Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   "Armour Piercing Keris" ??? (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22171)

Kulino 21st December 2016 06:39 PM

I understand. The thing is that I have never made the connection between quality and a welded of separate mentuk. I tend to look at the material, the finish and the sound pitch of the metal. Let's here what Alan has to say about this.

A. G. Maisey 21st December 2016 09:02 PM

When I say that this tombak is of lower quality because the metuk was carved integrally with the blade, the standard I am using is a Javanese standard:- it is their weapon, their art, their icon:- they make the rules.

Its a bit like the Japanese sword thing:- a person from a different cultural background cannot presume to set the quality rules for Japanese swords; similarly only the Javanese can set the quality rules for Javanese weapons.

But we have a bit of a problem here, because there are tombak that come from other areas of Indonesia where the metuk iras is usual, so obviously those people do not consider metuk iras to be inferior.

On the other hand, Javanese culture is now, has been been for at least 700 years, the dominant culture in Maritime S.E. Asia, a fact that gets a lot of people upset. So the Javanese standards tend to supplant other local standards in many ways.

In the world of tosan aji it seems to me that since the revival of keris culture beginning in the 1970's, and which began in Jawa, Javanese standards and terminology have pretty much replaced whatever understanding of tosan aji existed in other areas in the past.

Thus we have a question:- does a collector of tosan aji who is based in a western culture need to observe Javanese standards, or does he invent his own standards?

My opinion, and it is only an opinion, is that if this collector is just a collector of objects he can be perfectly at liberty to adopt whatever standards he wishes. However, if he wants to understand that which he collects then he must adopt the standards of the culture and society from which the object comes. This then becomes a personal choice:- collect things, or understand things? Its up to the individual.

The line of thought that might apply to the distinction between metuk iras and and a separately made metuk is similar to the line of thought that applies to the gonjo of a keris. There are societal and cultural elements involved.

The metuk of a tombak is mechanically fixed in place, not welded.

David 22nd December 2016 02:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
The metuk of a tombak is mechanically fixed in place, not welded.

Thanks Alan. I neither own, nor have yet to personally handle a tombak or blade with a metuk, so i have no first hand experience. The welded comment was simply an off hand remark to suggest that it was indeed "fixed in place". Is this done with a pinning technique of some sort?

Kulino 22nd December 2016 02:33 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
When I say that this tombak is of lower quality because the metuk was carved integrally with the blade, the standard I am using is a Javanese standard:- it is their weapon, their art, their icon:- they make the rules.

Its a bit like the Japanese sword thing:- a person from a different cultural background cannot presume to set the quality rules for Japanese swords; similarly only the Javanese can set the quality rules for Javanese weapons.

But we have a bit of a problem here, because there are tombak that come from other areas of Indonesia where the metuk iras is usual, so obviously those people do not consider metuk iras to be inferior.

On the other hand, Javanese culture is now, has been been for at least 700 years, the dominant culture in Maritime S.E. Asia, a fact that gets a lot of people upset. So the Javanese standards tend to supplant other local standards in many ways.

In the world of tosan aji it seems to me that since the revival of keris culture beginning in the 1970's, and which began in Jawa, Javanese standards and terminology have pretty much replaced whatever understanding of tosan aji existed in other areas in the past.

Thus we have a question:- does a collector of tosan aji who is based in a western culture need to observe Javanese standards, or does he invent his own standards?

My opinion, and it is only an opinion, is that if this collector is just a collector of objects he can be perfectly at liberty to adopt whatever standards he wishes. However, if he wants to understand that which he collects then he must adopt the standards of the culture and society from which the object comes. This then becomes a personal choice:- collect things, or understand things? Its up to the individual.

The line of thought that might apply to the distinction between metuk iras and and a separately made metuk is similar to the line of thought that applies to the gonjo of a keris. There are societal and cultural elements involved.

The metuk of a tombak is mechanically fixed in place, not welded.


So to get this straight I've added three tombak.
One with a missing mentuk, one with a mentuk iras and one with a seperately made mentuk. Correct? Is the one with the 'missing'mentuk intended to go without?

kai 22nd December 2016 04:13 PM

Hello K! ;)

Regarding the tombak with kinatah, it looks like the pamor might be continuing onto the metuk - could this be iras construction, too? (The kinatah obscures the lamination a bit and closely examining this tombak should help to resolve this.)

Regards,
Kai

Kulino 22nd December 2016 04:35 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hi K! :)
Looks like it. The kinatah looks genuine. The tombak looks like a quality object. Wutuh, sepuh and maybe even a bit tanggu. If this is the case this could support the idea that there might be tombak of quality with mentuk iras. The tombak now showing has seperate metuk with the same kinatah.
(Maybe less intricate)

kai 22nd December 2016 05:13 PM

Hello Kulino,

Quote:
The tombak now showing has seperate metuk with the same kinatah.
(Maybe less intricate)

The center motif seems to correspond, indeed. I'd agree that the iras metuk looks nicer than the separate one in these 2 examples (even when ignoring the kinatah).

