Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Mendhak Jogja and Solo (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=5587)

ganjawulung 29th November 2007 04:52 AM

Mendhak Jogja and Solo
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrylaki
Oups....I know the mendak is wrong.
Will chang it soon.


Dear Ferry,

This is just one example, on mendhak. The left side, is mendhak type of "kendhit" (Jogjanese), and the right side, "kendhit" type of Solonese. There are only slight differences on the details of the mendhak (Please look at the neck of the mendhak)...

These are types of mendhak "kendhit" inten seling mirah (simple diamond and mirah?)

I hope it will be useful to you...

Ganjawulung

ferrylaki 29th November 2007 05:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Dear Ferry,

This is just one example, on mendhak. The left side, is mendhak type of "kendhit" (Jogjanese), and the right side, "kendhit" type of Solonese. There are only slight differences on the details of the mendhak (Please look at the neck of the mendhak)...

These are types of mendhak "kendhit" inten seling mirah (simple diamond and mirah?)

I hope it will be useful to you...

Ganjawulung


Thank you Ganjawulung.
I've call our dear friend Mr Jumanto to provide some jogjanese silver mendak.

ganjawulung 29th November 2007 05:15 AM

Mendhak Robyong
 
1 Attachment(s)
And these are examples on "robyong" type (pile types). From left to right, (1) Jogjanese "robyong", similar to "segara muncar" (sea wave?) of Solonese. (2) Jogjanese robyong with "inten" (simple diamonds), and (3) Solonese "bejen" type.

I hope I was not mistaken with my simple understanding on mendhaks..

Ganjawulung

David 29th November 2007 02:23 PM

Great thread subject Ganja. I would like to encourage you to post more comparison examples along this vein. :)

PenangsangII 30th November 2007 02:18 AM

Pak Ganja, apart from the stones used for the deco, what is actually the difference between Solo & Jogja mendaks? I still cant tell the difference...

ganjawulung 30th November 2007 02:47 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Great thread subject Ganja. I would like to encourage you to post more comparison examples along this vein. :)


Thanks David, for the recomendation. I post this thread, because many of us still have difficulty in differing whether this and that mendhak are from Jogja style or Solo style. I've often seen, people show kerises with Jogja warangka but unfortunately with Solo mendhak, or even with Solonese hilt... Or vice versa.

These were just simple examples...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PenangsangII
Pak Ganja, apart from the stones used for the deco, what is actually the difference between Solo & Jogja mendaks? I still cant tell the difference...


I would suggest you the look carefully at the details. Jogja and Solo style in mendhaks, are only differed from the very small details. It is better if I post the same picture, more close up of each mendhak from pictures above...

Ganjawulung

Boedhi Adhitya 30th November 2007 02:49 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Oh, well... I'm afraid we would repeat some past discussion..

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...47004#post47004

According to my understanding, the most notable different features of Jogja's and Solo's mendhak is their 'ungkat-ungkatan'. Solo's has a thin, skinny ungkat-ungkat, and Jogja's has a cone-shape ungkat-ungkat.

As a picture worth more than a thousand words, I attach some pictures which had been posted before, with some comments added. I apologize for 'copyright infringement', if any, and also to Mas Ganjawulung.

To Mas Ferry, you could find a fair/good new mendhak easily, usually the better one come in silver and yakut, but the old, good one (I mean, the better then the best new one could available), unfortunately, quite rare today.

Finding the right 'proportion' on ukiran (handle), mendhak, wrangka and pendhok is very tricky. Size, shapes, color, textures and balance/harmony have come into account. You must have several good stock of handles, mendhaks and pendhoks to make proper adjustment. And the utmost is, you must have 'the feeling' to judge the proper harmony. It is the most important part, and unfortunately, that money can't buy. It is also not easy to learn.

ganjawulung 30th November 2007 03:18 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boedhi Adhitya
According to my understanding, the most notable different features of Jogja's and Solo's mendhak is their 'ungkat-ungkatan'. Solo's has a thin, skinny ungkat-ungkat, and Jogja's has a cone-shape ungkat-ungkat.

As a picture worth more than a thousand words, I attach some pictures which had been posted before, with some comments added. I apologize for 'copyright infringement', if any, and also to Mas Ganjawulung.

To Mas Ferry, you could find a fair/good new mendhak easily, usually the better one come in silver and yakut, but the old, good one (I mean, the better then the best new one could available), unfortunately, quite rare today.

Finding the right 'proportion' on ukiran (handle), mendhak, wrangka and pendhok is very tricky. Size, shapes, color, textures and balance/harmony have come into account. You must have several good stock of handles, mendhaks and pendhoks to make proper adjustment. And the utmost is, you must have 'the feeling' to judge the proper harmony. It is the most important part, and unfortunately, that money can't buy. It is also not easy to learn.


Many Thanks, to your correction Mas Boedhy. As a "priyantun Jogja" of course you are reliable to determine which is the proper Jogja style, or which is not proper. This could happened, because I am Solonese but a fans of Jogjanese style. Jogja style is admirable...

I would post the other (Jogja) mendhaks. Do you think the second one is another style of Jogja kendhit?

