Join Date: Jan 2005
Pak Boedhi, I believe we may have reached the end of our discussion on the meaning of the word "pusaka". A rereading of the views we have exchanged on this matter will demonstrate that the term "pusaka" can have different meanings, for different people, dependent upon the value system being used.
I believe it is fair to say that the value system applied by yourself has its roots in the physical properties of the keris; the value system that I have applied has its roots in Javanese culture.
As you say, the whole thing in its final analysis is subjective, however, although application may be subjective, the values governing the subjective application must remain objective.
In respect of the comments attributed to Pak Suwarsono Lumintu, I would agree that his recommendations would assist in an understanding of craftsmanship in a keris, however, there is much more to the keris than only the skill of the maker.
In order to reach some understanding of the place of the keris in Javanese culture, study on a much wider base is required. It is regretable, but unavoidable, that Javanese culture has undergone change, and that much of the tradition and belief of Jawa has been altered or modified by contact with other cultures, societies, and belief systems.
I would suggest that although our primary interest may be the keris, that interest cannot exist in isolation from an interest in Javanese culture and history.
It is my firm belief that to understand the keris , we must have an understanding of Javanese culture, history, and society; such understanding can only be gained from serious and consistent study in the relevent fields.
Pak Boedhi, the academics are always telling us that correct usage of the Javanese language will be dead within a very short space of time, some people are claiming that within 20 years the only people who will be able to speak Javanese correctly will be professors in universities.
I will not comment as to whether I agree with this , or not, however, I think that this demonstrates that unless those of us who do maintain an interest in Javanese culture, take a serious and studious approach to the preservation of that culture, eventually the unique features of the culture will be forgotten.
It is one thing to appreciate and preserve a cultural icon. It is something else entirely to understand the place of that icon within the culture.
Because of this, my own approach to the study of the keris is a culturally based approach, rather than an approach rooted in craftsmanship.
I thank you for sharing your photographs of these superior keris.