The kujang is a traditional Indonesian weapon native to the Sundanese people of West Java. Just like the keris and many other Indonesian cultural artifacts, the kujang is filled with mystery. It is a traditional custom for the Sundanese to look after the kujang as their precious family pusaka (heirloom). However, the knife also plays an important role in pencak silat, i.e. traditional Indonesian martial arts. But its main function is that of a ritual instrument, for indeed, the kujang is primarily used for ceremonial purposes. It is believed that the blade of the kujang possesses supernatural powers which can protect the owner from situations of bad luck and misfortune. Therefore, the kujang knife has great spiritual value as well as cultural importance to the Sundanese people and to the Indonesian culture as a whole.
The characteristic shape of the blade represents the island of Java as it appeared to Prabu Kuda Lelean–the great Sundanese ruler of the Pajajaran Kingdom–in a clear mental vision whilst in a deep meditative state. On the upper-side of the blade there are three holes symbolizing the Great Trinity of Hindu gods (Sanskrit: trimūrti) Viṣṇu, Śiva and Brahmā. Though in later times, after the arrival of Islam in Java, the distinctive form of the blade was reinterpreted by Sundanese Muslims, who recognized a striking resemblance between the kujang and the sacred Arabic letter šīn (س).
In order to enhance the magical force contained within the kujang, Sundanese people often like to anoint the sacred iron blade with magical oils, as can also be clearly seen from the traces of wet oil in the picture above. Anointing the blade with pusaka oil also allows it to absorb the smoke of burning incense. This is believed to empower the talismanic knife with the blessings of burnt offerings. Hence, this authentic Sundanese amulet is endowed with magical qualities of protection, good luck and fortune. Furthermore, the talismanic knife is easy to carry along in one’s pocket or in a pusaka bag, which means the mystical powers are always readily available wherever you may be.