Indonesian Origin Traditional Weapons

Have you ever known any of traditional weapons from Indonesia? I believe some will answer yes and others will have no other except beside no. Well, it is no surprise if you don't have enough information about it as there not many people use it anymore. Indonesia as multicultural countries has been provided with many varieties of culture, language and weapons. Each region has own unique traditional weapons. It makes Indonesia rich of diversity. Indonesia traditional weapon refers to tool that originated from Indonesia. Generally speaking, Indonesian Traditional weapons share function, philosophy and value within the tool. Here is some information of several Indonesian traditional weapons from different provinces. It covers the detail of weapons including the history for you aiming for education.

Keris or Kris

Keris is one of Indonesian traditional weapons. It is a dagger with has distinctive patterning of blade. It has asymmetrical shape. This is the result from process of alternating laminations and nickelour of iron. The design is unique. Kris is bit similar with blade. However, most of keris have wavy blade. Keris is symbolized as power or ethnic pride. It is embedded with mythical background. In general, keris has three main parts. They are the blade, hilt, and sheath. In another variant, there is also a double edge Keris. Keris can be found easily in Indonesia specifically, Java and Bali.

Indonesian culture has strong association with keris. Keris is used for rituals, ceremonies and acts. Some people use it for spiritual tradition or ceremony. Keris has two functions. The first one is used genuinely as a weapon. Meanwhile on the other side, it is used widely as object for rituals. Keris has become UNESCO masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity since 2005. Keris is believed to be possessed magical power within it. Some people still have keris as a sanctified heirloom, talisman, and status symbol. People also use it for accessory in their home. Some tradition ritual uses keris as symbol for official ceremonies.

The history of kris is long years ago. It is believe that Kris has come into existence in the Kingdom of Majapahit, East Java. In other theory, kris is founded in the bas-relief of Borobudur and Prambanan temple. Sukuh temple also claimed the scene in the bas relief. From the last temple verified that the kris has important place in Javanese culture. Keris is made from steel or metal. The craftsmen are called ironsmiths or keris maker. The metal pieces is tied together the heated up. After period of time, the process to form the blade begins. They use hammer to signature the curve of the keris. It needs to be fold several times. In order to make keris sheath and hild, they use traditional methods. They need wood for it. The wood is cut and shaped according to the design and blade’s measurement. After that, smoothened and sandpapered process followed. To make it beautiful, different type of motifs used for Keris sheath and hilt. The motifs vary from flowers to traditional design like meandering clouds.


This traditional weapon originated from Kalimantan Island / Borneo Island. Mandau has long size. People believe that this weapon has spiritual power. The magic is real. It does not come during rituals but also during the tradition of headhunting. People use the more powerful saber in order to reach success. For decoration purpose, some hair is used for the hilt. The hair makes the hilt more unique and authentic. There is a myth in this weapon. It is said whoever die in kayau, her or his spirit will inhabit the saber. It leads to more magical power. As time changes, People in Kalimantan Island use this weapon to various activities. It is not specifically for ceremonies anymore. People now use Mandau for hunting prune shrubs in the forest. Farmers use this tool as well. The function of this tool include as souvenirs and collectibles. It becomes an object of art and culture at the same time.


People call it as celurit or clurit. It is also a traditional weapon. The design has curves form. It is a sickle or billhook as the variation on some occasion. Celurit is coming from Madura Island and some part of East Java and Central Java. Celurit is slightly larger than arit. It has a half-circle design. The handle is made from wood while the blade is made from iron. It is used for agriculture purposes. Farmers use it for harvesting paddy or cutting grass. In Madura Island, this blade is believed to have a legend story. People knew this tool was used by popular Maduranese fighter to fight against colonialism. He carried celurit everywhere. There are two types of Celurit in general. They are Celurit Kembang Turi and Celurit Wulu Pitik.

Pedang Luwuk or Luwuk Sword

The next traditional weapon from Indonesia is Pedang Luwuk. It comes from Central Java and East Java. Pedang means sword while Luwuk is the name of professor who made this sword. It is very popular as Luwuk Sword. The design is short with edge. It is not long as Mandau from Kalimantan. This weapon was existence since the Majapahit Kingdom. As usual, people believe that this sword also has power. It has magic due to special ritual. During the production, Mr. Luwuk held a ritual for this sword. The features in pedang luwuk are two parts. They are the blade itself and the hilt. The blade is from iron or steel Damascus prestige. The hilt is from wood or horn. The Luwuk sword has length at no more than 85 cm. The taper has knife-like shape. The base and the tip have similar width. Some luwuk sword also has dissimilar width in the base and middle.

Those traditional weapons are easy to find in general. As explained before, Indonesia traditional weapons are very unique and full of philosophical things. They are also multi-function. Each weapon provides a scene of beauty, cultural value and uniqueness. Do you want to have one as your collection? Hopefully this article will give you a new insight about Indonesia traditional weapons.