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Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Indonesia

Verhandelingen van het
Koninklijk Instituut voor
Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde

Edited by

Rosemarijn Hoefte (kitlv, Leiden)
Henk Schulte Nordholt (kitlv, Leiden)

Editorial Board

Michael Laffan (Princeton University)
Adrian Vickers (Sydney University)
Anna Tsing (University of California Santa Cruz)


Power and Place in Southeast Asia
Edited by

Gerry van Klinken (kitlv)
Timothy P. Barnard (National University of Singapore)
John F. McCarthy (Australian National University)
Jun Honna (Ritsumeikan University)


The titles published in this series are listed at

Martial Arts and
the Body Politic in Indonesia


Lee Wilson


The realization of this publication was made possible by the support of kitlv (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast
Asian and Caribbean Studies).

Cover illustration: Ema Bratakusumah (right) and Bapak Abo circa 1935 in Bandung. Photo from the author’s collection.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Wilson, Lee, 1966- author.
 Martial arts and the body politic in Indonesia / by Lee Wilson.
  pages cm. -- (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde ; volume 299)
(Power and place in Southeast Asia ; volume 7)
 Includes bibliographical references and index.
 Summary: “Offers an innovative study of nationalism and the Indonesian state through the ethnography of the martial
art of Pencak Silat. Wilson shows how technologies of physical and spiritual warfare such as Pencak Silat have long
played a prominent role in Indonesian political society. He demonstrates the importance of these technologies to the
display and performance of power, and highlights the limitations of theories of secular modernity for understanding
political forms in contemporary Indonesia. He offers a compelling argument for a revisionist account of models of power
in Indonesia in which authority is understood as precarious and multiple, and the body is politically charged because of
its potential for transformation”-- Provided by publisher.
 ISBN 978-90-04-28773-0 (hardback : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-90-04-28935-2 (e-book) 1. Pencak silat--Political
aspects--Indonesia. 2. Martial arts--Anthropological aspects--Indonesia. 3. Power (Social sciences)--Indonesia. I. Title.
 GV1114.75.W55 2015

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For my mother, Delyne Patricia Wilson


Contents Note to the Reader Ix Acknowledgements x List of Figures xiii Introduction 1 1 From Out of the Shadows 25 2 Bodies of Knowledge: The Pedagogy of Pencak Silat 53 3 Blessings. Bone Setting and the Blood of the Ancestors 81 4 The Management of Tradition 111 5 From the Mystical to the Molecular 144 6 Sovereign Bodies and the Practicalities of Power 170 Bibliography 205 Index 227 .


Sundanese is prefixed by S. .Note to the Reader The spelling of Indonesian words throughout follows post 1972 orthographical convention. Arabic by A. All translations are from Indonesian terms unless otherwise indicated. in which case the abbreviation before a word indicates the language translated from... Javanese by Jv. except with the spelling of names that predate the implementa- tion of this standard and which continue to be spelt in this way.

Gerry’s faith in the project meant an awful lot to me. James Leach.Acknowledgements This book would not have been possible without the help and support of many people over the course of its writing. Morgan Brigg. Jérôme Tadié. graciously answered my queries on Japanese arts. Singapore and the uk have also been of great value. which I am sure . Lukman-nul Hakim. Marilyn Strathern. and for his attempts to ground my at times fanciful flights of theory. This is in part a consequence of my extreme good fortune to have had so many wonderful friends and colleagues at a number of different institutions over the course of its writing. My new colleagues in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland provided both a warm welcome and a supportive environment in which to fin- ish the book. I am grateful to Leo Howe for acting as my supervisor for the doctoral research at the University of Cambridge on which the book is based. Indonesia. Sensei Patrick McCarthy. discussions with whom have aided me greatly in thinking through the argument developed in these pages. Papang Hidayat. Mark Hobart. as did his patience as an editor. Nicole George. Ward Berenschott. Florent Giehmann. conversations in particular with Volker Boege. Matt McDonald. and their encouragement to revise and publish the manuscript. Matei Candea. The book that sprang from early conversa- tions with Phil has however taken a very different direction from that in which it was originally envisaged. Liana Chua. Andrew Beatty and Harri Englund provided indispensible critique on an earlier incarnation of the man- uscript in their capacity as PhD examiners. a scholar and martial artist of the highest calibre. I am indebted to Laurens Bakker. Comments on aspects of the argument presented at seminars and workshops in Australia. Also in Brisbane. In particular. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov. Tony Day. Joanna Cook. Anne Brown. both physically and intellectually. Ery Nugroho. At uq. David Leitner. Others have done me the honour of reading and critiquing parts of the manuscript. as have certain conversations via email about the themes that are broached herein. Benedicta Rousseau. and a friend and teacher who has taught me much about the art of sparring. the Netherlands. Joshua Barker. and Andrew Philips have helped me to think in more depth about the relationship between spiritual authority. Nick Long. a fount of knowledge on combative systems. Credit for the original idea for the project must lie with Philip Davies. Rivke Jaffe. Charlie Hunt. Henk Schulte Nordholt. and Kari Telle. Adrianus Meliala. In particular. I am hugely thankful to both John Sidel and Gerry van Klinken for their invaluable commentary on earlier drafts of the book. sovereignty and the state. Imam Prasodjo.

and Bapak Irwan Sjaffie. Haji Darwis. colleague and advisor on all things Sundanese. this book would not have been possible. In Bali. Kang Memet. At ipsi. kindly offering both office space and an idyllic environment in which to write. who provided a veritable haven at ugm in which to work on the manuscript. In Jakarta. Bapak Papi and the students of Mesa. a source of inspiration. To Mas Poeng of Merpati Putih. In Cimande. Bapak Dedy. past and present. Pak Ruben Silitonga at lipi. who sponsored my research in West Java. Haji Aziz. and improving its overall structure and flow. thanks are also due to Bang Lutfi Hakim. and continue to be. Bapak Edi S. Bapak Achmad Bunawar and his students. and the many other players and teach- ers at ipsi. Made Kutanegara. also provided excellent feedback on themes in the book. I am thankful to Bapak Muhadjir Darwin. and for his help with Javanese translations. the head of Forum Betawi Rempug. whose comments and advice were a great help in helping to clarify the argument presented in the book. Bapak Aidinal al Rashid is worthy of special mention for all the help he provided in the uk and in Indonesia in facilitating access to ipsi in Jakarta. I am eternally grateful to the many players and teachers of Pencak Silat who allowed me into their world. and introductions to people in the Betawi community. especially. Mang Didhih. Ibu Isa. Kang Dama.Acknowledgements xi I sorely tried at times! I am also in the debt of the two anonymous reviewers for Brill. and in Bogor to Pak Odih and his family for their hospitality. to Pak Ace Sutisna. at Universitas Padjadjaran. I am eternally grateful to my hosts in Bandung. and Dudung Gumilar. to Haji Aceng. His knowledge of Indonesian culture and history. Ustad Jalal. intellectual curiosity and overall enthusiasm for academic endeavour were. Without their help. Haji Gufron. who openly encour- aged me to look more closely at his organization and its members. for his many insights into Betawi history and culture. Pak Tasmami. Ibu Yasmine Shahab at Universitas Indonesia. Pak Ade Supratman. Frans Hüsken. Kang Dindin. Pak Hisbullah. and the students of Mekar Harapan. and other members of the governing board. and Pak Permana for his help and generosity. a friend and mentor who I did not know for long enough. who put up with my constant questioning and inept grasp of technique. Pak Adang. In Cianjur. for his thoughts and com- ments on the text. and Ibu Nefi for their friendship and hospitality. to Wa Udun and his family for their hospitality and openness. and the staff at the Centre for study of Population and Policy University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta. Pak Harsoyo. Fabio and Inge Scarpello were perfect hosts. Pak Ical Chaniago and Pak Tata. and Argo Twikromo. to his family and the students of Panca Sakti who made me so welcome in Jakarta. my research was made possible with the help and support of Bapak Eddie Nalapraya. Ekadjati. and Putra Betawi. In Indonesia. Pak . I am especially thankful to my teacher and friend Bapak Rifa’i. Bapak Zakaria.

Pak Rahmat. thanks to my beloved wife Hebe Naomi Gouda. and Randolph Carthy. Sincere thanks are also due to Ian Wilson. I apologise in advance for its mistakes and inaccuracies. for intro- ducing me to an art that changed my life.. Rukman Dede. Finally. both of whom selflessly shared of their research on Pencak Silat. all of which are my sole responsibility. inspiration. In many ways this is as much his book as it is mine. They are present in the current work in considerably revised form. to all the staff at ipsi Jawa Barat. although I take full respon- sibility for the contents and views expressed herein. for her love. and Ibu Enny of Panglipur in Garut. He is sorely missed in the dunia persilatan. As will the many meetings that we shared with teachers and players of penca in kampung and villages throughout West Java.xii Acknowledgements  Hidayat and all the other teachers and players who allowed me a glimpse into their lives and the art that they practice. . and I am thankful to these journals. who taught me the importance of intensity in training. Also. while parts of Chapter 3 were published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. and the late O’ong Maryono. It is a great shame that the book will not be subject to critique by Pak O’ong. who I am sure would have had much to say on the matters broached herein. Theola. whose understanding and patience far outstrip her tender years. Earlier versions of Chapter 2 were published in the journal Body and Society. and to Berghahn books. Pak Adil Fadilakusumah. and provided invaluable information and clarification on many points on a number of occa- sions. Bapak Saini K. in this and the unseen world. and fierce intel- lectual critique of much of the books argument. with whom I have been truly blessed to share my life. Memories of many eventful trips struggling up the hills and mountains of West Java with Yuddha on a motorbike long past its prime will stay with me forever. In Bandung. I am thankful to my first Pencak Silat teacher Richard de Bordes.M. This book was also made possible through the help of my friend and research assistant Yuddha Winata. This thesis is dedicated to all the teachers and players of Pencak Silat. and as a chapter in Engaging the Spirit World: Popular Beliefs and Practices in Modern Southeast Asia. and to our daughter. for their permission to include them here. to Walter van den Brooke for les- sons in the practice of Sundanese martial arts that have bruised both body and ego. to Kang Gending Raspuzi – a walking encyclopaedia of Pencak Silat knowledge.

and Raden Didi Muhtadi engaged in tapelan 135 11 Images of health and potency in a cigarette advertisement 147 12 Students of mesa being struck internally by the inner power of their instructors 162 13 Eating broken glass to demonstrate faith in one’s teacher and God 167 14 Fauzi Bowo. Haji Somad and Haji Idris 97 8 The ipsi Padepokan in Jakarta 114 9 Press Conference prior to the ipsi elections in 2003 127 10 Raden Abad Siradj. at fbr’s tenth birthday celebration in Jakarta.List of Figures 1 Ema Bratakusumah and Bapak Abo circa 1935 in Bandung 35 2 The first ipsi congress. held in Yogyakarta in December 1950 39 3 ipsi competition at the 2002 World Championships in Malaysia 61 4 Map of Cimande Village 82 5 The grave site of Haji Abdul Somad 94 6 Tahlilan at the grave of Embah Ace Lasiha during Maulud 96 7 The gravesites of Embah Ace. Governor of Jakarta. 2012 202 . 31 July 2011 200 15 Demonstration of ilmu kebal by members of fbr in South Jakarta.


Similarly. michel foucault (1978: 139–140) If asked to identify a predominant feature of nationalist projects the world over. The rise of these new coercive methods. as I intend to show. marking the beginning of an era of ‘bio-power’. which was directed not only at the growth of its skills. However.1163/9789004289352_002 . for the influential social theorist Michel Foucault. the art that is the focus of my attention is linked to power in ways that draw into question the somewhat exclusive association of ‘bio-power’ with the advent of European modernity. In many ways the history of Pencak Silat is intimately linked to the rise of the Indonesian state. These regulatory mechanisms of disciplinary coercion. but at the formation of a relation that in the mechanism itself makes it more obedient as it becomes more useful’ (Foucault 1995: 137–138). geared specifically towards the production of docile persons (Dreyfus and Rabinow 1983: 134–135). and disciplinary mechanisms through which bodies come to exist as the locus of configurations of power. Indeed. a performance art and an international sport. and the study of the his- tory of the art is as revealing of the forces driving Indonesian nationhood as it is of the development of Pencak Silat as a national martial art. which Foucault refers to as ‘disciplines’. it is likely that the importance of the body to the task of cultivating national unity would figure in one’s deliberations. used. From revolution © koninklijke brill nv. a vehicle for spiritual development. differed from earlier modes of control in the systematized approaches taken to the crafting of subjects and subjectivities in systems of rule. In his conception. A means of cultivating the body. and improved’ (Foucault 1995: 136).Introduction The old power of death that symbolized sovereign power was now carefully supplanted by the administration of bodies and the calculated management of life…there was an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugation of bodies and the control of populations. my concerns in this book are with an ‘art of the human body’. The subject of this book is what is today known as the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat. modes of disciplining and training the body were a defining feature of the modern age. signalled a ‘his- torical moment…when an art of the human body was born. leiden. Yet it was the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’ that witnessed the birth of a new era in which sys- tems of domination had as their goal the large-scale production of bodies that could be ‘subjected. transformed. the ‘classical age discovered the body as object and target of power’. nor at the intensification of its subjection. Pencak Silat is far more than just a combative system. 2015 | doi 10.

The Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia (1972). Pencak Silat groups continue to play a role in the Post New Order political landscape. During President Suharto’s New Order regime. from which he produced what remains a seminal reference work. gener- ally these works have not looked far beyond the immediate practice of the art as the object of investigation. Pencak Silat was more thoroughly transformed into a vehicle for the propagation of the values of Indonesian nationhood. Pencak Silat was recognized and promoted as an indigenous art. Pencak Silat players and fraternities have played a significant role in Indonesian politics. they do not really delve into what the study of Pencak Silat might 1 Interview with Steve Bellamy. 2 Translated into English as Pencak Silat in the Indonesian Archipelago (2002). . a student of Shindo Muso Ryu. and an example of the richness and depth of culture shared by the citizens of the nascent republic. The book is a result of his journeys through the archipelago during which he trained with and tested the skills of adepts of the many systems and styles that he encountered. Wilson and Nugroho 2012). there has been surprisingly little scholarly reflection on what might be inferred more broadly about Indonesian society from the study of Pencak Silat. who accompanied Draeger on several of these trips.2 Introduction to reformasi. Yet. and central to the struggle against the Dutch colonial administration. and contributed to the membership of militia units that fought in the war for independence against the Dutch and their allies. whilst Kartomi reflects on the cultural impoverishment of Pencak Silat in state appropriated forms of practice (2011). They were prominent in the formation of the first political parties and nationalist movements at the beginning of the twentieth century. However. With the establish- ment of the Republic of Indonesia. More recent offerings include O’ong Maryono’s excellent over- view of the historical development of Pencak Silat2 (1998). Today. despite recognition of the prominence of players and fraternities in both local and national level politics (Bertrand 2008). The acclaimed martial artist Donn Draeger first carried out pioneering research on combative arts in Indonesia in the early seventies. and Pauka’s (1998) detailed account of Pencak Silat in West Sumatra. Chambers and Draeger 1970). insightful as these studies are. and a book on the Javanese art of Perisai Diri (Chambers and Draeger1979). Pätzold explores the rela- tionship between forms of self-defence.1 Draeger also co-authored a shorter overview of Pencak Silat (Alexander. pro- viding the basis for the membership of many quasi-militia groups that have accompanied democratization and decentralization in Indonesia (Wilson 2010. performance arts and Islam in West Java (2011). 3 July 2014. Adepts of the art were often the focal point for rebel- lions against colonial oppression. While there are a few excellent ethnographic studies of Pencak Silat.

more fundamental.Introduction 3 tell us about Indonesian society more generally. its aims are broader. and what these can tell us more generally about forms of political authority in Indonesia. as both fighting art and system of physical and spiritual cultivation. Benedict Anderson’s keen insight that notions of power. and it has as much to say about the social and political milieu of Pencak Silat as it does about the practice and pedagogy of the art itself. and to comprehend the ways in which they think critically about and act in the world. In his view. a means of explaining ‘why things happen the way they do’ (1990: 78). Notable exceptions to this trend are Ian Wilson’s account of Pencak Silat in West Java (2002). De Grave. in whatever guise they present themselves. As I hope to demonstrate. The argument I make here is that ideas about power that circulate in Indonesia should not just be seen as epiphenomenal to relations of produc- tion. favouring political economy in analysis at the expense of cultural formations that frame power relations impedes our capac- ity to fathom why it is that people come to hold certain dispositions. My aim here is to explain why Pencak Silat. Richard Robison critiqued the spate of cultural analyses of Indonesian politics for placing too much emphasis on the values implicit in Javanese culture as a formative force defining political dispositions in Indonesia. has figured so conspicuously in Indonesian society and political culture. in his accomplished work on the ritual transmission of knowledge in Pencak Silat (2001). these studies failed to consider the material relations of production. are in a sense etiological. and is to be applauded for his efforts in detailing the important role these practices play in social life. culture is ‘more than a conveyor belt for deeper. Class struggle. goes further. A particular focus of the book is upon models of power that have informed the practice and propagation of Pencak Silat. Taking my lead from Hobart (1990). is relevant to the task that I set myself in this book. However. Some years ago. and the role that forms of initiation and spiritual authority play in Javanese society (2014). these conceptions are rooted in the practical demonstration of power as performance of efficacy in the world. which takes steps in this direction. agrarian transformation and the develop- ment of capitalism were forces precedent to cultural forms such as patron cli- ent relations (1981: 15–16). However. and hence to provide a logical explanation of enduring tradi- tional patrimonial forms ‘within advanced industrial capitalist societies’ (Robison 1981: 12). but stops short of reflecting explicitly on what the impli- cations of his research suggest about social and political forms more widely. This book builds on the pioneering work of these scholars. as Steinmetz notes. More than ideological constructs. which were a means of pursuing economic and political gain. my interest lies in the elaboration of the ‘absolute presuppositions’ or ‘heuristic principles’ . or more “material” forces’ (Steinmetz 1999: 28).

a potentially rewarding line of inquiry into indigenous conceptions of power has not been pursued with any real vigour. 2012: 1–2). De Grave (2000a) notes that an understanding of modes of knowledge transmission in Pencak Silat. Howe 2000: 76. The result has been that. and. and the disembedding and transformation of these systems. a basic premise of this book is that the study of Pencak Silat grants insight into the ‘taken for granted’ ordering of social reality (Bourdieu 1977: 165–167). Siegel 2006: 173–174) that cur- tails consideration of other possible ‘topographies of power’ (Beatty 2012: 174). models of substantive power have become something of a fait accompli (see for example. as a corrective to this state of affairs. Yet. cultural politics (Pemberton 1994). Benedict Anderson (1972a) famously argued that in Java power is conceptualized as a substantive entity. Brenner 1998: 62. One of the claims I make is that conceptions of power in Java. and the broader inference that might be drawn from these presuppositions about social order and political forms.4 Introduction (Collingwood 2002: 34) that inform action. studies framed by Foucault’s theoretical endeavours have achieved their aims at the expense of local idioms and models of power (Chua et al. in part. and territoriality and surveillance (Barker 1999) under the New Order. can contribute much to an understanding of contemporary Indonesian society. I claim that implicit to this ordering are certain assumptions about the nature of power and its workings that persist in . and thus differs from Western models of power as a relational phenomenon. inasmuch as theorists taking their lead from Anderson have shied away from thinking outside of established cultural ste- reotypes. see also Koentjaraningrat 1980). However. in the work of many schol- ars of Indonesian society and politics. The current work is offered. Beatty 1999: 77. Scholars employing Foucauldian analytics have produced insightful and theoretically sophisticated studies of colonial legacies of race and sexuality (Stoler 1995). Anderson’s account of power in Java has been heavily criticized for overplaying the ‘integrative function of indigenous models of legitimacy’ (Quarles van Ufford 1987: 142. I am no less concerned here with the workings of power and knowledge than those scholars wont to follow in Foucault’s theoretical trace. the approach that I advocate is a less deductive endeavour. more generally in Indonesia. Following de Grave’s lead. have long been misrepresented in aca- demic literature. I also engage with the relevance of Foucault’s thinking as a theoretical van- tage point from which to observe the workings of power in Indonesia. and attempts to steer between the Scylla of interpretive and the Charybdis of genealogical method- ologies to describe the bodily workings of power in ways more faithful to the ethnography of Pencak Silat. Antlöv 1995: 104–105. with few exceptions. as a corollary. Yet despite these criticisms.

and indeed Southeast Asia. In this conception . the ‘diverse hegemonic strate- gies’ (Steinmetz 1999: 31) with which authority has been contested. consoli- dated and reproduced in Indonesia at different levels of political scale. and tended to overlook the practicalities of the actualiza- tion of power. I hold this has implications for understanding modes of authority and the ways in which it is recognized and rationalized. A model in which the boundaries of the ‘state’ define an ordered space. It would be overstating the case to think of more recent accounts of power in Southeast Asia as being of a kind with colonial narra- tives of enduring tradition and timeless order. and. Logics of power that operate within political forms such as the Indonesian state are no less ‘modern’. notions of ‘tradition’ were one of the ‘major modes of colonial government’ in which ‘Western scholars and local literati which were combined to copro- duce a “perfect Tradition” that nationalist movements then appropriated’ (Bayart 2011: 68). As Bayart notes. but as Ryter notes. and the concerns of their rulers as somewhat distant from the everyday affairs of the people they have ruled over.Introduction 5 Indonesian society not as enduring elements of ‘traditional’ modes of author- ity. in popular conception power in Indonesia is also understood to be a precarious and relational phenomenon. Yet classic notions of power that have dogged Southeast Asian scholarship have tended to perpetuate a con- ception of Southeast Asian polities as deeply patrimonial states in which ideal notions of power prevail as ideological artifice. However. arbitrary and violent’ (Ryter 2012: 109. and which operate in ways con- trary to more modern forms of government and rule. the ‘mandala state’. as I hope will become clear in the ensuing chapters. importantly. and not only conceived as a substantive entity or ‘thing’. but reflect the historical trajectories of sovereign authority as it has transpired in Indonesia. have placed too much emphasis on the alterity of forms of political process. This has resulted in characterizations of Southeast Asian states as ‘traditional’ polities. and simultaneously personal. the state thus constituted a sacred field at the centre of which sat the court or ruler as the exemplary centre of the realm. institutional and just. because they accurately reflect the duplicitous nature of power as both ‘formal. Classic Models of the State and Power in Indonesia and Southeast Asia The most enduring of the classic models of the state and power in the work of scholars writing on Indonesia and Southeast Asia has been that of the centred polity. ritually cleared of forces threatening to the social order (Wolters 1999). I contend that many previous analyses of power in Indonesia. emphasis in original).

and the instrumental action of the periphery (Tambiah 1985: 316–338). an ‘intangible. The state in Bali was given to spectacle and not concerned with the affairs of local government. As I mentioned previously. writing with regard to nine- teenth century Bali but with the intention of contributing more generally to political theory. divorced from the everyday workings of government. ‘Power’ (with a capital P) in Java was traditionally perceived as a substantive entity. mysterious. and divine energy which ani- mates the universe’ (1972a: 7). and those close to the source of power accepted unquestioningly its divine prerogative. in which the ruler assumed the position of the ‘exemplary centre’. The particular interpretation of sovereign power that Geertz proposes assumes a disjuncture between ruler and ruled. mirroring the cosmic order in which Siva sits as the immo- bile centre of power. Its focus was the dramatic recreation of the divine order in this world. Tambiah 1976). came into exis- tence. . This model of the Southeast Asian polity has long held sway amongst scholars working on the region. had no need of coercion to consolidate his rule. the state itself ‘was a device for the enact- ment of ritual’ (1980: 13). divinely ordained. its manifestation in a person or place evidenced by the obvious signs of order and wellbeing in the world. in which substantive spiritual power is focused in the centre of the state and wanes towards its peripheries. Moertono 1981. makes the observation that ‘[p]ower served pomp. The interac- tion between the elite and their subjects was mediated via the agency of the perbekel. Accordingly. Ironically. Thus the welfare and pros- perity of the kingdom was an indication of the spiritual well being of the ruler (Anderson 1972a.3 and Benedict Anderson’s essay on the differences between Western and Javanese concep- tions of power was typical of this line of thinking. Court ceremony and mass ritual did not serve to shore up the power of the state. Geertz’s insight then was that ritual is itself a form of power and not just a means of dissimulating coercive power (Cannadine and Price 1987: 19). for Anderson. In an oft-cited turn of phrase Clifford Geertz. between the expressive action of the ‘still centre’. the Javanese polity centred upon the spiritual power invested in the king. not pomp power’ (Geertz 1980: 13). Rather. Yet. who. this imaging of power led to a concomitant distancing from the machinery controlling it (Geertz 1980: 132). Power embodied in the ruler was recog- nized retrospectively. Thus Geertz argued the ‘theatre state’ (1980: 13).6 Introduction social and political order is held to be a reflection of the cosmological order. the lowest rank of state official. Geertz’s conception of the theatre state entirely neglects ‘the real 3 See Shelly Errington’s (2012) idiosyncratic but wonderfully insightful reflections on the idea of power in the work of theorists of Southeast Asian politics for an excellent summary of the historical development of this highly influential school of thought and its main proponents.

that grants the space for . and this in an environment where followers. power is indeed a homogeneous entity. This means that one can recognize different centres of power simultaneously. a ‘force’ acting as counterpoise to the centrif- ugal tendencies of the state. Extravagant ritual required the mobilization of significant numbers of people. and so under- cuts the doctrine of the exemplary centre – thereby opening onto the conflict- ing claims and allegiances (Keeler 1985: 139). nonetheless its different communicants are thought to be able to wield it effectively to diverse ends. the political authority of the ruler needed to be established and main- tained. is thus substantive. and can easily be switched to another local leader attempting to establish them as a ‘centre’ (Keeler 1985: 138. while Anderson instead denied the agency of the ruled. to be recognized as an exemplary centre. and in this way the degree of dependency on any one individ- ual is limited. Geertz solved the problem of the aporia between the exemplary centre and the practi- cal considerations of political life by denying the agency of the ruler. Of the writers adhering to the ‘power as substance’ theories. At village level in Java. he maintains. authority should impress itself upon others through the disinterested- ness. While power is believed to be unitary in nature. is. but an individual’s ‘capacity to channel and manipulate power can dif- fer in significant ways’ (Keeler 1985: 138). He concludes that it is ‘political might – what we would call power. leading them to different yet similar conclusions.Introduction 7 interaction and exchange relationship between the ruler and the ruled’ (Schulte Nordholt 1981: 475). To do so necessarily undermines the potency of any one centre. Breman 1980). ‘an attractive and compelling. The conception of power that he attributes to the villagers with whom he works. Both Anderson and Geertz seem to have been seduced by the image of pervasive power. In order to rule. modified to suit the needs of the situation on the ground. conceived of as a coercive capacity – that stands apart from any Javanese ideas about ideal behaviour and definitions of power’ (1985: 139). Allegiances are mutable. The idealized image of the exemplary centre mimics at village level the sovereignty of the ruler. Ward Keeler (1985) proposed a more pragmatic take on the doctrine of the exemplary centre. he argues. ‘Power’ or spiritual potency. In the case of ‘both the king at court and that of a wong tuwa [a spiritually potent individual] in a village. could quite literally vote with their feet if ‘the burden imposed upon them was too heavy or if the protection given was insufficient’ (1981: 475). It is this ambivalence. dignified bearing and impressive aura of the person in question’ (Keeler 1987: 106). Keeler comes closest to allowing for the exigencies of political struggle. homogeneous. rather than coercive. It is diffuse. force’ (1985: 139). Authority is not necessarily solely confined to one individual or cen- tre. not just the perbekel but also the local populace.

politico-economic. and competing administrative cells. legitimating their right to rule (Tambiah 1985: 268–279). redun- dant. are defined or encoded by this principle of the mandala. The ‘Javanese’ in Keeler’s account thus fare better than those in Anderson’s treatise. place. Yet. and which find a ready medium for their expres- sion in modes of disciplining and training the body such as Pencak Silat. diffused through ‘replicated. Ascetic practice or the transference of power by professional ascetic priests ceremonially charged the ruler. The notion of the exemplary centre is attributed a foundational role in Tambiah’s (1985) notion of the ‘galactic polity’ of competing mandala states in Southeast Asia. one wonders. The ‘mundane existence in a multitude of decentred rice-growing peasant communities. A model in which all ‘levels’ of society. In this instance myth and reality are closer than we think’ (1985: 258–259). and produce and the mechanisms of regulation and deployment of authority have their logistical limits’ (1985: 280). but rather ‘the hierarchy of graduated power and merit’ is fragmented. existing save for intermittent and spectacular intrusions from the theatre state. Models in which both the coercive and compelling aspects of power are more closely entwined than they are in conceptions of power described by Keeler. Yet the emphasis placed upon power concentrated in a person. in Tambiah’s conception. is not uniform.8 Introduction political negotiation. The patterns for the mobilization of men. terri- torial. and are able to distinguish between political real- ity and ideological notions of power. Keeler’s account of local idioms of power as more than just a coercive force is a perceptive insight. can be shown to be a realistic reflec- tion of the political pulls and pushes of these centre-oriented but centrifugally fragmenting polities. A ‘cosmological idiom [which] together with its grandeur and imagery. Power. Tambiah sees the reality of the centrifu- gal fragmentation of political power at state level throughout Southeast Asia as constitutive of power’s ritual enactment. the cosmological. or thing in the doctrine of the exemplary centre has worked to obscure other aspects of models of power that circulate in Indonesia. if read correctly. resources. [was] in relative isolation from the capital’s network of political exaction’ (Tambiah 1985: 279). Elaborate state ritual is therefore a necessity if the potency of the ruler is to be replenished. in what ways did ritual action serve to instantiate particular forms of authority? Why might people be compelled to accept their subjectification as legitimate on the basis of the ascetic practice of priestly castes or divinely tempered rulers? And just how isolated were the peasant communities that Tambiah posits as existing outside of the immediate influence of the centre of political and spiritual author- ity? If the ‘spectacular intrusions’ of the state had their basis in and gained their . administrative and so on. the politicking of every day village life is at variance with the ideal of power. While for Keeler in Java.

Continuities in forms of knowledge and understand- ings of power implicit to ilmu batin suggest a process of re-orientation rather than a radical restructuring of existing infrastructures (see Day 1983: 156–157). there are today tensions between those that adhere to the practice of ilmu batin. There is a danger if one focuses too intently on the differences between Islam as a literary tradition. or indeed the bodily basis of forms of political authority informed by ascetic practice? I claim answers to these questions in Indonesia can be found in the study of Pencak Silat. What interests me more than the ultimately rather pointless task of trying to ascertain religious provenance is the relation- ship between these kinds of knowledge and forms of power. This last point notwithstanding. then might knowledge of such practices also have been the means by which authority was contested? Critically. and through which the body may be transformed. I consider the knowledge practices that I elicit in subsequent chapters to be Islamic practices in their own right (Bowen 1995. However. and detailed examination of the formative effects of ‘inner knowl- edge’. these notions of power persist in Indonesia not as an anachronism. Woodward 1989). which are closely connected with the spread of Islam in Indonesia. inasmuch as ascetic practice might be said to figure in the ritual ascription of power. and more conservative. For my purposes here. Indeed.Introduction 9 significance from a cultural repertoire in which ascetic practice could be consid- ered central to the instantiation of authority. I argue that it is a relationship that is framed by an implicit understanding of power as an inter- subjective phenomenon. However. they are better understood as typi- cal of the dynamism typical of the development of Islam in the region (Johns 1995). closely associated with but not exclusive to the practice of the art. or tarekat. and the ‘cultural reality’ of Islam in practice (Hooker 1983: 2) of assuming too stark a break between pre-Islamic and Islamic modes of knowledge in Indonesia. these continuities are not just examples of assimilation into Islam of pre-extant practices. and what van Bruinessen refers to as a ‘fascination with the miraculous’ (1994a: 3). but have their own complex historical trajectories. Many of the prac- tices that come under the rubric of ilmu batin are associated with the Sufi orders. Importantly. what might this imply about the political role of the body. shariah minded factions who denounce these forms of knowledge as un-Islamic. Kumar 1985. the uptake of the religion may owe much to the appeal of these practices. but rather as a kind of bio-political power that draws into question the temporal specific- ity of notions of modern forms of secular power centred upon the body disci- plined in homogenized space and time. or ilmu batin. . and even as shirk (idolatry. Woodward 1989: 215– 240). and of the instability of the political field. rather than view these tensions as conflict between more or less ideal articulations of Islam (Ellen 1983). historically.

wrestling. During this period. and strove to ground Judo in modern scientific thinking on physiology and dynamics. and staff and sword drills were introduced into national level police and military training programmes (Henning 2003: 18–20). Distinctly Asian practices. Towards the end of the nineteenth century. and Judo provided a model for turning other martial arts into martial ways (Shun 1998: 83). Whereas instruction had taken place through experience. Simplified and codified for mass instruction. meaning ‘skill’ or ‘art’. and tennis. systemized techniques. associated with antiquity in populist accounts. A ‘prominent educator’ and principal of the . wushu. was a major innovator in the transformation of existing combative systems. sporting practices (Bishop 1989. meaning ‘way’. modernization under the Meiji reformation in Japan similarly impacted upon martial practices. there is no doubt that the rise of standardized systems of martial arts in Asia was attendant on the coalescence of national conscious- ness. Chinese boxing. these martial systems were held to be elements of national identities that traced disparate trajectories to those followed in the West (Wile 1996: 26–29). often losing some of their value as combative arts in the process of their adaptation and restyling as competitive. physical culture associations sprang up throughout the country. can be traced to the emergence of nationalist movements throughout Asia around the turn of the twentieth century. Morris 1998). observation and imi- tation of the teacher. In existing systems of martial arts practised throughout Asia. Guttman and Thompson 2001. nationalist move- ments struck a rich vein of tradition. While many people embraced foreign practices and sports such as callisthenics. Harrison 1982. at the beginning of the twentieth century. boxing. In China. Modernist discourses that sprang up in Japan under the Meiji restora- tion. Kano Jigaro. The term used for martial arts. Many of the martial traditions of Asia as they exist today. was even changed to ‘national arts’. or goushu (Henning 2003: 22). the founder of modern day Judo. Chinese martial arts were also actively promoted. shared an analogous desire to ensure some sense of continuity with the past. in this the art is far from unique. that circulated in post-revolution China. known as bugei or bujutsu. Inasmuch as nationalist imaginaries of Indonesia and the Indonesian state frame the contemporary practice of Pencak Silat. which were introduced through the activities of groups such as the ymca. Kano classified techniques in order that they could be passed on verbally (Shun 1998: 83). and began to take root in Indonesia during this period. Lorge 2011. whilst at the same time marking distance from it. standardized systems of martial arts were developed for mass dissemi- nation. Kano introduced a ranking system.10 Introduction New Movements in a Modern Age This having been said. The term jutsu. was replaced with the term do.

The Japanese. With the adoption of the name Taekwondo came a purging of all references to the parent art. was incorporated into the national school curricu- lum at the turn of the twentieth century (Tan 2004: 182).Introduction 11 Tokyo Higher Normal School. during their occupation of the archipelago. In Korea. the same year that the art became officially Korean. since the declaration of independence4 in 1945. also an educator from Okinawa. In 1948. Efforts to encourage the development of a common. is linked in official histories to arts such as Taekyon. Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia). the national martial art of Korea (Madis 2003: 187). It was not until 2 November 1949 that an actual agreement was reached with the Dutch. popularized in Japan through the efforts of Gichin Funakoshi. and it was in the Japanese university clubs that Korean students first studied the art that was later to become the foundation of Taekwondo. a transition overseen by the Korean Ministry of Education. Kano sat on the international Olympic commit- tee as its first Japanese member in 1910. the Korean Taekwondo Association’s Central Gymnasium was established for the promotion of Taekwondo as a symbol of the Korean nation (Madis 2003: 204–205. The development of sport more generally was pursued as a means of cultivating nationalist fervour amongst the youth (Adams 2002: 197–198). or Taekwondo as it is known today. Pencak 4 Sukarno unilaterally declared independence on behalf of the Indonesian nationalist move- ment on 17 August 1945. Prior to the official transfer of power to the Indonesian government from the Dutch colonial authorities. In Indonesia. It was amongst the universities that Funakoshi had great success in popularising Karate. the development of ‘Korean Karate’. Karate. Driven by nationalist imperatives for a coherent historical narrative. national culture were of fundamental importance to the nationalist movement in Indonesia at the end of the Second World War (Holtzappel 1997). later changing its name to the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (ipsi. Pencak Silat was actively promoted as part of the training received by members of these groups. In 1971. the consolida- tion of national unity has remained an overriding concern of successive governments. . the All Indonesia Pentjak Association was formed. post-war independence from Japan heightened the desire to distance the art from its Japanese connections. As part of this endeavour. Indonesia finally being recognized as a sovereign state by the Netherlands on 27 December 1949. see also Dohrenwend 2003: 8). educational reformists championed the art as a means of express- ing a distinctly Indonesian nationalism. had taken steps to organize local defence organizations and youth groups. Karate. and played a large part in the introduc- tion of Judo into the games (Shun 1998: 88).

12 Introduction Silat was promoted as an ‘indigenous’ sporting practice. were used as a vehicle for the propagation of national values and ideals (Acciaioli 1985. see also Brenner 1998: 1–18. Under the auspices of successive adminis- trations of ipsi. Lindsay 1995. The trained body is better understood as the locus of a ‘shift- ing set of relationships’ (Zarilli 2000: 216). but began in earnest with the advent of Suharto’s New Order. it was through national culture (kebudayaan bangsa) that progress (kemajuan) was deemed possible. Similarly. However. Kalarippayattu is celebrated as an expression of Malayali ethnicity. Philip Zarrilli (2000) argues that the body cultivated in martial practice is not just a site of conformity. Joseph Alter (1992) details the ways in which young men training in North Indian wrestling traditions discipline their bodies and come to link their own abstinence. Schefold 1998). unidirectional trajectories of modernity (Hough 1999: 234–337. National culture on the other hand came to embody the linear. with the body occupying a central position in this process as the site of the articulation of agency and enactment of forms of power. Regional performance modes. The Body and Power in Martial Arts In his ethnography of the South Indian martial art of Kalarippayattu. was institutionalized and transformed. and the promotion of national culture through the management and administration of elements of regional culture. The objectification of Pencak Silat as a component of national cul- ture cannot be seen simply as a consequence of an initial encounter with modernity in the forms of the Dutch colonial order and Japanese militarism. Regional culture came to be associated with tradition. with the practitioner’s body reconfigured and repositioned through the practice and performance of the art to articulate these values. the informal pedagogy of Pencak Silat. the process by which Pencak Silat became a national martial art entailed the reconfiguration of extant knowledge practices. Foulcher 1990). and represented as an aspect of Indonesia’s pre-modern past. While elements of Indonesia’s ‘tradi- tional’ past were to be treasured. part of the common heritage of the Indonesian nation (Brown 2008: 439–440). to view these transformations in practice only as the effacement of traditional forms of authority by regimented and secularized modern regimes is to assume that the disciplined body marches everywhere to the same beat. . a process embedded in intimate relations with one’s teacher and peers. as part of ‘Keralan heritage’ (2000: 24). Initial efforts to consolidate the art were not entirely successful. On the contrary. through the agency of the Department of Education and Culture.

The writer best known for drawing attention to the social importance of the transmission to what he termed ‘techniques of the body’ is Marcel Mauss (1973). Training in martial arts in these groups is a strategy that serves to over- come ‘effeminacy’ a violent articulation of masculinity enacted ‘through annihilation and humiliation of the Muslim Other who for so long deprived Hindus of masculinity’ (1996: 166). merely the soul and its repetitive faculties. Any consideration of a particular set of practices . the wrestler’s body is the site of a utopian somatic. of contact’ (1973: 85–86). proprieties and fashions. and fitness to conceptions of duty. 1973: 73 Importantly. India is also the site of Hansen’s (1996) study of Hindu nationalist groups. and at least by the circumstances of life in common. His observations on the inability of British soldiers during the First World War to employ the entrenching tools of their French allies. a quest for national strength and self-confidence finds expression as a recupera- tion of masculinity in the face of perceived emasculation. There is no technique and no transmission in the absence of tradition’ (1973: 75. morality and ‘ethical p responsibility as a citizen’ (Alter 1992: 245). In them we should see the techniques and work of collective and individual practical reason rather than. Techniques of the body are those actions that are both ‘effective and tradi- tional. prestiges. What is clear in these accounts is that the trained body is far from passive. do not just vary with individuals and their imitations.Introduction 13 ­ hysical health. or to march in time to French buglers and drummers. licentiousness and debilitating seductions of contemporary society (1992: 250–255). The appeal of Hindu nationalism as a mobilising force for young men in India might be understood in terms of the ‘promise of masculinity through [the] collective and ideological exorcism of weakness’ (Hansen 1996: 138) that disciplining the body can pro- vide. for Mauss the body was a social. educations. for which he coined the term habitus. italics in original). One of the reasons these ‘physio-psycho-sociolog- ical assemblages of series of actions’ may be inculcated in the individual is because ‘they are assembled by and for social authority […] [I]n general they are governed by education. Thus. in the ordinary way. they vary especially between societies. and the transmission of forms of knowledge through which it is configured should be considered more widely in light of the fields of power in which they are embedded. These ‘habits’. There. led him to conclude the specificity of these techniques (Mauss 1973: 72–73). biological and psychological entity. an alternative to the public immorality. and the ‘art of using the human body’ predominantly a matter of educa- tion.

6 In Bourdieu’s conception ‘[p]eople are at once founded and legitimized to enter the field by their possessing a definite configuration of properties. certain ways of behaving and responding. One of the goals of research is to iden- tify these active properties. These dispositions must be understood in relation to the ‘fields’ in which they are embedded. a state of being. there accumulates a particular form of capital and where relations of a particular type are exerted’ (Bourdieu 1993: 164). A field being a ‘separate social universe having its own laws of functioning independent of those of politics and the economy… where. these forms of specific capi- tal. Finally. Habitus is able to provide analytic purchase on the study of boxing because of four defining properties: the dispo- sitional. . more a ‘state of the body. However. For Wacquant. Second. Pierre Bourdieu. There is thus a sort of hermeneutic circle: in order to construct the field. while participant 5 For Wacquant. in his seminal ethnography of boxing in a black American ghetto in Chicago. and to construct the forms of specific capi- tal one must know the specific logic of the field’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992: 107–108. the habitus is less a state of mind. implicit in the notion of habitus is a conception of the human agent as a historically constituted being. This is part of what I set out to do in my analysis of Pencak Silat. italics in original). and the pedagogical. Loïc Wacquant (2000) made good use of the concept of habitus as devel- oped by his mentor. italics in original).14 Introduction recognized as tradition thus entails reflection on modes of transmission. seem altogether natural’ (Thompson 1991: 3. to elicit these ‘natural’ dispositions and the ways in which they are inculcated through practice. body-knowledge. and the ways in which social forms come to achieve some semblance of stability. and the broader strategic possibilities made possible by the possession of certain kinds of capital6 in order to understand the ‘specific logic of the field’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992: 108). Thus. that is. cited in Williams 2007: 25).5 It thus pro- vides a framework for the analysis of ways of cultivating the body through which aspects of the broader social and political and landscape are thrown into relief. the study of habitus entails the ‘study the organized practices of inculcation through which it is layered’ (Wacquant 2009: 142–143. In this respect. the experiential. the notion of habitus matches the experience of learning to box. ‘acquired sensibilities and categories’ being the sedimented product of ‘past social experiences’ (Wacquant 2009: 138). habitus ‘indicates that sets of dispositions vary by social location and trajectory’. It is because the body has become a repository of ingrained dispositions that certain actions. these efficient characteristics. Third. habitus is first a set of acquired dispositions. one must identify the forms of specific capital that operate within it. it accordance with its particular laws. ‘the socially constituted conative and cognitive struc- tures that make up habitus are malleable and transmissible because they result from pedagogical work’. the ‘practical mastery [that] operates beneath the level of consciousness and discourse’.

this is not a phenomenological account in the spirit of Wacquant’s inquiry. An exemplary approach to incorporate both the study of bodies as the site of resistance. maim or otherwise incapacitate. this book is an ethnographic account of both the practice and discourse of Pencak Silat. I examine changing representations of Pencak Silat as it has been portrayed in nationalist rhetoric prior to and post-independence. discursive configuration of systems of cultivat- ing the body is demonstrated by Jian Xu (1999) in her study of qigong. Similarly. which connects qigong to the realm of experience and desire’ (1999: 963). the normalising presence of the state is felt in the practice of qigong as regulated by the state bureaucracy. the development of the modern. held to be invulnerable. The practice of these systems was often brutal. and techniques were intended to kill. and both revered and feared by their local communities. Jian Xu argues. cultural and political fields. Jago and the groups they led made a signal contribution to the struggle for . The analysis of the discursive construction of Pencak Silat is juxtaposed with an account of the pedagogy. through qigong practice. its hegemony is far from complete. and the broader. a system of physical movement and breathing exercises associated with the practice of Chinese martial arts. and the later process of the alignment of the art with the ideals of Suharto’s New Order cultural project. performance and praxis of the art. and. I consider accounts of the embodied experience of the author to be of far less impor- tance than the tale of the art’s development in Indonesia. The second site is that of the body. I interrogate nationalist imaginaries of the art. As we shall see. Yet. Historically. sporting art of Pencak Silat is derived from a variety of effective and pragmatic combative systems with a long history of interaction and cross-fertilisation. In China. The discursive struggle in which the differing discourses of qigong practice are embedded exists materially at two sites within the social field. Thus her analysis of qigong focuses ‘on the intersection of qigong discourse and the politicized body […] both the dis- cursive representations of qigong and their embodiment in practice’ (1999: 964). which connects qigong to economic and public pro- cesses. while the state bureaucracy has pene- trated the field of practice. these local strongmen have long fig- ured in constellations of power and authority in Java throughout Indonesia. ‘The first site is that of the institution. the body is empowered to resist the overtures of state. Those proficient in combative arts were known as ‘champions’ or jago. and ultimately limit- ing with respect to the task that I set myself in this book of eliciting the broader discursive construction of Pencak Silat in its respective social. Practice promoted as authentic by the state emphasizes values that comple- ment the state’s cultural hegemony.Introduction 15 observation in the art of Pencak Silat informed the writing of this book.

gender hierar- chies prevail in the conceptualization of spiritual power. a nation born out of violent struggle and wracked by war and internal conflict through- out much of its history. first published in 1982). anti-Dutch sentiment in the early twentieth century. the country has rarely known peace since the inception 7 A term coined by Wolters as a defining characteristic of forms of leadership in Southeast Asian polities (Wolters 1999. From the first stirrings of widespread. Wilson 2010b). Boretz makes a similar case for understanding the ways in which claims to authority and status on the part of marginalized men might be negotiated through physical prowess (Boretz 2011). Active during the War for Independence. an excellent study of ritual violence. the existence of these groups is a consequence of a history of struggle and conflict. 8 Female jago do exist. Today jago and the organizations they head continue to play a significant role in the post- New Order political landscape. Pencak Silat players and fraterni- ties have never been far from the thick of the action. martial arts and masculin- ity in Chinese society. Often implicated in communal conflict and violence. one must understand the cultural significance of forms of physi- cal and spiritual violence and martial prowess in Indonesian society. these ‘men of prowess’7 (Wolters 1999) have continued to exer- cise their authority under successive regimes in Indonesia. . and local ‘strongmen’ for the most part remain just that. While modern Pencak Slat is far more egalitarian in that both women and men train and actively compete. in which the capacity for violence underpins highly masculinized notions of leadership and authority8 (Nilan and Demartoto 2012. orga- nized.16 Introduction independence from Dutch rule. there are nonetheless strong parallels with his work in the argument that I make here. As Anderson notes poignantly. and a culture of harsh physicality framing a deeply hierarchical patriarchy. Violence and the Body Politic Indonesia is no stranger to violence. In doing so a somewhat different view of forms of Indonesian sociality emerges from that propagated in the classic models of power and authority that I outlined previously. Boretz. Although Boretz does not directly focus on the links between martial arts and spiritual cultivation (2011: 2) in the way that I do here. through they are few and far between. in his account of the importance of martial culture in Chinese society (1995: 94). In order to understand both the social and political significance of these figures. to full blown rebellion against the Colonial government. also uses the term to refer to figures that have become the locus of power as a consequence of being well versed in martial arts and arcane knowledge. In his later book.

leading Sukarno in the later years of his office to attempt a dangerous balancing act between rival political factions. Under the New Order ‘security’ (keamanan) was often invoked in defence of the violent excesses of the state. What I attempt is a more ‘dispassionate’ engagement with vio- lence (Žižek 2008: 4–5) as a form of social action that ‘is constitutive and not expressive of social relations’ (Retsikas 2006: 59. Violence should not be considered only as a physically coercive act. in order to ascertain the prominence of Pencak Silat in Indonesian society. an assumption that has tended to preclude sustained investiga- tion into the role that violence as a form of social action plays in the stabilisa- tion. Sidel 2006). Yet violence and insecurity were in no way the sole prerogative of the New Order. This led to an intense competition for the control of the nation that resulted in the eradication of the Communist Party in Indonesia. and. it can be said to have formed a paradigm for governance. many of these studies have taken an epidemiological bent. and provided the ontological grounding of the ‘the nation-state as a structure or promise of Being’ (Burke 2007: 7). In this study I have tried to resist the temptation to think of violence as a discordant or aberrant phenomena. The genocide that accompanied Suharto’s rise to power in 1966 ushered in thirty-two years of authoritarian rule during which Indonesia was a military state in all but name. Following an alleged communist coup in 1965. Herriman 2009). G30S). and which remain a constitutive element of the political field in Indonesia today. Accordingly. Schulte Nordholt 2002. Civil war and inter- necine conflict shadowed the fledgling nation from its outset. resulted in the murders of perhaps as many as one million people (Cribb 2002: 559). the 30 September movement (Gestapu. Inasmuch as the invocation of security and the constitution of threat served the interests of the New Order. gerakan September tiga puluh. Bertrand 2004. events that assumed the role of foundational myth for the New Order. seeking to ascertain the aetiol- ogy of violence as disorder that afflicts the body politic (for example.Introduction 17 of the Republic of Indonesia in 1945 (Anderson 2001: 9–10). and have long been locked in an inti- mate embrace that historically has defined sovereign practices ‘grounded in violence’ (Hansen and Stepputat 2006: 297). we must . and a plethora of academic commenta- tors have attempted to ascertain the root causes and structural factors for this violence. Incumbent upon the bulk of this scholarship is the assumption that violence is a symptom of the absence of order. Suharto’s fall from power in 1998 was the precursor to ethnic and religious conflict throughout the archipelago. Hüsken and de Jonge 2002. an anti-communist pogrom. a means of control rather than an end in itself. violence deemed neces- sary to preserve order through the elimination of threats to the state and its population. reconfiguration and emergence of forms of sociality. van Klinken 2007.

and this is not easily grasped if we think simply in terms of resistance and control.). attributed and laid claim to (Hobart n. ‘power’ is not just writ upon the disciplined body. It is the capacity for violence both threatened and enacted that under- writes power somatically. or even ex-cultural.d. an ontic commitment to rather than an epistemic assertion of the world. elements of ‘danger. The invocation of culture in this sense offers little in the way of explanatory value other than in terms of crude behaviourism. To be clear. What interests me is precisely the ways in which forms of violence have been and continue to be ‘culturally sanc- tioned’ (Whitehead 2004: 1) in Indonesia. opposing violence to daily life. A caveat regarding culture is necessary here. novelty and terror’ (1999: 445. tautological. runs the risk of primordializing it. seeing it as being in some way exceptional. this posit- ing of culture as some kind of transcendental societal agent is itself a stratagem often employed by apologists for state violence (Collins 2002. A line of argument that I develop is that in traditional systems of practice such as Pencak Silat the body is conceptualized as a far more agentive entity. see also Purdey 2004: 10–11). the absence of any analysis of the rela- tionship of violence to power outside of the bodily realities through which power is enacted. 9 A point to which I am grateful to John Sidel for making in reference to an earlier draft of this manuscript. arguably.9 In other contexts where authors have located the body as central to analysis. Steedly notes that the explanation of communal violence by culture. . categorized. for the most part. or indeed its susceptibility. and is. Feldman 1991). Yet. to injury and hostile agency. ‘making it appear as inherent in and distinctive to Southeast Asia as a world region’ (1999: 445).18 Introduction examine the ways that violence is represented. or seeing it as something antithetical to culture. the body gains significance as the site of the violent inscrip- tion of power (for example Das 1990. as Steedly seems to (1999: 446). amounting to little more than the suggestion that peo- ple do the things they do because they do the things they do. and she further urges us to remember the ordinary aspects of daily life that are obscured by a predilec- tion for the sensational. Her cautionary note is well heeded. That is. Indeed. proving its imperviousness. violence. see also Liddle 1999). There is a further omission in much of the literature on violence in Indonesia that this book seeks to redress. That is. is also rather limiting. my purpose is not to propose a conception of Indonesia as a country in which a culture of vio- lence prevails. but can be both expressed and contested through the body’s capacity to both inflict and withstand physical violence.

Training in martial arts is common practice among these groups. A view of the authority of the state as a bounded and territorial entity thus frames his reflections on ‘the nature and limits of state power’ (2012b: 288) in Indonesia. ‘while government institutions are important. promoting the values of the New Order. and which purport to provide security for the communities they claim to represent. and serves to reinscribe the state as an entity existing over and above society in his analysis. Yet accompanying democratization and the consolidation of political democracy has been the growth of citizen militia groups that now proliferate throughout the country. There is no doubting the cogency of his account of these groups in Indonesia.Introduction 19 Beyond the Limits of the State Following the fall of the New Order regime in 1998. Indonesia has made an impressive transition from authoritarian rule to electoral government (Diamond 2010). it is telling that. in some cases. A conception of the state that I aim to show in sub- sequent chapters does not hold up to empirical scrutiny. and acting as informal enforcers for the regime (Ryter 2001). and. Many of these groups have their roots in the paramilitary organizations that achieved notoriety during Suharto’s rule. violent authority is suggestive of a model of the state that is disaggregated and certainly less coherent than he suggests in his analysis of these strong men and the militias that they lead. which are often implicated in communal violence (Brown and Wilson 2007). Pencak Silat is held to be a practice integral to the ethnic identities that these groups profess to champion. However. the state qualities of gov- ernance – that is. being able to define and enforce collectively binding decisions . Wilson is one of the most well-informed and insightful commentators on the phenomenon of citizen militias in Indonesia. Ethnicity. As Christian Lund has argued. religion and nationalism all find an outlet in these groups. [and] reframed as obe- dient and loyal youth (pemuda) within a nationalistic and militaristic patriar- chy’ (Wilson 2012a: 131). despite arguing against the assumption of coherent state authority. and which were utilized as a means of contain- ing and channelling the ‘youth’. The young men recruited into these militias were thus ‘reintegrated in the hegemonic masculinity of the state. and indeed elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Yet Wilson’s ethnography of forms of localized. he conceptualizes the con- temporary presence of these militias as ‘testing the boundaries of the state’ (2012b). and what he sees as the limitations of democratic transition and the inability of the state to monopolize force as explanations for their pop- ularity (Wilson 2012b: 289–290). Wilson writes that under the New Order the ‘strong men’ that led these groups ‘were increas- ingly institutionalized within state created bodies’ such as Pemuda Pancasila (Wilson 2012a: 130).

Davis 2010. As such. can be traced to the Weberian character- ization of the modern state as a unique form of political association. Hansen and Stepputat 2005. ‘public authority becomes the amalgamated result of the exercise of power by a variety of local institutions and the imposition of external institu- tions. A political field in which violence. neighbourhood security groups. Jaffe 2013. In a similar vein. Unique in the sense that it is ‘a form of human community that (successfully) lays claim to the monopoly of legitimate physical violence within a particular territory – and this idea of “territory” is an essential defining feature’ (Weber 1946: 78. private security companies. militia groups. I think we might see this as less an analytical failing. I reach similar conclusions to these scholars about the exercise of authority in Indonesia. a transfixion that impedes the ability to see beyond the image of the state as a coherent and uniform authority to the actu- ality of the practices of its multiple parts (2001: 15–16). by means of an examination of forms of violence. it is the interplay between the various local and government institutions that holds my attention here.20 Introduction on members of society – are not exclusively nested in these institutions’. In the ensuing chapters. Krahmann 2009. and more an indication of just how insidious a conception the notion of the bounded and central state actually is in our thinking. spiritual knowledge and conceptions of social order as everyday practices through which authority is contested. is a culturally sanctioned act constitutive . Lund 2011. An ever-burgeoning literature points to the problems inherent in assuming a ready correspondence between territoriality and the sovereign authority of states in much of the contemporary world (for example Agnew 2003. Sidaway 2003). Humphrey 2004. community organizations. The wide- spread presence of non-state or irregular armed forces – criminal networks. both implied and enacted. This is evident in the conceptual slippage in the work of those such as Wilson. Gazit 2009). vigilantes. That is. albeit via a somewhat different journey. for thinking about forms of power and authority in Indonesia and beyond. As I aim to show with regard to Indonesia. a writer obviously aware of the shortcomings of Weberian models of statehood. conjugated with the idea of a state’ (Lund 2006: 685–686). emphasis in original). However. paramilitaries and so on – able to exercise violence with relative impunity undermines the idea of the sovereign state as the sole legitimate source of coercive authority (Hansen 2006. This is a conceptual blind spot that. according to Migdal. and relations between the state and its citizenry in Indonesia are mediated. and the ways in which the idea of the state as an entity in its own right existing over and above society (Mitchell 1991: 90) is manifest through congeries of conflicting and consensual interests. attaching too much significance to the authority of the state is symptomatic of being ‘mesmerized by the power of the state’ (Migdal 2001: 53).

for many years the main organization to rival the claims of ipsi to administer Pencak Silat. Cianjur. and continues to be. has long been. Obviously a trade-off has to be made between the long-term association with a locality that is a consequence of time spent in participant-observation in a . During my fieldwork in Indonesia I lived with and trained with a number of teachers in Jakarta. This multi-sited – and indeed multi-layered – ethnography at both national and regional levels was facilitated through previous association with teachers and players in Indonesia. and carried out over a seventeen-month period from August 2002 through to December 2003 in West Java and Jakarta.Introduction 21 of social forms. and from October 2010 to April 2011. and two further visits to Jakarta in June and December 2013. and in both Jakarta and West Java Pencak Silat is strongly linked to ethnicity. and to West Java in 1998 looking at sys- tems of knowledge transmission in Pencak Silat. The recent history of the develop- ment of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (ipsi) under the New Order is centred upon Jakarta. and June to December 2011 in Jakarta and West Java. the tension between traditional and modern modes of practice of Pencak Silat. in its various modalities. The Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (ppsi). is based in West Java. Prior to the periods of extended ethnography. a ‘technology of power’. Subsequent fieldwork. A dangerous and volatile social milieu in which the practice of Pencak Silat. The choice to focus fieldwork primarily on West Java and Jakarta was made because of the proliferation of Pencak Silat in these areas. West Java is com- monly held to be one of the birthplaces of the art. was conducted during two visits spread over two months in 2007 to West Java. the national organization responsible for the admin- istration of Pencak Silat in Indonesia. and Cimande in West Java. and Bandung. the decision was made to focus ethno- graphic attention on the practice and administration of Pencak Silat in these two areas. In Jakarta I spent time with the members of the governing council of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association. and with their counterparts at regional branches of the organization in Bandung and Cianjur. and the governing body of the organization is based there. and between ethnic and national identity associated with these different modes of practice. which informs the argument. I had conducted short research trips to West Sumatra for two months in 1996. With these factors in mind. has been keenly felt in West Java. Practicalities of Research The main body of fieldwork for this book was multi-sited. Historically.

the archive at the National Library in Jakarta. Through the use of life histories and personal biographies. administrators. gen- erative potential is subjugated to the desire to achieve homogeneity of practice. social and political elite that sponsor and promote the art. the home . and members of the military. Following Suharto’s rise to power such debates became less important as the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association increasingly came to reflect the ideological imperatives of the regime and focus on the necessity to displace and incorporate alternate sites of authority to its own. driven by the ideological imperatives of the ipsi leadership. and the elicitation of data via shorter-term interactions. and Pikiran Rakyat in Bandung. and the archives of the periodicals Tempo and Kompas in Jakarta. places. many interviews were conducted with both ‘traditional- ist’ and ‘modernist’ Pencak Silat teachers and players. Cianjur. Conceptually. Drawing anal- ogously on David Sudnow’s seminal account of learning how to play improvia- tional jazz. has fundamentally transformed the peda- gogical principles through which knowledge transmission takes place in the art. Chapter 2 introduces the reader to the practice and pedagogy of Pencak Silat amongst the Sundanese in West Java. previous association with the people. Chapter 1 traces the linkages between the coalescence of nationalist consciousness in Indonesia and the emergence of organized Pencak Silat schools at the begin- ning of the twentieth century. Extensive use was also made of the organizational archives of ipsi in Jakarta. I consider the role of key Pencak Silat players in the war for Independence against the Dutch.22 Introduction bounded field site. I show how the standardization of Pencak Silat. Practically. Chapter 3 is an account of informal networks of authority centred upon the practice and propagation of Pencak Silat in the village of Cimande. In addition to training with Pencak Silat teachers in Cimande. I examine the post-independence debate over national culture through the prism of the desire to consolidate a national standard practice for Pencak Silat. and issues involved went some way to overcome the dangers of being spread too thin on the ground. I argue that in the institutionalized instruction propagated by ipsi. Bandung and Jakarta. and the involvement of these figures in the eventual formation of administrative bodies to oversee the national development of the art. the boundaries of my ‘research imaginary’ (Marcus 1998: 11) were defined by the practice of Pencak Silat and the forms of sociality that have given rise to the art. I show how skill acquisition in traditional Pencak Silat is a highly structured process that proceeds from the mastery of certain generic princi- ples. and compares the instruction of the art in Sunda with the art as practised under the auspices of ipsi. manag- ers.

