Kanuragan is term commonly used to refer to the various styles found in the traditional Javanese art of self-defense. It should be noted, however, that kanuragan is very different from Indonesian martial arts (pencak silat) in the sense that the former is centered around sorcery while the latter is focused only on physical training and exercise. By placing the importance on occult matters, kanuragan thus stands out from most other self-defense methods. Yet each fighting style is considered to be equally effective, depending on the practitioner’s personal preferences and his or her innate characteristics.
Banten Province in West Java is a center for occultists; it is also home of the notorious Jawara thugs. Most Jawaras are highly trained in both mystical teachings (kebatinan) and metaphysical self-defense methods (kanuragan). Hence it is said that they possess various supernatural powers (kadigdayan), such as immunity or invulnerability (kekebalan). In addition, amulets and talismans like this sacred metal locket are used for extra protection against weapons and poison, thereby allowing the wearer to guard his or her health and physical well-being.
The Javanese sorcery locket is made from sacred metal and it contains a hand-made booklet with various hand-written Islamic magic spells to ward off poisonous and wild animals, including pictures of a scorpion, centipede and a tiger or panther. Owing to the magical quality of the spells, the kanuragan locket is empowered to help the wearer go beyond natural forces. This means s/he can develop greater endurance and increase his or her strength through the occult power embedded into the taweez. Moreover, the Banten masters also imbued the talisman with mystical properties that serve to repel evil and black magic. Considering its small dimensions (2.1 x 2.0 x 1.3 cm), this Indonesian amulet comes in a suitable size for women, too.