Amulet / Jimat


Bad Luck Amulet

Magic paper inclosed within a deer skin.

Haikal Kulit Kijang (Empowered Deer Skin)
Magic paper inclosed within a deer skin.

We’ve written a number of articles about amulets (jimat) that are in common use in Indonesia. Recently we wrote about the Haikal Kulit Kijang, or “Empowered Deer Skin.” After talking with an Indonesian acquaintance of ours about that deer skin, he told us that people should be extremely cautious about becoming involved with these objects, because these amulets may bring curses, instead of protection and good luck. This is his story….

Deer Skin Amulet This shows the paper with the Arabic writing which is believed to be empowered by spirits.

Deer Skin Amulet
This shows the paper with the Arabic writing which is believed to be empowered by spirits.

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Deceptive Amulet

A number of years ago I saw a small boy in my neighborhood who was wearing an amulet necklace. The necklace had a small piece of bamboo fastened to it and the ends of the bamboo was sewn shut (just like the Haikal Kulit Kijang we wrote about not too long ago). I asked the boy if I could see the necklace, but he didn’t want me to. I then insisted that he show it to me, so the boy finally gave it to me. I then broke open the small piece of bamboo that was fastened to the necklace, and inside was a piece of paper rolled up, about 4 inches square. The paper had a sentence written on it in the Indonesian language which said something like: “You will die on November 2, 2004.

From what we were told, the shaman / witch doctor (dukun; orang pintar; orang pandai) that prepared and gave the boy that necklace must have made a deal with the evil spirits. It’s assumed that this shaman would occasionally be required to place a curse on people, and sacrifice someone from time to time, so his spiritual powers would continual to work.

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Haikal Kulit Kijang

(Empowered Deer Skin)

Magic paper inclosed within a deer skin.

Haikal Kulit Kijang
Magic paper inclosed within a deer skin.

Many Indonesians have very strong beliefs in amulets, and these objects can be seen in use everywhere. One such amulet, which is usually carried in a pocket or wallet, is the “Haikal Kulit Kijang.” This could be translated as “The Powerful Deer Skin,” or “The Empowered Deer Skin.”

This object is is a small piece of skin (2″ x 4″) which is said to be from a type of deer common to Indonesia (kijang).

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Nail Amulet

Paku Pertama (First Nail)

"Paku Pertama" = First NamilThis is a nail amulet which is the first nail to be used when building a new home, or new construction of any sort.

“Paku Pertama” = First Nail
This is a nail amulet which is the first nail to be used when building a new home, or a new construction of any sort.

Indonesians often begin construction of their homes with a nail that is believed to be an amulet (jimat). These nails are the first to be used when building a new home or any other type of construction. It’s believed that these nails will protect homes from fires, thieves, earthquakes, and anything imaginable.

After being purchased, the nails are taken to a shaman / witch doctors (dukun, orang pintar, orang pandai) who will perform a ritual, empowering them with magic.

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