A bandana: a must-have for every devout pencak silat practitioner. This black bandana, however, is not an ordinary head garment. It is a mystical cloth which is consecrated by the renown Islamic mystics from Banten Province in West Java, Indonesia. Furthermore, the black kerchief features Arabic letterings and powerful Islamic spells. Thus, the famous Banten masters have made this a very special bandana, for it possesses strong magical powers of invincibility (kanuragan) and invulnerability (kadigdayaan).
The bandana is empowered with the mystical characteristics of the tiger. In Southeast Asian cultures, this wild and dangerous animal is believed to have supernatural powers, which marks the importance of the tiger in Indonesian mystical tradition. Thus, Indonesian mystics generally believe that the magical tiger can bestow a person with virtues such as fearlessness, boldness, integrity, and dominance.
The magical tiger also offers protection from and evasion of dangers, making this the ultimate talisman for a practitioner of traditional Indonesian martial arts (pencak silat), or any one who has a profession which involves a high degree of risk. Moreover, due to the tiger’s kanuragan and kadigdayaan powers, this talisman will help one to stay safe from harm, to escape from critical situations, and even to overcome one’s opponent or enemy.
One way of using this talisman is to wear it as a bandana when one is practising martial arts training or combat fighting. In this way, then, the bandana could also be used as an improvised weapon. In fact, this is a quite common practice found among the various local styles of pencak silat in Indonesia. Another way, however, is to fold up the black kerchief and store it in one’s pocket, bag, wallet, etc., as this will help you to stay out of trouble when going out and about. Alternatively, one can keep the mystical cloth at home, and store it in a special place, to protect the household and one’s personal belongings.