In the final chapter I examine in greater depth a political ontology of power understood as a relational and transient phenomenon. and the ways in which it is embodied and transmitted. but because they constitute alternate sites of potentially subversive authority. and the . state aligned modes of Pencak Silat not because they are less ‘rational’. nationalist martial art schools. as the inheritors of the legacy of Cimande Pencak Silat. Within ipsi. the forms of knowledge that comprise the techniques of spiritual warfare are difficult to disaffirm. Technologies of spiri- tual combat are eschewed in modernist. I examine networks of patron- age and linkages to the military elite. and the means through which the elders come to be recognized as efficacious social entities. they are denied coevality with modern modes of practice in an attempt to dis- empower potential sites of resistance to and subversion of state authority. modes of Pencak Silat practice associated with ethnicity are assigned to a traditional past and subjugated to the hegemonic practice of the ‘modern’. I examine conceptions of extended agency. work to transform potential threats to the community and enact the agency of the ancestors. and adumbrate continuities in the different logics that inform representations and modes of practice of the art at local and national levels. However. national art. the lived reality of the art works to somatically ground Sundanese ethnicity. During the period of New Order rule these knowledge prac- tices were reconfigured and citizenship and fealty to the state were actively promoted in modernistic. I argue that modes of disciplinary practice rooted in ascetic transformation draw into question the idea of transformations in mod- ern forms of power associated with the body as a bio-political entity. and the ways that Pencak Silat was con- stituted as an object of knowledge in nationalist discourse in accordance with New Order historiographical convention. I examine the authority of contemporary ‘men of prowess’ in Indonesian society.Introduction 23 of one of the oldest styles of Pencak Silat. I explore the ways in which the elders in Cimande. Instead. I explore the kinship relations that define the current generation of descendants in Cimande village as heirs to the knowledge of the art. The New Order cultural project is examined as it was refracted through the management and administration of Pencak Silat. and in need of constant display if it is to endure. I examine processes of democratization in ipsi post New Order. The possession of ‘inner knowl- edge’ may be demonstrated publicly in displays of the supernatural abilities it is said to confer. In West Java. Chapter 4 provides an organizational analysis of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association during the New Order period. In doing so I explore the broader implications of conceptions of spiritual authority from the perspec- tive of the ontological force of their disclosure. Chapter 5 examines ‘inner knowledge’ associated with Pencak Silat.

and its practical use as an aspect of spiritual warfare associated with Pencak Silat.24 Introduction degree to which their legitimacy is linked to perceptions of efficacy and their ability to provide some degree of security for their followers. as a form of political action. the various modalities of Pencak Silat assume prominence in a field of social relations as forms of capital intrinsic to the sovereign struggle for author- ity. Claims to authority are contested. As such. I conclude that violence in Indonesia. . expresses a sovereign right to power that has never been completely appropriated by centralized government. Scrutinizing the discursive construction of invulnerability. and the dynamics of power enacted and made visible through the practice of the art.

chapter 1

From Out of the Shadows


On the eastern outskirts of the teeming sprawl of Jakarta, the capital city of
Indonesia, stand the headquarters of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association
(ipsi). The building, the Padepokan Nasional, is the centre for the administra-
tion and development of Pencak Silat in Indonesia. It is an imposing complex
standing in some five and a half hectares of land donated by the first lady of
the New Order, Ibu Tien Suharto. It boasts a 3000 seat stadium, a hotel develop-
ment for visiting guests and athletes, covered training areas, a gym, library
and museum, function rooms, and suites of offices. The construction of the
Padepokan was the culmination of the extraordinary story of the growth and
development of ipsi and Pencak Silat. Its official opening by President Suharto
in 1997 was a crowning moment in the history of ipsi and hailed as definitive
for the future of the art. The Padepokan would become the focus of national
and international development of Pencak Silat, its standardization and propa-
gation. From its inception, ipsi has presided over the transformation of Pencak
Silat from a regional practice associated with ethnicity and local performance
traditions to an international competitor sport with official representation in
forty-nine countries. Pencak Silat had, in the catch phrase coined by Eddie
Nalapraya, ipsi chairman from 1981 until 2003, truly ‘gone international’. In a
similar vein to Taekwondo and Judo, ipsi had long harboured ambitions for
the inclusion of Pencak Silat in the Olympics (Kompas 28 May 1996), and with
the inclusion of the art in the South East Asian Games in Jakarta 1987, and
for the first time as a demonstration sport at the Asian games in Korea in 2002,
this dream was no longer so far fetched as it may once have seemed. Pencak
Silat had indeed come a long way from its humble beginnings as a village art.
In this chapter I examine the biographies of some of those involved in the
inception of ipsi. The details of their lives are informative for what they say
about the ideals and personal convictions of the characters that shaped ipsi in
its infancy and beyond (see Denzin 1989: 25–28). I proceed by way of an histori-
cal account of the links between Pencak Silat schools and the development of
nationalist movements within the archipelago. I look briefly at the role of
prominent Pencak Silat players in the struggle for Independence against the
Dutch, and how these figures went on to form the first regulatory bodies for the
administration of the art. I examine conceptions of national culture, kebuday-
aan bangsa, in relation to Pencak Silat, and the quest to establish the art at a

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2015 | doi 10.1163/9789004289352_003

26 chapter 1

national level. Finally, I consider the changing nature of ipsi under the leader-
ship of military personnel close to Suharto from the beginning of the 1970s,
and the formative effect of the New Order cultural project on the art. Under
the patronage of the New Order political and military elite ipsi came to be far
more closely aligned with the ideological imperatives of the regime. Once
established as the official representative body for the art at a national level
under Suharto, the organization worked to isolate sites of authority seen as
contradictory to the image of a centralized and uniform state. New modalities
of Pencak Silat, stripped of the potentially subversive technologies of spiritual
warfare associated with the practice of the art, were cultivated as part of a ‘civi-
lizing process’ (Elias 2000) that sought to reconstitute the art as a national
sport. This, I argue, should be seen as recognition of the continued social and
political relevance of these technologies, and not simply as an effacement of
‘pre-modern’ forms of authority in the face of increasing rationalization and
more secular forms of social organization.

Bapak Wongsonegoro and the ‘Beautiful Endevaour’

At the first conference of the newly formed national sports union in early 1948,
amidst the nationalist fervour that gripped the nascent Indonesian Republic, a
decision was taken to appoint a committee to oversee the creation of a national
union for the practice of Indonesian martial arts. The All Indonesia Pentjak
Association (Ikatan Pentjak Seluruh Indonesia), as the organization was then
known, was founded in Solo, east Java, on 18 May 1948, under the leadership of
Bapak Wongsonegoro (pbipsi 1953: 10). An important figure in the colonial
administration, Wongsonegoro had become Regent (bupati) of Sragen in Java
in 1939, and was later appointed Deputy Resident of Semarang, before assum-
ing the position of Resident in the post-colonial government after the declara-
tion of independence on 17 August 1945. He played a pivotal role in the
negotiations with the Japanese and allied forces in the city, securing a substan-
tial amount of arms for the revolutionary forces in the area (see Anderson
1972b). On 12 October 1945 he was appointed governor of Central Java, in the
same year heading the regional branch of the national committee (Komite
Nasional Daerah) responsible for overseeing the establishment of the
Indonesian state. As a member of the body preparing for Indonesian indepen-
dence (the bpupki, Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia,
see Reid 1974: 19–21), he sat on the sub-committee convened to formulate the
statutory legislation for the fledgling state (Maskan 2002: 17). In newly inde-
pendent Indonesia he took up a cabinet posting, serving first as Minister for

From Out Of The Shadows 27

Internal Affairs, then, in 1952, moving to the portfolio of Education, Teaching
and Culture1 (Maskan 2002: 15–27).
Wongsonegoro’s father was born in Solo in 1897, and had served in the court
of Pakubuwono X in Surakarta. His mother was of royal descent, a great grand-
child of Mangkunegoro II, and his upbringing epitomized that of the priyayi,
the nobility and members of the court that made up much of the administra-
tive corps in the Dutch colonial administration (Woodward 1989: 2). Raised in
close proximity to the court of Surakarta, he was steeped in the practices of the
palace from an early age (Maskan 2002: 5), a highly ceremonial world in which
the mystically inclined values of kejawen2 and ‘high’ Javanese culture prevailed
(Pemberton 1994: 70). He later became a founding member of the Indonesian
Congressional Body for Mysticism (bkki, Badan Kongres Kebatinan Indonesia).
Like many prominent figures in the newly independent Indonesian Republic,
Wongsonegoro had passed through the Dutch education system. He attended
the els (Europeeshe Lagere School, the European Lower school) and mulo
(Meer Uitgebreid Lagere Onderwijs, More Advanced Elementary Education), an
institution created in 1914 for wealthy Indonesians, Chinese and Europeans
that continued on from primary school education (Ricklefs 2001: 201). He con-
tinued his education at the Rechts school in Jakarta, from where he graduated
in 1917, returning to gain a Masters degree in 1929 (Maskan 2002: 6–7).
His passion for traditional Javanese culture included the study of Pencak
Silat, or pentjak as the art was known in Java at this time. While continuing his

1 The forerunner to which was the Ministry for teaching (Menteri Pengajaran) and was formed
on 19 August 1945, two days after the unilateral declaration of independence by Sukarno.
It became the Ministry of Education, Teaching and Culture (Pendidikan, Pengajaran dan
Kebudayaan Kementarian, pp dan K) in 1948, until being again reformed in 1960. In 1960 it
was divided into several departments, the Department for Basic Education and Culture
(Departemen Pedidikan Dasar dan Kebudayaan, pd dan K), the department for tertiary
schools and science (Departemen Perguruan Tinggi dan Ilmu Pengetahuan, ptip), and the
department of sports (Departemen Olahraga, Depora). In 1966 these three departments were
again collapsed, their remits coming under one cabinet office administered by the depart-
ment of education and culture (Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, depdikbud, see
Departemen Pendidikan dan kebudayaan 1996). Post New Order, under the government of
Abdurrahman Wahid the department of culture was moved from the remit of education to
the Ministry for Tourism in the newly formed department of culture and tourism (Departemen
Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata). The department of education is now an entity in its own right.
This reorganization is revealing in what is says about the changing role of culture in the post
New Order political landscape.
2 Kejawen, or ‘Javanism’, is a term that encompasses a complex of practices, values and ideals
that are associated with theocratic conceptions of state in Java (Woodward 1989; see also
Koentjaraningrat 1985: 316–445; Mulder 1989: 1–20).

28 chapter 1

education in Jakarta he continued his study of the art under the tutelage of
Bang Sabeni in Tanah Abang (Maskan 2002: 5), a master of styles practised in
Jakarta, and a champion of some renown (Saputra and Sjaffie 2002: 14). Active
among the youth movements, in 1915 Wongsonegoro was one of the co-founders
of the youth organization Tri Koro Darmo (Jv. Three Noble Aims).3 While ini-
tially membership of Tri Koro Darmo was restricted to Javanese and Madurese,
in 1918 the organization changed its name to Jong Java (young Java) and opened
its doors to those who wished to join from Sunda, Bali and Lombok (Suryadinata
1998: 50–54). In 1920 he became head of the Solo branch of Jong Java. In 1924 he
also became the head of the Solo branch of ‘Beautiful Endeavour’, Budi Utomo,
an organization founded in 1908 by a group of students at stovia (School tot
Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen), the medical school in Jakarta. The member-
ship of Budi Utomo was predominantly Javanese, one of its stated aims being
the promotion of Javanese culture. The organization soon spread beyond the
student body to become a popular youth organization, promoting the values of
Indonesian nationalism, albeit refracted through a Javanese lens.4
In many ways Wongsonegoro exemplified the values and ideals of the
Javanese priyayi class around which particular strands of Indonesian national-
ist discourse had begun to coalesce in the early twentieth century (Ricklefs
2001: 163–170). A discourse in which emphasis was laid upon the pre-eminence
of Javanese culture and the importance of education as an ideal foundation
from which to foster a sense of national self-awareness. Reforms to the educa-
tion system by the Dutch administration at the beginning of the twentieth
century, aimed at the instruction of native administrators, contributed to the
emergence of a politically-aware elite around which growing opposition to
the Colonial state began to gather. Java was the focus for these movements
(Anderson 1998: 77–104). It is during this period of emergent nationalisms that
Pencak Silat groups became increasingly politicized.

Outlaws and Bandits

Prior to the reinvention of Pencak Silat in nationalist discourse as an illustrious
warrior art, its image had been somewhat ambiguous (c.f. Rashid 1990).

3 The aims being sakti, budi and bakti, which can be glossed as ‘spiritual potency’, ‘character’
and ‘devotion’.
4 Suryadinata notes that its origins as a student organization have led some to hold Budi Utomo
as the first Indonesian youth organization, although others award this distinction to Tri Koro
Dharmo, although this was short-lived as a student organization (1998: 51).

From Out Of The Shadows 29

Accomplished exponents, or jago (‘champion’, literally ‘fighting cock’), were
more likely to be given to brigandry than loftier social endeavours.5 Skilled in
martial arts, such types were often held to be invulnerable (Onghokham 1984:
336, Wessing 1978: 83–85), an ability granted through the possession of spiri-
tual knowledge or talisman (jimat). Often jago were outlaws given to robbery
and extortion. Involved in cattle rustling, theft and the trafficking of stolen
goods, the jago was a well-known figure in the criminal community. Mochtar
Lubis, in his moving story ‘The Outlaw’, or ‘Bromocorah’ (1983), gives an account
of such a character, a skilled Pencak Silat fighter, who attempts to turn away
from a life of crime and find more socially acceptable work. Lubis claims the
story is based upon the life of a man he met in jail whilst he was incarcerated
as a political prisoner by the Suharto government. His portrayal of the bromo-
corah is that of an isolated individual, a man constantly living with the possi-
bility of being challenged to single-handed combat to the death by others of
his kind. Marginalized by his reputation as a brigand, he is unable to find an
honest means of earning a living, and returns resignedly to the violent world of
life in the shadows.
Protectionism was, however, one of the reasons that jago were both feared
and tolerated, as they undertook to safeguard their neighbourhoods from incur-
sion by others of similar criminal intent (Schulte Nordholt 1991, see also Cribb
1991: 29–31). Schulte Nordholt notes that for regional rulers in pre-
colonial Java the jago ‘was the prime instrument to reinforce their grip on the
district’ over which they held sway (1991: 76). With the establishment of colonial
rule in Java and the heavy demands placed upon all levels of society, new oppor-
tunities presented themselves for those able to monopolize personal connec-
tions to authority, build on threats of intimidation, violence, and the status
afforded through the possession of supernatural abilities. With the instigation of
direct colonial authority came the creation of a native civil service, the Pangreh
Praja (‘rulers of the realm’). Local regents, while maintaining their prestige in
relation to their subjects, were incorporated into an increasingly bureaucratic
administrative structure in which they became dependent on their colonial
overlords for authority (Sutherland 1979: 1–18). Through the creation of this
mainly urban-based bureaucracy, focusing as it did upon the higher echelons of
the local social hierarchies, the Dutch, in effect, opened up an administrative
void in rural areas. The absence of any formal jurisdictional structure through
which to implement colonial authority in the regencies left ample opportunities
for political brokerage (Onghokham 2003). It was an atmosphere in which the

5 Other terms such jawara, lenggaong, and garong were also used for these outlaw types, and
in Sumatra the term parèwa is used (see Kartodirdjo 1984: 8; Anderson 1972: 8).

the Dutch colonial administration. Friction between Rekso Roemakso and the Kong Sing. Kartodirdjo 1973: 71). ‘vigilant guard’ (Jv. Rekso Roemekso) in the Lawean dis- trict of Solo. The roles of the kyai. ulama and jago often overlapped. which Kartodirdjo attributes to the use of ‘this popular sport…as a screen to cover the chief training of partisans in martial skill’ (1966: 194–195). the role of the jago was also poten- tially subversive. Yet. the pesantren (Kartodirdjo 1966: 56. Training Schools for Native Officials) were established by the Colonial administration for just this purpose. increasingly aware of the growing undercur- rent of nationalist sentiment. the scholar and Advisor on Colonial and Arabian Affairs to the colonial authorities. led by a graduate of osvia. The organization became Sarekat Islam. It was common practice for santri (religious students in the pesantren) to journey from school to school in search of instruction from famous kyai (religious teacher) or ulama (Islamic scholar.30 chapter 1 informal networks of jago thrived. Their activities maintained order in their own communities through agreements and alliances with jago in other territories. with their relative autonomy and reputation for being invulnera- ble leading Snouck Hurgronje. had led to street fighting between the two groups. and being a member of a pesantren demanded obedi- ence to ones teacher that cut across ties of kinship and loyalty outside of the school (Kartodirdjo 1973: 7). see also Geertz 1976: 156–158). With the advent in 1912 of the organization Sarekat Islam (Islamic Union) in Surakarta. at the beginning of the twentieth century to advise the exile of the most well-known among them (Onghokham 1984: 328). the centre of open rebellion against the Dutch colonial authorities (Kartodirdjo 1973: 70). Towards the end of the nine- teenth century in West Java there was an intensification of training in pentjak. redefining itself with a formal statute as a commercial cooperative (Shiraishi 1990: 38–40). Pentjak was also part of a young man’s education in the Islamic schools. Sarekat Islam had been born out of a ‘night watch’ (ronda) organization. This provided religious leaders with a solid power base amongst the rural population. thus changing its legal status in order to avoid dissolution by the authorities. The strong bond between guru and murid (pupil) made possible the transformation of religious schools into centres of religious revival and. increased its surveillance activities on potential agitators and activists. a Chinese mutual aid association. occasionally.6 Tjokroaminoto (Ricklefs 2001: 210). . It was the official interest and police investigation into these clashes that led to the renaming of Rekso Roemakso. They thus helped to perpetuate the colonial order. educating the modern Indonesian priyayi class (Ricklefs 2001: 201–203). The ronda activities of Rekso Roemakso however. remained 6 osvia (Opleidingscholen voor Inlandsche Ambtenaren.

Thus. It seems reason- able to assume that.000 (Shiraishi 1990: 50). The pki seemed to be particularly astute in the use of existing networks of jago and. the pki (Partai Komunis Indonesia). kecer). who were concerned over the growing size of his martial arts group. 8 Sedulur Tunggal Kecer can be glossed as ‘the fraternity of initiates’. it was declared a separate province in 2000. In Surabaya in 1903. wargo pangarso) and ‘guard members’ (Jv. the members recruited to fight in these battles would have been proficient martial artists. and the activities of Sarakat Islam in 1913 exposed the informal networks of the criminal underworld to nationalist sentiment and opposition to Dutch rule.7 Central Java and Sumatra. with forty-eight branches and a membership of over 200. see also Sutherland 1979: 95). and Islamic leaders. Formerly part of West Java. The employment of jago proved opportune in a hostile political landscape as tensions grew between the Indonesian Communist Party. a ‘group leader’ (Jv. tunggal) of the family (Jv. as Kartodirdjo (1984) refers to these groups. but at the request of the Dutch police. si also relied upon the recruitment of local jago to meet security needs. and borders Jakarta. began to teach pentjak under the name Sedulur Tunggal Kecer Langen Mardi Hardjo. . The pki also drew upon gang networks in its formation of a power base. as the basis for revolutionary cadres in Java. By the beginning of 1913. ‘self-defence fraternities’. the ‘promise of social justice through revolu- tion [struck] a chord not only with messianic inclinations but also with the ethos of social gangsterism’ (1991: 29–31. he came under the scrutiny of the colonial authorities. said to reside in the gravesites where they often trained secretly at night (Kartodirdjo 1984: 18–19). Pencak Silat groups. a sergeant major in the city police force. given the proliferation of martial art groups and teachers in Surakarta and Surabaya. referring to the unity (Jv. and their association with ancestral spirits. Sarekat Islam had grown exponentially. In the Jakarta area. from among the member- ship in each neighbourhood (kampung).8 With the increasing popularity of his teaching activities. and as Cribb notes. The prowess of these figures was attributed to their possession of jimat. As the organization grew. the local branch of si had similarly first established itself as a ronda. local jago. and frequently clashed with Chinese gangs in the city. dulur) who have undergone the initiation (Jv. having studied with many teachers in Banten. and even the ancestors were co-opted into the revolutionary cause.From Out Of The Shadows 31 central to Sarekat Islam. he was transferred to 7 Banten is the most western province in Java. He took up a position in the Railroad Service. In Surabaya. wargo roemakso) were appointed. Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo. These were respon- sible for security of the organization and fought the frequent street battles that the si membership became involved in.

or the ‘fraternal’ relations between mem- bers. 25 February 2003. was founded by a student of Munandar. In 1917 he changed the name of the school to Persaudaraan Setia Hati. the latter aligned with the Communist Party and renamed the Sarekat Rakyat (People’s Union) in 1923 (Shiraishi 1990: 216–220. Pentjak Organisatie. was focused towards instruction in the pesantren. headed by a former leader of Sarekat Rakyat. it also provided a means with which to safeguard its membership in the increasingly factionalized world of Javanese politics in the 1920s. The growing ideological animosity between Sarekat Islam and the Indonesian Communist Party led to a split within si into ‘white’ branches and ‘red’ branches. For good biographical accounts of the interaction between many local lenggaong and Pencak Silat groups and the pki. and his skills were in great demand amongst civil servants and students studying at both the Dutch osvia and mulo schools (see Maryono 1998: 72–75). and affiliated to the Indonesian Islamic Union Party10 (psii. The perguruan Setia Hati Pilang Bangau. 25 February 2003. Hardjo Oetomo. in Jakarta. which later became Persaudaraan Setia Hati Teratai. and affiliated to Sarekat Islam. former Chairman of Persaudaraan Setia Hati Teratai. This however did nothing to curtail his instruction of pentjak. Munandar. Sarekat Rakyat. .32 chapter 1 the city of Madiun. the emphasis being upon persaudaraan. Hardjo Oetomo was later imprisoned by the Dutch authorities for his involvement in the attempted raid on Cipinang jail during the failed communist uprising of 1926 9 Interview with Bapak Harsoyo. with the growing political awareness of its membership. broke away from Soerodiwirjo after becoming incensed over him teaching a Dutch civil servant. the fraternity became increasingly for- malized and politicized. and to those who had been initiated – was stressed and political and religious differences were subordinated to the interests of the group. Loyalty – to the fraternity. While. Ricklefs 2001: 221). Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia). The rifts within Pesaudaraan Setia Hati led to the establishment of a num- ber of splinter groups by former pupils of Soerodiwirjo. and its diverse membership remained focused upon the guru. Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo.9 However. amongst the priyayi. Soedjai. pentjak was deeply rooted in and epitomized the ideals of Javanese culture. After providing a public demonstration of pentjak in the town square his reputation grew. and in Madiun he continued to head a small group of students under the name Joyo Gendilo Cipto Mulyo. At this time the group had yet to establish an official statute or rules of association. 10 Interview with Bapak Harsoyo in Jakarta. and the role of these figures in the revolutionary struggle see Kartodirdjo (1984) and Lucas (1984). to the guru. Another former pupil.

accomplished in all aspects of practice. in which the techniques of self-defense are exalted. the Indische Partij. or ‘Garden of Pupils’. Etymological supposition on the origins of the term abound. Whatever the origins of the term. glossed as ‘one who hears’). fealty and obedience to the pendekar12 and ‘familial loyalty’ (saudara kandung) to fellow students (Djoemali 1958: 28). swashbuckler’ (1932: 241). Spreading beyond the city of its birth. Lombard regards the universe of Pencak Silat as a world of contestation. and other members of the school were arrested and exiled for their involvement in the attack. Munandar also taught many members of Taman Siswa. the ideal of the pendekar is akin to the archetype of the ‘chevalier errant’ (1977: 33–34). Cordes (1990) notes other explanations for the term amongst the Minangkabau of West Sumatra. implying advance knowledge of malign intentions towards one’s person. Pendekar in this account is said to be derived from the verb menengar (from the root dengar. and stayed there from 1913–1919. and by inference to garak and the possession of tenaga batin (inner energy). an ambiguous term. in nationalist discourse . 12 Pendekar is a term used in reference to a high level exponent of the art of Pencak Silat. for a time. and was widely supported by most nationalist orga- nizations (Tsuchiya 1975: 164). giving pendengar in Indonesian.From Out Of The Shadows 33 (Maryono 1998: 74–75. Following Wilkinson (1932) Cordes asso- ciates andeka with the supernatural power attributed to a king or chieftain that was said to protect them from a sudden attack. Wilkinson glosses the term pendekar as ‘the leader of a charge. who. founded the Indonesian nationalist organization. The first is linked to the acquisition of garak. the noun being formed by the addition of the prefix pe. In 1932 this devotion to the Indonesian nation was not 11 Surjaningrat was exiled to the Netherlands for his political activities. see also Cribb 1991: 32). along with Ernest Douwes Dekker and Tjipto Mangunkusumo. drawing a comparison between the figure of the pendekar and the jago. One who upholds the rights of the feeble and the oppressed. which may be linked to the pre-cognitive ability the penda- kar is said to possess. The second theory links the term to the Malay word andeka. one of the most common theories being that it is a conjunction of the words pandai (able. Among the pledges taken was a promise of devotion (bakti) to the Indonesian nation. this due to the synonymous use of the term pandeka in Minangkabau dialect. by 1932 Taman Siswa numbered some 166 schools and 11. an educational movement set up in Yogyakarta in 1922 by Suwardi Surjaningrat.000 pupils (Ricklefs 2001: 222). clever) and akal (mind). enabling them to be aware of impending danger. In the same year Pentjak Taman Siswa began to formally teach under the auspices of the organization in Java. fighter. On joining new members took an oath (janji or sumpah).11 The aim of Taman Siswa was the creation of an indigenous education system based upon the combination of the principles of a modern. European style education with the values of ‘high’ Javanese culture (see Mcvey 1967). was prohibited from teaching by the colonial authorities (Maryono 1998: 75–78). Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo also came under suspicion and.

In West Java there were two branches of the Budi Utomo. a former head of the Jakarta branch of Paguyuban Pasundan. and. It was often expressed to me by older teachers. As a protégé of Douwes Dekker. dissatisfaction with Budi Utomo helped provide the impetus for the founding of an alternative to the Javanese organisation in 1914. the first political party in the Dutch East Indies to call for independence from Netherlands and rejection of the tyranny of colonial domination. 1978: 70). with some of its leadership advocating the development of a distinctly Sundanese nationalism. Amongst the aims of Paguyuban Pasundan was the promotion of Sundanese culture (Ekadjati et al. 1). Dekker had a close relationship with the leaders of Sarekat Islam in Bandung. In 1934. Paguyuban Pasundan (Sundanese Association). the Wayang Kulit (Wilson 1993: 22–23. a ‘paragon of spirituality’ (Chambers and Draeger 1978: 16). an organi- zation for the promotion and practice of Sundanese penca. There were few ‘real’ (betul betul) pendekar left. One of Ema Bratukusumah’s teachers was Bang Sabeni. founded on the values and traditions of the Sundanese people (1978: 80–84). . In west Java. who were less inclined to countenance outright rejection of the colonial order (Shiraishi 1990: 57–64). as he was referred to in penca circles. 14 Douwes Dekker. see also de Grave 2000b). and the values per- sonified by the heroes of the epics of the characteristically Javanese shadow plays. and this was an indication of the degradation of the prac- tice and understanding of the higher levels of Pencak Silat. This was a source of some friction between the two groups and even within Budi Utomo itself. one for members from Sunda. founded Sekar Pakuan. therefore. whose radicalism and challenge to Dutch colonial authority led them into conflict with the main si leadership. Ema Bratukusumah. 13 Ian Wilson notes that the motto of the organization was ‘train. the oath was only taken after a probationary period during which the character and allegiance of the prospective member was assessed (Djoemali 1958: 29). the other for those from east and central Java (1978: 83). While the bulk of the Indische Partij were Eurasian. a Eurasian.34 chapter 1 something to be professed publicly for fear of reprisal from the colonial author- ities. was the driving force behind the foundation of the Indische Partij in 1912. so one is brave in resisting the Dutch’ (2002: 201). Due to pressure from its membership it became increasingly political from 1918 onwards.14 it has come to be associated with an idealized conception of the noble and sagacious warrior. including senior members of the ipsi administration.13 A leading light amongst the Bandung intelligentsia since an early age Gan Ema. that the term seems to have lost some of its significance in recent years by virtue of its overuse and incorporation into ranking schemes as an indicator of a level of proficiency in modern perguruan. with whom Bapak Wongsonegoro had studied in Jakarta. of the mastery of a specific syllabus in a formal grading system. had apprenticed with a number of gurus. in Bandung (Fig.

the ‘original nature [of penca] remained unchanged. In 1946. . from the root kumpul.d. the Figure 1  Ema Bratakusumah (right) and Bapak Abo circa 1935 in Bandung Photo from the author’s collection 15 Interview with Bapak Aceng Sulaiman of Cimande Kampung Baru. where. 29 November 2003.. on the rebellion see Williams 1990). Gan Ema had coordinated the defence of the offices of the Revolutionary government in Bandung. 1). and was present at discussions held prior to the attempted Communist Party rebellion of 1926. Bandung.15 He was also the founder of the Bandung zoo.From Out Of The Shadows 35 he had been close to left-leaning members of nationalist movements. it would be suicide (Ekadjati n.: 3–6. Bratakusumah had counselled Sanusi against the uprising on the grounds that. at his instigation. gathering together a group of skilled penca players (tukang penca) to defend the Mayor’s building from Dutch forces (Fig. lessons in penca were obligatory for all employees! This was a time of burgeoning growth of large penca clubs or pakumpulan (S. leading one com- mentator of the period to note that new penca groups were springing up in the region ‘like mushrooms in rainy season’ (Djuchro 1960: 5). The writer goes on to state that these groups. to assemble or gather) in West Java. did not modify or revise the art in any way. while increasingly formalized. given the strength of the opposing forces. such as Muhamad Sanusi.

the other would surreptitiously teach Pencak Silat to a smaller group assembled at back of the house. Sekar Pakuan managed to escape censure of its activities due to the relationship that Ema Bratakusumah maintained with the colonial authorities. In Jakarta. 166). 17 From the root kaji.18 In Bandung. 171). the term. a shortening of the verb form mengaji. It was common practice for the guru and his assistant to lead recitals of between ten and twenty pupils. ‘ngaji’ is a Betawi colloquialism. whom he was able to convince of the benign nature of penca as a performance or dance tradition. training often took place late at night or other forms of subterfuge were employed to avoid the attention of the colonial authorities. A feature was a column on penca. one of its aims being the promotion of Sundanese culture. it was only the pengajian that was observable. 16 November 2003. It was not unusual for the guru to be well versed in both combative and scriptural knowledge. In 1937 in Bali the bwa (Budi Welas Asih. 10 December 2003. If the group were to come under the observation of the Dutch. Irwan Sjafi’ie in Jakarta. Pencak Silat training groups 16 The quote is taken from Kudjang. the Political Intelligence Service) reports noting that a ‘pentjak’ group was training its membership in techniques to enable them to confront the police (Poeze 1983: 489. in Bandung. often antagonistic to colonial rule. . One of the effects of colonial oppression was to drive the practice of combative arts underground. away from the prying eyes of the authorities (Gartenberg 2000: 90–91. or ‘compassionate endeavour’) was founded in Tabanan. 18 Interview with Bapak H. head of Daya Sunda and Secretary of ppsi.19 In other areas of West Java the Dutch were far more suspicious of such activities. instruction in both the spiritual and physical aspects of Pencak Silat was part of the bwa’s programme (Robinson 1995: 47–48). a weekly newspaper published in Sundanese language since the mid-fifties. In addi- tion to providing a cover for covert activities. cited in Maryono 1998: 76). While one of the two men led the recital. A nationalist organization for the promotion of coopera- tives and education. In reaction to this unwanted interest. or for their overt involvement in localized uprisings against the Dutch (Wilson 2002: 201). The fact that martial art groups. Pencak Silat groups came under increasing suspicion of either being used to conceal revolutionary activities (Robinson 1995: 91.36 chapter 1 spirit of the art remaining with the guru’16 (Djuchro 1960: 5). were becoming far more prolific did not go unnoticed by the Dutch administration.17 and Quranic recitals provided a good cover for learning Pencak Silat. to which Ema Bratakusumah often contributed. with pid (Politiek Inlichtingen Dienst. or guru ngaji. to recite or read the Quran. 19 Interview with Kang Adil Fatikusumah. religious instruction was often carried out through the agency of the religious teachers.

or peta (Tentara Sukarela Pembela Tanah Air) was created by the Japanese administration in 1943 (Sato 2010: 197). and training in Pencak Silat was a part of the combat training afforded the youths in these organizations. They also contributed to the proliferation of Pencak Silat organizations that . during the Japanese occupation. and many of these clubs in Bali formed the basis of revolutionary groups in the war for Independence (Robinson 1995: 87). and the resulting manual of instruction was the first such publication of a standardized system. Discipline in peta was said to be fierce.From Out Of The Shadows 37 provided a means for the physical and spiritual affirmation of a newly emerg- ing sense of national unity. and was popu- larized in Bali as a consequence of being taught in organizations formed by the Japanese during their occupation. In Pencak Silat they recognized a consubstantial tradition. Orchestrated by the Japanese. Other groups such as Barisan Pelopor (‘Vanguard Column’) were formed in 1944 (Ricklefs 2001: 256–258). including ilmu keke- balan. The work was coordinated by two exponents of Setia Hati. and other Japanese trained units provided a valuable cadre of experienced personnel for the formation of the revolutionary army. invulnerability. Indeed. on the island. the Japanese began to formulate plans for the defence of the occupied countries. consumed by an ardent militarism in the 1930s. As Robinson notes. The system was not. Probably the first official organization for the practice of Pencak Silat in Bali was Eka Sentosa Stiti (essti). founded in South Bali in Badung by a renowned master of the art. it originated in East and West Java. he was responsible for the prop- agation of the spiritual practices associated with the art. Made Regog. Barisan Pelopor. According to the accounts of current members of this school. although just how ‘Balinese’ these arts were is a moot point. With the war in the Pacific starting to turn against them. peta. had embraced karate to great effect as a means of disciplining and indoctrinating its youth in ‘traditional’ Japanese values (Hopkins 2007: 33–35). Part of this strat- egy was the recruitment of local populations to defend against the impending Allied invasion. The popularity of the art was actively cultivated by the activities of the Japanese following their occupation of the archipelago in 1942. Soegoro and Saksono. the Japanese administration’s emphasis on physical strength resonated powerfully with the ‘basic precepts of Balinese martial arts (Pencak Silat)’ (Robinson 1995: 87). Upon returning to Bali. Made Regog had studied Pencak Silat and kebatinan in West Java. essti changed its name to Kertha Wisesa in the seventies. the consensus among the Pencak Silat community in Denpasar today is that while the art practised there is characteristically Balinese. however. The ‘Homeland Voluntary Defence Force’. Japan. well received by practitioners in Java (Maryono 1998: 83–85). attempts were made to homogenize the techniques and methods taught as part of the peta programme.

. Personal. or Gabungan Pencak Mataram. or Persatuan Olahraga Republik Indonesia.38 chapter 1 were no longer based solely upon the principle of bakti. National horizons in these groups transcended allegiances given solely to a particular person or place. were from outside of central or east Java. and Soeria Atmadja. Sukowinadi of the perguruan Pentjak Mataram. was. and localized. organized by pori prior to the founding of ipsi. was founded by. was formed to oversee the preparation of the Indonesian pentjak association. intimate relationships between teacher and student. which at this time came under the auspices of the Ministry for Development and Youth. headed by Wongsonegoro. The first ipsi congress was held in 1950 in Yogyakarta (Fig. Present were representatives of the Ministry for Development and Youth. in 1947. and the Ministry of Education. or ipsi (Ikatan Pentjak Seluruh Indonesia). in part. and. which was formed in 1938. Given the formal education and political activism of many of its members. Dr Sahar from Sumatra. 20 pori. was born. 21 Entitled the ‘Committee for the Preparation of the Union of Indonesian Pentjak’ (Panitya Persiapan Persatuan Pentjak Indonesia). the Indonesian Sport Union. was formed in 1946. or devotion to the guru. gapensi (Gabungan Pencak Seluruh Indonesia) was founded by Mohamed Djoemali. a committee. These more formally organized groups were increasingly orien- tated towards a common goal: the establishment of an Indonesian Republic.22 and the meeting in Solo. Other representative organi- zations had in recent years sprung up in Java. 22 In 1943 in Yogyakarta the organization gapema. it is little surprise that the majority of the first governing board of ipsi was from the perguruan Setia Hati. among others. Both the progressive Javanese nationalism of the priyayi and the more radical revolutionism of the pki required a disciplinary framework that training in Pencak Silat was able to provide. Of the members who formed the first governing board (pengurus besar). Revolution and Revelation: Pencak Silat as National Heritage At the Indonesian Sports Association Conference20 (pori) held in Solo at the beginning of 1948. to address the problem of these competing groups.21 On 18 May of the same year the All Indonesia Pentjak Association. See Maryono (1998: 87–103) for a detailed historical account of the parties involved in the founding of ipsi. Wongsonegoro became the Chairman (Ketua Umum) of the newly formed organization. from west Java. informal modes of organization in these fraterni- ties were transformed as teaching became geared towards the mass instruction of individuals. The organization had evolved from isi (Ikatan Sport Indonesia). Teaching and Culture. 2). only two.

was a sub-committee of the bpupki. a product of the dynamic social interaction and evolution of the Indonesian republic (see Koentjaraningrat 1988). headed by Sukarno. 24 Yampolsky notes that the original formulation of Article 32 stated that the ‘government must advance the national culture of Indonesia.23 Article 32 states only that the ‘government shall advance the national culture of Indonesia’24 (Yampolsky 2001: 701). held in Yogyakarta in December 1950. . The debate over just what Indonesian culture was or. yet offers nothing in the Figure 2  The first ipsi congress. ipsi saw its remit as the promotion and revitalization of the inheritance of ‘pentjak and silat’ as part of the national culture of Indonesia (Maryono 1998: 92–95). should be was a major concern of the nationalist movements prior to the Japanese occupa- tion. The acronym ‘ipsi’ at this time refers to the ‘All Indonesia Pentjak Association’ (Ikatan Pentjak Seluruh Indonesia) Photo courtesy of Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia 23 The Planning Committee for the National Constitution (Panitia Perancang Undang Undang Dasar Nasional). indeed. In one camp.From Out Of The Shadows 39 Endorsed from the outset by the government of the newly formed Republic. national culture was argued to be the sum total of the regional cultures of the archipelago. In the Constitution. as pillars of that national culture’ (Yampolsky 2001: 701. The argument revolved around whether a common cultural heritage could be said to have existed prior to the declaration of independence. the bpupki. The opposing camp held that that national culture was something new. and to that end [it must] advance the culture of each region. which finally emerged from the deliberations of the legislative committee.

Despite the ambiguity over ‘new’ or ‘old’ forms of culture. and the proceedings of this congress was published in 1953. 15 November 2003.40 chapter 1 way of clarification as to what might constitute national culture. In 1950.25 In order to address this and other problems. 25 Interview with Bapak Harsoyo. published in February of the following year. attempted to rectify the ambiguity of Article 32. it was an example of the cultural diversity from whence Indonesia had sprung. and. Besides the physical benefits. resilience to suffer pain. Jakarta. perhaps since ancient times. we are able to receive spiritual benefits as well. The official explanation of the constitution. Therefore it is very appropriate and fitting if pentjak and silat is maintained as well as it can be and organized in such a manner that it will increasingly thrive amongst Indonesian society. amongst others: self defence. Indonesian practice. leaving the newly-formed ipsi without a leader in situ. etc. we must endeavour to give special attention to those branches of sport that are indigenous. the government of the Republic of Indonesia moved from Yogyakarta to Jakarta. Wongsonegoro. form a branch of sport always well appreciated and cared for by the Indonesian people. or for that matter its advancement. as a member of the government. the ways of the ‘knighthood’. As a nation that is newly free. served to fuel debate over just what might comprise ‘national culture’ by failing to side decisively with either camp in the debate (Yampolsky 1995: 700–703). As an art commonly practised in various forms throughout much of the archipelago. Just why the original version was cut so as not to include the statement on regional culture is unclear. The lack of any significant representation outside of central and eastern Java did nothing to dampen the nationalistic ideals of the organization. With the advent of a national governing body to oversee the development of the art. like: sharpened reactions. moved to the capital. Pencak Silat resonated with the ideals of cultural authenticity and autochthony implicit in both accounts of what might comprise national culture. if anything. the first ipsi congress was held in the same year (Fig. An address in this publication by Sukarno is worth quoting at length. An account of the founding of ipsi. as an inheritance that has been parenthesis in the original). courageousness. However. the explanatory note itself is noncommittal. as Yampolsky reports. 2). Pentjak and silat for centuries. its aims and goals. so that it may be said that pentjak and silat are for us a type of national sport. . the potential of this wellspring of diversity could be tapped to develop a modern.

It was in this environment that the first native schools were estab- lished. There is no doubt that peta and other organizations played a significant role in the fostering of ‘martial spirit’ as a desirable national charac- teristic. in the lives of the citizenry of the newly-established republic. Shiraishi notes that in the early days of Sarekat Islam there was a need to develop an expressive rhetoric in order to express the modern experience and ideals of the movement in terms other than the ‘[e]thical language of progress’. which was driven by an increasing concern over the welfare of the ‘natives’ of the Indies under Dutch rule. the Kraton. the noble warrior. and organizational frameworks for the practice of Pencak Silat. and not overtly opposed to it. Thus. as part of the common cultural heritage of the newly- independent republic. Nusantaran ideas of civiliza- tion’ (2000: 105). In this respect. The figure of the kesatria was a 26 The language of ethical reform being that of the so-called ‘Ethical policy’. of instilling military discipline. the Japanese worked to curate rather than innovate linkages to Pencak Silat and organized resistance to the Dutch colonial order.From Out Of The Shadows 41 handed down to embellish and be beneficial to the interests of country and nation. Pencak Silat is aligned with the values underpinning the conception of the unitary state and the aesthetic ideals of the palace. Stressing the post-colonial framing of Pencak Silat and the role of ipsi in the development of the art ‘as an implement to shape and reinforce the national imagination’ (2000: 104). The art is celebrated as a vehicle for cultivating virtuous warriorhood. . sees this ‘revival and glorification of the ways of the warrior and of silat’ stemming from the Japanese occupation (Gartenberg 2000: 105). Exposés of the exploitative and inhumane character of the Indies administration in novels such as Max Havelaar (Multatuli 1987) had led increasingly to cries for reform (Ricklefs 2001: 199). Yet. I think that in focusing too closely upon the short years of the Japanese occupation. and the idea of ‘progress’ entailing a cultural transformation in an ‘effort to create an identity that was simultaneously modern and indigenous’ (Mcvey 1967: 128). working in conjunction with the colonial government. he argues that the importance of Pencak Silat was as an ‘“authentic” body of arts emblematic of the national urge in Sukarno-era Indonesia to establish autonomous. or the ‘language of colonial domination and subordination’ intrinsic to the discourse of the Indische Partij26 (1990: 60). Gary Gartenberg. and engendering the martial qualities desirable in the populace of a nation born out of struggle. commenting upon the same statement from Sukarno. pbipsi 1953: ii In his address Sukarno hails as a laudable endeavour the development of the attributes of the kesatria. it is possible to underplay the role of martial values in nationalist imaginaries prior to the arrival of the Japanese in the archipelago.

the notion of the kesatria came to be linked more closely with the moral qualities of a highly valorized nationalism (Shiraishi 1981: 104–108). Drawing upon the epics of the Mahabarata as depicted in Wayang performances. only of a different type and kind. With the growth of more radical revolutionism in the Dutch East Indies. practices and values in which Wongsonegoro had been steeped since childhood. ‘People want to return to their own culture. Pentjak and silat are included in these values. It is not surprising. both using silat. for instance in war Ardjuna (or Gatotkatja) confronts Tjakil or other enemies. the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’. head of Sarekat Islam. what becomes evident in nationalist discourse is a reassignment of the practices and values of the past as tradition. Hatta. Tjokroaminoto. The post-colonial framing of the ethical code of the kesatria is then evident in nationalist rheto- ric long before the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. differentiated between members and non-members. pbipsi 1953: 6 Continuity with the past was thus expressed through the assertion of these values as timeless. Stripped of its class associations with the priyayi (Shiraishi 1981: 105). Still evident in the movement of wayang. that this should transpire. while within the priyayi corps – which had lost its traditional military functions – the ideal was transformed by a decreasing emphasis on power and an increasing stress on service and self-sacrifice’ (1979: 4–5). by virtue of the ‘satriahood’ of the former (Shiraishi 1990: 61–62). With the independence of our nation and homeland. enduring practices as part of the cultural architecture of national identity. it offered a means of aligning ancient ideals with the values of a modern age. studying to . Configured as ‘tradition’ these cultural practices were removed ‘from historical time’ and ‘recuperated’ as elements of ‘distinct and unified’ culture (Vlastos 1998: 10). Sutherland also notes the importance of the notion of the kesatria. Post-independence. it being a consequence of the development of national awareness (keinsafan nasional). She notes that the notion of the kesatria ‘had never particularly appealed to the Dutch.42 chapter 1 prominent motif in these assertions of a new trope of modernity. Beginning in ancient times pentjak and silat were included as an impor- tant aspect of education. he stated. the term linking priyayi ideals to conceptions of power in the late Mataram state. This is evident in his welcoming address to the second ipsi congress in 1952. efforts have begun to gather together and guide our national values that until now have been neglected and hidden. the deputy president of Indonesia. mined a similar vein of sentiment in his comments on the popularity of Pencak Silat amongst the youth.

ipsi’s influ- ence. Pencak Silat was not yet a competitor sport at the National Sporting Championships (Pekan Olah 27 Kartosuwirjo. Amongst the found- ing members were Ema Bratakusumah and Suhari Supari. proclaiming himself head of the Indonesian Islamic State (Negara Islam Indonesia) in 1948. ppsi was at this time headed by Major General (retd. he does not expand further on this. This is a great good fortune that has been made manifest through our national revolution’ (pbipsi 1953: iv). as it is a point of interest. New Order Imperatives While ipsi from its outset enjoyed the patronage of Sukarno. and the majority of its membership. both members of the Military Police (Corps Polisi Militer. his guerrilla campaign in West Java lasted until his capture and execution in 1962 (see van Dijk 1981. West Java. 7 December 2003. If the name of the organization is correct. who was a former political secretary to Tjokroaminoto. cpm). At this time. There is some con- fusion over different organizations with the acronym ppsi. With representation in West Java and branches in East Java and Lampung in South Sumatra.28 Prior to his retirement Kosasih had been head of the West Javanese Siliwangi division. Bandung. A popular leader renowned for his supernatural powers stemming from his mystical practices and possession of jimat. Kartosuwirjo launched a regionally-based rebellion against the post-war Dutch adminis- tration and the newly declared secular Indonesian Republic. remained confined to East and Central Java. After the Republican withdrawal of the Siliwangi Division from West Java.) Kosasih. West Java. The Indonesian Pencak Silat Union. other organiza- tions did emerge that also claimed to represent national interests. and one of its original aims was to act as a pagar betis (‘volunteer force’. 28 Interview with Bapak Adil Fatakusumah. by the beginning of the seventies ppsi was a serious rival to the authority of ipsi and its position as the main representative body for Pencak Silat. or ppsi (Persatuan Pencak Silat Indonesia) was formed in 1957 in Bandung. in 1922. led the Darul Islam rebellion. Soebardi 1983). O’ong Maryono notes that.From Out Of The Shadows 43 return to the old skills that were the adornments of the lives of our ancestors. it is possibly one of the first instances of the institutional use of the term Pencak Silat. literally ‘fence of legs’) against the Darul Islam rebellion raging in the region at the time.27 ppsi was founded on 17 August in commemoration of the date of the signing of the declaration of Independence. its aim being to gather together the many aliran from West Java that had spread throughout the islands of Nusantara (Maryono 1998: 88). Other members of the newly formed organization included Colonel Harun and Colonel Hidayat. the Perhimpunan Pencak Silat Indonesia was formed in Subang. Unfortunately. .

and it was proposed that the perguruan Sunda Mekar be appointed to act as the regional council for ipsi in West Java. Dominated by members of Setia Hati and its offshoots. while the latter requested that ipsi join it instead (Maryono 1998: 101). Gafur went on to become first Minister for Youth and Sport from 1983 through to 1988. headed by a close affiliate of Suharto. The importance afforded the practice of Pencak Silat was obvious in the appointment of Tjokropranolo.).29 Wongsonegoro was replaced as head of ipsi by Lt Gen. since the fifties. Abdul Gafur. . A strategic ploy. Private assistant to the President from 1970 to 1974. and ipsi had been unable to make any real headway in attracting members to its ranks amongst the perguruan of West Java.30 he had also commanded the cpm. gopsi) in order to accommo- date ppsi.44 chapter 1 Raga Nasiona. and ipsi had changed its name temporarily in 1962 to the Indonesian Pencak Silat Sports Alliance (Gabungan Olah Raga Pencak Silat Indonesia. ipsi was the only organization whose members were sanctioned by the government to participate. and the former head of the Joint Services Intelligence Staff. provided an institutional framework for this policy of control. When he took control of ipsi. he grasped the reins of an organization that had in many ways lost its way. in accordance with the New Order programme of militarization of sporting and youth organizations. it had been included as a demonstration sport. in 1973 the government recognized ipsi as the official administrative body for Pencak Silat in Indonesia (Kompas 1 February 1973). After competing they would then rescind their member- ship and return to the ppsi camp. 30 See ‘Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite after the Reorganization of 1969–1970’ (Indonesia 1970). ipsi was held by many Sundanese gurus to be primarily a Javanese organization. Tjokropranolo. having no unificatory programme other than the representation of its membership. although. With Tjokropranolo heading the organization. From the outset of his tenure. and therefore a common strategy for many perguruan was to leave ppsi and affiliate themselves to ipsi prior to the championships. With no sign of an agreement between the parties. ppsi was a more popular organization. 29 The establishment of the Indonesian National Youth Council (knpi. pon. In 1973. and played a leading role in the New Order governmental policy of the cultivation of the Indonesian youth (Ryter 2001: 142). In contrast ppsi. In the past. was far more easily associated with notions of Sundanese ethnicity. attempts had been made to reconcile the two organizations. not adhering to any integrationist ideals. all Indonesian youth organizations had to join knpi. a military hardliner close to Suharto. Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia) in 1973. ipsi changed tack. Tjokropranolo resolved to overcome the prob- lem of competing organizations (Kompas 1 February 1973). Eventually.

32 At the beginning of the 1970s ipsi was still perceived with some antipathy as a government organization in West Java. While imposing itself upon the Sundanese penca schools of West Java. The deputy to Suhari was R. Maj. Eddie Marzuki Nalapraya. In the 1973 National Sporting Games. . Prior to this he had been head of the regional ipsi board in Jakarta. at times. In 1981. setting up 31 Interview with Bapak Harsoyo. At village level in West Java.31 As private assistant to Suharto and the coordinator of presidential security.From Out Of The Shadows 45 the move succeeded in its aim of provoking a reaction from the majority of the schools in Sunda. Tjokropranolo had also served in Army intelligence in the department of defence and security (Asisten 1/Intellijen Departemen Pertahanan dan Keamanan). teachers were. Pencak Silat was officially recognized as a competitor sport. ppsi  were forced to engage with ipsi. Jakarta. By 1982 the organization had representation in every province. In 1973. In 1977 Tjokropranolo was elected for another four-year term as head of ipsi. Komando Daerah Militer) for Greater Jakarta33 (Kepala Staf Kodam V/Jaya). However. 15 September 2003. ipsi worked to nationalize and redefine the practise of Pencak Silat. afraid to align themselves with ppsi for fear of incurring the wrath of local government officials who pressured them to join ipsi. and elect members from among its number to serve on the prospective regional council. in part due to the bullying tactics that a government-aligned organization was able to employ. it was only in 1971 that rules for sporting competi- tion were finalized and introduced. also of the cpm. he was not someone to be taken lightly. and the aspirations the organization held for achieving widespread national representation remained as yet unfulfilled. Tjokropranolo may well have exercised additional leverage on some of the members of ppsi as their former commanding officer in the cpm. became head of the newly elected regional board for ipsi in West Java (Kompas 27 January 1973). In order to head off the imposition of representation. Pak Suhari Supari. Throughout the next decade. 33 Prior to this Eddie Nalapraya had served in the regional army intelligence for Jakarta (Asisten 1/Intelijen Kodam V/Jaya). expanding its activi- ties throughout Indonesia. head of ppsi at this time. at this time head of the regional military command (Kodam. 32 Interview with representative of ppsi Bandung. Dadi Ntawisastra. the details of which I will examine in greater depth in the next chapter. in the same year also being appointed as Governor of Jakarta. While Pencak Silat had long been a demonstration sport at pon. The introduction of olah raga (sport) to Pencak Silat sparked much controversy. pon VIII. became head of the orga- nization. there remained much antagonism towards ipsi from other members of ppsi. Gen. ipsi’s pres- ence was strongest in Central and Eastern Java. 15 October 2003.

every organization. the pra- setya. stated that the goal of the New Order ‘is to secure and purify the implementation of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. In the same year. Social justice for the whole of the Indonesian people (see Bourchier and Legge 1994: x). Under his leadership the promotion of homogenized sporting competition took precedence over other aspects of Pencak Silat. of citizenship in a unitary republic that hinges upon the Pancasila. Notosoejitno 1997: 56–58). persilat) on 17 March 1980. soon after assum- ing the Presidency from Sukarno in 1967.35 also introduced the ‘pledge of the Indonesian Pencak Silat exponent’ (prasetya pesilat Indonesia) in 1986. in a move to inculcate discipline. Eddie Nalapraya oversaw a period of international expansion for Pencak Silat with the formation of the International Pencak Silat Federation (Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antar Bangsa. the Pancasila. The concept of Pancasila was first elucidated by Sukarno in an address on 1 June 1945. or five principles. . with law being passed to this effect in 1986. Every Indonesian. Suharto. should adopt Pancasila as their sole principle or foundation (azas tunggal. The sapta marga begins with a statement of integralism. Democracy arising from the wisdom of the unanimity of the deliberations of representatives.34 as their sole constitutional basis. 21 February 2003. Just and civilized humanity. and later reformu- lated by the bpupki on 22 June 1945 (Prawiranegara 1984: 74). at the seventh national congress of ipsi. 35 Interview with Eddie Nalapraya. the ‘seven articles’ of the armed forces oath. Having ended his time as the Deputy Governor of Jakarta (Gema Pencak Silat 1997a: 11–13). National Unity. The prasetya similarly declares 34 The Indonesian state doctrine or national philosophy consisting of five principles: Belief in one God. in Bouchier and Hadiz 2003: 37). and would remain in control of the organization until 2007. mimics the sapta marga. Eddie was chosen to serve as President of persi- lat alongside his chairmanship of ipsi. respect and proper conduct amongst the youth.46 chapter 1 regional councils to coordinate and administer its activities with the governing council in Jakarta (Harsoyo 1984). Eddie Nalapraya. The ipsi pledge. steps were taken to stan- dardize what was now referred to by ipsi as the ‘noble values of Indonesian Pencak Silat’ (nilai nilai luhur Pencak Silat Indonesia. Prawiranegara 1984: 74). Courtly Traditions and Noble Values In 1986 the Indonesian government passed legislation to the effect that all organisations in Indonesia must adopt the lynchpin of the New Order ideol- ogy. every form of business which calls itself New Order must accept the twin foundation of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution’ (Suharto 1967. Jakarta. including all political parties and religious groups. This culminated in August 1982 with a pronouncement that all ‘socio-political forces’.

becomes the duty of all Indonesian pesilat. the kesatria is exalted. as kesatria. The historical emphasis in ipsi on Pencak Silat as a product of the courtly traditions of the kraton and the noble warriorhood of the kesatria serves to idealize representations of an exalted Javanese past. the dynamic ‘connections between changes in the structure of society and changes in the structure of people’s behaviour and psychical habitus’ (2000: xiii). modes of speech. and its correlate. or ‘psychogenesis’ and the production of culture. or ‘sociogenesis’. continues to enthral New Order illuminati such as Eddie Nalapraya. based on the courtly values prevalent in priyayi conceptions of a model society.From Out Of The Shadows 47 adherence to the tenets of the Pancasila as a central tenet of Indonesian citizenship. for whom Pencak Silat is ‘a nation and character building tool’ (Nalapraya 1999: 4). A self-disciplined citizenry. of their piety towards God and their possession of wise and noble character (berbudi pekerti luhur). As citi- zens they will defend and implement Pancasila. it begins with an affir- mation of the Indonesian pesilat as citizens. Evocative of the youth pledge taken in 1928. withstand the trials and temptations that confront them. 14–15). honesty and justice (see ipsi 1986: 6). it is through both military regulation of the self. His treatise was ‘an attempt… to reveal something of the concrete historical processes which – from the time when the exercise of force was the privilege of a host of rival warriors – gradually impelled society towards this centralization and monopolization of the use of physical force and its instruments’ (Elias 2000: xiii). that the Pancasila state may be realized. Thus. table . As in the sapta marga. dances performed in the courts often derived from village ceremonies (Brakel- Papenhuyzen 1995: 1. The ‘civilizing process’ was the transformation of a decentralized warrior class – a class of knights – into a courtier class by the elaboration of codes of etiquette. In The Civilizing Process Norbert Elias expounds his theory of the develop- ment of a culture of restraint in Western society. The oath continues to evoke the spirit of the revolutionary founders of Indonesia and the struggle to uphold the nation in the face of those forces that would threaten its freedom. In his ‘figura- tional sociology’ Elias explored the fluid processes involved in the inter- relationships between the production of character. While mock combats and pentjak often figured in the Javanese court dances (jogèd). The pur- suit of progress. synonymous with Indonesian identity. martial discipline. and the later construction of an exalted warrior past propagated by ipsi. seek to pursue progress and Indonesian identity. The distinction between palace (kraton) and rural (kampung) traditions in reality was far less distinct than depicted in post- revolutionary representations of Pencak Silat. support national unity and. and the ipsi pledge is almost identical to that of the armed forces in its affirmation of just character and the resolve to defend truth.

was a far better reflection of the noble character of the Pencak Silat player. 2000: xi–xiii In similar fashion the exemplification of the kraton and the valorization of the kesatria can be seen to be a response to the erosion of the authority of the priyayi under the Dutch colonial administration.48 chapter 1 manners and the like. with the rise of the bourgeoisie and the regulatory state. the civilizing of . accompanied the monopolization of violence in Europe. However. The association of an intrin- sic morality with the warrior class forms the basis for the later articulation of and appeal to the formation of a self-disciplined citizenry under Sukarno. the mode of operation of the social demands and prohibitions which mould their social habitus. and above all the kinds of fear that play a part in their lives are decisively changed. tabled a motion to amend the rules regarding the competi- tion category of ganda. ‘the peculiar stability of the apparatus of psychological self-restraint’ (Elias 2000: 369). in post medieval Europe. At the 2002 Plenary session of persilat held in Penang. In an age of absolutism. The codes of refined behaviour. becomes the basis for social constraint and the regulation of the self in western societies (2000: 362–379). and the victor spared the life of his opponent. a process that can still be discerned in the mod- ern administration of Pencak Silat as an international sport. Malaysia. or civilité. it would be better if at the finale of the performance the athletes shook hands. Oyong Karmayuda. underpin the formalization of civilization. This social and behavioural transformation. The promotion of Pencak Silat as a component of Indonesian heritage was an active engagement with the ‘civilized’ values that had come to preoccupy the priyayi. the General Secretary of the organization and one of the Deputy Chairman of ipsi. …[W]ith this monopolization of physi- cal violence as the point of intersection of a multitude of social intercon- nections. the perfor- mance of which usually concluded with the enactment of the death of one of the protagonists. This. two-person choreographed fight sequences. The linking of Pencak Silat to the ideal of the kesatria can also be seen as a means of civilizing the art. Oyong suggested such an ending did not reflect the friend- ship and brotherhood that persilat was trying to promote. Instead of the combat between the parties ending in an act of merciless violence. Elias argues. behaviour moves very perceptibly towards the standard we denote today by a derivative of the word as ‘civilised’ behaviour. explained to the meeting. and an ideal that should be celebrated in open competition. under the watchword of civilité. that. the whole apparatus which shapes individuals.

We can see in ipsi’s turning away from the spiritual aspects of Pencak Silat a similar process to that which Turner describes in his account of the rational- ization of the sacred aspects of warfare. Within ipsi. The excesses of war are no longer tolerated. 21 February 2003. be this symbolic or physical. Warrior Charisma and the Disciplined Body In an original and perceptive analysis of the relationship between spirituality. each of which has its own administrative section within the organization. defined as the ‘mental/spiritual’. aspects of spiritual war- fare are eschewed. is not ‘equipped to analyse how religious experiences were crucial to sustaining violent but spiritual personalities’ (2003: 106). In support of his critique of Elias. including knowledge of invulnerability. sport (olah raga) and ‘artistic’ (kesenian). self-defence (bela diri). Elias’ theory. 2003: 99 Yet there is limited scope for the charismatic warrior within the framework of the modern nation-state. Turner points to the legitimation of the ‘chivalrous knight’ within Christiandom.From Out Of The Shadows 49 Pencak Silat has entailed more than just the promulgation of idealized codes of ethical conduct. It is only within 36 Interview with Eddie Nalapraya. . violence and bodily discipline. he suggests the concept of ‘warrior charisma’ to designate the role of sacred force in military leadership…. he argues. and warfare itself becomes ‘civilized’ (2003: 103–105). Drawing on Weberian notions of encroaching rationalization to explore ‘the relationship between charismatic force and military violence.36 ipsi oversees the administration of four aspects of Pencak Silat. The civilizing process fosters self-control and restraint while coercion. Turner critiques the notion of the civilizing pro- cess for its failure to address the regulative role played by ‘religious norms in the historical process of civilizing military violence’ (Turner 2003: 106). and the outward redirection of violence through the religious sanctioning of the crusades. between spiritual and secular powers’ (Turner 2003: 96–98). becomes the prerogative of the state. Such forms of charisma are very common in pre-modern society where the authority of military leaders was based on their charismatic powers as illustrated by their power over enemies and their uncanny ability to avoid personal injury and death. Jakarta.

not least of which is his notion of the displacement of ‘spiritual violence’ with the advent of more highly technologized means of war making. at least. The notion of charisma – a ‘gift of grace’ – stems from a hierarchical concep- tion of relations of domination. While Weber’s ideal types (1949: 90) were never meant to be exclusive entities. These techniques of spiritual warfare are employed because of their perceived efficacy. However. institutionalized modernity is nowhere near as antithet- ical to the techniques of spiritual warfare as his account would suggest. Charisma is thus ‘a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is considered extraor- dinary and treated as if endowed with supernatural. to realize the degree to which this is the case. One only need look at the operational practices of Indonesia’s elite special forces unit. and the use of amulets and other means of achieving invulnerability is well-noted amongst the ranks of the unit.50 chapter 1 ipsi that the facets of Pencak Silat are differentiated to this degree. and the cultivation of athletes in ipsi. and the extraordi- nary. modelled on Britain’s Special Air Service regiment (Conboy 2003: 304–315). and should not be seen as practices that persist in spite of increasingly rationalized modes of organization and subjectifcation. his schema of different forms of rule tends to oppose charismatic to traditional or rational-legal forms of authority37 to imply an underlying historical trend from spiritual to more secular modes of human organization. He distinguished between three ideal-typical forms of claims to legitimacy upon which authority might be based. steeped in mystical knowledge. there are some important differences to note from the scheme proposed by Turner. . Through the regulation of the art. Traditional authority based upon customary practice and the sway that it holds over the present. the ‘warrior character’ of the Pencak Silat guru. framed in terms of a distinction between the routine. progress and development. superhuman. 37 Weber’s interests lay with what he saw as the forms of domination that are the hallmark of human existence (Lassman 2000: 83). The empha- sis within the organization has been on sporting competition. charismatic authority. and the instrumental rationality of legal and juridi- cal authority (Lassman 2000: 90ff. has been incorporated into a ‘corporeal pedagogy’ (Turner 2003: 106) informed by the New Order meta-narratives of national unity.). or. Kopassus. everyday and profane aspects of human existence. and the aspects of Pencak Silat that fall within the ‘mental/spiritual’ have been downplayed. temporary and divine character of the sacred. based upon personal devotion to inspirational individuals exhibiting excep- tional qualities such as divine favour. a highly trained and well-equipped fighting force. In Indonesia. Mystics and paranormals often accompany Kopassus on patrol to aid with the practicalities of tracking and working at night (Kingsbury 2003: 105–106).

and to some extent Turner. Rather. and. as will become clear in subsequent chapters in which I elucidate more clearly idioms of power that circulate in Indonesia and which are evident in the practice of Pencak Silat. which. It is ‘by its very nature…unstable…because pure charisma does not know any ‘legitimacy’ other than that flowing from personal strength. These are such as are not accessible to the ordi- nary person. Conclusion Pencak Silat is embedded in an economy of occult knowledge in which excep- tional abilities and the means of spiritual violence are potentially accessible to all. a consequence of coincident trajectories within the ‘habitus’ (Bourdieu 1987: 129–132). Bourdieu prefers to conceive of charismatic authority not as some- thing that inheres to a particular person. But it need not lead so hurriedly to conclu- sions about epochal transformations of modalities of authority and power. on the basis of them. the individual concerned is treated as a “leader”’ (Weber 1978: 241). In his hugely influential book on nationalism. Weber is not the only person to have come to such a conclusion. but are regarded as being of divine origin or exemplary. as we shall see in the ensuing chapters. Turner’s emphasis on the importance of embodied practice to the ‘civilizing process’ is. Following Bourdieu. in his view. and is in this sense a specifically revolutionary force’ (Weber 1978: 244). is limited by the emphasis that Weber places upon the individual as the focus of recognitive process. Within the sphere of its claims. Turner’s insight aligns with thoughts expressed by Bourdieu (1987) on Weber’s ‘psycho-sociological theory of charisma’. a key point. immanent law ‘inscribed in bodies by identical histories. one which is constantly being proved (Weber 1946: 248. charismatic authority repudiates the past. Benedict Anderson (1983) argues that transcendent communal imaginaries are the historical reality of . we might see ‘warrior charisma’ as existing outside of the nationalist imaginaries of ipsi. This note on the capricious nature of authority established through ‘personal strength’ is an astute observation. However. These should not be seen somewhat simplistically as historical artefacts from pre-rational ‘structures of domination’ (Weber 1946: 244) that endure in more modern modes of organization – as even Turner’s reworking of the notion of ‘warrior charisma’ tends to imply. that is. such authority is derived from collective routine. he suggests. Thus.From Out Of The Shadows 51 exceptional power or qualities. That is. which is the precondition not only for the co-ordination of practices but also for the practices of co-ordination’ (Bourdieu 1990: 59). charisma is ‘specifically irrational in the sense of being foreign to all rules…. However. my emphasis).

