Join Date: Jun 2009
Well David, for the speculative oppinion, this keris has been presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga in Manila, there are points:
1) this is a high quality keris; such keris is not only a weapon, it is a status symbol;
2) he was not an ordinary man, he was a diplomat;
3) there is a symbol, which could be regarded as christian, and he, he's family and he's family servants in next generation were christians.
For speculative oppinion, he just obtained this keris, there are points:
1) we don't know about he's contacts with high ranked persons from Bali or Java;
2) the symbol could be painted on his request after obtaining keris in Manila.
You should consider, there is also a possibility, actually also a speculative oppinion, this keris was presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga in Madrid, where he met Philip III and become a christian, or in Rome by Pope, to demonstrate him the religios and political christian influence in South East Asia. You just should bear in mind, also the kastane has a marking on it, which could be regarded as christian.
Regarding the symbol, there is a red bleeding heart, pierced by two arrows, beeing hold by two white dows. I was also curios about this symbol and searched for it. I found a religious order, founded in France at the beginning of 17 cent., which has an emblem of bleeding heart, pierced with two arrows. It has not interested me anymore, so I forget the name of the founder and order. Important for me was, I have an evidence of such symbols in christian emblematic of this time.
The most interesting - abowe the heart there are two eyes with eyebrows, and style how they are painted is Javanese-Balinese.
As I wrote, the symbol appears to be done in the same region where the alas-alasan was done, yet there is no absolute certainity about it.
The ansver on some questions would probably give a chemical analysis of the colours, comparing the paint on Gandar and Gambar. Absolutely clear is, here in Keris Warung Kopi we will not come to any solvings of the many problems regarding this most interesting keris, when even some better quality depictions are problem.