For Javanese children today, it is probably very rare for people to know siwur, and perhaps never even heard of its name. However, the older generation of Java, or the ancestors of the Javanese people, are already very familiar with siwur. This is one of the kitchen tools that serves to take water from a barrel or other water reservoir. Siwur is the same as dipper in Indonesian.

Siwur is usually made of coconut shell with a bamboo handle. The coconut shell used is at least half more. In one of the top holes. Then in the middle a hole is made as a place to insert and tie the bamboo handle. The shape is very simple. But its existence is so important in the kitchen.

Based on the recording of a Javanese dictionary called “Baoesastra Djawa” written by WJS Poerwadarminta published in 1939, on page 566 column 2 it is stated, siwur is “cidhuk sing digawe saka bathok lsp digarani” (in Javanese). In Indonesian it more or less means ‘a dipper made of coconut shells and the like with a handle attached to it’.

Siwur above the lincak

The recording of siwur in the dictionary indicates that long before that year, the Javanese had used siwur as a water scoop, part of kitchen utensils. Until now, some Javanese people, especially those in rural areas, still use siwur as a kitchen utensil.

However, like other traditional kitchen utensils, siwur has also experienced developments, especially in the material it is made from. Due to the changes and developments of the times, siwur is not only made of coconut shells, but also made of other materials.

Nowadays, siwur can still be found, especially in rural areas and in traditional markets. However, its existence has begun to be pressed by modern siwur or dippers made from stronger raw materials, such as plastic, stenlis and other types of metal. In addition to technological developments, modern dippers are considered more practical and durable.

Siwur is made into a Nini Thowong doll, a collection of the Indonesian Javanese Farmers Museum, Imogiri, Bantul, Yogyakarta

In general, housewives use siwur until this tool is damaged. Damage generally occurs in the “syndicate” or fastener siwur. If the syndicates are damaged or missing, they are usually easy to replace yourself. However, if the coconut shell is damaged, such as broken or cracked, it must be replaced with a new siwur.

The main function of siwur is indeed as a tool to take water. But in ancient Javanese society, siwur could also have another function, namely as a property to make Nini Thowong. Nini thowong is a traditional Javanese performance that uses puppets to enter the spirit. The doll that is possessed by the spirit can dance to the accompaniment of the gamelan.

Source: Tembi 1 and Tembi 2