Join Date: Aug 2005
Some excellent ideas here gentlemen. t_c having grasped a few of my keris in response to your answer I think it is very sound and suspect that stopping your hand sliding down onto the blade is a very practical 'form follows function' explanation...and perhaps that the idea of preventing slip was then extrapolated into the more exciting and gory theory of diverting blood to prevent slip. The carvings of the greneng could deflect or turn an attacking blade slightly I'm sure but like you I really doubt that could be used to catch a blade or twist it from the attackers hand.
Freebooter your map of the archipeligo theory is very very interesting indeed, and bears more thinking about.
Penangsang II thanks for the insight on fighting tradition, I have not found much information in the texts on how these were used in their heyday (I respect the fact that there are martial artists who have developed a method of combat using keris in the modern era but we dont really know that that was the original method). I have been told that the keris was used commonly as a weapon of stealth, a quick thrust before the victim knew what was coming and then the attacker was away. If that was the usage then the need for building an elaborate defence strategy into the keris would be minimal.