Traditional Weapon

Canggah – A Unique Traditional Weapon of Yogyakarta

Canggah is a pair of traditional weapon that consist of two different types of instrument. The first one is a common spear, while the other is a spear-like instrument with a circular metal head. The first instrument of the pair, which is the usual spear, has a sharpened head. The handle is made of wood with 2 meters in length. There is no information yet about the material used to make the head. However, many assume it was made of a molded composite of steel and iron. On the other hand, the circle head spear appears to be a complementary part of this pair of weapon. It consist of 2 meters wooden handle, just like the spear, but with a different head. The circle head seemed to be adjustable to make it fit to surround any sensible object. Yogyakarta is known really well as a city of culture. The people are known to respect and has a great ambition to maintain its culture. With such an intention, the people of Yogyakarta keep every discovery to the museum for display and study. Canggah is one of those many discoveries in Yogyakarta. After a deep study related to the material and history, this unique weapon finally found its own way back in time. The study finally revealed where and when this weapon was used and who used them in the past.

The era of Canggah

This pair of weapon was used as a common weapon in the middle of 15th century. It was used by the guards in any house across Yogyakarta. There is one particular house whose guards were known using this weapon, the house of Sunan Giri, one of the most-influencing Islamic leaders. The house was used as an Islamic study center in that era. His students, who were in turn also in charge of guarding the house, used this weapon.

The Circular Metal Spear

The use of the circle-head spear is well-noted, once again, from the era of Sunan Giri. His student used to catch and drag any suspicious subject who entered the house, such as theft. They put the circle-head of the spear around the neck of the theft and controlled it from the handle. In this way, the caught suspect would not be able to fight back unless he was strong enough to pull the spear along with the man that controlled it. But, that seemed unlikely to happen since most theft were not caught by just one person.

The Use of Canggah

The circle-head instrument is indeed the weirdest part of the weapon. But, the sharp-head spear is quite confusing as well. There has not been any information yet about the circumstances in which this weapon was used. The common assumption is that this weapon is not a weapon for combat or war. The head of the spear is not made as strong as a usual spear, which means it was purely used for in-house guard. And since, the spear has a plain wooden stick as its handle. It indicates the user as a low-rank guard.  ]]>


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