Golok

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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
Golok naga indonesia.jpg
A traditional Indonesian golok.
Type Machete
Place of origin Indonesian archipelago, Malay archipelago
Service history
Used by Pribumi
Specifications
Length 25-40cm

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

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 a weapon. The word golok (sometimes misspelled in English as "gollock") is of Indonesian origin[2] but is also used in Malaysia and is known as gulok in the Philippines. In Malaysia the term is usually interchangeable with the longer and broader parang.[3] In the Sundanese region of West Java it is known as bedog.

Description[edit]

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.[1] Most traditional golok use a convex edge or an edgewise taper, where the blade is less likely to get stuck in green wood than flat edged machetes.

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 productions that are widely and actively made in Indonesia, such as in Cibatu village, Sukabumi Regency, West Java.[2]

History[edit]

Silat Betawi demonstration of disarming a golok

In Indonesia, the golok is often associated with the Betawi and neighboring Sundanese people. The Betawi recognize two types of golok; gablongan or bendo is the domestic tool used in the kitchen or field for agricultural purposes, and the golok simpenan or sorenam that is used for self-protection and traditionally always carried by Betawi men. The golok is a symbol of masculinity and bravery in Betawi culture. A jawara (local strongman or village champion) will always have a golok hung or tied around the waist at the hips. This custom however has ceased to exist since the 1970s when 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]

Sundanese, Javanese[4][5] and Malay golok have also been recorded. The use of golok in Malay was recorded as early as the Hikayat Hang Tuah[6] (text dated 1700)[7] and Sejarah Melayu (1612),[8]

Modern application[edit]

Martindale design is a modern representation of another traditional golok variant, the Golok Bangkung

The golok style is noted for being the pattern for British Army-issue machetes used since the early 1950s.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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. ^ Kamus Utama Ejaan Baru. Pustaka Zaman. 1973. 
  4. ^ Golok Jawa.
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Kassim Ahmad (1975). Hikayat Hang Tuah: (Menurut naskhah Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka). Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. p. 243. 
  7. ^ Hikayat Hang Tuah - malay concordance project
  8. ^ A. Samad Ahmad (1986). Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu). Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ASIN B00800IO50. 
  9. ^ Ed. Len Cacutt (1988). Survival. Marshall Cavendish Books. p. 177. ISBN 1-8543-5539-2.