It all began with a dream to gather all data about ancient scripts used in Nusantara. The dream ignited the idea to create an interactive map containing information and data of massively collected ancient scripts.
The idea came up thanks to our awareness of the limited accessibility of the Nusantara scripts data for research purpose. Another reason, of course, is the declining amount of people having enthusiasm in learning about scripts and their writing medium like manuscript and inscription.
The excitement to share the information about ancient scripts grew rapidly. The inception of open scripts class called Kelas Aksakun since 2009 in Bandung increased the spirit and the knowledge itself to keep sharing and popularizing these Nusantara ancient scripts to the public of many generations through an accessible web-based medium.
This informative and interactive website is, besides locating the living place of ancient scripts, aiming to invite people to learn about them through an exciting game. Also, we hope the people will become well-informed and appreciate the activities we have been through.
aksakun.org is the work of a group of young people who see the scripts with their own interests. Ancient scripts used by the people of Nusantara since the fifth century is a manifestation of old cultural creativity that lived in this country, the creativity that is influenced by cultural, economic, politic, religious, and other elements.
If we observe the timeline, the Nusantara scripts happen to have several usage periods and developments in Nusantara. The scripts keep enduring or are replaced along with the cultural changes, under strong powers of authority affecting or dominating history. Nowadays, for example, Nusantara is dominated by the Latin script, one that has its own story back when the European people colonized Nusantara in the 16th century.
Aksakun is the acronym of aksara kuna (ancient script) Nusantara, so the scope of our activities is to collect scripts data that ever emerged and were used in Nusantara. The main content of aksakun.org is about the scripts written in manuscripts and inscriptions, because those two cultural artifacts prevail to document their ages and still can be found at the present time everywhere in Nusantara.
Manuscripts and inscriptions available in this website mostly have been recorded by museums, researchers, or regional or central libraries. However, some of them have never been touched, observed, or recorded because they are still kept privately within society.
The recording process of manuscripts and inscriptions that has been carried on uses literature review firstly by reading ancient scripts catalogues and books containing information about inscriptions published since the colonization age.
Later on, the physical research has been carried on by observing fields like museums, libraries, or private places like people’s houses. The next step is to complete the existing data (from former researchers) or to write from the beginning when there is no information already obtained at all. After that, the process of documentation is done by capturing the images of the manuscripts by the permission of the owners and asking permission to publish the images in the form of a catalogue or preliminary information like in this website.
The study and analysis of scripts as ancient manuscripts is the object of philology. In ancient manuscripts are great works from the ancestors. Their literature contains knowledge like history, custom, myth, medical recipe, art, tradition, prophecy, calendar, mantras, and so on. Although ancient manuscripts contain such a rich and useful knowledge, philology is actually a marginalized, unpopular discipline, because it is considered an old-fashioned, uninteresting subject.
On the other hand, the study of scripts as inscriptions is one of the archeological research objects, particularly paleography, which is about observing scripts and epigraphs (study that examines sculptured scripts on rocks, pieces of copper, etc.). Nowadays, there are but a few archeologists in Nusantara who master paleography or epigraphy.
The aksakun.org logo displayed in this website is a Palmyra palm tree with a rock inscription as the background. Palmyra palm tree and rock are writing means used by Nusantara people. Thus, the main objective of aksakun.org is not just delivering data as complete as possible, but also collecting the variety of scripts written both in ancient manuscripts and as rock inscriptions that are spread on the whole territory of Nusantara, so the dream of scripts mapping can be realized and the public can be acquainted with many kinds of scripts which are the cultural heritage from the ancestors. Finally, it will make the attitude of respect toward the scripts grow, and preserve their existence in public sphere. Yes, it all begins by making acquaintance, and continues by understanding, so will appear a call for responsibility to get involved to preserve it all.
Hope this will be useful!
“The Poster and Launcher of Website aksakun.org”
*Translated by Mohamad Noor Rizal
*Edited by Ludovic Régis Sérou