Javanese people call it the term tenggok. This traditional kitchen utensil is made of woven bamboo. The shape is like a tube. The bottom is rectangular. Then to the top in the form of a larger circle. The top of the throat is covered with bamboo slats as reinforcement. The bottom side is between 20-25 cm, while the middle and top are between 25-35 cm in diameter. The height of the neck is about 30 cm.
In the Javanese dictionary written by WJS Poerwadarminta (1939) it is said that the throat is almost similar to a kitchen utensil called senik. It’s just that the look is small, the art is large. However, some Javanese people do not distinguish between the terms tenggok and senik. The throat is sometimes called arty, and vice versa. Both have the same function, namely as a place to store raw food ingredients, such as rice, peanuts, soybeans, and so on.
Of course, in addition to these main functions, the throat also has other functions, such as to ripen fruit so that it ripens quickly, for example bananas, sapodilla fruit, srikaya, mango, and other local fruits. Not infrequently, these containers are often also brought by household women to the market as a place for groceries, such as vegetables, kitchen spices, and others. Another function, along with the winnowing on top, is useful for selling boiled food snacks, such as peanuts, cassava, corn, or other snacks such as pecel carrying, sticky rice, and others.
Not only that, the throat is often also used as an agricultural tool for women farmers. Often this tool is used for containers of freshly harvested grain that is still wet and must be dried in the sun, as well as for collecting dry grain.
In addition to the functions above, it turns out that the throat was also used as a means of struggle during the colonial period. So how are the details so that they can be used as tools of struggle for the fighters in the past? Stay tuned for more in the next issue.
Tenggok is still used by itinerant herbalists in the 21st century, photo: m.merdeka.com
Tenggok in the colonial and revolutionary times was often used by female fighters to put their tools of struggle, such as firearms, food, medicine, as well as coded messages. All the tools of struggle were placed in the lower part of the throat, then covered with vegetables.
This was done to fool the security forces of the invaders passing by on the streets. This method is effective in supplying the needs of our fighters who carry out guerrillas in cities and villages.
Tenggok or senik is indeed a traditional kitchen tool that is made manually. The main ingredients are bamboo, like other traditional kitchen utensils, besek, cething, kalo, winnowing, and so on. It’s just that for the manufacture of this kitchen utensil called tenggok requires more woven bamboo, because it is larger in shape.
The manufacture of the gullet also requires bamboo slats for the skeleton and upper lip. This was done because the function of the gullet is for containers of agricultural products, the number of which can be more than other containers made of the same material and so that they are stronger.
Until now, there are still many craftsmen and sellers of tenggok, especially in traditional markets in Java. Its users are also quite a lot, apart from being used by women in the village for kitchen purposes and shopping at the market, it is also often used by traditional food traders and food vendors in simple roadside stalls, especially for rice containers. Also, the herbal medicine sellers carrying around also use the throat as a container for bottles containing herbs.
On the sides of main roads in many cities, such as in Yogyakarta, Solo, and Surabaya, there are many sellers of soto, gudeg, nasi liwet, and the like, who use the throat as a rice container. The price of tenggok is quite varied, from Rp. 30,000 to Rp. 60,000 according to the size and quality. There is a belief that was believed by the ancient Javanese people, that it was not allowed to sit on the throat or “ora ilok” or inappropriate. Because, according to the old people, the throat was usually used as a food container, so it is appropriate to respect the container. While the logical reason, if the throat is occupied it will be easily damaged.
There is another story about the “sacredness” of the throat. According to the results of research conducted by the Center for the Preservation of Cultural Values (formerly the Center for the Study of History and Traditional Values) Yogyakarta in 1990-1991, rice traders in Kotagede believe that it is better if buying tenggok is done on the “Legi” market and the calculation of “Sri” it benefits the owner.
Well, it turns out that this traditional kitchen tool, which is more than a hundred years old, still exists today. That’s all, because the tenggok has a very flexible function, there are still many who need it, there are still craftsmen, the price is affordable, more durable, heat resistant, and safe for rice containers.