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Bogor (Dreamland Library) - Lontar (from Javanese: ron tal, "tal leaf") is a siwalan leaf or tal (Borassus flabellifer or palmyra) which is dried and used as manuscript and craft material. This article mainly discusses lontar as manuscript material.

Throwing as manuscript material
Lontar as a manuscript material used in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In the archipelago many lontar manuscripts are found from Sunda (West Java), Java, Bali, Madura, Lombok, and South Sulawesi.

The process of making lontar On the island of Bali, palm leaves as stationery are still made today. First the leaves of the siwalan tree are picked from the tree. Picking is usually done in March / April or September / October because the leaves at this time are old. Then the leaves are roughly cut and dried using the sun's heat. This process makes the color of the original green leaves to yellow.

Then the leaves are soaked in running water for several days and then rubbed clean with a napkin or coconut fiber.

After the leaves are dried in the sun again, but now sometimes the leaves have been cut and tied. Then the lid is also cut and discarded.

After drying the leaves are then boiled in a large cauldron mixed with several herbs. The goal is to clean the leaves of the remaining dirt and preserve the structure of the leaves to keep it good.

After boiling for about 8 hours, the leaves are removed and dried again on the ground. Then in the afternoon the leaves are taken and the soil under the leaves is moistened with water then the leaves are put back so that it is moist and straight. Then the next day taken and cleaned with a cloth.

Then the leaves are piled up and pressed on a device which in Bali is called pamlagbagan. This tool is a very large wooden clamp. These leaves are pressed for about six months. But every two weeks removed and cleaned.

After that the leaves are cut again according to the requested size and given three holes: at the left, middle, and right end. The distance from the center hole to the left end must be shorter than to the right end. This is intended as a marker at the time of writing later.

Lontar edges are also painted, usually with red paint. Lontar is now ready to write and is called by Pepesan in Balinese and a lontar sheet is called a throw.

The process of writing the papyrus The papyrus is still empty.

Every ejection to write, usually given a line so that later when writing does not mock. This is done using a tool called panyipatan. Small ropes are stretched on two bamboo spikes. Then under the throwing throw. These ropes are then inked and pulled. The stretch of rope that was pulled was then bounced and splashed ink onto the palm throw to form lines.
Knife to write palm leaf.

Then the palm leaves that are ready to be written are written using a writing knife which in Bali is called pengropak or pengutik. In West Java, Sundanese is called as péso pangot. The writer actually carved the characters on these ejected plates. After finishing a throw, usually on both sides, the disc must be blackened. How to blacken is done by using hazelnut that is burned to remove oil. Then the candlenuts are rubbed on the plates and the carvings of these characters become sharp because of the soot of candlenut. Candlenut oil at the same time also removes line ink. Then each throw is cleaned with a cloth and sometimes smeared with lemongrass oil so that it is clean and not eaten by insects.

Then the pile of these plates is put together by a rope through the middle hole and flanked by a pair of clamp which in Bali is called takepan. But sometimes the plates are kept in a small crate called the kropak in Bali (in Javanese kropak means lontar manuscript).

Lontara Sulawesi
In South Sulawesi, lontar is also known and known as lontara. The forms of lontara are somewhat different from those from Java and Bali. Because in South Sulawesi the palm leaves are joined together until they are long and rolled up so that they look like a cassette (video or music).

It is said that lontara from Sulawesi is already very rare, in the lontara world of Sulawesi only three texts remain.

Lontar collection storage area
Several libraries and other public institutions around the world keep lontar collections and provide them for researchers to read. Below is given a list.

National Library of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta
Library of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences (formerly Faculty of Letters) University of Indonesia in Depok
Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
Yogyakarta Sonobudoyo Museum
Mpu Tantular Museum, Surabaya
Gedong Kirtya, Singaraja
Bali Cultural Documentation Center, Denpasar
NTB State Museum, Mataram

United States of America
Library of Congress

Leiden University Library
KITLV Library, Leiden

great Britain
British Library, London

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (belonging to the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz foundation), Berlin
Heidelberg University Library, Heidelberg

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

(Inggris) I Ketut Ginarsa, 1975, 'The lontar (palmyra) palm.' di Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs. 9:90-103
(Inggris) H.I.R. Hinzler, 1993, 'Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts' di BKI 149:438-474.
(Inggris) Raechelle Rubinstein, 1996, 'Lontar Production' di Illumination. The Writing Traditions of Indonesia (halaman 136-137). Jakarta: The Lontar Foundation.
See also

Nipah (script)


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