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-   -   Talismanic symbols on moro kris blades gallery! (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14086)

Maurice 17th July 2011 07:22 PM

Talismanic symbols on moro kris blades gallery!
 
Hi All!

I thought it would be nice to start a thread about moro krisses, only with talismanic symbols/inlay in the blade.
Hopefully forummembers would like to participate and add pieces of their krisses, to make this an interesting thread!

Rg,
Maurice

Maurice 17th July 2011 07:26 PM

Sulu kris.
 
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Sulu kris, with the blade full of silver talismanic inlay.

Battara 17th July 2011 09:00 PM

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Here is one of mine that has silver inlay of a stylized crocodile on both sides of the blade. This is a Maguindanao piece with ivory, silver, and swassa.

Battara 17th July 2011 09:20 PM

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Here is another Maguindanao piece of mine with Maguindanao okir engraved into both sides of the blade. The hilt is swassa over copper and MOP.

kino 18th July 2011 01:10 AM

I have seen ukkil of vines and flowers, chevron lines, half circles that I believe are placed for purely decorative purposes and I have seen symbols of circles, stars, tridents, cresents, prayers that have magical and protective meanings or purposes.

Where does decorative end and the talismanic symbols start?
Is it up to one's interpretation?

Battara 18th July 2011 02:41 AM

Kino, that is a good point.

I am sure that the "X"s on Maurice's blade are talismanic and I know that the stylized crocodile on one of my blades is talismanic. Remember that some talismanic designs are made of okir.

On my other kris I would agree that the okir might be only decorative (and I may have misread the post :o ).

mohd 18th July 2011 04:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
.. moro krisses, only with talismanic symbols/inlay in the blade ..
Hi Maurice, IMVHO that's not a talismanic symbols/inlay.
Those're just engraved/inlaid adornments/decorations .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
.. the stylized crocodile on one of my blades is talismanic ..
Is it a crocodile or a lizard?
In Malay world lizard is a symbol of cautiousness/alertness.
And that symbol doesn't has any talismanic value at all but a mere reminder to the owner of the item to always be cautious/alert.

Below are samples of diagram with talismanic value:





Hope my two cents helps!

mohd

Battara 18th July 2011 02:35 PM

Very helpful Mohd thank you.

IN the Philippine world, stylized animals and "x"s are talismanic symbols. The "lizard" is in fact a stylized crocodile, a power symbol.

Maurice 18th July 2011 03:15 PM

Battara thank you for your contribution of sharing those wonderfull krisses.
I could imagine that the crocodile figure is for talismanic, and the defoliate decoration on the other kris more as decoration...Which I'm glad you also shared in this thread.

Unfortunately I don't have the answer of what will be only used as decoration, and what will be used as talismanic purposes.
But somewhere in the back of my head I remember I've read something in an old book (which I can't recall in my mind), that motifs, filled with silver or gold inlay, means to be there to strengthen the owner and protect him against evil or harm.
I'm sure there must be more knowledge about this here of forumites and I hope this thread will be interesting which eventually give us a good sight on what to see as decoration and what to see as talismanic purposes.

It seems that I'm not the only one having these questions, considering the posts of mohd and kino..
And this was exactly what I wanted to cause by this thread.

Please share more images and knowledge about this!
I'm getting real curious now to learn more.....

Maurice

Battara 18th July 2011 05:44 PM

For Moro pieces, Cato's Moro Swords is one source that is specifically tailored for Moro swords and discusses for example the "x" as a talismanic mark (p.92 for starters)...........

Other tribes that are not mentioned in Cato can be found with their talismanic symbols in Philippine textile works, like Textiles of the Southern Philippines .............

kino 18th July 2011 06:38 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
.

I am sure that the "X"s on Maurice's blade are talismanic and I know that the stylized crocodile on one of my blades is talismanic. Remember that some talismanic designs are made of okir.

On my other kris I would agree that the okir might be only decorative (and I may have misread the post :o ).


Thanks for the clarification Battara and I agree with you.
That is a nice interpretation of a Crocodile on your lovely Kris ( I don't think I have ever seen that kris before). A photo of a Moro Buwaya pangi.


Mohd, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the "X", inlaid on Maurice's kris. I don't think the Mindanao/ Sulu moros played with the same rules as their Malay brethren. Cato had mentioned that some practiced "folk Islam", in which they tailored their religious practice to fit their lifestye. Thanks for posting photos of the talisman.

