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Old 18th December 2004, 04:19 PM   #34
nechesh's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 940

Ronpakis, there seems to be much confusion around the intention and purpose of the keris. It seems to me that it did not originate as a weapon only to be used for statis and ceremony, but developed to that point over time. I don't believe this development was universal to all areas of Indonesia and it seems that certain groups, such as the Bugis held on to its use as a weapon longer than, say, the Javanese, where the keris was elevated to a high status art form. It is my understanding that the Bugis were known for actually using the keris in battle. I also suspect that certain Balinese keris also saw some battle. As for securing handles for combat, you would be surprised what a bit of pitch will do. I have a Bali keris that when i received it i swore it was epoxyed to the hulu, but after heating the blade a bit i was able to disconnect them and found it was attached with pitch. Like Blu's Bugis keris, this keris also exhibits nicks on the blade that indicate it was used to parry another blade, i assume in some kind of fight. It is important to realize that attitudes about the purpose of the keris have evolved over many centuries and in different manners depending upon the precise keris bearing people from which they originate. It is very difficult to make certain blanket statements about keris such as it is not a "real" weapon. Trust me, i have keris that can kill you quite efficiently.
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