Without wanting to hijack Paul's thread - great to see some tombak here for a change!

Regards,
Kai

David 22nd December 2016 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Without wanting to hijack Paul's thread - great to see some tombak here for a change!

Well, i was letting this slide, but if we are going to continue to discuss tombak we really do need to take it to the Ethno Forum. It was decided at the very start of this keris gallery that this forum would be for the discussion to keris only and all other tosan aji would be discussed on the Ethno Forum. Thanks... :)

Kulino 23rd December 2016 11:00 AM

Sorry David, you're right.
I'll post it on the Etno forum. Can I cut and paste or what's the way to do this most effectively?

Gustav 23rd December 2016 12:52 PM

7 Attachment(s)
Tombak or Keris?

Thank you, Kulino, for posting these.

Battara 23rd December 2016 01:33 PM

This Bugis looking keris seems to me to have a newer blade.

Gustav 23rd December 2016 02:06 PM

The question is, what means "newer" in the context.

If about 100 years of age is new for you, then it certainly isn't new. I would say, quite a lot older than new.

The Gonjo of course is newer then blade, but surely also antique.

David 23rd December 2016 05:47 PM

Well, that's a good question Gustav. I would certainly say that it is being currently presented as a keris sepang, though it may well have started life as a tombak. I must say that i find it intriguing and handsome.

GIO 23rd December 2016 06:06 PM

[QUOTE=Gustav]Tombak or Keris?

Tombak IMHO

A. G. Maisey 23rd December 2016 06:55 PM

This is a very scarce item, seldom seen, and I have never previously seen a Bugis style one.

My guess is a family pusaka mounted as a keris.

It is a Tomris, Dhapur Ngapes.

Edit: --- In response to a private query I thought I'd better add this:-

"Tomris" is the Ngoko term, Krama is "Dhuwaos", and when worn in the wangkingan fashion it is referred to as a "Wangwaosan".

It should be noted that the alternate spelling of "Tomris" is "Tumris"

Sajen 23rd December 2016 08:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
This Bugis looking keris seems to me to have a newer blade.


It look Malay to my eyes, Terengganu!? :)

Gustav 23rd December 2016 09:38 PM

Thank you David. Alan, thank you very much for your remarks!

Detlef, it could very well be the case. On this I am not sure myself, because it is so off-standard. This Sampir form we encounter also in Johor-Riau and Riau Lingga, and perhaps I favorite these possibilities more.

David 23rd December 2016 11:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
...and when worn in the wangkingan fashion it is referred to as a "Wangwaosan".

Alan, would you mind expanding upon what you mean by "worn in the wangkingan fashion". Thanks!

A. G. Maisey 24th December 2016 12:43 AM

As worn in formal style, at the back.

David 24th December 2016 03:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
As worn in formal style, at the back.

Thanks Alan. Now that you say that i do recall the term from recent discussion. :)

A. G. Maisey 24th December 2016 11:18 PM

Many years ago I was given perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I have ever received in relation to Javanese communication.

It goes without saying that it is absolutely essential for a person from outside the society to be able to understand the way in which Javanese people sometimes choose to communicate, if that person wishes to understand the message that is being delivered to him.

Very briefly:- words do not always mean what they may appear to mean, the core message behind the words needs to be read. To read the message behind the words, the words themselves need to be examined, the way in which they are delivered needs to be examined, the time and place needs to be taken account of, and especially in face to face communication the body language must be noted and interpreted.

Then there is the problem of the Javanese language itself:- a word can mean whatever the speaker intends it to mean, the word itself may not even be a part of a generally accepted lexicon --- a bit like Humpty Dumpty.

The lesson I received all those years ago was one of the most valuable I have ever received in relation to my understanding of the way in which Javanese society works, and most especially to keris study.

Gustav gave us an excellent image of a very scarce object, this type of thing is as I have already remarked, very seldom seen. They do exist, but the number of times I have actually held one in my hands could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

What Gustav also us was an opportunity for me to try to give to all those who are following this thread an opportunity to receive the same lesson that I received perhaps 35 or 40 years ago. The similarity in circumstance is virtually the same, the only difference is that I got my lesson face to face, I have attempted to provide the same lesson here in writing.

I suggest that you go back to my post #45 and look very closely at the words I have used.

When you understand what I have done you will be in a much better position to understand information coming from a Javanese source in future.

Jean 25th December 2016 04:41 PM

Hello Alan,
Your post#45 looks pretty straightforward, but do you actually mean that the Bugis kris dress is not adequate? :confused:
Best regards

kai 25th December 2016 05:38 PM

Hello Alan,

Ok, I'll bite...