Maurice that is a really nice kris. Good topic.

David 18th July 2011 06:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
For Moro pieces, Cato's Moro Swords is one source that is specifically tailored for Moro swords and discusses for example the "x" as a talismanic mark (p.92 for starters)...........

Other tribes that are not mentioned in Cato can be found with their talismanic symbols in Philippine textile works, like Textiles of the Southern Philippines .............

Frankly JosÚ Cato refers only very briefly to the Xs on the spine of a panabas as "ornamental/talismanic", a catch-all phrase which to me seems just a bit meaningless and unsupported. That being said, i am of the mind that the "X" designs on Maurice's blade that curve inward (a very different "X" pattern than the ones Cato notes on the spine of the panabas. I don't think we can consider all type of "x" patterns to be equal) are most probably talismanic in nature. The stylized croc might also be considered to have a talismanic element (certainly the animal is considered powerful), but it seems to me that all these other markings are merely decorative.

VVV 18th July 2011 09:13 PM

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Nice idea Maurice for a good reference thread.
I hope all will contribute so we have as many examples as possible for future references. Maybe we first should allow all forumites to post and then in another thread discuss which motifs that might be talismanic and why?
Here are variations of motifs that I suspect might be talismanic on my kris.

Michael

David 18th July 2011 09:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Nice idea Maurice for a good reference thread.
I hope all will contribute so we have as many examples as possible for future references. Maybe we first should allow all forumites to post and then in another thread discuss which motifs that might be talismanic and why?
Here are variations of motifs that I suspect might be talismanic on my kris.

Sorry Michael, but i don't see the point in having one thread to post the images and another to discuss the motifs.
You have posted some fine examples i think. Again i would suggest that some are strong candidates for talismanic signs while others look to be just decoration to me. Beautiful pieces all though.... :)

VVV 18th July 2011 09:57 PM

David, the only reason was to keep the thread more "clean" - like the mandau face gallery.
Anyway as a response to Mohd so far I have never seen a magic square on a moro kris. I doubt that there is one but I would very much like to be proven wrong on this, maybe in this thread?
The most common muslim symbol seems to be what Cato (p. 102) refers to as the Ring of Solomon (The square with looped corners).

Michael

David 18th July 2011 11:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
The most common muslim symbol seems to be what Cato (p. 102) refers to as the Ring of Solomon (The square with looped corners).

Well, i guess that's a magick square of sorts... ;)
I don't think we will be all too successful stopping the commentary on posted images so i suggest we just let it come and sort it out as we go...

kai 19th July 2011 01:18 AM

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I believe that almost anything related to weapons in their traditional cultural setting (especially personal sidearms like kris/keris) is bound to touch on talismanic functions, magick and local belief systems (which doesn't preclude any features from being also decorative elements and/or signifying status, too).

I agree that there may be features which are likely to be more for showing off than talismanic function (like junggayan pommels and other readily seen features). I'd be very cautious to declare any "hidden" features (like inlaid blades) to be merely decorative though, especially since a lot of the knowledge surrounding talismanic functions obviously has been kept secret and/or lost.

Regards,
Kai

VVV 19th July 2011 05:34 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Well, i guess that's a magick square of sorts... ;) ...


Ha, ha,
But seriously I took for granted that all of you were familiar with the concept of a "magic square", which is an academic term, and other square symbolism used in magic, like the Ring of Solomon. A better term would maybe be talismanic diagram, like Mohd suggested, because usually either the number or letter values in the square (or rectangle) gives the same sum in each column and row.

A very good reference work is the article Islamic and Indian Magic Squares by Schuyler Cammann. Part I was published in History of Religions Vol. 8, No. 3 (Feb, 1969) pp. 181 - 209 and Part II in History of Religions Vol. 8, No. 4 (May, 1969) pp. 271 - 299.

Michael

Tatyana Dianova 19th July 2011 07:02 AM

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I am really sorry to introduce in this thread a non-Moro stuff, but after seeing the Kai's blade I simply cannot hold back :) The silver "crowns" are almost identical to the decoration on a West Anatolian yataghan I have (with twisted core, by the way...) Do somebody know what these "crowns" mean and how can they be so similar??? It should be some Islamic symbol...

