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blue lander 1st June 2015 01:50 PM

Choosing a Ukiran
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I just picked this Keris blade up for a pittance. It appears to be missing the ganja, ring, and ukiran. I presume there's nothing to be done about the missing ganja, but I would like to buy a new ukiran for it from e-bay.

Are there any criteria to picking a ukiran? Should it be from the same area as the keris blade?

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the blade itself looks OK. The dagger beneath it is supposedly from Chad, please ignore it.

David 1st June 2015 02:08 PM

It does indeed look to be a decent blade, though you are correct that the gonjo is missing. I wouldn't say that there is "nothing" you can do about that, but i'm not sure it would be worth you while to replace it since it would probably be far more than the cost of the keris to do so.
The blade and sheath appear to be Javanese. Even if the blade were not from Jawa i would say that it makes the most amount of sense to me to match the hilt to the rest of the dress rather than the blade. The outward appearance of your keris is usually best when it displays one unified cultural identity.
I am traveling at the moment, but i am sure that some of our members will be able to post examples of hilts that would suit this keris. :)

blue lander 1st June 2015 02:35 PM

Any examples would be appreciated, thanks. I looked around e-bay and even the cheapest ukirans would double the amount of money I spent on it. But I think after cleaning the scabbard up it'll look nice and be worth the money.

Sajen 1st June 2015 06:15 PM

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A Solo hilt would be ok for this keris, see attached example.


Jean 1st June 2015 06:54 PM

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Or an East Java hilt, see example.
Personally I consider that a blade without ganja is worthless and as this one is of decent quality as David says I would try to find one but unless you have good contacts in Indonesia it will be very difficult.

A. G. Maisey 1st June 2015 10:34 PM

make a new gonjo yourself, its a simple job that only requires basic hand tools and a bench vice

you use mild steel

not really a proposition to get one made unless you live in jawa

Jean 2nd June 2015 11:44 AM

This 11 luk blade seems to have a dapur Sabuk Inten so the ganja should have greneng, good luck for making it! :D

blue lander 2nd June 2015 01:58 PM

Making a greneng is far beyond my capabilities, but I bet I could make a plain gonjo. Once the keris arrives I'll go to the hardware store and see if I can find a donor piece of steel to make it out of. Maybe a very thick bolt would work? I don't know how mild that steel is though.

Roland_M 2nd June 2015 03:19 PM

I had this blade on my watching list, but i missed the end of the auction. It is a very good base for a complete restoration.

I know a german website, which maybe can help you with a new ganja. If you are interested, please send me a pm, it is a commercial site.


COYOTE 3rd June 2015 01:39 AM

Hi Blue Lander,
Yes you are absolutely right. You are supposed, as a collector, to re-establish the piece as close as it was when it was created. So, probably Javanese - my "nose" says but I can't be sure, around 50-100 years old; please someone more experienced than me is allowed to deny what I just "feel". I would choose a nice vintage wood, simply carved but with a good smooth patina hilt. It will match perfectly I guess, especially if you can find a wood of same color as the sheath. :)

GIO 4th June 2015 04:12 PM

Making a good ganja is not so easy for an untrained person. I personally tried a few times with not very convincing results. Moreover in your case, since the blade is in good conditions, the ganja should have about the same appearance.
You could try to find out a scrap keris with a good ganja and adapt it to your blade, if necessary. This is a method I used a couple of times.
Alternatively you could look for loose ganjas in the Swap Forum. I bet in Java is plenty of such parts.

blue lander 5th June 2015 10:00 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone. When it arrives I'll clean the wood and try to find a matching one on eBay . In the mean time I do have an ukiran from a 50's era tourist keris that will probably fit.

A friend is going to cut a piece of steel for me that I can file into shape for the ganja. If it doesn't turn out well I'll try procuring an original one

Sajen 5th June 2015 04:39 PM

Originally Posted by blue lander
A friend is going to cut a piece of steel for me that I can file into shape for the ganja. If it doesn't turn out well I'll try procuring an original one

Hello Blue,

the suggestion Roland has given you is a very good one, I know this website and the ganja will be worked in Indonesia and don't will be very expensive. When you pm me I can explain it.


blue lander 10th June 2015 11:22 PM

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It arrived today. It's a rather delicate and thin compared to my other keris. It's a bit rusty but not too bad. The tang is really long, too long to fit any of my other ukirans. I'll give it a soak in some coconut water.

A. G. Maisey 16th June 2015 07:59 AM

The material you use for the gonjo should be mild steel, and preferably anneal it first, because even mild steel can have up to 4% or 5% carbon. You anneal by taking to cherry red and letting it cool slowly, maybe push into a pile of old ash or similar. You will find this material very soft and very easy to work with.

To make it you drill the hole and fit to the pesi first, then using a scribe you mark the outline of the blade on the bottom of the gonjo to be, you file the buntut urang end profile from the finish of the blade wadidang, which is just a continuation of the blade curve.

Then you detach the gonjo to be, file the profile of the sirah cecak end, then file the top curve of the gonjo.

All you need then do is decide how wide you want it and using the outline scribed on the bottom of the gonjo you file the angle through to the top, following the scribed shape.

A little bit of finessing and adjusting fit and finish and you've got a new gonjo.

The first attempt will not be quick, I'd reckon for someone reasonably skilled with hand tools, probably about 8 to 10 hours, but it is by no means a difficult job, it just requires patience.

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