The Kendi Maling is a Clay Jug in the NTB Museum

Kendi Maling is Made of Clay

The Kendi Maling is a Clay Jug displayed at the West Nusa Tenggara State Museum (NTB Museum) The museum is located at Jalan Panjitilar No. 6 and shows a jug whose function is as a place for drinking water among the Sasak people. Our knowledge about the Sasak tribe, the indigenous people of Lombok, has increased. The wealth of the Sasak tribe is truly amazing, from traditional houses, food, and wedding traditions to jugs that hold drinking water made of clay.

Previously, we discussed the Bale traditional house where the floor of the house is made of clay. The clay is mixed with buffalo dung. This results in a shiny floor and warms the room at night. Now we want to discuss a clay kendi or clay jug, a traditional water vessel for the Sasak people which has a unique story and the process of making it

Read Here: Traditional houses can store food

Short Story of Kendi Maling

kendi maling (photo:kompasiana)

At first glance, there is nothing strange about jugs as pottery or household utensils. Its function is as a place for drinking water for the family. Almost the same as a jug in general. This jug has a wide body that functions as a container for drinking water. It has an outlet that functions to release the water inside for drinking. Meanwhile, the number of jug outlets is 2.

The shiny brown shape of the jug has a unique philosophy in its name which has the vocabulary “Maling” which means thief. According to the story of the people here, this is because the jug has an unusual way of getting water into it. The mouth of the jug as the entry point for drinking water is at the bottom. The mouth of the jug should generally be at the top, not the bottom. So to put drinking water into the jug you have to turn your body upside down. Usually, if a thief steals, they will enter through the back door or secretly. This jug is unique.

Some people use this jug as a decoration on the table. The presence of a jug on the table adds a classic and traditional impression to a house. So it is not uncommon for Indonesian and foreign tourists to buy this jug not as a place for drinking water but as a souvenir from the island of Lombok. Now, look at this jug turning into a source of income for the people of the island of Lombok. just like Lombok Songket cloth which is a souvenir. There is economic potential that can improve the welfare of local communities and become a tourist attraction for the island of Lombok.

Read here: The Uniqueness of Sade Village, the place of Lombok Songket

Storing Water in a Kendi Maling

storing water in a Kendi Maling (photo: Pinterest)

Kendi, a typical Lombok household utensil, is made from clay. The main material is not aluminum, zinc alloy, or plastic. Drinking containers nowadays are generally made of plastic. So, why were many of the household utensils of ancient people made of clay? It turns out, did you know that there is research that storing water in containers containing clay is healthy for the body? The first benefit is that the water feels cooler, then the second is that it makes the throat healthy, then the third is that it protects the water content which is rich in vitamins and minerals and the last is that it maintains the body’s metabolism. It turns out that there are many benefits to storing water in a jug made of clay.

How to Make a Kendi Maling from Clay

illustration of making a clay kendi (photo:Depositphotos)

It’s time for us to discuss how to make a jug from clay. Hopefully, it will be an inspiration to try it as a traditional craft. According to some thief jug craftsmen, it takes around 4-5 days to make one jug. It is not easy to make because making one jug unit does not use modern tools but traditional equipment. Even more use of hands in the formation process. but there’s nothing wrong with trying to learn and teach it to the next generation. That way, this traditional craft will remain sustainable. The steps in making a jug from clay are:

Preparing the Clay

The texture of the clay, which will be the main ingredient in making jugs, has a good texture. In this case, the clay composition in it should not be wet or too dry.

Clay Formation

Forming this clay requires tools such as brushes, carving tools, a turntable, water, and finally oil. Additional materials can be included depending on the creativity of the jug craftsman. Then carry out the process of forming the jug by mixing the clay with water little by little until finally the ideal jug shape is created. To see the formation process in more detail, you can watch the video below

Drying and Burning

The jug that has been formed from clay is ready to be dried. The drying process is a further stage after the forming process is complete. This stage takes up to 3 days to get maximum results. During the drying stage, pay close attention so that the jug does not mix with water. Because if the jug, which is not yet dry, comes into contact with water, the texture of the clay will become slightly faded, which can damage its already good shape.

After the drying is finished, the final stage is to burn the jug. This aims to make the clay dense and sturdy. The burning method uses a fire of a certain size. In this case, only skilled craftsmen can do it well. The tool used is usually a fire stove.

Coloring and Decorating

Jugs made from clay that have undergone the firing process are ready to be given attractive colors to make them more beautiful. Coloring and decorating skills also require extraordinary precision. Only people who have the art of drawing can do it professionally. For beginners, use the jug as a learning vessel. Finally, to make the jug look smooth, the craftsman does something finishing by sanding it to smooth the surface of the jug.


The way to make a good clay jug is to practice and be patient. That’s the only key to making jugs that are worth selling as souvenirs typical of the island of Lombok. Not only is it a souvenir, but a jug can also be a healthy drinking container. The water in the jug is proven to be healthy water.

It turns out there are still many mysteries about the beauty of the island of Lombok that we have to explore. The natural scenery, food, and culture. This jug craft made from clay is a luxury on the island of Lombok besides other luxuries. We will continue to update interesting information about Lombok Island tourism for our loyal readers. You can contact us if you want to visit the island of Lombok which is full of beauty.

Also read: the most comfortable car for touring

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