Quote:
It is a Tomris, Dhapur Ngapes.

To me this word looks like a marriage of tombak and keris. Possibly something you made up to please the name chasers? On the other hand, nobody asked for a name for this rare beast AFAIK. ;)

I'm completely lost on the intended dhapur connotation though...


Quote:
"Tomris" is the Ngoko term, Krama is "Dhuwaos", and when worn in the wangkingan fashion it is referred to as a "Wangwaosan".

D(h)uwung + wa(h)os, and Wangkingan + wa(h)osan, I guess?

I haven't been able to come up with an explanation for changing wa(h)os into wa(h)osan though. BTW, are dagger-hilted (pusaka) tombak ever worn in the wangkingan fashion to really need a "formal" word - I believed this was a modern fad for easier storage only?


Quote:
It should be noted that the alternate spelling of "Tomris" is "Tumris"

Pretty much flogging a dead horse here, just to please the standard transliteration, as well as Bahasa Indonesia and Malay folks, I assume?

Regards,
Kai

A. G. Maisey 25th December 2016 08:32 PM

Thank you Kai.

Yes, "tomris" is a word that I have coined, it is constructed of parts of the words "keris" and "tombak".

"Ngapes" is an anagram --- of what?

"Dhuwaos" I constructed from "Dhuwung" and "Waos", "Waos" is Krama (high level Javanese) for "tombak".

"Wangwaosan" I constructed from "Wangkingan" (a keris worn at the back) and "Waos" ("Waos" is Krama for "tombak"), the suffix "an" has created the noun.

The "Tomris" / "Tumris" explanation was added in response to a query from a gentleman who is not confident in his ability to write English, so he sometimes contacts me by private email to ask a question.

The reason I put this post up is precisely as I said:- it echoes almost exactly the situation of an early experience that I had in the wonders of Javanese communication. One can lecture and theorise forever about any particular subject but a simple example can be worth three or four 5000 word papers.
The example I have given is no more difficult than what I experienced many years ago, but it does require access to a good Javanese dictionary, or a native speaker of Javanese. When I was hit with my experience I did not have a Javanese dictionary, but I did have access to a native speaker. These days there are a number of Javanese dictionaries available on the net.

I do hope that this little diversion has been of value.

Kai, knives and daggers of all kinds have been worn at the back by all societies, and probably since sharp pointy things were invented. I wander around my yard with a pruning knife tucked into my belt at the back, in Jawa farmers are seldom without an arit, and if that arit is not dangling at the end of an arm, it is tucked into the farmer's shorts at the back. However, in Javanese formal dress a tombak that has been mounted as a dagger does not have any place.
In respect of the mounting of a tombak as a dagger, I don't think we should refer to this as a "fad". Historically it was mounted thus for dual use, but in modern times, say the last 100 years or so, it is something that has been done as a necessity, because of the lower ceiling heights in more modern houses.

drdavid 25th December 2016 08:47 PM

Ngapes = Sepang?
drd

kai 25th December 2016 09:00 PM

Quote:
Ngapes = Sepang?

Yup, good one, David!

kai 25th December 2016 09:18 PM

[QUOTE]I do hope that this little diversion has been of value./QUOTE]
Thanks a lot, Alan!

"Fad" wasn't meant as low level ngoko use ;) - I agree that later development may more appropriate.

Regards,
Kai

A. G. Maisey 25th December 2016 09:32 PM

Yep, "sepang", and that "Ng ---" makes the word look so Javanese.

This is the sort of word play and its attendant confusion that is not at all uncommon in conversation with a Javanese person, and this Javanese idea of conversation gets carried into Bahasa Indonesia when they use that language. The end result is that sometimes a non-native speaker --- and I suspect often a native speaker --- will go away wondering exactly what it is that they have been told, only to realise a day or so later that somebody was either lying or having a joke with them.

Javanese people seem to have the idea that they, personally, own every word that they utter.

kai 30th December 2016 08:10 AM

Hello Alan,

Sorry for the delayed reply!


Quote:
This is the sort of word play and its attendant confusion that is not at all uncommon in conversation with a Javanese person, and this Javanese idea of conversation gets carried into Bahasa Indonesia when they use that language.

Yes, playing with words and creative use of language is something I've seen, also in some other Asian cultures. Is the use of anagrams really common in spoken Bahasa Jawa? Or restricted to more elitist circles?


Quote:
Javanese people seem to have the idea that they, personally, own every word that they utter.

This seems related to another pervasive cultural trait: The act of giving a name to just about anything seems to be an almost god-like act that keeps the name-giver in supreme control. Utilize an established name and you're bound by adat (and to the originator/peergroup); give a name to a more or less noticeable variant concept, and you seem to be pretty much free to do as it suits you...

Regards,
Kai


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