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Old 20th June 2013, 08:10 AM   #22
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,517

Thank you for your clarification Michael, and for all the additional information.

Going back 50 or so years I did do a lot reading of early publications that dealt with Malaya, Borneo and other SE Asian countries, much of what I read was Oxford University Press reprints, in fact I still have maybe a dozen large boxes of these books stacked in my garage. I used to have a very good idea of what that part of the world was like from the time of first European contact through to the early 20th century. However as my focus narrowed I lost interest in these other areas, and I have forgotten much.

I never did have much interest in the Philippines, and still do not, and I guess we can blame this disinterest in the society and culture of these other areas for my lack of knowledge of the weaponry found in those places. However, one is undoubtedly linked to the other. After the collapse of Hindu Jawa the character of the Javanese keris changed, and its common dispersal by principally Islamic traders saw it introduced into other places in Maritime SE Asia as an artifact that had virtually no relationship at all to its original purpose. Thus my loss of interest in the keris in these non-core areas.

Moving away from my excuses for ignorance, and back to a question that does have some interest for me, that is emergence of the sword in the form of a keris. Would it be reasonable to date the earliest appearance of this "sword-keris" at around the beginning of the 18th century, rather than the beginning of the 19th century? If this is so, what are the available sources for confirmation of this? If we cannot confirm, what evidence is there to support the "collectors consensus" that you mention?

Do we have a language interpretation problem in relation to the sword in the form of a keris, or is there no doubt at all that when reference is made to this artifact that word does refer to what many now refer to as the Moro Keris? (or kris, or criss, or any other generally understood synonym)

Please excuse my variant approach to this matter. You see, I do not think in terms of "nice catches", or pretty pamors or scarce and unusual forms. I think in terms of history and societal relevance. This of course means that I tend to look for verification of opinions, or if not verification, then at least some sort of logical supporting argument for an opinion.


Any pamor miring is difficult, and once you go to a pamor miring you can count on using vastly more material, fuel and time. The possibility of error increases many times, and the possibility of failure increases many times.

Assessed on the basis of these factors alone, any pamor miring is by its nature a complex pamor. However, some are more complex than others, and these are pamors that are produced by twisting, splitting, re-welding, or other manipulation of the entire body of the bakalan, rather than by manipulation of the surface alone.

As examples, udan (hujan) mas is the result of surface manipulation.

The pamor in the keris that we are looking at in this thread is the result of manipulation of the entire bakalan.
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