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Old 13th September 2006, 02:55 PM   #47
Kiai Carita
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 91
Default to fight or not to fight

Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
...Thank you for your explanation, Bram.

I understand your reference now. The word is "cencem", to soak in oil and poison. This appears to be another example of dialect difference that makes Javanese such a nightmare of a language.I am aware of this practice, and in my files I have several recipes for preparation of the soak medium. I have no doubt at all that you may have seen blades being prepared for use in this way, my only question related to the word you used.

Yes, kanuragan can be a part of pencak silat, or it can stand alone, but it is not a synonym for pencak silat. Kanuragan is perhaps more similar to tenaga dalam , than to the pencak forms, and is essentially a mystical practice, rather than a physical one.

I am not familiar with the word:- "katosan".

Can you please elucidate? Thank you.

Regarding Gusti Djuminah. I will preface my remarks by saying that I have only a slight understanding of the situation in Yogyakarta , and especially in the Kraton Yogya , at the time of the transmission of power from HB VII to HBVIII. However, what I have read indicates that the crown prince was a a troublemaker and obstructionist, who did indeed seem to pose future problems for the Dutch administration. In light of the wealth that HBVII accrued under Dutch policy, this would seem to have been a particularly stupid attitude to adopt, and since the well being of the people of Yogya was dependent upon the economy of the region, it could be, and apparently was, interpreted by many people as a betrayal of the people who were resident of Yogyakarta.

Alan, katosan (from the word atos) is a synonym to kanuragan. It is certainly more tenaga-dalam and magic knowledge than pencak-silat movement. Names such as Brajamusthi, Lembu Sekilan, Gelap Ngampar...

From what I know, originally Merpati Putih was also a breathing system without silat movement. The silat movement came later in the 20th century. Myself, I practise Bangau Putih, which before RI was called Kuntao. During the early Rekiblik years in Yogya, pencak silat recieved much support and developed rapidly with people like Pak Sukowinadi and Pak Harimurti teaching it to the masses. I think that Pakualam was very interested in silat as well and during the 19th century brought in teachers to teach the princes.

In Central Jawa it would seem that most silat traces it's lineage to Cimande in Bogor or to the people of Minangkabau land, or the Bugis and the Madurese. However, reading Pramoedya Ananta Toer's descriptions of Galeng's fights in his novel Arus Balik, it would seem that Pak Pram (alm) believed that pencak was already there at the fall of Majapahit. O'ong Maryono's research found the first mention of pencak silat in literature was in Kidung Sundayana in the sad story of the Pajajaran puputan against Gajahmada.

Now, back to the keris as a fighting weapon. Myself I would be inclined to believe that although the keris was used as the last weapon, the fact that many keris do not have the structural integrity to be used in a fight, makes me think that the fighting part, in Jawa, was always secondary to the sipat-kandhel function. I would imagine that if the keris was primarily a weapon, the design would have somewhat become more specialized for the purpose. If I were to make a fighting keris I would make sure there was a sturdy ada-ada and a screw type pesi to make it hold stronger in the ukiran.

You find all sorts of keris with tangguh that indicate rather ancient times, Jenggala, Kediri, for example... and also in these ancient tangguh, you have the huge variety of dhapur, some would be more suitable for fighting than the others. I would imagine that if the keris was primarily a side-arm, then there would not be that many dhapur as only the practical ones would be ordered. I believe the situation is thus in Malaysia, Sumatra, the Philippines, the Bugis all of them have rather simple and much more sturdy keris than the Jawa blade.

Regarding Gusti Juminah, the website you pointed me to was Pak Bagong's brother's website. There he is said to be membelot (to become traitor) but the subject of that site is his grandson, and to become traitor to the Dutch means to become hero to the people.

I am still interested in the angle the ukiran is fitted on to the tang. Does anyone have any information about how the Jawanese positioned the ukiran in pre-Mataram II times?

Warm salams to all,
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