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Freddy 18th July 2005 05:49 PM

New keris
 
Just got this one this morning. It's a newly made keris, but I think it's a beauty. It has a Yogyakarta dress (gayaman style).

According to my (humble) opinion the dapur is 'Tilam Upih'. I was told it was dapur Jalak Dinding. So this is my first question, who can tell me the difference ? I think these two dapur are very similar.

My second question is concerning the pamor. I know this is a difficult item, but nevertheless. Could this be pamor 'Ganggeng Kanyut' or does anyone recognize it as another pamor ? :confused:

Here are the pics :









Total length is 50 cm, length of blade is 36 cm

Alam Shah 23rd July 2005 01:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
According to my (humble) opinion the dapur is 'Tilam Upih'. I was told it was dapur Jalak Dinding. So this is my first question, who can tell me the difference ? I think these two dapur are very similar.

My second question is concerning the pamor. I know this is a difficult item, but nevertheless. Could this be pamor 'Ganggeng Kanyut' or does anyone recognize it as another pamor ? :confused:
Dapur Jalak Dinding have a gusen, pejeten and tingil. This keris does not have a tingil, but it does have a gusen and ada-ada. Therefore, it is not Dapur Jalak Dinding.

Dapur Tilam Upih does not have a gusen. Therefore, it is not Dapur Tilam Upih.

From the features of the keris, it should be Dapur Jalak Ruwuh. It have a pejetan, gusen and ada-ada. Jalak Ruwuh looks similar to Tilam Upih or Brojol except that the blade is thicker in the centre.

The pamor does looks like Ganggeng Kanyut. It is said that this pamor pattern can enhance the owner's popularity, easily making friends.

Hope that answers your questions. ;)

Rick 24th July 2005 04:24 PM

New Keris
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Freddy ,
I'm a fan of new keris also .
Some of the work coming out of Madura these days is quite good .
Also when I purchase a new example I know what I'm buying and it's not "the story" or some contemporary piece artificially mangled to look old .

Freddy 24th July 2005 04:35 PM

Thanks
 
Thanks for your help. :)

I looked it up in the 'Ensiklopedi Keris' and you're quite right. I thought it was 'Tilam Upih' because it lacked the 'tinggil'.

But perhaps you could help with the explanation of 'gusen'. I tried to translate the text concerning this dapur in the above mentioned book , but it's not easy. I (am beginning to) have an understanding of Bahasa Indonesia and can translate some of the written text with the help of my dictionnairies, but everything is not always clear to me.

Am I right in stating that the 'gusen' is the narrow border running alongside the edge of the blade ?

Alam Shah 24th July 2005 04:46 PM

Hi Rick,
Nice Pamor Uler Lulut you have there. ;)

But the hilt is unique. I haven't seen this type of hilt before.
Any idea what type of hilt is it? :confused:

Alam Shah 24th July 2005 04:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
Thanks for your help. :)
Am I right in stating that the 'gusen' is the narrow border running alongside the edge of the blade ?

Yes, you're right. :D

Freddy 24th July 2005 04:50 PM

nice
 
Nice keris, Rick. Mine also comes from Madura, according to the info I received from the seller.

What's the pamor ? And can we have a close-up of the handle. Looks intresting to me.

But I also like the older ones. I don't mind if the blade is not 100 %. That's part of their beauty.

Here's a nice example :





Dapur Carita Luk sebelas ?

Alam Shah 24th July 2005 05:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
Nice keris, Rick. Mine also comes from Madura, according to the info I received from the seller.
But I also like the older ones. I don't mind if the blade is not 100 %. That's part of their beauty. Dapur Carita Luk sebelas ?
...Or what's left of it. It had seen better days.
It takes a lot of ... to appreciate a piece like that.
Well, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder... ;)

Alam Shah 24th July 2005 05:10 PM

My Maduran piece.
 
