Join Date: May 2006
Laowang, my remarks on the influence of the courts are mostly influenced by what I've seen in Jawa, that is true. But some of the wildest examples of deviation from standard types that I have encountered have come from places other than Jawa. These have been keris that I have either seen, or acquired here in Australia, and they were keris that had been either passed to a relative or keris that had been personally collected by the person who had the keris when I saw it or bought it. I've seen some very diverse assemblies of parts that have come from Borneo/Kalimantan, and from Sumatra.
I think that we are all aware that dealers both in SE Asia, and in the rest of the world, sometimes mix up parts of a keris simply so they have something to sell, so when we come across a keris with mixed parts it is sometimes, maybe always, impossible to know if what we are looking at is a dealer's montage, or something that came as is out of some village in Sumatra, or wherever. However, the keris that I've mentioned in the previous paragraph are ones that did have a credible provenance, not ones bought at auction or a weekend market.
There have not been a lot of these keris, probably less than 15 or so during my entire lifetime, but more than sufficient to convince me that once we get into a remote village the people have the attitude that a keris is a keris is a keris.