Public Art: Si Jagur Cannon
Nicknames: Mushroom cannon, porn cannon, Mr Fertility
Designed By: Manuel Tavares Baccaro
Date Unveiled: 15th Century
Description: The Meriam Si Jagur cannon is 3.85m long and weighs 3.5 tons. Its most famous feature is the clenched hand protruding from one end.
Location: The Si Jagur cannon is located in Fatahillah square in Kota, West Jakarta, Indonesia
Ex me ipsa renata sum
(Out of myself I was reborn)
History: The cannon was made by a Portuguese man named Manuel Tavares Baccaro in Macau, China c.15th century. It was recast from 16 small cannons. The Portuguese then took the cannon to Melaka, in Macau and placed it in the St Jago de Barra fortress.
When the Portuguese took control of Malacca in the early 16th century the cannon was taken to Malacca before being shipped to Jakarta (Batavia) by the Dutch in 1641. The cannon was used to guard the port and then later to a location near Jalan Tongkol.
By 1810 the cannon had been abandoned.
The Si Jagur is believed to have a twin cannon, Ki Amuk, that belongs to the Sultanate of Banten. That cannon resides in the courtyard of the Banten Grand Mosque.
The Infertility Legend: For many, the Si Jagur is just a very old cannon with an ornate design but for many Indonesian women the cannon provides hope of fertility.
This belief stems from the symbol found at the end of the cannon. A clenched hand protruding, with the thumb placed between the index and middle finger. This is believed to be an ancient Roman symbol for intercourse called Mano in Fica (fig hand) due to the resemblance to the female genitalia. Women can often be seen laying flowers in front of the cannon or even sitting on the cannon in the hope of falling pregnant.
The Doomsday Legend: According to another legend when a man named Si Jagur died he was transformed into a cannon. When his wife died she too was turned into a cannon. As legend has it if the two cannons should ever be placed side by side a disaster would befall the world.