I have a madura piece too. Click here to have a look.
Estimated to be around late 20th century. Simple piece.:)

Rick 24th July 2005 07:15 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Very nice example Alam Shah !
Beautiful!

Pamor Uler Lulut , the beautiful worm . ;)
The ukiran is a rare form but it is traditional to Jawa and was a type favored by a legendary folk hero IIRC . The style is called Imam Bonjol .
I believe you can see an example of this ukiran in the Mangkunegaraan Musium collection in Solo . Also , if you notice the wrongko is faceted rather than the usual smooth curved sides .

John 25th July 2005 03:59 AM

Although not quite a fan of new kerises (blades) collectionwise, I immensely enjoy seeing some of the beautiful craftsmanship/aesthetics of the new works.

I thought the "shades" of the uler lulut pamor of Rick's blade skillfully executed giving the 3 dimensional look and I guess more profoundly so at certain angles.

All beautiful pieces in their own right. However Freddy's blade appears to have an overwhelming spread of black stain on it's surface (or is it the photos?). I've had some new Madurese pieces like this stained by black motor oil which may not be the case here.

Boedhi Adhitya 25th July 2005 06:36 AM

Gusen (java)word come from "gusi" (indonesian/java/malay?), which means the teeth's gum. Gusen might means "looks like the teeth's gum". In the keris terminology, it means the beveled edges. the bevel might looks like the gum, if we look the sharp edge as the tooth :) I do agree with Pak Cik Alam shah that the dhapur is Jalak Ruwuh, or some people in Java might spell, Jalak Nguwuh. Determining the dhapur sometimes a little bit tricky, because the ricikan (details) of some kerises might not exactly the same as the written ones on the book. In this case, we may choose the closest-related dhapur possible, which has the same ricikan/details most.

About the old blade attached, IMHO, it has 13 luks. The dhapur might be Sengkelat. It was a good one, and I believe, it is still a good one for you, Freddy. Counting luks might be frustrating on heavily corroded blades. Some keris experts in Java propose counting luks on it's concave sides, not the convex, hilly sides. That is, if you hold a keris (which has luks certainly :D ) on your right hand, and the sirah cecak and gandik side facing left side, you might start counting the concave-sides luks with your left thumb and index finger. The first luk is just upside of the gandik/sekar kacang on the left side of the blade, counted with your left thumb, and the second luk is counted with your left index finger. Continue counting by alternating the thumb and index finger through the whole length of the blade, on the concave sides. Now come the important part : The luk MUST ended on your thumb, if the keris' luk is still intact. That means, the tip/point of the blade MUST be directing to your left side. If not, the point of the blade might has gone because of corrosion or altered by someone. In case of corrosion, you may add 1 to make the luk odd (luk's counting always odd). I found this method much more easier and more reliable, especially if we count the luks on the spear heads and heavily corroded kerises.
In the case of the old blade attached, if we count the luk using this method, the luk might ended on your left index finger, and the point turn to the right side. The counting is 12, so if we add 1, the blade was 13 luks. Since corrosion may not change the dhapur, then the blade still called as having 13 luks, while in fact, it has 12 luks.

wish I add something to this forum (not confusion certainly :D )

Alam Shah 25th July 2005 12:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
The ukiran is a rare form but it is traditional to Jawa and was a type favored by a legendary folk hero IIRC . The style is called Imam Bonjol .
I believe you can see an example of this ukiran in the Mangkunegaraan Musium collection in Solo . Also , if you notice the wrongko is faceted rather than the usual smooth curved sides .

Ah! now i remember where I've seen it.
From the picture of Ali Basah Sentot Prawiradirja, one of the leading warrior of Pageran Diponegoro. He was wearing a keris whose hulu and warangka is similar to yours.

The ukiran is built up of 5 balls. Pageran Diponegoro, son of Hamengko Buwono the third, has been depicted on several engravings carrying a keris with a hilt resembling yours. :)

Freddy 25th July 2005 06:59 PM

Thank you for the elaborate explanation, Boedhi Adhitya.