Ganjawulung

Boedhi Adhitya 30th November 2007 04:01 AM

Yes, Mas Ganja. All the mendhak's pictures on your latest post are Jogjas, IMHO. The one with gems is kendhit. It use filigree in spite of ordinary meniran/beads. Just a variation, I think. Kendhit means belt, belted with gems, in this case, and the one with metal ball called mendhak lugas. Lugas simply means 'plain'. The kendhit is not necessarily better than lugas. With a good balance and execution, the lugas frequently beat the ordinary kendhit, in term of beauty, not money, of course :)

Please bear in mind, while the 'lugas' and 'kendhit' are the proper terminology to define the mendhak's type especially in the court's circle, it might be unrecognized by some local seller. You might use 'polos' instead of 'lugas' (means the same, 'plain') or with/without mata (='eyes', the gems). 'robyong' is recognizable for three tier mendhak (might also in use with dhapurs, ex. sinom robyong).

Marcokeris 1st December 2007 10:55 AM

Ganja, Adhitya
Thanks a lot for nice pictures and great explanation

ganjawulung 5th December 2007 08:08 AM

Mendhak and Selut
 
3 Attachment(s)
Dear All,

Some mendhak "robyong" Solonese type (?) and "selut" of Banyumasan type. Also combination on the robyong mendhak and Banyumas selut.. Banyumas is a vassal of Solo Kingdom in the past, although Banyumas located far away from Solo -- in the western part of South-Central Java...

The plastic tool box -- that you may find easily in supermarkets -- might be used as a "keris spareparts" box. Don't throw away the old and broken selut. It might be usefull someday, to repair your broken mendhak...

Ganjawulung

Raden Usman Djogja 5th December 2007 01:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Dear All,

Banyumas is a vassal of Solo Kingdom in the past, although Banyumas located far away from Solo -- in the western part of South-Central Java...

Ganjawulung


Dear Gonjo,

Hope you can enlighten me. After the equal division of Mataram kingdom (Paliyan Nagari), Mataram became Surokarto and Jogjakarto that its border cutting of Prambanan.

Furthermore, there were several Nagari Gungs (the extended territories), perhaps as you said "vassals", such as Banyumas, Pasir, Ponorogo, Pacitan, Ngawi, Madiun. I got some stories that Nagari Gung was also divided equally. For example Pasir was divided into two regions. As a consequence, in Pasir there were both Surokarto and Jogjokarto influences depended in which part of Pasir. It is a story without supported by written evidence. So, if you have other story especially "history" about the status of Mataram's vassals after the division of Kingdom, please share in this forum.

warm salam,
Usman

Michel 9th December 2007 04:56 PM

frustrations !
 
gentlemen,
I like indeed your discussion about mendak, about keris, about the history of Indonesia, etc. but you use often words in Indonesian that I do not understand. As I have purchased an excellent English-Indonesian dictionary (as recommended by my good adviser from Australia who speaks both languages) I have tried to look for these words and other from the book "Keris Jawa antara Mystic dan nalar". To my great frustration, I have found none ! Assuming that I am not a complete nut, (past history is no proof for the present) I must do something wrong when I look at words in my dictionary. I suspect it may come from the prefix and suffix used in Indonesian. or from the spelling as it appears that Indonesian word may be spelled variously. (i.e. mendak, mendhak). Can you tel me how can I identify the base form of the word ? ( in particular since bases undergo apparently modifications when certain prefixes are attached.)
Please do not answer the easy way by telling me : learn Indonesian !
I have tried some 10 years ago with Bahasa Malaysia and already at that time it was not a success !
Thanks for any clue
Michel

ganjawulung 10th December 2007 12:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
gentlemen,
I like indeed your discussion about mendak, about keris, about the history of Indonesia, etc. but you use often words in Indonesian that I do not understand. As I have purchased an excellent English-Indonesian dictionary (as recommended by my good adviser from Australia who speaks both languages) I have tried to look for these words and other from the book "Keris Jawa antara Mystic dan nalar". To my great frustration, I have found none ! Assuming that I am not a complete nut, (past history is no proof for the present) I must do something wrong when I look at words in my dictionary. I suspect it may come from the prefix and suffix used in Indonesian. or from the spelling as it appears that Indonesian word may be spelled variously. (i.e. mendak, mendhak). Can you tel me how can I identify the base form of the word ? ( in particular since bases undergo apparently modifications when certain prefixes are attached.)
Please do not answer the easy way by telling me : learn Indonesian !
I have tried some 10 years ago with Bahasa Malaysia and already at that time it was not a success !
Thanks for any clue
Michel


Dear Michel,

I understand your difficulty. Especially in understanding the keris term that sometimes came from javanese words, and many times from old javanese for instance Kawi, or even Sanskrit.

Even the word "mendhak" in keris term, is different with "mendhak" -- or mendak -- in the general javanese meaning. Mendhak (dha is just to differ from "da" (soft spelling. Because in javanese, if you spell "deder" with hard "dha" like "dhedher", then the meaning is very far different) in keris term mean like "keris ring" below the ganja, keris accesories. But, mendhak in general javanese term (you may write to as mendak, it depends), may means "every". And may means too as "to low down -- for instance, in a move from upper step to lower step."

Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia, came from the same root of Malay. But sometimes with different spelling and even the vocab words came from the different origin. Malaysian, used to add the vocabulary from English words. But Indonesian, more from Dutch word and many of them from Javanese, or old javanese words. So complicated not only for foreigners, but even for Indonesians theirselves. As you know, Javanese language is only one of hundreds slangs in Indonesian archipelago.

As you know too, Indonesia spreads in more than 33.000 islands, and in three different time-zones (West Indonesian Time, Central Indonesian Time and Eastern Indonesian Time). The javanese people, spreads almost all over the archipelago, and so dominant in the Indonesian culture. I hope this will help you, a little bit...

