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Rencong, Aceh Traditional Weapon, The Blade of God


Rencong is a traditional weapon of the region of Aceh, Indonesia, shaped like an L, but if you look more closely, it looks more like ‘Bismillah'(arabic: in the name of God) calligraphy. Rencong included in the category of dagger (not a knife or sword).


Before Rencong was known, the people of Aceh had been using a weapon called Siwah. These weapons do not have handles, so it’s quite difficult when used to fight, especially when the weapon is already covered with blood. These weapons became slippery and easy to loose grasp because of that blood. Therefore, on the orders of Sultan Alaiddin Riayat Syah Al-Kahhar ruling at the time, the smiths then called to change Siwah with new models that are not difficult when used for war. The blacksmith was finally added a-shaped handles Ba (the second letter in Arabic script) in the Siwah. Later this weapon known as the reuncong or rincong, in the Indonesian language is called Rencong.

Rencong had already existed since the late of 19th century, this is one of the weapons used to wage war against the Dutch colonizers, especially in the Aceh war that lasted between the years 1873-1904 AD. Symbolically, this weapon are worthy as a heritage weapon to evoke the martial spirit of Aceh soldiers. Almost all soldiers and Aceh guerrilla leader tucked it in the waist while maintaining the struggle of their homeland, including women, such as Tjut Nyak Dien and other heroines.


Rencong generally divided into four parts: Rencong eyes (bar), punting Rencong, Ulee Rencong (handle) and sarong Rencong (sheath). Recong’s forn blade slightly curved with a pointed tip section, but not like kris(we’ll write about this kris soon). Therefore, as a physical weapon, it is stronger and looks solid when held. The entire front side are sharp, while the sharp side of the back is only about three-quarters of which is close to bud. There is bean-flower inverted shape carved in the front side near the base of the upper blade. This section is called Bengkuang Rencong, and is a nail stilisasi of garuda bird, or eagle.

Sarong Rencong and upper reaches can be made of plain wood, ivory or buffalo horn. To strengthen and beautify, this sarong tied with a ring-shaped metal piece called klah. Klah was made of brass, silver, or gold. Meanwhile, Ulee Rencong can be decorated with silver or gold engraved.

At first Rencong function only as a weapon to defend themselves and fight the enemies like the Dutch colonizers. In addition, it also used as the completeness of the local traditional costume. Aceh people wear it by putting it in the folds of the sarong to the wearer’s stomach. Rencong upstream facing the right hand, while the body stuffed in the side position, leaning to the right as well. Symbolically, this is likely to facilitate the user to easily draw it when necessary. However, the current Rencong functions have grown. It also used as souvenir given to the guests such as government officials or people who come to visit this Mecca Porch country.

Symbolic value

Associated with symbolic value, this typical weapon of Aceh is unique and contains philosophical values regarding the religion of Islam. This was shown in model making, especially in the form of stem letter ‘Ba’, as an abbreviation of the word in Arabic bismillah. The word indicates that the people of Aceh are holding fast to the teachings of Islam. In addition, the word Rencong has become a symbol for this most western regional in Indonesia. As Aceh is called, is usually always accompanied by the phrase Rencong Land. Beside that, there are also phrases Porch of Mecca, which confirms that the Aceh region is very thick in practice the Islamic religion.

Source by Rihei Amanoya

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