Nomenclature - Bedog vs Golok

Source:  Amuk Murugul, "Bedog / Golok 1.01"

Today, the terms Bedog and Golok are often used interchangeably to refer to the same implement.

In Malaysia, all Golok are consider to be Parang (but not vice versa).

Initially, the bedog was developed as a multi-purpose chopper for agricultural use while the golok was developed as a multi-purpose chopper for martial use. Through time, there has developed an overlap, such that the defining boundaries between bedog and golok are no longer apparent. As a result, there is quite an array of variants, both for multi-purpose as well as for special- purpose use.

Basic Bedog/Golok Parts:

I. WILAH (Blade):

Consists of eight main parts:

1) Papatoek/Tjongo (Tip):

Two basic types:

  1. Keroeng (Convex-curved forward from the Back-edge to the Cutting-edge).
  2. Kewoeng (Convex-curved backward from the Back-edge to the Cutting-edge).

2) Waroega (Main-body).

3) Tonggong (Back-edge): 

Two basic types: 

  1. Lempeng (straight). 
  2. Bentik (slightly concave-curved).

Three basic types of back-edge cross-section:

  1. Demprak (flat).
  2. Djekong Nonggong Koeja (hemi-spherical ridge).
  3. Djekong Nonggong Moending (“v” ridge).

4) Djegong (False-edge): 

  • Not all have this.

5) Sogokan (Thin fuller):

  • Not all have this.

6) Roentjang (Fuller): 

  • Not all have this.

7) Beuteung/Seuseukeut (Cutting-edge).

8) Gagang/Poepoeroes (Tang).

Blade Shapes:

There are innumerable blade shapes, but all are variants of the following four basic ones:

  1. Tonggong Lempeng (Straight Back-edge).
  2. Tonggong Bentik (Slightly concave-curved Back-edge).
  3. Beuteung Lempeng (Straight Cutting-edge).
  4. Beuteung Ngagajot (Convex-curved Cutting-edge).


II. PERAH (Handle):

Handles have a gentle curve/slope.

Consists of five main parts:

1) Hoeloe (Pommel)

2) Awak (Main-body)

3) Tadah Rema (Finger-grooves): 

  • Not all have this.

4) Wewer (Collar): 

  • Not all have this.

5) Lelepen/Seloet (Bush/spacer): 

  • Not all have this.


Hilt Types

Generally, there are two types of handles:

  1. One which has an Eloek (Curve) at the back of the pommel and one that does not. Curved variations include:
  • A pommel with a slight curve(<90deg. bend), generically known as Loetoeng Mojan.
  • One with a medium curve (approx.90deg. bend), the most common), known as Djengkol Sahoeloe/Djengkol Sagendoel. 
  • One with an accentuated curve (>90deg. bend), referred to as Eloek Pakoe.

The practical function of the curve is as a stop for the little finger, thus preventing the hand from slipping off the handle.

Handles without the curved pommel are generically referred to as Pingping Hajam.

This type is a rarity.


III. SARANGKA/KOPAK/KOWAK (Sheath):

Consists of six main parts:

1) Djamprak/Rombiang/Toetoep-Loehoer (Throat): 

  • This may be integral to the sheath.

2) Beubeur (Wide-tie): 

  • Not all have this.

3) Simeut Meuting (Belt-clasp)

4) Simpaj (Narrow-tie): 

  • Not all have this.

5) Pontrang (Group of abutting simpaj): 

  • Not all have this.

6) Sopal/Toetoep-Handap (Sock/Tip): 

  • This may be integral to the sheath.

Sheath Shapes

The general overall shape of the sheath is dependent on the shape of the blade and can be classified into four basic types, based on the shape of the sheath’s tip. Other shapes are variants of these four.

  1. Boentoet Loebang (hemi-spherical with a lip along its circumference)
  2. Oedjoeng Toeroen (tip cut in a straight slope)
  3. Mear Sopakan (tip cut like the letter “s” at an angle)
  4. Demprak (flat).


Bedog / Golok Parts (1)

Bedog / Golok Parts (1)

Bedog / Golok Parts (2)

Bedog / Golok Parts (2)

Notes:

- Length: bedog/golok, approx. 40-42 cm.

bedog/golok pandjang, >42 cm.

- Betekok: a short, wide-bladed chopper

- Bendo: n.i.d.; no Soenda I've spoken to had any idea either. However, I did manage to find a Betekok from Bogor/Buitenzorg described as 'Bendo' in an old Dutch magazine.

- Gobang: a long chopper, usually with a curved blade.