Jemparingan competition enlivened the 77th Indonesian Independence Day in Solo, Central Java. This traditional archery competition which became a typical event of the Mataram Kingdom era was organized by Bank Indonesia (BI) Solo and the ranks of the Military District Command 0735 in Surakarta through an event entitled Jemparingan Kemerdekaan at Vastenberg Fort Solo on Sunday (14/8). This Jemparingan competition was attended by around 300 participants from Solo and surrounding areas. Jemparingan is an archery sport and originated from the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate, or also known as Jemparingan of the Ngayogyakarta Mataram style.
There is a difference between modern archery and Jemparingan. Jemparingan has its own provisions that make it unique. The archers for the Jemparingan must wear traditional Javanese attire and use a bow without any tools. The aiming target is not in the form of a colorful circle, but in the form of a pendulum resembling a hanging doll called ‘Nggandhul’ as a target for arrows. Beneath the pendulum hangs a small ball, which the archer will receive a deduction for if it hits this ball. While at the top hung a small bell that would ring every time the netting hit the pendulum.
The archers must shoot their arrows in several rounds, sitting cross-legged. With this sitting position, it takes high concentration and keeps calm in releasing arrows so that they are right on target.
The archers also do not aim with the eyes, but position the bow in front of the stomach so that the shot is based on the archer's feelings. This archery style is in line with the Mataram style Jemparingan philosophy itself, pamenthanging gandewa pamenthanging Cipta, which means stretching the bow along with concentration, and aiming at the target.
In the past, this game was only played by the Mataram royal family, and was used as a competition among the royal soldiers. But over time, the art of archery is now increasingly in demand and played by many common people. In the Yogyakarta Palace itself, Jemparingan games are routinely held every week.