Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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kronckew 24th May 2019 08:41 AM

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David 24th May 2019 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I have no problem with a Bugis influence for this keris.

The sorsoran, especially the indented gandhik and boto adeg blumbangan can be related to South Sulawesi, these features are also attributed to the Eastern Islands of the Archipelago, and the Bugis people occupied Eastern Lombok.

However, I personally do not know of Bugis keris with this very dramatic topographic treatment from South Sulawesi, or from anywhere other than Lombok.

I'd very much like to see examples of Bugis influenced keris that had this style of wilahan and that also had inarguable provenance for somewhere other than Lombok.

I know almost nothing about Bugis keris, I have never carried out research in South Sulawesi, so perhaps this style of keris can be found in South Sulawesi, or even in the Peninsula. But I do not know of examples that can illustrate this.

For me this is most likely a keris from Lombok, but most certainly we can accept Bugis influence.

Alan, does this mean that you are not willing to accept a keris made outside of South Sulawesi as Bugis, only that it might be "Bugis influenced"? As we know, the Bugis people got around and had settlements all about the archipelago. If this keris was made in Lombok, but by a Bugis pande for a Bugis person would it not be fair to say that it might therefore be both from Lombok AND Bugis at the same time? :shrug:

A. G. Maisey 24th May 2019 09:36 PM

Actually David, I believe I'm saying pretty much the same as you.

The Bugis originate in South Sulawesi.

They went all over the place.

One of the places they went to was Eastern Lombok, they settled there.

After a time Bugis keris made in Lombok sometimes acquired a style that was not seen in keris from other places.

In the case of this particular keris, I am of the opinion that it comes from Lombok, but has Bugis features, as well as other features that are the result of influences other than Bugis.

So it is a Lombok keris with Bugis influence.

There are probably a number of ways in which this idea could be expressed.

To move sideways a little bit. Wherever the Bugis people went, they made keris, but those keris are not identical with the Bugis keris that were made in South Sulawesi. In the book "Senjata Pusaka Bugis" we can find Bugis keris with stylistic variation that points to varying geographic locations of origin for those keris.

I had a quick flick through this book before I wrote post #60, I could not find any keris with similar deep kruwingan such as this keris has, but there are numerous examples of the indented gandhik, the style that in Solo in the 1980's was regarded by the keris elites as evidence of a keris from the Eastern Islands. At that time in Solo most people seemed to think that the world beyond Bali was remote and savage, so Lombok was lumped in with all the other Eastern Islands.

In "Senjata Pusaka Bugis" this gandhik style that was thought of as "Eastern Islands" by the Solo people, is identified as South Sulawesi.

Then I went to "Keris Lombok", and in this book we can see many examples of extreme topographic sculpting.

There are any number of combinations of words that can be used to classify this keris, but I have chosen "Lombok with Bugis influence". Anybody who does not like this combination of words is perfectly at liberty to choose their own.

Sajen 26th May 2019 10:04 AM

Could it be a Sumbawa blade?

A. G. Maisey 26th May 2019 12:51 PM

When we try to guess at a geographic origin for a keris, we can only rely upon our experience of keris that we know do come from a particular geographic location.

I mean absolutely rely, without question, positively.

I have never handled even one keris that I was absolutely positive came from Sumbawa.

In fact I cannot even remember seeing a photo of even one keris that I knew without any doubt at all came from Sumbawa.

I do believe that there are keris that originated in Sumbawa, and that they look more or less Bugisy. But I cannot remember ever seeing a keris , or a photo of a keris that was identified positively as having been made in Sumbawa.

What I do know, and know without the slightest shadow of a doubt is this:-

Bugis people settled in Eastern Lombok.

Javanese people settled in Lombok, Balinese people settled in Lombok, and in fact people from a number of other locations settled in Lombok, but in smaller numbers than the Javanese, Balinese, and Bugis.

Keris from Lombok sometimes display rather extreme topographic sculpting.

This keris under discussion displays features that are attributable to a Bugis influence. It also displays very aggressive topographic sculpting.

I do not know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this keris definitely originated in Lombok. But I do think that Lombok is a more likely point of origin than any other place I can think of.

Sajen 26th May 2019 08:30 PM

I will post in the next days pictures from a keris I've bought many years ago from a Lombok dealer who stated that he get it from Sumbawa. This blade show some resemblance to the blade in question. But I have only the statement from the seller.


A. G. Maisey 26th May 2019 09:33 PM

Thank you Detlef.

You see, this is our problem:- certainty.

I also have seen & owned keris that were supposedly from Sumbawa, and other places. For many years I dealt with a gentleman in Bali who seemed to come up regularly with unusual forms of keris.

These unusual keris invariably came from places further East, invariably they had been collected by the dealer himself who periodically went island hopping through the Eastern Islands, and invariably they bore prices that I was unwilling to pay.

This gentleman passed away a few years ago, and I have since had conversations with both his wife and his two nieces, who used to work in his shop. According to them he had not been outside of Bali in 30 years.

What I have noticed about keris from the islands East of Lombok is that they seem to be of slightly degraded form and quality, not of a quality of craftsmanship that has risen above the norm, but of one that is struggling to reach the norm. I'm talking here about the Eastern Islands in general, and keris that I have been prepared to believe were actually from the Eastern Islands.

Incidentally, the Bugis who invaded Lombok in the 1600's came from already established colonies in Sumbawa, and there was continuing intercourse between these Sumbawa colonies and the new settlements in Eastern Lombok. Thus, if we wish to affix a Sumbawa origin to any keris blade, this might prove to be quite difficult.

Sajen 30th May 2019 02:07 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here the promised pictures. The blade has as well similar long ada ada, not good to seen on the picture. I've received the keris in bad state, the blade and sarung was restored, the buntut was missing.

Sajen 30th May 2019 02:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
We have bad lighting conditions today, maybe this two pictures are helpful.

A. G. Maisey 30th May 2019 09:01 PM

Yes Detlef, some similarities, as is to be expected.

However, although we can see that South Sulawesi gandhik, and other characteristics that mark this blade as Bugis, the kruwingan looks to me to extend only as far as the 3/4 luk, it is not deep kruwingan as in Tim's keris, and overall the blade does not have anything like the same deep topographic relief of Tim's blade.

I would say it is related to Tim's blade, but not, let us say, a brother, perhaps a cousin or other slightly removed relative.

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