Friday, June 22, 2012
Kung Fu Koyoke
Two koyoke men who worked in pairs.
Heat up to soften the koyoke
Apply the koyoke on the affected part of the body
In the 1950s I like to watch kung fu men selling Chinese medicine and black plaster. They were always in pair. One man would advertise and boast about his medicine while other beat the gong at intervals. Koyoke was a black plaster made from herbs. It relieved all sorts of muscle pains including sprained ankle. A fresh koyoke could be used straight away. If kept a few days, it needed to be heated up to soften and then applied to the affected part of the body.
I liked to watch the kung fu men promoting their merchandise. It was usually held at busy places such street corners, vacant lands and wayang sites. They set up stall by beating the gong repeatedly to attract people. When a crowd was form the medicine one of them performed some kung fu steps and introduced his merchandise. He added humour in the talk to make the crowd laugh. I had to watch the show behind the crowd. As a kid my view to the front was blocked and I had to keep on moving to have a glimpse of the the front. On a few occasions I was early and managed to squad in the front row.
Time has changed and the traditional way of selling Chinese koyoke becomes a thing of the past. Setting up a stall needs to be licensed and the noise from beating a gong is considered a source of annoyance or nuisance.