I counted the luk on the old blade in the way you described, and I ended with 12 luk (at my index finger). So you are probably right in stating that the blade used to have 13 luk.

Alam Shah, I appreciate your comment on my kerises, but I wonder why you are so negative about the old keris blade. True, it's not in perfect condition. But I feel that this old blade still has something. I don't know what attracted me to it.
By repeatly washing the blade, it's a natural process that the blade becomes thin and starts losing some 'ricikan', don't you think so ? People in Indonesia, cherish their old family kerises. I've seen pictures of kerises in the same condition, which were and are respected for their age. :)

Rick 25th July 2005 07:55 PM

Keris collecting seems to be a very subjective activity .
Freddy I have an old example that is in the same general condition as yours along with several other old examples all collected from trusted sources .
I enjoy them immensely for their antiquity and the fact that they were used within their culture .

What really floats my boat in keris collecting is seeing well executed , unusual and complete pamor patterns and I find for the most part that they can only be affordably found in new work .

rahman 26th July 2005 01:38 AM

Quote:
Ah! now i remember where I've seen it.
From the picture of Ali Basah Sentot Prawiradirja, one of the leading warrior of Pageran Diponegoro. He was wearing a keris whose hulu and warangka is similar to yours.

The ukiran is built up of 5 balls. Pageran Diponegoro, son of Hamengko Buwono the third, has been depicted on several engravings carrying a keris with a hilt resembling yours.

Yes, but Pangeran Diponegoro's keris was quite small (keris pandak) that he wears tucked into his belt. This one's full size -- and a real beauty!

Alam Shah 26th July 2005 03:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
Alam Shah, I appreciate your comment on my kerises, but I wonder why you are so negative about the old keris blade. True, it's not in perfect condition. But I feel that this old blade still has something. I don't know what attracted me to it.
By repeatly washing the blade, it's a natural process that the blade becomes thin and starts losing some 'ricikan', don't you think so ? People in Indonesia, cherish their old family kerises. I've seen pictures of kerises in the same condition, which were and are respected for their age. :)

Negative? On the contrary, I think it's nice that you could appreciate such antiquity. (Not many people can.)

As Rick said "Keris collecting seems to be a very subjective activity."
Many people collect for different reasons.

I do have an old piece which I had grown attached to over the years.
This piece, I had kept for more than a decade (16 years.) Click here to see.

Sorry, if I didn't make myself clear. I have handled pieces in worse state than yours. Family heirlooms, almost to a point of disintegration and some are so fragile that if you exert a little force, it tends to crumble.

I agree with your comments above. Older blade have this 'x' factor which can draw one's attention. :D

Alam Shah 26th July 2005 03:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahman
Yes, but Pangeran Diponegoro's keris was quite small (keris pandak) that he wears tucked into his belt. This one's full size -- and a real beauty!
Yes rahman, I know that Pangeran Diponegoro's keris was quite small.


I was talking about the ukiran and not the size of the keris when I made reference to Pangeran Diponegoro's keris.

As for ukiran and warangka of a full size piece, see the picture of Ali Basah Sentot Prawiradirja. He was wearing a keris whose hulu and warangka is similar to Rick's piece.

Freddy 26th July 2005 05:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alam Shah

As Rick said "Keris collecting seems to be a very subjective activity."
Many people collect for different reasons.

I agree with your comments above. Older blade have this 'x' factor which can draw one's attention. :D


You are right, keris collecting, and in fact all collecting, is very subjective. I can appreciate the workmanship in a new keris. Sometimes I wonder how it's possible to 'create' the intricate pamor motifs.

