The Sharpest and Deadliest Weapon in Bali
The sharpest weapon in Bali is not for human, or used by human. Taji, the sharpest and deadliest weapon in Bali is used by a rooster in a cockfighting arena. A taji is a tiny, razor-sharp dagger; 11-15 centimeters (4-6 in.) from tip to tip. The blade is thin, sometimes wavy and diamond-shaped in cross section, and terminates in an unsharpened, rounds handle, which is attached to the rooster strongest leg below the spur with twine. This weapon is usually carried in leather or wooden case called a kupak, that contains half a dozen or so different sizes of the taji.
In the old days, the raw material for taji was broken automobile springs, and the blades were straight and shaped like stilettos. Nowadays many smiths use pieces cut from hard, tough, industrial-size hacksaw blades with many variation in shape and size. Taji is made with utmost attention and care by the blacksmith (pande). An auspicious day is chosen to start the project, a small offering is needed to ensure the deadliness of the taji. Some taji is forged with charcoal from a tree that has been struck by lightning to give the magical power to the taji.
Balinese believes that the taji must be handled in great care to preserve its magical power. Menstruating woman and a member of a family in which there has been a recent death must not touch it since they are in impure state (sebel). It may only be sharpened at an auspicious day with a proper offering with a secret method that transferred within the family. Some taji are considered as powerful as kris dagger.
The large amount of bet in cockfighting (tajen) is the most important factor why a taji need to be extremely sharp. In a big cockfighting match, rice field, house, and large sum of money are at stake, and the sharpest taji will contribute a great deal to the victory. A poison may be added in the making of taji in order to stop the coagulation of the blood. The wound inflicted by this poisonous taji will bleed continuously. The deadliest moment in cockfighting scene is when a rooster is refused to fight and running around the arena with a taji attached on its leg. The razor-sharp taji is capable of inflicting severe injuries among the legs of the spectators.
The Balinese consider the taji is deadlier than the Kris, since it sharper than Kris and it is used by an animal with insufficient intelligence on how to handle it properly.