Glancing at the Dashing Eye Souvenir from Bogor

Some people might only know about ‘Kujang’ as an Icon of the City of Bogor. Besides, history records that ‘Kujang’ was a weapon during the Sunda Kingdom era, which is still made to be used as an heirloom or a souvenir. Only skilled people have the ability to make a ‘Kujang’.

Guru Teupa was the name of a ‘Kujang’ craftsman which is currently given to Wahyu Afandi Suradinata, 69 years old. Abah Wahyu learned how to make a Kujang from his culture teacher in 1995. At first, Abah Wahyu made a ‘Kujang ‘only as a hobby, his main profession was an engineering teacher at a private school.

“At that moment, after I made ‘Kujang’, I gave it away for free to people who were interested in having it. After five years, I was reminded by my culture teacher. Any kind of ‘Kujang’ should be appreciated as an ancestral heritage. The owner of the ‘Kujang’ was not an ‘ordinary’ person, but only certain people. The teacher advised me to ask for a fee for every ‘Kujang’ I made,” explained Abah.

The price was already set depending on the number of the blades. The more blades, the more expensive the price. In accordance with the history of the ‘Kujang’, the more blades belonged to the king. In addition, 10 percent of the selling price of the ‘Kujang’ must be given to people in need. Abah Wahyu applies these rules until this day. “So, every ‘Kujang’ owner has given a share for people who can’t afford,” he said.

In the middle of this pandemic, this weapon demand for souvenirs or accessories, such as pins has declined dramatically. Moreover, Abah Wahyu had to lay off three of his employees. On the other hand, the demand for ‘Kujang’ to be used as an heirloom has actually increased. Before the pandemic, Abah Wahyu only got 2-3 orders of ‘Kujang’ as a heirlooms in a week. But, for now it was up to 10 orders. Even though to make ‘Kujang’, Abah always has to pray. “I only made it on Mondays and Thursday and it was quite overwhelming,” said Abah.

As an heirloom, there must be a uniqueness of each ‘Kujang’. Abah Wahyu makes every ‘Kujang Ageman’ or ‘Kujang’ that was used as a guide that protects the owner differently for each person. ‘Kujang mata 9’ can only be made for two years specifically for religious leader and state officials. “When an order comes from an ordinary person, I make the tip shape of ‘Kujang’ according to the profession. While the day of the birth, determines the prestige or engraving on the ‘Kujang’”,explained Abah. This kind of uniqueness makes ‘Kujang’ never run out of enthusiast until now.