The Philosophy of The Rencong, Traditional Weapon of Aceh
The rencong is a traditional weapon. It is from Aceh, a province of Indonesia. This weapon was formerly used by Aceh people to fight colonial troops, but now this weapon is used at ceremonial event, or even it is sold as a souvenir in a souvenir market.
Stucture of The Rencong
The rencong has two parts. The first part on the top is a handle and the second part is a blade. The handle is made of three kinds of material, wood, horn or ivory, while the blade is made of metals, such as iron, copper or gold. Formerly, the materials of the rencong made were depend on social status, for the king, it was made of gold for the blade and ivory for the handle, for the nobleman, it was made of copper for the blade and horn for the handle, for the common people, it was made of wood for the handle and iron for the blade. Nowadays, the users of the rencong are not depend on social status, they are depend on the money they have, because if the rencong made of gold and ivory is very expensive
The form of the rencong is like the alphabet 'f', but according to former people of Aceh, the form is exactly like the word "bismi" in Arabics. It is caused of the people of Aceh have fanatic islamic caracter.
Users Of The Rencong
Formerly, most of the people of Aceh used the rencong. The king or the sultan, the nobelmen, the troops, the common people had each others one. In war situation, the man of Aceh put it on his waist. He tucked it in his clothes wherever he went. He was affraid of the colonial troops came suddenly.
In this modern era, no one of the Aceh people uses or brings it every where. Maybe, he puts it in the drawer of the cupboard or puts on the wall of his house for displaying.
The rencong is used in ceremonial events or custom events in Aceh. In the welcoming guest ceremony, the dancers use it as their equipment for their dancing. In wedding event, the groom puts it on his waist as an accessory.
Sometimes, if an important guest from other place comes to town or province, the governor gives the rencong to him as a souvernir. That is a great honor to the guest.
If coming in Aceh, a tourist can find many kinds of rencong put on the rack or displaying cupboard for selling in the souvenir market, from the smallest rencong to the biggest ones.
Soccial Status From Sarong
Sarong is the glove of a rencong. Every rencongs have each sarong. The sarong is useful to keep someone from being accidentally pierced by a rencong. However, there is another function of it in the people of Aceh. It can show their social status. This social status is shown by how the sarong is made of.
The sarong is made of gold, copper, horn and leather. Made of gold, It is for king and the leader of provinces, districts and custom leaders. For nobelmen, it is made of copper and for ordinary people, it is made of horn or leather.
But nowadays, Aceh young people do not care about social status, they have the rencong depending on their money, if they have much money they buy the rencong with golden sarong.
The Philosophy of The Rencong for Acehness
The structure of a rencong is like a "bismi" in Arabics. It means " in the name of God". The people of Aceh have fanatic islamic spirit, and they also have the spirit of heroisme
In fighting colonial country, the troops of Aceh used rencong as their weapon. They fought the colonial troops until death. They defended their place for the sake of God. The Aceh war was the holy war. Hundreds of thousands of Aceh people died on that war. The rencong of Aceh was the spirit of the war. It rised the spirit of the Aceh people. In the war, it was like the European armies using the Cross in crusade.
In this modern life, using the rencong means to show the heroisme of Acehness, It is the symbol of heroisme. so that the people of Aceh uses it in every important events, wedding ceremony, welcoming ceremony, Acehness dancing and every custom ceremonies,