Ganjawulung

Boedhi Adhitya 10th December 2007 12:44 AM

Dear Michel,

I'm terribly sorry to hear that you became frustrated on learning Indonesian, and keris terminology, specifically. Keris's terminology, especially Javanese keris terminology, is a highly specialized terminology. It came from Javanese language, not Indonesian. Today, even an ordinary Javanese, which was born and speak Javanese every day, is not 'guarantee' to understand some specific keris's jargons such as ganja, greneng, or mendhak. It is a highly specialized jargon for special peoples : keris lover :). So, if you are looking a keris jargon in Indonesian Dictionary, it will be very likely taht you find none, or misleaded, such if you find 'ukiran' you may find 'carving' other than 'handle' as the translation. It doesn't mean that Javanese dictionary will 100% help you either. It may help you, but not 100%. Not even the thick Zoetmulder dictionary. I heard SNKI will compose a Dictionary on Keris Terminology, but I think it may face it's own challenge: disagreement amongs keris expert regarding some specific terminology. But it is worth to try :)

Yes, Indonesia language use prefix and suffix extensively, and the original word might changed a little bit. If you cannot find the base word, you may try an online dictionary which allow you to put whole word. Perhaps this may help :

http://www.kamus.net/

Software on learning Indonesian : (Free, they said, but unfortunately I haven't tried it) :

http://www.byki.com/download_FLS.pl?cod=4x8BU1

Most of all, you have this forum, certainly for free :D

Cheers,

Boedhi Adhitya

Michel 10th December 2007 08:27 AM

keris related terminology
 
Dear Ganjawulung,
Thank you. Your kind explanations show quite clearly that what I had assumed as feasible for an old brain like mine, may be a bit far fetched. My objective is not to understand a complete Indonesian books about keris but only to understand captions under illustrations (as in Keris Jawa antara mystic dan nalar) or words in a discussion on the forum.
I will see what I can do with the two very interesting on line support that Boedhi Adhitya, has kindly supplied. Thank you very much Boedhi Adhitya.
You suggest Boedhi that I could ask on the forum the meaning of some words. I have thought about it previously but it is not really feasible. To give you an example, I was trying to understand the exact meaning of the different phases in the sculpturing of a keris as explained on pages 110,111 and 112 of Keris Jawa. Even if the illustrations are excellent, the exact meaning of each caption would be enlighting. With an average of 15 words per page, I found none of the words in my dictionary. I do not think I can come with 45 words, each one specifically related to one picture in one specific book in the forum and ask for its translation. It would be boring for too many forumnites and the translators !
Considering what you have said about the keris terminology I may not succeed even with the on line dictionary but it is worth trying.
Thanks again to both of you
Regards
Michel

ganjawulung 11th December 2007 12:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
To give you an example, I was trying to understand the exact meaning of the different phases in the sculpturing of a keris as explained on pages 110,111 and 112 of Keris Jawa. Even if the illustrations are excellent, the exact meaning of each caption would be enlighting. With an average of 15 words per page, I found none of the words in my dictionary. I do not think I can come with 45 words, each one specifically related to one picture in one specific book in the forum and ask for its translation. It would be boring for too many forumnites and the translators!
Michel


Dear Michel,

The instructional of keris making in Haryono's book (page 110, 111, and 112), is really technical. Litterally, the "javanese" words -- yes, those are all javanese words -- may means different from the words. Like "nyawati" in the first picture (number 15). Literally means like "throwing stones to somewhere". Or "diwangun" (there are diwangun 1, diwangun 2, and diwangun 3) literally means forming the blade in order not to be "clumsy" (?) -- you may help me, Mas Boedhi. On "ngilap" and "ngleseh" these were really "plastical" javanese words, that needs to see the demonstration...

I think Alan could explain to you better on these really technical instructions of keris making -- the second stage of keris blade forming...

Ganjawulung

Boedhi Adhitya 11th December 2007 06:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Dear Michel,

The instructional of keris making in Haryono's book (page 110, 111, and 112), is really technical. Litterally, the "javanese" words -- yes, those are all javanese words -- may means different from the words. Like "nyawati" in the first picture (number 15). Literally means like "throwing stones to somewhere". Or "diwangun" (there are diwangun 1, diwangun 2, and diwangun 3) literally means forming the blade in order not to be "clumsy" (?) -- you may help me, Mas Boedhi. On "ngilap" and "ngleseh" these were really "plastical" javanese words, that needs to see the demonstration...

I think Alan could explain to you better on these really technical instructions of keris making -- the second stage of keris blade forming...