Maurice 19th July 2011 06:36 PM

Thank you Michael for sharing these wonderfull krisses!
You've got some diversity of symbols there!

I wonder in what kind the symbols (crowns-liked) in Kai's kris is differing with the almost same symbols as the "stars" that Michael has on some krisses...

Tatyana also great reference to put your image of the yataghan. It indeed has comparisons with the symbols of Kai's piece, but than with a better "finish".

Maurice 19th July 2011 06:40 PM

A Sulu kris with symbols from the Bronbeek Museum Arnhem.
 
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In this thread I'd like to share images of this kris, which is from the collection Beijens, and is now in hands of the Bronbeek Museum in Arnhem.

David 20th July 2011 12:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Ha, ha,
But seriously I took for granted that all of you were familiar with the concept of a "magic square", which is an academic term, and other square symbolism used in magic, like the Ring of Solomon. A better term would maybe be talismanic diagram, like Mohd suggested, because usually either the number or letter values in the square (or rectangle) gives the same sum in each column and row.

Michael, of course i am familiar with the concept of the magick square which is why a wrote "of sorts" and ended my comment with a wink....get it? ;)

VVV 20th July 2011 06:27 AM

David,

Of course I understood that you were joking (= "Ha, ha, But seriously...") but it also made me aware that maybe not all forumites are familiar with this concept.
However I also think there might be a problem when you spell it "magick square". For me you then are not directly referring to this specific concept but doing a personal belief (maybe in a way a semi-religious?) statement were the concept of "magick" (vs. "non-Crowleyan etc." magic) is stressed more than what we are discussing.

Michael

Spunjer 20th July 2011 07:13 AM

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here's another one. green blade and all

Maurice 20th July 2011 10:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
here's another one. green blade and all
That's a fine one Ron!
Very interesting signs! Do you happen been able to clearify any of them?

VVV 21st July 2011 09:00 AM

Ron, your blade is almost a talismanic overdose.
I start with an interpretation of the first symbol, maybe someone else has other explanations or know the meaning of the other ones?
The 2 squares in an angle forming an eight-pointed star follows the principle of the double cross. A cross redistributes evil forces away from you, like a road crossing.

Michael

Spunjer 21st July 2011 07:55 PM

Maurice: unfortunately, no. What I do find interesting are the markings around the handguard. Just below the separation line are half-moon marks from one end to the other, while closest to the handle are bunch of "x"'s that reminds me of some kind of a barrier. It's as if the djinn inside is too powerful, prompting the panday to add extra protection for the bearer (those little "x"), and additional lock (the little half moons). Just guessing, btw... :shrug:

Dom 21st July 2011 09:18 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
The most common muslim symbol seems to be what Cato (p. 102) refers to as the Ring of Solomon (The square with looped corners).

Michael
Hi Michael
you're right if you are speaking about the Seal of Solomon,
but I dunno of any Islamic graphic evocation of the "ring of Solomon" :confused:

I've a collection of more than 50 "Islamic talismanic bowls" Sunnite as well as Shiite
at least I've a good understanding, for what is concerning Muslim symbols, used for magic ;)
here a pics attached for one of my best example, with the Solomon Seal (17th C)

regards

Ó +

Dom

Battara 21st July 2011 10:09 PM

Is it me or do I not see a star or seal of Solomon on the blade? :confused:

Maurice 21st July 2011 10:24 PM

Circular forms near the seperation line.
 
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Thanks all for getting this thread more interesting....I really going to like it more and more, though I have no knowledge whatsoever about the meanings of the symbols.

The circular shapes near the seperation line and on the gangya are very common it seems.
I see it on my blade, as well on Michael's blades and Ron's blade (however different) also.
About the meaning of all these I really don't know, but I can look for more comparison material.

I found a very interesting kris in the Tropenmuseum database, also with these circular forms above the seperation line. It seems that on the gangya it has some x'-s as on Ron's blade, but I can't see it very sharp on the image.

What I also see on most inlaid blades, is that the centre suggests to be of floral motifs, liniar lines, or some kind of waves, surrounded with stars, crowns, arrows...
On top of the floral motives you can find some kind of other symbols.
At my kris in the first post it consists of several "x" forms on the centre of the blade.
On the kris of the Tropenmuseum it is some kind of spherical symbol with an arrow pointing to the gangya, and above that two other talismanic representativs.


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