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Old 26th November 2017, 07:34 PM   #15
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,055

Thank very much for your prompt response to my question Paul, however, I do have something of a problem with the idea that people in "different parts of Indonesian areas / islands" would be able to place any legitimate name on a rather obscure Balinese hilt.

But first, to respond to your question. The sandang walikat wrongko is Javanese, the equivalent in Bali is the kajongan form. These two forms, ie, SW, and kajongan, have different applications in the two societies. The SW in Jawa can be worn in a frog (hanger) at the front by a ranking person in court attire, or it can be worn under a jacket, but in Bali the kajongan is considered to be suitable for use by young men. In Balinese society, the hilt designated as correct for use with a kajongan wrongko is the loncengan, a style which is related to the cenangan, and ultimately the gerantim, the gerantim of course being reserved for use by aristocrats.

In respect of names.
In my experience, which is not inconsiderable, even people living in an area where a keris hilt originates are unable to name the specific style of a hilt, one actually needs to speak with very senior people who are a part of the keris sub-culture in any area before it is possible to (perhaps) have a name placed upon a specific style of keris hilt.

All one will normally get from people outside the keris sub-culture is that a particular hilt is a "handle", for example, in Jawa it might be called a "gagang" by an educated person, or a person proficient in Basa Jawa, "tangkai" from a housewife, and from a person of one of the younger generations who was better schooled in BI than in Basa Jawa it would most likely get "pegangan".

But any keris hilt is generically a "jejeran" or an "ukiran", and there is a multitude of different styles, each with its own name, and quite frankly, very difficult to name correctly --- even for a very knowledgeable person. In fact probably the only people who could name correctly in a more or less consistent manner would be a tukang jejeran, or a m'ranggi who was from a line of these craftsmen.

However, in Jawa, and in Indonesia generally, most people are very reluctant not to give an answer when asked a question. The problem is, that the answer may not have a great deal of relevance to the question.

If we consider the names that you have suggested as alternatives to "cenangan", we can see a couple of small problems with those names, problems that could well be explained away because the informants were not Balinese, were not from an educated or current generation, or because of an accent.


Probably "jampaka" & "campaka" are actually the same word; I do not know these words, is it possible that "cempaka" is intended? "cempaka" is the frangipani tree : frangipani tree branches tend to have lots of little lumps. This might be a description, rather than a name.

tjanging (pre1972 spelling) = canging

cangin is probably a misspelling of canging, the Balinese word that equates to the Javanese & BI word "cangkring"

cankring probably is intended to be cangkring, the cangkring tree is a kind of tree with big thorns, so I could see somebody likening this hilt style to a branch of this tree with the thorns cut off. Description, rather than name?

so probably cangin, tjanging, cankring are in fact all the same word --- or at least, intended to be so.

cecanginan, well, we've already agreed to disagree on this, so I'm happy to just let this one slide

kaki kuda is clearly not Balinese, it is Malay, or BI, so "kaki kuda" is probably a substitution for the well known "tapak kuda", which of course, this hilt is not; in Balinese the word "kaki" means "grandfather", "kaki" reflects the Balinese pronunciation of the BI & Javanese "kakek".

I think that most people who have been around this Forum for a while have some understanding of my ideas on the "name game", and with this little hilt we can see that game in full swing.

My stance is a rather obdurate one in these matters:-

a cultural object is owned by the people who own the culture from which the object comes, nobody else

those people who own the object are the only people who have the right to name it

If a person, or a group of people, from outside the relevant culture have an interest in an object from that culture, they have an obligation to use the terminology that applies within the culture; to do less than this is at the very least, tantamount to leveling insults at the relevant culture and the people who are its owners.

If we do not know the correct name for something, it is far better to use a generic name in our own language, than it is to invent a name, which when it comes to "Collectorese" is often no more than garbled ignorance.

For those of you who have an interest in this particular hilt style, there are some quite relevant and interesting comments in both "Keris Bali Bersejarah", and in "Keris Lombok".
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