Thread: Janggelan Hilt
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Old 11th January 2021, 08:22 PM   #16
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,846

I'm going to disagree with you Jean, and this disagreement is one that will put me in disagreement with many people.

Firstly, there is the name itself of this hilt.
It is variously rendered as "nunggak semi" and "tunggak semi". In Javanese "nunggak semi" means to have the same title as one's father and grandfather, the second meaning is to be stuck in one place, not to move forward, for example, a middle manager who made department head at 30, and retired from the same position at 55.

"Tunggak semi" means a tree stump with a new shoot; "tunggak" is "tree stump".

Now, in 1755 when Central Jawa was partitioned by the Dutch, agreement was reached between two divisions of the House of Mataram that each kraton would adopt a dress style that differed from the other. The mainline and original House of Mataram was located in the area of Solo at the Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat, the new division of the House of Mataram that had been created by the Dutch overlords was located about 40 miles away, a few miles from the old site of the Karaton of the Second Kingdom of Mataram which had been at the village of Kota Gede.

This new location for the new kraton was named Ngayogyakarta (Ngayogyokerto), it was so named as a Javanese reference to the name "Ayodhya", the birth place of Rama, of Ramayana fame. This name was too difficult for the Dutch so they shortened it to Yogyakarta, which became Jogjakarta after Indonesian adoption of the English based spelling system to replace the Dutch based system, in 1972. Presently Jogjakarta gets abbreviated to "Jogja", most Javanese still refer to Jogja as Ngayogyakarta and abbreviate this to "Yogyo".

So, the new Kraton at Ngayogyakarta was indeed a "NEW SHOOT" from the "OLD STUMP" of Surakarta, and the name adopted for the new hilt style chosen by the Ngayogyakarta Kraton was "Tunggak Semi":- "a new shoot on an old stump".

Amongst keris people in Solo during the 1970's through to about year 2000, it was deemed to be somewhat insulting to refer to a Surakarta planar hilt as a "Tunggak Semi" hilt.

However, I note that at the present time our learned new generation applies the name "Tunggak Semi" to all planar hilts, no matter the form or the point of origin.

From the perspective of Surakarta tradition, this is not only wrong, but can be regarded as insulting.

In spite of recent events, the Surakarta line is still the original line of the House of Mataram.


Oh yes, nearly forgot.

The hilt shown in Foto 18 of Tammens, is a North Coast Janggelan, it is also found in East Jawa and Madura.

It is most definitely not "nunggak" semi, nor is it tunggak semi, nor is it planar.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 11th January 2021 at 08:35 PM.
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