Ganjawulung

Without the book on my hand, I'm afraid I cannot give much explanation, Mas Ganja. But if I may suggest you, Michel, you should understand the meaning of "diwangun", "ngilap" of "ngleseh" simply as grinding, filing or shaping. Yes, there are some different purpose/stress on each step, but the action is almost the same. "ngluroni" is to anneal / normalize the blade. Furthermore, you don't miss much by not understanding the exact meaning of each steps in keris making, as long as you can 'grasp' the meaning :)

wish may help,

boedhi adhitya

Michel 11th December 2007 09:17 AM

"diwangun", "ngilap" of "ngleseh"
 
Thank you Gentlemen,
You both helped.
To let you understand why is it important for me to understand some words of "Javanese" (and not Indonesian, as I had assumed), I am in the process of giving shape to a keris patrem. During my first steps (forging) I made few errors that were corrected by Alan, lemmythesmith, Ric, all forumnites. Before and during the long process of stock removal, I wanted to avoid new errors and the good images of Keris Jawa, are an excellent guide that can be improved by the understanding of the words :diwangun", "ngilap" of "ngleseh". as grinding , filing , shaping. It is a confirmation that my understanding was correct. But fig. 30 and 31 : Natah tikel alis and Natah sraweyan, would be even more useful !
Alan was also kind enough to supply a complete glossary of terms related to keris, which quite obviously do not cover very specific Javanese keris manufacturing terms.
Thank you to all, your help is appreciated.
Regards
Michel

A. G. Maisey 11th December 2007 08:15 PM

One of the big defects with my language skills is that I do not really know when I am speaking Javanese or when I am speaking Indonesian, I've never learnt either language formally, only picked them up from talking to people, mostly in Solo. If I read the instructions on pages 111, 112, it seems to me that I am reading a mixture of what many people in Solo will claim is Indonesian, plus some Javanese. These are not literate people, true, but this is what they will speak to me if I say--- sorry, I'm not following, could you use Indonesian please--- then I get these words mixed with other definitely Indonesian words. If you tell me its all Javanese, Pak Ganja, then its all Javanese, but its what a lot of people have used to me when I've asked for Indonesian.

The diagrams and captions given on these pages are only a very broad overview of a work flow. I wouldn't call any of it technical, its just like a schematic of the progress of making a keris, it certainly does not in any way tell you how to actually make a keris.Its just stuff like "put in the jalen", "bend the kembang kacang","soften", "chisel out the sogokan", "smooth the chisel work"--- and so on.And not everybody would necessarily agree with the order given. Not at all technical instructions, just a broad over-view of workflow.

As to my explaining these instructions, well, they're not really instructions.The workflow shown is more or less :- plan the work, design the work, roughly shape the work, cut the kembang kacang, put in the jalen, bend the KK, refine the form, cut the sogokan etc, smooth the chisel work, refine the work. As I said, its just a broad overview and doesn't really tell you anything at all about how to make a keris (particularly when it says "nglempeng ada-ada"---how the hell does one "nglempeng" an ada-ada in a waved keris? got me beat).However, for (a collector--deleted) those who do not know the process it will give some rough idea of the way in which the work proceeds. Some of the really vital things that you need to do are not even hinted at.

Incidentally Michel, the glossary I pointed you to is far from complete, its just something that has built up haphazardly over the years to answer questions.We could probably triple that glossary, and it would still be deficient.

ganjawulung 11th December 2007 11:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
....However, for a collector who does not know the process it will give some rough idea of the way in which the work proceeds. Some of the really vital things that you need to do are not even hinted at..


Not just collector, Alan... Sometimes (me) a knife-seller too. :D Sometimes, I join to watch (watcher, then) my friend Yantono in Solo, making kerises in his "besalen" in Palur. Or making knife with pamor, commissioned by someone. Or sometimes "join" my old friend, Hajar Satoto (young artist in Solo) making "strange dhapur" kerises in Bekonang...

Ganjawulung

A. G. Maisey 12th December 2007 03:18 AM

Pak Ganja, when I used the word "collector" I was not in any way referring to you.

In fact, you were the furthest thought from my mind.

I was referring to the general public with an interest in keris but who do not understand the making process. Perhaps I should have written :-
"but for those who do not know"

Boedhi Adhitya 12th December 2007 03:49 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
Thank you Gentlemen,
You both helped.
To let you understand why is it important for me to understand some words of "Javanese" (and not Indonesian, as I had assumed), I am in the process of giving shape to a keris patrem.
Well, now I see why you desperately want to understand those terminologies/step. :)

What you really need is, IMHO, a stong 'mental image' on how the keris shape suppose to be. Then, try to realize it. It is very important. Take particular attention to proportion of length, width, thickness and angle (the condong-leleh), in whole, in every details (ricikan), and on proportion of each detail compared each other (for example, between the sekar kacang and jalen, and sekar kacang, jalen, and gandhik, and so on). Make a picture, or model as a guide. Ki Yosopangarso described it as Wujud =a finely defined details/ricikans, and Wangun ='proper harmony', 'balance' of each ricikan and the blade as a whole, including the pamor appearance. It also describe the word 'diwangun' = to make it 'wangun', to 'harmonize'. Wangun is deeply connected to your feeling/rasa. 'Wangun' or 'not wangun' is judged by your feeling. You must have a feeling for wangun in every step of keris making. So, wheter you are forging, grinding, filing or chiseling the blank, and even etching, you must make 'wangun' as your main consideration.

Ngilap and ngleseh is part of cold/benchworking process (not so 'cold', I think :) ). So I assume you've made a keris blank.

After you make a keris blank, the next step is 'silak/nyilak waja ' : to reveal the core/steel. Etching the edge will help. Examine the position and thickness of the core (wheter it is properly centered or not and the thickness is even and thick/thin enough). If problem encountered (very likely), you solve it by 'ngilap'= fine forging. Then you do the nyilak waja again or 'nyawati' to see wheter the problems has been solved or not. The difference between 'nyilak waja' and 'nyawati' is : on 'nyilak waja' you simply make a blunt, perpendicular edge, while in 'nyawati' you make a very acute edge/bevel. Nyawati is the refinement of nyilak waja. It also make a rough edge.

