The Making of Gendewa; Traditional Javanese archery

Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Pick-up service is not available, however, an add-on option maybe available below to get picked-up at your desired location for an additional fee.

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, the Arjuna's legendary bow given 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 should be adjusted based on the length of the arms. Parts of the gendewa is broken down into several units:

1. Cengkolak (bs.Inggris: handle, bs.Ind: pegangan, grip) made of a light hard wood such as, rosewood, sapodilla trunk, coconut trunk, and others.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Note: You get to keep the bow (Gendewa) you make.

A link to the exact pick up location and the detailed address will be sent to your account email id once the payment is complete.

  • A bottle of water is always a good to have
  • Ask the host to give you a history about Jemparingan/Javanese Archery - its a curious and interesting heritage unique to Yogyakarta
  • Ensure that the bow will fit into your luggage to take home with you
Host: Agung And Friends

We are a small but active community that wants to preserve and practic...

More about the host


Kids Friendly (Age: 12+)
A set of bow to bring home

Host Cancellation Policy

Moderate: Full refund available for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to booking start time.

Host: Agung And Friends

We are a small but active community that wants to preserve and practic...

More about the host