Join Date: Dec 2004
Meteoric iron used for keris's vs. for Indian weapons
I have started to wonder a bit about how many kerise’s have been made out of meteoric iron.
It is fairly often mentioned, that some are, or could have been made of this iron, but where these kerise’s were made and used, there is mostly little land, but a lot of water for the meteor to disappear into.
When you go to India you very seldom hear about meteoric iron, although they have a lot of land and little water. The only place where I can remember to have seen meteoric iron mentioned is here:
Arms and Jewellery of the Indian Mughuls, Lahor 1947, written by Abdul Aziz.
In the book he tells about Shah Jahangir, and about a falling meteor. The meteor fell around 10 April 1621 close to a village called Jalandhar. The meteor was dug up and presented to Shah Jahangir:
I ordered Master (Ustad) Daud to make a sword, a dagger and a knife out of it, and bring them to me. He represented that it would not stand below the hammer, and fell too pieces. I told him in that case to mix it with other iron and make use of it. As I had told him, he mixed three parts of lightening-iron and one of other iron, and having made two swords, one dagger, and one knife, brought them to me. From the mixing of other iron he had brought out its quality (watering). According to the manner of the excellent swords of Yaman and [the swords of] the South, it could be bent, and became straight again. I ordered him to test it in my presence. It cut very well, equal to true swords. I called one the Shamshir-I-qati (keen sword) and the other Barq-sirisht (lightening-natured).
Can anyone explain to me, why we so relative often hear about meteoric iron in connection with kerise’s, but not with Indian weapons?