March 14, 2009

The Sacred "Si Jagur" Canon

The most famous collection item in Fatahillah Museum in Old Town area, Jakarta, is probably “Si Jagur” canon. We can say “Si Jagur” is the icon of Fatahillah Museum. If we cross the yard in Fatahillah Museum we can see this canon standing stoutly in front of The Hermes God Statue. It used to be located on the front yard of Fatahillah Museum, but then moved into the inside yard to avoid mutilation.

This 16th century Portuguese canon has made by MT Bocarro at Macao and appointed to strengthened Portuguese fortress in Malaka. When Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) from Netherland took over Malaka in 1641, the canon was moved to Batavia.

“Si Jagur” canon made from iron with 3.5 tons weight and 3.84 meters long. The canon mouth diameter is 39 cm inside and 50 cm outside with 158 cm circle. It has a serial number 27012 on its body. On its back we can see a Latin words say: EX ME IPSA RENATA SUM, From My Own Self I Reborn. It was said that this canon was made from 16 little canons. Maybe it is the meaning of those Latin words.

The Myth of “Si Jagur”

For many people, this canon has a sacred reputation. Its reputation comes from the 41 cm long and 60 cm circle fist shape on the rear of it. The thumb appears from the fist, penetrated between the index finger and the middle finger. This kind of fist is believed as a vulgar position, and then become a fertility symbol. The size and muscular look of this canon makes people believe that this is a ‘male’ canon. There are many people, especially women, who visit Fatahillah Museum with only one purpose which is to touch the canon and hoping to have a baby very soon. Many people also believe that the Latin words on its body have a fertility meaning too.

There is a myth said that, as a ‘male’ canon, “Si Jagur” has a ‘bride’, a ‘female’ canon called Setomi which is properly kept in Keraton Surakarta (Surakarta/Solo Palace), Central Java. Many people believe that these two cannons must be not meet each other. If they do it is a doomsday.

Years ago, there were some local legislative members of Banten province came to Jakarta to borrow “Si Jagur” to put it side by side with “Ki Amuk” canon in Banten Museum, Karangantu Banten. They believe the meeting of these two canons will bring prosperity to the Banten people.

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