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Old 30th April 2018, 04:31 AM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 6
Default Small keris Minang with sepuhan

Originally Posted by Gustav
Sorry David, I know. Just when I read "Minangkabau culture is distinctly different from the Malay cultures of the Peninsula as well as other cultures on Sumatra", - Minang culture IS Malay culture, and a part of the Malay culture on Peninsula, one of it's oldest parts. Encyclopaedia Britannica from 1911 says:

"MENANGKABOS, the most civilized of all the true Malays of Sumatra, inhabiting the mountains above Padang. Their district is regarded as the cradle of the Malay race, and thence began, about 1160, those migrations which ended in the true Malays becoming the dominant race throughout the peninsula and the Malay Archipelago."

The date mentioned is somewhat of a legend, but around 1400 there is a bigger wave of Minang settling in Peninsula.

Well, I don't know about connection between small sized Minang Keris and dress Keris on Peninsula. What is for sure, Keris Panjang on Peninsula is an invention by Minang, the best Panjang coming from Rumbowe.

But it is appropriate to say, Keris (Karih) is part of ceremonial Minang dress. Being primarily such and not a weapon anymore, Keris surely becomes diminutive in size. Known are even Minang specimens with wooden blades.

Regarding influence of bans on wearing Kris on emergence of diminutive Keris form - wasn't there a ban on Keris imposed by Dutch on Minang after the Padri wars, which ended 1837?

Hi Gustav, I want to show with you another example of keris Minang which has intrigued me in regards with our discussion about the practical function of sepuhan and therefore, its existence in small keris particularly in Minang culture (and whether or not it is separable from the Malay culture in general).

Attached, I sent you pictures of a keris Minang with small size with blade length just about 20 cm (actually it fits exactly the length of my palm). After I clean the rust with coconut water, it appear that this keris is constructed from different kinds of steel: pasir malela steel (or "bunga garam") along the center part of the blade and the ganja; then malela steel or "besi miang" along the edge part of the blade. It is also given sepuhan from the part above sor-soran to the tip.

Given the complexity of making such a small keris, maybe it really serve a practical purpose? So not just as a dress keris.
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