It is only with the organiza- tion’s rejuvenation under the New Order that the ‘civilising’ of Pencak Silat became a more systematic project. Within ipsi the spiritual authority of the Pencak Silat teacher has been usurped.38 To see them as ‘pre-modern’ is. Others have been less inclined to accept Anderson’s global vision of imagined community. . realigned and transfigured. driven by the military zeal of Tjokropranolo and the strident idealism of his successor. the limitations of the apparatus of state. creating the possibility for all of those historicist imaginings of identity. This was a course of action that. Chatterjee argues that in Anderson’s conception. Partha Chatterjee (2004). they do not live in it. Empty homogeneous time is the utopian time of capital. Drawing on Chatterjee. of ‘striated space’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1999: 474). as Chatterjee suggests. but because of what they imply about the ephemeral and ambiguous nature of the politics of everyday life. and antithetical to the (re)affirmation of the Indonesian nation propagated by ipsi. politics ‘inhab- its the empty homogenous time-space of modernity…. present and future. self-disciplined citizenry. the man most responsible for making ipsi the organization it is today. It linearly connects past. nation- hood. have made familiar to us. Pencak Silat came to be associated in nationalist discourse with high Javanese values as the traditional basis for the cultivation of a modern. Eddie Nalapraya.52 chapter 1 modernity. The real space of mod- ern life consists of heterotopia’ (Chatterjee 2004: 6–7). we can see technologies of spiritual warfare and charismatic warriorhood as existing in the ‘heterogeneous time-space’ of everyday life. ‘only to endorse the utopianism of Western modernity’ (2004: 7). These embodied practices thus threaten to subvert the ideal political real- ity of nationhood not because they are less rational. along with others. But empty homogeneous time is not located anywhere in real space-it is utopian’ (2004: 6–7). as we shall see in the next chapter. uncritically. are apparent when one examines the institutional reach of ipsi. progress. Perhaps Anderson’s harshest critic. and to accept. a time outside of the unilinear narratives of nationalist discourse. Yet. contends his view of modern nation- alist imaginaries is shot through with the progressive ideals of the Enlight­ enment. a discursive construction of a common antiquity and ‘simultaneity- along-time’ (1983: 24) through which citizens of nation states come to relate to one another across disparate social histories. and so on that Anderson. nationalist framings of social reality. From the first stirrings of nationalist movements in Indonesia. People can only imagine themselves in empty homogeneous time. which was confined to East and Central Java until the beginning of the seventies. and Anderson fails to appreciate the harsh realities of politics in most of the world. 38 Chatterjee critiques Anderson’s conception of the homogenous time of nationalism on the grounds that it ‘looks at only one dimension of the time-space of modem life. was to lead eventually to the fundamen- tal transformation of the pedagogy and practice of Pencak Silat within ipsi.

chapter 2 Bodies of Knowledge: The Pedagogy of Pencak Silat Introduction In February 2003. the aim being to preserve the aesthetic aspects of the art. Malaysia. 2015 | doi 10.1 Further. and. and Eddie Nalapraya took the chance to talk to 200 or so members of Panglipur gathered at the meeting. the president of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (ipsi). Unfortunately these stepping patterns often bear little or no resemblance to any actual langkah. Rather. questions were invited from the floor. as the art is known locally in West Java. © koninklijke brill nv. and I often heard criticism to the effect that they were farcical. After his address on the latest accomplishments of ipsi and the continued development of Pencak Silat. it was no longer necessary to study penca. Panglipur. The event provided an opportunity for ipsi to showcase its activities directly to penca teachers and players in West Java. A young player from West Java. many teachers and players in West Java were concerned that the movements 1 ipsi rules state that the players must take at least five steps or langkah before engaging with one another. to compete one merely had to learn how to punch and kick in any fashion whatsoever. Ibu Enny’s home in Sukawening also acted as the training centre for Panglipur.1163/9789004289352_004 . he concluded. one guru going so far as to exclaim that the athletes ‘looked like clowns when per- forming them’. in order to enter ipsi competition. together with members of the organization’s governing board. expressing what he claimed were the concerns of many local teachers about transformations in the art under the management of ipsi. and about the European tour of a demonstration team that several performers from Panglipur had taken part in. in modern Pencak Silat. In his view. leiden. He spoke of the success of the recent world Pencak Silat championships held in Penang. raised the issue of sporting competition. the largest Pencak Silat school in West Java. he stated. not a member of Panglipur. to prevent the athletes engaging immediately in the fashion of other contact sports such as boxing or karate. the widely respected head of the Pencak Silat school. the rules of ipsi competition did not reflect the practice of penca. made the four hour trip from Jakarta to West Java to the home of Ibu Enny Rukmini Sekarningrat. or olah raga (literally ‘to cultivate the body’). the view of many Sundanese Pencak Silat teachers. Eddie Nalapraya. Ibu Enny had invited Eddy Nalapraya to Sukawening for the purposes of strengthening ties between the school and ipsi. and to distinguish it as Pencak Silat. and.

If Pencak Silat were to remain distinct from other martial arts such as Karate and Tae Kwon Do. and people would no longer want to practice the art. the introduction of olah raga and the transformation of Pencak Silat into a modern sporting practice. However. the Executive Director of ipsi. the standard- ization of the art. Rustadi Effendi. Yet. Members of Panglipur do not participate in sporting competi- tion. Consequently. had too many 2 The school is well known for the artistry of its demonstrations. ipsi. given the opinion of the hosts for the evening on the matter of participation in ipsi sparring. The teachers and players with whom I later spoke expressed their surprise that the Executive Director of ipsi should be sensitive to such issues. and Ibu Enny’s ruling on participation in olah raga was made on the basis that it would be to the detriment of the practice of traditional penca in the school.2 and. to address these issues. some members of ipsi’s governing board had voiced similar criticisms to those heard in Garut. and Silat increasingly had come to look like other ‘foreign’ martial arts in open competition. ipsi were aware of concerns over the erosion of the traditional practice of Pencak Silat.54 chapter 2 displayed by competitors in ipsi competitions were no longer those of any form of penca they could recognize. then it was important that teachers and schools take care not to focus exclusively upon sporting competitions to the detriment of tradition. it had plans to introduce a ‘festival of traditional Pencak Silat’ specifically for those performers not wanting to enter ipsi competition. Eddie Nalapraya stated that rules in competition were necessary to prevent injury to competitors. A further concern often conveyed in frank conversations I had with many members of ipsi was the dearth of any real ‘masters’ (pendekar) of the art in senior positions within the governing body. In off the record conversations with me. the issues raised do highlight what has been a major point of contention in west Java since the official introduction of a competition standard at the national sporting championships in 1973. it was perhaps not surprising that Rustadi Effendi chose to address his audience with their concerns about loss of tradi- tion in mind. stressing the need for the preservation of the diversity of Pencak Silat. it is not necessary to join’. That is. and. at the top level the organization lacked leaders with the understanding and knowledge of Pencak Silat that can only be gained through years of practice. He closed by noting that ipsi did not force people to enter its ranks: ‘if they don’t like it. These senior mem- bers of ipsi expressed their concerns that it was no longer possible to discern any real difference in the styles of athletes. . it was often said. Without rules it would be too dangerous. In response to these concerns. gave the most well-received speech of the evening.

The staging of the games prior to the official recognition of the Indonesian republic by the Dutch was itself a definitive statement of national identity. These debates and concerns expressed over the direction the development of Pencak Silat had taken under the management of ipsi were couched in terms of tradition and modernity. drawn from the styles that the architects of these plans for national standards had mastered. at the initial meeting in 1948. This mass exhibition of martial prowess. A Common Practice for All. bore witness to mass demonstrations of these new modes of instruction with up to 2000 students participating (1953: 17). they lacked training in Pencak Silat. these two notions them- selves were intimately related. The first national sporting games in Solo in 1948. While they possessed the level of education and knowledge of management structure necessary to run a modern. efforts were given over to the imple- mentation of the standardized practice of Pencak Silat. Consequently. and the subsequent games three years later in Jakarta. national organization. the governing board lacked members well-versed in Pencak Silat as it was practised prior to the advent of competi- tion within ipsi. .Bodies of Knowledge 55 administrators in the upper echelons of its management. ipsi and olah raga From the establishment of ipsi in 1948. while the practice of olah raga has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of ipsi. were simplified to provide a basic understanding and knowledge of the art. would continue instruction to a greater depth upon leaving school. if they so chose. Various systems of instruction had already existed amongst the organizations that came together to found ipsi and. The streamlined teaching programmes were aimed at the uniform dissemination of the art amongst lower secondary school students aged twelve to sixteen years. alongside the establishment of the statutes and bylaws of the nascent institution. while practices differed in these con- trasting spheres of the ‘traditional’ and the ‘modern’. of 3 The Movements. and how this has entailed a fundamental transformation in the pedagogical principles of the art in West Java to give rise to new. national modalities of Pencak Silat. In this chapter I explore these tensions more fully. Yet. an agreement was reached on a common pedagogical standard for introduction into the national school curriculum3 (pbipsi 1953: 12–13). focusing on the ways in which Pencak Silat in ipsi came to be aligned with the narrative framing of the nation. and defined in opposition to one another. The rationale being that pupils.

which was first published in the seventies (Asikin 1983).d-b. was an expression of the youth and vitality of the nationalist project. [w]ith a methodology and systematicity founded on the styles of Cikalong/ Sabandar. issued by the Army chief of staff. for example Asikin’s Pencak silat course. notes that. Suhari Supari. instructional programmes in Pencak Silat were broadcast three mornings per week on the Republic of Indonesia’s radio sta- tion. many of those listening to the rri broadcast may well previously have witnessed or participated in the practice of Pencak Silat. The exhortations made by ipsi for a common instructional standard in schools received official encour- agement in 1959 with the proposal of ‘introductory education for public defence’ (P3R. the voice of the government4 (Winadi 1951). rri. n. The importance of regular exercise for the citizenry was deemed a concern for the newly independent republic. Pendidikan. both indigenous and non-indigenous. [coupled] with additional knowledge from other styles. Similarly.d-a. In 1951. performing in celebration of national unity. In 1965. by way of comparison. At the same time. . Guidance for lessons in the sport of pencak silat (Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Luar Sekolah n. However. the use of radio as a medium to broadcast verbal instruction in the art may point to the ubiquity of the practice of Pencak Silat among the populace at that time. If. Later attempts at promoting a standard system included a series of books produced in conjunction with the Ministry for Education and Culture in the 1980s. the 4 I have never read transcripts of these programmes. In a foreword to that work. While ipsi still lacked the resources necessary to realise its plans for the introduction of Pencak Silat into the national curriculum (Prodjosoemitro 1959: 5). head of both the West Java branch of ipsi and ppsi. under which instruction in Pencak Silat was to be given in schools as a means of promoting civil defence (Prodjosoemitro 1959: 7–9. lessons in the foundations of Pencak Silat were broadcast on state television (televisi Republik Indonesia) for a period of six months (Sudirohadiprodjo 1972: preface). these displays established an evincible link with the communal heritage underpinning the formation of the emergent nation. this did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for such projects amongst the members of the organization. Pendahuluan.d-c). and Pencak Silat was proffered as the ideal vehicle with which to improve the well- being of the nation. pre-existing familiarity with the practice would go some way to facilitating explica- tion. even from other kinds of self-defence. and n. and doubt if any recordings still exist. In West Java other pro- grammes were developed. see also Maryono 1998: 91–93). corroborating the antiquity of the Indonesian state. Pertahanan Rakyat). one were to broadcast instruction in how to keep fit by kicking a football in Brazil.56 chapter 2 disciplined and trained bodies coordinated in space and time.

a major concern of the Indonesian state since its inception. . the five year development plans of the New Order government. the first spanning the period 1969–73. while Pencak Silat is taught in schools in West Java as part of the ‘local content’ (muatan lokal) initiative through which traditional practices might be introduced into the curriculum.Bodies of Knowledge 57 results gained from this work will become part of the material beneficial in the determination/unification of the movements of pencak silat. Lt Gen. financial support and motivation on the part of successive governments has remained a major obstacle to the introduction of a common pedagogical standard of the art as a part of the national school curriculum. a former aide to Suharto. President Suharto’s address to the amassed delegates. Sutton 1991: 173–191. Competition. At the beginning of 1973. and the issue of where ministerial responsibility might lie for funding the initiative has never been clear. 6 Rencana pembangunan lima tahun. Confusion reigns over which government department might have jurisdiction over such a programme.5 Where ipsi have prevailed is in the establishment of a uniform competition standard at both national and international levels. 15 November 2003. and its development is perhaps an indication of the lack of cohesion between regional and central authority in ipsi in their respective attempts to formulate a common pedagogical standard for all levels of the education system. Tjokropranolo. despite these efforts. took up the reins of ipsi. 1983: preface Asikin’s programme was based almost entirely upon styles originating in West Java. However. Yampolsky 1995: 707). With the second five year development plan of Suharto’s government. the art competes with other regional arts for inclusion in the programme. Decentralization has further complicated matters. and. and Repelita II from 1974–78. Jakarta. Sorcery and the Art of Self Defence National integration. became a far more systematic exercise under Suharto and the New Order. At the opening of the fourth ipsi congress in Jakarta. read by a representative in his absence. This lack of administrative cohesion.6 regional culture – as an aspect of national culture and a medium for the promotion of national development – became a far more carefully managed project (Soebadi 1985. urged those present to overcome egotism and put aside personal 5 Interview with Bapak Harsoyo. the goal of Pencak Silat being taught within schools nationally has yet to be realized. Repelita II.

fighting from the ground. The torso was the main target area. Others drew attention to the fact that. In response to an earlier article stating the necessity of standardization in olah raga if competition were to be made safe and injury avoided (Kompas 6 October 1971). literally. stylized displays of self-defensive applications (Pencak Silat kesenian bela diri. was too dangerous to be contested. then the head of arts (kesenian) at the Department of Education and Culture (Depdikbud. Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan) from 1995–1999. 9 Pre-arranged. Saini K.8 argued that the focus upon fighting was to the detriment of the artistic aspect of Pencak Silat. and strikes to the face. 8 Saini K.M.58 chapter 2 loyalties other than those that might contribute towards the project of making Pencak Silat a national martial art (ipsi 1973: 12).M. Prior to this. and accusations of attack by ‘witchcraft’ (santet) at these contests were rife (Tempo 30 June 1979). at the beginning of the seventies. a respected penca player and successful playwright. Bouts were hard fought. as were grappling. Pencak Silat began increasingly to look like Karate. ipsi had begun to stage competitions locally in West Java and Jakarta. Pencak Silat became an official competitor sport for the first time. and the success or failure of the competitors reflected upon their teacher and school. later became head of the College for the Arts in Bandung (stsi. but it was included at the national championships as a demonstration sport only until the 1970s. Early competitions were by all accounts boisterous affairs and serious injuries were not uncommon. intended as a means of self-defence. Inter- school rivalries were intense. but only the front of the body. kesenian. At the seventh national sporting championships held in Jakarta in 1973. and had fought with the same ferocity as if the match had been a life or death encounter. the ‘art of self defence’). Objections to the introduction of a national sporting standard were often made on the basis that Pencak Silat was ill-suited to rule bound contests. to enhance their chances of success. this was not only in the capacity of a demonstration sport only (see Maryono 1998: 93–97). or jimat. Rules for these two-player bouts included timed rounds. Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia). with many players finding it hard to adjust the severity of their techniques to a sporting context. Players that I spoke with in Cianjur. and the risk of injury to the players was unaccept- ably high.9 The hostile atmosphere engendered by these 7 Rules for the competition had existed within ipsi since 1953 (Djoemali 1958: 5). Bandung and Jakarta who had competed in these first tournaments in the seventies told me that they had not fully understood the rules. The athletes wore spiritually-charged amulets. and points were awarded for blows landed. Attacks to the eyes and groin were forbidden. as a consequence of rule bound competition.7 While olah raga had been included for some time at the national championships. The argument was that the art. were also included in the national games from pon I in 1948 . and leather body armour was worn to protect the chest.

Usik and the Cultivation of Sensitivity An oft-cited aphorism in West Java used in illustration of penca refers to the three component aspects of the art. Raga here refers to the body. with respect to lahir. refined. rasa is heightened through training the body in penca. In relation to batin. Lahir refers to the physical world. 10 In Indonesian the verb mengolah is formed from the stem olah. most of the older players that I spoke with only made reference to olah raga in their recollections of the early inclusion of Pencak Silat in the national games. gradations of being from the mundane through to the sublime. becomes something better. and. penca was performed to rhythmic accompaniment (irama) at circumcision ceremonies. weddings and festivals with the emphasis in public performance upon the aesthetic rather than the combative aspects of the art. the general inference being to ameliorate. which must be understood in relation to the notion of lahir and batin. The maxim can be interpreted on a number of levels. due to the restric- tions placed upon it. a means by which something is improved upon. He went on to suggest that competition Pencak Silat. jiwa can be glossed as ‘soul’. and can be glossed as ‘feeling’ or ‘sensitivity’. it must encompass these three elements. animated or vital. Rasa is a quality of both inner and outer aspects of being. There was then a clear distinction between these two aspects of Pencak Silat: the art of dance (ibing or seni tari) and the art of self defence (seni serang- bela). in styles in West Java. Here. January 2000). while. Sabandar and Cikaret practitioners. . in both cases. Ngolah10 can be glossed as ‘to cultivate’.Bodies of Knowledge 59 sparring matches was quite different from Pencak Silat as the general public in West Java knew it. Pak O’ong Maryono. as will be become clear below. Importantly. 11 Most especially amongst Cikalong. (personal communication. as an intuitive understanding of the inner. Batin refers to the inner or internal aspects of being. and the two notions are perhaps best thought of as differences in degree rather than kind. in Sundanese the prefix is shortened from ‘meng’ to ‘ng’.11 this is honed through usik. the realm of manifest reality. spiritual reality (Mulder 1998: 81–82) or a proprioceptive and kinaesthetic awareness. the material or external aspects of being. it can imply ‘being alive’. for penca to be penca. On a physical level then. Interestingly. and perhaps could no longer be considered ‘authentic’ (asli) penca (Kompas 28 October 1971). was a different kind of practice. while usik didn’t seem to figure so prominently among Cimande practitioners. raga dan jiwa. The cultivation of rasa in a physical sense encompasses the notion of sensi- tivity to one’s opponent. ngolah rasa.

the two protago- nists having squared off facing one another. With yoga.60 chapter 2 a form of controlled sparring practised with a partner. the aim being to win. can only be defined as such if all component elements of the practice are pres- ent. but it also implies disturbance. either party touching the other’s forearms. The aim of the exercise is to develop perasaan or sensitivity towards an opponent’s intentions. the accomplished exponent is able to gauge the degree and direction of force being exerted. one is said to develop rasa simultaneously at the different levels of being through the practice of penca – both rasa in the sense of physical sensitivity. it was not penca. It was often stressed to me that if a practice did not address all these three aspects of penca. which is an aspect of olah raga in penca. one might develop perasaan through meditation. Olah raga is a spectator sport and the promotion of the art as public spectacle demands a highly visual engagement between the two players that is easy for the audience to follow. the aim being to unbalance. Sporting values have taken priority. both of which are said to be properties of the raga (body) and jiwa (soul). . the focus within ipsi on olah raga was to the detriment of other aspects of the art. or ilmu batin. is a vehicle for the development of all aspects of rasa and the cultivation of sensitivity that could lead eventually to higher knowledge of the inner aspects of being. The point being that penca. and many of them no longer have combative application. Penca. rasa. the physical movements that constitute a particular style of penca. one works upon the inner and outer aspects of being. Usik can be glossed as ‘to move’. But yoga has no concept of self-defence. through the cultivation of raga. and feel any inherent weaknesses in the positional structure of their body. to defeat ones opponent in open competition. Yoga was one example given to me as a comparison in explanation of this notion. and as more refined spiritual intu- ition. as a complex of bodily practices. throw or to trap or lock the limbs of one’s opponent. the techniques have been made safe. Importantly. Once contact has been made with the opponent. As they saw it. The hands are extended in front of the body: one hand in front of the other. While training the body. raga and jiwa. and then drew this distinction with another system of bodily cultivation with specific reference to the martial aspects of penca. and are not seen to exist oppositionally. one is able to ‘feel’ their intentions. The cultivation of batin can be accom- plished through the practice of jurus. through the development of perasaan. in olah raga. One side will initiate an attack. Often it was explained to me by more traditionally-minded teachers that. The starting position in usik is usually with the players in contact with each other. to ‘read’ the opponent through their limbs. My informants had knowledge of some forms of yoga practice. Through this sensitivity to their movements.

with fewer spectators. both usually aware within a matter of seconds of who has gained the upper hand. The players then begin over. and players are quick to step up to test another’s skills. reset- ting to the starting position to continue the exercise. There are no formalized rules of engagement in the sense of written rules or regulations. or a referee to oversee events. 3). and a team of five referees awards points for the execution of successful techniques. In usik.Bodies of Knowledge 61 The rules are geared towards the encouragement of techniques that are clearly visible to the audience. the risk of the escalation of hostilities through the public humiliation of one of the protagonists is decreased. and no hard feelings should someone incur an injury in training. however. However. Usually this takes place in private and. One evening in Cianjur. a tradition of testing or ‘trying out’ (uji coba) other players does exist. Mekar Figure 3 ipsi competition at the 2002 World Championships in Malaysia Photograph by Lee Wilson . High kicking techniques rarely employed in usik take precedence as the players seek to score points through throwing or sweeping their opponent or punching and kicking their body (Fig. Uwa Udun. Contests are fought over three rounds. the goal is not to win. and usik is usually carried out behind closed doors. but for both parties to develop perasaan. a town in West Java considered to be the cultural heartland of Sunda. the 63-year-old head of the school. There is usually a tacit acceptance of the risks involved between the respective parties. Players engage momentarily. Such challenges though follow a strict etiquette. each of three minutes.

The action is quick. or to their teacher or school. And. suddenly stood up and moved to the other side of the room. Yet. acknowledging there were ways other than his own to teach. treated me to a display of these rules of engagement. My friend and research assistant Sodiek. When players gather together for the purposes of usik. strikes to the face. . While visiting with him. they also indicate a habitus in which the potential for conflict to escalate is limited by controlling the mode of violent exchanges between penca players. of players searching for teachers of renown to test their skills against. The other guru. who had been sitting between the two men. aware of this. with those present drinking coffee. Uwa Udun had been looking for a way to contradict the other player’s statements about his style that would allow him immediately to curtail further conversation. and one’s ability to use them in application. with others from the same school or training group. but in usik. within the boundaries of etiquette that govern such exchanges. and discussing the princi- ples of the jurus. While players at times bounce each other off the walls. and usually over in a matter of a few seconds. are contested in a social environment. thus. sensitive to the risk of escalating conflict. Usik is not a contest in the same sense as olah raga: it is a testing of the jurus. fast and decisive. smoking kretek cigarettes. and the jurus they taught in their respective systems.62 chapter 2 Harapan. Honour claims relating to the practice of penca are settled not through open conflict. but tested practi- cally in usik. A very polite conversation between the two men turned to methods of instruction. and request that they ‘test’ the other’s methods out through usik. a visit for the purposes of strengthening the bonds of friendship. While these narratives reflect claims made as to the superiority of a teacher or style. he had decided that my research assistant and I should accompany him to pay a call on another guru for silaturahmi. offered no definitive statements for Udun to contradict. the oral history of penca is full of accounts of challenge matches. Boasts as to the proficiency of one’s skills. Although not immediately obvious from the polite style of conversation in which the two men were engaged. Indeed. the testicles or other vital areas are stopped short. The most likely outcome of one player losing to another in a test of prowess in usik is that the loser will apprentice to the player exhibiting the superior skill. or indeed disparagement of those of another. and these rarely end in the death or serious injury of the defeated party. it is almost invariably a humorous affair. Udun was unable to request that they put matters to the test. with both players usually acknowledging that the strike in a real encounter would have found its mark. questions about technique are rarely debated verbally. feigning disinterest in the two men’s conversation.

and are embodied in the jurus. A well-known figure in the area. the progenitor of maen po peupeuhan Cikaret. the five jurus that comprise the styles. and define the various aliran to be found in Sunda. Muhammad Kosim Syabandar. both of which are named after their founder. Similarly. A direct descendant of Aki Pe’i. which are named after the area they are associated with. Amongst the styles or aliran practised in Cianjur. or a place. 14 Sundanese is a hierarchical language.13 are commonly referred to as jurus salapan (S. Peupeuhan Cikaret places greater emphasis on hitting than jurus of the system of which it is said to be a sub-system. to a greater or lesser degree. with the addition of the suffix ‘an’ to form the noun. tactical preferences. is characterized. or aliran (literally ‘stream’).14 he had about twenty-five students whom he taught regularly. and principles. or ‘uncle’.12 a particular set of jurus taught in Cikaret. is celebrated as a centre for the practice and propagation of Sundanese culture. A common consensus being that ‘po’ is a Chinese colloquialism for martial arts. derived from the more ‘course’ word for play. the lang- kah. as in the styles of Sera and Syabandar. 13 This being a shortened version of his full name. The town of Cianjur. the style peupeu- han Cikaret. along with the term penca. or ulin (to play) as it is known in Sundanese. maen. as in Cimande or Cikalong. located in the heart of West Java. named after the founder of the system. a kampung or hamlet on the outskirts of Cianjur. The aim of their practice is to inculcate within the practitioner ways of moving the body in response to threat. at 63 years old Uwa Udun was synonymous with the practice of Pencak Silat in Cikaret. Taught initially in conjunction with the stepping patterns or footwork employed by the practitioner in evasion and response to an attack. by its performative repertoire. nine jurus). Ulin. are ‘middle’ level terms. The jurus are transmitted from guru to pupil (murid). in accordance with the principles of a particular system. 12 From the root peupeuh. jurus are the fundamental pedagogical tools and mode of skill transmis- sion in penca. Another common term used in reference to the art is maen po. Silat styles in Sunda are associated with a person. Wa is an abbrevi- ated version of Uwa. which define it as a distinctive system. . therefore ‘maen po’ is ‘to play po’.Bodies of Knowledge 63 Jurus in Peupeuhan Cikaret Usik can be thought of as the exploration of possible applications of jurus – short sequences of movements particular to a style of school. including Pencak Silat. Each respective style. with different speech levels used in accordance with the relative social status of the interlocutors. Dudun Abdullah Thoha. five jurus). The more ‘refined’ term ameng is used in high level speech. Ameng and ulin mean literally ‘to play’. is frequently referred to as jurus lima (S. it can be glossed as ‘striking’ or ‘hitting’. Cikalong. ulin Syabandar. by the aforementioned Uwa Udun.

Wa was no exception to this. and the meetings at his house were as much social occasion as training session. at times barely visible through the plumes of scented smoke rising from his kretek cigarette. Once Wa’s wife had finished in the kitchen. A beginner could expect to spend up to six months learning each of the nine jurus in Wa Udun’s system. The players would gather in the front room. feeling that neither organization really represented penca as he knew it. If learning jurus. Instruction on these occasions took place in the kitchen at the back of Wa’s house. The training session was not in any way apparent from the front of the house. while sessions at his house were usually ad hoc. at times. Students would come to his house first to sit and talk. Those looking in would have no inkling that at the back of the building instruction in penca was underway. always on Friday evenings in the courtyard of a local school. He was. the air being one of critical inquiry rather than competition. smoking and chatting. the space was given over to training in penca. the players would. depending on who came to visit as much as any schedule. offering explanation on the possible interpretations of the movements of the jurus very early on in the process of . Wa often stressed. he had positions on the committees of both the local branches of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association and the Indonesian Pencak Silat Union. his teaching was extremely egalitarian. but had never attended a meeting. Training sessions were scheduled at least once a week. filterless clove cigarettes of which. step out to perform the sequence of movements. and then contest points made in usik. in this sense. drinking coffee. Forty-plus years of experience usually ensured his superiority. like many Sundanese men. but. the area was wide enough to accommodate two players comfortably. Meeting to train was. he had his arm locked out or was bounced off the wall by his students. Widely respected among members of the Silat community. he smoked between forty and sixty a day. The affairs were never unduly serious though. one by one. as much about silaturahmi (brotherhood) as learning the jurus. One of the senior students would dem- onstrate the movements while Uwa Udun would shout commands and correct movements from the edge of the room. his students helped him out when they could.64 chapter 2 Of limited financial means. A large room with a small fishpond to one side. it was said. The onlookers would interact with Wa as he and others present – accomplished students or teachers in their own right – would discuss the principles of the jurus. and then move to the kitchen to either receive instruction in the jurus or to play usik with one another. far more open than many gurus. and. If those present were of sufficient ability they would take it in turns to test each other’s skill in usik. To this end his home was the gathering point for members of the school he headed. usually bringing him packs of the large.

Now living in Bintaro. and this does seem to reflect a general pattern in the instruction of women in the household. As their ability in executing the jurus progressed. and the students learn jurus from both of these systems. Rifa’i was unusual in that he learnt from his grandmother. interaction between the sexes is often restricted in accor- dance with Islamic proscriptions. where restrictions would have been relaxed. This is in part due to the com­ mitment of Pak Rifa’i to ipsi. having to wait months. was developed as perasaan (‘sensitivity’) was honed in usik. a Cimande teacher living in Jakarta. the student would begin to learn and refine possible applications in usik. However. The majority of the members of the school – perhaps eight – that train on a regular basis. He was a staunch supporter of ipsi from the revival of the organization at the beginning of the seventies under the leadership of Tjokropranolo. Well-respected by other members of the ipsi board. even years. While the practice of silat by women now- adays is commonplace. before any explanation was proffered of how the jurus might be used in application. live close by. he told me that he had not been taught like this. promoting the art at home and abroad as a leading member of the jury of umpires (wasit juri) that oversaw the development of rules in olah raga. Moreover. Once boasting many pupils. in public. and that the wide- spread practice of women is a recent phenomenon. 15 Betawi is a term applied generically to the styles of silat practised within Jakarta. Bapak Rifa’i Sahib. An exponent of both Silat Betawi and Cimande. Jurus in the Aliran Cimande In the style of Cimande. Pak Rifa’i was held by many of them at the time to be one of the few serving officials able to encompass both the traditional and modern aspects of Pencak Silat. Pak Rifa’i runs the school from his home. These sessions were exploratory. Panca Sakti. . Comprehension of the applications. jurus are taught a little differently. is head of the school. Rifa’i first learnt within the confines of his home. many older teachers told me that there were no women practicing with them when they had first started to learn.15 after 1957 he also learnt the aliran Cimande. South Jakarta. which he founded in 1975. he teaches these styles within his perguruan. and made a reputation for himself. and Wa Udun’s kitchen a laboratory for the practice and refinement of penca skills under the guidance of the guru. in recent years the school’s activities and its membership have declined. Schooled from an early age in Betawi styles of Silat by his grandmother.Bodies of Knowledge 65 instruction. in which he served as a member of the governing board until 2003. the buah (literally ‘fruit’. or indeed vice versa. the ‘crop’) that might be derived from the jurus.

he had had to travel far to study with his teacher. the sacrifices he made in order to apprentice himself to his teacher were very different to the ease with which he made their training accessible to them. and had suggested to that he should go to Cimande to train. or attempted to work it out for oneself. I would not understand (paham) anything through talking. and. chil- lies and provisions for their guru had been good training for him and his fellow students. they had only to walk the fifty or so yards from their houses. and that they did not appreciate the value of having this opportunity to train purely by virtue of their living in Bintaro. as Rifa’i often reminded his stu- dents. beginning with the learning of jurus. stating that I had travelled from the uk.16 The initial jurus that 16 Pak Rifa’i chastised me on more than one occasion for continuing to ask questions about the jurus that I was learning. but had not been brave enough: one did not ask one’s teacher for clarification. In the fifties. However. in his view. On occasion. and walking three kilometres downhill each morning in order to purchase rice. but waited until such was forthcoming. The journey was far from easy. In contrast. While originally receiving instruction from members of his own family in Silat Betawi. Practical demonstrations were rare. before the construction of this highway the journey was more arduous. only through practice. . the paths to the village were treacherous. Pak Rifa’i often told them that they are fortunate to be studying a system such as Cimande. Staying with his teacher for the weekend. were given to questioning in ways that Indonesians were not. with no electric- ity or macadamized surfaces. Bapak Rifa’i described his teacher as ‘stingy’ (pelit) in his passing on of knowl- edge of both the jurus and any idea on how the movements might actually be used. he explained. He had often wanted to ask ques- tions of his teacher about what he was being taught. living at the time in Jakarta but travelling each Saturday morning to his guru’s kampung outside of Bogor. he would even cite my presence to his students as an example of the expense and efforts that some had to go to in order to undertake instruc- tion in the art. and this lack of commitment by the students in Bintaro was a cause of constant consternation for Pak Rifa’i.66 chapter 2 Classes were not always well attended. The road from the highway up to the home of Rifa’i’s teacher in Cimande was only constructed in the seventies. The distance today is easily accom- plishable in a matter of hours on the toll-road that runs out of the capital to Bogor. and that I had a research agenda to fulfil. Instruction in Cimande had been slow. he would travel back to the city to attend high school on a Monday morning. While he understood that Westerners were different. to find an authentic teacher of the art in Jakarta. This was in the 1950s. at an early age a visiting guru had been impressed when watching him practice.

along with Eddie Nalapraya. to which I shall return below. Training was harsh. students would in effect be recognising Rifa’i as their teacher. which. Jurus Betawi also formed part of the curriculum that he taught within his school. but these were taught separately from jurus 17 There is more to this than an insistence upon adat (cutom) as practiced in Cimande. sat as a member of the dewan pembina (development council) of the pbipsi. he was recognized as an important figure by many members of ipsis governing board. When I first outlined my research plans to ipsi and requested their assistance in contacting teachers in Cimande. I was informed that they would not be able to offer much help in this matter as gaining access to the community was difficult even for senior members of ipsi. While ipsi consider Cimande to be one of the historically most important aliran in Indonesia.17 However. who have an extremely rich and powerful figurehead in Rosano Barack as the head of their school. and was a close business associate of Bambang Trihatmodjo. Rosano Barack. with the guru letting the student know when sufficient mastery had been achieved by passing on the next jurus in the sequence. Suharto’s second son. Rifa’i was one of the only members of the Governing Council to have direct access to Cimande. Bapak Rifa’i was far more amenable to recent innovation in the art. would have resulted in a perceived division of loyalties. Although more modern in outlook. whilst their persever- ance was continuously tested and their character constantly observed by their guru. within his own perguruan those wishing to study jurus Cimande had still eventually to go with him to the village to undergo the initiatory ceremony and pledge (talek) to one of the elders. This was the case with the perguruan pstd Kalimasada. Although he would teach applications or techniques to the uninitiated. It was for these reasons that he was chosen as part of the team of teachers to develop a national standard system of jurus for ipsi in 1997. As such. Knowledge of penca was not given lightly. a non-functionary executive position. and the students submitted themselves absolutely to the authority of their teacher. in the past. In contrast to many of the gurus still resident in Cimande. This insistence on custom had. The murid had to be patient and work hard. Indeed. if they were already enrolled in another perguruan. the community itself remains resistant to overtures from outside agencies and relatively impenetrable to ipsi. brought him into conflict with senior figures within ipsi when they requested that he teach Cimande to various groups that had not undergone the initiation. a constant ordeal. he refused to divert in any way from the rules governing the transmission of Cimande as they had been taught to him.Bodies of Knowledge 67 were taught were practiced indefinitely. . and well- respected for his proficiency and understanding of Pencak Silat. he would only teach the jurus to those that had been sworn into the practice of the art. In taking the oath.

in the front room. facing on to the narrow path that leads to the small mosque positioned at the centre of the kampung. they worked through the jurus they had memorized. a modest abode. the student then begins to practice them standing up.18 Instruction in jurus Cimande begins initially from a seated position. The pattern is varied through speed of execution. Stylistically there is also some degree of variation in the jurus from guru to guru and school to school. The sequence is performed extremely quickly. The players might swap the roles of attacker and receiver after a set number of repetitions. they would begin to exercise in pairs under the watchful eye of Pak Rifa’i. It also requires two people to practice these jurus. However. The area where he lives is typical of the many crowded kampung in Jakarta: his house. and a waist-level boundary wall marks the edge of his property. and speed of execution depends upon the experience of the players. with the receiver now in the attacking role. The actual number of jurus taught in Cimande can and does vary from guru to guru. the students would begin to gather at Bapak Rifa’i’s house around eight in the evening. The core of the system however is contained in the first few jurus. the remaining jurus to a greater or lesser extent being a recombination of these. with Rifa’i teaching a total of thirty-six jurus. or. This system of transmission thus ensures a stabilization of form. The exchange is highly structured. developing the reactions of both players.68 chapter 2 Cimande and not subject to the same restrictions. veneration for one’s guru and the lineage of Cimande informing a reticence to consciously change or modify the jurus. Depending on how many are present. moving the furniture to the edges to clear a practice space. or. and the receiver again slaps aside the attack to begin the sequence anew. change roles on an impromptu basis to test the reactions of one’s partner. To one side of his house is a small compound. thirty-three or thirty-six jurus. One side would initiate the sequence. On days when training was scheduled in Bintaro. Sitting to face one another. The partner slap blocks while reciprocating the strike. the students will train in this yard. who traps the attack- er’s punching hand while simultaneously striking to their head. which in itself is unique amongst aliran in West Java. and different teachers that I met counted twenty-eight. . The change over sequence is initiated by the receiver. as was often the case with Pak Rifa’i’s students. they remain remarkably consistent. After mastering the jurus from a seated position. with the other receiving his partner’s strikes. Concentrating intently upon the correct execution of movements. but the 18 The actual number taught varies according the respective lineages in Cimande. if only are few are in attendance. with the set patterns of interaction growing in complexity and length as one progresses through the curriculum. given the wide demographical distribution of these jurus throughout West Java and what is today Banten.

and Rifa’i was pleased with their progress. cleverness. glosses the word jurus as ‘skill’ (2000: 40). practical knowledge in combination with ability. or. ‘to under- stand. The other purpose of these jurus. descending to the floor to take the place of one of the players in order to demonstrate a particular point or principle. . Jurus. Davies. was a necessary adjustment to modern times (jaman moderen) as students no longer had the patience to learn in the way that he had been taught. They had learnt as far as the eighteenth jurus. They engender within the individual the kinaesthetic and proprio- ceptive sensitivity necessary to respond in accordance with a predefined system of action – the principles of movement of a particular aliran. a capacity for improvization that is a conse- quence of structured learning and which is developed through conscious reflection on the ways of moving the body cultivated through their practice. The aim ultimately is to harden the forearms and refine technique to such a degree that one’s limbs become a formidable weapon. when necessary. expertness. requires explica- tion and direct reflection if habitual response is to become equal to any given moment of generative performance. The brutal contact of bone on bone as one player blocked the other’s punches eventually steels one to the pain of such a blow.Bodies of Knowledge 69 choreography of the exchange remains the same until the receiver interjects the changeover sequence. while habitual in the sense that it is pre-reflective. That is. In this sense jurus are more than a mere repertoire of techniques or body of cumulative knowledge. or an ability to perform a function acquired or learnt with practice’. is for harsh limb conditioning. the notion of ability acquired through bodily practice that. They are better understood as an adaptive system. ‘Capability of accomplishing something with precision and certainty. It also cites a more archaic use of the term. This. calling out corrections. Among the definitions of the word skill proffered by the Oxford English Dictionary is the following. They are the means by which the player acquires a certain set of pre-reflexive responses. in reference to these ways of learning in Indonesian martial arts. and learnt initially by rote. and it is this older definition in conjunction with the more modern usage that better glosses the term jurus in English. he often told me. Jazz Riffs and the Pedagogy of Pencak Silat The essence of the combative rationale of a particular style or aliran is then contained within these formalized sequences of movements. Pak Rifa’i would oversee the action. and one for which Cimande is well known. the jurus. The students here had been learn- ing for over a year. comprehend’ (oed 2014). which was at a far accelerated rate to that which Bapak Rifa’i had learnt in Cimande.

practicing characteristic jazz scales – until he gradually acquires. Learning to negotiate the keyboard according to structured princi- ples. the ways of shaping the hand. by virtue of the experiencing of the many thousands of hand positions. his hands moving through a ‘course of ways…of accentual landmarks’ (2001: 122) as they shaped themselves to reach for the music. so the ability to match the response to the situation became more adaptable. In his at times obscurantist account of skill development in learning to improvise jazz piano. Sudnow’s first steps in learning to play jazz are rule bound. visually grasped place-out-there by theoretic looking becomes unnecessary. I went for each scale at a particular place.70 chapter 2 Skill acquisition in penca must then find expression in application. a finger by finger orientation now supplanted by whole – handed entry’ (Sudnow 2001: 24). leading to a fluid . body knowledge cannot be learnt by rote. sudnow 2001: 16 As Sudnow progressed. in that finding the named. he came to tell what a note would sound like not through recognition of the specific keys. scales came to be perceived as arrayed courses of keys: ‘[s]oon a gestalt of the route as a whole was detected. timing and distancing. as he learns to traverse the keyboard – finding notes. Spatial awareness. The body’s own appreciative structures serve to find places. As the accumulation of a corpus of experiential configurations progressed. through relative positioning and. [I]ncorporated for example. understanding of how the body moves in relation to other bodies – the essence of skilled practice – must be acquired and refined in usik. acquiring the ability to move. Beyond learning the basic repertoire of body movements. and in time this skill becomes so refined and generalized that precise alignment at the centre isn’t even needed. but must be cultivated through immersion in practice. it was his ‘hands’ that were learning. but because it was ‘a next sound. and I saw the path against the background of the terrain…. an incorporated sense of places and distances. A grasp develops of the setting of the keyboard and its dimensions relative to the hand’s and arm’s moving extension form the body’s centre. because my hand was so engaged with the keyboard that through its own configurations and potentialities it laid out a setting of sounding places right up ahead of itself’ (italics in original 2001: 47). David Sudnow (2001) gives a detailed description of processes that strongly resonate with the learning of Pencak Silat through the study of jurus. Sudnow was no longer ‘mindful’. the specific responses acquired over years of practice. as he puts it.

He notes that had he attempted to film and slow down what his teacher was doing in order to reduce it to some kind of descriptive system. the resultant nomencla- tive repertory and structural intricacy would have formed a formidable barrier to learning. In his ground breaking work on the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. recording and terminological classification. The move- ments in themselves remain ambiguous. A senior practitioner related to me that he had practised for five years before his teacher had begun to ‘open’ the jurus. There are practices of melodying (and talking). and he finally began to understand the ways of moving that he had spent so long perfecting. with the next in the series not being taught until the teacher is satisfied with the student’s ability to perform the last. For there is no melody (or talk) as an objective structure. learning how to move the body is only the beginning of the journey to mastery of the jurus. In the peda- gogy of penca. with the aim of demonstrating the principles underpinning the movement expressed in the jurus. One does not understand (paham) the jurus until they are ‘opened’ (dibuka). it is the retro- spective comprehension of a possible expression of the principles inherent in the jurus that leads to further progression in learning. Sudnow (2001) writes about an analogous process in his learning. Greg Downey uses the notion of imitative ‘scaffolding’ to describe the process by . existing in nature. of soundful artic- ulated reaching. his teacher provided him with a ‘piece of melody’. not open to easy comprehension. The amount of time spent in learning a particular jurus is dependent on the ability of the student. Yet. the total number of jurus depend- ing on the style being learnt. And there’s no shortage of dubiously useful ways for characterizing ‘structure’ in the frozen object called ‘melody’.Bodies of Knowledge 71 and improvizational adaptation equal to the particular generative moments in the unfolding of a jazz melody playing. This is usually done through demonstration of a possible combative application from the jurus. Sudnow 2001: 126 In the practise of jurus the student first learns a series of movements by rote. In response to Sundow’s urging. The student practises the series sequentially. detailing its construction in order to extract ‘a nameable route [on the piano] to formulate his doings for my sake’ (2001: 124). the guru unlocking the jurus by passing on a ‘key’ (kunci) to the student. As with Sudnow’s ‘piece of melody’. regardless of how long this might take. the explanation of possible applications arising from the ways of moving the body that have been inculcated through constant repetition is shown through example. given pos- sibilities of transcription. emphasis in original.

which Downey notes can. 2008: 210 Enculturation is similarly intersubjective in learning to play penca. in West Java. and it can apply to perceptual. with the teacher leading the student to levels of understanding of the ways their body has been trained to move. For example. And this is brought about through self-reflexive practice that is a consequence of scaffolded learning through practical example. The movement is thus neither strike nor block. Other prescriptions apply. proceeding from case study rather than princi- ple. Significantly. only possible applications. Yet. Being able to play penca competently thus entails both training ways of moving the body. taken as a whole these pedagogical techniques draw attention to key characteristics of skill acquisition as enculturation. might be used to block or deflect an incoming strike. imparting knowledge from the other end of the process. it can be neither without the capacity for the body to move in such a way that any potential technique might be expressed. for example. equally. such as the teacher’s appraisal of the character of the murid. but has the potential to be either. but. the opening of jurus is embedded in the customary practices that govern instruction. not the jurus. The ‘opening’ of the jurus usually took the form of a specific example in order that the student might begin to ascertain a ‘name- able route’ through which to guide and define the ways they had learned to move their bodies. a system of exchange in which the pedagogical progress of the student is not the only criteria for such knowledge to be passed on. A number of ‘practical and discursive’ pedagogical strategies are utilized by the instructor in this process of scaffolding.72 chapter 2 which a teacher might support the student to emulate their actions in ways they would not otherwise be able to at their level of ability (2008: 206–207). Although the specific forms of scaffolding are diverse (and imitation may also be unscaffolded). and the time taken in learning the jurus grants an ideal evaluative period during which the guru can to assess their charge’s suitability to receive further instruction. Pak Rifa’i told me that it was also possible to teach large groups in. he would only teach tech- niques or buah. practical. open seminars. the hands. of why one moves the body in relation to potential threat. In doing so he passed on no real understanding of Cimande. moved in a certain way. the difficulty in extrapolating the latter from the former . He explained that with those he had little acquaintance with. be more or less formal or formulaic. or even emotional dimensions of a skill. the same movement could be used in application as a strike itself. In his view. and comprehension of a name- able route. as it were.

and meant he passed on very little to the uninitiated. 19 Usually. Initially movements are learnt through repetition. and proprioceptive and kinaesthetic awareness developed according to spe- cific principles. In application of the jurus the exponent must respond to an opponent who. would stay constant. though. Self-reflexive awareness of action and the principles of movement are equally as important in cultivating the capac- ity for improvisation in penca.Bodies of Knowledge 73 made it safe to teach in this way. Sudnow’s main point of reference. they often proved unable to do so. . is that the involute structure that Sudnow learns to play is analogical to the pedagogi- cal process through which the body is cultivated through training the jurus. and here the comparison with Sudnow’s experience of learning mediated by the piano must be qualified. the ways of moving the body in the jurus. and. he found it almost impossible to reproduce. one’s own position in relation to those posing the threat. ‘Only if an express intention to do some play for its reproduction was sustained in the course of a first production was it possible for one to play it again’ (2001: 28). Perhaps the angle of the attacker’s strike had been slightly altered. their grouping. When requesting a repeat performance of a particular inter- pretation of a jurus I would. one’s own level of awareness of the situation. be shown something entirely different from the ‘technique’ that had just been executed. the principle behind the response. Yet. the encounter with one’s opponent is intersubjective. On occasion. however. For example. whether or not they are armed. the environment that the confrontation takes place in. The poten- tial variables involved are numerous. their weight. while the particular response changed. the relative skill level of attackers. or the energy of their attack was different. learning jurus is not simply to commit to somatic ‘memory’ some set of pre-programmed responses. is unpredictable. when pressed to repeat what he had just improvised. an unchanging topography that he learnt to negotiate ex tempore. Sudnow tells us that his piano teacher often had the same problem. The given would be that it was difficult to replicate something that was spontaneous (spontan). size. the number of attackers one faced. The point to be made. to a greater or lesser degree. provoking an improvisa- tional response of the player that was equal to the possibilities that presented themselves at the moment of the attack – improvisation dictated by circum- stance.19 In this respect. was constant. one’s emotional state. Any number of further factors might shape the way a violent encounter unfolds. the body trained to move. the piano keyboard. and so on. when I asked teachers with whom I was training to repeat movements that they had just executed. at times. height. their positioning had changed.

At the beginning of the 1970s. was brought together by ipsi to develop a standard- ized system of jurus. Setia Hati. In 1981 Eddie Nalapraya took over from Tjokropranolo as head of ipsi (Kompas 21 December 1981). However. Nalapraya 1983: 1 To supplement his introduction of the ipsi pledge in 1986 (prasetya pesilat Indonesia. For example. have an identity and national consciousness. strengthening national iden- tity. while ipsi had long harboured plans for a com- mon pedagogical standard. jurus wajib and the International Practice of Pencak Silat In the mid-1990s in Jakarta. who drew upon the jurus of his perguruan. the innovation of olah raga had brought the organization back from relative obscurity at the begin- ning of the seventies. to possess ‘value as a symbol to illus- trate the philosophical teaching and or ethical code that must or [that is] wished to be apprehended and practised by the user’ (pbipsi 1995: 1). each associated with a particular line of the pledge. His fervently nationalistic conception of Pencak Silat as a medium for the promotion of national development is clear from his comments made at the beginning of his tenure. Under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Tjokropranolo. performed as a whole. must be cultivated and developed in order to strengthen the thorough compre- hension and implementation of Pancasila. Chapter 1). ipsi had overseen the introduction of competitive fighting.74 chapter 2 One Nation. The express purpose of these jurus was to embody a practical representation of the pledge. olah raga. will be able to fortify national reso- lution. reinforcing the feeling of self esteem and national pride and bolstering the spirit of unity. in their formulation. arms by their side. including among their number Bapak Rifa’i. Pencak Silat education that is already devel- oped will become part of and widen the culture of the people. especially resolution in social-cultural areas. They consist of a series of seven jurus. Pencak Silat. Jurus prasetya were choreographed by one man. Bapak Sakti Tamat. Coupled with the recognition of ipsi as the official governing body by the New Order government. the promotion and develop- ment of aspects of Indonesian culture by the New Order administration as part of its developmental agenda had begun to gather pace (Yampolsky 1995: 707). a group of Pencak Silat teachers. as a part of Indonesian culture which is of noble value. One Art. symbolizing their . this had yet to be implemented at a national level. Eddie Nalapraya ordered the creation of a series of jurus entitled jurus prasetya. and had focused its efforts on developing this aspect of open competition. the movements in the opening salutation begin with the player standing upright.

and the movements included in the jurus were selected to represent this mix. With the initial inclusion of the category of artistic performance in ipsi competitions. Following these. to the archipelagic region. However. the uniform jurus for synchronized team performance. Players associated the movements with Setia Hati. However. Indonesia. the uptake of jurus prasetya was limited. competitors were free to perform jurus from their own schools and styles. it was argued. paired performance (ganda. and many continue to be openly suspicious 20 The term nusantara is used in reference to the Indonesia archipelago. the player descends to the floor in a posture designed to be evocative of ‘knowledge of the rice plant’ (ilmu padi). Thirteen Pencak Silat gurus. as their knowledge grows. The team included gurus from the other three founding members of the International Pencak Silat Federation. The rice plant. If move- ments were standardized. The standard jurus were to be representative of Pencak Silat as a Nusantara art. a standardized jurus for solo performance was created. were brought together at ipsi in Jakarta to choreograph a uniform standard for com- petition. or more generally. there had been no restrictions on what competitors might choose to perform. then any regional or ethnic bias by members of the jury towards a particular style or school would be overcome. solo performances (tunggal). with their basis in the perguruan Setia Hati. The reasons for this included the facilitation of objective judging and the creation of a level playing field for all competitors. this did nothing to dampen the desire for the development of a national standard for jurus. jurus wajib (compulsory jurus) remain a point of major contention. a two person. amongst many of the gurus in West Java. . and synchronized team performance (regu). as it ripens. considered them not to be representative of Pencak Silat more generally. i.e. Yet. In the three separate categories of kesenian competition. Singapore and Brunei. After bringing their hands together in front of their chest. which became jurus regu. Malaysia. the initiative for which came eventually from the perceived need for a competition standard.20 the desire for Pencak Silat to be recognizable as a product of the culture of the Malay World concomitant with the promotion of the art as a competi- tive sport internationally. as such. Analogously. should become more humble.Bodies of Knowledge 75 absolute devotion to God. the Silat player. cho- reographed fight sequence). it was decided to standardize the competitive perfor- mance of kesenian.. with the increasing emphasis on the development of Pencak Silat as an international sport. palms together in a gesture of respect. Yet. Singapore and Brunei. bows down under the weight of the grain on its branches. The development team first put together jurus wiraloka wajib. each representative of a different style. and. Malaysia. The new jurus were introduced at the National Sporting Championships in Surabaya in 2000.

Eventually a compromise was reached. a rem- nant of an authoritarian regime that had as its main aim the propagation of the ideals and ideology of the state. The removal of what was perceived to be a compelling component of penca as it was performed in Sunda was highly contentious. and accordingly comes to signify aspects of Sundanese ways of life in distinction to the perception of jurus wajib and olah raga as being repre- sentative of a national. The language of practice is Sundanese. These contested modalities of practice are by no means exclusive – students in many schools in West Java do train for and compete in regional and national competitions under ipsi rules in both kesenian and olah raga. the Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (ppsi). had never attempted any standardization of form or any uniformity of practice in open competition. . Controversy within ipsi had occurred in 1999 when the organization had tried to do away with what is considered a vital aspect of penca in Sunda: the musical accompaniment to artistic Pencak Silat performances. Those trained in penca come to move in a way that is recognized as being ‘Sundanese’. discursively configured as distinctly Sundanese in relation to the broader. and kesenian continue to be performed to music at regional competitions in West Java. as an articulation of Sundanese identity. Penca is thus constituted as an aspect of Sundanese culture and tradition. and maintaining the integrity of penca is understood as acting to preserve Sundanese culture. The desire for standardization was often perceived as overly nationalistic to the detriment of local culture. The regional board for ipsi in West Java threat- ened to boycott national events when this ruling was introduced.76 chapter 2 of the ipsi project. there is more at stake than contested representations in the introduction of standardized jurus by ipsi. In 1999 ipsi however moved to discontinue musical accompaniment in its competitions during the performance of kesenian. It was often pointed out to me that the rival organization to ipsi in West Java. However. and penca is clearly distinguishable from Pencak Silat. hegemonic modality of practice. And in this sense we can see penca. and proof of the ulterior motives of the organization. historical transformation of Pencak Silat as a component of national culture. arguing that the use of kendang was intrinsic to Pencak Silat in West Java. Yet these practices are perceived as representations of national identity. which is associated with the modernizing discourses of Indonesian nation- hood. ipsi was often decried as a tool of the New Order. giving performers from the region an unfair advantage. in which participants per­ form choreographed dance sequences (ibing) derived from the jurus of their school to the beat of the drum (kendang) and the accompaniment of the trumpet (trompet). This tradition is preserved within ppsi competitions.

They are instead specific techniques. drawn from many different styles. As such. Yet even consid- ered in this regard it was said that they had no narrative or ‘story’ (cerita) in the sense that. Although the jurus were comprised of different styles. applications of movements rather than the more abstract principles that ultimately give rise to individual techniques. complaining that the practitioners of ipsi jurus often had only the most rudi- mentary idea of what they were doing. vigorously expressed. and were the basis of quite different responses to the ways that the exponent might respond to an attack. These jurus thus function pedagogically in . Moreover. for example. in jurus in the styles of Cimande. in their opinion. teu cocok). Accordingly. a traditional ibing performance in Sunda would follow. were echoed by many of the teachers that I spoke with in West Java and Jakarta. it was hard to comprehend the movements sequentially as a series of possible applications against imaginary attackers because they were unrealistic. In these more traditional modes of practice. Other gurus expressed harsher opinions. jurus wajib did not constitute a consistent set of principles informing tactical response to threat. noting that they were meant for show. jurus wajib were. did not fit with one another (S. after all. but merely a series of movements linked together (rangkaian gerak) that had no instructional value equivalent to that of the traditional jurus that he taught. skill acquisition cannot be separated from the intense personal relationships through which learning takes place. teu aya paham) of Pencak Silat. Consequently. Cikalong or Cikaret. Consequently.Bodies of Knowledge 77 Amongst the many criticisms I heard of jurus wajib. and that they ‘did not have understand- ing’ (S. I was told. strictly speaking they were not jurus. In many respects. And yet the principles informing movement in these styles were not necessarily congruent with each other. these quite different ‘ways of moving the body’ were dovetailed together in order to be representative of the diversity of Pencak Silat. Others even compared jurus wajib to the performance of ibing. for example. The nationalist logic that guided the choreographic arrangement of jurus wajib assumed a relationship of equivalence amongst all the styles from which they were drawn. movements extracted from the various systems that comprise jurus wajib have been simpli- fied in order to facilitate mass dissemination and have none of the ambiguity of application that one finds. varieties of the same art. Instruction thus proceeds in a very different way to jurus as they are taught in West Java where comprehension is contingent upon the guru ‘unlocking’ the generative potential of the jurus at a moment they decide to be appropriate. they were. ‘empty’ (kosong) or devoid of meaning. the functional difference from Sundanese jurus as pedagogical device seemed to be the crux of the matter. As one guru explained to me. Such sentiments. most often voiced were those that claimed the movements.

When confronted by an unknown opponent who also gives this sign. These relationships link these players through their guru and the style in which they train. and combat between them will be avoided. as an exponent of Cimande. exegesis being confined mainly to the correction of technique in execution. Correct execution is also the main emphasis in performance. ultimately back to the apparent progenitor of the system. Jurus wajib are the progeny of a collaborative exercise finalized under the auspices of ipsi and the International Pencak Silat Federation (persilat). The instruction of the simplified movements of jurus wajib is free from any of the prescriptions placed upon the transmission of knowledge in Sunda.78 chapter 2 an entirely different manner and exist in a very different ecology of knowledge to jurus wajib. Jurus salapan taught by Uwa Udun are traceable through a lineage back to the penca masters. strongly associated with Sundanese identity. This is one of the major transformative effects of the administrative inroads of ipsi into Pencak Silat. Embah Kahir. In open competition the aim is the perfect reproduction of form and any deviation in performance is penalized by a deduction of points under the competition rules. The opening movement in the first jurus from peupeuhan Cikaret is a sign intended to signify membership of this group. Udun sits at the centre of a network of practitioners in Cikaret to whom he has passed on his knowledge of penca as he inherited it from his father and uncle. and thus commemorate in performance the unity of Pencak Silat as not only an Indonesian endeavour. Jurus in West Java are associated with a specific person or place and. perform the same art in open competition. but a product of Nusantara culture. The constituent elements – the styles from which they were developed – no longer figure in the attribution of descent. whatever their nationality. as a corollary of this. These lineages have been incorporated into an institutional framework that assumes provenance and deterritorializes these specific associations through a flattening of difference. Jurus developed by ipsi for open competition both personify and embody nationalist sentiment. Bapak Rifa’i. Bang Kari and Bang Made. and a small community located on the river Cimande just outside of Bogor. Through their participation they are able to recognize themselves ‘as members of a community. International competition ensures that all Pencak Silat players. the player will recognize a member of the same fraternity (persaudaraan). There is no need for the ipsi coach to observe the students moral character or monitor their progress before imparting further learning. Instruction is instead highly formalized and geared towards competitive performance. of a common body’ . Movements of practitioners of a particular aliran are recognisable by other players as originating from a particular locale. traces his lineage back through his teacher.

for that matter. but of the points at which the state comes to exist as an entity in its own right (Mitchell 1999: 78) in the lives of those con- nected to the practice and performance of Pencak Silat. this is not merely a process of disciplining recalcitrant bodies. I have argued that improvisation is.Bodies of Knowledge 79 (Jackson 1983: 338). and of interaction with others in training that is vital to the development of the generative potential of jurus penca in application. while it would be misleading to consider hegemonic expressions of national unity in terms of their authenticity. are the basis for extemporization. and their ease of reproduc- tion is achieved at the cost of generative potential as all ambiguity in perfor- mance is removed. In a practical sense. That is. to reduce them simply to a ‘totalising politics of opposition…defined exclusively as a politics of consciousness’ (Bennett 1990: 265). In drawing the comparison between Sudnow’s account of learning how to play jazz piano and the process of instruction in penca. these antagonistic strategies are revealing not simply of the limits of the state. Rather. two quite different modes of prac- tice. a highly structured practice. the institutional- ized practice of jurus wajib is a performance of symbolic unity. in fact. it should be emphasized. celebrating the uniformity of Pencak Silat as an Indonesian and Nusantaran art. Inasmuch as modern sporting Pencak Silat and penca have come to be defined in opposition to one another. the aim of which is the hegemony of form. or. in essence. the arrogation of existing practices by ipsi as an agent of the state. there is no doubting the pedagogical transformation brought about by the institutionalization of practice. On the other hand. it springs from a repertoire of action. while remaining stable in transmission. Yet. jurus wajib work to effect closure. Conclusion In exploring the differences between jurus penca and jurus wajib my aim has been to establish that they are. it is the formation of new subjects and subjectivities in which national identity and devotion to the state underpin the constitution of the ipsi Pencak Silat player as an Indonesian citizen. of ‘ways of moving the body’. Jurus as they are practised in West Java. and are constantly open to reinterpretation in a way that jurus wajib are not. are no less authentic than those instantiated through the practice of penca in West Java. and all difference between players effaced. . The dynamic potential of jurus that is realized pedagogically in penca is thus sacrificed in an attempt to achieve fixity of the symbolic order through embodied performance of national unity (Hughes-Freeland 2001: 145). These subjectivities. However.

albeit informal process. is a highly structured. In contrast. to which I shall return in due course. in both cases. Conscious reflec- tion and the post factum analysis of the ways of moving the body are critical to this process. within ipsi. . but the free play of usik. and infor- mal and sociable interactions between teacher and students. Modes of knowledge trans- mission in Pencak Silat are thus transformed within ipsi by the separation of sparring and artistic performance. The effects of these transformations can also be discerned in other forms of knowledge associated with the art. the ability to ‘feel’ and sense one’s partner. according to the aesthetic criteria of competition standards. there are similarities in learning how to improvise. the focus is on the development of technique in isolation. the realization of the generative potential of jurus in penca stems not just from learned repertoire. and can be thought of in Downey’s terms as part of the pedagogi- cal ‘scaffolding’ (Downey 2008) underpinning knowledge transmission in the art.80 chapter 2 As I have tried to elicit more clearly through the comparison of Sudnow’s account of learning to play jazz piano and the pedagogy of penca in West Java. I have suggested that these peda- gogical similarities are grounded in the acquisition of performative repertoires as the fundamental basis of extemporization. which is appraised on the basis of individual performance. I want first to look more closely at the traditional practice of Pencak Silat as it exists today in West Java. which. However.

ipsi acknowledges the importance of these two styles. Of the many different schools and styles of Pencak Silat in Indonesia. Kartomi 1981. are considered to be the oldest. ipsi is thus both the inheritor and custodian of the national cultural heritage of Pencak Silat. regional practices are held to be the wellspring of tradition from which the modern art sprang.. In West Sumatra. and once made Bogor a pleasant hillside retreat for the Dutch colonial administration. The area’s cool climate is a welcome break from the heat of the plains below.1163/9789004289352_005 . It is the spiritual home of the style of Pencak Silat which takes its name from the area. In accordance with the historical narrative that underpins the progression of Pencak Silat into a modern sport under the auspices of ipsi. Ratu 1952. the Minangkabau (Harun n. The area is a watershed and the verdant growth of the tea and coffee plantations that blanket the surrounding slopes provide abundant testimony to the fecundity of the soil. Holt 1972. is a centre of far more than agricultural production. For its part. Similarly in West Java penca is both a fighting system and a performance art and held to be integral to conceptions of Sundanese ethnicity. and of these styles two. Yet the authorita- tive claims made to the representation of Pencak Silat at national level belie © koninklijke brill nv. Cimande is perhaps the most well-known. the aliran Cimande (Fig. Saleh 1985). however. West Java and West Sumatra. Pauka 1998). Cimande and silek Tuo (literally ‘old silat’). and the main sources of Pencak Silat as found in Indonesia today. on the outskirts of Bogor. are commonly held to be the birthplaces Pencak Silat. took as its point of refer- ence these two aliran (Nalapraya 1992: 6). leiden. the two regions from where these styles originate. Bone Setting and the Blood of the Ancestors Introduction In the highlands to the south of Jakarta. sits the village of Cimande. 2015 | doi 10. Cimande and silek Tuo.d. ipsi recognizes some 800-odd styles of Pencak Silat. according to Eddie Nalapraya. 4). Pencak Silat is referred to locally as silek and is inseparable from per- formance traditions particular to the people of the region. chapter 3 Blessings. Those who train in the art in West Sumatra do so as a means of self-defence in order to protect themselves when travelling abroad (merantau). Cimande. which. Nor 1986. to the development of the standardized system of modern Pencak Silat. and many different aliran exist throughout the Minangkabau region (Cordes 1990.

