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Old 14th March 2005, 07:25 AM   #27
BluErf's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,180

There are some general 'guidelines', but as people move around in the archipelago, ideas and aesthetics are exchanged and lines get blurred.

I remember asking Dave and Paul a few years back how do they tell the kerises apart and I would never get a straight answer because there were (are) none. After seeing more examples and always asking -- where did this keris supposedly come from. And mulling over the information, judging for ourselves whether the information is reasonable or not, we begin to form a basic construct of what makes a Sulawesi sampir Sulawesi, and what makes a Riau sampir Riau etc. Not a neat thing... and frustrating always. And nobody's totally sure, especially with people (me included) swapping handles and pendokos around. Sometimes, even sheaths get swapped.

There you have it -- the whole conundrum.

As to RSword's kerises, I think the first one is Straits, judging from the blade, which looks S. Sumatran, and judging from the pendok motifs -- the distinctive swirling vegetation motif. The pendoko looks S. Sumatran. Could it be Sumbawa -- Maybe.

On the second one, I think its Sulawesi. The sheath has dauns (or 'leaves', at the 2 top ends of the sheath) that do not curve inwards. Sulawesi sampir has this tendency to have dauns that curve outwards. Also, I'm not sure if I spy a 'bulge' at the throat of the sampir.
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