Thread: New keris
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Old 1st August 2005, 06:58 AM   #40
Boedhi Adhitya
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 103

Pak Marto, I absolutely agree with you. The meaning of "pusaka", as I mentioned before, should not and cannot be extended to a wider cultural or social context. This is not, as Pak Marto said, a correct term within the Javanese culture context. Any sane sociologist or anthropologist should not use the pusaka's meaning as I described before on their work In fact, I suggest they should find their own meaning, since it is still an interesting subject.

Once again Pak Marto is correct. What I really want to describe was "the qualities of which keris rated as pusaka, should have". This might be a general guidelines for traditional keris "collectors", as described by Mr. Haryono Guritno as "Tuh - Si - Rap - Puh - etc,..etc,..." In fact, only a very-very little "real pusaka keris" (that is, kerises which are really treated as pusaka by their owner) belong to Javanese peoples which may meets such tight requirements. Most of them, belongs to the kraton's families or associated with them. To find one of this pieces really pain in the ass. If you find one, just jump and get it But to recognize it, you should have some knowledges, don't you ? Without knowledges, the pusakas may only pass you by.

It is correct that pusaka term as I describe may only applied to "very inner circles", that is, keris experts who have access and have seen by themselves the examples of keris pusaka belongs to kraton, or at least, some pusaka belongs to Kraton families which once belongs to Kraton. Without seeing ones (or twos, the more the better ), the meaning hardly being understood. Even so, those who have access, not necessarily understand. As I mention before, consider the pusaka as a book. The ones who is "illiterate", will never be able to "read" it. Mr. Sugeng Wiyono, a Kedaulatan Rakyat newspaper's reporter, write a book entitled "Jimat Ngucap, Pusaka Kandha", which might means "If you have an amulet (=Jimat), then you have to cast a mantra/spell (=Ngucap=to speak) to make it "work", but if you have a Pusaka, the Pusaka itself will teach you a lesson(=Kandha=to tell). You just have to sit, and "watch/listen" " The Pusaka mentioned here means a keris, not other pusaka such as a gamelan or ricefields He gains his understanding on pusaka, he claims, by studying under the direction of the elders.

"Tosan Aji" might means "worthy Iron" or "honourable/respectable/adorable iron". It MUST have such qualities to became worthy/respected ones, not only depends on it's history. The very carefull and cautious traditional collector would then examine the keris history, especially by examining the "fate" of the owner before him. Were the owner life in prosperity or were they doomed with bad luck, living unharmoniously, or eventually, having a disease and death. Once it pass the qualification, then it worth to be called and treated as a Pusaka. That is, we can take "a lesson or benefit(=tuah)" or any spiritual meaning from them, whether it's philosophically, spiritually, or even more, "magically". This lessons/benefits are REAL (now I'm really talking about esoteric ). Any who didn't qualified, while it worth preserving/collecting, should not be treated as pusaka, since they have nothing to share, and thus, no benefit/lesson could be taken. If we receive it as an inheritance, but didn't pass "the exam", then, we should treat it as inheritage, something that connect us to the pass or families or something else, but we shouldn't expect "the lesson/benefit" from them.
This argument may only be understood and accepted with an example and wide explanation, which I think, may take a lot of bandwidths, and should not be tried. Even in the old days, this explanation/understanding would only be teached privately (and still that way today), while the commoners would be only consuming "the myth" and "legends" .

Today, only a very limited traditional keris collectors/lovers/connoiseurs/or fancier (as Pak Marto said), might exercise this understanding. Even in Jogjakarta. Most of the peoples, if not nearly all, who pay attention to kerises (in Java particularly) expecting for magical/ mystical or spiritual benefit keris might brought. Thus, they would be a subject of fraud by irresponsible "dukun" or "paranormal elders". I've seen a lot of victims, some of them brought newly made keris being told as Majapahits, some brought a pieces of brass, cast like keris, some even brought a pieces of iron plate from an oil drum, shaped like keris, and they call it "pusaka". I've even met a local official brought newly made keris with certificate stating that his keris is a Majapahit made and was a kraton surakarta heirloom, signed by a KRT. He himself saw the keris was taken from the "gedong pusaka" (heirloom's hall) of Kraton Surakarta, then was given to him. It is very sad to say, most of Javanese today do not understand about kerises/tosan aji. They even don't know what it's look alike, especially among the youth. Many are very afraid to the kerises as such, that even to open the cupboard containing the keris they're really in fear, not to mention to draw it from the scabbard.

Unfortunately, many of those who really knows has passed away, and those who didn't understand claim to be understand. I don't claim myself to be understand, not even an expert. I just conveying what I've learnt, and realizing that there are even more to learn. And fortunately, The Great Empus had left us The Book, that is, their great works. Like the elders said "Trust no one, just read The Book"

Well, cultural differences may apply.

Best Regards to all
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