13 RT.9 Cimande Village Kampung EyangAce TariKolot Kampung original area of Tari Kolot Lasiha Masjid Masjid Babakan RT.5 Kampung Pancawati Masjid Nangoh JL Nangoh N .4 0 km 100 KantorDesa Desa N RT.6 RT. 82 Desa Eyang Ciderum Karta Singga RT.11 mosque Desa Lemah RT.10 graveyard Duhur Pendopo Embah RT.8 Masjid Pesantren RT.D s.7 RT.1 Nangoh Cianjur Babakan RT.15 RT (Rukun Tetangga) boundary RT.2 MAP OF CIMANDE VILLAGE JAKARTA Masjid Masjid Bogor Cimande Kampung RT. RT.3 RT.16 map not to scale R iv e r Cim a nd e chapter 3 Figure 4  Map of Cimande Village . T A R I KO L O T RT.12 J LN .14 rice crops Bapak Pendopo Buyut Ace RT.

intermediaries and possessors of sacred knowledge. The elders of the village of Cimande mediate relations with the ancestors. overlapping and ambiguous. The gravesites of the ancestors mark the physical boundaries of the village. is multiple. Wessing 1978: 23–24. and safeguard the legacy of penca Cimande. and there was no formal contact with the village. and the assumption of idioms of ‘power’ as inhering to a person or place. the alam ghaib – relations that are strongly bound to the topographical ordering of space traced back to the original founding of the settlement (Wessing 2001: 33–34). 1987: 170) and Java (Anderson 1972a. and remain the focal point for relations with the ‘unseen world’. and the local- ity where the style is said to have originated. Authority afforded those able to . In this chapter I look more closely at both the aliran Cimande. and kept these two aspects of his life quite separate from one another when visiting his teacher. As I discussed in the introduction to this book. Bapak Rifa’i. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 83 the lack of penetration by ipsi in much of West Java. When I had first discussed my intentions to spend some time in Cimande with Pak Tata.Blessings. and is seen to confer authority to those that possess it (Errington 1983). In their capacity as spiritual preceptors. both manifest and ‘non-manifest’ (Connor 1995: 125). Keeler 1987: 38–40). the notion of sakti has been commonly inter- preted by academic commentators as implying a concentration of some kind of cosmic energy. to which they claim proprietary rights. Those that are sakti are thought of as effi- cacious social agents. revered practitioners of penca Cimande. Located just a couple of hours drive away from Jakarta on the highway to Sukabumi. the Executive Director of ipsi. In Cimande. in which sakti is understood as spiritual ‘potency’. the agency of social entities. he commented on how difficult this might prove to be. the community of Cimande has remained closed to ipsi. As a style of Pencak Silat. the elders are held to be sakti. Through their relationship with the ances- tors the elders work to transform potential threats to the village of Cimande. Looking closely at technolo- gies of spiritual protection in Cimande. a member at that time of ipsi’s governing board. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cimande. had been trained in aliran Cimande since he was a child. and hence better understood in terms of its ontological dimensions. Through these personal relations they guarantee the spiritual wellbeing of the community. what is today the village of Cimande. yet he had never visited the village as a representative of ipsi. I argue that sakti is also a descriptive term used in reference to a mode of being. Cimande has come to be synonymous with the spiritual knowledge associated with the traditional practice of the art. This is evident in ethnographies of Sunda (Antlöv 1995: 100–101. The penca community in Cimande had declined all invitations to take part in events organized by ipsi. Thinking of social agents as being in some way ‘potent’ has resulted in an imposition of too strong a sense of individual agency.

Tari Kolot and Babakan. 1 Breman has shown the degree to which the conception of the village or desa as a bounded entity is a colonial construction (1980). as will become clear in the main body the text. The road from Jakarta to Sukabumi was not constructed until the fifties. and all births. or ‘hamlets’. getting to Cimande used to take some time and effort. The Village of Cimande Bounded on the east by the imposing figure of Mount Pangrango. 2 Rukun may be glossed as ‘harmonious’ and encompasses the conception of the ‘ideal com- munity’. deaths and marriages must also be announced to them. The village (desa) of Cimande as an administrative is new. “rts” or ‘neigh- bourhood associations’2 (rukun tetangga). that comprise the village or desa. and the track leading up to the village from the highway was not asphalted until the early 1970s. and later a unit of territorial control under the New Order. The households in the ward elect the head of each rt every three years from among its local residents. the broken bones set straight and healed by their hands. place and things through which efficacious social entities define and preserve social order in Cimande can be thought of as an act of ontological construction achieved through the transformation of potential threat by the elders. the rt as a civil administrative unit provided a means of keeping up close scrutiny of the populace. these living in the three adjacent kampung. and part of the rt head’s civil duties was to act as liaison for the administration. Rather. However.1 These three kampung. The ontological force of their acts is manifest corporeally in the invulnerable bodies of penca players in Cimande. Although the village is relatively close to the capital city of Jakarta. see also Bowen 1986). the village of Cimande takes its name toponymically from the river that meanders down through the surrounding lush foothills. a fiction (Breman 1988: 16ff).84 chapter 3 utilize technologies of spiritual protection is not just a matter of recognition. It is the rt head’s . with the smaller Mount Salak rising to the West. the nexus of person. being reated in 1984 with the incorporation of the neighbouring village of Lemah Duhur in response to the needs of a growing population. All new arrivals must report to the head of the rt. as I will show. Nangoh. The colonial characterization of the “traditional’ Asiatic village as a closed. stationary and strongly collectivist social formation’ is. The government census of 2001 put the population of Cimande at 4959 people (Pemerintah Kabupaten Bogor 2001). and. Breman argues. Under the New Order. in Cimande the congruence between socially significant and adminstrative boundaries in desa Cimande has been achieved through the efforts of people from the village. are further divided up into sixteen smaller administrative units. of mutual assistance and communal sharing and cooperation (Mulder 1998: 62–63.

it is these borders that are of far greater significance to the inhabitants of Cimande. A group of one to three houses is referred to as an umbulan (Garna 1984: 228). Prior to the creation of desa Cimande in 1984 kampung Tari Kolot had been just one rt comprised of three smaller settlements.3 However. . Yet. and the neighbouring kampung. and is referred to simply as babakan. and that the penca he taught originated with the people of area. what is now rt 8 had been a group of thirteen houses. his name being Khoir. the walls constructed from the large. and under the New Order this included anything considered to be subversive to government. not Kahir. As I will show. adjacent to the administrative bound- ary with desa Lemah Duhur. The rw. The houses had all been rumah panggung (raised on a platform). the trails dark and narrow. four or five houses in number. Embah Kahir and penca Cimande The innovation of penca Cimande is attributed to Embah4 Kahir. meaning in Sundanese ‘water that is good for the faith’ in reference to the water used for wudhu. is as an expansion area. a term implying a new clearing or settlement. 3 Babakan is used initially in reference to a settlement smaller than a kampung. originating from Badui.Blessings. kampung Babakan remains a ‘new space’ despite having been gradually populated by inhabitants of the surrounding kampung over the last thirty or so years. In the administrative reorganization of 1984 these three settlements became rts 8. which is claimed by some to be an abbreviation of the phrase ‘Cai iman nu hade’. while included within the administrative unit of desa Cimande. woven fronds of pandan leaves. and the sixteen rts are combined into four rws. The settlement to the east of Tari Kolot. is the next level of administrative unit. 4 Embah and Eyang are terms that are used in reference to a revered ancestor in Sundanese. the rukun warga or ‘citizens association’. some purporting that he was in fact an Arab. the ritual ablution before prayer in Islam. 9 and 10 of desa Cimande. In 1958. had been lonely (sepi) to walk at night. the later administrative boundaries are contiguous with the original demarcation lines of the surrounding settlements. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 85 Kampung Nanggoh sits to the west of Tari Kolot. Varying accounts of the life of Embah Kahir exist. The aliran takes its name from the river Cimande.). rt 9 twenty homes and rt 10 just ten dwellings. The paths between these settlements. According to this responsibility to report any suspicious activities. These three settle- ments had once been clearly separated from each other. kampung Tari Kolot at that time comprising forty-three houses in total. comprising rts 11 through to 16. kampung Babakan to the east. others that he was in fact urang kanekes (S.

see also Heryana 1995: 23). he studied many styles of penca. staying there until his death in 1825. Raden Adipati Wiratanudatar. who governed the city from 1776 until 1813. who was renowned for his mystical knowledge. Or that he moved from Banten to Tanah Sereal in Bogor. teaching penca to the local community. In histories recounted to me in Cimande it was usually only Embah Datul Iman who was mentioned as the sole offspring of Embah Kahir. Fearing his activities might bring the com- munity into disrepute. Ocod. where he came to prominence as a penca teacher around 1760. . and eventually settled in the area. Others state that Embah Kahir was related to Embah 5 Ian Wilson cites a similar story. Travelling and teaching throughout West Java. also known as Embah Datul Iman. In this version he apprenticed himself to Embah Buyut. his wanderings bringing him into contact with a diverse range of teach- ers and players. the most commonly told version of his life places his birthplace in the area surrounding Bogor. Embah Kahir defeated the kuntao expo- nent in a public bout held in the town square (see Gema Pencak Silat 1999: 18–19). and challengers came to test their skills against him. Komar and Oyot (Gema Pencak Silat 1999: 19. and practised ulin Badui. Knowledge of his ability spread. in 1770. also interred in Bogor.6 Embah Kahir is said to have come to Tari Kolot after the death of the Regent of Cianjur.86 chapter 3 version of his history he was a local champion (jawara) who defeated all those who came to test his martial skills. these being Endut. This was however in breach of customary law. The Bupati of Bogor. In this account Embah Khair was from Cikeusik. To avoid such incidents happening again it was decided that the practice of martial arts in Badui would become a secret. and led to his exile. Embah Buyut. that he had heard from two urang kanekes. all of whom he swiftly despatched in combat. In some accounts he is said to have come in search of the founder of the settlement. a Bandung-based guru. where he is now buried. knew of his skill in penca and arranged a match with a Chinese martial artist from Macao. after which he served the Bupati as a pamuk (‘commander’) and taught his skills to many members of the community. However. the local people expelled him from Badui.5 Other accounts state that he was originally from Banten. Eventually. moving initially to kampung Cogreg near the Cimande River just outside of Bogor. consensus has it that Embah Kahir was a farmer from Tanah Sereal in Bogor. In Cimande village itself. 6 Although other accounts from outside of Cimande state that Embah Kahir in fact had five sons. recounted to him by Gending Raspuzi. martial arts writer and historian. and in 1815 Embah Kahir returned to Bogor. withheld from outsiders (Wilson 2002: 40–41). including Chinese kuntao practitioners in Jakarta with whom he is said to have studied. and sired one son. He is said to be buried in Bogor at kampung Sareal (Heryana 1995: 21–23). Otang. or people from Badui. he married a woman from Cianjur and settled there. Embah Jeprah. The Bupati died in 1813.

To a large extent authority in the community of elders in Cimande is consanguineous. They weave the settlement into the weft of the oral histories through which descendants of the founders look back to apical ancestors whose spiritual knowledge and physical prowess allowed them to clear the land and found the original settlement. which is recognized as the first settlement in the area. Embah Buyut and kampung Tari Kolot Embah Buyut is an ambiguous figure. Wessing 2001). and the descendants of Embah Buyut and Embah Kahir. remains enigmatic. details of the founding of Tari Kolot. These narratives serve to link person to place. of the silsilah. They are considered such by right of descent from the founder of Tari Kolot. and their descent from Embah Kahir. The facticity of such accounts notwithstanding. a legacy to which the inhabitants of Cimande today lay claim as the representatives of penca Cimande. and his identity. Tales of a peripatetic search for spiritual and martial knowledge are a common element of myths of foundation in Sunda (for example Wessing 1978: 12–13.Blessings. It is the silsilah – the genealogy through which descent from the progentors of both Cimande the village and Cimande the art – that remains a central source of authority within the community. While more recently efforts have been made by some members of the community to commit this oral history to paper. Details of the first generation from Embah Buyut and of the relationships between the progenitors of Tari Kolot and aliran Cimande frequently vary according to the interlocutor. Buyut is a term used for the founder of the settlement. . are not always shared openly. it seems likely that Cimande became renowned as a centre for instruction in penca with the descendants of Embah Kahir. The land thus assumes significance as the nexus through which these relationships flow. Inasmuch as Embah Kahir might be considered an outsider to the genealogical figuring of descent from Embah Buyut. and to define locality relationally. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 87 Buyut. figured by perceived blood descent (keturunan darah) from Embah Buyut. it seems probable that with the settling of his descendants in the original kampung Tari Kolot he was incorporated into the silsilah. Just how many generations are reckoned to have passed since the founding of Tari Kolot and the beginning of the teaching of penca Cimande in the area is dependent upon whether the two are held to be contemporaries. as with much of the silsilah further back than three or four generations. or one takes Buyut as the starting point for reckoning descent. and it was for this reason that he first came to the settlement.

other arguing against this. Similarly. Dutch forces had mortared the village.7 From the progeny of Embah Ace. It was said 7 Although there are often conflicting accounts of Embah or Eyang Ace. Many of the shells exploded harmlessly in the air. viewing that they are the sev- enth generation to have practised penca Cimande in the village. the silsilah is reasonably undisputed. and offerings are made to the ancestors in exchange for their services guarding the community. Still other accounts state that Embah Rangga and Embah Buyut were in fact the same person. to Wali Sunan Gunung Jati and. via Egypt. in the form of a tiger (Wessing 1993: 2). or even of the same family (serumpun) as Embah Rangga. he and his four wives producing fourteen sons. followed by another 40 that take the night shift. Haji Gufron. . a relative (saudara) of some description. and stories in Cimande relating to this and later generations are less conflicting in their content. in Cimande the ancestors (karuhun) are said to watch over the community in tigrine form (see Wessing 1986: 34–37). Pakuan. claimed that in the turmoil that wracked West Java during the Darul Islam rebellion. and their genealogical prominence is reflected in the popularity of their graves as devotional sites. the legendary ruler of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran. It is however from the generation of Embah Ace Lasiha that most in Cimande can trace their descent with any degree of certainty. The theme of the ancestors maintaining vigilance over the village in the form of tutelary spirits is commonplace in West Java. Embah Buyut. In some instances his ancestry is traced back to Cirebon. some of my informants distinguishing between Embah Ace and Embah Lasiha as father and son. Tari Kolot and the surrounding kampung had remained free from disturbance. Haji Abdul Somad was the most productive. located near present-day Bogor. Prabu Siliwangi. told me of an incident supporting these claims when. the unseen or ‘non-manifest’ (Connor 1995: 124–125) world. stating that they were in fact one and the same person. Another elder. Embah Kahir is either related to Embah Buyut laterally. is said to continue to watch over the area of his court. and those that did fall to the ground caused no damage or injury. No more is known of the nature of these guardians other than that they are of the realm of the alam gaib. Haji Darwis.88 chapter 3 Usually the current generation hold to the latter. The leg- endary penca player Eyang Karta Singga is said variously to be a contemporary of Embah Buyut. Haji Somad now lies alongside his father. during the war for independence. to the Prophet Muhammad. In Tari Kolot there are said to be 40 guardians watching over the village in the day. Of Embah Ace’s eight sons. the oldest elder in Tari Kolot. or in some accounts figured as a descendent. and that they afford protection to the village. is said to have come originally from Banten. Other details of the genealogy of Cimande remain equally ambiguous and contested.

Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 89 that even the waves of killings that swept through Indonesia in the wake of the alleged communist coup of 1965 had no impact upon the community. black stone) grant invulnerability to those that hold them in their possession (Sumamihardja 1984: 295). and on arriving at the man’s house was surprised to see him on all fours. Bapak Rifa’i had been called upon to help in his capacity as a penca teacher. his hands crooked as if they were claws. one black and one white. with no-one being able to restrain him. The village remained unscathed through periods of great upheaval due to the providence of the guardian spirits. he recounted. Haji Yusuf leading the ceremony to return the stones to the grave and appease Eyang Karta Singga. The room the man occupied had been destroyed. . On coming out of trance. using an antiquated form of Sundanese. 8 Kramat sites are associated with the search for objects said to be have ‘strength’ or ‘power’ (kekuatan). the rents and tears in the furniture and walls looked as to have been inflicted by large claws. and some such as batu wulung (S. had become the victim of possession (kesurupan) and had run amuk. he had greeted Bapak Rifa’i warmly.8 The following Thursday they had returned to Nanggoh and the home of Haji Yusuf. Bapak Rifa’i told me of an incident connected with the gravesite of Eyang Karta Singga that had taken place many years previously. Revealing himself as Eyang Karta Singga. Although the man did not appear to be conscious (sadar) of his actions. Several senior military figures that I knew in Jakarta carried stones such as these on their person. but that of another. As he began to pray. but. tying them into the narrative tapestry that establishes the spiritual prove- nance of Cimande. acting as if he were a tiger. which. hugging him and even rubbing his face against him in the fashion of a cat. before leaving the man the spirit (roh) informed Bapak Rifa’i that the man he possessed had taken something from his grave. Stories such as these render the authority of the teller through the account. felt like the forepaws of a large tiger encircling his neck. strangely. On occasion the ancestors were said to take direct action against an indi- vidual who had in some way transgressed. They began to pray together. and sat together in the dark before the burial place. At midnight they returned to the grave. and that it should be returned before the coming Friday. which at this time was still unenclosed and surrounded by trees. After a few moments Pak Rifa’i felt a large weight descend upon his shoulders. A fellow student who had studied under the same guru as Pak Rifa’i. the man told Bapak Rifa’i that on a visit to Karta Singga’s grave he had indeed removed two stones.Blessings. Pak Rifa’i felt the presence leave him. When the man spoke it was not his voice that issued forth. from the site.

Buyut also refers to the hereditary proscriptions applied to the consumption of certain kinds of food9 (see Rigg 1862: 75). and not Embah Kahir.90 chapter 3 However. The gravesite of Embah Buyut sits to the southeast of kampung Tari Kolot on the boundary of the original settle- ment. it is Embah Buyut. In Cimande three main sites are considered to be karomah. are located adjacent to one another in this highest graveyard. The gravesite of Eyang Karta Singga is located on a 9 Wessing (1979) argues that these restrictions can be seen to follow a generational logic. Berziarah in Cimande Visiting the graves (ziarah) of saints and ancestors and other sites considered to be ‘sacred’ (in Indonesian keramat. Bounded space over time thus assumes a sacrality that is informed by the cosmological ordering of place (2001: 36–37). The term buyut is a kinship term used in reference to both ‘great grandfather’ and ‘great grandchild’. Embah Haji Abdul Somad and Haji Idris. Pemberton 1994: 269–310. There is reciprocity in kinship terminology in Sundanese. and ultimately to God. refer to ego as buyut (Wessing 1979: 110). there is consensus that the ‘resting places’ (S. the burial site of Embah Buyut marks the original settlement boundary. and labelling for ego’s antecedent relations is the same for their descendents. While the administrational reorganization of the village and the expan- sion into kampung babakan has redefined the area of Tari Kolot. A. which imbues local myth. both progenitor and descendent three generations removed from ego. Chambert-Loir and Reid 2002. an individual referred to as buyut by ego will. who figures as the apical ancestor from whom the elders are descended. That is. a system that is applied to six gen- erations of ascendants and descendants. via the agency of the revered ancestors. The gravesites thus provide topographical ordering. in turn. The gravesites are however far more than symbolic markers in a sacred field. While the identities of the interred are often vague. S. karomah. legend and history with a truth that is relevant to local people and their lives. Wessing links the definition of a space as a place with the establishment of significant loci demarcating the boundaries of a new settlement and ‘human cultural order’ (Wessing 2001: 35). Wessing 1978: 90–106 1988: 51). . and indeed Indonesia (Brenner 1998: 52–86. keromah) is a common practice throughout Java. pasarean) of Embah Ace Lasiha. van Bruinessen 1994a: 5–6. the main graveyard. They define a mediatory space in which communications may be addressed to the alam ghaib. spanning three generations. Therefore. The first of these. is located atop the highest ground in Tari Kolot and overlooks the kampung.

and any further attempts to renovate them were cancelled. Kang Dama. consensus has it that they are those of Embah Rangga and perhaps other members of his family. The work had been postponed until the following year. Being older and more experienced in the practice of Penca. carefully restored. and a well-kept building now encloses the site. However. walled enclosure where five graves. whenever the workers set to their task it had started raining. he was stronger (lebih kuat) than the younger members of the community. swooning and vomiting. They are posi- tioned directly on the border of rt 10 where it now meets rt 11. These are said to predate those at the entrance to the graveyard. As soon as they had entered they has started to feel nauseous.Blessings. The cleaning of the gravesites generally was a job carried out by the youth of the village. had had to retire from the graveyard. Eyang Karta Singga is said to have been a penca exponent of great skill. His tomb has been greatly improved. told me that often those sent to clean the grave of Embah Ace Lasiha had been unable to spend any length of time in its proximity. after he returned home he had similarly . getting heavier until eventually a torrential downfall had flooded the  graveyard. a small railing installed around them and an enclosure built to shelter those coming to visit the site. fallen to him. Accordingly. as soon as the cleaning of the site had begun. work had com- menced on them just before the beginning of Maulud. the task of cleaning the gravestones. the boundary of the original settlement of Tari Kolot. lie side by side. Plinths have been added to the graves. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 91 boundary between kampung Nanggoh and kampung Cikodok. and to be the resting place of Embah Buyut. At times it was said that this also proved to be a troublesome task. A few years back it was said that there had been plans to renovate these graves. repainting the borders and tidying the surroundings. and had been able to withstand longer periods of time in the vicinity of the graves. and many stories are told about him in the narratives of Cimande and the ances- tors. Although able to complete the task. on his account. At the entrance to the graveyard in which they are interred is a small. the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday. had. Embah Buyut and Embah Rangga are buried on the eastern boundary of Tari Kolot. As the story goes. it began to rain so heavily that it was impossible to continue with the work. Only boulders set in the earth and a suji tree planted atop one of the graves mark the sites. Further in lie another two unmarked burial sites that have yet to be renovated. the latter now part of the new administrative unit of the village of Ciderum. one of the most active teachers of Cimande. On consultation with the elders in the village it was decided that the rain was a sign that the sites should be left as they were. While the graves are unmarked. but again. and.

a year after he ceased to live at the gravesite and returned home he had been afflicted with madness. However. In the middle of the night he had been chased from the graveyard by a jinn that attacked him for his transgressions. in the hope of receiving augury of the numbers to be drawn. numbers and just about anything else that might be considered a portent of the draw (see Pemberton 1994: 286).10 or 10 The third month in the Hijra calendar. I was told that he had been the keeper (kuncen) of the grave of Embah Kahir’s son in Bogor. Maulud in Cimande My first visit to Cimande was during maulud. Upon asking after the history of an old man in the village who was quite clearly no longer in control of his faculties. Each new month begins on the first day of a crescent moon. such activities were an excep- tional breach of moral responsibility. which is synodic. and therefore the severity of the punish- ment meted upon him by the ancestors was in accordance with the crime that he had committed. the mediator of the relationship between this world and that of the alam gaib. Dama’s account reinforced the extraordinary nature of the gravesites. thus a year is 11 days or so shorter than in the Gregorian calendar. Many thousands of people came to visit the gravesites in search blessings throughout the year. the consensus being that this was a consequence of his earlier actions. Others were similarly tempted. with another young man in the village spending the night in vigil at the grave of Embah Ace Lasiha in search of divine inspiration in the form of the winning lottery numbers.92 chapter 3 been sick. carrying out nightlong vigils. By far the busiest time of the year for such visits was during the month of Maulud. The popular- ity of playing daily lotteries in Indonesia has spawned all manner of divina- tory  practices and an industry of cheap publications dealing with the interpretation of signs. He had stayed at the site continuously. The celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on the twelfth day of the month of Rabi’ al-awwal. . In other accounts Islamic moral codes frame narratives of the agency of these sites. He had even started to make money from selling his predictions. In his view the forces that had overcome them were associated with the interred ancestors. and this held true for other aspects of the spiritual life of Cimande. As kuncen. Sanctions linked to Islamic prescriptions on gambling thus governed interactions with the ancestors. as well as laying claim to his own spiritual strength in relation to that of the other youths in the village that had been unable to clean the graves.

The pur- pose of the trip was to visit the gravesites in Cimande and to be initiated into the art by Bapak Haji Yusuf. spilling out onto the small porch. and many people travel to Cimande to receive blessings from elders during maulud. the son of Bapak Rifa’i’s guru. the din of the night market falling away behind us. dating from the ’70s. a group of students from his school. and myself. Many such shrines are visited throughout West Java and Banten. shown to me by Pak Rifa’i. In front of the house was a small musholla. is an extremely auspicious time during which devotional visits are made to the gravesites of revered figures throughout Java. and indeed . and the smoke and the smell from the food stalls hung heavy over the throng. explaining the significance of coming to Cimande during maulud. and hence the most senior representative of his deceased teacher. Arriving in Cimande late in the evening by car. and after fajr (pre-dawn prayer) and breakfast. Prayer at one of these sites is said to be far more effective during the month of maulud. and it had since been vastly improved. A market flanked both sides of the road. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 93 maulud (the ‘month of the birth’. Prior to his entrance Pak Rifa’i had spoken to his students. and the bazaar that accompanied maulud buzzed until the early hours of the morning. blocked by the heaving crowd that had descended upon the village. like the ancestors. I had previously seen photographs of his house. This. Panca Sakti. and spent only a few minutes with us that night before retiring again to rest. reciting verses from the Quran (pengajian). in Arabic Shahr el moulid). Bapak Rifa’i. vendors proffering a range of goods from religious paraphernalia to T-shirts. We rose in the morning. Haji Yusuf was recovering from illness. A group of women sat huddled together in the front room of one of these houses. was their first experience of Cimande. we ascended steps that led up away from the road. large enough to comfortably accommodate some twenty people praying together.Blessings. At the end of the path sat Bapak Haji Yusuf’s house. and of being initiated by Bapak Yusuf. We had left Jakarta earlier that evening. Bapak Yusuf again joined us. and the gravesites of the founders of Cimande are simi- larly revered. brick-built structure. are similarly respected as being sakti. the road was practically impassable. This. The stalls of the night market (pasar malam) encroached upon the thoroughfare. I was told. he told them. home of the art that they were studying. Street hawkers flamed the coals of satay bbqs. there now stood a modern. of the village. Parking the car. In place of the pandan walls and dirt floor of the dwelling in the photographs. We walked along a narrow path lit only by the light from the small group of houses which the concrete track led between. They were lucky to be able to train in Cimande. had been built and the house renovated by Haji Yusuf’s students and contributions made from those that came to visit him in his capacity as an ulama (religious teacher). The living descendants of these figures.

However. was a new development.94 chapter 3 to be initiated into the fraternity. It was not the acquisition of martial knowledge that was of importance. but a tarekat. Privately. he continued. Cimande was not a style of penca. he explained. many people failed to understand that Cimande was not about penca. The night market. he had confided in me that he hoped the visit would inspire his students to greater diligence in their training. People came originally to Cimande only to visit the Figure 5  The grave site of Haji Abdul Somad Photograph by Lee Wilson . a path through which one may come closer to God.

The grave of Embah Ace had the largest plinth. After entering the building housing the grave. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 95 gravesites of the elders (sesepuh) and to receive blessings from their descen- dants. we sat before the raised plinth.Blessings. we made our way en masse from Haji Yusuf’s house down to the first of the gravesites. The ancestors were able to facilitate communication . and mau- lud had been an opportunity for old friends to come together. the first line from the shahada was collectively recited. Times had changed. his son Haji Abdul Somad and grandson. we left the building to sit again by the resting place of Haji Abdul Halim in the main courtyard. Where now a bustling market filled the streets below. marked with two headstones. Haji Idris’ grave marker was the smallest and located off to one side of the courtyard. that of Eyang Kartasinga. This round of tahlilan completed. and occupied the most prominent position in the courtyard. ‘La ilaha ill allahu’ (‘there is no god but God’). Haji Idris (Fig. the sound of the jurus being trained issuing from the houses in the kampung until late in the night. Haji Halim had been Bapak Rifai’s teacher. while the door to the building was directly opposite the grave of his son. These three graves were set apart from the others in the yard. we ascended to the most central gravesite in the village. Haji Yusuf. Friendship and fraternity (silaturahmi) were also important. we entered the building and sat before the grave of Haji Abdul Somad and. who was the son of Haji Somad. the statement of faith. as before. A queue had formed in front of the entrance leading to the graves of Embah Ace Lasiha. in times past people had gathered together to form gelanggang (‘training areas’). We came to pay our respects to the elders interred at these sites. their bodies swaying in time to the rhythmic pattern of the recital. now the senior representative of his father. one did not petition them directly. Bapak Rifa’i and his students together began the repeated recita- tion (tahlilan) of the first line of the shahada. Although one paid one’s respects to the ancestors. When our turn came. After Bapak Rifa’i had finished addressing his students. The viewing gallery in the small shelter looked out upon this grave (Fig. was the son of Haji Halim. Bapak Rifa’i and elder members of his lineage were all quite emphatic in their assertions that pilgrimage to these sites did not involve worship (sembahan) or offerings (sajen) of any kind to those buried there. a courtyard and building separating them from the main site and providing a position of comfort from which supplicants could view the graves. we rose to continue to the next grave we planned to visit. 6). 7). However. The sites we visited were the graves of those figures of importance to the lineage with whom Bapak Rifa’i had studied. All of the graves. 5). were ori- entated on a north/south axis in accordance with Islamic tradition. The prescribed one hundred repetitions completed. not visible from either the viewing gallery or the door- way (Fig. Walking back to kampung Tari Kolot. Haji Somad.

In the Sundanese text the . Geertz 1976: 23–29. One did not neces- sarily come to petition for anything directly. Pemberton 1994. Keeler 1987: 109–111. saint or hero to whom one’s supplications are addressed (Chambert-Loir 2002: 132).96 chapter 3 Figure 6  Tahlilan at the grave of Embah Ace Lasiha during Maulud Photograph by Lee Wilson with God. but quite who this might be seemed to matter little. Yet the act of participating in ziarah was also propitious in itself. Yet aside from those that practised penca. has been well-noted (Beatty 1999: 51–84. in order that their requests for help were heard.  The importance in Java of shrines to tutelary spirits (dhanyang) and found- ing figures. Veneration must take place in the presence of the interred. and praying at the resting places of the ancestors was a meritorious act in itself. and of the pundhen. Chambert Loir 2002: 133. and this was why people came to the sites. To participate in ziarah one must visit the site. This was most obvious in the case of the ambiguous figure of Embah Buyut and the group of graves identified with Embah Rangga. especially during the auspicious month of maulud. not through appeal from a distance or to a symbolic representation of the ancestor. very few petitioners coming to participate in ziarah from outside of the village were able to name with any degree of certainty whose resting place it was that they were visiting. They knew that a particular site was the resting place of someone they considered to be efficacious (orang sakti). Wessing 2002). the site at which a spirit is venerated.

arguing that this is indeed the proper location of a tutelary spirit. Haji Somad and Haji Idris Amanat Galunggung. etymologically to wiwitan. but draws no further conclusion from this as the location of guardian spirits or the burial sites of ances- tors. ‘beginning’ (1999: 161). this dating probably owes more to the desire to establish Sundanese identity at the earliest possible date than to exacting historiographical standards. . As Islam became an increasingly dominant. Fox 2002: 163).Blessings. a guardian spirit. While I would agree with Wessing in principle. it should be remembered that these sites are potentially dangerous. Prabuguru Darmasiksa being the ruler of Tatar Sunda. It is noted that mastery of a place may be assumed when one controls the kabuyutan in that location: a sacred place. these sites were brought into line with Islamic ideals with the addition of a grave marker (Chambert-Loir 2002: 133. These were often sites of pre-Islamic spiritual significance. It is no secret that many of the tombs that are considered to be keramat throughout Java do not in fact contain any human remains. the burial place of the ancestors or a place of worship (Lubis 2000: 137. a kingdom in the area of present day Tasikmalaya. and locating them on the outskirts of the settlement could be seen as in keeping with this line of reasoning. permission for which had to be gained from the original inhabitants of the 11 I am unsure of the provenance of this text. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 97 Haji Abdul Somad Haji Idris Embah Ace Lasiha Viewing Gallery Figure 7  The gravesites (pasarean) of Embah Ace.11 the sovereign Prabuguru Darmasiksa proffers advice for his offspring and subjects. also known as the naskah Ciburuy. Wessing takes issue with Beatty’s interpretation of the shrine ‘Buyut Cili’. as being exiled to the periphery of the village (1999: 84). However. irrespective of the relationship to Islam (Wessing 2002: 164). see also Guillot 2002). ‘east’. These shrines and graves are often located on the eastern12 edge of a new clearing. Some attri- bute it to the thirteenth century. 12 Beatty relates wétan.

telling me that they felt he was being exploited. the ‘nature spirits’ (Wessing 2002: 167). Dani worked in the day. as the Cimande jurus are referred to in the village. One of the elders in Tari Kolot confided in me that he was of the mind that the resting place of Eyang Karta Singa. Arsan. from Badui. The workload often prevented him from training in the evening. The plan was that he would then return home to begin teaching the penca Cimande to the santri in the pesantren of a relative. it would be difficult for him to leave his current guru and then apprentice to another. and this was the reason his father had sent him there to study. Certainly. or buang kelid. Initiation and Apprenticeship in Cimande Those who come to Cimande to learn penca do so by apprenticing themselves to a teacher. the pupil will work for their guru. always looked extremely tired. The teacher is usually one of the elders in the village. While sympathetic to his plight. and com- plained that the guru with whom he was apprenticed worked him too hard. the identity of the interred does not matter (see Wessing 1988: 51). In 2003 there were about fifteen apprentices working in this way in Cimande. He had spoken with other teachers of his plight. board and instruction in the art. Knowledge of the art. was sixteen. he would be able to return and apprentice with another teacher without fear of repercussions. around twenty years old he had been living in Cimande for two years on the orders of his father. they were unwilling to accept him as a student for danger of being seen to have stolen him from his current teacher. they must be initiated. in exchange for food.98 chapter 3 surrounding forest. as he was just too exhausted. The initiation is referred to as kecer or peureuh. and had lived in the village for five months. then. is highly valued. Before a prospective student can begin to learn penca Cimande. However. who sympa- thized with him. for the majority of those that visit these sites in Cimande. Dani was a young man from Banten. and the prospective student will work as a ‘servant’ or ‘helper’ (pembantu). was in fact empty. Entering into a relationship of this kind. he told me. meaning to drip something . located on the boundary of Nanggoh and Cikodok. exchang- ing their labour for knowledge. He was also undergoing instruction in the art at the behest of his father. The best solution to the problem that could be found was for Dani to go home. or planting and harvesting rice. after a sufficient period of time had elapsed. It may be that the ambivalence surrounding the identity of Embah Buyut masks the transformation of the pundhen into a gravesite (see Wessing 2002: 166–167) and the segue of pre-Islamic conceptions of sacrality into Islamic practice. and oth- ers whom I raised the matter with expressed that this was a possibility.

during the visit to the village during the Maulud. not solely to a particular teacher. and not to depart from syariah law. the content of the talek remains the same. The glasses of water. Rangga is a term for an official in the employ of the ruler. Earth taken from the resting place of Embah Kahir is known as ‘kecer soil’ (S. On a later occasion Haji Darwis. and this may well be the origin of the conservative pledge of loyalty to the ‘government’. The student takes the oath (talek) to obey the prescriptions laid down by his guru. Bapak Ace Sutisna . Only an elder of the village may conduct an initiation. I was first initiated by Bapak Haji Yusuf. after which the initiator blesses them. gambling or drugs. also initiated me. I was told that there was no conflict of interests in being initiated by a second elder as the initiation was into the wider fraternity of Cimande practitioners. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 99 into the eye. The initiations I received from the two elders were almost identical.14 13 Some of the elders within the village are of the opinion that it was Embah Rangga who was first responsible for introducing the talek as a precondition for training in Cimande.Blessings. taneuh kecer). not to go against one’s parents and elders. not to confront the ruler (ratu) – in a contemporary setting this applies to the government or lead- ers of society13 (pemerintah and pemimpin masyarakat) – not to indulge in extra-marital relations (berzinah). some of the elements being combined or listed as a separate oath. and it therefore followed that to receive a blessing from him was an opportunity not to be missed. After requesting the name of the student. the cere- mony consisting of an oath (talek) in which the initiand pledges allegiance to their teacher and to follow certain behavioural proscriptions. The talek is as follows: to show piety and obedience towards God and Muhammad. elder or lineage. It was explained that Haji Darwis was a more senior elder. Soil taken from the gravesite of Embah Kahir is added to the water during the ceremony. Bapak Rifa’i’s elder in the lineage of Cimande that he was a representative of. the initiator retired to another room to prepare the water to be used in the ceremony. A ‘crystalline’ substance is said to manifest in the centre of Embah Kahir’s grave. and it is this that is collected from the site to be used in the initia- tion. 14 While these points may be enumerated differently. to avoid that which might cause loss to oneself (merugikan diri) such as alcohol. a phenomenon attributed to Embah Kahir being sakti. not to be envious (dengki) of others. This substance is said to replenish itself at the gravesite. The name of the initiand is used to personalize the prayer in the blessing that is bestowed by the elder. not to lie or be proud or arrogant (jangan takabur). once prayed over are placed in front of the student together with a sirih leaf. who was at that time the oldest living elder. The second initiation was suggested to me when the opportunity arose.

one is immediately struck by the number of boards advertising these services to prospective customers. see also Geertz 1961). school age girls. Indeed. The origins of the bone-setting in Cimande lie in practical necessity. does not mention the adherence to syariah (Sutisna 2003: 23–29). the small number of women in penca circles is not surprising. and the normative association of women with the domestic sphere (Adamson 2007: 19–21. . Turning off from the road to Sukabumi and heading up to the village. which is why. but none could remember any that had in recent memory. and applies three drops into their right eye. There were few women that practised the art publicly. the student takes the sirih leaf. The repetition of the ritual cleansing during the kecer is held to be cognate with the ablutionary prescriptions of the Islamic faith. forearm and shin. The Business of Bone Setting in Cimande Cimande is renowned also as a centre for healers specialising in the treatment of fractures and broken bones. aside from younger. I never met nor knew of any who had taken the oath in the village itself. When I asked as to whether women could be initiated. many houses had been transformed from modest pandan dwellings to substantial brick built houses through this informal econ- omy and the commercialization of their healing arts. while more specific in the transgressions to be avoided. the process being repeated three times for each side of the body. Yet while I have met and know of women that have been initiated into Cimande training groups outside of Cimande village. Considering prevailing gender hierarchies in Cimande. The water is then rubbed into the hand. it is said. dips it into the blessed water. through training. Physical training in Cimande includes a harsh and painful conditioning lists fourteen points in the talek. The face is then washed with the water and the remaining liquid drunk by the student. or the surrounding villages. particularly on one’s forearms. the common consensus was that they could. a matter that was of some concern for many in the village. What was once a folk heal- ing practice has now developed into a lucrative cottage industry for members of the community. which. The water is dripped into the eye to sharpen one’s vision and to ‘cleanse’ one’s sight in order to look upon the world in a just manner.100 chapter 3 After taking the oath. the procedure is repeated three times. The manner of applying the water to the arm is the same as that used to apply oil and massage the bruises received. There are no proscriptions against women being initiated and taking the oath.

disabling blows. this through manipulation of the bone and surrounding tissue. If the skin was lacerated. the two players repeatedly smashing their arms together in a sequence of co-ordinated movements. A game of sorts that used to be performed regularly by young men at wedding ceremonies. with the same mixture of egg white and balur being used to treat the wound before it was dressed. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 101 process. Adu Kaki involves a kind of stamping footwork. Should the patient’s condition demand more constant attention and care. of muscle. With the road came . and their highly conditioned arms are capable of delivering fierce. smash the opponent’s tibula or fibula with your own shin. the more senior elders were said to make the most effective ‘anaesthetic’. some of which were quite severe. they would stay in the village under the supervision of the healer. The injury was bound. splinted. It was through the care and healing of the injuries that were frequently incurred as a result of training in Cimande that practitioners refined their knowledge of bone-setting. better still. and learn from whomever he could. by far the most common injuries dealt with in the village were limb fractures. it was said. or. Kang Dama. He would also observe his older brother when he treated people. His experience of learning these techniques is typical of many in Cimande. the aim of which is to trap. patients for the most part came from the local community. and the only ‘anaesthetic’ administered was blessed water drunk by the patient. Again. More recently. it is now less commonplace. While massage was used to treat other conditions. Prior to the advent of the asphalted road from the main highway to Cimande. circumcision celebrations and the like. the latter being applied. Strategically. The break was then treated with a mixture of balur – oil manufactured in Cimande for the purposes of healing – and egg white. practical knowledge has been supplemented with medical books and anatomical diagrams by healers in Cimande. and is played with some exuberance. to ‘smash’ or ‘crash’ legs) is another practice that often resulted in broken bones. the location of the break permitting. A knee injury that I had picked up in training some years previ- ously responded immediately to the skilled manipulation of one my teachers. The manipulation of the break was extremely painful. Adu kaki (literally. to strengthen the bone. From an early age he would massage members of his own family at their request. tissue and bone structure possessed by many of the practitioners of penca Cimande is based entirely upon practical experience. there being no shortage of skilled teachers in the village. he had learnt his craft hands on. Cimande exponents look to inter- cept an incoming attack by striking the opponent’s limbs. then the wound was cleaned and sterilized with hot water that had sirih and other leaves added. There was no formalized instruction in massage techniques. such as paralysis from stroke. and. Treatment consisted of first realigning the break.Blessings. The knowledge of anatomy.

and many of the houses in the adjacent kampung began to operate as clinics. some offering private rooms. not demand a rate for services. and it should be relative to the means of the patient. Indeed. in his opinion. It was also said that some healers who ran clin- ics no longer participated in the actual healing of their patients. in receipt of commission payments for fetching prospective clients to a particular clinic. Consequently. it was said. an elder whom all agreed was a talented healer. Bapak Karyadi. The principle of exchange had applied – one should show one’s gratitude to the healer in some way. with scales of payment rivalling or exceeding those charged by hospitals and clinics in the city. wealthy Jakartans. The motorcycle taxis (ojek) that offered their services ferrying people from the main road were. with many people trading on the reputation of the vil- lage as a centre for healing. and an increasing number of people in the village began to offer their services as bonesetters. The bustling economy in broken bones spread beyond Tari Kolot. These clinics were in effect private hospitals. . Consequently. From the early ’80s things got busier still. then that should suffice. and. Originally it was only in Tari Kolot that the system of bone-setting had been practised. A complaint often aired was that people in the village had become too materi- alistic. people would be misled and taken elsewhere.102 chapter 3 change. Many in the village now had eyes only for money and cared for little else. The influx of cheap Japanese motorcycles that began in the early 1970s contributed to the number of local patients requiring treatment for broken limbs. The charging of patients on a fixed scale was wrong: one should receive payment as given. the boards outside the clinics were not the only marketing initiative that some of the clinics engaged in. discussed with me the connection between the kampung and bone-setting. He had learnt what he knew from his father. who had in turn learnt from his father. when asking directions to the house of a healer. although they were not required in any way to be registered or regulated. came to the village in search of treatment for family or friends. The quality of treatment offered by many of the clinics was said to vary greatly. Asking a flat rate for services would have been unheard of just a few years ago. and patients were indebted – but it was the expression of thanks that was impor- tant. If they were only able to offer a packet of cigarettes in return for treatment. word of the expertize of the inhabitants of Cimande spread far beyond the confines of the immediate community and often expensive four wheel drive vehicles could be seen parked outside the homes and clinics of local healers. with their students doing all the work and the patient no longer receiving the benefit of the guru’s expertize. Their owners. The entry of the market into Cimande was anathema to many of the elders. televisions and personal service. Sitting one evening on his clinic porch in Tari Kolot.

referring to an ancient (kolot) history. In Java in the latter half of the nineteenth century followers of Qadiriyyah became involved increasingly in the mobilization of political resistance and open rebellion against the Dutch. . although Al-Attas suggests that the renowned Sufi poet and theologian. ‘ilmu Abdul Qadir Jilani’ being taught in both Banten and Cirebon from at least the seventeenth century (van Bruinessen 1995: 209–210). at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Sumatra. and the charismatic leadership of those who headed these groups 15 Other explanations I heard was that the name came from the Arabic word for history. Discussion turned to the proliferation of ‘traditional’ bonesetters in the neighbouring kampung.Blessings. and some claim that the original name of the settlement was Tarekat Kokolot. and the elders that reside there as the rightful heirs to their spiritual heritage. falsely. Sri Mulyati attributes these militant manifestations to the austerity and discipline of the life in tarekat com- munities. a way to God. Mediating the Divine: Miracles and Manifest Relations in Cimande Bapak Karyadi’s insistence on Tari Kolot as the proprietary locus of relations with the ancestors. in Bapak Karyadi’s view. we use the ancestors’. The strength of his feeling on the matter. tarik. the ‘elders’. was. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 103 it was only the inhabitants of Tari Kolot that were able to do it. became clear as he scornfully remarked that he had no idea how these other folk could offer the services as healers: ‘Perhaps by means of the devil – here. tarikh. Founded by Shaykh al Qādir al Jilānā in the twelfth century. and of the link between the karuhun and their descendents. it is not known exactly when the tarekat was first introduced into Indonesia. Indeed. or that the name came from a contraction of the verb ‘to attract’. It is said that Cimande is less a martial art. Those in Cikodok and Nanggoh who made claims to be healers did so. many of those who teach penca in Cimande emphasize the spiritual aspects as the most important elements of training. more of a tarekat. a member of the Qadiriyyah order (Al-Attas 1963: 51). underlines the extent to which the authority of Cimande is articulated through the presence of the ancestors. and kolot. and indeed throughout West Java.15 Whatever the validity of these ety- mological assertions. hence ‘to attract the elders’. Those that feature most prominently in Cimande are drawn from the sufi order (tarekat) Qadiriyyah. it is clear that Sufic teachings are very much a part of the practice of Pencak Silat in Cimande. Hamzah Fansuri. In Indonesia Tarekat Qadiriyyah devel- oped mainly in Java (Lombard 1996).

a public display of religious devotion linked to the order (van Bruinessen 1995: 209–211). the practitioner focusing on the repetition of these phrases to the exclusion of all else during their performance. The authority of these figures rested upon their communicative and persuasive abilities and. It is both a demonstration of the faith of the practitioner. or ‘union with God’ (Vredenbregt 1973: 316–318.104 chapter 3 locally. my emphasis). Consequently. devel- oped outside of the tarekat and became an element of popular religion divorced from their original context. there is a tradition asso- ciated with the tarekat Qadiriyyah in which the invincibility of Cimande prac- titioners may have its origins. and. see also Winstedt 1938: 191). which was repeated to oneself (dalam hati) constantly. Whilst Cimande practitioners are known for the extreme conditioning 16 Van Bruinessen is of the mind that these performances. as Mulyati notes. Dabus performers that I questioned on the tech- niques they employed told me that it was through the use of wirid (passages from the Quran) that they remained unharmed. the repertoire of dabus performers includes hammering sharp spikes into each other’s bodies. and which is also applied to the arms and legs of penca students after training sessions. all seemingly without harm. After training in Cimande it is massaged into the bruises and contusions of the players in order to alleviate injury to tissue. This is the performance of dabus. The power of God similarly works through the balur that is used in the recuperative treatment of injuries in Cimande. and in their ability to foretell the future’. to strengthen the bones. that they felt ‘calm. and dancing energetically on piles of broken glass. On the performance of seemingly miraculous acts. ‘their performance of karāmāt (mirac- ulous acts). it is said. The elders manufacture the oil during maulud. for the purpose of healing the sick. climbing ladders of sharp blades. Participants perform feats of seeming invulnerability (kekebalan) to demon- strate the power of God in protecting them from harm.16 Common in West Java and Banten. and of the strength and beneficence of God in preventing them from coming to harm. the widespread prevalence of dabus should not be read as an indication of the numbers of followers of the tarekat Qadiriyyah in West Java (1995: 210). . All agreed that it is the power of Allah that protects them’ (1985: 29–30. Foley (1985) notes of dabus performers that she interviewed that they spoke of a state other than ‘a normal conscious one as they start to perform’. The mecha- nism by which dabus is said to work is tauhid. Some spoke of being ‘entered by the ‘friends of the Prophets’. the most auspicious time to call upon the aid of God. this being particularly the case in Banten (Mulyati 2002: 81–82). and that this is what makes them strong enough to receive blows. while linked to Qadiriyyah. Wirid utilized for this purpose included the shahada. free and peaceful’.

who worked in a laboratory in Jakarta. and is recited prior to com- mencing training sessions in Cimande to entreat for the safety of those taking part (Heryana 1995: 31–32). a practice that does to some degree safeguard against the dissolution of the blood line descended from Embah Kahir. Others in Cimande generally attributed this inimitable factor in manufacturing to the activation of the oil by the elders through the recitation of the amalan tawassul. . is fundamental to the concept of wasila. Van Bruinessen. Those privy to the genealogy detailed in the amalan tawassul are themselves part of this tradition. the alam ghaib. a ‘factor x’ in the production process. Harrison 1998: 1) through which relations with the alam ghaib are maintained.Blessings. something they could not recreate in the lab. It is then interesting to note the prominence of the male line in the transmission of hak darah. The link with the invisible world. The invocation is a means of inferring God’s blessings upon the oil. notes that it ‘is based upon the belief in his spiritual powers and ability to bestow blessing due to his contact with the world unseen. However. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 105 of their arms and legs. he is generally believed to retain this ability beyond the grave’ (1994b: 125). via their immedi- ate progenitors. to Sunan Gunung Jati. and its 17 Although as Hirikoshi points out. he stated. Knowledge of the wasila is detailed in the geneal- ogy. A friend from Cimande recounted to me how his brother. There was. not ultimogenitive as Hirikoshi states is the general rule in Sunda (1984: 84). inheritance is primogenitve. then on to the Prophet and God. writing on the charisma of a religious leader or kyai. had analysed the oil in order to identify its constituent ingredients. Knowledge of amalan tawassuf is part of the ‘inter- personal technology’ (S. It defines relational identities and provides the basis for a corporatism that ensures the maintenance of the position of the sesepuh in society and the continuation of their spiritual authority17 (Hirikoshi 1984). in Cimande. the silsilah. The amalan tawassul is a petition to God mediated by prominent ancestors (S. it is the balur to which adepts are said to owe the resil- ience of their limbs. they could not mimic the work of the elders in the manufacturing process. and the wasila is said to stretch from them. However. karahun) and the Prophet (see Quinn 2008: 65–67). the legendary conqueror of Banten in the early sixteenth century and one of the nine apostles of Islam in Java. The elders of Cimande act in a similar social role to kyai. and the oil they produced had no healing prop- erties. which is closely guarded and passed down from generation to generation within families that claim descent from Embah Kahir. ambilateral descent and the practice of uxorilocal post- marital residence contributes to the dissipation of ancestral property in Sunda (1984: 84). the unbroken chain of ‘spiritual mediation’ (van Bruinessen 1994b: 125–126) that stretches back to the Prophet. although able to identify and recreate the chemical composition of the oil.

one linked to substan- tive and the other to instrumental/relational concepts of power’ (Anderson 1990: 79. their supplicants. and those in possession of this knowledge are able to provide both blessings and protection for others. It is a communicative act. as he later explained. ‘it seemed plausible to argue that all human societies at one time or another had had a substantive view of power as an emanation of the cosmic or divine’ (Anderson 1990: 78–79). Anderson posited that power in Java is held to be con- crete. Anderson’s . and others that hold Cimande in high esteem as a centre of spiritual knowledge. the capacity of the elders to mediate relations with the unseen world. he recalled. the alam ghaib. an enactment of the personal relationship with the karuhun and association with the sacred space of Cimande. From a historicist perspective there were in fact ‘only two general forms of domination. Anderson’s account. Cimande practitioners’ limbs are thus fashioned into potent weapons impervi- ous to injury and capable of smashing opponents’ bones through harsh condi- tioning and. which is held to be a manifestation of their potency (Keeler 1987: 39). the elders. Individuals held to be ‘potent’ thus become the centre of political authority. rather than such authority being attributed to them by their followers (Anderson 1990). both those alive and those having moved beyond the world of the living. Contrary to European conceptions of power as an abstract aspect of relationships. Agency.106 chapter 3 recitation is in itself an affirmation of their right to possess this knowledge. ‘From the Javanese data’. Taking himself to task. It is knowledge that has effect in the world. In this respect. and so mistook what were actually ‘tropes’ for ‘types’ of authority (1990: 79). As such. he sought to explain why culturally specific perceptions of char- ismatic authority were particularly compelling by focusing on assumptions about power. Efficacy and Being sakti As I noted in the introduction. Benedict Anderson’s conception of sakti as a form of spiritual or cosmic energy (Anderson 1972a) concentrated in a person or place is central in the thinking of many writers when describing idioms of power in Indonesia. Thus. Anderson observes that he had though been too keen to read Weber sociologically. are considered to be sakti by their students. finite and embodied. Weber had been wrong to contrast charismatic modes of authority with tradi- tional or rational-legal modes of domination. emphasis in original). was an attempt to address problems he perceived with Weber’s notion of charismatic authority and the ways it was at times implied to be an attribute of certain persons. importantly. However. But the amalan tawassuf is far more than simply a legitimative strategy or claim to social capital.

However. ‘not a force or measurable energy’. I think we can go further in reconsidering the presuppositions that inform the use of the term. even in the later revision of his earlier argument. from legendary heroes to common thieves.18 Sakti is used in reference to an attribute and is ‘not a force or a measurable energy’ (n. The term. Yet the ethnography I present here suggests we should interpret of aspects of power as a relational phenomenon no differ- ent from those that Anderson identified as being ‘Western’ in outlook in his original article. On the first point I take my lead from Hildred Geertz who argues. be realized. Following this insight.d. see also van Zanten 1989: 55. but rather refers to a capac- ity to have effect in the world. First. and to think of it in this way is to reify the term. and for ‘kesakten’ a more fitting gloss is ‘efficacious’. As Koentjaraningrat (1980) pointed out some years ago. Being sakti does not neces- sarily translate into an informal legitimization of leadership (Koentjaraningrat 1980: 135. as the term is less of a noun than an adjective or adverb.).d. I have never heard it said that a person ‘possesses’ sakti in Sunda. She further notes that there is no linguistic basis for treat- ing sakti as a substantive entity. dancers and religious leaders.: 9)..) supports this statement with respect to Java. and this brings me to the second point that I raise above. . here I translate sakti as a term used in reference to social entities that are ‘extraordi- narily effective’. his tropological framing of sakti obfuscates a praxiological conception of forms of knowledge that are closely guarded precisely because they have effect in the world. These interactions are personable relations between efficacious beings. that sakti is used in reference to an attribute. 1995: 10f. Quinn 1975). and is not just ‘potency in an abstract or physical sense. he continues to hold to the alterity of construals of power in Indonesia. “work”’ (1984: 140). as power manifest in things and persons’ (1984: 137). Second. following on from this point. many individuals are considered to be sakti. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 107 musings on power have I think been misleading in two ways. but rather a competence in a personalistic sense’ (1995: 10). potency or success (1984: 141–146). both visible and non-visible (Geertz 2004: 43. or an abstract noun implying efficacy. Similarly. with regard to Bali but equally relevant here. is better understood as a stative verb with mean- ing to ‘be efficacious. Giehmann (n. She suggests instead that it is better translated as ‘extraordinarily effective’. Winzeler 1983: 438f.Blessings. 18 Hildred Geertz makes this point in relation to both Balinese and Javanese usage. Keesing (1984) makes a similar case for the misinterpretation of the notion of ‘mana’ in anthropological literature on Oceanic societies as some form of ‘animatistic spiritual energy. musicians. be potent. be successful. Geertz’s shrewd observations go a long way to helping us rethink the notion of sakti. Conceptualizing sakti as substantive energy or an impersonal force elides the interpersonal aspects of transactions between social agents that are sakti. be true. he argues. see also Needham 1976.

And such acts of further construction – infinitions in their own right – ‘confirm’ the existence of the infinitions they transform by showing that they can indeed be engaged as transformations’ (2008: 103. a function that serves to establish the ontological ground that defines Cimande as the locus of intermediary relations with the alam ghaib and communications between . in that they (re)enact the presence of the alam ghaib. genealogical configurations in Cimande cannot be under- stood only as representational knowledge (Paleček and Risjord 2013: 8–9).108 chapter 3 In his consideration of divinatory practices in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria. rather than what they might represent or what they are thought to be (Holbraad 2008: 97). in this respect. Rather. ‘are under permanent ontological construction…their existence qua constructions only has purchase inasmuch as they become implicated in further acts of construction. implies a social agent recognized as efficacious as a conse- quence of what they are able to do in the world. the act of healing. Examining the work of a healer engaging with spirits perceived to be the cause of a patient’s headaches. and the initiation of people into the fraternity of Cimande might be understood as ‘inventive definitions’. There is analytical merit in Holbraad’s approach beyond that of neological indulgence for its own sake. The transformative act. Holbraad suggests that these acts are better viewed as ontological operations rather than epistemological claims about the world (Holbraad 2008: 101). Non-physical entities. as a descriptive term. Considering sakti in terms of efficacy and focusing upon the practical nature of this knowledge as a form of social action (Holbraad 2008: 104) – focusing on its ontological rather than epistemological dimensions – seems also to bear greater resem- blance to the ethnographic and linguistic evidence. but rather presuppose the presence of the founder of the art. it is through consideration of the ontic dimensions of social action that we can best grasp why it is that the elders are considered to be sakti. Rather. It is efficacy that matters. the soil gathered from Embah Kahir’s grave is added to the water drunk by the initiand. we can note that sakti. italics in original). In doing so the ceremony can be seen not to adduce. The actions of the elders in enlisting the aid of the ancestors to bestow blessings. an ‘infinition’ (2008: 101). to cleanse the spirits. Following Holbraad. the act of engag- ing with these non-physcial entities should be considered as an ‘inventive definition’. and. the act of working to remove the spiritual influence. As ‘inventive definitions’. To take the example of initia- tion into the study of penca. gains ‘ontological purchase’ through re-enactment (2008: 103). or as he riffs neologically. is the affirmation of Tari Kolot as sheltered space under the tutelage of Embah Kahir. the moment of ‘infinition’. or ‘infinitions’. he proposes that his informant’s actions to remove the cause of the malady should not be viewed as an evidential claim to the existence of spirits and/or the ability of the healer. as Holbraad puts it.

