Keris forum moderator
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Thanks Athanase. Given the small size of this keris and the lack of visible fillers it would seem that like my example your sheath was made specifically for this blade.
I received the following information from an outside source to add to this discussion. I don't quite buy all of it for reasons i will give in a moment, but feel it is still interesting information to add.
"The short blades are common in Bali where the people wear short krisses in everyday's life. The large kris was worn with the ceremonial attire and reserved for official ceremonies and rituals. In Tanganan it is still possible to see men wearing a small kris inserted into the belt. And these short blades were sometimes fitted in large scabbards such as for this specimen."
So one question we have to address is the question of these shorter than average Bali keris. We know they exist are are not merely Javanese keris fitted with Bali dress. I would question the above assertion that these shorter blades are "common" If that were the case surely we would see more of them and we don't. Though i suppose that it os possible that the shorter variety was popular in some areas of Bali. I have heard it suggested that the larger variety of Bali keris are more recent (last 200 years) and earlier examples might well be a bot shorter. The Bali keris is a direct descendent from Jawa after all. I would think that when the keris first migrated to Bali that they were very much the same dimensions as the the Javanese keris was at the time. I am also not convinced that the longer Bali keris were meant only for ceremony and that the Balinese had a smaller keris for their everyday needs. Again, if this were true we would see many more of these small Bali keris about, no?
This does still leave us with the question of why dress these smaller keris in larger clothing. It still seems somewhat logical that this has something to do this the keris fitting into the traditional ways of wearing the keris, but i am certainly open to hearing other theories on this as it has puzzled me a bit for some time.