Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baju Perang or Armor Dress

           Armor or “ Baju Perang “ in Malays is the ancient warrior clothing. The first armor was found in Egypt around 1500BC. The design shape of the armor in that era exactly like dress and the weight is heavy. At the same time animal skins and bones are used as body armor.In the Assyrian era (900-600 years BC) the used of threads and metal were developed. This type of armor developed until the 16th century. The design of armor were various, some are made from metal chains and have been around a thousand years BC. One of the famous inventors of steel armor is Celtic army. This type of armor is also found in East Asia. In the Roman era this type of armor has been worn during the empire.

Bugis Armor Dress
Bugis Armor Dress

           If we making a research of this armor clothing we found that there are two types. As mention earlier using a metal and there is another type of armor from ordinary shirts made from threads with “wafaq” worn by the Muslim warrior. This kind of shirts was common towards the Muslim warrior. Beside the metal or chains armor, this type of clothing were been used in the Malay Archipelago.

"Wafaq" Dress

            In Silat Seni Gayong the armor dress are made from threads and been worn by the warrior in the old days. There are few types of armor shirts in this ancient art. One of the styles is using “wafaq”. The ‘wafaq” is writing on the shirts and normally it is written in Arabic alphabet. Most of the writing are a charmed seeking blessing and covered from the evil and for safety. There’s another type of armor shirts which are prepared with “doa” and dhikr (prayer and remembrance) and was pack with yellow fabric and sprinkled with white and yellow rice. Another styles of armor dress in Silat Seni Gayong is also using “wafaq” but was sewn with four colours of threads which were red, yellow, black and white. Preparing this kind of armor dress is accompanied with prayer and remembrance.

"Wafaq" Dress
           All this styles of armor dress are part of the unique traditional custom in Silat Seni Gayong. After preparations of the armor dress had been made, a ceremony will be conducted in a custom manner to deliver or pass or submitted the dress to the receiver. In the ceremony the receiver officially were been certified and a dhikr were pass to the receiver to practise and a method or wearing the armor shirts be explained.

           The armor dress normally is worn in a war during the history. In this modern era the unique custom still been preserved and were kept as a value knowledge and custom of Silat Seni Gayong. Unfortunately this knowledge of preparing the value ancient custom armor dress has been forgotten and only a few still keeping the secret and may entrust this knowledge. 

                                   “ Kembalikan Adat Silat Seni Gayong”

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