Thulup is a popular traditional weapon in Central Java province. But actually other regions also have this kind of weapon with the same name, which are Borneo and Lombok. It is an heritage weapon and already using from generation to generation. In ancient time, people used this weapon to hunt animals in the forest. The way to use it is to shoot it from the distance. There are several types of Thulup based on the barrel and the ammunition.
The form of Central Java Thulup is not too long so it can be inserted in a belt or behind the body. It used to be a weapon for the warriors as a deadly secret weapon. The ammunition was a stick feathered and sprinkled with poison. It was used to paralyze the opponents remotely. This traditional effective weapon could make the enemy difficult to avoid because of the quickness of this kind of weapon.
Toys for the kids
In modern times, this kind of weapon is using as a toy for the kid. This toy is usually using the ammunition of the soybean seeds. They uses it only for fun. Almost same as the kid’s toy, other types of ammunition are using wet clay. Then formed into small balls. After drying, it is used to hunt the animals like birds and others. Of course the clay ammunition will not kill the animal. It is only fainting it and falling so that the condition is still alive. A bird hunters usually does this way of using this weapon to be sold alive or keep it as a pet at home.
Furthermore, there are also people who use the ammunition of small fruit. Of course this also will not kill the animal that got shot. This ammunition is used because people actually want the hunted animals to be found alive. This type of fruit ammunition is also often done as a war game by children for fun. However, as a hunting tool, it usually uses the ammunition of a needle with feather behind it. The purpose of using feather is to maintain the balance so that it can slide straight when it is shot.
How to make Thulup
People of Central Java make this weapon by using of Wulung bamboo or other small bamboo. It has dried to prevent it to be elastic. The process of selecting bamboo is actually by choosing a very small hole so that the thrust is stronger. The length is usually around 50 cm to 1 meter depending on the necessity. But it is very rare for a 1 meter long bamboo to have a very straight hole so that most of this weapon is shorter.
But nowdays, the raw materials of Thulup is using the plastic pipe and no longer using bamboo. It is because the plastic pipe has a very straight shape and the length can be adjusted according to the necessities. The Pipe is also more effective because they can be shaped to be portable to connect when it needs a longer size. Of course this weapon with pipe material can also be overhauled so that it is easy to carry and put in a bag.
Except of a weapon, thulup is actually also used as a tool in medicine. It is using to anesthesia the wild animals in the forest or in zoos. It is using when veterinarians will treat sick or injured animals before surgery. By using a needle anesthesia will not torture the animal and of course the treatment process will be smoother.
Made from organic materials
There is a uniqueness from this kind of weapon. The community of Central Java have improved the other forms of this weapon. It is developed from bamboo and fired by being pushed using split bamboo. The making process is also very easy and only requires a small, straight bamboo which is about 20 cm long. Furthermore, for the driving force is using bamboo that has been split and adjusted to the size of the bamboo hole.
It usually uses the ammunition of the wet paper. Then, it is put in a hole that will be pushed to be on the end of the thulup. After that, take the wet paper again to be pushed and the first ammunition will slide while making a gunshot. Of course this weapon is only used by children for war game or fun game.