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Sunday April 30th 2017

Yayan’s Ladder

Culture | Friday 25 December 2009 | sundanesecorner.org

Sundanese men use a 'taraje' to reach a high place as being depicted by Dutch illustrator W.K. de Bruin (1871-1945) (Repro: Panggelar Boedi)

Sundanese men use a 'taraje' to reach a high place as being depicted by Dutch illustrator W.K. de Bruin (1871-1945) (Repro: Panggelar Boedi)

BANDUNG—-Most families in West Java must have a tarajé [tara jé], i.e. a ladder made of bamboo. It is not a main household tool, and yet a tarajé can be very helpful in several daily activities.

A tarajé can be used to reach a highest point or to go down to a lowest point. It can also be used for helping kid or cat that can’t go down from a tree.

Yayan (57), a tarajé maker and peddler, is still hopeful that tarajé will always be needed. Passing through the street of Curug Cimahi, in the sub-district of Parongpong, Wednesday (23/12), he said that people around the residency of West Bandung are still in need of this bamboo ladder.

Yayan wakes up at three o’clock in the morning. He peddles tarajés by walking away from his home in Pasir Kalapa, a kampong in the village of Situwangi, West Bandung. He even peddles tarajé to Parongpong, Lembang, and Cisarua in the area of about fifty kilometres away from his home.

Thanks to his neighbour who has an angkot (a vehicle for urban transportation), Yayan doesn’t always walk so far. However, the angkot just operates three times in a week: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

He does not sell tarajé everyday. However, he said, Situwangi village is often visited by several people who are looking for tarajé and other handicrafts. The good quality of tarajé made in Situwangi has been well known.

This father of three obtained the craftsmanship in tarajé making from his grandfather.

In every peddling day he carries three to four tarajés of 70 kilograms each on his shoulder. A 5.5 meters tarajé is sold for Rp. 50,000, whereas a 3.5 meters tarajé is sold for Rp. 30,000. “Well, that’s my offer to be bargained,” he said.

Yayan said that taraje selling is never decreased. Since 1975, when he first sold tarajé, the peddling has been quite normal. He said that tarajé is always be needed.***

Eva Fahas

(Reproduced with kind permission of Pikiran Rakyat daily newspaper)

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