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Old 18th June 2019, 09:50 PM   #22
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,531

Hello Alan,

I am old, I am tired, and I am sick to my guts as what I personally see as a rather ill-informed and unrealistic expectation that everything in the field of S.E. Asian material culture can be labelled and classified using information that is so incomplete and erroneous as to be laughable.

I agree that the name game often is a rather futile exercise. If you check, you'll note that I tend to be quite cautious with applying names, too. (In other threads - in this thread I haven't suggested any name for the sword being discussed...)

In places where we can get half a dozen different names for the same object by going to half a dozen different houses a few kilometers apart, how wise is it to be too definite about anything?

This is a non-sequitur: The name game may be futile but it doesn't follow that there can't be any discernible and reliable cultural differences.

I see where you’re coming from and the value in being cautious with attributions. My suggestion may eventually prove to be wrong. However, without putting out hypotheses for testing, learning will tend to be pretty slow.

For me, this sword (both, its blade and hilt) exhibits features that suggest an origin on Sulawesi. Granted, with this piece, it is more of a maximum likelihood approach rather than being able to offer absolute proof. Nor do i have the time to submit a thorough thesis which may convince more sceptic folks. I'm confident with my (if this helps: tentative) assessment though.

"A gizmo, collected 1995 Kaba-Kaba, Bali, Indonesia, location of origin:- attributed to Karanganyar, Jawa Tengah, circa 1893 (after Sutrisno)"

with this type of approach we say where we acquired the thing, we say where we think it might be from, we say what period we think it might be from, and we give the reference for our label:- Sutrisno.

Actually, that's pretty much what I did (without formally citing myself) if you care to check above. So, let me rephrase if this sounds any better:

A sword, collected 2019(?) by Detlef on ePray(?); origin of blade and hilt: attributed to Sulawesi, Indonesia (possibly East to southeastern regions including Buton, probably 19th century (after Kai 2019:; a resembling piece with more strongly curved hilt attributed to Tanimbar by Karel Sirag (in AvZ 2001: Fig. 575).

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