But still, with an old keris I feel that there's a story behind the piece. That would be the so-called 'X' factor, no ? Unfortunately, the story is mostly lost as the keris goes from hand to hand before it comes in our possession. And this is especially true for old kerises in Western collections. :(

Rick 26th July 2005 05:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
You are right, keris collecting, and in fact all collecting, is very subjective. I can appreciate the workmanship in a new keris. Sometimes I wonder how it's possible to 'create' the intricate pamor motifs.

But still, with an old keris I feel that there's a story behind the piece. That would be the so-called 'X' factor, no ? Unfortunately, the story is mostly lost as the keris goes from hand to hand before it comes in our possession. And this is especially true for old kerises in Western collections. :(


Freddy, I think you have expressed exactly why I tend to collect new pieces . ;)

nechesh 26th July 2005 08:52 PM

Interesting discussion. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it needn't be an either/or decision in terms of old vs. new keris. I must admit a strong tendency towards older keris, keris that have truly seen use as ethnographic objects. My interest in keris is not necessarily a technical one, but one of sociologic and anthropologic study. I am drawn towards the keris for it's magickal/mystical qualities. While i can certainly appreciate the technical aspect i will probably never be able to give anyone more than a cursory explanation on the metalurgy of keris. At the same time i also recognize Freddy's lament, the story is lost and so much more. Still, that "X" factor allure remains, though i do not fool myself into thinking that merely acquiring an old keris automatical opens oneself up to the (possibly) generations of magickal/mystical intention and charge that accumulate in a true ethnographic keris. I am afraid i am of the belief that pusaka ceases to be pusaka once it is "collected" and the generational chain is broken. This isn't to say that energy work can no longer be done with such a keris, but it is surely not the same as when the great-great grandson of the original owner works with the keris. You do not acquire magick merely by acquiring a magickal object. There is a lot more work involved than that. ;)

On the other hand there is the "B" factor (Beauty), which i have certainly fallen prey to. I own a beautiful Madurese keris that was probably made in the 1980s for the collectors market (not the same as the "tourist" market). The style and execution of this piece i could probably never afford in an old keris. It caught my eye and called to me and so i bought it. It probably won't be the last time i buy a new keris. It's also important to understand that, like it or not, these newly made high level "art" keris are the evolution of the keris form. For the most part the keris as a spiritual/mystical/magickal ethnographic object is past in the Indonesian society. Yes, there are a VERY FEW empus who still know all the old tricks, or at least claim they do, but the call for their work is not increasing as time passes. These high level "art" keris are the future of the keris form. I suppose that if all collectors were to shun them that the art form itself would die out all together and that would be a real shame. :(

Alam Shah 27th July 2005 03:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy
But still, with an old keris I feel that there's a story behind the piece. That would be the so-called 'X' factor, no ? Unfortunately, the story is mostly lost as the keris goes from hand to hand before it comes in our possession. And this is especially true for old kerises in Western collections. :(
Freddy, the 'x' factors are more towards the 'mysterious', esoteric elements, ...the spiritual nature of the pieces. From a technical viewpoint, it would be the metal composition used, the natural blade aging, the patina of the dressing...etc.

The rule of thumb that I employ to make a decision would be my gut feeling.
If I feel connected or have the 'calling' to get the piece, I'll go ahead and get it, whether new or old. I like new for the artistic beauty.

As most had said before, some rare old pamor patterns and dapurs are hard to come by (even in the olden days). You can see new pieces sporting the rare pamors and dapurs. Click here for an example. It's a good sign. :)

Boedhi Adhitya 27th July 2005 07:55 AM

Now we came to discuss a subject some traditional keris expert reluctant to discuss. It's the isoteric subject, or the "X" factor.

