Thread: Greneng
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Old 14th November 2007, 04:28 AM   #25
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you for your thoughtful input Pak Boedhi.

In so far as the question of the time at which the greneng first appeared, I feel that the evidence is fairly convincing for its appearance during the Majapahit era.

The earliest keris in European collections date from the end of the 1500's, beginning of the 1600's. These keris are still in pristine condition, and give a good idea of the appearance of keris from this period when new. Many of these keris carry fully developed greneng and other ricikan, indicating that by the year 1600 these features of the keris were already full developed.
In other parts of South East Asia in which keris are found, the keris forms frequently echo the ricikan of Javanese keris. It is generally agreed that keris spread into these other areas during the Majapahit era.If this is so, then these ricikan were undoubtedly present on Javanese keris when they first entered other parts of South East Asia during that Majapahit era.

In light of these two factors, I believe that the assumption is reasonable that the greneng, along with some other ricikan of the modern Javanese keris, first appeared during the Majapahit era.

Apart from these two factors, there is the other evidence for a Majapahit origin that has been offered by Pak Boedhi

Now, what do we know of Javanese society and culture during this era?

This is where we must start if we are to hypothesize on the original reason for the greneng & etc.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is possible to construct a defensible hypothesis to explain the greneng, and other ricikan, but to do this we must leave "traditional keris knowledge" behind us and embark on an anthropologically based examination of Jawa during the Majapahit era.This is doable, but it is not doable other than by engaging in serious and extended research of the period.
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