Places where ‘transcendental communication’ with the ancestors might take place. the elders enact positive relations with potentially harmful spirits to transform threat and guarantee the wellbeing of people and place in Cimande and beyond. Bone Setting And The Blood Of The Ancestors 109 efficacious social entities. graves and shrines. Holbraad’s concerns with theorizing what things . healing and instruction in penca because Cimande is a field of potential transformation. Banten. The ‘source of supernatural blessings’ was thus relocated ‘far from everyday life’ (Pemberton 1994: 269). Hellman points to the similarities with the processes he details with John Pemberton’s account of the contestation of political authority at village level in Java under the New Order: a period during which relations with guardian spirits. to receive blessings. on Pemberton’s account. and differed from practices associated with the guardian spirits. In their capacity to channel blessings to ensure that Cimande practitioners become impervious to injury. communal and religious leaders’ (Hellman 2013: 192). looked over by a community of elders who have retained their mediatory role due to the practical nature of their capacity to have effect in the world. pilgrimage sites. Conclusion People come to Cimande. The ontological stability they perpetuate through their actions is not reducible to their agency alone. The political agency of the ancestors is a potent and potentially destabilizing force. were reconstituted and revered as cultural heritage sites (Hellman 2013: 179). and. It is easy to see why formal organizations such as ipsi are wary of the spiritual practices associated with Pencak Silat. and their agency was assigned to ‘more mundane actors such as political. providing the basis of informal networks of authority such as those found in Cimande. ‘per- sonal affairs reflecting individual desires rather than community interests’. but overlaps with that of their ancestors. from West Java. were visits to sacred sites. Mitchell 2006: 392–393). Spiritual practices that flourished under the New Order. We can see the recitation of the amalan tawassuf as a means through which the agency of the ancestors might be ‘operationalized’ (Allerton 2012: 75–76. as Hellman notes. see also Bubandt 2009). Under the New Order the ancestors were disempowered and depoliti- cized.Blessings. Jakarta and further afield. and ultimately God. ‘the means by which the well-being of a neighbourhood or village – even the nation – may be sustained’. These visits. those in authority have since the colonial period recog- nized the need to regulate this agency (Hellman 2013: 178–179. Direct communication with the ancestors was curtailed. were for the most part made to locations outside of the local village or neigh- bourhood. Cimande can then be seen as a bastion of the ancestors. were ‘[r]edirected towards ‘tradition” (Pemberton 1994: 165–166).

that is. Those that perform actions are agents. In this regard.110 chapter 3 do in the world – rather. . then it is hard to refute on the grounds of representation- alist argument – that is. In his seminal work on art and agency (1998). Bodies are healed and made impervious to injury. and the ways in which they act upon each other. from the perspective of ideological claims to greater authority that lack ontological force unless they are able to effect transforma- tive change in the world on the same terms. and it for this reason that within ipsi Cimande is represented as the site of enduring tradition. I consider this in the next chapter. and in this respect. which looks more closely at the formal administrative author- ity of ipsi under the New Order. things and places (see Gell 1998: 96–154) in the everyday lives of the community of Tari Kolot and beyond. its contestation and representation. an act of ontological construction (Holbraad 2008: 103) that confirms Cimande as the locus of interpersonal relations between efficacious social entities. than what they mean – similarly motivated Alfred Gell to develop a conceptual framework that I draw upon here to make sense of Cimande as a field of transformative social relations. the period during which the cultural forma- tion of Pencak Silat as a national martial became a far more carefully managed project. Cimande is constituted as a potent site through the actions of these agents. but also as a hegemonic ordering of social reality operationalized ontologically through the articulation of the spiritual agency of the state. and the agency of the ancestors is not confined to individual bodies. but is enacted through people. be these persons or objects (Chua 2009: 43). Drawing on Gell’s formulation. we can then think of the elders in Cimande as existing in a field of ‘spatio-temporal’ (Gell 1998: 26) relations in which personhood is dispersed and diffuse. There is a further point to be made beyond the obvious political threat that those considered to be efficacious might pose to formal administrative author- ity. What matters with regard to the exercise of agency are the relative positions of social entities (Gell 1998: 123–124). the emphasis upon the spiri- tual superiority of the state within ipsi under the New Order can be under- stood not only in terms of the discursive configuration of power and authority. If one considers efficacy and the authority that it might inform in terms of its ontic dimensions. Gell argues that ‘social relations only exist in so far as they are made manifest in actions’ (Gell 1998: 26). be these material or non-material. Such a practical orientation towards action and effect has a bearing on the conceptualization of power. Socio-politically. agency is ‘not an inherent attribute but a relational capacity’ (Chua 2009: 41).

from the outset of the Indonesian republic ipsi was closely associated with the ruling political and military elite. and that when Eddie Nalapraya’s twenty-two year rule of ipsi finally came to an end. and it was under his direction that the organization had come of age. Elements of this policy are evident in Suharto’s address to the ipsi conference in January 1973. physical (lahir) and inner. While national culture and identity were a con- cern of the ‘old order’. spiritual (batin) wellbeing of the people.1163/9789004289352_006 . leiden. was himself a product of the Suharto era. Regional ‘cultural forms’ were ‘made “modern” merely through their adoption by the modern Indonesian nation’ (Lindsay 2012: 15–16). There is no doubting the fact that with Eddie Nalapraya at the helm in the 1980s. and that some years after the fall of Suharto. Suharto stressed. Suharto. that it is possible to realize prosperity. As I detailed in Chapter 1. in which the New Order watchwords of development (pembangunan) and progress (kemajuan) were recurrent themes in his speech to the gathered members of the congress. it was said. Hellman © koninklijke brill nv. It is then perhaps no surprise that the reign of the former Jakarta intelligence supremo at ipsi shared some paral- lels with that of his former boss. ipsi entered a golden age in which it reaped the rewards of being close to the heart of dictatorial power in Jakarta. chapter 4 The Management of Tradition Introduction One of the most frequent criticisms I heard voiced of ipsi was that its manage- ment culture was typical of the New Order. under Sukarno the national cultural project had been a far less integralist affair. Tjokropranolo’s appoint- ment closely coincided with the systematic promotion of regional performing arts by the New Order administration in its efforts to cultivate and promote ‘national culture’ (Yampolsky 1995: 707–708). Critical to this task of ensuring the populations wellbeing was the maintenance of the cultural identity of the nation. Yet it was important that progress should encompass both the exter- nal. Under Suharto this became a more firmly cemented arrangement with the appointment of Tjokropranolo as the head of the organization in 1973. and potentially subversive practices were prised free from their anchoring in every- day life to be recast as elements of a ‘traditional’ past (Acciaioli 1985. 2015 | doi 10. it did so in a similarly unexpected and Byzantine fashion. It is through progress. Under the New Order. there was scant evidence of the organization becoming more demo- cratically inclined. ‘culture’ became a more highly politicized arena. Eddie Nalapraya.

and those that practise and administer the art as an aspect of local culture in Cianjur. As an aspect of everyday life penca has personal significance and provides bodily connectivity to a different past than that traced by the nationalist histo- ries idealized and commemorated by ipsi. I take a closer look at the institutional framework of ipsi. it might be thought of as what Retsikas has referred to as ‘embodied difference’ (2007: 206). there is a stark contrast between the bureaucratic character of ipsi as a nationalist organization in Jakarta. I show how Pencak Silat was constituted as an object of nationalist culture in line with New Order his- toriographical convention. The main entrance to Taman Mini is also only used . As such. the main gates that front the entrance to the public highway are kept locked. All of which is evident in the administration of Pencak Silat under ipsi during the period of New Order rule. the Padepokan Pencak Silat Indonesia. 8). the cultural theme park that borders the ipsi headquarters. and only opened for official events. it can be considered to be qualitatively different to the ‘singular logic of representation’ (Pemberton 1994: 267) that shapes the discur- sive construction of diversity as an aspect of cultural nationalism within ipsi. stands a fourteen metre high portal (gapura). I look again at the learning ecology of penca in Cianjur. I show how patrimonialism contributed in part to a hiatus between the centre and periphery within ipsi. and suggest that the intersubjective experience of skill acquisition in penca engenders more egalitarian relations between those that practise the art. Accordingly. Through a comparison of ipsi central administration in Jakarta. In West Java. it is customary for penca to be performed as part of the celebrations of life cycle ceremonies such as circumcisions and on other public occasions. and the regional office in Cianjur. Cultural Monuments and the New Order At the main entrance to the ipsi headquarters in Jakarta. Pemberton 1994).112 chapter 4 2013.1 One has to enter the complex from a side entrance 1 Errington makes a similar observation about the gates to Taman Mini. and the onset of democratization within the organization – a transition that led eventually to the dramatic replacement of Eddie Nalapraya in ways that he himself considered decidedly undemocratic. which frames the approach to the complex from the main road (Fig. However. and examine both the nature of patrimony within the ipsi bureau- cracy. I argue that to the extent that penca both grounds and engenders Sundanese ethnicity. In this chapter I begin by looking at the cultural framing of Pencak Silat during the New Order period as an aspect of a common cultural heritage underpinning the spiritual well-being of the nation.

. The stepped approach is reminiscent of the terraces of the famed temple of Borobodur in central Java. The funding for the project relied heavily upon ‘contributions’ from the Chinese business community. he joked. the general public entering through the side gates. This. A senior ipsi figure remarked to me in jest that when they had held a ceremony to honour the financial supporters of the proj- ect. The construction of this impressive and imposing Padepokan is illustrative of the close familial links through which such grand designs were implemented in New Order Indonesia. gold lettering that the President of the Republic of Indonesia opened the Padepokan for ceremonies. The first of these.The Management Of Tradition 113 Figure 8  The ipsi Padepokan in Jakarta Photograph by Lee Wilson a hundred yards or so from the main gate. dominating feature of the Padepokan from this view is the Pondok Gede. The central. Standing in front of the gateway. the stadium and offices of the ipsi governing body. proudly proclaims in bold. set into a concrete boulder. Two large commemorative plaques stand at the ingress to the Padepokan. and walk diagonally across the car park in order to join the walkway that leads up to the central structures located at the core of the complex. a common signifier of national identity under the New Order. ‘the servants’ entrance to the sacred space’ (1997: 24–25). the stadium that stands at the heart of the facility. the Chinese donors had limped into the event. was because large army boots had been treading on their toes. The gate structure and the respective buildings are capped with characteristically Javanese joglo roofs. the viewer’s gaze is drawn through the open- ing and along the pathway to the steps that ascend to the covered walkways leading into the complex.

Wandering further into the complex. we can only make a promise. or Soedono Salim. Director of some of Liem Sioe Liong’s companies. how great is the contribution of Ibu. Now at the peak of its development. through work and will. In order for the radiance of Ibu’s sublimity (keagungan) to shine. In front of the stadium a gold bust of Suharto’s wife. the Chinese born billionaire businessman who founded the Salim Group in the 1970s.2 which is also listed as a donor. Bambang’s close friend and business associate Rosano Barack. A portrait of the former first lady also hangs in the entrance to the ipsi museum. To conserve. a street in Menteng. The message beneath the painting reads thus: Without Ibu. The name has come to refer metonymically to the Suharto clan. greeting visitors to the collection of mod- els. But. her image immortalized in honour of her patronage and support in the building of the Padepokan. at that time approximately us $34. set into the face of a marble-encased. gazes down benefi- cently on all who stand before her. Ibu has gone and left us. The list of donors is impressive.114 chapter 4 on 20 April 1997. . forged a close relationship with Suharto during the early days of the Republic. along with Tachril Sapi’ie. this padepokan never would have been here. lists the financial contributors that gave in excess of one billion rupiah to the project. Ibu Tien. a veritable who’s who of cronyism under the New Order. 3 Jalan Cendana. central Jakarta. Without Ibu this place would only be a dream for the silat players of Indonesia. past these plaques that stand testament to the gener- osity of the top rung of the New Order business elite. one reaches the large stadium that is the centrepiece of the Padepokan. along with Bimantara Group. most notably pt Indocement. 17% of the total value of listed corporate assets in Indonesia could be traced to the Salim family (Brown 2004: 380). our national cultural legacy 2 Liem Sioe Liong. Indra Rukmana. businessman and close associate of Bambang. In 1995. memorabilia and martial art paraphernalia that is housed on the second floor of the library building. Ibrahim Risjad. Ibu. the hotel entrepreneur Pontjo Soetowo. Bambang Trihatmodjo. Which we will never be able to reciprocate. This padepokan will bear witness. and a host of other companies who had close links to the Jalan Cendana clique3 under Suharto. son-in-law. is home to Suharto and many of his children.500. triangular pillar to the right of the boulder. Headed by Suharto’s son. The second plaque. cultivate and develop Pencak Silat. rest assured Ibu. Peter Gontha.

between lahir and batin. . I won’t retreat an inch! This project must go through!’ The President also publicly proclaimed that protestors would be dealt with (Anderson 1973: 65). but also to cultivate and develop the traditions of the past. ‘Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature’. a location not devoid of significance. and the need for material prosperity to be accompanied by atten- dance to spiritual needs to counterbalance the perils of materialism in a modern world. already in our possession. leading eventually to the formation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Ryter 2001: 139–142). costing some $25 million dollars in 1971.The Management Of Tradition 115 The eulogy to the first lady. ‘in fact. to be ‘continuously and accurately excavated in 4 The project drew heavy criticism as a gross waste of public funds. and was met swiftly with violence as demonstrators were attacked by gang members linked to Ibu Tien. This conception of ‘cultural inheritance’ remained remarkably consistent. Thirty years later. Comments made some thirty years prior to the construction of the Padepokan give some indication of the rationale informing the close patronage and support of the Padepokan project by the President and the First lady. The Padepokan is built on land donated by Ibu Tien and is a later addition to the adjacent Mini complex. The ‘radiance’ of Ibu Tien’s sublimity is a metaphor suggestive of the teja. Suharto offers advice in the form of ‘ten pearls of guidance [for the] cultivation of Pencak Silat’. the light that emanates from the person of a ruler that is a sign of their efficacy and legitimate right to rule (see Anderson 1972a). Ryter notes this as a new development in the history of youth protest in that it was targeted against the New Order. in a handbook celebrating the opening of the Padepokan. was to be like Disneyland. The desire not only to conserve the cultural legacy of Pencak Silat. but went ahead regardless of opposition to its construction. who commented ‘Whatever happens. Such is the magnitude of her beneficence it is a debt that can never be fully repaid. assumes a common cultural heritage.4 but ‘more complete and more perfect’ (Pemberton 1994: 152). it lies in our beautiful and noble national cultural inheritance’ (Pemberton 1994: 154). In their addresses at the official opening of Taman Mini. He notes the need for a common ancestral heritage ‘spread throughout all of Nusantara’. drips with New Order rhetoric. who died on 28 April 1996 before the completion of the project. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. the Suhartos drew upon the mystical distinc- tion made between the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ dimensions of being. He pinpoints these events as the turning point in the formalization of efforts to reign in and tame youth groups. Student protest against the project was met with a determined reaction from Ibu Tien. Her endowment will however be honoured by the members of ipsi who will strive to preserve and advance Pencak Silat as an element of Indonesia’s cultural legacy. ‘The direction and guidance toward that spiritual welfare is’. President Suharto stated.

from the root bangun. and a departure point from which to re-interpret old facts and direct the future course of history…[it] is no longer equivalent to the particulars of (nation-) building. ipsi n. The word used for culture. Kebudayaan daerah. was to be actively promoted as a component of a common cultural heritage underpinning the unity of the nation-state. and daya. referred to both the specific cultural attributes of the ethnolinguistic 5 The intended audience is not only Indonesian. is suggestive of a process that does not recognize itself automatically. 6 Heryanto’s (1988) excellent essay on the social history of the term pembangunan details the drift in meaning from its connection to the first stirrings of Indonesian nationalism in which it can be best ‘understood as equivalent to ‘building’ in ‘nation-building’ and ‘character- building’ (1988: 9). The appeal to culture as a foundational element of national development was instrumental in New Order conceptions of the consanguinity of state and nation. perceptive (tanggap). Indonesia. needs to be preserved as well as possible to become the pride of continuing generations of the nation’. meaning ‘rise. tenacious (tangguh).d.116 chapter 4 order to enrich the treasury of Malay culture’. hence the mention of Nusantara and the notion of Malay culture being of the same family (rumpun Melayu). is from the root budaya. Kebudayaan. but rather to Development’ (1988: 11. . Pencak Silat is an ideal medium for the cultivation (pembinaan) of pious (taqwa). literally. awake. The term takes on new emphasis as part of the New Order rhetoric. Thus Pencak Silat. Pembangunan. especially the four founding members. italics in original). as a standardized practice. Intrinsic to New Order conceptions of kebudayaan was a notion of culture as a ‘civilising agent of human behaviour’ and a source of common identity (Lindsay 1995: 659). energy or capacity (Hobart 2000: 32). Singapore and Brunei. reliable (Jv. customs. A standardized form of Pencak Silat should be created to be ‘to be learnt by all silat perform- ers…in order for the art to be an active component for national process and our country’s development’ (pembangunan. or mind or character. ‘swift’) humanity (ipsi n. but the other members of the recently formed International Association of Pencak Silat (persilat). or regional culture. a neologism formed from a conjunction of budi. Kebudayaan referred in a ‘rather narrow sense…to specific attributes such as language. and implies the need for outside action or encouragement (Quarles van Ufford 1985: 57.d. ‘laden with noble values. tanggon) and ‘skilled’ (Jv.: 14). trengginas. The notion of ‘development’ employed by Suharto was typical of the New Order narrative of nation building (Hooker and Dick 1993: 3). in Hobart 1993: 7). tradi- tional arts and architecture’ (Hough 1999: 232).5 The cultural heritage (warisan budaya) of Pencak Silat. in which pembangunan becomes ‘a focus of authority and legitimacy. construction’ (van Langenberg 1986: 19). and serves to legitimize an interventional role on the part of the state in the lives of its citizens6 (Hobart 1993: 7). Malaysia.: 14–15).

and so the first martial arts were born. The scene depicts prehistoric folk clad in furs. which is however dynamic. not one specific area. Observing the wild animals that they shared their world with. speaking on ipsi policy for the advancement of Pencak Silat world- wide. these skills became further . being achieved through the guidance of outside agency. ‘It is hoped that this Padepokan will be the centre place of research and development of aspects of Pencak Silat as a science. without leav- ing behind the originality of our descendant tradition [but] mining its poten- tial through the use of the advances of science and technology’ (ipsi n. its reflection only being possible if it is. Developing through time. the tiger and the snake. they began to mimic the actions of the monkey.d. in which he states that ‘ipsi…has tried to gather all the elements of culture from the areas in the regions of Nusantara. Of note here is the association of culture. Prabowo Subianto. The association of the dynamic practice of Pencak Silat at the Padepokan with science. not static. Eddie Nalapraya. engaged in a savage struggle with sabre toothed tigers. with progress. the accompanying text informs visitors to the museum. as a mirror of Unity in Diversity’ (pbipsi 1997: 2). in the celebratory handbook accom- panying its opening. Conceptions of tradition and modernity are stood in contrast to one another. Culture is then reified. Rozano Barack similarly stressed the importance of the Padepokan for the promotion of Pencak Silat as a national resource. One entire side of the Padepokan museum is dedicated to a diorama depicting the emergence of fighting skills amongst the early inhabitants of the archipelago. From the beginning of time. In order to do so they began to perfect their combative skills. humans have had to fight to survive. and to an ‘archaeo- logical past’ (Budianta 2000: 116) located in distant time and space. echoed these sentiments when he voiced his concerns that care should be taken lest Pencak Silat be associated as before with the backward leaning image of unsophisticated village life (kampungan) (Kompas 28 May 1996).The Management Of Tradition 117 groups of Indonesia and the ‘provincial differentiation’ of culture through its association with the administrative provinces of the state (Picard 1996: 176–179). unquestionably real. the desired aim.: 7). the narrative continues. technology and progress is opposed to tradition. which is represented synecdochically with place by the enumeration of its constituent elements. The History of Pencak Silat According to ipsi This stress on common and autochthonous origin is nowhere more evident than in ipsi accounts of the history and development of Pencak Silat. of course. This logic is evident in the address of the chairman of the Padepokan development project.

the head of section for tra- ditional Pencak Silat (bidang tradisi) in the ipsi governing board. noted to me that further proof of indigenous origin can be found in the existence of a Buddhist monastery in the seventh century in the kingdom of Sriwijaya. or 7 Interview with Bapak Hisbullah. and the present day practitioners of the art continue to uphold the sanctity of the Indonesian nation. as opposed to China or India.7 The art is thus established as a product of Indonesian. Obviously. 25 February 2003. he told me as we discussed the matter one day. . and as a vehicle for spiritual development. Bapak Hisbullah. and former head of the school Setia Hati Teratai. In New Order narratives the kingdom of Sriwijaya is portrayed as a dominant power throughout the archipelago until the twelfth century when. Conclusive evidence of Pencak Silat being a home-grown art is offered in the story of the defeat of the expeditionary force sent to Indonesia by Kubhilai Khan at the end of the thir- teenth century. As part of this historical legacy. Bapak Hisbullah explained to me. Maps in the ipsi museum that illustrate the extent of the demesne of Sriwijaya show a territory stretching from one end of the archipelago to the other. it was seceded by the kingdom of Majapahit. the Dutch oppressors were overcome. Bapak Harsoyo. The maps of Majapahit show a boundary coterminous with the borders of contemporary Indonesia.118 chapter 4 refined in the kingdoms of Indonesia. a long-serving member of ipsi. that ‘strong troops in the era of Sriwijaya and Majapahit together with the kingdoms of the past were established from the soldiers (prajurit) and heroes (perwira) who possessed high [levels of] indi- vidual skill. located in present day Palembang in Sumatra. Jakarta. dexterity and adroitness (kecekatan) […Through] military life and knighthood (kesatriaan) […] superiority in the science of self-defence was attained’ (Harsoyo 1984: 4). the Chinese monks that came to study there would have learnt Indonesian martial arts as well as studying religion. is a common motif in ipsi narratives. According to ipsi. The image of Majapahit as a great empire dominating the archipelago. coming to be associated with perfor- mance arts. Pencak Silat is a component of a warrior tradition by which the Mongol hordes were defeated. The origin of Pencak Silat in Indonesia. and the fact that Pencak Silat cannot in any way be descended from Kung Fu (pbipsi 1987: 7–10). provides a logical historical precedent to a united Indonesia and the rise of the Indonesian nation (Supomo 1979). writes in an essay entitled ‘Preservation and expansion of the culture of Pencak Silat for the development of the Indonesian nation and state’. the fact that the invading force was defeated by the warriors of the day is historical testament to the superiority of Indonesian over Chinese martial arts. with the waning of its power.

The Management Of Tradition 119

more generously, Nusantaran culture, which is, in itself, evidence for the
pre-historical existence and inevitable development of an independent, uni-
fied Indonesia. This assertion of indigenous origin is however based upon little
more than New Order ideological precepts. Pencak Silat under the New Order
became thoroughly ‘Indonesianized’ and distanced from any association with
Chinese culture (Lombard 1977; 1990: 281–282), a crude dichotomization of
Indonesian history that resulted in the dismissal of all things Chinese as ‘for-
eign and inconsequential’ (Lombard and Salmon 1994: 131), and obfuscated
complex patterns of social interaction and exchange. Many Pencak Silat styles
are quite obviously Chinese in origin. For example, Bapak Dirdjoatmodjo, who
founded the school Perisai Diri in Yogyakarta in 1955, studied under two
Chinese masters (Chambers and Draeger 1978: 5). Perisai Diri today is widely
referred recognized as a Pencak Silat, style, but is made up of techniques of
predominantly Chinese origin. Perisai Diri is recognized by ipsi as a historic
school important to the development of Pencak Silat in Indonesia. In Bogor, the
school Bangau Putih, founded by Suhu Subur Raharja, is of Chinese descent,
although it now refers to itself as a Silat system. While many Chinese schools
chose to leave ipsi and join the governing body for Chinese martial arts in
post-Suharto Indonesia, Bangau Putih remained loyal to ipsi. Many of the
Betawi systems in cosmopolitan Jakarta contain elements of Chinese styles.
Such diverse, and in many cases obviously Chinese, origins of styles of Pencak
Silat does not however sit well with nationalist narratives of the historical
development of the art.
Chinese arts were often referred to as kuntao, but there was no hard and fast
rule to the categorization of a particular art or style as kuntao or Pencak Silat.
Exploring the ambiguity in the use of the term kuntao, Davies (2000), following
Suryadinata (1997), distinguishes between martial systems that developed in
totok and peranakan Chinese communities. He characterizes totok communi-
ties as less integrated in Indonesian society with far stronger generational
retention of Chinese cultural practices and languages. Peranakan Chinese often
no longer speak a Chinese language, but communicate in the local vernacular,
tracing their history to pre-colonial settlements in the archipelago. The Hokkien
term Kuntao thus relates to a continuum ranging from systems that are wholly
Chinese in origin, practised amongst the totok communities without diverging
greatly from their Mainland Chinese heritage, to hybrid arts practised by the
peranakan Chinese that are a mixture of Chinese and Indonesian styles and
which define themselves as Pencak Silat systems (Davies 2000: 41).
Any investigation into the historical origins of a particular martial style in
Indonesia is further complicated by the ban on the use of Chinese language
and the integrationist pressures of the Suharto era. Following the destruction

120 chapter 4

of the Indonesian Communist Party in the aftermath of the attempted coup of
1965 and the severing of relations with China, under the Suharto administra-
tion all things Chinese were held to be a threat to national security and duly
banned by decree. This included the use of Chinese characters, and all ethnic
Chinese were forced to take Indonesian surnames. Chinese martial art schools
publicly dropped the use of the term kuntao in reference to their art, and took
on Indonesian identities as Pencak Silat perguruan. Many of these schools
joined ipsi, changing their names to an acceptable Indonesian equivalent and
replacing Chinese terminology with its Indonesian counterpart (see Tempo
25 February 1978).
However, the admission of Chinese martial arts schools to the ranks of ipsi
was a decision met with some opposition by those of a more nationalistic bent.
Having been advised by the government that ipsi should open its ranks to
Chinese martial art schools for the purposes of their assimilation, Bapak
Harsoyo wrote in complaint that in fact quite the opposite transpired: the
techniques of Chinese martial art schools fed back into the practice of Pencak
Silat within ipsi (Harsoyo 1984: 8–9). Harsoyo’s comment is illustrative of the
conception of Indonesian culture as a bounded entity, and the ways in which
historical narratives of the development of the art was projected onto space
and backwards through linear time. In 2000, Adurrahman Wahid, by far
the most progressive of presidents to have taken office to date, repealed the
oppressive anti-Chinese legislation. In the wake of the abolition of the legal
discrimination against Chinese language and culture, Chinese martial arts
have flourished in Indonesia. Many schools that were forced to affiliate with
ipsi and redefine themselves as ‘Indonesian’ have, to the ire of some of the
senior figures in ipsi, left the organization to join the Indonesian Wushu
Association, formed after the repeal of the legislation banning the public use
of Chinese language.

The Organizational Structure of ipsi

Given the military leadership of ipsi since the early 1970s, the strident nation-
alism of the organization is perhaps no surprise. However, for all its nationalist
fervour, the organization’s activities have remained relatively innocuous.
While proving to be an ideal vehicle for the dissemination of the values and
ideals of the New Order, unlike many Pencak Silat schools, ipsi has never been
directly involved in the overt mobilization of its members for political ends.
Although the activities of some of its members, to which we shall return later,
could be considered more than a little odious, ipsi as an organization has

The Management Of Tradition 121

remained focused upon its stated aim of the preservation and development of
Pencak Silat as a component of national culture. As a matter of fact, ipsi’s
stance on youth mobilization is something that Eddie Nalapraya is very proud
of. On his account, for the entire period of his leadership the organization
remained aloof of politics, concerning itself solely with the promotion of
Pencak Silat as a national and international sport. There is no denying his pas-
sion and commitment to Pencak Silat, and, with respect to politically moti-
vated violence, Bapak Eddie’s pride in his achievement is probably justified.8
His refusal to countenance any use of the organization in overt political action
was well known. This though is not only a reflection of his and the Governing
Council’s wishes. Under the New Order, the ipsi bureaucracy remained heavily
centralized, and links with regional branches attenuated. Bapak Eddie’s aver-
sion to delegating authority, and the style of his leadership as a system of
patronage centred upon him as head of the organization, all contributed to the
organization’s Jakarta-centric focus. The kind of relationships engendered by
the bond between guru and student in more traditional modes of Pencak Silat,
are for the most part absent in ipsi. It is an administrative body, not a pergu-
ruan, and as such does not lend itself well to the mustering and motivation of
political muscle.
The heart of the organizational structure of ipsi is the governing board,
pbipsi. In 1948, when the organization was first formed, the board, with three
‘sections’ for organization, technique and ideology, numbered ten men. In
2003, with seven departments, an ‘advisory’ council (Dewan Pertimbangan)
and two ‘institutes’ (lembaga) for coaching and judging, the pbipsi numbered
seventy one people, although many of them were not active in the everyday
running of ipsi. Those members that serve on the board are for the most part
unpaid. The little money they receive from government sources is directed
through the Indonesian Sports Council (koni), which is not enough to cover
the running costs of the organization. While the hotel and function rooms in
the Padepokan provide some income, this does not generate enough revenue
for the organization to be self-sufficient, and ipsi needs to procure consider-
able financial backing through private sources in order to function. The
regional branches of ipsi operate independently of pbipsi in matters of
finance. Generally, what money may be forthcoming to support their activities
comes from regional government, and money or sponsorship that they are
able to secure at a local level. Much of the funding that is secured through the

8 Although ipsi, along with students from the schools Satria Muda Indonesia and Pendekar
Banten, has been accused of attacking students demonstrating against Suharto in 1998
(Gatra 30 May 1998).

122 chapter 4

solicitation of affluent sponsors from the Indonesian business world and the
political and military elite tends to stay in Jakarta. For example, should a
regional board in, say, Papua, decide to request the presence of a coach from
the central authority in Jakarta to instruct local athletes in olah raga or jurus
wajib, whoever is sent is salaried by the regional board, not pbipsi, although
the central board usually decides who will be sent. Amongst some members of
ipsi this led to resentment and privately aired accusations of nepotism as
those chosen to benefit from such potentially lucrative training contracts are
invariably close to members of the governing council.
The current ipsi structure only came into being in 1994. Prior to this pbipsi
was represented locally through a system of regional commissaries. These
representatives were personnel from the central body in Jakarta, not regional
officials. At the ninth ipsi congress in April 1994 this system of regional repre-
sentation was replaced by the creation of regional boards modelled on that of
the central authority in Jakarta (Harsoyo 2001: 1–2). A Chairman leads the
pbipsi; beneath the chairmen sit the Deputy Chairmen, an Executive Director,
a General Secretary and a treasurer; beneath these positions are the councils
for the coaches and jury, and the heads of the departmental boards and their
staff. These boards are responsible for the administration of the referees,
coaching, and so on. A Chairman heads the regional boards (pengda, Pengurus
Daerah), with two or more deputy chairmen, a secretary, treasurer, councils
and departments as in the pbipsi. Beneath the Regional Boards representing
each province are the boards responsible for the regencies (kabuputen) or
municipalities (Kota), the administrative district under provincial level. These
local branch boards are similarly set up with a Chairman, Deputy, Secretary,
Treasurer and so on. Beneath this are the Sub-Branch Boards catering to
(kecamatan) administrative district level. pbipsi coordinates with both the
central office of the Indonesian National Sports Council and the Indonesian
National Arts Coordinating Body (bkkni, Badan Koordinasi Kesenian Nasional
Indonesia), with branches at each administrative level similarly liaising with
their counterpart in these government bodies at their level.
Above the pbipsi is the figurehead of the ‘senior advisor’, the Pembina
Utama, a position that was for many years occupied by President Suharto.
The, Advisory Council, or Dewan Pertimbangan, sits under Pembina Utama,
and, under the New Order, was largely comprised of high level sponsors.
In 1990 Prabowo Subianto, along with Rosano Barack and prominent business-
man Indra Bakrie, became the Deputy Chairmen of ipsi. Bambang Trihatmodjo,
Suharto’s second son, also became a member of the advisory council. Prabowo
Subianto, the son of economist Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, was a rising star in
the New Order kleptocracy. Married to Suharto’s daughter, Titiek, he had risen

The Management Of Tradition 123

quickly through the military ranks, becoming Indonesia’s youngest peacetime
Lieutenant General. Ambitious and ruthless, and well known for his brutality,9
Prabowo had an extensive combat record in East Timor, and along with Sjafrie
Syamsuddin is alleged to have been responsible for ordering the Santa Cruz
massacre on 12 November 1991, in which 250 unarmed protesters were shot
dead by the Indonesian military (Kammen 1999: 68–70). At the ipsi congress
in 1994 retired Brigadier General Suhana Budjana replaced Bakrie, joining
Prabowo and Rosano Barack as Deputy Chairman. Soejono Varinata, co-founder
of the Djadjanti Group, a corporation with extensive business interests in
fisheries and, typically of those conglomerates close to Suharto, forestry, was
appointed as treasurer of ipsi.
In 1995 Prabowo took command of Indonesia’s elite special forces group,
Kopassus (Komando Pasukan Khusus, Special Forces Command), and in 1998
was moved to the Army Strategic Reserve command (Kostrad, Komando
Strategik Angkatan Darat; Kingsbury 2003: 94–95). As a result of the events
that rocked Indonesia and precipitated the end of the Suharto regime in 1998,
the next ipsi congress was held in 1999. Prabowo had by this time fallen foul
of the politicking that had followed in the wake of Suharto’s downfall. He was
held responsible for a spate of kidnappings of student protesters by members
of Kopassus, which had been at his command during Suharto’s last months in
power, events to which I shall return. In light of his testimony to a military
honour board on these kidnappings, he was stripped of his command and dis-
charged from the military (Kammen 1999: 62). Isolated and publicly humili-
ated, he was not reinstated as Deputy Chairman at the ipsi congress held in
1999. Oyong Karmayuda replaced him, and Rustadi Effendi, or Pak Tata as he
was known informally, assumed the position of Deputy Chairman and
Executive Director of ipsi. The new treasurer of the organization was Rahmat
Gobel, the head of Panasonic Indonesia. Gone were the patrons of the New
Order. ipsi was entering an era of reformasi.

Democratic Conventions?

It is at the quadrennial congress of ipsi, the Musyawarah Nasional, or munas,
that the chairman of the organization is elected. Each of the respective
Regional Boards have a single vote at the Musyawarah, together with the

9 Those that I knew that were close to Prabowo commented that it was not unusual for him to
fly into fits of rage, and to strike his subordinates. He was said to be paranoid by some, and to
sleep with a gun under his pillow at night.

effectively prevented the group from any further claim to represent Pencak Silat at a national level. the ppsi. Accordingly. ‘functional groups’) party since all government employees were forbid- den to join opposition parties and encouraged to join Golkar (Rickleffs 2001: 360–361). and has never sent official representation to any ipsi Musyawarah or exercised its right to vote at the congress. The former was created from the Islamic parties. Attempting to make inroads into West Java.10 The incorporation of ppsi. Partai Persatuan Pembangunan) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (pdi. the recognition of the Indonesia Pencak Silat Union. the organi- zational structure of these groups was hamstrung through the its restriction to kabupaten level except during election periods. The ten schools afforded special status are Setia Hati. Setia Hati Terate. With the exception of ppsi 10 In 1973 the New Order government took steps to ensure its continuity through the amal- gamation of all opposition political parties into just two parties. the latter from non-Islamic parties. . a regulation that did not apply to Suharto’s Golkar (golongan karya. as a top orginisasi was a move to appease Sundanese gurus and their antipathy towards an organization they saw as dominated by Javanese schools and styles. Their introduction to Suharto was followed by their invitation to compete in the Seventh National Sporting Championships in 1973 for the first time in an official capacity. The amalgamation of poten- tially dissenting political voices is also typical of the strategies employed by the New Order government. Partai Demokrasi Indonesia). ppsi has consistently refused to recognize its status within ipsi.124 chapter 4 pbipsi and the ten ‘historic schools’. Phasadja Mataram. an association representing Pencak Silat styles from Jakarta. this term again being changed in 1994 to ‘special schools’ (perguruan khusus). unlike the other perguruan recognized as top organizations by ipsi. They are recognized as ‘historic’ on account of being the first schools to be presented to President Suharto in 1972 when Pencak Silat and ipsi were brought to his attention. Tapak Suci. the United Development Party (ppp. Amongst the ten schools honoured in this way are Putra Betawi. they are hailed officially as ‘top organizations’ (top orginisasi) by ipsi. Nusantara. The voting system and the privileged position of the ten special schools was also a point of contention for many ipsi members. Further. Perpi Harimurti. were representative bodies in their own right. Perisai Putih. and afforded privileged position and voting rights at munas. Putra Betawi and Persatuan Pencak Silat Indonesia (Gema Pencak Silat 1997a). and saw the integrationist pressures of ipsi as an imposition on the management of Pencak Silat in West Java. the ‘top organizations’ were re-categorized as ‘historic schools’. Both of these groups. including Christian and nationalist groups. and the Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (ppsi). Perisai Diri. many of the members of ppsi were not in agreement with their forced incorpora- tion. Although given voting rights at munas. or ‘sons of Betawi’. In 1990. a rival organization to ipsi.

had different ideas. The heir to the Panasonic Nasional business empire. are national organizations with large memberships throughout Indonesia and significant international representation. the regional Boards and the perguruan khusus. The event was to be a historic occasion. and finally. Further. had let it be known beforehand that he would step down from his leadership role at the congress. While some. In July of 2003. the other eight schools are all Javanese. during which the pbipsi delivers its reports on the work it has carried out during the previous term and answers queries raised from the floor. While the agenda is set by the Governing Board.: 4). organizational or technical matters pertaining to the instruction and practice of Pencak Silat within ipsi are discussed in a number of commissions. any statutory or legislative amendments.d. the selection of Eddie Nalapraya at the seventh ipsi congress in 1981 and at every subsequent congress since had been a foregone conclusion. ipsi held its eleventh national congress. Rahmat Gobel. As it transpired. such as Tapak Suci and Persai Diri. at the Padepokan in Taman Mini. Prior to munas 2003 this had always been a somewhat humdrum affair. and any decisions to be taken are ratified by the membership. Others. On 27 April 2003 Eddie Nalapraya and Rahmat Gobel met with eight of the perguruan khusus in Surabaya. At a second plenary session the commissions deliver their reports. In the fashion of New Order elections. True to New Order conceptions of political transition. come to voice their concerns. Why then should the original ten retain their voting rights? These issues came to the fore in the 2003 Musaywarah when these perguruan khusus played a pivotal role in events. Three delegates representing each of the parties with voting rights. The membership of these commissions is decided in an initial plenary session. Rahmat first became interested in sponsoring Pencak Silat in 1999. debate and decide on ipsi policy and elect the Chairman for the next term. although neither Putra Betawi nor ppsi were . the activities and membership of some of the other schools has dwindled considerably since the early ’70s. He had though taken pains to cultivate his choice for the chairmanship. Eddie Nalapraya. The incumbent pbipsi delivers its hand over statement. Chairman of ipsi since 1980. munas takes a great deal of preparation. Eddie had carefully chosen Rahmat as his successor to be elected by the delegates at munas in 2003.The Management Of Tradition 125 and Putra Betawi. which was to be the most significant private contributor to the ipsi coffers. More recent. a vote is taken on the selection of the Chairman for the forthcoming period. many of these groups are now in decline. and very popular perguruan such as Satria Muda Indonesia and Merpati Putih could also be said to be worthy of the status and privilege of perguruan khusus (Karmayuda n. Now Eddie was to stand down. things took a far more dramatic turn than Eddie could have envisaged when planning his resignation. however.

and Prabowo Subianto. and requested a meeting with Eddie to discuss the matter. presented with a choice of two candidates. The subsequent meeting was convened on 7 June. Fauzi Bowo. Rahmat would in all likelihood follow suit. his loyalties lay elsewhere. Eddie Nalapraya vehemently opposed such a move. If Rosano were to withdraw his support for the organization. Opposition to his appointment was on the basis that Haryadi Anwar knew very little of Pencak Silat. the meeting took place at the Dharmawangsa Hotel in Jakarta on 30 June 2003. Those suggested as potential candidates for the ipsi chair were Taufik Kiemas. wanted Haryadi Anwar. at that time Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Explaining his intention to resign at munas. Eddie Nalapraya rejected all of these suggestions.126 chapter 4 present at this meeting. a member of the incumbent pbipsi and of his own staff. Rahmat Gobel looked to Rosano Barack for advice. was new to the organization. the representatives of gathered schools decided on the 28 April to hold another meeting in Yogyakarta. It was decided then that they should look for an alternative candidate other than Rahmat Gobel. prior to which it had become common knowledge that Rosano Barack. to gauge his interest in running for the position. Present were Oyong. Eddie denies that the meeting ever took place. Were this to transpire it would be a financial catastrophe for ipsi. when asked.11 Confronted with this news. Oyong Karamyuda proceeded to contact one of the alternatives. According to Oyong Karamyuda’s version of events. Meanwhile. to assume the position of General Secretary within the organiza- tion (Fig. another of the major private spon- sors of ipsi. 9). Eddie and Prabowo. Oyong states that at this meeting Eddie gave his firm support for Prabowo to stand as a candidate. expressed his interest in run- ning for the ipsi chairmanship. The possibility of a rift between Eddie Nalapraya and Rosano Barack was potentially disastrous for ipsi. Whatever actually happened. as a protégé (anak buah) of Rosano Barack. at the opening of munas 2003 the delegates were. President Megawati’s husband. who in 2003 was the deputy governor of Jakarta. . unofficially. and. and off the record interviews and conversations with those involved in the course of events during munas. Prabowo. Eddie Nalapraya on 2 August 2003 and Rahmat Gobel on 2 August 2003. he announced to those gathered that he intended for Rahmat Gobel to succeed him as Chairman. as did the majority of the representatives of the gathered special schools. Prabowo Subianto. for the first time in the history of the organization. According to Oyong. 11 The version of events that I give here is a result of interviews with Oyong Karmayuda on 15 August 2003.

During a further meeting between Eddie Nalapraya. and was the head of his own Pencak Silat school. Satria Muda Indonesia. also had a keen interest in Pencak Silat. Some suspected that Oyong had ulterior motives. and Pak Tata. The initial overtures to Prabowo. . recently returned from self-imposed exile after his fall from grace in 1998. Rustadi Effendi. and on the far right of the picture. koni in the wake of a corruption scandal and accusations of impropriety in the management of funds. The courting of Prabowo had not gone unnoticed. He refused. Yet Prabowo. Rosano Barack. Eddie Nalapraya (second from left) sits to the left of Rahmat Gobel. like Eddie Nalapraya. Prabowo himself. received a call from the office of President Megawati enquiring about the events that had transpired. a national-level organi- zation with a large membership base.The Management Of Tradition 127 Figure 9  Press Conference for an event organized just prior to the ipsi elections. ipsi. and had long been involved with ipsi prior to his public disgrace as the mastermind behind the student kidnappings of 1998. had obvious appeal for him as he attempted to revive his political fortunes. Rahmat Gobel and Prabowo Subianto. had begun to rebuild his political career. and there was a failure to reach any resolution. Rosano called on Prabowo to step down. and sought the Golkar ticket for the 2004 Presidential elections. had for the most part been conducted in secret. made by Oyong Karmayuda with the support of the perguruan khusus. the Executive Director of ipsi. He had recently resigned from his position as Secretary General of the sporting council. wishing to further his own ends. Haryadi Anwar Photograph by Lee Wilson For many this came as a surprise.

In an agreement brokered between Eddie and Prabowo. most notably Pak Erizal Chaniago. The production of campaign litera- ture. Kopassus (1998–99). and Eddie publicly accused Oyong of being a traitor for having originally contacted Prabowo and planning his campaign long in advance of munas (Kompas 4 July 2003). Rahmat was appointed Executive Director. voting procedure and equipment had to be improvised. Many spoke to me of reformasi and of their excitement that for the first time proper democratic process was being observed in ipsi. also regarded as a protégé of Prabowo. and. Oyong. who. and the level of organization of the Prabowo campaign suggest an operation that had been planned for some time. Emotions were running high. In a highly charged atmosphere delegates deposited their votes in a makeshift clear plastic ballot box.12 Some said they had also been offered a new fax machine should Prabowo win the impending vote. Prabowo polled twenty four votes to Eddie’s fourteen. Having never had the benefit of choice in prior ipsi elections. and mem- bers of the perguruan Satria Muda Indonesia. Prabowo began to lobby in earnest the members of ipsi. and often serves to legitimize cash payments made on an informal basis.128 chapter 4 The ipsi delegates at munas for their part seemed to relish the opportunity for change. was to be disappointed. importantly. and Oyong Karmayuda were appointed as Deputy Directors under Rahmat Gobel. ex-commander of. Eddie Nalapraya decided once more to cast his hat into the ring. glossy pamphlets detailing the reasons for choosing Prabowo. With the outcome looking to swing in Prabowo’s favour. delegates telling me that Prabowo had offered all those present idr 3 million ($300) should he be elected. This greatly infuriated many members of the incumbent pbipsi. . continued to fund the organization. the morning of the vote held further surprises. and proclaimed to the congress that he would himself stand again in the interests of preventing a split within ipsi. Drs H. Money politics also played a part in Prabowo’s campaign. The head of ipsi Jabar (West Java). Some days later Eddie expressed to me his 12 Making payment under the rubic of ‘travel money’ is very common in Indonesia. the perguruan sponsored by Prabowo. was appointed as Secretary General. although Prabowo only announced his interest in standing three days prior to munas. The delegates were astonished to hear Rahmat announce that he was withdrawing as a candidate. Erizal Chaniago. from Satria Muda Indonesia. This desperate last move to head off Prabowo was too little too late. was also made head of an ‘advisory coun- cil’. who saw it as a tactical move to outflank Rahmat Gobel. had expected to be elected as Executive Director in the new Governing Council. Gumbira Suganda. Oyong Karmayuda. for his troubles. worked tirelessly on his behalf. Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono.

‘do you call that democracy’? Patrimonial Authority within ipsi What was significant about the 2003 munas was that Prabowo Subianto had been able to intercede in events. Pak Tata. he took most major decisions on ipsi policy unilaterally. The rift within ipsi. In the political landscape of post-Suharto Indonesia authority was more diffuse. While the rules and regulations of the organization were debated and ratified at munas. did not transpire. he asked me earnestly. major budgetary decisions remained his alone. allegiances more fluid. ‘Lee’. He had been appointed project manager in charge of the construction of the Padepokan. Eddie Nalapraya’s management style was typical of New Order patrimonialism. Certainly it fulfilled this function for some of its members. he explained. those that I knew . He had. and that Oyong Karmayuda and other mem- bers of the perguruan khusus felt able to approach an alternative candidate in the first place. It was often said about the pbipsi under Eddie Nalapraya that it was more of a social club than the headquarters of a national level organization. He had long planned for retirement. I arrived late. When in power. and being told by the secretary that the meeting was already in progress. made my way to the boardroom. reporting its progress on a daily basis to President Suharto. Maintaining a firm grip on the rudder. none of which would have been possible during the period of New Order government. at his invitation I arrived at a meeting at the Padepokan convened to discuss whether ipsi should accept an invitation to attend an international martial arts exposition to be held in Paris. he was also responsible for the management of the hotel complex at the Padepokan. only for Prabowo to stand against him as a candidate. introduced Rahmat Gobel to ipsi. Prior to Prabowo taking office. Unsure of how to respond to my unannounced entrance. At the beginning of 2003. I knocked and entered the room in which some twenty or so members of the Governing Board were seated around the table. the Executive Director of the previous administration. In addition to his position as Ketua Harian. proph- esied by some should Prabowo win the election. had overseen the daily running of the organization.The Management Of Tradition 129 great disappointment with the way events had transpired. and groomed Rahmat as his replacement. An immensely popular figure involved in Pencak Silat in Jakarta for over thirty years. his office in the ipsi hotel continued to act as an informal gathering point for many members of the pbipsi after the 2003 elections. It was from the hotel offices that Bapak Eddie continued to host his informal meetings with members of the pbipsi sympathetic to his cause after the election of Prabowo as the new Chairman.

who they should take. . on it? Attendance at such an event was the remit of the International Pencak Silat Federation. And in many ways Bapak Eddie was an archetypal New Order autocrat. welcomed me and bade me sit beside him at the table. who was seated at the head of the table. Yet none of these objections were voiced at the board meeting. or rather Rahmat Gobel. If Rahmat wanted to spend money. Politically adroit and skilled in the art of intelligence. and were of the opinion that ipsi remained a New Order organization some years after the fall of Suharto.000. he cultivated networks or patronage through the distribution of what resources ipsi had available. this was centred upon who would participate. Some members of pbipsi. kesenian and other aspects of competition. Similarly. at which point strained expressions were replaced by welcoming smiles around the room. why then should ipsi be spending so much time.130 chapter 4 well in the room did not at first acknowledge my presence. including the training of judges. I was told unof- ficially that the trip would cost somewhere in the region of us $50. The event was an international exposition. To the extent that there was debate by the Board about the excursion. it would have been better to spend it on many of the planned domestic projects that had yet to be implemented due to lack of available funding. Some members of pbipsi in Jakarta would often however voice their con- cerns privately over the nepotism they perceived to be typical of governance within ipsi. enjoyed access to privilege as a consequence of proximity to Bapak Eddie. trying to gauge his response to my sudden appearance. The event was to be funded by ipsi. Some of the members of the Board were in private extremely critical of this expendi- ture. to my knowledge. and so on. They were seconded to provide instruction in olah raga. asking for suggestions on how best to go about this. or. They made clear to me the issues they had with Bapak Eddies’ management style. and especially money. the logis- tics of the trip. The amount of money spent on taking a team to Europe was prohibitive. Eddie launched straight into planning the event. ever raised in Eddie’s presence. all of whom were unwaged by the organization. The tense atmo- sphere broke instantly when Eddie grinned. Yet for the most part. They stiffened and looked nervously from me to Bapak Eddie. and so forth. the cadre of Jakarta-based ipsi instructors that were sent to train regional and foreign players had the opportunity to earn relatively large sums of money. and to teach courses hosted at the Padepokan for visiting teams. all of which were lucra- tive appointments. the decisions that Bapak Eddie made were incontestable. There was to be no debate on the matter that the meeting had been convened to discuss. the organiza- tion responsible for promoting the art abroad.

Logsdon (1998) puts the figure in 1974 at 1. Much of the provincial ipsi bureaucracy is filled with officials in the employ of the state. a respected penca guru. or penca. There is no doubting his passion and ardour for the art. is commonly held to be the heartland of Sundanese culture and the birthplace of several styles of Pencak Silat. the general secretary of ppsi Cianjur. some two hours’ drive from the madding crowds of Jakarta. also sat on the section for traditional Pencak Silat in ipsi. it is fair to say that under Bapak Eddie ipsi operated in a manner typical of the authoritarianism and patrimonialism characteristic of New Order modes of governance. Moreover.13 The Indonesian Pencak Silat Union is also well represented in Cianjur. given the massive growth of the civil service bureaucracy under the New Order. Indeed.The Management Of Tradition 131 Certainly. that ipsi was able to prosper and develop. coloured by nationalist ardour.000. a government official in the office of the Bupati (Regent). Cianjur. Bapak Hidayat. Away from the Centre of Organizational Authority In 2003 in Cianjur. In contrast to the frosty interaction between the ppsi and ipsi at national level. or his tireless efforts over many years to promote Pencak Silat at both national and international levels. with a population of around 100. his knowledge of and access to the corridors of power. have administrational expertize and are better acquainted with the workings of a modern bureaucracy. The regional board for West Java is based in Bandung. exclusive of police and military personnel between 1970 and 1980 (Evers 1987). it was through Eddie’s personal con- nections. Local government officials are often well-educated. Organizational 13 Indonesia saw an increase of more than 1. The penca community is small. .778. in 1994 this had grown to 3.871 registered civil servants. and many of the members of the Councils of both ppsi and ipsi are active penca players. it is hardly surprising that there is a surfeit of local bureaucrats in any organization. However. in Cianjur the local branches regularly cooperated. and Cianjur was no exception to this. Kang Memet. was head of the Branch Board (pengcab) of ipsi. and relations between them were on good standing. and his vision for the development of Pencak Silat. under which sit twenty-five Branch Boards in towns throughout the province. Nonetheless.5 million government employees. was greatly at odds with those in West Java for whom the practice of penca had quite different significance. with the growth of the civil service far outpacing overall population growth.965.674. he was never a practitioner of the art. This is not just a consequence of the ministrations of central government under the New Order.

Quranic recital. ‘feeling’ or sensitivity to one’s opponent (see Chapter 2). This was done through ‘touching hands’ (S. are Cikalong and Syabandar. who later changed his name to Haji Ibrahim. Loyalties between teachers and students. The Practice of Ethnicity in Cianjur For some time class distinctions seem to have prevailed in the practice of Cikalong and Syabandar in Cianjur. a guru originally from Sumatra. all of which are recognized as distinctly Sundanese practices. also taught members of the menak (Wilson 2002: 69). The jurus that comprise the art of Cikalong were said to have come to Haji Ibrahim via divine inspiration (ilham) while meditat- ing in a cave in the village of Cikalong Kulon in the regency of Cianjur. mamaos dan maenpo’ (S. take precedence over allegiance to either of the governing bodies. It was the village where the cave is located that gave its name to the style. in Cianjur the history of Cikalong is associated with the local aristocracy. and to the fraternity of a particular school or lineage. and in subsequent generations divergence and the development of sub-styles of Cikalong. Raden Jayaperbata (1816– 1906). However. Bojong Herang. Styles of penca associated with Cianjur.132 chapter 4 rivalries are rare. while they learnt the same system. These are named after the kampung where these sub-styles have developed. where less refined or ‘coarse’ (kasar) Sundanese is spo- ken. and the elders and ancestors derive their authority from mediating with the unseen world. Central to the skills developed in Cikalong was the cultivation of rasa. Ian Wilson argues that this was a conse- quence of the regulation of social interaction between the aristocracy and . initiated a practice in which the menak became well versed. lemes) Sundanese culture. There is also great pride taken in penca as an aspect of Sundanese ethnicity. or Ma Ma Kosim as he was known. The founder of the style. An oft-cited aphorism states that men of Cianjur should be proficient in ‘ngaos. tapelan or napal. Cianjur is lauded as the centre of ‘refined’ (S. differences in the players’ phy- siques and temperaments led to variation in the interpretation of the jurus. In contrast to Cimande. ‘to touch’). Pasar Baru and Kaum (Wilson 2002: 62). in sparring (usik). Later generations of the students of these two men combined the jurus of Syabandar and Cikalong. Muhammad. There are now three main schools of Cikalong found in Cianjur. and the majority of penca schools in and around Cianjur are members of both ipsi and ppsi. sung poetry and penca). The aliran Syabandar is said to have originated with Muhammad Kosim. the menak. and held to be typically Sundanese. and is similarly named after the village in West Java where the style developed.

and Sundanese is a hierarchical language with three speech levels. As one guru explained to me. despite the wider take up of the art beyond the membership of the menak. sedeng (middle) and kasar (low – common. Pedagogically. or even Kang. course) used relative to the status of the interlocutors. refined). it may also be the case that the observation of these class distinctions amongst the native population became more acute as their authority was atten- uated by the reduction of the Regent. and interpersonal relationships between players and their teachers. The broader propagation of Cikalong is also limited by the method of instruction in the art. the patrimonialism characteristic of the Governing Board in Jakarta is not so readily apparent. and how they must be corrected. Uwa is something like ‘uncle’. and Cikalong spread beyond the aristocratic classes. it retained its status as an aspect of more refined Sundanese culture. In Cianjur. Refining proprioceptive awareness as an aspect of skill development – the cultivation of sensitivity – is facilitated through close phys- ical contact in sparring. Bapak is used as a term of address. lemes (high – respectful. The numbers of students that can be taught in this highly personalized manner is limited. or rather their absence in everyday use between players. Bapa. When Indonesian is spoken. his family and the aristocratic class to the level of administrators within the colonial bureaucracy. when teaching it was necessary to ‘feel’ each of his students in usik to know how they move. Difference in status is important in Sunda. is rarely used in interactions in the penca groups that I studied with in Cianjur. Yet the relationships expressed idiomatically through kinship terminology in Cianjur penca circles are fraternal. a term used in reference to an older male. In ipsi Cianjur. Training a commoner would be to break with strict social convention (2002: 59–60). Yet penca remained strongly associated with both person and place. but for the penca community in Cianjur Indonesian is a second language. Linguistic markers. suggest an egalitarianism that is engendered through training in penca. a guru is often referred to by his stu- dents in Sundanese as Uwa. and kang. and in Cianjur. Class distinctions began to matter less in the promotion of penca through the efforts of men such Ema Bratakusumah in the years leading up to the revolutionary struggle against the Dutch.The Management Of Tradition 133 the commoners. between two males the term implies ‘older brother’. In interactions between teacher and . not paternal. However. While a wife might address her husband as kang. During this time penca from Cianjur began to be taught more widely. and this continued as a practice despite the erosion of the authority of the aristocracy under the Dutch administration (2002: 60). the Sundanese equivalent of Bapak. an abbreviation of akang. the relationships devel- oped through the practical emphasis in training and the development of rasa also shape the sociality of penca.

Similarly. Interpersonal relations are thus shaped by this shared experience of skill development that is not simply a didactic exchange between discrete parties. and the way one is able to control and move it through space. the better students will test their guru as their skills become refined and they become more adept at the art. The majority of those people that make up the administrative bodies of ipsi and the Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (ppsi) in Cianjur are not only penca practitioners. but rather a somatically grounded. with parties less famil- iar with one another. and differs from the . Assuming a superior subject position without being able to verify this by par- ticipating in controlled sparring is quite unacceptable and will probably result in being challenged. Whilst the exchange between the two parties is controlled. there are degrees of risk involved that all actively accept through their participation. The dispositions cultivated in Cianjur frame social relations more generally amongst the penca community. is the body of the other. One comes to be respected as a teacher or highly-skilled penca player of the art through practical demonstration of one’s ability. 10). The practice of penca generates relatedness through bodily connection and the intersubjective exploration of the potential of the jurus in application. a particular fraternity or even the broader association with the community of penca players in Cianjur has its basis in these ‘body-techniques’ (Ryan 2011: 83–85). as it were. an equality that is a consequence of the close physical relationship between the guru and their students based upon their many years of training together. for example large public meetings or penca exhibitions. they are players that practice with one another.134 chapter 4 student in more formal settings. of one’s own body knowledge. A sense of belonging to a group. The art they practice is physically theirs. and I frequently saw exchanges where the teacher came off worse than their more advanced stu- dents. intersubjective interchange between guru and student. Skill acquisition is thus a very practical affair and quite literally ‘hands on’. and between the students themselves as a fraternity of practitioners (Fig. There is then a fluidity between ‘social and somatic’ (Bar-On Cohen 2009: 618) realities. at times to the teacher. One comes to be aware of one’s own bodily potential through interaction with another. speakers will often proceed with caution in their use of speech levels until some sense of the relative social positions of the interlocu- tors has been established during conversation. the measure. Being swept or thrown to the ground happens constantly in training. But familiarity brings with it a relaxation of the use of status markers in penca circles. The medium through which one’s progress may be appraized. language levels will be observed. Over time. Interlocutors in the penca groups with which I trained would relax the use of status markers.

left.The Management Of Tradition 135 Figure 10  Raden Abad Siradj. and Raden Didi Muhtadi engaged in tapelan perhaps some time in the 1940s Photo courtesy of Gending Raspuzi .

was an active penca player. and saw penca. along with other members of the local ipsi branch. Yet Sundanese culture was not conceived as being exclusive. In point of fact. both independently and collaboratively. on his account. members of both ipsi and ppsi in Cianjur frequently expressed these views of Sundanese culture and its relationship to Indonesian culture more broadly. This is especially the case with the standardized jurus within ipsi. historical and cultural trajectories are sedimented in the practice of penca. a popular competitive pastime in West Java). National cul- ture was. Bapak Hidayat. Yet in Cianjur. and other members of the local ipsi board. the general secretary of ppsi. as an aspect of Sundanese culture. penca in Cianjur is now a very practical and egalitarian marker of Sundanese ethnicity. when pressed on the aims of the respective organizations. were all public servants working in various capacities in the local govern- ment administration. as coincident with Sundanese identity. Yet others. in his view. such as Kang Memet. The performance of penca in Cianjur thus conjoins place and practice as a ‘foundational category of knowledge’ (Boellstorff 2009: 24–25) that is articulated in the jurus and their application. Social. there are many penca players in West Java who refuse to recognize Pencak Silat as it has developed under the auspices of ipsi as commensurate with the art they practice. Most strikingly. the pres- ervation of Sundanese penca as part of national culture was expressed almost exclusively as a defining goal. Culture that was.136 chapter 4 representationalist history of Pencak Silat that provides the basis for the administration of its practice amongst the ipsi bureaucracy in Jakarta. and provide the bodily basis through which being Sundanese is an outcome ‘of participation in communities of practice’ (Holland et al. It is a form of sociality in which patrimonial authority is tempered by body knowl- edge and physical prowess. 1998: 57). equally saw penca as a distinctly Sundanese cultural practice nested within the broader structure of Indonesian national culture. We should not forget that Bapak Hidayat. nowhere more refined than in Cianjur. Bapak Hidayat. had a more positive take on these jurus. or even antagonistic to Indonesian iden- tity. an amalgamation of regional cultures. the inclusion of many elements of Sundanese penca in the nationalized ipsi jurus underlined the importance of Sundanese culture as an aspect of Indonesian culture. and his perspective may well have been affected by his role as a civil servant. As I explained in Chapter 2. a leading Syahbandar guru and entrepreneur who raised and sold chickens for their song (S. . the local head of ipsi. If it were ever confined exclusively to the aristoc- racy. ayam pelung. but rather an element of this broader conceptualization. In his view.

and so on. or kendang. ppsi Cianjur must therefore submit all proposals for the funding of events to the local ipsi representatives. while a wooden trompet (trumpet) plays the melody. badminton. In Cianjur and other parts of West Java ibing penca. under the auspices of ipsi. the kendang indung (‘parent drum’) maintains the tempo during the performance. A gong. but rather repre- sent cultural practices. For this reason. Kendang Penca comprise at least two kendang or drum players. Money allocated from the regional government for sporting activities is distributed via koni to the respective representative bodies for football. At these events. Pencak Silat. a performance form based upon the jurus. Paleredan. a plat- form is erected. The larger drum. organizations such as ppsi are not sporting bodies.The Management Of Tradition 137 Performance Traditions and the Performance of Tradition Inasmuch as the organization of Pencak Silat in Cianjur is transected by (inter) subjectivities engendered through the performance and practice of penca. Yet ibing penca . while the smaller drum. Tapak dua. and players take it in turn to mount the stage to perform penca movements to the accompaniment of drums. Those demonstrating their skills are often well known members of the local community and players of all ages participate. ipsi is the only official body rec- ognized by the Indonesian Sports Council (koni). The lack of any real focus or resource for ‘cultural’ practices is also an issue within ipsi. to represent Pencak Silat as a sport. the local offices of ipsi and ppsi overlapped in their activities and collaborated on regular basis. the local ipsi office in Cianjur controls any money coming from the Sports Council in sup- port of Pencak Silat. although women performers are not that common in public displays. bas- ketball. tapak tilu. marriages and the like. If there were a major point of contention between the two regional offices. In the style Cimande. dictates or follows the movements of the perform- ers. which for a long time has focused its attention on the practice of Pencak Silat as a sport. As Bapak Hidayat explained. and therefore cannot qualify for funding allocated for the development of sport at a regional level. or bende. or approach the office of the bupati directly for funding for cultural activities. Gloempang and Padungdung are all varieties of ibing rhythm. it was the matter of funding. marks time. Tapak Salancar is a slower rhythm used in performance. Any persons present at these performances may take the stage and are actively encouraged to do so. is a prominent aspect of life cycle celebrations at circumcisions. receives some funding from government sources. the kendang anak (‘child drum’) picks its way around the tempo and improvises. One of the oldest performers I saw mount the stage at a performance in celebration of a circumcision rite was well in to his eighties. However.

is that this is an ‘age of performance’ (jaman prestasi). high kicks. it was not until 1973. and more vigor- ously by Eddie Nalapraya. Although. The display of ibing penca as part of artistic competitions. sweeps and locks are accompanied by theatrical staggering and reeling as the protagonists exchange blows. that Pencak Silat was first recognized as a competi- tor sport at a national level. rolls. As detailed in both the Introduction and Chapter 1. the strong contrast between modernity and tradition that today defines the different modes of Pencak Silat is a consequence of the politicization of culture under the New Order – an end actively pursued within ipsi by Tjokropranolo. One of the effects of this has been the economic isolation of penca through its constructed status as a traditional and located cultural practice. dramatic throws. The movements are too subtle. under the New Order. it remains a provincial organization competing on an ad hoc basis for what little funding there is available for cultural activities. as defined sagely to me one day by Bapak Rifa’i. . and national sports teams might even be considered the marker of a nation in an age of ‘internationality’ (Rée 1992). Yet despite the early foundation of a national organization for the practice of Pencak Silat and the inclusion of the art as a demonstration sport at the national sporting championships. While the association of the sporting practice of Pencak Silat with modernity predated the New Order. Eye catching uni- forms are worn and the emphasis is upon large movements visible from a distance. which are staged by both ppsi and ipsi in West Java. What pleases the crowd in the village is not suitable for performance to the masses. The mainstay of the ipsi demonstration team that was sent to France in 2003 per- formed ganda. not visible from a distance and the genre is parochial. remains confined to that province. crowd pleasing demonstrations. The problem. Performances organized by pbipsi in Jakarta are wont to be spectacular. In Indonesia. Sport is fertile ground for the cultivation of national identity.138 chapter 4 as it is performed in West Java is now rarely exhibited at national or interna- tional exhibitions of Pencak Silat. ppsi is now officially recognized by the Ministry for Culture. the development of sporting practice as a component of national identity has been a concern of successive governments in Indonesia since independence. since the fall of Suharto and reformasi. and to display its ‘legiti- macy to other states and other societies as well as to its own citizenry’ (Besnier and Brownell 2012: 452). and 1980 when the International Pencak Silat Federation was founded. the formation of national sporting associations expressed a desire to enact the unity of the nation. two person choreographed fight sequences. of limited interest to those outside of the immediate community. New Order ideologues who strived to ensure that Pencak Silat would no longer be considered as a rural practice (kampungan).

a narrative sequence combin- ing dialogue. sequences of movements against an imaginary opponent. All performers demonstrated long solo forms. which would be considered traditional performance modes of penca by Sundanese practitioners. and his opponent (there were no female heroes) a jawara. and ipsi competition. or of ibing. A senior ipsi official criticized one per- former to me for using a celurit in her performance. all of which had to be characteristic of the province they were representing. as she was not from Madura. They should not be doing so. was inevitably defeated by the upstanding pendekar. much to the consternation of another senior ipsi official whom I sat next to. that was not tradisi. These were highly moralized tales. a bellicose braggart and bully. he told me. The perform- ers. The first such event was hosted at the Padepokan in 2003. rather they looked like they were dancing joget (a popular street dance). the hero depicted as a noble pendekar. and from the outset it suffered from a lack of adequate fund- ing. The many represen- tatives of traditional styles from West Java and elsewhere who had been invited to the event told me that they found the whole affair very disappointing. performances were assessed by a panel of judges. Another well-known and respected player watching the event was greatly dismayed by what he saw as too theatrical an affair. drama and choreographed performances of Pencak Silat combat. a national-level showcase for the promo- tion of Pencak Silat tradisi open to all those not wishing to compete in olah raga. A new performance genre. or included movements from the national jurus. This was a weapon used in Madura he stated. It was not traditional practice as they understood it. did not look like silat players. There were no performances of jurus from West Java. seeming to signify the difference between traditional practice. The impor- tance of the event was not high on the scale of priorities for members of the Governing Board. Some even performed jurus wajib. was introduced during the event. . and the performance categories. Strict regulations governed the costumes that could be worn. but was rather an interpretation of tradition by ipsi. the weapons to be used. the Governing Board of ipsi in Jakarta chose to instigate a ‘festival of traditional Pencak Silat’. she should not be using this blade. The use of the kendang in accompaniment to these performances was itself an interesting aspect of the event. for which no musical accompani- ment is allowed. While not deemed a competition as such. the ‘story’ (cerita). he complained.The Management Of Tradition 139 As an institutional response to concerns over the lack of support for tradi- tional Pencak Silat. who then gave a verdict on the best show of the day. to musical accompaniment. in a manner similar to the performance of jurus wajib in open competition.