What makes a keris "pusaka" while others are not ? Nechesh had made a good point, one of them is Family Heritage / Heirloom. But heritage isn't the only way for someone to own a pusaka-rated keris. Sultan Hamengkubuwono V (reign early 19th C.) in Jogjakarta known for buying some kerises and made them as Court Heirlooms. The "Kyai Pamungkas", once a keris pusaka belongs to Prince Tejokusuma, were acquired by buying it for 1000 gulden (early 20 c.). Sure, family heritage heirloom might had a long story, but in fact, every keris had it's own story, isn't it ? So, what the "pusaka" really is ? IMHO, pusaka might be interpreted as "Masterpiece". In keris's world, it MUST fulfill BOTH the exoteric and isoteric criterias. It were the Empus who really made some kerises rated as "pusaka" or "ageman", and only Master Empus who able to made such (considered) "powerful" pusaka. (In fact,most of the court in Java consider a spear/lance as their most powerful pusaka, not the keris). According to Java's tradition, pusakas were named Kyai (male)/Nyai (female) ..<something>. Usually, Kyai/Nyai is a title given to respected elder or spiritual teacher. The name isn't only a form of admiration to the art, but in fact, the pusakas itselves are really "teaching" a lesson and the empu's intention to the owner/spectators, in symbolic languages. Only those who understand the language might learn the precious lesson the pusaka (ultimately, the Empus) tried to convey. Treating pusaka as only an amulet is really a derogating way, if not considered as humiliation to the Empu. But treating it as an ordinary blade with no respect at all might also do so.

Thus, in old days, looking at someone's pusaka might reveal his philosophical view and intentions, knowledges, and also his identity. For many Javaneses, it might felt like naked. So, they try to "hide" this, by very selectively showing their pusaka, and also, by using the "ganja wulung". But today, it might means nothing, because there is so little keris owner who understand the language, and I'm afraid, many of this symbolic languages had lost.

But in the end, it is the owner who makes the decision, whether his keris is pusaka or not. What ever the owner decides, any wise spectator should treat it as a pusaka.

So, how could we tell ones is pusaka while other isn't ? As I mentioned before, a pusaka must fulfill both exoteric and esoteric criterias. Exoteric very much related to quality, those are, the materials used and the workmanship, which certainly shows the empu's mastery. The esoteric is much more difficult, as Alam Shah already said, just use your gut feeling :D Sorry, seems I give no help at all. But for the hints : pay attention to the iron. Old book say "the steel gives the sharpness, the iron gives the power, the pamor gives the glow/shine". Contrary to popular belief, pamor should be considered only as a "book cover/title", where the empu put his title to his intention. It is the iron, which really contains "the power". No named pusaka (that is, pusaka which bear a name, "Kyai") I've already seen had bad, rough and porous iron. In fact, many of them just show a minimalistic pamor, scattered-rice type (beras wutah), which convey a high-degree philosophical lesson. Good understanding on keris making process and metallurgy will show why.

Last but not least, I must admit that what I've been saying is only from Jogjakarta's view. Surakarta might say something differently, because of the different philosophical approach. Bali, Makasar/Bugis and Malay will certainly say something else.

Alam Shah 27th July 2005 01:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boedhi Adhitya
Last but not least, I must admit that what I've been saying is only from Jogjakarta's view. Surakarta might say something differently, because of the different philosophical approach. Bali, Makasar/Bugis and Malay will certainly say something else.

Boedhi, thank you for sharing Jogjakarta's philosophical approach. I agree with you, different regions have different philosophical approach. The Malay/Bugis approach is different. :)

Rick 27th July 2005 03:20 PM

Well , I guess this brings up another question (at least for me) ; When does a Panday become an Empu ?
Is this strictly a spiritual matter ?

marto suwignyo 27th July 2005 11:30 PM

Prior to continuing with comments relevant to this thread, I wish to make it known that ten years ago today, on Sabtu Wage, 28 Juli 1995, Bapak Suparman KRT. Supowijoyo, known as Empu Suparman, departed this realm. Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of Empu Suparman.



The question of exactly what the word "pusaka" conveys, is able to be answered in several ways, dependent upon the intent of the person using the word.

