Everyone knows archery, but have you ever heard of jemparingan? Derived from the word jemparing, which means arrow in Bahasa, jemparingan is a very special form of archery that is practiced in Yogyakarta and its region. So if your curiosity tickles you, follow us to discover this unique sport in the world.
Origins du jemparingan
the throw has its origins in the Sultanate of Mataram in the 18th century, part of which will later become the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, the true cultural heart of the island of Java. At that time, only members of the royal family as well as nobles were allowed to practice jemparingan. Quickly, it spread among the royal soldiers during the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (1755-1792), founder and first king of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Its practice is an integral part of the training of its army. His teaching is done according to four well-defined values which are sawiji, greget, sengguh and ora micah.
- one means concentration,
- excited, enthusiasm,
- Really, Self-confidence
- not broken, The sense of responsibilities.
Practice of jemparingan, a whole philosophy
Unlike archery as we know it, jemparingan is practiced sitting on the ground on a mat, legs crossed cross-legged. To practice this sport, the archer must wear the traditional Javanese clothing. The archer is about thirty meters from the target (exactly 30 for women and 35 for men).
Another peculiarity of the jemparingan: the archer does not aim with the eyes, but positions the bow in front of his chest so that the shot is based on his state of mind, on his feelings. The goal is not to use the eye, the organ, but the eye of the mind, the eye of the heart. The archer needs to stretch his bow while focusing on the target, just like the man with a dream needs to focus on his goal so that it can come true.
The practice of jemparingan requires the archer to exercise his concentration, his calm and fight his anger. It is a sport for the soul that gets to know itself.
The target is not a circle. It is a wooden rod, a pendulum, called wong-wongan, translation of person in Javanese. This pendulum is made from sheets of rubber, straw, foam, all wrapped in a fabric. The top of the pendulum is 1.60 m from the ground. With a length of 30 cm and a diameter of 3 cm, it represents a silhouette. Its upper part (over 5 cm) is colored red, representing the head (molo or sirah). The lower part is white, representing the body (awak). A yellow band of 1 cm representing the neck (jangga), connects the head and the body. This band signifies thirst for material goods.
The game’s rules
The aim of the jemparingan is to touch the head of the pendulum. Red has the highest value (3 points) because fighting anger is one of the most difficult tasks for humans. If the archer touches the yellow neck, it earns him 2 points. If the archer touches the white body, it earns him 1 point.
A small ball, symbolizing temptation, is suspended under the target. If the archer hits this ball then he loses 1 point.
When the archer reaches the target, a gong sounds to warn him.
A game has 20 turns, each turn has 4 arrows.
The bow and arrows are made from petung bamboo (Dendrocalamus Asper), and wood such as walikukun. The bow (gandewa) is composed of three parts: a handle (cengkolak) which is made of wood, the blades (lar), on either side of the handle, made of bamboo and the bow string (kendheng ). The arrows are made of bamboo, their points are made of iron and their ends are adorned with feathers.
Each archer has his own bow, a reflection of his character. His bow is custom made to suit his posture and the span of his arms.
Evolution over time
Over time, the practice of jemparingan has undergone some changes. Nowadays there are different ways of shooting with an archery. The Mataram style always uses the horizontal position of the bow, resting on the chest. But more and more archers shoot with a vertical bow position, slightly tilted in order to aim no longer with the heart, but with the eyes.
However, the Jemparingan philosophy as a means of training concentration remains at the heart of the practice. It forms the character of the archer because one must achieve inner peace before shooting the arrows.
After falling into disuse in 1998 following the death of Paku Alam VIII (sultan and governor of Yogayakarta), one of the fervent supporters of jemparingan, this sport is now experiencing renewed interest from the population. Many clubs have been created, competitions are organized regularly.
At Yogyakarta Palace, jemparingan games are held every week. The archers then put on their traditional attire.
In 1988, at the Olympic Games in Seoul, it was in archery that Indonesia won its first Olympic medal in its history (silver medal), in all disciplines!
To concentrate. Focus on the goal to be achieved. Shaping character and soul … This is the philosophy of jemparingan.