Rival organizations such as ppsi. It is thus assimilated into the cultural heritage that underpins the nation (Foulcher 1990: 301–302). The hegemonization of Pencak Silat within ipsi served to thwart multiples sites of potentially subversive spiritual authority and administrative office. In this respect ‘formations of modern power’. identity is not consti- tuted out of difference. This was enacted in ipsi through the bureaucratic control of resources. ‘otherness’ (1996: 94–96). and the facilitation of alternate ‘com- munities of practice’ underpinned by hegemonic representations of tradition and the historical development of the art. Rather. ipsi’s celebration of Pencak Silat tradisi reduced the art metonymically to the paraphernalia that is associated with its practice. can be read similarly as a modern project that asserts difference at the expense of other modes of being. as an aspect of the logic defining the New Order cultural project. the practice of penca in Sunda was not simply subverted. to the different’ (Grossberg 1996: 96).140 chapter 4 In similar fashion to the caricaturing of the cultural attributes and regional architecture of the provinces of Indonesia at the Taman Mini amusement park. do not work through ‘creating something from nothing. and those teachers and schools in West Java that choose not to participate in ipsi’s vision of Pencak Silat as a national martial art and an international sport. but in reducing something to nothing (to pure semantic and differential terms)’. belonging and as Grossberg puts it. With regard to Sundanese penca. the art is abstracted from the everyday practices in which it has specific value and meaning. The politicization of culture under the New Order worked to establish remarkably uniform relations of difference through the localization and dis- empowerment of alternate sites of belonging. were marginalized. As with the pedagogical transformation of Pencak Silat discussed in Chapter 2. The discursive production of difference within ipsi. but rather ‘difference out of identity. That is. The modern never constitutes itself as an identity (different from others) but as a differ- ence (always different from itself-across time and space)…the fundamental structures of modernity are productions of difference’ (Grossberg 1996: 93). its positioning as cultural resource served to locate penca . I think we can see this positioning of local cultural practice within the broader agenda of cultural nationalism as an effect of what Grossberg (1996) argues is the configuration of difference in modernity. the ‘positivity’ and ‘diversity’ of the other is negated ‘to nothing but a singular constitutive other. Outside of ipsi. Thus. or to view the constitution of Pencak Silat as a national mar- tial art only as a negative process of conversion and constraint. and associated more generally with the notion of tradition itself. Yet it would overstate the case I think to see this assimilation simply as a repressive programme imple- mented by ipsi.

Penca remains kampungan. we can see this distinction between rural and urban sponsorship as defining the contours of a field of power relations in which participation in an urban-based nationalism. and an unhealthy reliance on the whims of the rich and powerful (1998: 336–337). Perguruan still need patrons for both political and financial support. As the only official body to represent Pencak Silat. voices his concerns over the continued reliance of urban-based schools on benefactors – a phenomenon that has. writing on the phenomenon of the sponsorship of Pencak Silat perguruan under the New Order elite. more importantly. Those members of the political elite that enjoyed the privileges of being close to Suharto under the New Order have . but the centralization of resources under the Suharto administration ensured that it was necessary to solicit a patron from the higher echelons of the political order. and in a way that does not neces- sarily hark back to the ‘good old days’. Post-New Order little has changed in this respect despite the processes of democratization. In positing a transformation of reciprocal relations between teacher and student in urban-based Silat schools. the patron-client rela- tions on which perguruan depend can be seen not just as a simple transforma- tion of an extant ideal. but as part of the process of contestation out of which these ideals take form. in a relation of exteriority to ipsi and outside of the time of the modern nation. rural modes of practice and morally untainted exchange relations between the guru and their students as a timeless ideal. and that the com- mercialization of this relationship is a deviation from the norm. The state and its representatives are not omnipresent. Thus.The Management Of Tradition 141 temporally. Conclusion O’ong Maryono (1998). led to an erosion of loyalty based on the values of ‘mutual assistance’ (gotong royong). We might interpret the paternalism of the New Order and ipsi a little differently. Maryono seems to suggest that rural schools hold true to this ideal. Maryono’s concerns over the growing reliance upon patronage by urban-based perguruan highlights the hiatus between differing spheres of practice. took a very specific form under the New Order. Instead. drawing too strong a dichotomy between urban and rural Silat schools tends to reinscribe a view of ‘traditional’. as he sees it. and clientelism persists. While Maryono’s admonition should be well heeded. centred upon Jakarta. or view urbanization as concomitant with the evils of modernity. ipsi has monopolized access to resources from the government via koni and. to the clique of Jakarta based business magnates that fund the majority of its activities.

At the same moment as the spiritual welfare of the nation is enacted through the preservation of its cultural heritage. the new world power in sporting Pencak Silat. diversity is redacted in the cultural production of difference as an index of nationhood. . Again elected to the ipsi presidency in 2007. the nation is conceptualized as an aggregate entity.14 The economic constraints on the practice and administration of Pencak Silat frame the hegemonization of the cultural (re)production of the art. is part of what it means to be Indonesian. This has had implications for the allocation of funding within the organization. Prabowo Subianto now leads his own political party. 4 May 2013. distinct. The cultural nationalism that finds expres- sion in the centralized bureaucracy of ipsi is a more exclusive ideal in which the temporality of modern practice and the attestation of difference is a process of affirmation and denial. a school that has benefited from the resurgence of the political career of their leader. the sum of its parts. they provide the bodily basis for forms of belonging and association with locality that. nationhood is presupposed. Where modalities of Pencak Silat remain linked to the experience of everyday life. as in Cianjur. are not necessarily antagonistic to the political project of Indonesian nationhood. a dynamic articulation of Sundanese life. the consolidation of his power base in the world of Pencak Silat may yet foreshadow the achievement of his political ambitions in Indonesia as he runs for the Presidency in 2014. this heritage is denied coevality with the modern sporting practice of Pencak Silat. regaining dominance in international competition has become a priority for ipsi. expressed through dis- courses of identity and constituted through lived relations. Prabowo secured the Presidency of the International Pencak Silat Federation following Eddie Nalapraya’s retirement. running on an increasingly popu- lar platform of right wing nationalism. At the time of writing. the ‘Great Indonesia Party’. which may be why it is that Prabowo is said by some to be ‘stingy’ (pelit) in his financial commitment to the art and the organization. it is what makes Sundanese culture vital. In 2010. penca. and is conceived as a relation of scale between the whole and its parts (see Strathern 1995: 13–15). at a national level within ipsi. The movement 14 Anonymous interview.142 chapter 4 adapted to the splintering of power in democratic Indonesia. importantly. Under Prabowo’s leadership ipsi continues to focus its activities on international competition. On the one hand. Gerindra. For members of ipsi in Cianjur. On the other. and ‘different’ (Grossberg 1996: 93–94). Satria Muda Indonesia. Having lost ground to Vietnam. The art is perceived as an aspect of the diversity that characterizes Indonesian culture. ipsi central office in Jakarta is now dominated by members from Prabowo’s own perguruan. In Jakarta.

entails a dislocation and reconfigura- tion of extant knowledge practices. This is not just a process of ‘imagining communities’ (Anderson 1983). and.The Management Of Tradition 143 however from aggregation to scalable difference within ipsi. cannot be reduced to discourse alone. . the so-called ‘mental/spiritual’ aspects of Pencak Silat that have been banished from ipsi. while contested discursively through cultural representation. as we shall see in the next chapter.

in productions for Indonesian television. employing their martial skills in combat and their magical abilities to fly through the air. leiden. heroic characters do battle with the forces of evil. passages from the Qur’an. 2015 | doi 10. © koninklijke brill nv. Mas Djakaria. or ilmu. the folk hero of Jakarta and the scourge of the Dutch colonial oppressors. of which the ‘science of invulnerability’ is part. This often involved apprenticeship to a ‘local djago – a practitioner of the magical arts. was widely held to be invulnerable (Kartodirdjo 1984: 4–5). Other terms1 1 For the sake of consistency here. the learning of mantra.1163/9789004289352_007 . see also Suryadinata 1997). While ilmu may be glossed as ‘knowledge’. Woodward 1985). and an adept of the esoteric ngèlmu kedotan (science of invulnerability)’ (Anderson 1972a: 5). In Java the search for knowledge and wisdom through attachment to a guru was seen as part of a young man’s progression to adulthood. it may also be acquired through asceticism. revelation. More recently. and are common currency in the oral histo- ries of the art passed on from teacher to student. Accounts of Pencak Silat champions and the incredible feats attributed to them are retold in the literary genre of ‘Silat stories’. A salient feature of the public discourse on Pencak Silat is the possession of knowledge. These practices. shooting great bolts of energy form their fingertips in a contest that inevitably results in the maleficent villains of the tale soundly defeated by the morally upstanding heroes. a renowned champion in Banten in West Java in the nine- teenth century. The heroes of these novels  – characters of great martial prowess – make use of their supernatural abilities as they engage each other in combat (Gartenberg 2000. are commonly referred to as ‘inner knowledge’ or ilmu batin. Si Pitung. I use ilmu batin throughout as a term that encompasses these other forms of knowledge. chapter 5 From the Mystical to the Molecular Introduction Tales of the lives and deeds of legendary exponents abound in the myths and folklore surrounding Pencak Silat. or kesaktian. or transmitted via spiritual agency (Wessing 1978. an expert in pentjak (the Javanese art of self-defence). and encompass a cor- pus of ascetic techniques which are said to engender in the adept extraordi- nary abilities. through which these supernatural abilities manifest in these powerful individuals. was said to be able to thwart his enemies and evade capture with the aid of magical abilities (van Till 1996). and indeed gained through the study of texts.

has been commonly glossed as ‘potency’. as I explained in Chapter 3. and thus transcend power relations in which they are 2 See however Wessing (1997) for an account of the female as the locus of power in mythologi- cal accounts of sakti. Hatley 1990: 180–182). and the broader insight this grants into the workings of power in Indonesia. the elders. kesaktian might also be glossed as ‘efficacious’. actualize the locality as a spiritually effective or efficacious place. However. and operationalize the agency of the ancestors. Focusing only on the substantive aspects of power. As evident in Cimande. sakti has long been associated with aspects of masculine spiritual power. or pepadu. it is through the ‘potent embodiment’ of ilmu’ that these women are considered sakti (2012: 256). as Bianca Smith (2012) shows in her account of members of female militia groups in Lombok. As I argued looking at the role of the elders in Cimande village. and cannot be reduced to the individual. female pepadu are held to be more potent than their male counterparts. . Further. and espe- cially so in martial art spheres where those held to be sakti. In this regard. I suggested that actions and events that might be construed as kesaktian are better understood as ontological operations rather than epis- temic claims about the world. while sakti is linked to conceptions of masculinity. it can also be the site of the contestation of gender hierarchies. ilmu klenik (occult knowledge). the protectors of the physical and spiri- tual wellbeing of the community ‘because of the bravery. This being said. on power equated with potency. Kesaktian is formed from the root sakti. translating the root word sakti as ‘efficacy’ is not necessarily at odds with glossing the term as ‘potency’ – both imply. in English. drawing on Holbraad (2008). often on account of their invulnerability. The term is implicitly gendered2 (Brenner 1998: 147–149. and. cos- mic or otherwise – is suggestive of individual or bounded agency. a capacity to affect the world in some way. over- lapping and extended. and can be used to denote male sexual potency.From The Mystical To The Molecular 145 used in reference to mystical or esoteric knowledge include ilmu ghaib (knowl- edge of the invisible realm). In line with local conceptions of female bodies. or construed as some form of cosmic or supernatural power concentrated in an individual or place. and following Hildred Geertz (1995). and held to be great ‘warriors’. aggression and vigour they signify and for their skill in spiritual warfare’ (2012: 261). through their actions and communication with the ancestors. The issue is how- ever that thinking of sakti as power – in the sense of concentrated energy. Agency is thus complex. As she puts it. are predominantly male. and ilmu dalam (inner knowledge). there is a danger of missing a very obvious strategic transformation in the body’s rela- tionship to power in more modernistic Pencak Silat schools.

It is because of the transformative potential of ilmu batin that it is reconfigured in recent articulations of efficacy and prowess in more nationalistic Pencak Silat schools. pre-scientific past. formally-organized Pencak Silat schools. efficacy and predominantly masculine prowess might be demonstrated. scientific practice. Closely aligned with ipsi. and also why it is so blatantly ignored within ipsi. Instead notions such as ‘bio-electricity’ (biolistrik) or ‘wave theory’ (teori gelombang) were employed to account for the phenomenon. are attributed to the development of ‘inner power’ or tenaga dalam. Towards the end of the 1980s the popularity of schools teaching tenaga dalam soared. These and other feats. my informants avoided using the term sakti. Yet. It is the means through which potency. The largest of these organizations now claim memberships numbering hundreds of thousands in provinces throughout Indonesia. conti- nuities can be discerned in the body’s relationship to power. and are represented at a national level by the National Association of Tenaga Dalam Schools (Ikatan Perguruan Bela diri Tenaga Dalam. The last few decades in Indonesia have been witness to the advent of large- scale. It is the means through which their presence is confirmed. When explaining inner power to me. or ipbetada). The argument thus far has been that in changing congeries of knowledge practices the body assumes political significance because of its potential for transformation. and their agency overlaps with that of the teachers and players who are able to employ ‘inner knowledge’ to defend . while these modernist schools distance themselves from conceptions of esoteric knowledge prevalent in more traditional styles of Pencak Silat. which was also a common element of articulations of New Order citizenship (Headley 2004: 518. and the degree to which social ordering is an effect of. The important point here is the capacity for political agency afforded those that are sakti. and indeed can be actively contested at the level of spiritual warfare. These same prac- titioners associate the acquisition of ilmu batin with a traditional. such as being able to strike one’s opponent from afar.146 chapter 5 generally held to be inferior to men (2012: 265–266). In this chapter I elucidate these continuities and further develop the argument broached in Chapter 3. which is cultivated through breath control. In more tradi- tional modalities of Pencak Silat the body is the locus of relations with the ancestors and other non-manifest social entities. founded in Yogyakarta in 1990. see also Aragon and Leach 2008). Members of these schools pub- licly demonstrate their prowess by shattering concrete slabs and stacks of iron pump handles with their hands and feet. there is a bounded individualism clearly dis- cernable in these schools. In these schools the development of tenaga dalam is explained through ref- erence to contemporary physics and is held to be a modern.

but dislocated. or indeed neglects the degree to which spiritual authority prevails. to do so is problematic if it assumes too strong a break with previous forms or authority. and the means of spiritual warfare becomes a far more human endeavour. 11). The perfor- mance of inner power has its roots in inner knowledge. It would be easy to see this as a transformation of ascetic forms of knowledge subjugated to surveillant technologies and mod- ern forms of disciplinary coercion (Foucault 2003: 30–36). male martial artists used in a cigarette advertisement Photograph by Lee Wilson . As I show in this chapter. an issue to which I return in Chapter 6. vital. but works to transform ‘relational selves’ that ‘transcend the boundaries of the human world’ (Endres and Lauser 2011: 12) through a sense of heightened individualism that serves to bound agency and self. or indeed to employ these technologies in attack. or even as spiritual modes of authority confined by the ‘iron cage’ of secular rationalization (Weber 2001: 123). Spiritual agency is transfigured and put into the service of the state and the protection of the broader national community through systems of knowledge transmission that transcend the localization of power and are transected by globalized aspirations to modernity (Fig. However. In more modern modalities of Pencak Silat this agency is curtailed.From The Mystical To The Molecular 147 themselves or others. Figure 11 Images of health and potency epitomized by young. inner knowledge in modernist articulations of Pencak Silat is not really denied.

He explained that he was only aware of what had hap- pened from later accounts of witnesses to the event. which resulted in the man instantly dropping the stone. the victim’s prostrate form cradled in his arms. Whilst walking in the street a man brandishing a rock had rushed at him. West Java. Typical of these narratives was that told by Bapak Rifa’i to a room full of attentive students. After his calls to cease the attack on the man had gone unheeded. a well-respected teacher similarly regaled a group of fellow Pencak Silat practitioners of equiva- lent experience and status with tales of extraordinary events. was not of his own volition. He was not conscious of actions or the events that followed. Looking down he became aware of the man that he bore in his arms. As he explained to us. Bapak Rifa’i recalled that upon returning home one day he had witnessed three men beating another unconscious in a small compound ringed by a high chain link fence. As would often be the case after these training sessions. Yet the manifestation of kesaktian beyond his conscious . he insisted. as it often did. he remembered crying out to the man’s assailants to stop the assault. threatening to smash him in the face. He did not know how this had happened. Bapak Harun had let out a loud shout that. Bapak Harun had then made the smallest of gestures towards his assailant with his fingers. In his account. but he himself was at a loss to explain what had transpired. Disabling the man with a single yell. one evening after training at his home in South Jakarta. when. onlookers told him of the incredible jump he had made to clear the fence in a single bound. Leaving the compound he had once more become conscious of his surroundings. The involuntary cry that had sprung from his lips stopped the assailant dead in his tracks. On another occasion in Bandung. indeed had not been conscious (sadar) of events as they transpired. knowing only that a few moments later he stood outside the enclosure. but in their retelling they were not performed in the same way as in the original setting that I had heard them with others pres- ent. all those that had witnessed the event were in agreement that something extraordinary had occurred. Bapak Harun. he had picked up their hapless victim from where he had fallen and carried him to safety.148 chapter 5 Tall Tales and Narratives of Power Often in the company of Pencak Silat players in Indonesia I would listen to tales of incredible feats in which exponents had performed seemingly super- human acts or been possessed of extraordinary strength when threatened or attacked. At other times these stories were retold to me at my insis- tence in private conversation. conversation late in the evening had strayed towards consideration of ilmu batin. conversation turned to esoteric matters. Brushing aside the man’s attackers. Usually these tales were told between fellow players after training or at times when visiting other teachers.

perhaps less spectacular. In these explanations it was stressed that ascetic techniques were a means of tempering the batin. but this seemed to be a recognized genre of laying claim to efficacy for both the practitioner and the art in which they were schooled. It was not kesak- tian that these individuals sought in their meditations. Common to both these nar- ratives was an emphasis placed on the lack of understanding of how or why the protagonists were able to perform these amazing feats. and the undisputed acceptance of the existence of these abilities was due in part to the very practical ways that the possession of ilmu batin might be demonstrated. these tales of power seemed to be deliberately ambiguous. The deferral of agency common to both these tales is a typical motif of these stories. without actually making bold claims to being sakti. but rather attributed to training in Pencak Silat. they insisted that the events that transpired were as much a surprise to them as they were to their would-be assailants. In Rifa’i’s account he had learnt of what had taken place post factum from the accounts of onlookers. through studiously avoiding any direct claims to agency. the inner self. and their possession of supernatural abilities. or indeed of the indirect claims to efficacy made by these teachers and players. While there was consensus on kesaktian being a mark of one’s spiritual effi- cacy.From The Mystical To The Molecular 149 control had enabled him to overcome the attacker. Thus the narrators of these accounts. This ambiguity was in itself an assertion of the mysterious and venerable nature of Pencak Silat. reasoning varied on the mechanisms involved. Later. Discourse though has its limits. If there were any doubts as to whether such deeds were physically possible. Their aim was to come to know God. Some told me that kesak- tian would manifest due to the mastery of ascetic practices and the morally upstanding character of the individual. The manifestation of kesaktian was not held to be in any way volitional. That is. also to estab- lish the mode of discourse itself as a narrative genre in which efficacy is assumed. with the specific purpose of strengthening one’s connection to God. but. students would themselves recount similar tales. In contrast to the tenaga dalam practitioners that were able to offer detailed accounts of how and why inner energy flowed from them. I never once heard theier veracity of called into question. They went to some lengths to avoid any direct claims to be responsible for what had transpired. they were never publically voiced at the moment of tell- ing. importantly. In response to my questioning. make an indirect assertion of their level of spiritual development. Of the many times that I listened to the telling of these tales in a variety of settings with a number of different teachers. These stories served to underline the status of the narrator. these were in a sense epiphenomenal. in private conversations. Neither Bapak Rifa’i nor Bapak Harun had sought to develop the abilities that had saved them when threatened. not simply the mastery of .

ancestor or other non-physical entity. the use of these technologies of self-transformation was not explicitly bound by any moral code. Nor were they the sole provision of the ruler or a class of reli- gious technicians. All could employ the same repertoire of ascetic practices in order to become sakti. the Suma Oriental. for example certain sentences from the Quran. a Portuguese derivation of kebal. or ‘dark’ knowledge (ilmu hitam) was ‘thinner than the thinnest plastic’. or an amulet (jimat) secreted upon one’s person. Tomo Pires makes mention of the cabaées. It might also involve the recita- tion of a particular mantra. and similarly the knowledge of invulnerability in Thailand is widespread (Turton 1991. Kowalewski 1991: 246). Tanabe and Turton note the significance of invulnerability practices within peasant . The repertoire of techniques used to achieve one’s ends remains in most cases similar. Brunei and Pahang who were given to believe they could not die by the sword (Pires 1967: 266).150 chapter 5 a certain kind of ilmu. In this respect it is recognized that to classify an act as good or bad is highly situa- tional and somewhat ambiguous. could be used to whatever ends. Other common ways in which this knowledge can be acquired include asceticism. such as invulnerability (ilmu kebal). Ilmu. the difference between ‘good’ or ‘white’ knowledge (ilmu putih) and that used for the purposes of evil. protect the wearer from blade and bullet (Ileto 1979. but most prevalent amongst Pencak Silat players are those associated with martial prowess. or the ability to strike an opponent without physically contacting them. what differs is the intent of the practitioner. or direct transfer from a teacher. Invulnerability has a long history in Southeast Asia (Wilson et al. The Means of Spiritual Warfare There are many kinds of inner knowledge. once acquired. the aim of ascetic or spiritual practice was far more pragmatic: the desire was simply to acquire extraordinary abilities through the temperance of the body. to ‘strike from afar’ (pukulan jarak jauh). For others. In the Philippines amulets. or be afforded through carrying a spiritually-charged object such as a dagger. and whether it would be seen as morally correct or immoral or evil (jahat) was entirely contingent upon the purposes to which such knowledge was put. 2010). These types of ilmu can be gained through apprenticeship to a guru. or anting anting. noblemen from the regions of Linga. see also Ffennell 1897). a moral ambiguity that seems to transfer to the figure of the jago or jawara. Kayme 1901. As one guru explained to me. In his sixteenth century account of Malacca. While the acquisition of ilmu was often tightly bound up with moral proscriptions and oaths sworn to adhere to these tenets.

Another form of ilmu common to Pencak Silat is the ability to strike one’s enemy from a distance. Perguruan such as PS Betako Merpati Putih and Pencak Silat Tenaga Dasar (pstd) are typical of these more modern institu- tions. Public performances of ‘striking from afar’ became more common in the early ’90s (Mardjani 1993. captured and tortured. modes of explanation for these forms of 3 Anderson. but rather as indicative of continu- ities in the ways in which power is conceptualized and enacted. in his analysis of this episode. secular theories are offered as to the nature and means of the personal devel- opment of tenaga dalam. Although having his eye put out and being stabbed in the stomach with a bamboo spear. comparing the haji to Arjuna (Anderson 1990: 223–227). suggesting that the haji’s imperviousness to injury could just as easily be based upon ‘familiar local ideas of invulnerability in the debus and silat arts exemplified in Indonesian Islamic pesantren and tarekat Sufi traditions’ (Gartenberg 2000: 128). Yarmanto 1995. A haji (someone who has made the pilgrim- age to Mecca) is suspected of spying for the Dutch. these different interpretations need not be seen as exclusive. or tenaga dalam.. Spectacular performances of striking opponents from afar serve to attract stu- dents to these schools. Invulnera­ bility is a theme in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s novel. In contrast. Effendy 1993). but is instead attributed to the individual. Dendam (Revenge). This form of ilmu is now widely practised and taught in Pencak Schools throughout Indonesia. the ability to smash concrete and shatter iron with blows from one’s hands and feet. The development of tenaga dalam is ostensibly more egalitarian in that instruction takes place in public and is open to all. to hurl them through the air without physically touch- ing them. That is until one of his assailants utters a mantra dispelling the man’s invulnerability as he runs him through with his sword3 (Pramoedya Ananta Toer 1950). and seminars and short courses in the ability to focus and actualize one’s inner power and develop this ability are commonly held in West Java and Jakarta. he remains miraculously unharmed. In Merpati Putih the emphasis is upon breaking.From The Mystical To The Molecular 151 rebellions throughout Southeast Asia (1984: 4–5). a story set during the revolution in Java. argues its incomprehensibility unless viewed in light of the incidences of invulnerability found in wayang tales. revolts against the Dutch colonial administration were often led by local jago held to be impervious to injury (Kartodirdjo 1984: 18f. Like ilmu kebal. while similarly demonstrating imperviousness to injury. Gartenberg (2000) however offers an alternative reading to this. Ongkhoham 1984: 328). . Agency in these explanatory paradigms is no longer the providence of divine will. those that develop their ‘inner energy’. In line with my argument. Instead. and in Java. often avoid any kind of religious or spiritual paradigm in explanation of the phenomenon. In pstd prowess is demonstrated through the ability to withstand physi- cal blows to one’s body. a consequence of self-development and actualisation.

Inasmuch as the manifestation of supernatural abilities. or mystic union with God (Cordes 1990: 215–220). the receptacle or container (wadah) of the spirit or soul (jiwa). in some schools it is the development of batin that now takes precedence. many schools and teachers claim to be able cultivate puku- lan jarak jauh through constant practice of the jurus from the aliran Syabandar. some schools make use of both ‘spiritual’ and ‘scientific’ terminology in expla- nation. or kesaktian. In these schools jurus usually used as a means of cultivating prin- ciples of movement are instead utilized almost exclusively as a means of devel- oping inner power.5 Ilmu received in this way might also be in the 4 On the spread of the sufi orders in Indonesia see van Bruinessen (1994a). the tarekat. “it has isi. might result from observing these techniques. 5 From the noun isi (S. the batin and the lahir. In Cianjur. is said to be a recent development. The use of jurus in this way. eusi). While common knowledge would have it that one trains both the inner and outer aspects of ones being.152 chapter 5 ilmu vary greatly from the avowedly secular to the sublimely spiritual. and they were very much a part of training in Pencak Silat. For example zikr. the suffix ‘di’ forms the passive tense of the verb. asma ul husnah). Indeed. downplaying the refinement of more practical skills for the purposes of gaining the ability to strike protago- nists non-physically. was a meditative tech- nique that I was encouraged to utilize by Bapak Rifa’i. the guru transmitting practical knowledge of Pencak Silat jurus via spiritual means and without prior instruction. the constant recitation of Quranic verses or one of the ninety nine names of God4 (A. Isi might also be used in reference to an object said to have some kind of spiritual potency. Much of the ascetic practice in Pencak Silat that might be classified under the rubric ilmu batin is based upon spiritual exercises from Sufi orders. See also Alatas (1985) and Drewes (1968) for differing theories on the Islamization of the archipelago. The aim of zikr is to become constantly aware of the presence of God in one’s heart (dalam hati). known as jurus lima.” . this was held to be epiphenomenal to the aim of the search for tauhid. glossed as ‘contents’. For Bapak Rifa’i the use of these techniques was a means of cultivating the ‘path’ or ‘way’ to God in oneself. and ilmu in this sense is not something abstract. whilst training in jurus. beginning prior to the fall of Suharto but gaining in popularity post-New Order. but is objectified: a mode of transmission through which the student is literally ‘filled’ (diisi) with ilmu. The body as a ‘container’ is a common metaphor in Java. and in doing so to begin to clean or make pure (murni) the more refined (halus) elements of the self (batin). Techniques such as fasting help to strengthen the body. Fasting was often a prerequisite to ilmu being directly transferred to the stu- dent from the guru.

and often train in and teach Pencak Silat in Java. the knowledge of self-defence. It is often objectified. The Quranic emphasis upon the search for knowledge (Arnaldez and Massignon 1963: 385–386) is often given voice in West Java. was considered a part of the knowledge that a young man should study and was often learnt in Islamic schools (pesantren) headed by kyai (Geertz 1976: 156–158. There is considerable merit to be found in the pursuit of ilmu. has agency in its own right. and it is this that is said to protect the student once it has entered their body. provided the basis for the propagation of instruction in martial arts through these religious networks. The relevant sections being committed to paper (to damage the Quran is forbidden). and the figure of the guru was. and of Kyai and Pencak Silat teachers roam- ing the countryside to impart or advance their own ilmu. religious students. travelling from place to place in search of instruction from famous religious teachers or kyai (Kartodirdjo 1973: 71). and summarized in the aphorism ‘to search for knowledge from infanthood till death’ (carilah ilmu sejak bayi hingga mati). This is a method often used to instil invulnerability in the recipient. Revelatory knowledge of this kind is conceived of as a gift from God. Ilmu may also be received via divine inspiration (ilham). as in the case of Mohamed Ibrahim. and to a degree remains. Kartodirdjo 1966: 56). The path to knowledge often entails an actual journey. fundamental to the dissemination of ilmu throughout the island of Java (Anderson 1972a: 7–8). who is said to have received the jurus of the style while in retreat in a cave. and can be transmitted directly through non-material means. The journeys of peripatetic students in search of knowledge. and it is common practice for santri. Pencak Silat remains an important part of life in these institutions (Lombard 1977). . the hermits and sages existing on the peripheries of Javanese kingdoms who constituted alternative loci of power to the divine power (wahyu) of the ruler located at the centre of the pre-Islamic kingdom. ilmu pencak. as the word of God. the founder of the aliran Cikalong. to be itinerant. Ilmu must then be understood as a conception of knowledge quite different from that of knowledge as a cumulative resource (Salmond 1982). The study of Pencak Silat. the student embodies knowledge by eating the pages and literally consuming the written word of God.From The Mystical To The Molecular 153 form of specific passages from the Quran ingested by the student. a way of life ideal- ized in the Javanese chronicle the Serat Centini (Anderson 1972a: 8–9).6 6 Ileto notes the similarity between the political roles of the resi and adjar. Kyai are often said to be invulnerable or to possess curative powers. While instruction in the pesantren focuses upon the Quran. A common means of gaining access to such knowledge is to apprentice oneself to those recognized as being in possession of ilmu. The Quran.

An answer I often received was that while these ways of cultivating the self were associated with Hindu-Buddhist religion that existed prior to the arrival of Islam. the tale of Kyai Plan. ilmu haram is easily dismissed by the mere recitation of a few lines of sacred verse. residing in the Lebak district in West Java. To do so in a non-Islamic manner was of course haram. The very concept of the challenge. he went in search of those that he might challenge. With regard to Ileto’s observation. epitomising the restraint and modesty one would expect from someone that led his life according to the principles of Islam. since ilmu comes ulti- mately from God. I was told. This was not surprising. However. of contestation. For example. a region commonly known to hold true to pre-Islamic beliefs. He was able to make the hair on his skin hard like metal. Kyai Plan immediately sprang to the attack. was thus defeated. Kyai Plan. Remembering the greatest knowledge of all.154 chapter 5 Often when visiting with kyai in West Java I would question them on the search for ilmu. and the kyai. In Pangdelang in West Java he met with kyai Amin. the word of God. ‘who played a role quite similar to the adjar of old’ (1999: 203). and certain vedantic cosmologi- cal notions (Schimmel 1976: 267. the notion of sakti and the techniques employed to achieve such status. and as he recited it out loud the needles that bristled on Kyai Plan’s skin became injurious to him. When questioned on the matter of ilmu by the bellicose Plan. one can also note the prevalence of the Sufic orders in the Islamization of Indonesia and the pragmatic nature of Sufism (van Bruinessen 1994a. Amin replied that he had none. Woodward 1989: 215–240). are a closed society to outsiders and are held somewhat in awe by the population at large. inflicting wounds upon his own person. Johns 1995) that con- tributed to the adoption of yogic practices by some tarekat. although many kyai continued to use methods that contravened Islamic proscriptions. of wanting to test one’s ilmu against that of others is a common theme in such stories. Wanting to test the knowledge that he possessed. considered to be the last bastion of pre-Islamic custom (adat) and practice in the region and typical of pre-Islamic Sunda (Wessing 1977). Kyai Amin unpretentiously announces that he possesses no ilmu of his own. And of course the similarities between the concept of wahdat al wujüd. Although not in possession of ilmu. and bristle on his body like needles. 7 The Badui. he does not back down from the confrontation. who was said to have orig- inated in Badui. . many of the ascetic practices that existed within Islam in Java were similar to these. or unity of being. the main difference lay in ways of acquiring such knowledge. Upon seeing this Kyai Amin remembered a line from the Quran.7 and who practiced a particular kind of ilmu that was haram. Unperturbed. practising ilmu originating from his native Badui. and the narratives of ilmu that I collected were often thinly veiled parables of Islamic propriety. 344–388.

might more typically be thought of as a Pencak Silat school. Rather. Central Java in 1963. With over 100 branches throughout Indonesia. the Sultan of Mataram in the seventeenth century. but no martial applications are taught. The school PPS Betako Merpati Putih. was elected as Chairman of the school. According to the founder of the school. The focus is entirely upon breathing exercises in order to develop inner power.000 members at 76 branches throughout Indonesia. are typical of the modern schools in which the practice of inner power has flourished. Satria Nusantara is one of the more popular tenaga dalam schools. Yet. while rooted in kejawèn.From The Mystical To The Molecular 155 Inner Power: A More Mundane Practice The formally organized practice of tenaga dalam is a recent phenomenon. founded by Saring Hadi Poernomo. Practices such as kanuragan. in Satria Nusantara the accomplished practitioner is not recognized as being sakti. are part of the cultural repertoire of kejawèn. In 2006. Fauzi Bowo. ritual ini- tiation. with representation in the usa. repulsing their enemies (in theory at least) without physically contact- ing them. the emphasis in Merpati Putih is upon modernization and serving national interests. In the event of having to defend themselves. or kejawèn. Pak Maryanto. The organization has a formal constitution and governing board. and branches in the Netherlands. However. Organizations such as Satria Nusantara (‘Knights of the Archipelago’). and to the cultural heritage of Javanese mysticism and cosmology. Whether it can be considered a Pencak Silat school though is a moot point. . then deputy governor of Jakarta. through which aji or supernatural powers are invoked through the recital of mantra. inner power is held to be a consequence of the development of a common human potential accessed through self- discipline and bodily control. which is explained as a bioelectrical (biolistrik) property of the body. Japan and the Netherlands. The school traces its origin to a system of self-defence and spiritual development taught in the Royal Palace of Amangkurat II. attempting to validate them scien- tifically (de Grave 2001: 229). Merpati Putih claims to have over 100. and the organization has striven to rid itself of the mysticism associated with these practices. Movements based upon Pencak Silat are taught in conjunction with sequences of animated breathing exer- cises. a strategic choice by members that paid off when Fauzi was elected to the position of Governor of Jakarta in 2007. Its membership numbers both men and women of all ages. practitioners are taught strike their opponents using their tenaga dalam. founded in Yogyakarta in 1985. in Yogyakarta. and every three years stages a conference and general meeting for all branch members. tenaga dalam is an elec- tromagnetic wave (Masruri 1997: 104–109).

he elucidated. Through these breathing techniques (pernafasan pengolahan). or sci- ence. or atp. which is said to lead to a decline in oxygen levels immediately available to the body. a performance that led him to give up training in other martial arts and to begin to train in Merpati Putih. and the students pledge their subservi- ence (mengabdi) and devotion (berbakti) to the nation and the state of the Republic of Indonesia. It is this molecule that is responsible for the storage and transfer of energy within the body. and are the main feature in spectacular public demonstrations. Practitioners perform these exercises in unison. he began to develop inner power to the extent that he could emulate the feats that had first drawn him to the school. or Mas Poeng as he is known less formally. The instructor then leads the class through a series of dynamic breathing exercises. He continued. feet and heads. Anaerobic respiration is responsible for an increased rate of production of the molecule adenosine tri- phosphate. The technique entails holding a deep breath held prior to exhala- tion. Bapak Poerwoto Hadi Poernomo. and to be faithful and obedient to the school (de Grave 2001: 242). which is achieved through a series of coordinated breathing exercises performed in conjunction with specific bodily postures. After training for some time.156 chapter 5 In a typical Merpati Putih training session the instructor opens training with an oath stating belief in one God. the head of the organization. At the school’s complex in Jakarta. chairman of the school until 2006. He first witnessed the shattering of large blocks of ice by mem- bers of the school. It was the spectacular demonstration of inner power that first attracted Bambang Rus Effendi. and claim that through their constant and disci- plined practice inner power may be channelled to any part of their body. thus causing the body to go anaerobic. a chemical reaction to which the source of . ‘all living things require energy to exist. inner power is cultivated. through which Merpati Putih players are able to develop inner power. and that this was a potential all humanity possessed. to train in the art. In modernist schools such as Merpati Putih efficacy is less directly linked to conceptions of masculinity as it is in the discourse surrounding sakti. he explained. These performances are a means of testing one’s ability and of progres- sion in the school’s grading system. and respiration (pernafasan) releases energy in a chemical reaction in the cells in our bodies through oxidation’. The focus of training is upon the cultivation of inner power. explained to me that it is not ilmu. More egalitarian modes of explanation relate to greater gender equality and modes of practice through which all are able to develop their inner power. Large num- bers of women train in the school. and demonstrate breaking skills on a par with those of their male counterparts. but ilmiah. Exponents demonstrate their ability to manifest inner power through smash- ing stacks of iron pump handles or concrete blocks with their hands.

Indonesia’s elite Special Forces. Their authority is thus depersonalized and subordinated to the school’s organizational hierar- chy. In Merpati Putih. but as a facilitator of self- development for all who participate in group instruction and the sequence of breathing exercises taught as part of the school’s curriculum. As Mas Poeng explained. using ‘vibravision’ to complete their journey (Metro. the blindfolded per- former locates a balloon of corresponding colour and bursts it. In contrast to invulnerability practices that entail placing trust in the will of God to prevent harm befalling the practitoner. Often showcased during these performances is the applica- tion of ilmu getaran. continuing until all three balloons have been dispensed with. colour and composition of an object without the faculty of vision. Through the breathing exercises practised in Merpati Putih it is possible to develop sensitivity to these vibrational frequencies. a journey of some 60 kilometres on public roads. An onlooker then holds aloft one of three differently coloured balloons corre- sponding to balloons fixed to the poles. and one that is often featured in performances by the ipsi display team. in Merpati Putih it is through self-development that one activates one’s own inner potential. Using ‘vibravision’. Merpati Putih practitioners are espoused as exemplary exponents of the ‘mental/spiritual’ aspects of the art. exponents of Merpati Putih do not withstand . even to read with their eyes shut. Using these skills exponents claim to be able to sense the shape. A commonly performed demonstration of ilmu getaran. or ‘vibrational’ knowledge. to be able to detect their presence. and even members of Kopassus. Further demonstrations of ilmu getaran include the description of objects and the reading of audience members’ business cards held by the blindfolded performer. In the public performance of inner power. 21 May 2003). train in Merpati Putih. Merpati Putih has for the last few years contributed to the international demonstration team that was formed during the last few months of Eddie Nalapraya’s tenure at ipsi. The ability to smash concrete and shatter iron has contributed to the popularity of this school.From The Mystical To The Molecular 157 inner power in the body is attributed. blindfolded. Using this ability. all material objects in the world vibrate at a certain rate. In demonstration of ilmu getaran members of the school rode their motorbikes from Bogor to Jakarta. he told me. entails a blindfolded practitioner navigating through a short obstacle course constructed of poles to locate and smash concrete blocks stacked at the centre of the makeshift maze. adepts are able to ‘sense’ the proper- ties of objects. the instructor (pelatih) is no longer viewed as a spiritual preceptor or repository of recondite knowledge. While ipsi disavows ilmu batin. claiming that they are able to teach them to ‘see’ again using vibrational vision. Merpati Putih even run a programme for the physically blind.

representing the five principles of the Indonesian state doctrine. or direct transmission from the guru. constitutionally. and even the five rows of stitching on the collar have signifi- cance. care is taken to distinguish the past from the present and the modern school of Merpati Putih. take pre- cedence over genealogical relations that bear upon personhood and place. Yet smashing inanimate objects and negotiating obstacles blindfolded to demonstrate vibra- tional ‘vision’ do not require the direct participation of another member of the group. scientific terms is used to define inner power in opposition to the . aggressively imposing their author- ity upon the world. the acquisition of which is acquired through apprenticeship to a guru and temperance of the body. The collective cultivation of inner power thus underlines the potential for individual self-development through participation in a modern. a means through which one might develop their common human potential through the use of ‘scientific’ techniques. Merpati Putih is no less spectacular in its public performances. fasting (puasa). A vocabulary of modern. It is a product of a spiritual hierarchy in which the unbounded self is fashioned as an instrument of the agency of God. Ilmu batin is gained through asceticism (tapa). Merpati Putih proclaims its adherence. scientific practice rooted in tradition. the differences between ilmu batin and tenaga dalam can be characterized as a continuum of self-transformative practices and techniques. Members of the school wear a red and white uniform in imitation of the Indonesian flag. Poles Apart: Inner Power and Inner Knowledge Compared Broadly speaking. Yet it is through scientific knowledge that this heritage is better understood and refined. in a manner char- acteristic of New Order historiography. While homage is paid to the founders of the school and its lineage is traced back to the royal court in Mataram. to which.158 chapter 5 attacks upon their person. loyal to the nation and state. In comparison with more spiritually inclined schools. Intersubjective relationships and intermediary practices are thus reconfigured through an over determination of paradigmatic relations centred upon the bounded individual. The origin of such practices is clearly located in a tradi- tional past. is removed. the use of mantra. An important consequence of this is that a potential barrier to the prop- agation of the art. At one end of the continuum sits ilmu batin. the need for a complicit partner in performance. but instead demonstrate their invincibility by smashing apparently unbreakable objects. At the opposite end of the continuum sits the institutionalized practice of tenaga dalam. Conceptions of the New Order citizen. the Pancasila.

and told to return tomorrow. Dependent upon outside agency. and in between these two ‘ideal types’ one finds a great deal of overlap with the major- ity of schools and teachers exhibiting elements common to both these two poles. Product openly in large schools. he was very amenable to discussing the topic of ilmu. usually imparted through Standardized mode of teaching. Spiritual efficacy gained through Disciplined practice in which the ascetic practice or the recitation of emphasis is placed upon developing Quranic verse. dissimulative. and passed on through apprenticeship. Supernatural explanation of Secular. taught apprenticeship to a guru. Manifest through development of the ultimately the divine will of God. Sodiek and I were told of one such an individual who lived in a nearby hamlet. in conversa- tion with a kyai in a pesantren on the outskirts of the town. at times more important than pro- scriptions on the transfer of knowledge. circulating within networks of penca players or religious stu- dents. paradigms. scientific explanatory phenomena. it was said. Just outside of Cianjur. In Search of Knowledge Awareness of who possessed a particular kind of ilmu was in my experience often secretive. Calling upon the man. This is however a characterization. oath taking and initiation. and after we made small talk.From The Mystical To The Molecular 159 esotericism of inner knowledge. it seemed. These differences can be summarized as follows. We were ushered into the reception room of this modest home. Vertical relationship to higher authority. common. schools is open to all. moral Given to spectacular public demonstra- proscriptions often pertain to the tions of inner power. Ilmu batin Tenaga Dalam Esoteric. self. He told us that he practised and taught jurus lima for the development of . we were informed he was away for the day. So off we set in search of the Haji. When we did he was expect- ing us. and might. human potential through breath control. Secretive. acquisition of ilmu and its public display. my friend and research assistant. Horizontal relationship to society. The man in question was a kyai and a Pencak Silat guru. be receptive to my enquiries on the nature of ilmu batin. Agency attributable to the self. Study in these of a spiritual hierarchy. Yet the performance of secrecy was.

and placed his hand on Sodiek’s midriff. still with his hand on the man’s abdomen. move’. the urgency of his intonations matched the vigour of his actions as he cried out to Sodiek ‘move. began to move. we spoke for a while longer. Haji R. After they had both returned to their seats. Standing in front of Sodiek he instructed him to kneel down. with a look of surprise on his face. he had no former experience of the art. was forced backwards a little.’s question was typical in that it was often the case that experienced players who I knew when questioned directly as the extent of their experience would lie. not bragging of his or her own experience. this time closing the curtains as well. until he again stood and again shut the door.9 With his voice rising in volume. then stood and pushed closed the front door to the house. ‘Have you studied Pencak Silat before’ he asked Sodiek? No. was through the will of God. Haji R. ‘Aduh’ he proclaimed. Sodiek. This performance continued for a few minutes.. the Surat Al Fatihah. . 9 The wirid used for this purpose is often from the first chapter of the Quran. reaching out to catch the doorframe to prevent himself from falling. Taking his hands in his own. Strategically. called penca ambatan. his body rigid as he began to perform movements of which he supposedly had no prior knowl- edge.8 He opened the front door to let in some light. to my great surprise. Ilmu ambatan 8 Sodiek had trained with a number of Penca teachers. After repeating this for a third time he announced that Sodiek was indeed in posses- sion of tenaga dalam of some strength. Forcibly flexing his stomach back out. in that the indi- vidual is being self-effacing. however with nowhere near the same degree of success as his initial attempt. and then urged Sodiek to repeat the exercise. Beginning with the Bismillah he began to mutter wirid under his breath. The man. Sodiek replied. and asked Sodiek to place his hand on his stomach. talked on the matter for a moment. looking at Sodiek in awe. In a hushed tone he informed Sodiek he would impart his knowledge of movements of the jurus to him directly. His response to Haji R. Sodiek dutifully emu- lated the action and Haji R. was launched across the room. seeming to consider what had just occurred. He looked at him for a moment. He then requested that Sodiek copy the technique. he held them in front of him. it also makes good sense not to let on that one has any prior experience of a combat art. explaining that the propagation of ilmu penca without the need to physically study the art. He then lifted his shirt. the muscles of which he had contracted. The Haji repeated the procedure twice more.160 chapter 5 tenaga dalam. Clearly this was knowledge that not all should be privy to. Sodiek.. and we spoke again for a while. the usual reply being that one had no prior knowledge of the art. This time he flew with even greater force backwards. In this respect lying can be seen to be virtuous.

and had formerly worked in telecommunications. enabling it to enter the competitions of both organizations. A small ‘chapel’ (musholla) sat on one side of the training area. However. Many of the local community were mem- bers of the school. On my first visit to the school. While in competition they focused upon artistic performance. He had however known what was expected of him in performance. Medal Sari was founded in the ’90s like many of the schools that focused on the devel- opment of inner power. Watching them as . One of the larger perguruan in Cianjur is Medal Sari. so had gone along with events as they had unfolded. the movements would be imparted upon the supplicant. He also didn’t want to upset Haji R. the school specialized in the cultivation of inner power through training in jurus lima. then with such a prayer and calling upon the name of a guru renowned for his skill in the art. if one wanted to mimic the movements of a certain style of Pencak Silat. Rice fields surrounded the padepokan. the senior instructors had gathered at the school’s padepo- kan on the outskirts of Cianjur in order to demonstrate these jurus. five of the senior instructors in the school began to demonstrate a variation of jurus lima. the jurus practised in the style of Syabandar. as it were. and a large crowd had gathered to watch the demonstration. potholed road onto which the gated forecourt opened. smiling benignly. faced onto the concrete forecourt on which practice took place. He told me that he had been acting when having to perform the jurus. Bapak Papi stepped down off the terrace. the opposite side edged by a small pond. they began to inch threateningly towards their guru.. wanting to know what he had made of the experience. In unison. For example. jurus tenaga dalam. Adopting ready stances. Within the school there are two aliran. and it was at this time that the practice of tenaga dalam seems to have. as a means through which to develop tenaga dalam is a common practice in Cianjur. the five men facing him at a distance of around three metres. When they had finished. partly because he knew that I had not seen such a perfor- mance before. a traditionally- constructed building of wood and woven reed walls. open veranda of the school’s padepokan. Upon leaving Haji’s house I questioned Sodiek on what had taken place. he was extremely sceptical of such prac- tices. Nurul Ahmad Hamdun. one focusing upon competition. or as they were referred to by Bapak Papi. The large. the other upon the cultivation of the inner aspects of batin. or Bapak Papi as he was more familiarly known. Bapak Papi stood upright in front of them. and for my benefit. The use of jurus lima. gone public. stretching back from the small. and had yet to be convinced of their efficacy. ppsi.From The Mystical To The Molecular 161 is knowledge that might be imparted through a prayer in which the name of one who possesses such knowledge is mentioned. had been head of the school since 1995. Medal Sari is a member of both ipsi and its rival in West Java.

using his inner power to strike the men internally. By the end of the performance the instructors looked rather bedraggled. His would-be attackers. who had been sitting atop the low wall surrounding the training area was knocked over. this time Bapak Papi perform- ing the second jurus. During one of these dem- onstrations one of the young students flew violently into the crowd of onlook- ers. This was repeated for each of the five jurus. always in the direc- tion of the force of the phantom blow they were receiving. the most spectacular response being the last. seemingly shaken. a young girl. still a metre or so from him. and the performance was repeated. she was carried Figure 12 Students of mesa being struck internally by the inner power of their instructors Photograph by Lee Wilson . doubling over as if they had been physically struck. As they scattered to get out of the way. bringing them water. Once more they flew through the air. some flying through the air to land hard on the concrete training ground (Fig. abruptly he executed the first jurus. Screaming in pain. reacted immediately and violently. Some of the onlookers rushed to their aid. some in convulsions and taking a long time to recover after the end of the demonstration. falling over a metre into a water filled ditch at the front of the padepokan. Luckily she was unharmed. perhaps 14 years old. Again they stood. 12). but. On subsequent occasions the performance was repeated with the five instructors who were the victims in the previous scenario this time meting punishment upon five of the most senior students. they writhed on the ground as if in agony.162 chapter 5 they drew closer to him. thrashing around on the ground.

We re-entered the padepokan. and those that were a conse- quence of reading aloud certain sentences from the Quran. Gesturing towards his navel he explained that this was the centre for energy. He then instructed the man to use his tenaga dalam to attack me. Unbeknownst to Bapak Papi I had already studied a little Cimande prior to this with Bapak Rifa’i. private room at the back of the padepokan. I was to repulse him using my tenaga dalam. I had on several occasions asked to be struck by Bapak Papi in order to expe- rience being hit by tenaga dalam. and so I began to perform the jurus as requested.From The Mystical To The Molecular 163 up into the building to rest. that I had to present a genuine threat to him. but the means of developing this innate potential is not known to everyone. she replied that she had been struck by the tenaga dalam of the senior instructors as they repelled their assailants. where he told me to sit before him. and informed me that whatever I wished to learn. Bapak Papi opened with the Bismillah. later being told where in actuality the secret of humanity is’. . Jurus lima is merely encountering and studying jurus and after the jurus. When I asked her what had happened. Bapak Papi continued. Inner power is acces- sible to all. in fact it is con- centrated here. was simply that all people have the potential to develop their inner power should they choose to do so. Actually. Finally he consented. if possible. he had differentiated between the kind of abilities that could be developed from the practice of jurus lima. We removed to a small. telling me however that I would have to be ‘filled first’ (diisi dulu). then after several moments began to recite wirid. if it is jurus lima. When I had questioned Bapak Papi earlier on the means of developing tenaga dalam. considering me to be ‘filled’. a man who I had seen at a previous demonstration playing the part of assailant to Bapak Papi’s in group performances of tenaga dalam. ‘the respective energy content is here [indicating the navel]. The two of us squared off. and my request to be ‘struck from afar’ could now proceed. The ilmu with which I had been filled circumvented the necessity for physical study. and stepped out onto the concrete training area. I would now be able to perform without having to study the requisite performance tradition first. In similar fashion to the performance that I had witnessed at the Haji’s house with Sodiek. inner and outer strength is here. Bapak Papi telling me that I had to feel genuinely angry towards my opponent in order for his inner power to manifest. His student was to attack me. Bapak Papi seemed suitably pleased with the result of his actions. and. then urging me to rise and begin to practice jurus Cimande. a force that could be developed directly by the practitioner. He told me that this had been successful. there isn’t anything that is filled (diisi). anything from jurus penca to Balinese dance. The secret. Bapak Papi called over one of his senior students.

164 chapter 5 projecting it via the stomach muscle contraction previously demonstrated to me by Bapak Papi. and he would attempt to defend himself in the same manner. Bapak Papi smiled. then fell to the ground. As those present began to detail instances of invulnerability that they had witnessed. I tried as best as I could to comply. I began to approach him. or even at Adang’s questioning of whom amongst them would care to test their invulner- ability. I would attack. He began to give ground. with a broad smile on his face. and that my inner power had overwhelmed that of his student. urged me to draw in my abdomen in the proper manner. laughing at the situation. in seconds covering the ten metre width of the concrete area in front of the padepokan. He told me to relax and allow his student to regain his feet. Bapak Adang. I continued to stand facing him. He kept rolling. produced from his pocket a bottle of what he claimed to be sulph- uric acid. rising only to fall again. Those in the crowded room seemed unsurprised at this. He then hurled himself dramati- cally into the brackish pond water at the edge of the training ground. the conversation turned to ilmu kebal. who. I however gave no visual cue that I was attempting to repulse him in the fashion that other members of the school had on previous performances of inner power. informed us that what had occurred was quite normal. told me that it was because I was still projecting my inner power. trying to radiate genuine aggression as instructed. summoning intent to attack the student. All those witness to the incident found it greatly amusing. and Bapak Papi. and Bapak Papi. Now the roles would be reversed. he told me. At a distance of about two metres he endeavoured to use his tenaga dalam to strike at me. seeming somewhat frustrated that I was unaffected by his actions. Adang announced that his student would demonstrate that he was kebal by ‘washing’ . tumbling head over heels as he hit the ground. He glanced towards Bapak Papi. The student began to move towards me. The ilmu kebal Acid Test While sitting at Uwa Udun’s house on the outskirts of Cianjur one evening. the student tried to strike me from a distance of about two to three metres. struggling and shaking as he tried to hit home with his inner power. The student looked at Bapak Papi. trying again as instructed to sum- mon some genuine antipathy for the man. seemingly unable to stand. looking on. my inner power apparently propelling him some three metres or more. and began to roll ever faster backwards. Before I was able to comply with his instructions the student flew backwards. I continued to advance. a senior student of Uwa Udun. ‘your tenaga dalam is too strong for him’. For his part. No response to his solicitation immediately forthcoming.

He produced the bottle that had featured in the previous evening’s performance. After we had done so. In Jakarta while with Bapak Achmad Bunawar. No one seemed to come to any obvious harm. an anthropologist with a backgound in chem- istry. which has high aluminium content. and before I had any chance to express my reser- vations on the matter. although some professed later that the acid stung a little. which was passed to him. This deferral of agency is a common motif in explanation of phenomena such as invulner- ability. stating only that it was not his doing but by the will of God (keinginan Allah) that we came to no harm. and poured the contents into a bowl. We sat and smoked. exchanging pleas- antries for a while. he asked me if I wanted to test to see if I was now kebal. Adang would not reveal the details of the prayer that he used to invoke the will of God as this knowledge was guarded and only passed on to those apprenticed to him. suggested that the low-domination rupiah coin. neither Adang’s stu- dent nor I suffered any injury from contact with it. following which he dropped it into the liquid. The metal began to react vigorously and the coin soon dissolved in the bowl. and also drank from the glass. The student. until Adang asked if I would like again to see how it was possible to withstand the acid. and began quietly to recite the opening passage from the Qur’an. Adang invited me to his house the following evening to talk on the subject.From The Mystical To The Molecular 165 himself with the acid solution (mandi air keras). which he then ordered both his student and myself to drink. head of the perguruan Tiga 10 A colleague. which Adang stressed was vital if one were to avoid serious injury. While the acid did indeed sting. Adang studiously avoided any claim to understand how protection from injury was enacted.10 As he had done the evening previously. His stu- dent then produced a coin that he offered to me for inspection. Bapak Adang requested a glass of water. continuing to scoop the solution from the bowl to wash his face with it. Others had by this time signalled their willingness to partici- pate. Elena Khlinovskaya Rockhill. might serve to neutralize the acid solution if indeed it was hydrochloric acid as indicated on the bottle. he had thumbed the top of the bottle and began to apply the solution to my arm. His student then immersed his hands in the liquid in which the coin had dissolved. He prayed over the water and then passed it to his student to drink. Adang proceeded to pray over a glass of water. . sat in the corner of the room. a young man in his late teens. Noticing my obvious interest in events. He opened the bottle and began to apply the solution quite liberally to the forearms of his student and others wishing to take part in the demonstration. In answer to my questions about the performance. Ilmu kebal might also be demonstrated through the eating of broken glass.

for members of Pagar Nusa. Bapak Achmad stated with quiet intent. He turned to me and explained that there was a method for protecting those that ingested the glass. Picking up shards of the glass. the traditionalist Nahdatul Ulama (nu). Each of them followed his command without hesitation. the exercise was a testament to the students’ faith in the strength of God. Bapak Achmad later explained to me that it was God’s ‘strength’ (kekuatan) that had protected his students from harm during the demonstration. the native inhabitants of Jakarta. flinging his students seemingly effortlessly around his front room. then reached over to shatter a small glass that sat on the table next to him. and therefore forbidden. popped the pieces of glass into their mouths and began to chew. after which he would show how these might be used in combat. After the impromptu training session had finished we sat talking about the art. 13). His student’s grunts and groans punctuated his explanations of particular movements and stood testament to the brutal effi- ciency of his skill. Pencak Silat schools such as Tapak Suci. how he had come to train in the art. After a minute or so. far more to Pencak Silat than the phys- ical aspects of the art. and a test of their trust in and devotion (bakti) to him as their teacher . generally avoid cultivating ilmu of this kind. He prayed briefly. There was. Furthermore. Religious positioning within Islam is thus reflected in attitudes towards ilmu kebal. He spent some time demonstrating the aspects of the various styles of Silat that he had mastered with his students. my questions on the nature of ilmu kebal were again answered in practical fashion. a group of young men in late adolescence. He was quite clear in his instructions. and to spit out the glass. he handed one to each of his students.166 chapter 5 Berantai. They would demonstrate jurus from the system. asking Allah to protect the young men. Indeed. Bapak Achmad ordered them to rinse their mouths with water. at odds with the Islamic prescriptions. asking them to sit in front of him. ilmu kebal is an important part of training. and more conservative Pencak Silat teachers in West Java may eschew such prac- tices (Wilson 2008: 202. Bapak Bunawar was widely recognized as a master in Betawi silat styles. 21). twisting and bending them at his will in a variety of holds and finishing techniques. forbidding them to swallow. associ- ated with the modernist Islamic organization Muhammadiyah. I had visited Bapak Achmad one afternoon to learn more of Silat styles particular to the Betawi. and on their teacher’s instruc- tion. he summoned three of his students. fn. but that it was considered to be haram. the paramilitary wing of Indonesia’s larg- est Islamic organization. the Pencak Silat school associated with Banser. After pausing for a moment. They held the glass before them. However. training in ilmu kebal is seen to be syirk by some. and his role as a teacher. crunching down upon the shards (Fig.

For Wolters.From The Mystical To The Molecular 167 Figure 13  Eating broken glass to demonstrate faith in one’s teacher and God Photograph by Lee Wilson or guru. and to spit the pieces that one has been chewing back into the glass of water. In training in Pencak Silat one should follow the instructions of one’s guru regardless of how potentially injurious the consequences of compliance might seem to be. the leader- ship of a ‘man of prowess’ rested upon ‘their being attributed an abnormal amount of personal and innate ‘soul stuff’ which explained and distinguished their performance from that of others in their generation and especially among 11 The glass used is usually a crushed light bulb. a take on charismatic lead- ership as part of the ‘cultural matrix’ of Southeast Asia. and the students do not swallow the glass. This included the notion proffered by Wolters (1999) of the ‘man of prowess’. and his teacher had similarly tested him on a number of occasions. The technique involved is to rinse the mouth with water. .11 Conclusion In the introduction to this book I reviewed theories of classic models of power that are still discernible in the work of many of those commenting on the workings of power in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

However. Thus ‘a person’s spiritual identity and capacity for leadership were established when his fellows could recognize his superior endowment and knew that being close to him was to their advantage’ (1999: 19). the cultivation of these modern techniques of spiritual warfare is de- personalized in new configurations of authority that serve to reify and estab- lish the nation-state as an entity in its own right. These include communica- tive technologies through which they are able to enlist the aid of non-manifest social agents. I think. and gained through initiation and apprenticeship with teachers and players recognized as being in possession of ilmu. or for that matter inner knowledge as a form of knowledge subjugated in modernity. Wolters’ materialistic empha- sis on what he construes as ‘soul stuff’ is. The latter. less exclusive phe- nomena. but is derived from their capacity to mediate relations with the alam ghaib. does not circulate freely. In these events. There is something to be said of Wolter’s insight into the formative effects of the display of physical prowess. Merpati Putih adepts demonstrate the efficacy of Pencak Silat without appeal to the highly localized agency of inner knowledge. In the transfiguration of inner knowledge. somewhat misleading. the latter derived from sharing in his ‘spiritual substance’ (1999: 19).168 chapter 5 their own kinsmen’ (1999: 18). As I have shown in this chapter. Unquestioning loyalty to one’s teacher is redirected towards fealty to the state. It would though be amiss to consider the modern workings of inner power as evidence of more rational. For ipsi. such displays are a means of demonstrating efficacy and laying claim to authority. for the most part. Benefit gained from proximity to those held to be efficacious is not just a matter of substantive spiritual transferral. Tony Day has argued convincingly with regard to ritual modes of power in Southeast Asian bureaucracies that “[r]easons of state’ throughout the region are informed by . inner power reso- nates with the materiality of Wolter’s conception of ‘soul stuff’. Both the cultivation of inner power and the possession of inner knowledge are means by which social actors may be transformed. This is especially evident when comparing the institutionalization of the means of spiritual warfare in modern Pencak Silat schools with that of more traditional schools. In the sense that it is an embodied energy or force. but is gained through at times arduous search- ing. as with the notion of sakti that I examined in chapter three. inner power becomes a more substantive. performances of inner power by Merpati Putih practitioners at national and international dem- onstrations of Pencak Silat showcase the ‘mental/spiritual’ aspects of the art that the organization generally abstains from promoting. Its acquisition is embedded in an occult economy of spiritual technologies of power. Being close to such figures reaped both material and spiritual benefit. secular forms of sociality. Critically however.