Repeat the process : Nyilak waja/nyawati - ngilap - nyilak waja, until all core centered and has even thickness. Some other works may be done in between, including 'diwangun'. After all core centered, the next step is 'ngleseh'. Ngleseh is simply to reveal the pamor by filing/grinding the blank. While nyilak waja/nyawati and ngilap concentrated on the edge, 'Ngleseh' start the process of shaping the whole blade. You may do some ngilap too, if needed.

As Pak Alan said, not every body agree to the order given. You may customize your own process, as needed. But the principle may be the same : working the edge/core, the blade, then the details/ricikan. When and where each process would overlap each other, depends 100% on you.

It is worth to note that not everybody, even today's keris maker, would recognize all the name of the process. Nglanji or pidakan are quite common, but ngilap, I think, is not.They just simply don't bother :). It is useful if an empu try to communicate some of the process to his assistant, such as "please do some ngilap again here and here.." and so on, but not every keris maker has assistant today.

Other book describing the keris making process is The World of Javanese Keris by Garret and Bronwen Solyom, among other.

I made some hasty illustration that I wish may help.

Good luck !

Michel 12th December 2007 08:32 AM

Thank you
 
Thank You Mas Boedhi,
You really did a nice job and translated many words. These instructions will join those of Alan in my references and I think I will complete, for my own purpose, the glossary of Alan, with all these new words and concepts that you have translated.
Your work is very much appreciated.
Kind regards
Michel

A. G. Maisey 12th December 2007 09:31 PM

Pak Boedhi, when I read your most recent post I found myself wondering how you had managed to extract the information you provided in your diagrams from the captions and diagrams in Haryoguritno's book.

I asked myself what it was that I was missing. What I can see in Pak Guritno's book are diagrams where I can see a workflow, and words that by twisting the meanings as I understand them, I can relate to the workflow, but I cannot see anything that relates to your explanation of truing up the core. Then I realised that you do not have the book and diagrams in front of you, and you are quoting from a different source. Your explanation of truing up a blade core is good, but it is not conveyed by the diagrams and captions in Haryoguritno's book; this is something that you have learnt from a different source--- as you say:- you do not have the book with you.

Actually, if the forging of the blade is carefully carried out, the core will usually be found to be fairly well centered; it is only with careless forging that a core will be so far off centre that we need to make a large compensatory adjustment. Usually you can carry out any necessary adjustment as you go along, without making a special process of it at the beginning of the blade carving. If it is necessary to make major corrections, you would finish up with a blade that was far too thin, which is a well known fault in the work of one particular very well known empu of the current era.

Since the keris book is in Indonesian, and these captions are not standard Indonesian, it occurred to me that perhaps Pak Guritno had supplied a glossary, so I had a quick run through the book, and lo and behold, there on page 98 is a glossary of terms used in making keris.

I have taken the liberty of providing translations of the meanings given in this glossary for the words under discussion.As the languages involved are not my native languages, I would appreciate any corrections you see fit to advise upon.

nyawati--- file the edge of the blade at an angle
diwangun---to shape, to correct, to make perfect
ngilap--- forge lightly to smooth the surface
ngleseh--- not in glossary, but in correct Javanese, not jargon, it means "to spread something out on the ground"
ndudut--- forge out
ngisi--- not in glossary, to put in
ngeluk--- bend
mekak--- sharpen the form ( cut precisely)
ngluroni--- soften (anneal)
natah--- cut with a chisel, carve
ngelus--- not in glossary, to smooth or refine something
nglempeng--- not in glossary, but in correct Javanese "to go in a straight line"; when spoken with accented "e"'s, to make thin and flat.
ngrata--- level the surface
nglanji--- fit with precision
ngrapetake--- not in glossary, to fix tightly
gawe--- not in glossary, a job, nggawe is to make or construct
nglamak--- not in glossary, in this sense, nglamakake is to even up, to make the same with; "nglamak" is jargon from this word.

Boedhi Adhitya 13th December 2007 08:45 AM

You are correct, Pak Alan. It wasn't possible to draw the silak waja, nyawati and ngilap's illustration/explanation from Pak Guritno's book alone. I was using 'another sources'. Not really another sources, actually, as it also came from Empu Djeno. It is a note on "Urut-urutan Panggaraping Dhuwung" or "The Sequence of Keris Making", consist of 75 steps from "masuh" to "marangi", with approximate times needed for every step, which totally takes 113,5 days. He needed 1 silak waja, 2 nyawati and 2 ngilap in between. He employed 11 'kewangunan'/diwangun through all process, and the last kewangunan takes 3 days alone.

The times tables is obviously too long for 'contemporary smith', as the 2005 Keris Making Competition proved that it is possible for experinced keris maker to 'carve' a keris from the blank in 3 days, with good result. Angle grinders and other power tools were in charge, though.

