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Old 20th June 2013, 06:29 AM   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635


Sorry about the link, maybe the session expired.
Try yourself to search "archaic kris" on this forum and you will find several interesting threads and pictures of archaic kris.

On the dating I seem to have been unclear. I meant that the archaic kris survived into the first quarter of the 19th before being replaced by the next style in popularity. When it first appeared is more difficult to date but there seems to be a collector's consensus that it was produced at least from the early 18th C.

The kris sword is mentioned, but not pictured AFAIK, in much older sources but I do not have them with me when traveling.
Hopefully someone else can check them. Otherwise I will have a look and return to this thread in two weeks.
Scott's book would be a god start but there are several other sources that describes what the Philippines, Brunei, Borneo, North Malaysia and Sulawesi (= "the kris sword belt", the areas being close to the major Malay/Indonesian iron sources in Borneo and Sulawesi) looked like between 16 - 18th C. Both the kampilan and the kris are often mentioned in those travel descriptions from early European visitors.
At that time the kris sword still also was popular in the Central Philippines. I found this description in an extract on my computer, from Scott's book Barangay: Sixteenth Century Philippine Culture and Society, on the Visayas, page 148:

"There were two kind of swords - kris (Visayan kalis) and kampilan, both words of Malay origin. The kris was a long double-edged blade (modern specimens run to 60 or 70 centimeters), either straight or wavy but characterized by an asymmetrical flare at the end of the hilt end, called kalaw-kalaw after the kalaw hornbill.The wavy kris was called kiwi-kiwo, and so was an astute, devious man whose movement could not be predicted. Hilt were carved of any solid material - hardwood, bone, antler, even shell - and great datu warriors had them of solid gold, or encrusted with precious stones. Blades were forged from layers of different grades of steel, which gave them a veined or mottled surface - damascened or "watered." But even the best Visayan products were considered inferior to those from Mindanao and Sulu, and in turn were less esteemed than imports from Makassar and Borneo. Alcina thought the best of them excelled Spanish blades."

[Alcina was an early 17th Jesuit missionary who researched and documented the Philippines.]
Unfortunately I only had the chapter about the Visayas on my computer but, unless anyone will claim that the kris sword originated on Panay, I hope it will be of interest as a source that some kind of kris swords existed already in the 16th - 17th C in the kris sword belt.

The importance of Scott's research of the 16th C Philippines (based on Spanish sources from the same century) is "slightly corresponding" to Pigeaud's for Java in the 14th C, so I think his book will interest you.

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