However. difference being invoked in an attempt to limit their contemporary relevance to power. inner knowledge cannot be denied because it expresses some fundamental truths about power. In doing so it serves to temporally dislocate the ances- tors.From The Mystical To The Molecular 169 cosmologies. No longer ‘present’. they are constituted as ‘other’ (Grossberg 1996: 93). there is no hard and fast distinction between the manifest and non-manifest aspects of existence. . the search for invulnerability. both secular and religious’ (2002: 225). their agency. Indeed. Inasmuch as we can discern similar logics in ipsi policy and the practice of Pencak Silat in modernist schools such as Merpati Putih. and various kinds of modern think- ing. Modernist discourse does not openly contest the agency of the ancestors. as I claim in the next chapter. and the formative effects of inner knowledge are acknowledged and confirmed by their temporal dislocation. but rather locates it as the pre-modern source of its authority.

with forty countries competing in the world champion- ships. and argued that there is a fundamental pedagogical transformation in modern modes of practice that is a consequence of the homogenization and politiciza- tion of culture under Suharto’s New Order. © koninklijke brill nv. divergent. I looked at the aggregation of the art as an aspect of pluralistic conceptions of national culture in the nascent Indonesian republic. Now. as I have argued in previous chapters. 2015 | doi 10. inter- personal relations and diffuse agency are circumscribed by a bounded indi- vidualism in which the state assumes prominence as the guarantor of spiritual well-being. Rather. Bogor. the development of Pencak Silat took an international turn with the for- mation of the International Pencak Silat Federation and the staging of the first world championships in the eighties. There is no doubting the effects of modern forms of organization on the practice of Pencak Silat. although not exclusive modes of Pencak Silat repre- sentative of the Indonesian nation state have displaced modes of practice that 1 Interview with Eddie Nalapraya 7 March 2011. leiden. This endeavour reached its apotheosis under Eddie Nalapraya.1 All the same. I do not think that we can see this process simply in terms of new forms of political rationality at work. Within ipsi. the conception of an Indonesian martial art. Within ipsi under the New Order. there are continuities in these new modes of prac- tice with extant forms of power centred upon the body. was from the outset of the Indonesian republic a project pursued by successive members of the political and military elite. in subjectivities cultivated in ipsi and modern Pencak Silat schools.1163/9789004289352_008 . Through comparison of the practice and administration of Pencak Silat at national and regional levels I showed that the reach of the state is limited and centred upon Jakarta as the seat of government. chapter 6 Sovereign Bodies and the Practicalities of Power Introduction So far I have considered the historical development of different modalities of Pencak Silat from the first stirrings of nationalist consciousness at the turn of the twentieth century. Eddie Nalapraya’s wish that the art ‘go international’ has been fulfilled. as loyal a servant to the New Order as ever there was. The drive for uniformity within ipsi was further motivated by an outward focus on developing Pencak Silat as an inter- national sport. The gist of my argument has been that. while framed by participation in the international order. Yet.

Migdal’s analytical focus on the state as a ‘field of power’ prompts the conceptualization of the state as a more emergent entity coming 2 Here I draw on R. the cultivation of inner power.G. However. they grant insight into the ‘idea of the state’ (Abrams 1988: 79). as an aspect of cultural production. However. which is a representation of the people bounded by that territory. can- not be simply attributed to the state. are revealing of assumptions about the nature and character of power conceived as a relational and evanescent phenomenon in need of display lest it wane. ideas about power and the way that it works in the world. and this is clear in modern modalities of Pencak Silat. as a ‘field of power marked by the use and threat of violence and shaped by (1) the image of a coherent.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 171 are potentially destabilizing to this modern ideal. These technolo- gies. I will show. Technologies through which spiritual agency might be actualized. a ‘metaphysical question either is simply the question what absolute presuppositions were made on a certain occasion. and which ipsi abjures because of their revolutionary nature. Thus. Rather. Its existence is not just ideational. I have maintained that this temporal disloca- tion should not be seen as a break with the past signalled by the rise of new techniques of corporeal subordination. and (2) the actual practices of its multi- ple parts’ (2001: 15–16). In this chapter I argue that these presuppositions about power are more widely discernible at other levels of political scale in Indonesia. the ‘state’ is experienced through lived relations. or is capable of being resolved into a number of such questions together with a further question or further questions arising out of these’ (Collingwood 2002: 49). There is an ontic dimension to the projection of national unity that is expressed in the performance of jurus wajib. Similarly concerned with the pitfalls of taking the authority of the state at face value. controlling organization in a territory. That is.2 and under- pinned significant elements of the social construction and representation of legitimate authority under the New Order. Collingwood’s thinking on presuppositions – assumptions underlying how people think and reflect critically in the world – as part of the study of metaphysics (Collingwood 2002: 34–48). . in spite of its chimerical nature. In this respect. More traditional modali- ties of Pencak Silat have in effect been denied coevality with the modern practice of the art. and importantly the discursive configuration and contestation of this idea. and the practice of an art that is the proud heritage of the Nusantara warrior tradition. Joel Migdal draws on Bourdieu to suggest that the state is better thought of both ideationally. and in terms of the practical execution of the myriad activities that are framed by this idea. but rather as a strategic response to the formative effects of inner knowledge and technologies of spiritual war- fare.

Drawing on Tony Day’s insightful analysis of the importance of the perfor- mance and display of violence to processes of state formation in Southeast Asia. or at the very least acknowledge. As such. the ways in which violence is enacted – and indeed represented. and a failure to comprehend. and the martialing of spiritual authority in the modern world. Here I make a similar case. and in Chapter 3 with regard to the agency of the ancestors in Cimande. examining the historical relationship between violence. I claim that. His model frames my discussion in this chapter of the broader significance of the forms of power that I have elicited in previous chapters. The body trained in Pencak Silat and tempered through the possession of inner knowledge. and a focal point in a political ontology in which authority is constituted through the display of efficacy. One of the cornerstones of my argument has been the consideration of the importance of the body to the contestation of power. in order to historically locate continuities in the cultural framing of power. Foucault’s (1995) breadth of vision of modern disciplinary practices is impeded by his neglect of ascetic discipline. Similarly. categorized. Weber’s (1946) keen insight into the generative effects of ascetic practices is diminished by the intrinsic secularism assumed to be an aspect of modern political forms. These continuities have consequences for the ways in which we might conceptualize forms of authority and political association mediated through the body as ‘the site of performance of sovereign power’ (Hansen and Stepputat 2006: 297). the resil- ient body is an index of efficacy. The workings of this political ontology are not easily grasped from the perspective of an evolu- tionary schema that draws distinctions between political forms based upon their degree of rationalization and secularization. articu- lates complex assemblages of agency through its resilience. This is in part a consequence of an overly constrictive take on the ways that forms of power might flow through the body. attributed and laid claim to – are constitutive of forms of sociality. In this chapter I attempt to move beyond these constrictive perspectives to elicit the ways in which forms of power are contested through the cultivation of the body in spiritual and physical tech- nologies of power such as Pencak Silat. other kinds of relations that might be facilitated through ascetic practice and bodily discipline. as a form of social action. Both Bubandt and Siegel note that shared concerns with security are linked to perceptions of community in Java (Bubandt 2005: 277. As I argued in Chapter 1 in my discussion of warrior charisma.172 chapter 6 into existence through a diffuse web of contested relations. I come to the crux of my argument as to why Pencak Silat has served the exigencies of power so well. Siegel 1986: 39). a display of power that continues to be of relevance in . In doing so. and their effect on the ways in which the state is both represented and enacted at different levels of political scale. security and social order in Java and beyond.

so as to constitute a power or a political sovereignty’ (2003: 13). a foundational moment at which the ‘body politic’. both threatened and enacted. what this gives rise to is a kind of spiritual arms race in which knowledge of techniques and technologies of self-transformation such as Pencak Silat circulate in an atmosphere of sus- picion and menace. formed of one will. and which he can surrender either as a whole or in part. In effect. one of the major pitfalls in the analysis of power are jurid- ical theories of sovereignty that stand upon the notion of contractual exchange as the basis of the establishment of power relations between parties. written at the end of a long and bloody civil war in England. Politics. I think Foucault’s focus on modes of subjugation and the . especially with respect to the relationship of the body to power. Turning Clausewitz’s aphorism that war is the continuation of politics by other means on its head. some criticisms of his work are worth noting. I argue that both the cultivation of the body and its brutal destruction are statements and performances of power made all the more poignant through the assumption of the efficacy of others.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 173 contemporary Indonesia in the everyday reckoning of association and belong- ing at different levels of political scale. Specifically. plays in the constitution of forms of sociality in Indonesia. It was this natural right that men ceded to the community. It is a political ontology in which violence should not be seen just as an aberration. The main target of Foucault’s critique is Thomas Hobbes indivisible theory of sovereignty. changing the terms of the propo- sition in order to ask how it was that ‘people begin to perceive a war just beneath the surface of peace’ (Foucault 2003: 267)? Foucault’s interrogative inversion of Clausewitz is particularly relevant to the consideration of the role that violence. Hobbes binds the citizen to the state in a contract that must be enacted lest violent and bloody human nature prevail. However. published in 1651. lifted men out of a state of nature into a common- wealth (Hobbes 2002: 37–38). but rather as intrinsic to the articulation of sovereign power as a violent and relational rather than territorial and stable phenomenon. The natural state of human relations is a per- petual state of war where disputes are settled by force. or symptomatic of the absence of authority or loss of control. Power is thus conceived of as a concrete entity ‘that any individual can hold. Foucault is intrigued by what he sees as the inscription of war as the basis of security and political order in modern politics (Spieker 2011: 187). Foucault suggests instead that politics might be considered the continuation of war. In the Leviathan. War and Personal Sovereignty For Michel Foucault.

He thus assumes a temporal break that differentiates modern forms of biopolitical power from previ- ous modes of subjugation and control. As I detailed in the introduction to this book. Technologies of physical and spiritual warfare in Indonesia circulate in social fields that resonate with Hobbesian-like suspicion and fear of the other. Yet to assume that this historical moment marks common transformations in the relationship of the body to power akin to those that Foucault claims defined modern forms of power in Europe begs the question in lieu of more rigorous ethnographic analysis (L. and the rela- tionships they engender. as Foucault rightly points out. Importantly for my argument here.174 chapter 6 discursive configuration of bodies potentially limits the ways in which his astute query about the role of violence might be answered. These technologies. does not hold up to empirical scrutiny in Indonesia. . it overplays the degree to which bodies are passively configured in broader assemblages of power. in the cultivation of the body through the practice of Pencak Silat. the body as a ‘corporeal entity’ is hardly visible (1993: 80). 3 Foucault was of course concerned with uncovering ‘how relations of subjugation can manu- facture subjects’ (2003: 265). Analysing the development of the European state and its nor- mative claims to a monopoly of violence. he identifies a transformation from sovereign to disciplinary modes of domination in what he terms ‘modern’ societies (2003: 37). define responses to the problem of social order less inclined to recognize centralized authority as its guarantor. Rather. or singular and material – that entails an ontological operation that cannot be reduced to the discursive configuration of power.3 As Shilling observes. Rather. and the degree to which efficacy might ensure relative impunity from outside interference and harm. and in the modernist performance of tenaga dalam. In the display of ilmu batin – the performance of invulnerability and striking from afar. and this tends to erode the analytical purchase one is able to gain in political milieus in which the body is conceived as a far more agentive entity. one can trace the standardization of martial arts across Asia to the fermentation of nationalist desire for a common political body around the turn of the twentieth century. and one that in Indonesia entails continuity with aspects of power too easily elided in Foucault’s particular historicization of modern forms of rule. place and non-manifest actors of the invisible world. in Foucault’s work. I argue. power is not simply inscribed upon passive bodies. which. The search for martial prowess and spiritual association is driven by the perceived fragility of social order. authority is conceptualized and security enacted through the operationalization of the com- plex agency of persons. The question though remains. which I perceive as being a process of far greater contestation. Wilson 2012: 62–63). although in different socio-political contexts. as one might garner from Foucault (Lash 1991: 258–260). there is an affirmation of agency – whether diffuse and transcendent. as to how assumptions about the conflictual nature of human relations come to be held.

In these schools. Rather. The signs of power are important to its display and consolidation. As I argued in Chapter 5. writing on what he terms ‘personal sovereignty’ in Java (1985: 138). a capacity con- ferred through alignments in assemblages that transcend the authority of the state. including politi- cal influence’ (1985: 138). Similar presuppositions about power inform the possession of inner knowledge that I have detailed earlier in Chapter 3. As with the ‘Javanese’ in Keeler’s account. and the recogni- tion of social agents as entities that are efficacious. or amongst the elders of Cimande providing for the safety of their students. and instruction in invulnerability rarely finds a place in the curricula of mod- ernistic schools. Thus it is ‘dissimulation of a superior’s control [that] mitigates the impression of a loss of personal control or autonomy.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 175 Ward Keeler. The dis- simulated self also gains a particular authority: a diffuse but idealized and highly respected position as agent both operating within and surpassing the world’ (1987: 268). and as Errington argues. are not so much pacified or colonized as exiled to this traditionalist past. relationships based upon devotion to one’s teacher are reoriented towards the state as the progenitor of knowledge and spiritual wellbeing. displays of inner knowledge. one cannot claim to be efficacious. acting on the world in this way serves to transform threat via a render- ing of power relations that are understood as intersubjective. In the cultivation of inner power in modern Pencak Silat schools. such as Bapak Achmad in Jakarta acting on behalf of his students to ensure their safety and render them invulnerable. individu- als cultivate their own agency through technologies of self-activation aligned with the state. Individuality is formalized in a way that denies any connection except with the anteriority of a nationalist past. while not relinquishing claims to agency and the capacity to enact and to resist violence. However. but is rather recognized as such by the deliberate deferral of agency. personal sovereignty in these schools is not just con- tractually ceded to the state as the only rational alternative to the escalation of spiritual warfare amongst a mutually suspicious population. . Rather. the ‘personal sovereignty’ of those able to safeguard others from harm describes an autonomous zone that entails the interaction of both manifest and non-manifest social entities. should not be seen only as acts of validation of one’s efficacy or potency. Operating within and beyond the world. Adherents to invulnerability. ‘an audi- ence [is] necessary in these systems as both witness and substance of power’ (Errington 1989: 110). or sakti. argues that it is a Javanese ‘concern to demonstrate and assure one’s sta- tus by remaining impervious to external influence of any sort. notions of loyal citizenship and propriety towards the state are rehearsed.

It may be the case that Barker. and the intro- duction of police supervision for the local ronda groups and security apparatus through the ‘environment security system’ (sisklaming. or sistem keamanan lingkungan). the effect of invulnerability practices of local jago and jawara. in a study of lynching in East Java. it marked the point at which the power that at one time would have been associated with tattoos became subject to a whole new set of disciplines that were rooted in surveillance and fraternities rather than in bodies and localities’ (1998: 27). ‘became deterritorialized…and reterritorialized within the state and its fraternities. jago. as Joshua Barker does in his study of the discourses and practices of security under the New Order. Barker outlines what he sees as a process of the imposition of state control through the attempted appropria- tion of ‘local. I suspect. takes issue with Barker’s account of state control facilitated through deterritorialization of local power structures. linked to heavily tattooed local jago and jawara. suggesting that state control is a far more contested affair. and territorial communities. that Barker sees a more fundamental transfor- mation of the social order being wrought by surveillant technologies because such a break is assumed in the Foucauldian framework that he utilizes in his analysis. and sen- sitive to the inflections of local concerns with justice than the done deal that Barker would seem to suggest. What Barker refers to as the ‘kebal body’. he argues that ‘territorial power’. Yet this framework elides as much as it brings to light about the recur- sive construction of notions of security and order. Herriman (2008). however. . It is the ‘deterritorialization of the power associated with ‘criminals’. writing some years earlier. and the ways these are linked to the capacity for violence at different levels of political scale. was reflecting a time when the authority of the New Order was a far more consolidated affair than the political milieu on which Herriman is reporting. describing an ‘interiority’ that is impenetrable. impervious to out- side interference (Barker 1999: 109ff). and its reterrito- rialization within the state’ that was accomplished through the campaign of extra-judicial killing and the disciplining of ‘local security practices’ (1998: 39–40). That is.176 chapter 6 The Sovereign Logic of Divine Agency The modern transformation of extant knowledge practices can be explained in terms of subjectification. territorial power’ and its accommodation ‘within the confines of the state’ (1998: 8). Barker views the consolidation of state control through the transfor- mation of local security practices as being essentially a struggle for territorial control that marks the triumph of surveillant technologies of state in the infil- tration of the lives of its citizens. Through a strategy of extra-judicial killings. is resis- tant to the surveillant technologies of the state because the body is in a sense territorial.

As I have shown. The New Order was renowned for its construction of buildings and monu- ments and the use of urban space in the establishment of its cultural order (see for example Korff and Evers 2001. the ‘father of the nation’. and what he sees as the development. the ipsi padepokan in Jakarta was testament to the beneficence of the Mother of the Nation. ‘political anatomy’. and which are sustained by perceived threats to social order framed by but not attributable to the state. Pak Harto. relations that are sought out. as Ayu Ratih points out. could be operated in the most diverse political régimes. Ibu Tien. driven by the rise of ‘capitalist economy’. whose function was to obtain renunciations rather than increases of utility and which. apparatuses or institutions’ (1995: 221). has a capacity for transformation with a utility value in excess of that posited by Foucault with regard to ascetic practices. there is no statue. Foucault insisted that disciplinary mechanisms ‘were different from asceti- cism and from ‘disciplines’ of a monastic type. While his guidance (pembinaan) ensured the well-being of ipsi. had as their principle aim an increase of the mastery of each individual over his own body’ (Foucault 1995: 137). although they involved obedience to others. and Suharto ensured that no ‘cult of personality’ sprung up around him (Ayu Ratih 1997: 4). Invulnerable bodies are as much an enact- ment of relations with efficacious social agents as a consequence of territorial logics articulated through bodies. monument or lasting testament to his role in the building of the complex. there was very little celebration of Bapak Suharto. but no men- tion is made in tribute to him. in public space in Indonesia. the kebal body. As sign of both the material well-being of the nation and the agency of the New Order. In fact. entered into and maintained for their instrumental value. During the New Order period the government television service aired many hours of tedious footage of affairs of state ceremonies. While her golden bust continues to gaze beatifically down upon athletes training in the padepokan. on Jakarta. whose general formulas. in which Suharto sat overseeing all. to continue with Barker’s turn of phrase. There were no buildings. is nowhere to be seen. Nas 1993). in short.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 177 The problem lies with Foucault’s differentiation between old economies of power on the principle of ‘levying-violence’ (Foucault 1995: 219). of a ‘spe- cific modality of disciplinary power. tattooed or otherwise. His presence is recorded in pho- tographs of his inaugural visit to the site at its official opening. techniques of submitting force and bodies. alignments of power that Suharto himself was careful to publicly maintain. her husband. bridges or streets named after him as is the fashion in celebrating the revolutionary heroes of the state. the ‘father of the nation’. his impassive presence broadcast into homes and offices .

even. also Sen and Hill (2000). creators of new legal and moral systems’ (2011: 8–9). I think we can note an additional dimension to Herriman’s (2008) critique of his analysis on the grounds of Barker overstating the reach of the state. to take life at will. In this respect. that as an ‘aspect of African kingship’ and which is god-like in its severity. and the state. by his lack of presence. In this instance. ‘thugs do become sovereigns. Suharto was thus conceptualized as mediating relations on behalf of a divinely protected citi- zenry. even divinely ordained ruler. what is an essentially ontological operation serves to establish the presence of the state as the spiritual authority guaranteeing the wellbeing of the nation. was never overtly transgressed (Ayu Ratih 1997: 4–5). Suharto never superseded the legal authority of the state. although it may have been rewritten to suit the interests of Suharto and other members of the political and military elite.4 Through deferral of agency he was thus repre- sented as an instrument of state. His rule was a carefully cultivated performance of ambiguous author- ity in which Suharto. a theocratic conception of kingship justified through the maintenance of order. While bandits and strongmen do not usually constitute a ‘moral order or a national identity’ on the basis of their violent capacity alone. The same strategies of dissemblance and dissimulation that Keeler (1987) notes as being so important to ‘personal sovereignty’ are evident in the display of sovereign authority vested in Suharto. That is. as efficacious agent and guarantor of spiritual and physical wellbeing: a cultural register in which the performance of power assumes definitive importance in the instan- tiation of political authority.178 chapter 6 throughout the archipelago. Returning again to Barker’s (1998) framing of the kebal body as the site of contestation of territorial authority. Graeber’s insight is an 4 For a good account of the use made of television in the New Order’s cultural project see Kitly (2000). what appears equally as important as territoriality in the performance of authority is the conversion of relationships with a higher form of authority into the security and maintenance of order. sovereign potential always resides with the capacity for violence. I think that we can see in this legiti- mation of authority an enactment of modalities of power similar to that opera- tionalized in confirmation of the presence of the ancestors in Cimande. State legislation. Reconsidering anthropological debates around the theme of sovereign rela- tions. prompted by the consideration of Shilluk kingship. David Graeber sug- gests that it is possible to discern what he terms the ‘hidden logic of sovereignty’ in the attainment of divine kingship through violent means (2011: 54). It is the capacity for ‘random acts of violence’. . Careful to perpetuate the image of a legiti- mate. was portrayed as immanent in the material benefits of ordered development.

mark the transition from sovereign to governmental forms of rule. provides us with another plausible answer to the question that Foucault posed as to how it is that violence comes to be per- ceived as lying beneath the surface of peaceful order. and tactics that allow the exercise of this very specific. as political entities. is transformed by the realization of the ‘art of government’ (Foucault 2008: 2). And which. political economy as its major form of knowledge. or ‘governmentality’ – forms of rule enacted through the administrative state – as a modality of power led. with regard to Indonesia. That is.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 179 important one. Graeber argues. power that has the population as its target. the historical rise of governmental rationality. In Foucault’s conception the rationale for war. procedures. which frames the essen- tially political enactment of divine agency through violence. The secret logic that he draws our attention to is that what ‘we call “the social peace” is really just a truce in the war between sover- eign power and “the people. a shift in the principles on which war is waged. and particularly between violence inside and outside’ (2011: 54) is made. On the one hand. the rise of instruments of diplomacy and the establishment of professional. as Graeber (2011: 54) puts it. calculations. assumes a central role in governing the conduct of populations. in Indonesia 5 A transition brought about by the development of what Foucault refers to as two great tech- nological assemblages. 6 For Foucault. It is this ‘constitutive war’. and the authority of institutions such as the church in Europe being eroded by raison d’État – reason of state – as the principle of governmental practices in which the state. rather than the juridical justification of righting injustice (Foucault 2009: 388). as an inter-state activity. standing armies (2009: 391–392). To use the term ‘war’ in this sense. albeit very complex. forms of rule enacted through the administrative state. Concomitant transformations in the internal regulation of the state. war is once again waged for political reasons. or the means by which the internal regulation of the state is managed such that ‘the state’s forces can be increased while preserving the state in good order’ (2009: 408). an ‘ensemble formed by institutions.5 Detached from divinely ordained notions of ‘justice’. and so on – of the type of power that we can call “government”’ (Foucault 2009: 144). in ‘the West’ to ‘the pre-eminence over all other types of power – sovereignty. in their struggle against each other’ (2011: 54). and relevant to the consideration of expressions of divine authority in Indonesia. I think. as both an objective and ideal entity. discipline.” or “nation” – both of whom come into existence. On the other. and apparatuses of security as its essential technical instrument’ . from the pastoral responsibility for the spiritual wellbeing of subjects to the calculated concerns for the security of populations (Foucault 2008: 3–5).6 Critically however. the advent of the concept of ‘police’. flies in the face of conventional think- ing in the social sciences that defines the term territorially as an act between separate entities in which a ‘fundamental distinction between inside and out- side. analyses and reflections.

we can also see the displacement of jago under the New Order as a con- tinuation of the fundamental. and indeed legitimized. it is not so much that the kebal body describes an ‘interiority’ resistant to intervention. ‘In fact’. and ultimately to a ‘society of government’. yet preserving local autonomy (Ryter 2001: 145). But it can also be seen as an enactment of god-like power. ‘we have a triangle: sovereignty. it remains a schema that associates the rise of govern- ment with modern forms of power in ways that belie the persistence of violent sovereign power in forms of governance in Indonesia. sovereign power flows through the kebal body. recourse to Scripture. discipline. but rather aligned with the ideal of the state. as an internal war in which the authority of the jago continues to be violently contested. constitutive war from which political order is derived. In this sense.8 Contestation within this field of power might be understood in terms of the displacement of extant networks of authority by surveillant tech- nologies of government.7 and although con- tested within Islam by those of a more conservative bent. and the logic of power from which their authority is derived remains essentially unchanged. he states. 8 Ryter sees this as accommodation of the logic of the jago into a formally ‘modern’ organiza- tional framework as constituting a ‘nested system of jago’. and retain their subversive potential. because of the ways in which they are transacted through guarded exchange. this is more a process of realignment than assimilation. and the configuration of the body as the site of power. Asceticism and mys- ticism are in this respect never really institutionalized. the exercise of which is intrinsic to the originary logic of sovereignty. While in modern Pencak Silat and inner power schools ascetic forms of knowledge are reconfigured. Foucault argues that ‘intense forms of devotion. A model of power in which sovereignty is contested. they are never controlled by the state. are all part of a kind of re- integration of counter-conduct within a religious pastorate organized either in the Protestant churches or in the Counter Reformation’ (2009: 304). initiation. and the at least partial re-qualification of asceticism and mysticism. and right of descent. Inasmuch as jago are institutionalized under the New Order. 7 On spirituality. That is. but rather it is the means through which divine agency becomes manifest and has political effect. As such. . remain viable and irrepressible technologies of sovereign power. and governmental management. Yet despite this formulation of the relation- ship between these different logics.180 chapter 6 transformative spiritual technologies prevail. Following Graeber’s percipient analysis of the divine origins of sovereign power. Foucault took pains to point out that this was not some evolutionary schema in which a ‘society of sovereignty’ gives way to a ‘society of discipline’. apprenticeship. through the capacity to both withstand and eradicate perceived threat. subordinated to the ‘chain of com- mand’. which has population as its main target and apparatuses of security as its essential mechanism’ (2009: 143). and (Foucault 2009: 144).

the folk hero of Jakarta. operated in the absence of the authority of the colonial state. as far as we can tell. and a later article (Nordholt and van Till 1999) expands on the forms of power that underpinned the authority of the jago at village level in Java. they argue. The dividing line between brigandry and rebellion. and the regime. In old Java who might be considered a brigand was moot. the ability to use physical violence and control natural forces. was often a fine one. both ruler and brigand being similarly predatory in their dealings with local populations (Cribb 1991). to my knowledge) was guilty of hubris. and is characterized by strong sexual connotations’ (Schulte Nordholt and van Till 1999: 48). In line with ‘Hinduistic philosophy’ that informed government in traditional Javanese society. Power in this sense. in van Till and Schulte Nordholt’s (1999) view. Historically the figure of the jago predates the consolidation of colonial domi- nation. drew upon cultural logics in which sovereign power was defini- tively linked to the capacity to impose and maintain order. It was ‘contiguous mayhem’ that gave the New Order its raison d’être (Day 2002: 278). of stepping outside his appointed place in society. Yet the discourse and practice of insecurity can be traced beyond the New Order. as I have argued. brigands tended to be drawn from those who were fleeing life under one or other ruler’ (1991: 1). Beneath the regent there existed an administrative void in which the jago continued to ply .Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 181 which historically we can see at play in different constellations of authority and at different levels of political scale in Indonesia. which only extended into society to the level of the regent. particularly since. The jago as Agent of Disorder Tony Day (2002) notes the degree to which the New Order legitimized its pres- ence in the lives of its citizenry through the need to safeguard against the threat of chaos and disruption to the social order. should be understood in terms of a potency that ‘implies a divine- cum-ancestral origin. Van Till. ‘The brigand (always male. Cribb suggests crimes might be better understood as contravening a cosmologically defined social order than as being perpe- trated against a victim. Indeed. therefore. Prior to colonial rule the precariousness of the ‘[m]andala form of political organi- zation’ prevalent in Java contributed to a ‘permanent state of insecurity in which the possession of power was of crucial importance’. subjecting to close scrutiny the legend of Si Pitung. disorder was a defining characteristic of both the Dutch Colonial state and successive incarnations of the Indonesian state. notes the widespread practice of rural banditry in colonial Java in the late nineteenth century (1996: 477–478). The jago.

questions of legitimacy in relation to violence are as much a matter of perspective as based upon some notion of social contract or abstract principle9 (1985: 169). their success depended on being accepted by the ‘informal guild’ of jago. during the revolutionary struggle these jago played a key role in helping to mobilize elements of the criminal underworld and formed the basis for irregular units in the fight against the Dutch and their allies (Cribb 1991). . one did not stand alone as a jago. the jago were themselves typical of political forms in which public dis- plays of violence were linked to cosmological notions of efficacy. or even fabricate threats of external war and since the repressive and extractive activities of govern- ments often constitute the largest current threats to the livelihoods of their own citizens. Rather. Others have argued that the role of the jago in the colonial administration was informal.‘[r]ecognition of the centrality of force opens the way to an under- standing of the growth and change of governmental forms’ (Tilly 1985: 172). for that matter. Tilly argues that it is largely one of coercive exploitation. That is. pivotal yet not legitimate (Siegel 1998: 48. Yet protection is a ‘double edged sword’ (1985: 169). and in this respect bears much in common with organized crime. being at odds with the domesticated nationalism of independent Indonesia. represented by the shadowy figure of the jago. Rather. was brought to an end in post-revolutionary Indonesia. stimulate. Under the colonial administration networks of jago had controlled much of the indigenous labour force in Batavia (the modern city of Jakarta. many governments operate in essentially the same ways as racketeers’ (1985: 171). This is not to say that governmental authority rests solely on the use or monopolization of force. Since ‘governments themselves commonly simulate. see also Rush 1990). Yet. it was not the lack of colonial rule – or for that matter the inability of the Javanese kingdoms to impose their authority – that delivered to the jago an opportunity to extend their authority. Under the New Order 9 Writing on the example of the historical development of the state in Europe. that the future of the post-colonial state can be read from the European past (Tilly 1985: 169). security and social order brought about by entering into and mediating relations with the non-material world. Yet. we can see another possibility to that offered by van Till and Schulte Nordholt in their analysis (1999). and negotiation with like-minded others not to commit crimes on the territory that fell under their protection (1996: 478). Siegel (1998) notes that this relationship between legitimate forms of rule and the quasi-criminal fraternity. States provide protection to their citizenry safeguard from local or external violence. Cribb 1991: 15). The jago were never celebrated as revolutionary heroes. In line with my argument about sover- eign power.182 chapter 6 their trade. unaffected by the presence of colonial authorities. Rather. as van Till (1996) notes in her earlier article. as Charles Tilly notes. or. and threats to their wellbeing and livelihood. As detailed by Cribb.

Arriving at his house for the event. an object of the ‘narrative structure of sup- pression’ (Siegel 1998:116). I was struck by the presence of so many members of the Pencak Silat school Satria Muda Indonesia (smi). the campaign of extra-judicial murder of thousands of jago types in 1983–84 (Anderson 2001: 12).10 As I recounted in Chapter 4. 10 Confidential interview. defeating Eddie Nalapraya in a leadership contest at the National Congress. His official photographer was an ex-Kopassus officer who had been jailed after killing or seriously maiming five men who had attacked him in a bar brawl one evening.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 183 these figures became criminalized. had rescued him from incarceration. Prabowo’s meteoric rise through the ranks of the military. Jakarta 2003. it finds easy articulation in military bureaucracies and the institutional hierarchies of modern Pencak Silat schools. was treated with disdain by other senior members of the military. and ex-members of the Indonesian special forces group. ex-head of Indonesian Special Forces. As the city’s population rushed home to the iftar meal. Shortly after becoming head of ipsi in 2003. On talking to the members of Prabowo’s entourage what was imme- diately obvious was the fierce loyalty that they expressed for him. Prabowo. in 2003 Prabowo became head of ipsi. Having time to talk to the staff that lived at the complex in South Jakarta. Prabowo invited the members of the new governing council to his house in Jakarta to break fast together. patriarchal authority of the jago still operates at many levels of society in Indonesia. and in the early ’80s under the New Order actively hunted and eradicated in a spectacular display of the state’s capacity for vio- lence known as the ‘mysterious shootings’. I was surprised to find I was the only guest present. Kopassus. torrential rain had brought traffic in Jakarta’s already chaotic streets to a standstill. The former husband of Suharto’s daughter Titiek. of which Prabowo is the head. . Prabowo. becoming a Brigadier General at the age of 44 despite never having held a territorial command. the violent. A Contemporary jago: Prabowo Subianto Typical of jago types that reside in the upper echelons of power in Indonesia is Prabowo Subianto. As previously noted. Moreover. However. missing the full fury of the downpour that flooded the roads and the ensuing congestion that had delayed the arrival of the other guests. or petrus (penembakan misterius). was widely held to be instrumental in the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor in 1991. not just amongst street level gangsters and hoodlums. and in 2010 he also became head of the international Pencak Silat Federation. his former commanding officer. I had left early.

Lukman R. the erstwhile Kopassus commander. and Edward Lebe. I was aware of the activities of smi and its patron. The hymn penned for the perguruan expresses the national sentiments of the founders: We are the young knights Sons of Indonesia Ready to defend the nation Beloved homeland Pancasila as our foundation National Struggle Always alert Glorious red and white11 Young Knights of the nation Faithful Protectors Honest and wise In devotion Indonesian culture National honour Young Knights. .184 chapter 6 A group of young smi instructors stayed in relative luxury in a house within the complex. Indra Chatib. Here in the main Jakarta residence of the newly elected head of ipsi was a proficient band of highly trained martial artists and ex-Special Forces personnel. Victorious Indonesia Young Knights. The school encompasses styles from Jakarta. smi was formed in 1987 in Jakarta from the perguruan Beringin Sakti. teaching styles of Minangkabau Pencak Silat. Major General Ismet Yuzairi. fanatically loyal followers of Prabowo.G. H.. a school founded by Guru Abu Zahar from West Sumatra. 11 A reference to the colours of the Indonesian flag. Robinsyah Gaffar and Erizal Chaniago (Gema Pencak Silat 1997b: 10). a student of Abu Zahar. All professed an admiration and gratitude to their leader that seemed unaffected and quite profound. Ir. at the behest of Prabowo. Victorious Indonesia The motto of the Satria Muda is ‘defend oneself in order to defend the nation’ (bela diri untuk bela bangsa). Yan Yulidar. together with fellow officers Lieutenant General Baran Tanoedjiwa. but this was my first experi- ence of the exclusive fraternity of highly trained.

at the end of February 1998. including the crack police unit Mobile Brigade (Brimob). undergoing instruction in combat and crowd control techniques. and with members of Battalion 315 just outside of Jakarta (I. 321. calls for his resignation resounded across campuses all over Indonesia.democracy reform- ers and human rights activists. In 1997 smi claimed a membership of over 46. smi instructors have also received training in military techniques and the use of firearms from Kopassus. Naval Special Forces and battalions 315. Prabowo for his part attempted to . and his efforts to promote the organization have proved extremely effective. A Suharto-era organization formed in the early sev- enties. Working in conjunction with Kopassus. Satria Muda Indonesia formed strong links with Pemuda Panca Marga (ppm). smi is a pet project for Prabowo. smi implemented a month-long training programme entitled ‘Alert Knight’ (Siaga Satria). Prabowo has made effective use of the schools as a resource. Other groups with whom he has fostered links have included the hardline Indonesian Committee for Muslim Solidarity (kisdi. O’Rourke 2002: 68) and the Islamic Defenders’ Front (Front Pembela Islam. ppm is notorious for its involvement in attacks on pro. Pencak Silat is a means by which the doctrine of the Total People’s Defence and Security System (sishankamrata. Under his leadership. the Marine Corps. Participants were drilled and trained in military style tactics. Wilson 2002: 273–274). As the economic crisis deepened. and smi instructors have been involved in teaching unarmed com- bat to members of Group III Kopassus. smi held joint training sessions with members of ppm at the base of Army Strategic Reserve Command.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 185 West Java and West Sumatra. Yet Prabowo’s substantial investment of resources in smi and close association with members of his former military command have resulted in the creation of what is essentially a private army operating solely at his behest. the youth wing of the army veterans’ association. Wilson 2002: 270). For Prabowo. fpi). and other units. and aims to promote a comprehensive system of self-defence that recognizes Pencak Silat as a product of Indonesian culture that is not only associated with ethnicity.000 with representation in 22 provinces (Gema Pencak Silat 1997b: 11). 328 and 330 of the Army Strategic Reserve (Panji Masyarakat 12 August 1998b). ostensibly to provide civilian security in antici- pation of ‘disturbances’ or ‘upheaval’ (gejolak) at the 1998 General Assembly of the People’s Consultative Council (Bulletin Satria Muda Indonesia 1998). sistem pertahanan keamanan rakyat semesta) could be enacted (I. student protest against the authoritarianism of the New Order regime became increas- ingly vociferous (Aspinall 1999: 220–221). It also sponsors youth activities such as Pencak Silat and boxing tournaments. and with Indonesia in financial freefall. After the ratification of Suharto’s seventh term as President in March 1998.

Some analysts see Prabowo’s hand in affairs. com- mander of the Jakarta Garrison and Prabowo’s alleged accomplice in the atroc- ities committed in East Timor. fol- lowing the burial of the students the previous day. tensions in Jakarta escalated as the tide began to turn against the President. and Prabowo’s name was soon linked to the events that took place in May 1998. or that smi played any part other than help- ing the security apparatus in accordance with the principles of sishankamrata (Tempo 25 May 2003b: 173). On May 14th the unrest reached a new intensity. Syafrie Syamsoeddin and Major General Muchdi. From morning. rioters battled with ill-equipped police until finally. found evidence of over 90 sexual assaults (Tempo 25 May 2003a). spreading across the city. rioting broke out in the capi- tal. The riots seemed to be well-planned. along with the commander of the Jakarta garrison. The fact finding mission established later by the Habibie government raised questions about the lack of a security presence in Jakarta. the pro-Golkar paramilitary responsible for low-level political enforcement and intimidation for the Suharto administra- tion. While the army stood by and watched.186 chapter 6 bolster the ailing regime. the disturbances well- coordinated. All of this seems to support the the- ory that Special Forces were working in conjunction with paramilitaries to incite the riots (O’Rourke 2002: 105–107). After the situation had finally calmed down over 1200 people were dead and 6000 buildings dam- aged or burnt to the ground (2002: 100). A fact-finding team appointed as a result of international condemnation of the organized sexual violence com- mitted against Chinese women. and called for a ­further investigation into the role of Major General Syafrie Syamsuddin. troops from the Jakarta Garrison tasked with protecting the city began to secure areas of the metropolis (O’Rourke 2002: 99). Following the shooting of four student protestors at Trisakti University. late in the afternoon. a covert operations squad made up of members of Kopassus tasked with the kidnapping and tor- turing of reformist activists and members of the opposition party (O’Rourke 2002: 69–70). and Satria Muda Indonesia were implicated in the rioting (Panji Masyarakat 12 August 1998a). and the targeting of the many shopping malls that were burnt to the ground required resources and planning. Eyewitness accounts confirm the presence of agitators bussed in to Jakarta. much of the city was burned and looted. allegedly by members of the Special Forces. It seems highly likely that this upheaval was sparked by provocateurs. forming ‘Rose Team’ (tim mawar). The usual suspects of Pemuda Pancasila. On 13 May 1998. Prabowo denied any active involvement in the planning and execution of events. There is never any shortage of conspiracy theories in Jakarta. at that time commander of Kopassus (van Klinken 1998). The mission suggested that members of the political and military elite were involved in organizing the violence in Jakarta .

claiming he had remained loyal to the state. That is. Prabowo is an ambitious man with his sights set upon the Presidency. it is probably more accurate to regard this obsession with loyalty as a reaction to the constant threat of betrayal’ (2002: 113). image and practice are defined in relation to each other in an inherently unstable political environment. The truth behind these events will probably always remain the subject of speculation. (tgpf Executive Summary. the armed forces chief. of equal interest to the question of who orchestrated the torching of the city is manner in which this took place. has fostered the development of a well-trained cadre that could have been put to use in an operation of this scale. civil militias and para- militaries. Prabowo protested his innocence in the wake of the riots. In other words. Yet there is no doubt that smi. in fact. as O’Rourke (2002) points out. Yet the investigation failed to produce a smoking gun linking Prabowo directly to the riots (Purdey 2002: 612). it does seem unlikely that if Prabowo were involved that he was acting alone. In his analysis of the representation of collective violence. There is ample evidence pointing to the involvement of Wiranto. ‘The New Order’s obsession with loyalty by no means precluded betrayal. perhaps Suharto’s most trusted general at that time12 (O’Rourke 2002: 109–113). the political intrigue being played. Wiranto. As later events have shown. the incitation of rioting and the deliberate use of disorder for the purposes of political intrigue. and the difficulty in coordinating a riot in a city like Jakarta. Paul Brass asks the question of whether riots should be considered as part of the ‘“traditional repertoire” of political action’ or as ‘older forms of collective action that have been infused with new meaning’ (Brass 1997: 13).Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 187 in ‘an effort to create a critical situation that required a form of extra constitu- tional government to control the entire situation’. in conjunction with elements of Kopassus. Yet. may have led to the unfounded trust in the latter’s loyalty. In interviews he claimed he had not worked to undermine his rival. Yet. it is doubtful whether the mobilization of provocateurs would have gone unnoticed by the Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency (Bais. . When one contemplates inci- dents of collective violence genealogically in Indonesia there seems to be obvi- ous precedents to the ways in which both the threat of violence and appeal to security have been deployed. cited in Purdey 2002: 612). Schulte Nordholt contends that what he terms 12 Interestingly. O’Rourke makes the further point that the ‘patrimonial fealty’ that is emphasized in the Central Javanese upbringing which both Suharto and his protégé Wiranto shared. the main agency responsible for the development and coordination of the overlapping networks of gangs. Given the scale of events. Badan Intelijens Strategis). nor his father in law to assume power by provok- ing turmoil and unrest (Tesoro 2000).

Geertz fixates on the display of power to the detriment of the analysis of its practicalities. The military’s role prior to reformasi was defined by the doctrine of ‘dual function’ (dwi fungsi). prosperity of the social order was a reflection of the efficacy of the ruler. Palat’s (2000) harsh critique of Geertz for his exoticization of the fantastic elements of Javanese politics is in many ways deserved. the notion of Suharto as divinely ordained and his presence a sign of order in the world – an ideal carefully cultivated throughout the years of New Order government – could be called in to question. Therefore. then it surely deserted him at the end of his reign. No longer invulnerable. In this respect it is possible to see in the deliberate instigation of turmoil across Jakarta transformation in the implementation of violence. ignoring the very real effects of the global economic down- turn that contributed to the state of affairs that led to the fall of Suharto’s New Order regime (Palat 2000: 121). The death. tumbling from power in accordance with some structural schemata according to which regime change takes place in Java (Kristof 1998). While Indonesia was never a military state in a strict sense. I am not trying to make the same order of argument as that made by Clifford Geertz in his public comments in the New York Times (in Kristoff 1998) on the fall Suharto. Moreover. However. The aim is no longer violence controlled but unleashed. now threatened to over- whelm Indonesia. arguing that the control of violence and the destruc- tion it might unleash was of more importance than its implementation (Schulte Nordholt 2002: 36). I think Palat similarly overlooks some very practical effects of the staging of power in Indonesia where the construction of threat and disorder have long played a part in the contestation of social order. the role of the army in the affairs of state has long been highly politicized and often malevo- lent (Kingsbury 2003: 9). Indonesia tee- tered on the brink of economic meltdown. In concep- tions of the New Order. that threatened to engulf the nation should vigilance ever be allowed to drop. under which its role was to both . Suharto had to fall. a dynastic king. in his rush to condemn Geertz’s easy Orientalism. In similar fashion to his earlier musings on the state in Bali. If providence had really shone on Suharto. Purging Threat from within In thinking about the staging of the Jakarta riots in terms of their cultural fram- ing and the threat of disorder as signalling the end of a regime. if the centre of power could so easily fall into chaos. Geertz suggests that one might see Suharto.188 chapter 6 ‘classical’ images of violence in pre-colonial Southeast Asia belie the concerns of royalty with violence. disorder and destruction that Suharto had long held at bay.

serving military officers were appointed to senior positions in the civil administration. the Indonesian Communist Party (pki. G30S). Most importantly. Suharto’s version of events was retold in books and films that emphasized his and his administrations ability to restore and maintain order after cataclysmic social upheaval and appalling slaughter. Much of the ceremony surrounding the New Order drew upon G30S as a foundational myth for the New Order. The economic downturn and changing of the guard amongst the 13 Interview with Eddie Nalapraya. while one third of the governors of the 27 provinces were serving military officers (Kingsbury 2003: 10–11). events which preceded an anti-communist massacre in which any where from two hundred thousand to as many as one million people were murdered (Cribb 2002: 558–559). led the operation against student activism in Jakarta. Partai Komunis Indonesia) was demonized. who at the time was head of military intelligence in Jakarta. A joint project between Lemhannas and the Operational Command for the Restoration of Order and Security (Kopkamtib. A narrative in which was to be found testament to the efficacy of the New Order government in its capacity to contain this menace. ger- akan September tiga puluh. Komando Operasi Pemulihan Keamanan dan Ketertiban). The preservation of national stability was of paramount importance lest the country slide back into the dark ages of anarchy and genocide that wracked the nation following the attempted communist coup.13 The beginning of the eighties heralded a period of intensification in efforts on the part of the New Order administration to maintain the image of a cohe- sive State. In 1992. . in New Order representations of G30S. these courses were instigated following the crack- down on the student movement against Suharto in 1978 (Honna 1999: 79–82). Lembaga Pertahanan Nasional) to brief both the military and the civil administration on the possible threats to national stability. penataran kewaspadaan nasional) were introduced by the National Defence Institute (Lemhannas. In defending the state the military has remained largely inward-focused. military personnel made up roughly one half of the regents in the country. and which ushered in 32 years of authoritarian rule by President Suharto. 7 March 2011. In its much maligned role as political and social agent under the New Order. One of the ways in which the military’s role in domes- tic affairs was justified was through constant reminder of the threats that insurgency and subversion presented to the nation. Excised from the social body. Eddie Nalapraya. the pki were constructed as a threat to be constantly guarded against lest violence and disorder again return to haunt the New Order citizenry. the 30 September movement (Gestapu.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 189 defend the state and participate in its social and political life. Bogor. Vigilance refresher courses (tarpadnas.

both threatened and enacted. ‘not us’. and establish the state as the ‘dominant source of both death and invulnerabil- ity’ (2002: 279). threatened the citizenry of the New Order at the beginning of the 1980s. records of these events transpiring in marketplaces and thoroughfares. Colombijn instead favours explanation in terms of the signal act of naming a thief. Day (2002) suggests that such spec- tacular violence can be seen to define the boundary between state and society. and instead as a form of sociality in which violence. the gali gali (gang anak liar). lost some of its menace. There are. ‘not human’. One can though also see such savagery as less a pro- cess of mimicry. With the generational distance from the events of G30S the threat of a resur- gence of the pki. Kriminalitas (criminality). (…) [Thus] the force of the government was made equivalent to the power attributed to these corpses precisely when the victims were murdered multiple times’ (Siegel 1998: 115). and indeed con- stitute legitimate political action necessary to maintain order. The corpses of victims abducted in the night and killed by the death squads were left in their local territories. there seems to be a historical precedent for final solutions in extant vigilante prac- tices in Java. A new threat to the social order was needed. Those subjected to ‘street justice’ were often beaten until they were unrecognisable. The erasure of the victim’s features thus served to locate them as ‘other’. as Colombijn argues. They were riddled with bullet wounds or stabbed repeatedly. As Siegel argues. Barker follows Siegel (1998) in seeing the excessive violence of petrus killings as a process of mimicry. a wave of rising crime. Colombijn suggests rather that boundary marking cannot be seen as the monocausal explanation of ‘mob justice’. he notes. the state imitated the cruelty (sadis) attributed to the ‘wild youth’ gangs. Exploring alternative readings of petrus. an act that serves to expunge their humanity (2002: 323). places with transitory communities (2002: 323). Colombijn traces the lynching of thieves through successive regimes back to the administration of Dutch East Indies Company. in the eighteenth century (2002: 322). Certainly. and often entailed the destruction of the human features of the victim. the danger presented by those abducted ‘made it necessary to kill each criminal several times. the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. their features erased. In this view.190 chapter 6 military leadership posed threats to Suharto’s grip on power (Barker 1998: 10). or even a ‘new left’. He notes that the horrific brutality of the beatings meted out upon thieves caught in the act of stealing was significant in that it went far beyond mere punishment. are part and parcel of everyday life. Spectacular and brutal violence thus served to both constitute and eradicate the threat to the social order. In contradistinction to an emphasis on the territorial aspects of lynching as serving to ‘constitute the boundaries of the village or urban neighbourhood’ (2002: 323). part of a ‘repertoire of .

Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 191

responses’ through which the transgressor is excluded from the community.
‘Although the criminal is not an outsider by nature, he is constituted as an out-
sider as the first step in the process of mob justice. The cry of thief ‘places the
alleged criminal outside of the community so that rules of social behaviour no
longer apply in dealings with him’ (2002: 323). Yet alternatively, we can see
Colombijn’s analysis of mob justice, of beating thieves to death, not just as a
suspension of ‘rules’, but rather as an expunction of threat. That is, a form of
collective action enacting a logic of violence that (re)articulates community
through shared intent, and importantly, affirms the continuation of order
through the negation of threat.
Such acts can be seen as definitive of the sovereign power to take or spare
life, and of the essential political division between those that preserve and dis-
turb order. In this respect, sovereign power, expressed through the spectacular
display of violence, should not be seen as a mode of power superseded by
forms of bio-political power characteristic of modernity. Rather, as Agamben
argues, the ‘the production of a bio-political body is the original activity of
sovereign power’ (Agamben 1998: 6). Agamben’s claim, contra Hobbes, that the
origins of political life rest upon the exclusion, not the inclusion, of certain
kinds of life from the polis (Loizidou 2007: 93), certainly resonates with ways in
which the boundaries of citizenship in Indonesia have been defined. The ban-
ning of the Indonesian communist party, the black listing of surviving mem-
bers of the pki and their families, the restrictions placed on association with
any form of Chinese identity, and the events of Petrus can all can be framed
in terms of exception. However, to the degree that communal identities in
Java are constituted negatively through perceived threat to social order and, if
necessary, the brutal eradication of this threat – the lynching of thieves –
exception can be declared by all. Sovereign power in this sense then cannot be
seen to be resident solely in the state.
Tony Day argues that it is the failure of ‘administrative power’ to displace
physical violence that defines the history of state violence in Southeast Asia
and differentiates it in this respect from the ‘West’. Historically, in the region,
violence has exhibited a particular aesthetic quality in which its enactment is
both the source and guarantor of the magical beauty of the state (Day 2002:
229). The ‘key concepts’ of the ‘man of prowess’ and the ‘theatre state’ evidence
the importance of the capacity for violence and its spectacular display to the
instantiation of authority (2002: 283). Violence, Day argues, is better under-
stood as a ‘cultural repertoire’ (2002: 206), rather than in terms of its legitimacy.
Models of sovereignty informed by territoriality and defined by the legitimate
use of force do not really map onto the complexities of localized and multiple
kinds of authority in contemporary Southeast Asia (Day 2002: 230–236). The

192 chapter 6

dominion of the state is far from pervasive, and this is exemplified in poten-
tially empowering forms of knowledge such as ilmu kebal. ‘The knowledge of
invulnerability in southeast Asia’, as Day notes appositely, ‘is not the ideological
preserve of a certain class, to be used exclusively as an instrument of class dom-
ination. It is directly concerned with relations of power…its function is to assist
the knowledgeable to exercise power, make it protective, or elude it. Such pow-
erful knowledge also attracts adherents who form communities of the “pro-
tected”. It is a state-forming kind of knowledge’ (Day 2002: 160, my emphasis).
To think of the Indonesian state in Migdal’s (2001) terms, there is an obvious
instability in a field of power relations where alliances are personable, mutable
and embedded in a spiritual economy in which conceptions of prowess,
potency and efficacy are entwined with a demonstrable capacity for violence.
The intimate relationship between order and disorder frames the ascetic disci-
plining of the body through technologies of self-defence and invulnerability.
The widespread presence of these practices can be seen as testament to and
recognition of the transience of power. Moreover, the paramount importance
of the enactment of power, and the highly-staged ceremony of the New Order
state can also be viewed in this way: not as some enduring cultural presence,
but an attempt to define reality, in Migdal’s conception, as a projection of the
image of the state. It is a process that is both constituted by and constitutive of
the field of power relations. A need to establish a perceived threat that is not
just ideological artifice, but rather is shaped by the widespread prevalence, and
indeed acceptance of collective violence as an aspect of social reality neces-
sary to preserve order.
By way of example we can take the example of Hari Kesaktian Pancasila
(‘Sacred’ Pancasila Day), the commemorative event staged by the New Order
government at which thanks was given to the heroes of the state murdered
by the pki on 30 September 1965. The event, held at the monument built at
the  well into which the bodies of the victims of the attempted coup were
thrown by the plotters, serves to publicly establish the official narrative of what
took place that fateful night. Emphasising the spirituality of the Pancasila, it
celebrates the image of national consensus, and perpetuates a hegemonic
account of the communist plot that precipitated the violence meted on the
military ‘heroes’ and the eventual transition of power to Suharto (McGregor
2002: 39). The emphasis upon the brutality of the deaths of generals at the
hands of the pki, evidenced by the state of their corpses (McGregor 2002: 52),
served to magnify the communist threat to the social order, and the lengths to
which the communists were willing to go to achieve their aims. One can see
here the same logic at play as that which served to predicate the exteriority
of the pki at the same time as it sanctioned massive retaliation against them.

Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 193

The generals, heroes of the state, were viciously murdered at the hands of the
plotters who thus treated them as transgressors, common thieves, as if they did
not belong to the society they, the pki, wished to create. Thus the communists
were positioned in a relationship of exteriority to the social order through the
depiction of a brutal erasure of a perceived threat to their social order. Once
constituted as outsiders, dehumanized, the ensuing slaughter that followed in
the wake of the coup attempt was retrospectively legitimized in New Order rep-
resentations of events. Violent repression was necessary in order to preserve
the social fabric and save the country from falling into darkness. The level of
violence marked the level of threat, and in doing so underwrote the efficacy of
social agents and their ability to cope with powerful, potentially subversive
forces. If order were to be maintained the threat had to be eradicated; quite
literally a vicious circularity enacted through the decimation of the body.
In as much as the use of state ceremony was an attempt to stabilize particu-
lar representations of reality, this itself was recognition of the plurality of the
social field and the limitations on the exercise of power. While Suharto’s con-
tinued presence at the helm of the New Order was largely attributable to the
circulation of personnel and resources during his reign (Sidel 1998: 161), this
largesse ensured an active interest in the perpetuation of the status quo by an
increasingly factionalized military.14 As I have argued, the reach of the state
was limited under the New Order. While the state’s security apparatus worked
to curtail potentially subversive threats to its authority, such a task has been
limited by ‘weak institutions’ and lack of available resources from the outset of
the Indonesian Republic (Schulte Nordholt 2011: 397), and is in any case an
especially difficult task in an archipelagic state. The fact that totalized sover-
eign power cannot be maintained by force alone (Rabinow and Rose 2006: 202)
has long been recognized in Indonesia, and governance under Suharto was
characterized by the aligned interests of ‘social and political forces’ as much as
the coercive capacity of the New Order state (Aspinall 2010: 21). With respect to
concerns with security and the preservation of order, this was a relatively easy
alignment to make.

Securing Society: Civil Militarism and Social Order

The policy of a ‘trained citizenry’ (rakyat terlatih, or ratih) has long been a
plank in national defence planning in Indonesia. Civil militia units were used

14 For an informative account of the factional fighting within the military and its political
repercussions see Jun Honna (2003).

194 chapter 6

extensively in internal conflicts throughout the 1950s by the military in counter-
insurgency operations. Civil Defence groups, or Hansip (Pertahanan sipil),
were created by Presidential decree in 1962, and involved in internecine
conflicts throughout Indonesia (Beittinger-Lee 2009: 172). Under the New
Order, the use of militia units was a major plank in both internal and
external defence planning. Civilian paramilitary groups, or ‘People’s Security’
(keamanan rakyat) served as auxiliaries to both the police and military.
Certainly, the roots of many contemporary militias can be traced to these
paramilitary organizations that came to notoriety during Suharto’s rule
(Ryter 2001; I. Wilson 2012a). Post-New Order, sishankamrata has been for-
mally replaced with the ‘New Paradigm’, bringing an end to the army’s
responsibility for internal security, and uncoupling the police from the mili-
tary command (Jansen 2008). However, much of the paramilitary security
apparatus set up under the New Order has yet to be dismantled, including
the various bodies created under the rubric of ratih. Civil Defence groups or
hansip, or as they have come to be known more recently, community protec-
tion groups (Linmas, Perlindungan Masyarakat), are often trained and sup-
plied by the military, yet operate under civilian command at the level of the
regency. After the separation of the police from the army, Linmas have
increasingly come to be utilized by the police. Kamra serve as military and
police auxiliaries at a regional level. While both Linmas and Kamra are part
of the national security apparatus, pamswakarsa, the controversial ‘volun-
teer security’ force recruited in 1998 to bolster security arrangements for the
special session of the People’s Legislative Assembly (dpr, Dewan Perwakilan
Rakyat) convened in the wake of Suharto’s fall from power, were not. Under
the mandate of General Wiranto, a militia some 125,000 was created as a
countervailing force to demonstrating students in Jakarta. Wiranto had a
track record of deploying militia forces, having cultivated militia groups
when in charge of the military garrison in Jakarta in 1995–1996 (O’Rourke
2002: 113). Those deployed on the streets of the capital as part of the volun-
teer security force included elements of extremist groups such as the Islamic
Defenders’ Front (fpi), a Muslim civil militia, and the usual suspects from
the New Order security apparatus, Pemuda Pancasila, Pemuda Pancamarga
and the youth wing of the fkppi (Army Veterans Association, Forum
Komunikasi Putra-putri Purnawirawan; Kingsbury 2003: 115). Many of these
groups train in Pencak Silat and practice ilmu kebal. Indeed, for members of
Banser (Barisan Ansor Serbaguna, ‘multipurpose Ansor formation’), the
paramilitary wing of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdatul
Ulama, the practice of ilmu kebal is a prerequisite of membership (D&R
1999: 19).

Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 195

The presence of diverse security actors in Indonesia, answering to vari-
ous state agencies and with no clear chain of command or remit, has left
ample opportunity for local actors to assert their influence over the provi-
sion of security (Gill and L. Wilson 2013). Local jago have themselves
entered formal political process, many now representing their communi-
ties at both regional and national level in Parliament (Ryter 2009, L. Wilson
and Nugroho 2012). Along with the large number of political parties
spawned by the revival of a long-­stifled electoral process is a rapid growth
in associated paramilitaries acting as the security wings or ‘task forces’
(‘satgas’, satuan tugas) of these organizations (Masaaki and Rozaki 2006,
Telle 2009, I. Wilson 2005: 4–8). Democratization and decentralization
have provided the conditions in which these militias now flourish. Under
the new order the discussion of identity-based rivalries in the media was
banned under the ethical code of sara (an acronym for suku, agama, ras,
antar golongan, or ‘ethnicity, religion, race and class’) in an effort to dis-
courage identity-based conflict. In democratic Indonesia the sara legisla-
tion has been revoked, and ethnic and religious identities have now become
the rallying point for citizen militia groups across the nation. Local ‘politi-
cal entrepreneurs’ promote their own interests through the articulation of
‘their own version of security’, often ‘drawing on the rhetoric of global gov-
ernance’ in justifying their means and ends (Bubandt 2005: 276). However,
while the beginnings of many contemporary militias can be traced to
Suharto era paramilitary organizations, the beginnings of alliances between
formal and informal sites of authority and the backing of local jago predate
the New Order.

Snakes in the Urban Jungle: The Roots of Institutionalized Violence
in Jakarta

There is a long history of relations between informal modes of authority of
the kind typified by the jago during the colonial order. Relationships between
military and paramilitary organizations were born out of the struggle for inde-
pendence. With the end of hostilities, the demobilization of these irregular
units was no easy task. While some decided to give up arms, others remained
suspicious of the newly formed Republican government and refused to acqui-
esce to their authority. The militant Islamic forces led by Kartosuwirjo in West
Java were one such group that openly rebelled against the Republic. The inter-
action with civil militias is a strategy that has been deliberately pursued by the
Indonesian military since the fifties in the face of this insurrection, the Darul Islam

however. a victim of political infighting by those attempting to weaken Sukarno’s position (1994: 28). The use of paramilitary groups to safeguard strategic areas of the city was a strategy actively pursued by the Jakarta military command (Fauzi 2010: 13). A meeting convened by Lieutenant Colonel Syafi’ie in Senen. a cruel weapon more likely to scar than to do permanent damage. with jago that had fought against the Dutch. March 2004). Sukarno eventually appointed Syafi’ie as Minister of Security. 16 These post-war protection rackets may have heralded the beginning of the institutional- ized extortion of the Chinese business community by the military (Robert Cribb. personal communication.16 Such was the reputation of Syafi’ie.196 chapter 6 rebellion. Jakarta. 17 Interview with Bapak H. and Syafi’ie himself was said when necessary to wield a whip made from the tail of a stingray. Its stated aim was to ensure the safety of the inner city kampungs. While Yasmine Shahab is of the opinion that Syafi’ie was framed. Post-independence.17 15 Interview with Bapak H. made reference to the prevalence of a jago in every kampung in Jakarta. The organization enforced harsh discipline in the areas under its control. 10 December 2010. Jakarta. were said to be as brutal as Cobra. A scandal ensued in which he was accused of being the head of a criminal organization. and the windows of Chinese shopkeepers were said to be full with cards from various organizations that were ‘protecting’ them. now battle hardened. pembantu keamanan kampung) was announced. and he was sacked from the position after only a few weeks. .15 Members of Cobra carried cards on which their role as ‘kam- pung security assistant’ (pkk. although his tenure was short-lived. When stirred to action none. Other organizations followed in the wake of Cobra. 10 December 2010. Irwan Sjafi’ie. Jakarta. ‘every jungle has a tiger’. alongside a picture of the eponymous snake. it is hard to maintain this argument in light of how lucrative the business of the protection of the Chinese community had become for Cobra. who flocked to join Cobra. The relationship they maintained with the Jakarta mili- tary command – Syafi’ie still a serving officer at this time – and the access this allowed them to military arsenals also ensured a clear advantage over rival gangs. that his picture alone in the window of a shop under the protection of Cobra was enough to discourage any criminal activity (Shahab 1994: 27–28). many of whom prior to the war had been involved in criminal activity. In Jakarta demobilization of guerrilla units left a glut of irregular troops. A popular aphorism. many of these groups. returned to their pre-war activities. This protectionism was mainly targeted towards the relatively affluent Chinese business community. Irwan Sjafi’ie. resulted in the creation of an organization called Cobra that drew together jago from districts across the capital city (Tadié 2002: 419).