The note was presented by Empu Djeno himself in Pametri Wiji Meeting somewhere in 90's. Pametri Wiji is keris lover club founded in 1983, based in Jogjakarta, and still held regular meeting once a month until now.
Fortunately, I accidentally brought this note along with other to U.K., as there are some work that I must finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G. Maisey
Actually, if the forging of the blade is carefully carried out, the core will usually be found to be fairly well centered; it is only with careless forging that a core will be so far off centre that we need to make a large compensatory adjustment. Usually you can carry out any necessary adjustment as you go along, without making a special process of it at the beginning of the blade carving. If it is necessary to make major corrections, you would finish up with a blade that was far too thin, which is a well known fault in the work of one particular very well known empu of the current era.
You are right, Pak Alan. This particular well-known empu told me that he was intensionally using an uneven, convex Javanese anvil (on the contrary with European Anvil, known as 'paron londho'='dutch anvil'), as it adds more 'activity' to pamor such as beras wutah. Not all Javanese anvil is uneven. We (and he, surely) know that the activity came directly from forging unevenness. So, he chose consciously to make his blank uneven! Well, of course there is a prize which he must pay. And yes, this particular empu's works should have been better, in term of aesthetical standard. But I admire his works for it's wasuhan and it's ability to show some 'guwaya'. (Guwaya is a very complex term. Perhaps, it could be translated as 'charisma', but not exactly the same).

The reason of why he couldn't reach such a high standard could only be hypothesized. I assume it was simply because he lacked of good examples, while his father didn't fully transferred all the knowledges, as he himself admitted. His father, believe me, was a truly capable empu. Mbah Kamdi (Grandpa Kamdi, as Sukamdi nicknamed), a well-known Solonese keris maker, simply commented,"If it really is Supowinangun's work, then undoubtely, he was a real empu", when I showed him Supowinangun's work, which it's attribution is beyond doubt. Supowinangun passed away in an old ages in 1960's. He left no notes, no drawings, nor any of his works to his family. A very unfortunate event.
I think we all agree that studying many good examples is an important step to produce good kerises. Court's empus could do better because they had access to Court's Pusakas, the best examples as it could be. They event copied it, in 'Mutrani' tradition. The same step is taken by Maduranese or Solonese makers. But never Djeno. I don't know why. Despite his work's flaws, I sincerely honor him for devoting his life to keris world and traditions.

Today's keris makers would haphazardly 'wound' the blank with an angle grinder then forge it flat to achieve the same result. A keris maker which is a good friend of mine told me that he sometimes has to go back and forth to the local smith to adjust the core thickness to prevent him from getting 'kandas waja'(='beached to the steel/core'=the steel core is revealed in the place where pamor should be). He works on Madura's blanks (and on old blades too ), sometimes specially order the blank with a prescribed structure / construction.

Regarding your translation, I believe you have translated those word properly.
Ngleseh is, indeed, tricky word. Lesehan means sitting on the ground, preferably with a mat. But in keris making world, If I may suggest, it better be translated as 'cold-rasping'. You would feel the 'spreading' movement when you do it, and I think it is why it's called 'ngleseh', other than 'ngikir'=from kikir=file/to file.
Nglempeng ada-ada means to precisely center the ada-ada

Michel 13th December 2007 02:32 PM

I am impressed
 
Gentlemen you are impressing !
A question of vocabulary has now evolve in a discussion of specialists. So much information in your different messages. Thank you very much.
Even if you are unsure of some word translation, what you have given is already of a great help for me, because, as you now, the devil is in the details. The identification of chiseling instead of filing gives very valuable information on the process.
Mas Boeghi, you mention the 75 steps from "masuh" to "marangi" given by Empu Djeno and taking 113.5 days to complete. Has this list of successive steps of the process been published anywhere ? If it has, it was probably in the frame of Pametri Wiji and would not be accessible or understandable, by outsiders !
I personally think that such a document would be interesting for those studying keris and understanding Javanese and Indonesian !
Thanks again to both of you
Regards
Michel

A. G. Maisey 13th December 2007 08:16 PM

Pak Boedhi, please forgive me, but I would prefer not to comment directly upon the work of people who have recently left us.Pak Djeno was a keris maker. That in my opinion is sufficient comment.

Regarding the word "ngleseh". As I said in a previous post, I often cannot tell if I am hearing Indonesian or Javanese. Because I have never had formal instruction in either language, if somebody tells me they are using Indonesian, I accept that, even though they may be using Javanese that they know I will understand. So, when I read those captions in Haryoguritno's book, I thought--oh yes, we've got Indonesian/Javanese as she is spoke by my neighbours.Most, if not all of the words used in those captions are easily understood with just a little bit of mental gymnastics---probably no more than is necessary than that which we need to use when people start to play with words, or give them their own pronunciations.That being so, I understood ngleseh just as it is---spread out on the ground; now, since we are talking about keris-work, the "ground" obviously is the forging we are working on, and the "spreading out" is the spreading of the area being worked on. To me, this is clearly figurative language. I don't read it as having an entirely different meaning such as rasping, or filing, but rather, as having a figurative meaning, easily understood in the workplace.

Ngempleng ada-ada might be understood in keris making as to precisely centre the ada-ada, but that's sure not what it means. Again, we can twist things a bit, and extract the intended meaning, but for somebody not familiar with the game of making keris, it could be a bit confusing.

Actually, it would not surprise me if many of these "traditional keris making terms" were the exclusive property of Empu Djeno alone, or perhaps his family, or the geographic area in which he worked.

Regarding the word "guwaya". This has been explained to me by those I trust, as being of two types:- guwaya cebleh---when the blade is stained it will be pale and unattractive; guwaya mendasar---when stained the blade will appear prestigious and attractive.
Perhaps "charisma" could be an acceptable English word . Certainly no blade will present with good charisma if it is unable to be well stained.