In colloquial use in present day Java it can serve as a substitute for the specific name of an item of wesi aji, that is, a keris blade may be referred to as "pusaka", or a tombak blade , or a pedang blade. In colloquial use it can be used to refer to all these items.

In modern Javanese it carries the meanings of :-1-an heirloom, a revered object passed down from an ancestor; 2- an inheritance (krama inggil for warisan); 3- a ricefield owned by one family through several generations.

The word has come into Indonesian, and in this language it carries the meaning of "heirloom".

As applied in correct usage, to a keris, it can only mean a keris that has been inherited from one`s forebears.

From the above it will be understood that the word pusaka does not apply only to keris and other items of wesi aji. It applies to any material object which is inherited from one`s ancestors.

In traditional Hindu/Javanese society, the possession of the royal pusakas were deemed to be essential to legitimise the right of the ruler to rule, however, the events following the surrender of Amangkurat III to the Dutch in 1708, demonstrate that a ruler could hold his position in the absence of the royal pusakas.One of Amangkurat III`s conditions for surrender to the Dutch was that he be permitted to retain the pusakas of the realm of Kartasura. Pakubuwana I (PB I), who ruled Kartasura following Amangkurat III was very upset by this loss of the pusakas, the more so because these pusakas were no longer even in the Land of Jawa, but had gone to Batavia.However, as disturbed as PB I was, he said to Cakrajaya, his chief councillor :-

"It is my feeling, Patih,that even if all the pusakas of the Land of Jawa are taken to Batavia, those that are the pikes and kerises,it concerns me not just as long as there are still the graveyard of Kadilangu and the mosque of Demak. Yea, know that these two are the pusakas of the Land of Jawa which are essential, there are no others."

PB I may well have been trying to validate his right to rule and in effect saying that the royal pusakas other than the mosque and graveyard were not important, but in the context of our present discussion, I believe that this usage of the word "pusaka" clarifies exactly what is meant by the word when used correctly in the Javanese language.

By the time PB I declared that the only pusakas that were really essential were a mosque and a graveyard, Islam had already assumed a dominant role in Javanese society, and in effect, PB I was maintaining the traditional cultural values by his stance that these two things were all that were essential, but he was maintaining the values in an Islamic fashion. In the Balinese cultural tradition, which can in many respects be regarded as a continuation of the culture of pre-Islamic Java, the pusaka keris binds the current custodian of that keris to his ancestors, and to members of his kin group who are still living. This is the cultural role of the keris pusaka. PB I substituted the Mosque of Demak, and the Graveyard of Kadilangu for the keris pusaka, as the things which bound him to his ancestors, and to his kin group, and thus bestowed upon him the right to rule.

So, in a cultural context, not only is a keris pusaka one that has been inherited from one`s ancestors, it is also the physical object that binds the present possessor of that keris pusaka to his ancestors, and to the other members of his kin group.

Regarding the use of the word "empu".
Empu is the title bestowed upon an outstanding poet, writer, artist, or armourer.
In Java, normally one could expect that this title would be bestowed by a Kraton, however, there were instances of famous empus who were not designated thus by a Kraton, but rather came to be known as empu by the wider community. Whereas a Kraton appointed , Javanese empu might be regarded as a part of Kraton heirarchy, and carry a Kraton rank, the empus of Bali were not a part of the Kraton heirarchy, but rather members of the Pande caste, having their own priests, living within their own community, and serving both the common people and the Kraton, upon request.

A pandhe is a blacksmith; this is Javanese usage.
A pandai is a craftsman in metal; this is Indonesian usage.
A pandai besi is a blacksmith (Indonesian).
A pandai keris is a keris craftsman.(Indonesian)

A pandai keris in Java could become an empu if invited to join the heirarchy of a kraton, and given a rank within that heirarchy.

