Monday, March 23, 2009

Gasing Lipat Kajang (Lipat Kajang top)

The Lipat Kajang gasing (top) is a special top, smooth round bodied, perfectly made slight hill inclined flat head, and tapering tail with a hard metal fulcrum. Unlike other tops which we may see somewhere else, where they are mostly flat bodied plate like, a bigger diameter and with very slight inclined flat head (the head looks almost flat because the body is plate liked). To the best of my knowledge, the Lipat Kajang top (gasing) are mostly to be found in the State of Pahang, Malaysia but the flat bodied plate like tops are in Kelantan. But I stand to be challenged.

The Lipat Kajang tops (gasing) were mostly made and played by the youth of Pahang (correct me if I am not telling the truth) in the old days with competitions held more so during the ‘padi’ harvesting season. The tops are normally played in teams, competing around a rounded court (on hard ground), with one side (say team A) spinning their tops in the court and the other team (say team B) to topple (pangkah=Malay) the spinning tops (gasing) of the opponents (A) in that rounded hard earth court, and at the same time making the tops of B to spin in the rounded court after hitting the targeted ‘A’s top. Any of the opponent’s top (A) not topple (pangkah = Malay) will then compete with the spin period of attacking side B spinning tops. In most cases team A tops may loose because it was spinned earlier but cases have been known where Team A’s tops may win in the after spin because team B’s tops when attacking have not been made to spin that well.

The other objective of the attack, other than toppling (pangkah=Malay) team A’s tops is to break the top of the opponent (A) in the court, break means physically break the team A’s top into halves or even into pieces. But I am not sure how the points are counted, and how the winning points are calculated. To the best of my knowledge, breaking the opponents (A) top is just for fun but the long spin of each top are considered as ‘winning’.

The game can go on for a few days. And to the best of my knowledge prizes are given to the winning team. Maybe a small silver cup (in those days). And bettings are never allowed in those days (I do not know about it now).

This is how the Lipat Kajang top looks like.

Its made from very hard wood or the core of the hard wood. Note the flat downhill inclined head, and increasing diameter concentric circle on the inclined head to help grip the spinning cord and the rounded smooth well balance body and the tapering tail end with a metal fulcrum at the very bottom end. How do they spine the top? With a specially made cord, special material, hand spun, with one end fatter than the tapering end, the tapering end used as to start the wrapping of the cord at the top outer diameter of the mid-hill at the top and the fat end at the outer side of the top as you go on wrapping and tightening the cord.

This also needs a special skill or else the spinning cord may just become loose. See the ring of the cord at the fat end of the cord? That is for putting the fat end of the cord to your 5th finger (the little finger) to anchor the cord when spinning.

A well balanced top, a good and well made cord with good material spinning cord, a good spinner and a well made top will stand the test of time, and will even spin on a hard table top for a period of between 5 to 10 minutes. See the spinning top (gasing) photo.

And Lipat Kajang youths of those days used to the best in their hobby (it was never a profession) and could beat any spinning ‘Lipat Kajang’ top team in all the Malay villages nearby. (and I am not boasting)

Lipat Kajang people (or decendents) are encouraged to participate& contribute (Orang Lipat Kajang, atau keturunan, di jemput memberi sumbangan idea)

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