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This article is about a type of cutting tool. For information on the Tibetan region of Golok, see Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. For Abode of Krishna, see Goloka.
Golok naga indonesia.jpg
A traditional Indonesian golok.
Type Machete
Place of origin Indonesian archipelago, Malay archipelago
Length 25-40cm

Blade type Single edge, convex grind
Hilt type Water buffalo horn, wood
Scabbard/sheath Water buffalo horn, wood

The Golok is a term applied to a variety of machetes that are found throughout the Malay archipelago.[1] It is used as an agricultural tool as well as weapon. The word Golok (sometimes misspelled as "Gollock") is of Indonesian origin[2] but is also used in Malaysia and is known as Gulok in the Philippines. Sometimes in Malaysia it is usually interchangeable with the longer and broader parang.[citation needed] In Sundanese region of West Java it is known as Bedog. The use of golok as Malay weapon was mentioned in Hikayat Hang Tuah[3] (text dated 1700)[4]


Sizes and weights vary, as does blade shape. Golok tend to be heavier and shorter than Parang or common machetes, often being used for bush and branch cutting.[citation needed] Having either a primary grind or an edgewise taper, the golok is less likely to jam in green wood than the flat-sided machete.[citation needed]

Golok are traditionally made with a springy carbon steel blade of a softer temper than that of other large knives. This makes them easier to dress and sharpen in the field, although it also requires more frequent attention. Although many manufacturers produce factory-made Golok, there are still handmade production that are widely and actively made in Indonesia, such as in Cibatu village, Sukabumi Regency, West Java.[2]


Pencak Silat Betawi style demonstrate a fight using golok

Golok is used as one of the weapons in Pencak Silat martial art. In Indonesia, Golok is often associated with the Betawi and their neighbor Sundanese people (where it is called Bedog). Betawi people recognizes two types of goloks; gablongan or bendo is the working Golok used in kitchen or field for agricultural purposes, and Golok simpenan or sorenam that is used for self-protection and traditionally always carried by Betawi men. Golok in Betawi culture has been associated with manhood and bravery. A Jawara (local strongman or people champion) will always have a Golok hung or tied around the waist at their hips. This custom however has ceased to exist since 1970s where authorities would apprehend those that carry the Golok publicly and have it confiscated it in order to uphold security, law and order, and to reduce gang fighting.[2]

Golok is also mentioned in Sejarah Melayu (1612),[5] where different types of golok from Sunda and golok Jawa[6] were listed.[7]

Modern application[edit]

Martindale No. 2 design is a modern representation of another traditional Golok variant, Golok Bangkung.

The Golok style is noted for being the pattern for British Army-issue machetes used since the early 1950s.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Albert G Van Zonneveld (2002). Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago. Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land. ISBN 9-0545-0004-2. 
  2. ^ a b c "Golok Pusaka Cibatu, Sukabumi, Jawa Barat: Pandai Besi Senjata yang Andal" (in Indonesian). Wonderful Indonesia. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kassim Ahmad (1975). Hikayat Hang Tuah: (Menurut naskhah Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka). Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. p. 243. 
  4. ^ Hikayat Hang Tuah - malay concordance project
  5. ^ A. Samad Ahmad (1986). Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu). Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ASIN B00800IO50. 
  6. ^ Golok Jawa.
  7. ^ Carol Laderman (1991). Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance. University of California Press. ISBN 0-5200-6916-1. 
  8. ^ Ed. Len Cacutt (1988). Survival. Marshall Cavendish Books. p. 177. ISBN 1-8543-5539-2. 

External links[edit]