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Old 27th March 2010, 11:32 PM   #13
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
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What I have been taught is that we can name a keris style according what can be seen when it is in its wrongko, that is, a keris can be "Jogja", or "Solo", or "Bali", or any other major classification, according to the style of its wrongko and hilt.

However, when we remove the blade from the wrongko, we then classify as, for example, a Jogja keris with a Bugis blade, or a Bali keris with Javanese blade. We extend the tangguh concept from saying a Jogja keris with a Sultan Agung blade, to saying a Jogja keris with Bugis blade.

Tangguh really only refers to blades from within The Land of Jawa, which does not mean the Island of Jawa, it means the extent of the territory where the language of Javanese is spoken, thus, when we look at a blade which does not fit the Javanese system of tangguh, we either dismiss it as "outside of Jawa", or we give it a broad classification as "Bugis", "Sumatera", "Bali" --- or whatever.

Over the years I have not infrequently encountered blades from localities outside Jawa, in old, originally fitted Javanese wrongkos. In times past, men from other areas, notably Madura, Bali and Sulawesi, served as mercenaries for Javanese rulers and lords. If a wrongko needed to be replaced whilst these men were serving in Jawa, then clearly, it would have been replaced with a wrongko of Javanese style --- and the hilt would likely follow.

It is well established that weapon blades, including keris, were a Javanese export to other parts of SE Asia from Majapahit times, so not only should we not be surprised when we see foriegn blades in Javanese dress, but when we see Javanese blades, or blades that follow a Javanese pattern, in dress from other localities, this should also not cause any surprises.
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