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Maluku's Kalawai

Maluku Kalawai

"Bulan pake paying tuturuga batalor
Nona dari Ambon datang kaweng di kantor
Kaweng bae bae, jangan laki bakalai
Kalo laki bakalai tikam dia deng kalawai

Ole sio…sio…sayang eee"


The part of the song above is one of the Maluku folk songs that tells about a warning not to disturb a girl. But the focus of the song lyrics above is a Kalawai word which is a typical Moluccas weapon. Kalawai is part of the culture as well as the daily life of the people of Maluku who are still used today.

The word Kalawai consists of two syllables Kala which means tikam, and Wai which means water. Kalawai can be interpreted as a tool used to make stabs in water. in the true sense, kalawai is a weapon used to hunt for fish or any animal in the water. Usually those who use kalawai are fishermen who depend on their lives from the sea or river.

Judging from its physical form, Kalawai is a spear. it's just that the paper is longer and usually uses bamboo for its grip. Another most striking difference is the tip of the Kalawai which consists of small iron sharpened sharply. The iron is tied circularly to bamboo and is very sharp. usually on spears, we only find one spear eye, but for kalawai it usually uses three spear eyes and a trident-like glance.

Maluku Kalawai
Maluku Kalawai

A fisherman in Maluku, usually leaves for fishing at night. this is done because at night the movement of fish is limited so it is easier to catch. The fishermen departed armed with kalawai and some bait. after being in the middle of the sea or river, fishermen spread bait first so that the fish gathered near the boat. In addition, to obtain maximum results, fishermen usually use petromak lights to attract fish near the boat. just for information, fish usually like areas that have lighting. When there are many fish approaching, the fisherman will use the fish to spear the fish. this will be done quickly and easily because the fisherman has already created a condition where many fish gather.

Kalawai is an indigenous tradition of the people of Maluku, especially those who live in river and sea waters. now this tradition is still quite awake, but it is not impossible that one day this culture will be abandoned. Something unique and authentic deserves to be preserved, and Kalawai is a very unique indigenous tradition of Maluku. Therefore, the government and the people of Maluku should have taken part in preserving this culture, for the sake of Indonesia's rich future.