Akar Bahar Bangle, Identity of Betawi MastersBERITAJAKARTA.COM — 05/05/2010 12:54:08
Betawi masters (Jawara Betawi) were not only identical with thick
mustache, black suits and head ban but they also used akar bahar bangle as an accessory. Akar bahar (Bahar root) bangle has a
specific meaning and it gives signs to whoever person wearing it.
Akar bahar is known as black
coral. It comes from a sea plant; it spreads and lives in shells. Black
coral is in a long shape, if it was dried, it would be stiff. High
quality black coral has a hard part like a stone. The hard part of this
root is genuine, resulted from the black coral fossil which has got
Black coral is not a common plant because it has certain functions and
purposes for those wearing it. Black coral bangle will keep the owner
healthy and strong. In physical shape, the bangle will give charisma to
It is not easy to get such bangle. So, those who own black coral bangle
are considered superior. Black coral is taken from the 600-meter bottom
of sea. Before being used, black coral is dried in heat to be stiff, and
then shaped to be a bangle. Besides, black coral is often used for
rings or smoking pipes.
An antique stuff collector, H Azis Munandar, said that such a bangle has
a special meaning. In Betawi people, black coral bangle contains
Betawi masters who were loyal to the Netherlands, the bangle was used in
the different hand so that their symbols and meanings would be better
“If a person used the bangle in his right hand, it meant he was an
inside security officer. Bangle in the left hand meant the owner was an
outside security officer,” Munandar explained.
Munandar said, akar bahar
bangle was used in the Netherlands era. Betawi people who used akar
bahar as their bangle were masters.
At present, akar bahar bangle
starts to extinct. Many collectors hunt it.
Munandar said that he has some kinds of akar bahar bangles. The price of an original and old akar bahar bangle reaches millions
rupiah. Beside an accessory, akar
bahar bangle was an old Betawi heritage.