Jakarta. Until his death in 2009. there is no doubting the proliferation of Pencak Silat schools and styles in Jakarta. in Jakarta amongst the Betawi ethnic group there is said to be a distinction between jago and jagoan. was that their aim is to foster an understanding of religion. If a 18 Interview with Fadloli. Rather. bangsa. Fadloli had a strong religious education. education and Silat’ (Sholat. Close to General Wiranto. a group formed to represent and pro- tect the interests of the inhabitants of central Jakarta.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 197 While the image of the jago is much maligned in common parlance in Indonesia. known as the Betawi. fbr promotes three main principles of Betawi ­culture. In keeping with its aims. a leading light in the Betawi community in Jakarta describes the jago as ‘a Pencak Silat teacher that possesses…a religious foundation. and whether the Betawi could be considered as an ethnicity in their own right. ‘prayer. how- ever. East Java. On the other hand. works to preserve Betawi identity. and members of the organization. Certainly. and styles of silat are strongly associated with particular districts in the city. which is still based at the pesantren in Cakung East Jakarta. Fadloli is said to have played a hand in the formation of the pamswakarsa security force in 1998. He founded fbr to represent the interests of Betawi ethnicity on 29 July 2001. the quote does illustrate the ambiguity that surrounds the figure of the jago in popular consciousness. promote prosperity and social justice. Fadloli held that fbr is a social organization with a regional charac- ter and as such might be compared to other national level Islamic organiza- tions in Indonesia. According to Fadloli. the Islamic cleric Haji Ahmad Fadloli El-Muhir is an example of a contemporary jago. . The difference between fbr and these organizations. in the Pondok Yatim Ziyadatul Mubtadi-ien. he claimed. and implies a character that is brutal. an Islamic school that he also founded in Cakung. To be jagoan is a way of acting. is a better word to describe the people of Betawi. While a somewhat idealized definition. Like Prabowo Subianto. he suggested. and uphold the law for the Betawi community. external and inner knowl- edge. Sekolah.18 Since Fadloli’s death Kyai Lutfi Hakim has led the organization. swear to uphold sharia law. furious and wicked. a term implying a ‘people’ defined by a set of shared attributes. 14 November 2003. or Forum Betawi Rempug (fbr). Silat displays are still relatively commonplace at Betawi wedding ceremonies. When I asked Fadloli to define Betawi identity. fbr is an organization established to preserve Betawi identity in the face of outside influences and constant marginalization in their own city. he conceded that perhaps it was wrong to think of orang Betawi as an ethnic group. fbr. Silat). Fadloli led the ‘Betawi Brotherhood Forum’. self-belief and firm belief in God’ (Saputra and Sjafi’ie 2002: 10).

Each guard post comes under the control of a jawara. as expressed in the aphorism ‘if you are selling. was to be found in the photograph of the damage to the car that Fadloli had been driving on 15 July 2002 when a gang of Madurese had attacked him. the Governor of Jakarta from 1997 to 2007. ana beli). according to Fadloli. which Fadloli was said to have wrested from the hand of his assailant during the assault. fbr even professes to have its own style of Silat. Fadloli explained. with reference to these pictures. like the Betawi. and. Fadloli had 19 Interview with Lutfi Hakim. after Friday prayers at the headquarters of fbr in East Jakarta. a wicked looking curved blade associated with the Madurese. Jago controlling areas adjacent to the fbr are often sympathetic to fbr’s self-proclaimed mission: to defend the long neglected rights of Betawi commu- nity and represent its interests in the face of the erosion of its identity and culture. Should a jago choose to join their ranks.19 One afternoon. and members have flocked to its ranks. led me over to a wall on which a series of photographs had been hung. Cakung. brutal and sadistic’ nature of the attack that had been meted upon Fadloli. Its members do not seek confrontation overtly. and the group maintains a very visible presence throughout much of Jakarta. who has at least 100 members under their command. fbr pennants flutter over the territories that members lay claim to. but will not hesitate to defend their rights should the need arise. and will not back down from a fight. he continued. Lutfi Hakim.198 chapter 6 new member does not practise Pencak Silat. Junaidi also produced a celurit. In forming fbr. Jun told me that Fadloli had emerged unscathed from the attack. after entering fbr it is obligatory for them to learn. Emphasis is placed on community security. did not solicit members. Bang Junaidi. a Betawi system called Ji’it. the player will not retreat from trouble. Gen Sutiyoso. Underneath the image a caption informed the reader of the ‘barbaric. which he attributed to his invulnerability. East Jakarta. he said. do not have any retreating steps. and fbr maintains guard posts throughout Jakarta for the protection of the local com- munity. 18 January 2011. he must submit to the authority of the current head of the organization. practised originally by Fadloli’s family. . vile. that fbr had been formed as a response to the bru- tality of the local Madurese population. As Lutfi explained. Proof of this. fbr attempts to direct (mengarahkan) those that are inclined towards crime and show them the error of their ways such that they might become more socially minded. Wilson 2007). I am buying’ (énté jual. fbr. Linked to Lieut. From its inception it has had no need to do so. He proceeded to explain. The jurus. each of whom are referred to as pitung after the legend- ary Betawi jago Si Pitung. the organization’s secretary. fbr has been implicated in the attack on members of ngos that were critical of Sutiyoso’s policies (see Brown and I.

the head of Partai Demokrat in Jakarta. the ontological construction of threat. although Fauzi strategically left prior to Nachrowi’s arrival. Jokowi Widodo. held in Jakarta on 30 July. he was ordered to run alongside Fauzi for Deputy Governor.20 Both Fauzi and Nachrowi presented themselves as Betawi. while operationalized as an aspect of governance under the New Order.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 199 worked to ‘free’ the Betawi. That is. and his rival at the 2012 gubernatorial elections. and now President. In his address to the members of fbr. and whose members are often accused of extorting money from local businesses. Subsequent to fbr’s anniversary party. . At the celebrations for the tenth birthday of the organization. Yet as I have tried to show. bikes. which were hosted in the capi- tal city (Fig. if some- one were watching television they would walk in and take it and people were too scared to stop them. is significant in that it goes some way towards legitimizing the activities of fbr and other vigilante groups of similar ilk. We can then see the ‘othering’ of the Madurese and the visual evidence of their brutality – the photo of the damaged car – as part of a process of securitization similar to that which was characteristic of the New Order. robbed homes. fbr continue to play an important political role in mobilizing the Betawi vote in Jakarta. and requested their help with security in Jakarta during the 2012 Southeast Asian Games. retired general Nachrowi Ramli were pres- ent. Prior to the presence of fbr. Public acceptance of a group derided as an organization of hoodlums. Fauzi noted that the group has helped to develop the spirit of togetherness in Jakarta. Fadloli had the strength to stop them’. President Yudhoyono. In the post-New Order political land- scape the capacity to provide protection from perceived threat continues to be both politically expedient. ‘They stole everything. and which frames the articulation of sovereign power at different levels of political scale. the constitution of the Madurese as an object of threat and violent intervention justified in the name of communal security and the preservation of order. the Madurese had ‘colonized’ the local area. Behind the cracked and faded facade of a coherent state the networks of informal power that inte- grated with the formal administrative structure of the New Order government 20 Nachrowi. forms part of a cultural complex: A habitus tolerant of collective violence enacted for the purposes of preserving social order. was not supported by the head of the party. Their attempts to play the ethnic card failed. and they were defeated in the elections in October 2012 by the populist governor. and his running mate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. 14). in his campaign to to run against Fauzi. both the incumbent governor of Jakarta. and made a considerable deal of their ethnicity to appeal to the Betawi constituency in Jakarta. and indeed lucrative.

as I detailed in Chapter 1. Pencak Silat. organized political opposition to the colonial admin- istration began to form at the turn of the twentieth century. in the capital their provenance can be traced at least as far back as organizations such as Cobra. of keamanan. and. The notion of security. while rooted in cultural conceptions of potentially violent social order.200 chapter 6 Figure 14 Fauzi Bowo. is recursive. and the continued salience of conceptions of security to the establishment of the essential political distinc- tion between ‘them’ and ‘us’. waving fbr’s flag at the organization’s tenth birthday celebration in Jakarta on 31 July 2011 Photograph by Lee Wilson are now in plain sight. . and post-New Order continues to generate its own discourses. Yet. Martial Politics and Powerful Relations The militarism that now permeates Indonesian society can be seen as a reori- entation of threat from national to local level. to the ronda groups around which. practices. as a model of communal action in Java. Governor of Jakarta. while these groups are in many cases historically linked to the New Order’s informal paramilitary apparatus. con- tested.

as failures or weak states. and the glare of the international spotlight on Pencak Silat when practised as a transnational sport. and. and more than limiting in what it allows us to under- stand about the ways in which sovereign power is recognized and contested in Indonesia. its attraction lies rooted in the promise of security and protection. Yet the body thus trained is more than just an indicator of the socio-political landscape. and a desire for a life free from the con- stant threat of paroxysmic upheaval (Fig. as Migdal notes. both threatened and enacted. power and effectiveness of western statehood’ (Sidaway 2003: 160) is inherently Eurocentric. Inasmuch as vio- lence is linked to conceptions of social order and communal identity. conceived in its most fun- damental terms. As a display of power. and is thus vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the inter- personal relationships through which it might be enacted. see the widespread presence of citizen militias such as fbr as indicative of a ‘soft’ state (Schulte Nordholt 2008). and it is the body’s capacity for transformation that is precursory to its location in constellations of power that transcend the mate- rial world. it is an intrinsically political force. and resistance that occurs in every human society among multiple sys- tems of rules. but which predates the regime. and post reformasi continues to inform the political agency of individuals and organizations able to demon- strate their capacity for violence. cultivation of the body in other modalities of the art provides a means through which relations of power are rendered visible. To do so assumes an ontological priority on the part of the ‘state’. other than to cast these in the negative. a metaphysic in which violence. Power. It provides no way to theorize about arenas of competing sets of rules. The practice of Pencak Silat encompasses techniques of spiritual and physi- cal warfare that are framed by the formative effects of ‘inner knowledge’ and informed by a metaphysic of power conceived as a mutable and relational entity. We might. 15). Yet this conception of sovereign authority as a phenomenon to be ‘weighed and found wanting of the strength. ‘minimizes and trivializes the rich negotiation. It is against the backdrop of threat and uncertainty that we can understand the continuing importance of Pencak Silat in Indonesian society outside the realms of ipsi. is consolidated and sustained by maintaining relations with higher forms of agency. A logic of power that was operationalized by the New Order.Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 201 and ‘communities of the protected’ (Day 2002: 160). as some analysts have. or even . it is itself politically charged. interac- tion. is a coer- cive and compelling force. While nationhood may be celebrated through the sporting practice of Pencak Silat. unable to monopolize the legitimate use of coercive force and enact its author- ity throughout its domain (Kristiansen and Trijono 2005).

a means of configuring bodies in a political society no less concerned with the material relations of power than . substantiate the linear trajectories of Indonesian nationhood. lend themselves to the formation of highly politicized notions of Betawi identity. post-reformasi. This is the stark reality of the dunia persilatan.202 chapter 6 Figure 15  Demonstration of ilmu kebal by members of fbr in South Jakarta. somatically ground ethnicity in Cianjur. Pencak Silat is then an art practised in a martial world. and dismissed from normative liberal conceptions of democratic order that have held sway in political theory and discourse (Chatterjee 2011: 4). hierarchical and highly gendered phe- nomenon prevail in Indonesia because they accurately express the practicali- ties of its consolidation and maintenance in a social and cultural milieu in which violence has never been the exclusive right of the state. the ‘world of Pencak Silat’. Conceptions of power as a relational. 2012 Photograph by Lee Wilson as non-states’ (2001: 15). These often antagonistic social relations exist in a field of power in which forms of belonging are defined as much through exclusion as they are through common association. It is just such ‘rules’ that come to light through paying close attention to continuities in construals of power in Indonesia easily over- looked from the standpoint of more secular accounts of modern governance. and. Different modalities of Pencak Silat articulate the agency of the ancestors in Cimande.

and in which people are acutely aware of the importance of the dis- play of power to its consolidation. and continue to play a role in the definition of politi- cal realities in Indonesia today. A society in which technologies of spiritual and physical combat such as Pencak Silat have long provided a means for the contestation of authority. .Sovereign Bodies And The Practicalities Of Power 203 any other.


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26. 109–110. Silat style) 106. 106. 189 balur. 158. Giorgio 190–191 ipsi and 49 agency musical accompaniment to 76. 109. Kyai 154 Agency) 187 ancestors Badan Koordinasi Kesenian Nasional agency of 23. 169. 145. 171–173. 91–92. Bapak 164–165 decline of 58–59 Adipati Wiratanudatar. 90. 145. 104–105 apprenticeships Bambang Rus Effendi 156 to local djago 144 Bambang Trihatmodjo 114. Benedict 3–4. Soeria 38 175 authoritarianism. Raden 86 ganda 48. used in bone-setting 101. 103–104. see also founding of 11. 168 Abo. 175 Pencak Silat) acid tests 164–165 categories of 75 Adang. Atmadja. within ipsi 129–131 of gravesites 92 authority Aki Pe’i 63 in Cimande 87 al Qādir al Jilānā. 7. 172 All Indonesia Pentjak Association (Ikatan spiritual 147. 180–183. in penca 98 transmission of knowledge Abad Siradj. see also sovereignty Indonesian Pencak Silat Association Ayu Ratih 177 Alter. 167. R. 153. Raden 135 through 150. 103 forms of 5 aliran Cimande style. Embah 88. 137 of ancestors 23. 202 Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan disempowerment of 109 Kemerdekaan Indonesia (bpupki) 26 veneration of 83. 90. 90. 56–57 deferral of. 159. 105. 6. 110. 97 artistic/performing aspects (kesenian)(of Achmad Bunawar. Indra 122–123 151 n3 Bali 6–7. 178 Pentjak Seluruh Indonesia) notions of 19–20. Bakrie. 122 . Badan Intelijens Strategis) 187 Ace Lasiha. Indonesia (bkkni) 122 172. Joseph 12 amalan tawassul 105–106. 109 Badan Intelijens Strategis (Bais. Bapak 165–166. 95. 109. 1950 congress of 39. Bapak 35 Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency Abu Zahar 184 (Bais. 193 1952 congress 42 of Weber 50–51. see Cimande (Pencak charismatic 50–51. 202 Asikin. 40 178–179. 51–52. 169. 165. 138 adu kaki 101 ibing penca 137–138 Agamben. 16. 105 Badui 154 andeka 33 n12 Bais (Badan Intelijens Strategis) 187 Anderson.Index Page numbers in italics refer to illustrations. Asian games (Korea) 25 172. 106 aim of 38–39 traditions and 50. 110. Armed Amanat Galunggung 96–97 Forces Strategic Intelligence Amin. in Pencak Silat 149. 87–90. 38. 36–37 anti-communist massacre 17.

105 age of 81. Lieutenant bujutsu 10 General 184 buyut 90 Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser) 166. 155 importance of 16 n7 bkkni (Badan Koordinasi Kesenian Nasional inferior to Indonesian form Indonesia) 122 of 118 body/bodies kuntao 86. 119–120 as agentive entity 18 promotion of 10 art of using 13–14. compassionate Barisan Pelopor (Vanguard Column) 37 endeavour) 36–37 Barker.228 Index Bangau Putih 119 Budi Welas Asih (bwa. 172. 155–157 sub-styles of 133 Breman. 151. 36. 67–68. 78 ‘Bromocorah’ (Lubis) 29 Cimande (Pencak Silat style) Bruinessen. 106. in Indonesia 119–120 invulnerable 176–177 Christiandom. 173–174. 12–13. Jean-François 5 Capoeira 71–72 Beringin Sakti 184 charisma Betako Merpati Putih 125. 105. 155. 172 119. 146–147. 133 founder of 132 Brazil 71–72 pukulan jarak jauh and 152 breathing techniques 15. Joshua 176. 196 ingrained dispositions and 14 Chinese language. 43. 136 Chinese communities bio-electrical property of 146. 133 Bratakusumah. Buyut. 171 cigarette advertisement 147 bpupki (Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Cikalong (Pencak Silat style) Kemerdekaan Indonesia) 26 class distinction in 132–133 Brass. Martin van 9. 194 bugei 10 Baran Tanoedjiwa. 136 power 1. 136–137 bone-setting practices. 85–87 Budi Utomo (Beautiful Endeavor) 28. Chatterjee. 13–16. kebal body penca in 132–134. ipsi branch in 131–132 see also ilmu kebal. 34 initiations into 98–100. 200. chivalrous knight in 49 relationship to Cianjur agency 174 ipsi and ppsi in 131–132. 56. Forum military violence and 49 Betawi Rempug) 197–199. 51. 167. 108 . 91. 87–88. Embah 86. 155–157 authority and 103–104. Betawi (Pencak Silat style) 65. 190 Basuki Tjahaja Purnama 199 n20 Cakung 197 Bayart. compassionate Banser (Barisan Ansor Serbaguna)  endeavor) 36–37 166. anti-Chinese legislation in 119–120 49. Paul 187 cultivation of sensitivity in 132. 178. Avron 16 ppsi branch in 131–132 Bourdieu. Nils 172 founder of 78. 8. 201. 155 in Indonesia disciplining and training of 1. 87–88 Bubandt. 96 194 bwa (Budi Welas Asih. 192 protection rackets and 29. 202 sport in 10 Bimantara Group 113 martial arts biolistrik 146. at Cimande 100–105 Pencak Silat in 112 Boretz. 35. 166 concept of 50–51 Betawi Brotherhood Forum (fbr. Jan 84 n1 Cikaret (Pencak Silat style) 63–65. 90. Partha 52 202 China Betawi culture 197. Ema 34–35. Pierre 14.

Robert 31. see also Datul Iman. 39.G. in ppsi competitions 76 community protection groups Darul Islam rebellion 43. 100–101 traditions of 27. Collingwood. 112. Freek 190–191 traditions and 12. 202 Clausewitz. 104 national development and 57. 176. 111. 195–196 (Linmas) 194 Darwis. 88. 31. 39–40. 84–85. see Indonesian dabus performances 104 Communist Party Dama. 96. 99 Police) 43 spiritual aspects of 94. 171 n2 136–137. 115–116. 76 locality of 80. Philip H. Civil Defence groups (Hansip) 194 140–141. 190–191. 116. 105 criminality. see under gravesites changing role of 27 n1 and ipsi 67. 181. Haji 88. 182 ancestor veneration at 83. authority in 87 181–183. in Indonesia 29. 103 courts (Indonesian) tapak salancar 137 dances performed at 47 training in 65–69. 136 The Civilizing Process (Elias) 47 Betawi 197. 145 culture/cultures gravesites of. penca apprentices in 98 111. 116–117. 190. 41. 83 civilizing process and 47–48 kampung in 84–85 in Indonesia Tari Kolot 82. 41 making balur by 104–105 Pencak Silat and 81. 57. 90 Indonesian 39. imagined 52 dance. Tony 167–169. 181. 101 community. 106. 84 progress and 12 map of 82 promotion of 111 maulud in 92–95. 104–105 cultures 136 and Embah Buyut 87–88 Constitution and 39–40 guardians watching over 88–89 Pencak Silat and 22. Embah 86 Darul Islam rebellion Davies. 142 Colombijn. ethnic 17. concept of 115–116 108–109. 170 civilizing process under post-New Order in Europe 47–48 regimes 202 role of spirituality in 49 regional 12. see Dutch violence 18 colonial government Communist Party. 166. cultural inheritance. 40–42. R.J. 111. 42 colonial government (Indonesia). 119 Constitution (Indonesian) 39–40. Military pledges/oaths in 67. 47. 99 conflicts. 195. Davis. 131–132. 140 as spiritual perceptors 83. 87–90. 86 national 12. bone-setting practices at 100–103 116–117 commercializing of 102 as amalgam of regional use of balur in 101. 74 Cimande (village) cpm (Corps Polisi Militer) 43 administration of 84 Cribb. 193–195 under New Order regime 138. 172. Carl Philipp von 173 Minangkabau 81 Cobra 196 Sundanese 63–65.Index 229 musical accompaniment to 137 Corps Polisi Militer (cpm. 191 . Kang 91–92. 116 rts in 84–85 politicization of citizen militia groups 19. Diana 69 46 n34 Day. 115. 48. 119–120. 103. 196 elders of cultural heritage ancestry of 87.

discipline 108 and ascetic transformation 23 Elias. 200. Mohamed 38 n22 Europe 47–48 Douwes Dekker. Ernest 33. 156 desa 84 Eka Sentosa Stiti (essti) 37 development. 35. 34 n14 Downey. 170 (gopsi) 44 . 155. notion of 57. 182 fight for leadership ipsi and 125–126. Raden 135 making balur by 104–105 Dirdjoatmodjo. see Udun. 181–182 179. 108 ethnographical studies. 133 body and 1. 184 disorder Errington. Greg 71–72. 201. 54. 21–22 Djoemali. 172. in Indonesia 17 divinatory practices 92. 194 head of military intelligence 189 Funakoshi. Norbert 47. 36. 12–13. 8. 173–174. Gabungan Olah Raga Pencak Silat Indonesia 111. 43. Ibu 53 and wrestling 12–13 Erizal Chaniago 128. see Santa Cruz massacre in penca 132. 116 elders Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (dpr) 185. on Pencak Silat 47. 189. jago’s role during 29–30. Hamzah 103 Draeger. 155. fpi (Front Pembela Islam) 185. 13 Ema Bratakusumah 34–35. 180 n7 nationalist movements during 30. 106. 129–131. 128–129 Front Pembela Islam (fpi) 185. Haji Ahmad 197–199 dpr (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) 185. 136 Eddie Marzuki Nalapraya quasi-criminal 31. combative arts in 36 200. Uwa Fauzi Bowo 126. Donn 2 fasting. 192–193 leadership of ipsi of 25. 80 Fadloli El-Muhir. 194 ancestry of 87. 202 disorder in 181–182 Foley.230 Index demonstrations politicization of culture and 138 of Betawi style 166 standardization of Pencak Silat and 81 of ilmu kebal 164–167. 8. 111. Gichin 11 ipsi’s stance on youth mobilization and 121 G30S (Gestapu) 17. Michel 1. 167 views of. 136. 172. 176–177. Bapak 119 as spiritual perceptors 83. 45–46. 74. 52. of Pencak Silat  Djadjanti Group 123 2. 192 enculturation 72 and karate 37 Enny Rukmini Sekarningrat. 49 and the body 1. 4. 90 Didi Muhtadi. Kathy 104 educational reforms of 28 Forum Betawi Rempug (fbr) 197–199. 74. 117 of jurus lima 161–162. 162 visit to Panglipur 53 Dendam (Pramoedya Ananta Toer) 151 egalitarianism 134. 29 anti-Dutch sentiments and 16 notions of tradition and 5 Cimande 99. 108 Dutch East Indies Company (voc) 190 in Indonesian politics 2 more formally organized 31. 194 41–42 fraternities native civil service of 26. exploitative and inhumane character 201. 200 Dutch colonial government (Indonesia) fbr (Forum Betawi Rempug) 197–199. 103. 134. ilmu batin and 152 Dudun Abdullah Thoha. 202 of 41 n26 Foucault. Shelly 112 n1. 175 in Indonesian governments 181 essti (Eka Sentosa Stiti) 37 jago as agent of 181–182 ethnic conflicts. 38 East Timor. 49. 56. 194 Fansuri. In Setia Hati 32 127. 199.

186 Hidayat. 91–92. Clifford 6–7. 136–137 Gontha. 145 Harun. Ibrahim. Embah 91. Jean Marc de 3. 95. Bapak 131. Robinsyah Gaffar 184 (gapema) 38 n22 habitus. Thomas Blom 13 Gafur. 113. 96 Idris. 97 ibing penca 137–138 Ace Lasiha. 138 Idris. 109 ilmu batin (inner knowledge) 60 Gufron. 174. 192–193 Hellman. 150 Guidance for lessons in the sport of pencak in non-Islamic manner 154 silat (Ministry for Education and through divine inspiration 153 Culture) 56 through fasting 152 Gumbira Suganda 129 through mantras 150. 97 identity Buyut. Lawrence 140 Ileto. 127. Colonel 43 gopsi (Gabungan Olah Raga Pencak Silat Hirikoshi. 191 Graeber. 95. 178 glass. 95. 149–150 . Martin 108. Nicholas 176. Embah 99 Sundanese 76. 96 Betawi 197 Halim. 97 notions of 140 Kahir. see Indonesian empty 97–98 Pencak Silat Association practice of visiting sacred 90. 136. Ariel 116 n6 Golkar party 124 n10. Peter 114 Hidayat. 95 culture/cultures Rangga. Embah 90. Haji 95 (gapensi) 38 n22 Hansen. Haji 88 acquisition of 146–147. Hildred 107. Mark 3 governmentality 179–180 n6 Hobbes. see teachers through prayer 161 Gus Dur 27 n1. Gary 41. 189. 138 Hari Kesaktian Pancasila (Sacred garak 33 n12 Pancasila Day) 192–193 Gartenberg. Alfred 110 Haryadi Anwar 126. 180 Holbraad. Jörgen 109 Giehman. Florent 107 n18 Herriman. 97 cleaning/renovating of 91–92 Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia. Bapak 118 goushu 10 Hobart. Haji 95 Indonesian/national 47. Thomas 173. 152 guru.Index 231 Gabungan Pencak Mataram H. 96. 4–5 homogenous time 52 gravesites hymn. see also Karta Singga. Mohammad 42 Gerindra (Great Indonesia Party) 142 healers. Bapak 148–149 Geertz. 97 n12. at Cimande 100–103 Gestapu (G30S) 17. eating of broken 165–167. Abdul 44 n29 Hansip (Pertahanan sipil) 194 gambling. 120 examples of 148. Colonel 43 Gell. of smi 184 at Cimande 89–92 Abdul Somad. Haji 90. 120 Geertz. Embah 91. Haji (Raden Jayaperbata) 132 95. Haji 90. Hiroko 105 n17 Indonesia) 44 Hisbullah. David 178–179. 76. 94. Eyang 91. 95–98 Ikatan Perguruan Bela diri Tenaga Dalam Great Indonesia Party (Gerindra) 142 (ipbetada) 146 Grossberg. 127 Gending Raspuzi 86 n5 Hatta. concept of 13–14 Gabungan Pencak Seluruh Indonesia Halim. Haji 90. Bapak 118. 97. 167 Heryanto. 109 Grave. Reynaldo 153 n6 guardian spirits 88–89. Islamic prescriptions on 92 Hardjo Oetomo 32–33 ganda 48. 74. 188 Harun. 93. 151 n3 Harsoyo.

167. see also Pencak Indische Partij 33. see also 30 September colonial government Movement New Order regime in. Komunis Indonesia) 196 coup of 17. see New Order Indonesian Democratic Party (pdi. ilmu haram 154 186. 152 post-New Order regime. 133 martial arts India 12–13 kuntao 86. 34 n14. Partai regime Demokrasi Indonesia) 124 n10 . see Dutch use of jago by 31. 195 rebellion of 1926 35 governments of split of Sarekat Islam and 32 colonial government of. 193 Darul Islam rebellion 43. and skill acquisition 73. 119–120. 189.232 Index ilmu batin (cont. 158. fall of Suharto 17. see under culture/cultures demonization of 189. 167–169 nationalism in. 195–196 eradication of 17. 196 guardian spirits and 88 Communist Party in. 30–36. 193 ethnic conflicts in 17. see explanations for 151–152 post-colonial government Islam and 9. see Indonesian role of jago in 15–16. 176. 201 Order regime science of invulnerability and 144 lottery in 92 secrecy surrounding 159 military in. 181–183. 190–191. 41 of kyai 153 pdi (Partai Demokrasi power and 192 Indonesia) 124 n10 science of 37. 186 history of 150–151 homogenous time and 52 ingesting Quran passages and 153 Indische Partij 33. 144 psii (Partai Sarekat Islam training in. as centred polity 6–8 defence) 58–59 n9. Indonesia) 32 194–195 power in ilmu pencak (knowledge of self. 31. see paramilitary ilmu kebal/kekebalan (invulnerability) politics in demonstrations/testing of 164–167. 41 Silat Indonesia national identity and 138 Chinese communities in spread of Islam in 9 anti-Chinese legislation and 119–120 struggle for independence of protection rackets and 29. 30–36. 38 Constitution of violence and 16–18. 34 n14. 153 conceptions of 202–203 ilmu putih 150 indigenous conception of 4 improvisation. 123. by civil defence groups 166. 191. 182 Communist Party role of Pencak Silat in 11. 38. 189. 192 ilmu hitam 150 paramilitary in.) post-colonial government of. 88. 192–193 cultures in. 6 role of jago in 15–16. 187–189 national culture in 39–40 youth protests in 115 n4 and Pancasila 46 n34 Indonesian Communist Party (pki. 182 sports in 11–12 role of Pencak Silat in 2. 119–120. see military tenaga dalam and 158–159. 11. see under nationalism ilmu getaran 157 Pancasila ideology in 46–47. 127. see post-New power and 174. 80 popular conception of 5 independence struggle (Indonesia) staging of 188 guardian spirits and 88 as substantive entity 4. 74. 188 202 Golkar party 124 n10. 183. Partai criminality in 29.

125–126. 123. 46. 113. Uwa 61–62. financial contributors to 114 127. 148–149 funding of 121–122. 76 126–129 standardization Prabowo Subianto. 136 . 164 international competition and 142 pledges/oaths and 46–47. 131–132. 124. 170 Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (ppsi. 76. founding of 11. 142 138. 168 as central administration of 112 persons involved in Chinese martial arts schools and 120 Eddie Marzuki Nalapraya. 78. Partai senior adviser 122 Sarekat Islam Indonesia) 32 special schools and 124–125 Indonesian National Arts Coordinating Body voting system of 123–124. 125. 54. 128. 74. Bapak 131. 127 description of 25 Rustadi Effendi (Pak Tata) 54. see also organizational structure of 120–123 All Indonesia Pentjak Association Advisory Council 122–123 Indonesian Pencak Silat Sports Alliance governing board 121. see Prabowo of jurus systems 74–77 Subianto of Pencak Silat 37–38. as national sport 40. 170 ppsi and 44–45. 121. 131–132. 131. headquarters of 112–114 126. 74 military and 26. see also Indonesian Eddie Marzuki Nalapraya 25. 122. Gen. 137. 55–56 Rahmat Gobel 123. 123. 131–132 founding of 43 regional boards 122 funding of 137 regional representatives 122 ipsi and 44–45. Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia) 114 131. 44–45. 83 Udun. 44–45. Bapak 118 development of Pencak Silat 45–46. (bkkni. 136–137 undemocratic character of 111 Hisbullah. 72–73. Gabungan Olah Raga Pencak Silat leadership of Indonesia) 44. fight for 125–129 Persatuan Pencak Silat Indonesia)  patrimonialism and 129–131 21. Bapak 118 loss of tradition in 53–54 Haryadi Anwar 126. 38 89. 117. 177 Tjokropranolo. 121. Lt. 127 no masters is senior positions 54–55 Hidayat. 124. 129 Ibu Tien and 114–115. 111. Komite Nasional Pemuda as international sport 5. 64 Prabowo Subianto 183 competitions of 76 local branch boards 122. festival of traditional Pencak 128–129.Index 233 Indonesian Islamic Union Party (psii. Oyong Karmayuda 48. 141–142 Rosano Barack 67 n17. 52. 168. 74. 83. 75. 76. 25. see Eddie criticisms on Marzuki Nalapraya jurus wajib 77–79 Harsoyo. 127. Badan Koordinasi Kesenian 128–129 Nasional Indonesia) 122 patrimonialism within 130–131 Indonesian National Youth Council Pencak Silat promotion of (knpi. 52. 60. 122 (gopsi. 45. 43–44. 45. 130–131. history of 25–26 57. Indonesia) 44 n29 121. 136 as official administrative body 44 youth mobilization and 121. New Order regime and 21. 138. 78. 124. 121. 138 influence of. 74. 76. 52 post-New Order regimes and 126–129. Pencak Silat Association 45–46. in Cimande 67. 130 Silat 139 Rifa’i Sahib 65–69. 53–54. 117. 170 Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (ipsi. 63–65. 157. 26. 93–95. 111. 142.

see also in Indonesia’s struggle for indepen- Perhimpunan Pencak Silat Indonesia dence 15–16. 42. see also Darul Judo 10–11 Islam rebellion. see ilmu batin Pencak Silat during 11. see ilmu kebal culture. in protection rackets 29. 194 concept of 69–70 Islamic schools 30. into Cimande training 67. 191 local branch boards. 197 kinds of Islamic Union (si. 190.234 Index Indonesian Pencak Silat Union (cont. 41 inner power. 196 127. 68–69. Kang 131. 77–78. role of 136 during colonial government 29–30 as top organisasi 124. 32. Cianjur 131 recruitment of 31 persons involved in. Quran. 72–73. 108 occupation of Indonesia inner knowledge. 182–183 Indonesian Sports Council (koni) 121.) murder of 183. 136 as agent of disorder 181–182 teachers of 62 ambiguity towards 197 teaching of 60 Cobra and 196 in Betawi style 67–68 contemporary in Cikalong style 132 Fadloli El-Muhir. Bang 198 Islamic Defender’ Front (fpi. female 16 n8 163 historical. pre-eminence of 28 ipbetada (Ikatan Perguruan Bela diri Tenaga priyayi class 27. 125. 36–37. see tenaga dalam recruiting of local populations 37 International Pencak Silat Federation sports in. 103–104. see Indonesian Pencak Silat Association jazz music. 78 Ahmad 197–199 in Cimande style 65–67. Front Pembela jurus Islam) 185. Raden (Haji Ibrahim) 132 ipsi. militarism in 37 98–100. 141 Jalan Cendana 111 Indonesian Wushu Association 120 Japan Indra Chatib 184 development of sport in 10–11 initiations. karate 37 (persilat. Sarekat Islam) 30–31. 122. 162 jurus wajib 74–80. 28. Memet. skill acquisition in 70–71. tarekat Junaidi. 78 Prabowo Subianto 183–184 knowledge transmission in 63. jurus lima 152 41–42 demonstration of 161–162. 94. 73 Islam Jeprah. Haji in Cikaret style 63–65. 152 jogèd (court dances) 47 and practice to visit sacred sites  Jokowi Widodo 199 n20 95–98 Jong Java (Young Java) 28 spread of. 181. 137. 48 Javanese invulnerability (ilmu kebal). 139 jago standardization of 74–77. Embah 86 gambling prescriptions 92 jiwa 59–60 ilmu batin and 9. Si Pitung 144. 7–8 Antar Bangsa) 46. power on 6. 47 Dalam) 146 Jayaperbata. 80 Prabowo Subianto as 185–186 skill acquisition in 71. 197 in Syabandar style 161–162 invulnerability and 151 testing of 62 . Persekutuan Pencak Silat Java. 182 (ppsi) under New Order regime 180. in Indonesia 9 Joyo Gendilo Cipto Mulyo 32 Sufi orders 9.

48. 186. Kyai 197. 190–191 in Pencak Silat 144–147 pre-Islamic and Islamic modes of 9 Made. 31 kramat sites 89 n8 Kartomi. 88. Bapak 102 Kung Fu 118 kebal body 176. 178. 137. 74 Kartosuwirjo 43 n27. 175. 47.Index 235 jurus wajib 75–79. notion of 107 n18 kinds of ilmu. 7 knpi (Komite Nasional Pemuda Mangunkusumo. 25 Kari. 177. Muhammad (Ma Ma Karta Singga. 157. 183. Mochtar 29 Nusantara) 155 Lukman R. Edward 184 152 Lemhannas (National Defence kesatria (noble warrior) 40–42. Margaret 2 kraton (palace) traditions 27. 178 Keesing. Eyang 88. 37 Korea 11. Majapahit. 127. 153. 85–86. Embah 78. see Pencak Silat (knpi) 44 n29 origins of 117–118 . 41. 48 Institute) 189 Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo 31–33 Leviathan (Hobbes) 173 kings/kingship Liem Sioe Liong companies 113 divine prerogative of 5 Linmas (Perlindungan Masyarakat) 194 violence and 178 lottery. Bang 78 Quranic emphasis on acquiring 153 Made Regog 37 transmission of Madurese population 198–199 in Pencak Silat 4–5. 108 Kopassus (Komando Pasukan Kalarippayattu 12 Khusus) 50. 80 Mahabarata epics 42 through apprenticeships 150. 107 n18 lahir 59 Kertha Wisesa 37 langkah 53 n1. 123. 87. 90–91. 145. 89. 105. skills mandala states 5–6. Jigaro 10–11 Keamanan dan Ketertiban) 189 karate. 116–117 kyai (religious teachers) 153–154 Keeler. 95 Kosim) 132 Kartodirdjo. 198 gurus 50. 159. see Kopassus in India 12–13 Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia in Indonesia. 13–14. Ward 7–8. 47. 180–181 kuntao 86. 86 lynching 176. see also under different mana. Christian 19–20 of mysticism Lutfi Hakim. 99. Tjipto 33 Indonesia) 44 n29 martial arts Koentjaraningrat 107 body and power in 13–16 Komando Operasi Pemulihan Keamanan dan of Brazil 71–72 Ketertiban (Kopkamitib) 189 in China 10. Major General 43 Karmayuda. 185. Oyong 48 Kosim. 63 kesaktian/kesakten 107. 139. Sartono 29–30. in Indonesia 92 Knights of the Archipelago (Satria Lubis. Bang 78 Kosasih. 144. 16 n7 Komando Pasukan Khusus. kingdom of 118 158.G. 195 Kubhilai Khan 118 Karyadi. 122. 119–120 kebudayaan 12. 148–149. 184 knowledge Lund. in Japan 11. 141 Kahir. Roger M. 171 Kong Sing (Chinese association) 30 jutsu 10 koni (Indonesian Sports Council) 121. 187 kampung (village) traditions 47 Kopkamitib (Komando Operasi Pemulihan Kano. 168. Lebe.

194 masculinity. 201–202 in India 13 militarism 37. Joel S. 123. 156 Nalapraya. 74 Minangkabau culture 81 Sundanese 34. 140–141 Munandar 32. Ikatan Perguruan Max Havelaar (Multatuli) 41 n26 Bela diri Tenaga Dalam) 146 Medal Sari 162 National Defence Institute Megawati Sukarnoputri 127 (Lemhannas) 189 Memet. 36 Ministry of Education. 74. Kang 131. Sri 103 notion of 116 Mulyo. notion of 57. ‘men of prowess. 145. Corps Polisi government 41–42 Militer) 43 role of Pencak Silat in 2. see also Pencak Silat myths/tales. 111. O’ong 2. during colonial government 30. 52 culture 39–40 violence and. 86 movements 10–13 in Pencak Silat 144–147 standardization of 174 n3 not controlled by state 180 transmission of knowledge in 4–5. 124 mental aspects nationalism Migdal. Musyawarah Nasional (munas) 123–124. ipsi 26. 155. 19. Marcel 13 Schools (ipbetada. 187 41–42 relations with paramilitary 195–196 and debate about national role in. 183. 185. priyayi class during post-colonial Military Police (cpm. 110 191 disorder in 181 mysticism G30S and 189 . of violence 47–48 by 124 n10 motorcycle taxis (ojek) 102 ceremonies staged by 192–193 Muchdi. 171. see Eddie Marzuki massage 101 Nalapraya maulud 92–95. Teaching and Culture traditions and 10 (Indonesia) 27 n1 rise of martial arts and 10–13 miraculous acts 104 New Order regime (1967–1998) modernity 12. 138. 141 Silat 144. 140 amalgamation of political parties monopolization. 186. states and 13. see spiritual/ 45. 116 125 disempowerment of ancestors and 109.236 Index martial arts (cont. 136 National Sporting Championships (pon. 200 in Indonesia military on Bali 36–37 Kopassus 50. mysterious shootings (petrus) 183. and nationalist gurus 50.’ 16. 148–149 Mas Djakaria 144 Mas Poeng (Poerwoto Hadi Poernomo. 104 National Association of Tenaga Dalam Mauss. 33 and development. see also and kesatria 42 paramilitary. surrounding Pencak Maryone. 167–168 Pekan Olah Raga Nasiona) 43–44. 52. mental aspects (Pencak Silat). 157. Eddie Marzuki. 43–44. 31–33. Joyo Gendilo Cipto 32 politicization of 138. 20. 190. scientific validation of 146. 158 13–14. civilizing of 49.) knowledge of rise of. 96. 192. 45. Nachrowi Ramli 199 Bapak) 156–157 Nahdatul Ulama 166. Major General 186 construction of monuments by 177 Muchdi Purwopranjono 129 culture and Mulyati.

186. Pätzold. Ravi Arvind 188 styles of 63–65. 187. 43 n28. 132 pamswakarsa security force 194. 177 musical accompaniment to 76 Paguyuban Pasundan (Sundanese practitioners of. 182–183 Pangreh Praja (rulers of the May 1998 riots and 185–187 realm) 36 national integration and 57 paramilitary Pancasila and 46–47. 193–195. 74 skill acquisition in 70–73. 111–116. 186. 123. 121. see also television broadcasts 177–178 fbr. 158. 41. John 109 (Kopkamtib) 189 Pemuda Pancamarga (ppm) 185. Training Schools for Native egalitarianism in 134. 180 as sign of weak states 201–202. 141–142 48. 45. Kirstin 2 pdi (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia)  Oetomo. 189–191 124 n10 ngolah 59 Partai Persatuan Indonesia (ppp. 78. 186. Sundanese culture and 76. 170 relations with military 196 surveillance under 176. 186. 171 Pauka. 2 116 n5. 136–137 osvia (Opleidingscholen voor Inlandsche class distinction in 133 Ambtenaren. within ipsi 129–131 Nusantara culture 41. 112. 119. 75. 170 Panglipur (Pencak Silat school) 53 jago and 180. 138. 113. 136 Officials) 30 fraternity in 132. 76. Kevin 187 in Cianjur 132–134. 74. military territoriality of 176 Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (pdi)  violence and 17. 192 demobilization of 196 paramilitary under 19. 183. 193–195. promotion of 34–36 129 seen as local cultural practice  palace (kraton) traditions 27. 74. 119.Index 237 identity-based conflict and 195 Pancasila (five principles ideology)  important persons in 113 46–47. see under sport aspects 104 Operational Command for the pembangunan 57. 112–114. 194 Ambtenaren (osvia. olah raga. 158. 202 196 New Order regime and 19. 138. 126–129 ibing 137–138 loss of tradition and 53–54 Padepokan Nasional 25. 47. 192 ipsi during 21. Training Schools penca for Native Officals) 30 apprenticeship in 98 Orientalism 188 aspects of 59–60 O’Rourke. 47. 127. 134 Palat. 196 141–142. 115. United noble warrior (kesatria) 40–42. Pencak Silat during 2. 136. 134 Oyong Karmayuda 48. 194–195. 123. Linmas Pencak Silat . 116 Restoration of Order and Security Pemberton. Uwe U. ilmu kebal and 166. 48 Development Party) 124 n10 Nurul Ahmad Hamdun (Bapak Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia Papi) 161–164 (psii) 32 Nusantara (Pencak Silat school) 124 patrimonialism. 186. 111. 44–45. 79. 197. Hardjo 32–33 124 n10 ojek (motorcycle taxis) 102 Pekan Olah Raga Nasiona (pon) 43–44. see also see also dpr. 194 Opleidingscholen voor Inlandsche Pemuda Pancasila 19. 44. 187. 12. knowledge of Association) 34 anatomy in 101 Pak Tata (Rustadi Effendi) 54.

sport aspects of. see styles 55–56. 80 by civil defence groups 166. 115. see also under musical accompaniment to 139 discipline myths/tales surrounding 144. Mohammad 42–43 sport 45. see also pedagogical standard of jago. see pledges/oaths 191 progress and 117 pentjak. styles of. penca for national curriculum 55–57 Pencak silat course (Asikin) 56–57 transformation of 12. 22. pledges in. through apprenticeships 150. 38. 52 pendekar 33 player. 37.238 Index Pencak Silat radio/tv broadcasts about 56 artistic/performing aspects of. see under schools and citizen militia groups 19 self-defence aspects of. 141. 112. 158. 117. see spiritual/ development of mental aspects under ipsi 15. ipsi’s views on 117–120 Betawi style 166 ilmu. 46. 25. 100–101 knowledge transmission in 4–5. see under teachers during teaching of Japanese occupation 11. 131. 41 Betawi style 65. noble character of 48 penembakan misterius (petrus) 183. 72. 175 spiritual/mental aspects of. 48 egalitarianism in 156 loss of 53–54 ethnographical studies of 2. 61 131. 54. in independence struggle 2. see under different sorts of ilmu in Cimande style 65–69. 36–37. 153. 45–46. see skills deferral of agency in 165. 111–116. see sport aspects 55–56. 170 Perwakilan Rakyat) 185. 124. 67 New Order regime 2. 168 perbekel 6 . 11. 76 students of. 43. 52 aspects cultural heritage and 81. 168 women and 67. 44. 116 skill acquisition in. perasaan 60. 171 30–36. see artistic/ religious instructions and 36 performing aspects role of. Cikaret style 63–65. 146. 37–38. Syabandar style 63–65. 159. 68–69. struggle for independence 11. People’s Legislative Assembly (dpr. 54. 168. 78 post-colonial government 41 in Islamic schools 30 post-New Order regimes 16. 116 teachers of. 148–149 views on and national culture 40–42 of Eddie Nalapraya 47. 60. 117–118. 13–14. 139. 74–77. 117 official recognition as competitor of Hatta. 78 119. 12. 190. 194 as national sport 40. 142. 133 in Cianjur 112 schools of. 81. 75. 21–22 training in history of. 115–116 specific organizations of Sukarno 40–41 patronage in 141–142 of Wongsonegoro 42. 138 of Prabowo Subianto 185 organizations 37. see also under of Suharto 57–58. 157. sacrifices made by 66 standardization of 37–38. 53–54. 124. see Pencak Silat promotion of Pentjak Taman Siswa 33–34 as international sport 5. 121. 15–16. Dewan 121. 170 Cimande style 65–67. 38 courtly 47. 141–142. 161–162 200–201 traditions in 23. 194–195 158. see self-defence civilizing of 48–49. birthplaces of 21 30–36.

see Setia Hati changing role of culture in 27 n1 Teratai disorder in 181 Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antar Bangsa ipsi during 126–129 (persilat) 46. 48 paramilitary under 199–200 Pertahanan sipil (Hansip) 194 patrimonialism of 129 peta (Tentara Sukarela Pembela Tanah Air. 127.Index 239 Perhimpunan Pencak Silat Indonesia pori (Persatuan Olahraga Republik (ppsi) 43 n28 Indonesia. 7–8 Indische Partij 33. 200–201 Homeland Voluntary Defence Force) 37. Bapak (Mas Foucauldian analytics and 4 Poeng) 156–157 indigenous conception of 4 politics popular conception of 5 in Indonesia staging of 188 fall of Suharto 17. 188 as substantive entity 4. Indonesian Sports Perisai Diri 2. 185 Sporting Championships) 43–44. Political Prabowo Subianto Intelligence Service) 36 on Advisory Council ipsi 122–123 pon (Pekan Olah Raga Nasiona. 146–147. 104 involvement in May 1998 Pontjo Soetowo 113 riots 186–187 . 6 Golkar party 124 n10. sakti. National as contemporary jago 183–184. 191 on Bali 6–7 Phasadja Mataram 124 body’s relationship to 1. 41 presuppositions about 171 pdi (Partai Demokrasi and rituals 8–9 Indonesia) 124 n10 of states 19–20. see disciplinary 177 Indonesian Communist Party duplicitous nature of 5 Plan. 74 in Indonesia in jurus Cimande 67. 176. 186 invulnerability and 192 homogenous time 52 on Java 6. 124. pid (Political Intelligence Service) 36 173–174 pki (Partai Komunis Indonesia). uncoupling police from army 194 41 power petrus (penembakan misterius) 183. 34 n14. 123. Indonesian Sports move to Jakarta 40 Association) 38 nationalism during 42 Persatuan Pencak Silat Indonesia (Pencak role of Pencak Silat and 41 Silat school) 124 Wongsonegoro’s role in 26–27 Persaudaraan Setia Hati. Kyai 154 ilmu batin and 174. fight for leadership ipsi and 126–129 45. 171–172. 201 pledges/oaths individual’s capacity to manipulate 7 of ipsi 46–47. 141–142. 99 as centred polity 6–8 of Taman Siswa 33 conceptions of 202–203 Poerwoto Hadi Poernomo. 194 Politieke Inlichtingen Dienst (pid. 125 Association) 38 Perisai Putih 124 post-colonial government (1945–1967) Perlindungan Masyarakat (Linmas) 194 changing role of culture in 27 n1 Perpi Harimurti 124 defence of offices of 35 Persatuan Olahraga Republik Indonesia disorder in 181 (pori. 119. Pencak Silat during 16. analysis of 173 190. tenaga dalam Indonesia) 32 ppm (Pemuda Pancamarga) 185. see also psii (Partai Sarekat Islam agency. see Setia Hati post-New Order regimes (1999–) Persaudaraan Setia Hati Teratai.

148–149 (Harsoyo) 118 riots. see also Sakti Tamat 74–75 Islam Santa Cruz massacre 123. 58–59 Putra Betawi 124. 83. 127. 115 n4. 128–129. 196 Sabeni. Dr. Pancasila) 192–193 151–152. on Pencak Silat 185 Regog. 157. 131. 127. and state hegemony 15 as masculine spiritual power 145 Quran notion of 28 n3. 74. 125–126. passages from 145. 114.M. 175 ingesting of 153 persons considered 93. 132. 93. 138. see also Robinson. 47. 170 Rustadi Effendi (Pak Tata) 54. May 1998 185–187 priyayi class Risjad. for usik 61–62 121. and power 8–9 ideals of 27. 34 psii (Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia) 32 Sacred Pancasila Day (Hari Kesaktian pukulan jarak jauh (striking from afar) 150. Ibrahim 113 authority of 48 rituals. 25. 72–73. 126. 142. 129 168 Ryter. Indonesian nation and state’ 93–95. Loren 5. 121. Elena Khlinovskaya 165 n10 progress ronda activities 30–31 ethical language of 41 Rosano Barack 67 n17. practice of. 180 n8 of sports 10–11 protection rackets 29. 131. about Pencak Silat 56 leadership of ipsi 142. 38 Purnama. 46. 150. Richard 3. 108. Kostos 112 Pencak Silat for the development of the Rifa’i Sahib 65–69. Made 37 Prabu Siliwangi 88 Rekso Roemakso (vigilant guard) 30–31 Prabuguru Darmasiksa 97 religious conflicts. 123. national culture and 12. 162–163 Sahar. military ties 185 130 Padepokan development and 117 Rangga. as national sport 40. 186 . Indra 113 of culture 111 rulers.240 Index Prabowo Subianto (cont. 99. 183 raga 60 loyalty towards 183–184 Rahmat Gobel 123. 106 mantras from 104. Bang 28. 111 127 Pencak Silat and 117 rts (rukun tetangga. 96 use of smi as resource 185 rasa 59–60 views of. neighbourhood pursuit of 47 associations) 84–85 tradition and 117 Rukman. Embah 88. 28. Haji 159–161 promotion Rukmana. 125 Saksono 37 sakti Qadiriyyah (Sufi order) 103–104 achieving 154 qigong. 152 female 145. 36–37 military Rockhill. 117. 75. 122. 89. 42. see kings/kingship of penca 34–36 rules of Pencak Silat for olah raga 58 as international sport 5. see also power reciting of 36. 91. and Pencak Silat 36 prasetya 46–47 religious teachers (kyai) 153–154 ‘Preservation and expansion of the culture of Retsikas. 160–161. 124. 168. 106–107.) radio broadcasts. 78. 83. 183. in Indonesia 17 Pramoedya Ananta Toer 151 religious instruction. Basuki Tjahaja 199 n20 Saini K.

197 155–157 Siegel. 194 Medal Sari 161–162 Sjafrie Syamsuddin 123 Mekar Harapan 61–62 skills Panca Sakti 65–69. 124 School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen Setia Hati Pilang Bangau 32 (stovia) 28. 142. 119. 74–75. Takashi 41 in Pencak Silat shirk 9 Bangau Putih 119 si (Sarekat Islam. 183. 186. 186. 41–42 Betako Merpati Putih 125. Sanusi. 41–42 Hardjo 31 Sarekat Rakyat (People’s Union) 32 Sekar Pakuan 34. 30 Shilling. Sedulur Tunggal Kecer Langen Mardi 32. Bianca 145 Setia Hati Teratai 32. concept of 71–72. 184–185. Yasmine Zaki 196 Dutch colonial government’s 28. 163 Persatuan Pencak Silat in penca 134 Indonesia 124 in Pencak Silat 69–70. 73 Perpi Harimurti 124 in jurus 71. 38. 185–186. Henk 29.Index 241 Santeria 108 Schulte Nordholt. 125 social constraint 48 Tenaga Dasar 151 social peace 179 Tiga Berantai 165–166. 74–75. 36 Saring Hadi Poernomo 155 Sekarningrat. 124 Smith. Si Pitung 144. Satria Nusantara (Knights of the 133 Archipelago) 155 Serat Centini 153 scaffolding. Christiaan 29 Tapak Suci 124. see also Satria Muda Indonesia 125. 128. 118. 125 and improvisation 73. 125 for tenaga dalam 163. 93 acquisition of in Panglipur 53 in Capoeira 71–72 Perisai Diri 2. 30 Setia Hati Teratai 32. 31 self-defence aspects (bela diri)(of Pencak Satria Muda Indonesia (smi) 125. see Satria Muda Indonesia Setia Hati 32. 77–78. Islamic Union) 30–31. Kartodirdjo 29–30. 187 sensitivity. 190 dichotomy between urban and silek Tuo style 81 rural 141 silsilah (genealogy) 87–88. 72–73. 127. 181. Chris 174 Islamic 30. cultivation of 59–60. 38. 118 Snouck Hurgronje. 58–59 n9. 112 Phasadja Mataram 124 scaffolding and 72 Putra Betawi 124. Beringin Sakti 184 32. 176. 197 Shilluk kingship 178 Nusantara 124 Shiraishi. Satria Nusantara 155 Soegoro 37 . Mohamad 35 187–188 sapta marga 46–47 security 172. 187 smi. 80 Setia Hati 32. James 172. 174. 159–161 (Pencak Silat) Soedjai 32 tenaga dalam. Silat) 49. 181–182. 184–185. 151. sara legislation 195 193–201 Sarekat Islam (si. 181. 124 schools Shahab. see also styles Sodiek 62. Islamic Union) 30–31. 80 Perisai Putih 124 in jazz music 70–71. knowledge 183. Ibu Enny Rukmini 53 Sartono. 186. 182. 105 large-scale formally-organized  sishankamrata (Total People’s Defence and 146 Security) 185. 61. 124. 132. 153 142. 173.

162–163 authority student protests 185–186 Special Forces unit. 67–68. kingdom of 118 Suhana Budjana 123 standardization Suhari Supari. Pencak Silat 157. 46. in Europe 182 n9 sovereign authority of 177–178 hegemony of. 115–116 rational for war and 179 Suharto. 103 focus on 60 tapak salancar 138 official recognition of 45. see Kopassus styles (Pencak Silat) spiritual/mental aspects (of Pencak Bangau Putih 119 Silat) 1. 5. 103. see Prabowo Subianto national/indigenous 2. see also schools. 180. 75. 97 Steinmetz. 90. Prabowo. 123. 142. 168. see also under age of 81. 170 Subianto. 139 training in 65–69. 73 124. 25. 94. 161–162 demonstrative 43–44. 87–88 specific ilmu founder of 78. Haji Abdul 88. 61 musical accompaniment to 137 competition standard for 57 pledges/oaths in 67. 188 of Pencak Silat 37–38. 119. 131. on Pancasila 46 n34 176 on Pencak Silat 57–58. 30 polity 5–6. Ibu Tien 25. state in. Gumbira 129 Sriwijaya. 178. 131. 8 striking from afar (pukulan jarak jauh) 150. classic models of 5–6 on cultural inheritance 115–116 power and authority of 19–20. 85–87 sport aspects (of Pencak Silat) initiations into 98–100. Pontjo 114 Steeldy. 94. 168 Sufi orders 9. 177 in Southeast Asia Suhu Subur Raharja 119 as centred polity 8 Sukarno classic models of 5–6 addresses by . 54–55. 117. George 3 South East Asian Games 25 stovia (School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Southeast Asia. 172 Soerodiwirjo. David 22. 138. international 1. 78 Merpati Putih practitioners and 157 Cimande overseen by ipsi 49. as centred Artsen) 28. see also 151–152. Pak 43. and qigong practice 15 views of in Indonesia. 114–115. 54. 121. 26. sovereignty 173. 132. 157 Tuo 81. 166 Cimande style 94. 95. 160–161. 100–101 rules for 58 Minangkabau 184 seen as unauthentic 59 Perisai Diri 2. 119 as spectator sport 60–61 Syabandar 63. Sudnow. 55–56 rise to power of 17 state/states senior adviser to ipsi 122 development of. Mary Margaret 18 Somad. 103 Chinese origins of 119 decline of 50 Cikalong 132–133.242 Index Soejono Varinata 123 territoriality of 20 Soeria Atmadja 38 violence and 16–18. 40. 99 dangers of 58 spiritual aspects of 94. 171–172. Ki Ngabei 31–33 Weberian characterization of 20 Soetowo. 124. 153 overseen by ipsi 49 Suganda. 152 and ipsi 109 Cikaret 63–65. 108 competitive (olah raga) 50. 191. 56–57 of jurus systems 74–77 Suharto nationalistic character of 76 fall from power 17. 70–71. 175. 37 Betawi 65. 121.

Lieutenant General 197 in Cikaret style 63–65 Suwardi Surjaningrat 33 of Pencak Silat. 57. 99 and rival political factions 17 Harun. 85–86. Bapak 164–165 Tomo Pires 150 . 89. Heather 42 in Betawi style 67–68 Sutiyoso. Achmad Bunawar. Bang 78 language 63 n14. 99 Surjaningrat. 41 Syafrie Syamsoeddin 186 territoriality definition of 179 Taekwondo 11 under New Order regime 176 Taman Mini Indonesia 115. 72–73. Margreet van 181–182 teachers Tilly. Tapak Suci 124. 189. 74. 152. Haji 88. 56–57 Udun. 108 Sunan Gunung Jati 105 Kari. Leo 119 in aliran Cimande style 65–67. 83. 177–178 class distinction in 133 tenaga dalam (inner power) 146–147. 33 nationalist organizations of 34 Rifa’i Sahib 65–69. Bapak Haji 89. Bapak 148–149 Sukowinadi 38 n22 Kahir. 175 jurus practiced in 161–163 ilmu batin and 158–159. 74. Lieutenant General 44–45. 101 on Pencak Silat 40–41 Darwis. 125 192–193 tarekat 9. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo 122–123 99. in Merpati Putih 157 of colonial administration 30 teaching under New Order regime 176. 180 of jurus penca Suryadinata. 160–164. 93. 148–149 Cikaret. 154 n6 Tiga Berantai 165–166 Taufik Kiemas 126 Till. 34 penca Syabandar. Syabandar. 78. Stanley Jeyaraja 7 (Draeger) 2 Tanabe. 174. 78.Index 243 on Pancasila 46 Dama. 138 Adang. Suwardi 33 religious 153–154 surveillance role of. 151. Pak Suhari 43. 88. see also Sabeni. see Cikalong. 164 Surabaya 31 Yusuf. in Islamic schools 30 Syabandar (Pencak Silat style) television broadcasts 56 n4. 89. 95. 168 foundation myths 87 Made. 138. Shigeharu 150–151 thieves 190–191 tapak salancar 137 30 September movement (G30S) 17. founder of 132 155. Kang 91–92. 140 of states 20 Taman Siswa 33 The Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia Tambiah. Bang 28. 167–169 teaching of 63–65 Tenaga Dasar 151 Syabandar. Lieutenant Colonel 196 (peta) 37. 63–65. Bang 78 Sundanese Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo 31–33 culture 63. Bapak 166 52. 111. 105. Muhammad Kosim 63 Supari. Muhammad Kosim 63 Tentara Sukarela Pembela Tanah Air Syafi’ie. Charles 182 of jurus 62 Tjipto Mangunkusumo 33 of Pencak Silat Tjokroaminoto 30. 131–132. 142 loyalty towards 166–167. 42 Abu Zahar 184 Tjokropranolo. Uwa 61–62. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 126 68–69 Sutherland. 93–95. Embah 78. 151 n3. 136–137. styles of Pencak Silat. 134 Munandar 32. 103–104. 87. 94.

48. General Ismet 184 warfare spiritual 49–50. O. 51. 19. 163 village 47 Wolters. 106. 49. 117–118. 167–168 Tri Koro Darmo 28 women Trihatmodjo. 194 Wayang Kulit 34 n12 traditions Wayang performances 42 authority and 50 Weber. Bryan 49. 160. Loïc 14 Yudhoyono 199 n20 Wahid. 51 initiations into Cimande training 67 Turton. 186. 185–186 Wacquant. pukulan jarak jauh ziarah 90. 95–98 warrior charisma 49. 172 court 27. Robert 90 culture and 12. 81. 187–189 monopolization of 47–48 Yampolsky. 51 ymca 10 states and 172 Yoga 60 as symptom of absence of order 17 youth voc (Verenigde Oostindische mobilization of 121 Compagnie) 190 movements 28 protests 115 n4. 147. 78.244 Index Total People’s Defence and Security wasila 105 (sishankamrata) 185. Uwa 61–62. Philip 12 see also ilmu kebal. 52. 133 All Indonesia Pentjak Association 38 pori Conference of 1948 38 Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie move to Jakarta 40 (voc) 190 study of Pencak Silat by 28 violence 13–16 wrestling 12–13 and culture 18 wushu 10 as form of social action 17 history of. 122 considered sakti 145 Turner. 95. rational for 179 Yuzairi. 172 . 64. R. 139. Max 20. Zarrilli. 41. 50–51. 146. Philip 40 New Order regime and 189–191 Yan Yulidar 184 spiritual 50. 47. in Southeast Asia 191 Xu. 5. 171 Wilson. 168. Bambang 114. 42 West Java modes of transmission and 13–14 as birthplace of Pencak Silat 21 nationalist movements and 10 ethnographical fieldwork in  notions of. Jian 15 Indonesia and 16–18. 63–65. 72. 16. 61–62. 33 n12 146. Abdurrahman 27 n1. 37.J. 183. 99 war. 132–133 loss of 53–54 Wiranto 187. Wilkinson. 63. 194 progress and 117 wirid 104. Ian Douglas 3. 164 Wongsonegoro United Development Party (ppp. and colonial government 5 21–22 in Pencak Silat 23. 74 Wessing. 120 Yusuf. 93. Bapak Haji 89. 50. Andrew 150–151 Pencak Silat training and 138 sexual violence against 186 Udun. 86 n5. 93.W. 171. Partai address to ipsi congress of 42 Persatuan Indonesia) 124 n10 biography of 26–28 United States 14 chairman of usik 59–60.