Regarding the length of time taken to make a blade.
If we count in days, this does not necessarily mean a day as somebody in the west would think of a day, that is, a space of time with 24 , sixty minute hours, or the working component of that 24 hour space, say 8, or 10 hours.
In Javanese thought different days have different values, so if we select the days upon which we work, we can work on a day with a value of two, and we have worked two days; we can work on a day with a value of three, and we have worked three days----and so on.
To forge a simple wos wutah blade should not take any longer than two days of 8 hours for a smith and a striker.
Empu Suparman could finish such a forging, working with traditional hand tools, and working between 6 and 8 hours each day, in 14 days.
Thus, four man/days for forging, 14 man/days for making, total 18 man/days to make one fullsize keris with pamor wos wutah.

I have made a number of keris. The shortest time it has ever taken me is 17 man/days of 8 to 10 hours including forging, for a tilam sari. The longest time it ever took me was 49 man/days of 8 to 10 hours for a little pasupati. Total time for each includes one man/day for a striker in the tilam sari work time, and two strikers for three days for the pasupati, giving 6 striker man/days.These keris were made with traditional tools, not grinders, nor any other electric tools, with the exception of an electric blower for the forge, used for the tilam sari.

My personal opinion of these "keris making" competitions is that they are farcical. They are carving competitions, and they are constrained by time. To my way of thinking, they are practically worthless.To me, they have no meaning. If they want a real competition the competitors should forge their own keris, and then work on it freed from time constraints. What artwork is produced under the public gaze and subject to time constraints? These competitions are a nonsense, and every time I think of them it makes me angry. This is the degradation and cheapening of art.A better solution would be to hold an annual national competition, with each contestant entering his best work for the year.A true art competition.Not this publicity grabbing rubbish that is being staged now.

The two blades I mention as taking 17 man/days and 49 man/days can be seen here:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/PBXIImaisey3.html

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/PBXIImaisey2.html

Boedhi Adhitya 14th December 2007 01:03 AM

Dear Michel,
I'm afraid my note wasn't published. I recall there is another published note regarding keris making, by Museum Sonobudoyo Yogyakarta. Only a small booklet, without illustration. I believe you won't miss much without both. Keris making is and always be a handicraft. No rigid sequences could be established. I believe Empu Djeno was 'pushed' a little bit to make a rigid sequence presciption, as he was under constant questioning on how to make keris. Keris making art was considered as a lost-art at 60's. Without Mr. Dietrich Dresser's persistence, it would be a real lost-art. So when the 'resurrection' happened, it was quite shocking a bit.

Dear Pak Alan,
The word 'ngleseh, IMHO, is definitely Javanese. As I've written before, you have made a good, literal translation. But I chose not to translate it literally. Instead, I tried to find an equal terminology in western metalworking vocabularies. If you were suggesting the meaning of ngleseh as 'spreading the blade/blank by hot forging', thus, widen it under hammer, I must say I'm disagree. According to my note, ngleseh was done JUST AFTER the ngluroni/annealing/soften the blade. Empu Djeno employed 3 ngleseh steps, all immediately after ngluroni. Thus, ngluroni must be interpreted as a step to make ngleseh easier, and ngleseh must be a cold working. Another, last, ngluroni was done just before 'ngelus'=to smoothen/erase the chisel/rough file marks. Needles to say, ngluroni also makes ngelus easier.
I think no other word could describe Ngleseh properly such as 'rasping', or 'filing the billet to reveal the pamor and make a rough contour' (but ones can use Japanese's sen if he prefers, instead of file/rasp file). The width of the billet should be readily adjusted under 'ngilap' step.

Ones could easily 'lost' in the chaotic world of Javanese grammar and vocabularies. Frankly, I don't think Javanese follow a 'rigid' grammar and vocabularies when they speak daily. What they use as a guidance is 'Rasa', literally means 'feeling', but it means much more than feeling. Everything spoken within context and under prescribed assumption. Most of this assumption is unspoken. A word can be twisted to unlimited meaning, depending on the context. "Plesetan", or playing with words(?) is a common jokes.

I agree with you that "traditional keris making terms", while not all, could be an exclusive property of Empu Djeno. He was under constant pressure to answer all questions regarding keris making. It might push him to "invent" several terms, just to make it more concise and easier to explain. Unfortunately, it is not so concise for many of us, which didn't come directly face-to-face with Empu Djeno. Even a thick book of Guritno didn't help a desperate men like Michel.

Regarding the term 'guwaya', I believe it is not as easy as you've already explained. Indeed, guwaya is influenced by proper marangi. I'm fully understand what you meant about 'guwaya cebleh' and 'guwaya mendasar' ('mendasar' is Indonesian. I think it is not 'recognizable' under strictly Javanese language), but I prefer called it as 'warangan cebleh' and 'warangan mapan'. In Jogja, we refer 'cebleh' as 'welu' : A look of someone just after getting out of the bed in the morning. It's remedy is re-etching, mostly. A properly applied warangan can surely enhance the guwaya, but some blade which had already 'lost' it's guwaya is beyond help. If guwaya is as simple as properly applied warangan, then why should Guritno put it as one of criteria in keris selection? (Gebyar, Guwaya, Wingit, Wibawa, if I'm not mistaken). I've been taught that guwaya is much more than just a blade's ability to be well-stained. In fact, one of the main criticism on contemporary kerises is it's lack of Guwaya, when many of them have an appealing appearance. If ones insist me to define guwaya, than I may say that guwaya is "something that missing in the ones' picture/photograph compared to the real him/her". Surely, going to beautician would help ones appearance, but some faces, which is 'beyond help', would not.:)

Regarding the Keris Carving Competition (I agree with you to name it a keris carving), I would say, Japanese Sword Making Competition, along with limitation on production, would be an ideal model. But if it really applied, well, a much more complication would arise. Seeing the good side, the competition reintroduce the keris to the society. You know how 'ordinary' Indonesian sees keris as a 'dukun's tool'.

