Thread: Janggelan Hilt
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:36 PM   #20
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,752

Yes Jean, I did touch on this area previously, but just so I can understand that we're both on the same page:-

1) the name Tunggak Semi must only be used for planar hilts of the Jogjakarta style, it should not be used for Surakarta hilts nor for hilts from any other location other than Jogjakarta.

2) if the Jogjakarta planar style of hilt is named as "Nunggak Semi", this is quite incorrect, it should be named as "Tunggak Semi".

3) Tammens made a mistake, probably just a typo and probably because he did not run his text through sufficient drafts & copy checks. It is an obvious & indisputable misnaming, it is no big deal. But Tammens compounded his error of mixing up names by rendering the Javanese name of a Jogjakarta hilt in an incorrect form. I don't really care that he mixed the names up, that's just lack of care, weariness, or a blank spot. The picture tells the story and the mixup and it is obvious. I don't care.
But I do care very much about this repeated and repeating widespread error in the naming of the Jogjakarta style of planar hilt. The correct name means something and carries a very clear message, use the incorrect name and that message is at the very least, diluted.

Points 1) & 2) above were my areas of disagreement, and in this disagreement I am reasonably certain that many people will disagree with me.

Be that as it may, my attitudes in this matter were formed 40 years ago by a number of old men who lived in Surakarta. If I'm wrong, they were wrong, & frankly I very much doubt that they were.

To some people living in Surakarta during the 1980's to apply the term "Tunggak Semi" to a Surakarta hilt was insulting, and in the case of one gentleman whom I knew quite well, it was sufficient to cause him to fly into a temper tantrum, foam at the corners of his mouth and all.

To this man (& others) calling a Surakarta hilt "Tunggak Semi" was tantamount to inferring that Surakarta was the junior branch of the House of Mataram, or at the very least, it was on an equal footing with Jogjakarta, when in their hearts these men knew that Jogjakarta was an artificial creation of the hated Dutch, and was to be only tolerated at best.

This deep seated feeling of these men was made even more bitter by the status accorded to Jogjakarta in the new country of Indonesia. Quite simply they felt that insult after insult was being heaped upon them.
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