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Old 6th August 2007, 03:01 AM   #30
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Default Garrett and Bronwen Solyom

Originally Posted by kai
...These papers have been widey cited since they are among the few studies on keris published in any western language, at least as of 10 years ago. Things are changing slowly due to enhanced international communication, especially via the Internet.

However, there's still a load of keris studies which I eagerly await getting translated into English...

Dear Kai,
Thanks for reminding me about this. Yes, there are not many good books on keris published in any western language. But I am noting too that still there is a very very good book out there, that we must be recalled. Please look at this very good book, "The World of the Javanese Keris" which was written by Garrett and Bronwen Solyom -- published for an exhibition at the East-West Culture Learning Institute East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii on April 10 to May 12 1978. I think, this is one of the best book ever on keris which was published by the western writers -- especially on Javanese keris.

Look at their research to write this beautiful book. They conducted research and to study in some of the most important collections and libraries such as Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (Indonesian Research Institute), Museum Radyapustaka (Solo), Museum Pusat (Jakarta), and from royal source especially GPH Praboewidjojo (Solo Palace), Istana Mangkunegaran (Solo) and Museum Sanabudaya (Jogjakarta) and at least twenty "mranggi" (keris sheath makers), such as some royal empus Yosopangarso, Djeno Harumbrojo and Imandihardjo, and mranggis R Ng Prodjowirongko, RM L Atmotjurigo, Matang Sadaja and a couple of local experts such as Harjono Guritno, Soelaeman Pringgodigdo...

Look at their interesting view in this book, (quote) "Both within Java and beyond, there is a wealth of regional and local variations associated with all aspects of the keris, from the manner of wearing it to the naming of the parts of the blade. It would be impossible to represent them all. Keris were made in several other islands of the Indonesian archipelago, in Malaysia and in the southern Philippines. The fourteenth century expansion on the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit probably brought Javanese blade, sheath and hilt forms to the other islands. Even today, Majapahit or other Javanese blades are found in the regalia of courts outside Java. It may be conjectured that keris made in such places as Madura, Bali, Sumatera and sulawesi were heavily influenced by Majapahit and other Javanese styles which they have retained in varying degrees until the present. In Java the keris reached its technical and aesthetic height. In comparison to the austere form and matchless technique of the Japanese sword and the directness of crystalline damascening in the Damascus saber, the form of the Javanese keris offers vital flowing line and pattern-welding of a uniquely organic character.
Thus it seemed appropriate to select Java as a point of departure for study of the keris. It is deeply embedded there, in a complex world of lore and legend, magical and spiritual symbolism, and formal rituals for making, care and use.....,"

I hope much, that this "exhibition" books will be reprinted, for they who want to study about Javanese keris. Yes, because many of their sources -- such as empu Yosopangarso, empu Djeno and master of keris sheath maker such as Prodjowirongko -- had passed away...

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