a point, but are rounded, the ornament gets a cup-shaped appearance and is called glupa (a calyx or half a coconut shell to which the skin is still attached).  Both the puco and the glupa are made of brass or suasa, sometimes of gold and usually beautifully enamelled."

​* Stone 1934 p