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Old 29th May 2019, 12:35 AM   #24
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
David, I am not suggesting that this keris under discussion is not just as you comment. However, in respect of these kingfisher hilts appearing on blades other than one specific form, and with scabbards other than one specific form, I have had, and I think I still do have, examples of complete keris that have been together for lengthy periods of time and that do have this hilt form coupled with other than the correct component parts. The combination in mine, and in others I have seen, is usually with a Bugis style wrongko, and at least in mine, with the hilt firmly in place but back to front.

Alan, i have no doubt that you have keris with a Bugis style wrongko and a tajong hilt. I have also occasionally seen such a combination, though the vast majority of tajong keris i have seen use the more traditional sheath form. And you must admit that just because such a combo may have been married for some time there is no telling exactly how and why this came to be or if such a keris was ever worn in a cultural way or if it simple came together this way in a dealer's back room. I realize that for both you and myself, Keris of the Malaysian Peninsula and Southern Thailand are not our focus of attention, but if you have paid any attention at all to our Malaysian membership on the topic, Tajong is a bit of a serious business and Malaysians tend to be rather critical of such "misinformed" combinations as well as tajong hilts that are made outside if the Peninsula. In fact some seem to view these Jawa and Madura carved tajong as a bit of cultural appropriation. Most tajong keris i have seen that are considered by Malaysian collectors as "real" are indeed dressed with the more traditional sheath and the majority tend to have pandai saras blades, though sometimes some other form of Malay blades do often appear. Though never have i seen such a combo with a panjang. Yes, we all know that strange things do indeed happen across the archipelago, but i don't see how informing Marius of the oddness of such a combination is incorrect simply because sometimes odd combination happen, especially since everything seems to point to the unlikelihood that his combination was ever one that would have been serviceable in a societal context.
I know you are aware of what the proper tajong dress looks like, but here is a link for those who may be wondering.
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