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Old 10th November 2019, 09:45 AM   #5
Mickey the Finn
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 26
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Mr. Maisey,
My former fiancée once became exasperated and upset with my inability to give a straight yes-or-no answer to, "[Prince] Charles will be the next king [of England], then"?
1) If, in fact, they can be related to either "the hierarchical position within Balinese society of the keris custodian, or to the form (dhapur) of the keris" [or both], then, yes. I'm often mistaken, and with respect to knowledge about keris I might be compared to a babe-in-arms, but I strongly suspect there is a relation. If there is no relation at all, then any information you have and are willing to share about asanas and mudras as depicted on figural hilts (primarily Balinese, but not to the exclusion of any others) would be greatly appreciated.
2) It would be a stretch to describe my understanding of the history of Bali as even rudimentary. My original post might convey the impression that I think of Bali as one big homogeneous lump. In an attempt to answer your second question, I have to say, "It depends". I'm thinking of a time (not the same time with respect to each of the kingdoms of Bali) when "court protocols" were still in force, and enforced. Probably not much later than 1849 for Buleleng, and not much later than 1906-1908 for other kingdoms. We could go back as far as 1293 or even before; this might be going back to before there was such a thing as a "keris Bali", but I'm okay with that.
Well, to specify a "no later than", or "court protocols enforced until, but not after" date is actually somewhat arbitrary, and possibly very misleading. I myself am the current custodian of more than one keris which, based on "stuff I've read on the internet", I have reason to believe I ought not to have in my possession, and which I would never wear inside any keraton on Java, any more than I would wear certain motif batik within these keraton, although I may possess examples of kain batik bearing such "forbidden motifs". Although I know I wouldn't be put to death for wearing a Naga Sasra with Wahyu Tumurun, I don't consider that a legitimate excuse for me to do so, neither on Pulau Jawa, nor anywhere else in this world.
3) Based on what I've read here, you choose your words, as well as their order, with care. I understand your question to be asking about my "current understanding of the traditional socio-cultural position of the keris in Bali, and not about my "understanding of the current traditional socio-cultural position of the keris in Bali". I've read your monograph "An Interpretation of the Pre-Islamic Javanese Keris", and it forms large part of my current understanding of the traditional socio-cultural position of the keris in Bali. In the event you had been asking about my "understanding of the current traditional socio-cultural position of the keris in Bali", I would have answered, "In this age when anyone at all can buy any dhapur that strikes their fancy and match it with any hulu and cincin they please, it's not what it once was".
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