A. G. Maisey 14th December 2007 03:07 AM

Pak Boedhi, I have failed to make myself clear. I apologise.

Let me try again.

On language:- yes, ngleseh is definitely Javanese.

My understanding of the distinction between Javanese and Indonesian is imperfect because my teachers have been the people I meet and converse with everyday in Solo, as well as the members of my own family, and friends here in Australia. All of these people carelessly mix Indonesian and Javanese when they speak with me. None will ever use perfect Indonesian, and their idea of Indonesian is a level of Javanese with perhaps a few more Indonesian words than Javanese words.However, that said, I can often recognise Javanese words, simply because they are words that I do not see in Indonesian language publications.The word "ngleseh" is one such word. Not at all uncommon in the conversations I have, but I cannot ever remember seeing it in a publication in formal Indonesian.

Your remarks on the inconstantcy of the Javanese language are accurate.
Linguists recognise Javanese as a non-standardised language.Apart from which it is equally recognised by linguists that each speaker of Javanese regards the words he uses as his own personal property to alter and manipulate as he will, provided the meaning is clear to the listener.Above all, Javanese is primarily a spoken language, rather than a language designed for clear communication through print, thus, it relies greatly on inflection, and on the accompanying body language.

Which brings us back to "ngleseh".
You are handicapped by not having Haryoguritno's book in front of you, if you did have, I am sure that you would understand instantly what I mean.

If we look at the workflow we see:-

nyawati > diwangun > ngilap > ngleseh > diwangun > ngleseh > diwangun (and a further 20 more steps:- ndudut kembang kacang, ngisi jalen, ngeluk KK, mekak pidakan, ngleseh, diwangun, ngluroni, natah sogokan, natah tikel alis, natah sraweyan, diwangun, nglempeng ada-ada, diwangun, followed by the gonjo work)

the keris process of nyawati involves the opening up of the forged surface so you can see the place where the steel core surfaces; in practice, the way you do this is by a lot of repeated short, light throws of the file, you cannot afford to be too enthusiastic, you need to just pick away at the edge, just sufficient to be able to pick up the edge of the core; the word "nyawati" describes this process well, because you are repeatedly throwing the file at the surface, you are not seriously using the file to remove bulk metal

the next step in the work flow is "diwangun"; when we wangun something we build it, or give it form,or perfect it, so we've taken off a wee bit of metal with our nyawati, then we need to do the corrections by going back to the forge and giving shape, or improvement to the blade forging

the next step is ngilap , "ngilap", from kilap, "lightening"; we strike very light, very rapid blows---blows that are like lightening-- for the purpose of refining the work ( in western forge work, this is parallel with edge packing).

the next step is the much discussed "ngleseh"; in this step we spread the open area of bevelled edge upon the ground of the forged blade, we do this by widening with a file the bevel already established by the previous three steps

then we correct the form of the blade again, by cold working this time, so we have "diwangun" again

the next thing we do is to once again "ngleseh", this time we spread the bevelled edge all the way back to the centreline that will eventually become the place where we put the ada-ada

then we once again "diwangun" and correct the blade form

If we understand the way in which to work on a forging in order to produce a blade, it is fairly easy to see how we could use words like "ngleseh" and "ngilap" to refer to the actions involved in the work process.
To me, the use of these words is a completely logical development of a system of working instructions.

Pak Boedhi, it is not a matter of "literal translation", it is a matter of "literal understanding". Yes, some of the words I translated literally, because there was no translation given in Haryoguritno's glossary, but with just a little understanding of the actual hands on process it is easy to see how this literal translation can be understood to convey a specific work-application meaning. These words do not acquire a completely different meaning when used to describe keris work, they acquire a meaning parrallel with their common meaning, but specific to work on a keris.

As far as "guwaya" goes, I have simply repeated here the explanation given me by two Kraton Surakarta empus, and verified by a man who is perhaps the most respected authority on Javanese art, especially the keris. I have no opinion on this, I simply pass on what I have been taught. There are other words and concepts to refer to other characteristics, for instance, "wanda". In fact, both wanda and guwaya can be considered to be a level above the understanding of pure physical form, and begin to approach the level of being able to "feel" the keris.Although I used the word "staining" when I spoke of guwaya previously, actually the true meaning goes beyond just the result of staining a blade, but it is not possible for me to put the ideas associated with guwaya and wanda into English; "staining" is a fairly simple concept for ordinary people to understand.Wingit and wibawa are not similar to guwaya or wanda, but are specific feelings that can be generated by a keris;for instance you could say that the feeling of a keris is "wingit", but you cannot say that the feeling of a keris is "guwaya", because "guwaya" is an overall quality, not a specific quality.As I said previously, perhaps "charisma" is near enough for an understanding in English.

Keris competitions.
Keris are art.
Art should not be measured subject to artificial time constraints, nor should it be done under public gaze.
By staging competitions open to the public and subject to time constraints the making of a keris has been reduced from art to a manufacturing process and is measured by commercial viability rather than artistic parameters.
Public, timed keris carving exhibitions are garbage that can do nothing but damage the art.


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