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Gustav 21st May 2018 11:23 AM

Unusual Greneng/Kanyut
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Dear Kerislovers,

till now I have noticed two Keris with other then usual solution of Greneng in Kanyut area. The picture 49 (page 15) in Solyom's book is the first one, a Surakarta Keris, now I have found something similar on a Yogyakarta (?) Keris.

My questions:

Is it the same feature?

Is this a Dha, or just an unusual Kanyut?

A. G. Maisey 21st May 2018 01:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The first keris with the kinatah work has two ron dha, the one nearest to the tungkakan is cut in the style of Majapahit, the one nearest to the kanyut is cut in the style of Mataram Sultan Agung. In this keris there is both a gunungan and a kanyut, the kanyut only refers to the final decline to the buntut mimi, the gunungan is a lump, or hill that precedes it.

In the second keris, the one from Garret and Bronwen Solyom's book, a very complex, but formally incorrect keris was chosen for the example, and this is unfortunate. The greneng in this keris is not well cut, if judged by classical Solonese standards. It is a Surakarta keris, and the ron dha indicated by 2C approximates a Surakarta ron dha, but in fact is closer to the Majapahit ron dha pattern.

I have looked at this greneng under magnification, and quite frankly, I do not understand what the maker was doing. In Surakarta terms this greneng does not make sense. The unnamed form that follows the first "Surakarta/Majapahit" ron dha is a second ron dha and again it is cut in the form of a Mataram Sultan Agung ron dha. The decline to the buntut mimi in this greneng is nonsensical, it means nothing and says nothing, it is a series of little peaks, rather than the correct gunungan and kanyut; the kanyut on this keris is limited to the very short tail of the greneng, as indicated by 2D.

In the Solonese keris belief system, the form of the ron dha in a keris follows the form of the Javanese letter dha, as that letter dha was written at various times in history. The form of the letter dha in the greneng is one of the indicators that can be used to affix a tangguh classification to a keris.

The word "ron" is a contraction of "godhong", which means "leaf", and in turn refers indirectly to the lontar leaves that were used to write upon, by extension the idea of writing is taken to refer to "letter", so "ron dha" is taken to mean "letter dha".

A ron dha can vary quite a lot in form, usually well cut ron dha are identifiable as being of a particular type that can be identified in accordance with a particular tangguh, but the ron dha does not always exactly follow the form that relates to its tangguh as indicated by other characteristics. There is also a lot of variation in the work of makers from the same time and same place.

Gustav 21st May 2018 06:53 PM

Alan, thank you for the response.

I wasn't sure if there could be a possibility to have two different Dha on the same blade indeed.

Under which circumstances could it be possible, what is the meaning behind it?
Is it an idea of legitimation of succession?

A. G. Maisey 21st May 2018 09:29 PM

Gustav, according to what I was taught features from different styles should not be mixed:- you should not make a blade that purports to be Surakarta but contains features from Mataram, or some other classification.

It is OK to make a Mataram style blade during the Surakarta era, but not a blade that has , say, a blumbangan and ada-ada that indicates Surakarta, and a greneng that indicates Mataram. This is an absolute NO-NO.

When a blade is made in this fashion, with a mix of features it can indicate several possibilities, perhaps it is a personal choice of the person who ordered the keris, perhaps the maker made the blade as a speculative piece of work and he wished to create something different, perhaps the gonjo has been replaced by somebody who knows no better. In any case, the elevated point of view is that if there is a mix of features for any reason whatsoever, it disqualifies the blade from serious acceptance.

I know of no genuine cultural nor societal reason for mixing characteristics from differing styles of blade.

Gustav 22nd May 2018 08:09 AM

Alan, thank you again.

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