Garuda Bird

Garuda Bird
The Sign of Indonesia

Jun 15, 2010

Jamu, A Traditional Medicine

'Back to nature' is not merely a slogan in Java and Indonesia. The visible proof is the use of traditional herbal medicine of various type of 'medical plants', either from the leaves, the fruits, the roots, the flowers or the barks, etc.
These herbal medicine had been used since the ancient time up to now, it is largely consumed by people of different level; lower, middle and upper, in the villages and in the big cities.
The study of jamu had been conducted by Rumphius, a botanist as early as the year 1775 AD by publishing a book 'Herbaria Amboinesis'. A scientific research for jamu by the research center of herbal medicine in Bogor Botanical Garden, resulting a publication of a book 'Medical Book for Children and Adults', composed by E. Van Bent.
The first seminar about jamu has been held in Solo in 1940, followed by a Formation of Indonesia's Jamu Committee in 1944. In the 1966, a seminar on jamu was held again. In 1981, a book by title of 'The use of Medical Plants'was established to support the jamu industry in the country.
The method of using the jamu remains the same as the ancestors did. Some are consumed by drinking it and some are for outside application.
At present one could buy easily ready made jamu packed modernly in the form of powder, pills, capsules, drinking liquid and ointments. Of course there are still jamu shops, which sell only ingredients or prepare the jamu on spot as required by buyers. Some women are roaming the street to sell jamu, is a common view across the country.


The traditional methods of making jamu such as by boiling the prepared herbal ingredients (jamu godok) still prevail in Javanese society. The popular traditional tools of making jamu are still available in many Javanese houses such as; Lumpang (small iron Mortar), pipisan, parut (grater), kuali (clay pot), etc.
What kind of disease could jamu cure?
The reply is almost every disease, jamu could cure. There are various kinds of jamu to combat different kind of illness. In Principle there are two types of jamu; the first is jamu to maintain physical fitness and health, the locally popular are Galian Singset (to keep women body fit and slim) and Sehat Lelaki (to keep men body healthy). The second is jamu to cure various kinds of illness. Except the above, there are special jamu created with the purpose to maintain a loving family harmony. The popular products among other are Sari Rapet, which makes a women sexual organ in a good condition, as for the man the matched product is jamu Kuat Lekaki (strong man). The Javanese are also taking a great care to pregnant women during pre and postnatal period by producing the related jamu. There are also jamu for the babies.
The Herbs for Jamu
There are hundreds of herbs for jamu prescriptions, among other are:
Spices
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
Lempuyang (Zingiber Oronaticum)
Temu Lawak/ Wild Ginger (Curcuma Cautkeridza)
Kunyit/ Tumeric (Curcuma Domestica)
Kencur/ Greater Galingale (Kaemferi Galanga)
Lengkuas/ Ginger Plant (Elpina Galanga)
Bengle (Zingiber Bevifalium)
Leaves
Secang (Caesalpinia Sappan Hinn)
Sambang Dara (Rexco Ecaria Bicolar Hassk)
Brotowali (Tiospora Rumpii Boerl)
Adas (Foeniculum Vulgare Mill)
Fruits
Jeruk Nipis/ Calamondin (Citrae Aurantifalia Sivingle)
Ceplukan (Physalic Angulata Him)
Nyamplung (Calophylum Inaphyllu)
Barks
Kayu Manis/ Cinamon (Gijeyzahyza Glabra)
Flowers
Melati/ Yasmin (Jataninum Sunbac Ait)
Rumput Alang-alang (Gramineae)
It is worth to note that some jamu factories in Java are exporting its products. Besides the export of ready made jamu, 25 kinds of herbal plants and ingredients are also in the list of export to Europe, Australia, USA, Japan, etc.
No Side Effects
The people like to consume jamu due to :
  • Availability in many places
  • Comparatively cheap price
  • No side effects






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The Abandoned Onrust Island


The Dutch called this island Eijland Onrust (Dutch for "Unrest"). Onrust is also known as Palau Kapal (Ship Island) or Palau Damar Besar. Onrust was the site of a major shipyard and five sided fort that had belonged to the by then defunct Dutch East India Company. The Dutch had to rebuild the naval base on Onrust several times due to British attacks, such as the one in 1800. The last restoration was in 1840. In 1883 the explosion of Krakatoa sent a huge tidal wave that destroyed the last Dutch naval base on the island. During the 19th Century Onrust held a sanitorium for people suffering from tuberculosis and a quarantine station for pilgrims returning from the for pilgrims returning from the Hajj to Mecca. The quarantine barracks took up some two-thirds of the island and could hold 3,500 pilgrims. Over the years erosion reduced Onrust from its original 12 hectares to 7.5 hectares (2002). The administration then built concrete retaining walls around the island but these are now in a dilapidated state.


The Onrust Island and three other close islands, namely the Kelor Island, Pulau Cipir (Kahyangan) and the Sakit Island (Bidadari) was part of the Thousand Islands group that was located in Jakarta gulf waters. After VOC Netherlands had the power in 1619, the Onrust Island and surrounding area were made the foremost defense post to protect the Batavia city (Jakarta). This Onrust Island fortification was destroyed during 1800 resulting from the English attack. Afterwards was built again in 1840 as the naval base, but was again destroyed during 1883 when the tidal wave resulting from the eruption of the Krakatau mountain happening These islands were neglected more than a quarter of the century. Just was built again in 1911, but his function and no longer as the place of the defense but as the pilgrim's quarantine. The existence of this history received quite big attention from the Special Capital District of Jakarta Government.