John 28th July 2005 01:20 AM

Empu
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marto suwignyo
Regarding the use of the word "empu".
Empu is the title bestowed upon an outstanding poet, writer, artist, or armourer.
In Java, normally one could expect that this title would be bestowed by a Kraton, however, there were instances of famous empus who were not designated thus by a Kraton, but rather came to be known as empu by the wider community. Whereas a Kraton appointed , Javanese empu might be regarded as a part of Kraton heirarchy, and carry a Kraton rank, the empus of Bali were not a part of the Kraton heirarchy, but rather members of the Pande caste, having their own priests, living within their own community, and serving both the common people and the Kraton, upon request.

A pandhe is a blacksmith; this is Javanese usage.
A pandai is a craftsman in metal; this is Indonesian usage.
A pandai besi is a blacksmith (Indonesian).
A pandai keris is a keris craftsman.(Indonesian)

A pandai keris in Java could become an empu if invited to join the heirarchy of a kraton, and given a rank within that heirarchy.


Salam Marto and good to have you on board. Have been enjoying your interesting/informative posts.

On the subject of Empu, I was once told it's a title bestowed by the Kraton in those days and if so wouldn't it be true there's no Kraton appointed Empu presently? I'm not exactly sure how the late Suparman and Djeno got their Empu titles and perhaps you could enlighten. Would it be more appropriate to call ALL present day keris (blade) makers pandai?

marto suwignyo 28th July 2005 01:49 AM

Empu Suparman was a part of the heirarchy of the Kraton Surakarta Hadiningrat, and his designation as empu came from that source.

I imagine Empu Djeno would have a rank within the Kraton Yogyakarta and would be designated as empu from there.

Bp.H.Pauzan Pusposukardgo followed Empu Suparman in the Kraton Surakarta, but Pauzan himself has always rejected being called an empu, even though he has the right to the claim, and when he was working preferred to style himself as "Pandai seni keris".

In Bali , in Kusamba , near Klungkung, there was Empu Mangku Wije, but I am not sure if he is still with us or not.

These people aside, I do not know of any other people entitled to call themselves "empu", in the modern era.

Lately you may have noticed that keris are being sold on ebay and marketed as the product of a gentleman living in Surabaya, and probably of Madurese extraction or origin. The claim is being made that this gentleman is the current empu of the Kraton Surakarta. I suggest that this claim may not be supportable.

nechesh 28th July 2005 03:31 AM

It should also be noted that Empu Djeno has not actually made keris for some time, his apprentices do, though he may oversee the work. So the short list of working empus is really even shorter. :(

John 28th July 2005 10:10 AM

Empu
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marto suwignyo
Empu Suparman was a part of the heirarchy of the Kraton Surakarta Hadiningrat, and his designation as empu came from that source.

I imagine Empu Djeno would have a rank within the Kraton Yogyakarta and would be designated as empu from there.

Bp.H.Pauzan Pusposukardgo followed Empu Suparman in the Kraton Surakarta, but Pauzan himself has always rejected being called an empu, even though he has the right to the claim, and when he was working preferred to style himself as "Pandai seni keris".

In Bali , in Kusamba , near Klungkung, there was Empu Mangku Wije, but I am not sure if he is still with us or not.

These people aside, I do not know of any other people entitled to call themselves "empu", in the modern era.

Lately you may have noticed that keris are being sold on ebay and marketed as the product of a gentleman living in Surabaya, and probably of Madurese extraction or origin. The claim is being made that this gentleman is the current empu of the Kraton Surakarta. I suggest that this claim may not be supportable.


Thanks a lot Marto. I'm hoping if we could collectively nail the issue of Empu in the proper context. Assuming that Suparman, Mangku Wije and Djeno are all not direct Kraton authorised but just part of a downline of an Empu proper, wouldn't it be improper to consider them to be an Empu proper? Something like a son/apprentice of an Empu shouldn't be called an Empu if he's not kraton authorised. I'm just making a hypothetical point here hoping to see what some others may think. Perhaps there may be not a single Empu left after all... Thoughts?


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