Gendewa is a unique bow that originated in Indonesia from the influence of the ancient Hindu culture in Yogyakarta. Gendewa comes from the word Gandiva, Arjuna's legendary bow given to him by Agni, the God of Fire. Known for its strength and sturdiness, the Gendewa was incorporated into the Javanese weaponry by the Javanese rulers at the time.
While the Gendewa's significance as a weapon has declined, so has its popularity and knowledge within the local communities, however, a small community of enthusiasts still manage to keep the tradition alive through Jemparingan (Javanese for archery), a form of archery that is both ceremonial and a sport among hobbyist who keep this heritage alive today.
The materials needed to make a Gendewa are primarily wood and bamboo, string. The length of the bow is determined by the height of the user while the limb is adjusted based on the length of the arms. Parts of the Gendewa is broken down into several units:
Cengkolak (bs.Inggris: handle, bs.Ind: pegangan, grip) made of a light hard wood such as, rosewood, sapodilla trunk, coconut trunk, and others.
Lar (bs.Inggris: limb , bs.Ind: sayap) made of dried bamboo with a
specific width segment (50-60 cm). Consist of 2 part, top and bottom that is the most important aspect of gendewa as the projectile tool.
Kendheng (bs.Inggris: string, bs.Ind: tali busur) made of polyester (Dacron B50), kevlar dan spectra fiber. The materials used to make the kendheng is currently imported from another country.
Making a Gendewa from scratch takes about a week. However, for the purpose of this experience we have shortened that process so that our guests can still experience part of the process of making a traditional gendewa. Our host will guide you through the final crucial parts of the gendewa making process which you will eventually be able to take home with you.