Semprong bamboo, collection of the Indonesian Javanese Farmers Museum Bantul

In addition to tepas or in Indonesian called fans, Javanese mothers also often use other tools that have the same function, namely the semprong. However, this semprong is preferred to light the burning coals from cool, dhingkel, or luweng which are made from wood. If in the middle of cooking the fire goes out, then to light the fire you can use a syringe. You do this by blowing air from the mouth at the end of the semprong and directed to the furnace hole where the coals are. Over time the coals will light up and re-heat the kitchen utensils used for cooking.

The semprong shape is like a tube with a length of about 30-40 cm with a diameter of 3-5 cm, made of whole pieces of bamboo, both ends are hollow. This tool is very simple and usually only created by users themselves. Sometimes even if there is no fan or bamboo syringe in the kitchen, housewives only use a semprong made from rolled banana leaves. It’s just that the semprong made from rolled banana leaves is temporary and emergency.

However, this tool is only used by traditional kitchens in the past and is now very rarely used, especially by residents in urban areas. However, it turns out that this kitchen utensil can still be found, especially in museums, one of which is the Indonesian Javanese Farmers Museum in Imogiri Bantul.

Samprong banana leaves in the 2012 Ngliwet Competition at the Indonesian Javanese Farmers Museum, Bantul

In addition, it turns out that the term semprong has also been recorded in a Javanese dictionary called “Baoesastra Java”. The dictionary by WJS Poerwadarminta (1939) on page 556 column 1 states that one of the meanings of semprong is “bumbungan” (a kind of pipe) made of bamboo as a tool to light a kitchen fire. This indicates that the term semprong has long been known by the Javanese people as a kitchen tool.

Semprong is only in the kitchen and this tool is usually never far from a fire stove made of luweng, cool, or dhingkel. Very rarely, the semprong is placed far from the firebox. In addition, this tool is not sold in traditional markets and stalls. So, you can only do it yourself.

Source: Tembi

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