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Pinisi, The Toughest Ship from Indonesia

The pinisi is a traditional Indonesian two masted sailing ship. It was mainly built by the Konjo of South Sulawesi but was and is largely used by the Bugis and Makassar.


The hull of the ships looks similar to that of a dhow while the fore-and-aft rigging reminds of western schooners, although it might be more correctly termed to resemble a ketch, as the front mast is the larger.
The large mainsails differ from western style gaff rigs though, as they often do not have a boom and the sail is not lowered with the gaff. Instead it is reefed towards the mast, much like a curtain, thus allowing the gaff to be used as deck crane in the harbour. The lower part of the mast itself may resemble a tripod or is made of two poles.
Pinisis may be 20 to 35 meters long and 350 tons in size. The masts may reach to 30 meters above the deck.

The Evolution of an Indigenous Wooden Sailing Vessel

The "modern" wooden 'Pinisi' type has been derived from similar craft that have been in use in and around Indonesia for several centuries. According to some sources, similar types have existed prior to the 1500's, such as the Arabian Dhow.
The sailing 'Pinisi' hull form in many ways resembles a cross between two traditional American sailing vessel types, the Pinky Schooner and the Tancook Whaler, even though the 'Pinisi' hull type pre-dates those Western hull forms by centuries... In other words, in its original form the 'Pinisi' was a double ended hull type, having sharply raked stem and stern post. There was not a centerline rudder however, as with the American craft. Instead the local Indonesian craft in the past most often made use of twin rudders, one on each aft quarter.
Used both as transport and as cargo vessels, the craft we are calling 'Pinisi' (variously spelled Pinissi, Pinisiq, or Phinisi) have traditionally been built on the beach, where the logs have come from the forests of Sulawesi (Celebes) and Kalimantan (Borneo), then transported to the boat building sites.
Historically, several interesting rituals and ceremonies have been part of building such a vessel, beginning with choosing the right trees for critical parts of the structure. Just as with traditional wooden boat building in the West, various rituals continue throughout the building process to initiate and celebrate each stage, such as the all important laying of the keel. 


The 'Pinisi' Tradition

A few clarifications of terminology are in order... 
The Builders:  Although the builders of these craft are commonly lumped under the category of Bugis peoples, there are four cultural sub-sets of boat builders to be separately distinguished in South Sulawesi (per the writings of Horst Liebner).  The primary groups are the Konjo of the southern tip of South Sulawesi (from near the towns of Ara, Bira, and Tanah Biru), the Mandar of West Sulawesi to the north of Makassar, the Bugis from the region near Wajo on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Bone (the central gulf between the two halves of Sulawesi), and the Makassarese from the region around the city of Makassar.  Among these groups, the Konjo of South Sulawesi appear to have had the primary and most influential role as boat builders.
The Vessels:  Technically, the term 'Pinisi' refers to the rig itself.  In particular 'Pinisi' refers to the usual gaff-ketch type of rig.  Locally this rig is referred to as a "seven sail schooner" even though the aft gaff sail is slightly smaller than the forward gaff sail, in fact making it a ketch rig.
Per Horst Liebner, the correct term for the sharp-stern sailing craft is 'palari' or 'lamba' among the Konjo boat builders of South Sulawesi.  When the stem and stern post are straight, and are set at a sharply raked angle to the keel, the hull form is the 'lamba' as opposed to the 'palari' which make use of curved timbers for both stem and stern.
Since the term 'Pinisi' has come to be commonly applied to the hull form as well, we will use the word 'Pinisi' here to refer to the sailing hull type for the purposes of our discussion...
These 'Pinisi' have traditionally been built in a variety of sizes. Although in the past the craft tended to be smaller, it is not uncommon to find 30 to 40 meter vessels under construction, with an occasional Pinisi ranging up to around 50 meters (close to 165 feet on deck) or larger.
The widespread use of a sharply raked stem and stern post is simply the practical result of making efficient use of the timber lengths that can be conveniently brought down from the forest. In this way the vessel can be quite large and still have a relatively modest length of keel timber. Conveniently, it also makes them very good sea boats!
In many Indonesian boat building locations, good timber has become difficult to obtain, therefore costly. Many builders have begun using shorter and shorter timbers, resulting in a compromised hull structure, particularly in larger craft. With many of the ritual ceremonies becoming less and less common, some may suggest that this too has conspired against the longevity of the ships.
One very significant improvement in the quality of available timber has been made possible by the Konjo builders themselves. . . The builders of larger vessels have actually re-located!  Quite a number of the Konjo builders from Southwest Sulawesi have simply moved, in order to be close to larger supplies of good quality timber.
In so doing, the builders of Southwest Sulawesi have literally carved a new building site and a new village out of the jungle in Kalimantan (Borneo). Several new building sites are located in Kalimantan Selatan (South Kalimantan) and Kalimantan Timur (East Kalimantan), on the banks of rivers close to the supply of timbers. It is here that they have been able to obtain the size and quality of timbers necessary for building wooden vessels of up to 50 or so meters in length.
Presently (2008) the boatbuilding sites in Kalimantan Selatan have fallen out of favor.  The most advanced of these builders have sought new sites located farther in Kalimantan Timur. These newly favored sites are in the regions of Sangkulirang and Berau.  When asked about this our friend and master builder Pak Tandra simply says, "We are boat builders. We will always follow the wood!"


There are two general types of Pinisi.
  • Lamba or lambo. Pinisi of a long and slender built, having a straight stern. This type of Pinisi is the one currently surviving in its motorized version (PLM).
  • Palari. Older type of Pinisi with a curved stern and keel. They were usually smaller than the Lamba.






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