Thread: Majapahit Keris
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Old 15th June 2019, 10:29 AM   #26
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,357

No Jean, I do not consider the kerises (plural) at Sukuh to be "Modern Kerises", I consider one, or perhaps two of the keris at, or associated with Sukuh to be "Modern Keris". The two keris in the stele are certainly not Modern Keris. In the wayang bas reliefs there are another couple of keris that may or may not be "Modern Keris", however the keris shown on the penis at Image 14 in "Interpretation" together with the text :-

"Consecration of the Holy Gangga Sudhi --- the sign of masculinity is the essence of the world"

does perhaps qualify as a modern form.

There is a similar elongated keris in a rather concealed position at Sukuh, I'll see if I can find an photo.

I think I must refer to these as "Modern Keris", they are certainly not KB's, nor are they swords, but they do not closely resemble a keris from the last couple of hundred years. So if we were to go looking for a "Modern Keris" that would fit neatly into an early 20th century pakem, well, we will not find one, nor anything like one, but if we were to go looking for a keris form that was elongated, we would find one.

As I wrote in an earlier post, maybe I could be convinced that these longer keris-like weapons were keris, but in fact they are more like Balinese ligan or keris pedang.

Now, if we were be able to take one of these Sukuh elongated keris and ask a Balinese gentleman exactly what it was, I am certain that he would call it a "keris pedang". But when I wrote that these were Modern Keris at Candi Sukuh, it seems I was convinced at that time that they were indeed "Modern Keris" --- but perhaps "Pre-Modern Keris" might be more accurate,or maybe "Transitional Modern Keris" --- I could play with words all day and eventually I'd come up with something that would make most people happy.

In any case, it seems that if I ever do a re-write of "Interpretation" I'd better be more careful with my choice of words, and twist things around a bit.

But if we get away from pedantic interpretations, something I tend to overly given to, and I just say something like this:-

"Yes, you will not find any representations of what we are accustomed to regard as a keris today in any Hindu-Buda period bas-reliefs or statuary. None."

I think I might have been the first to coin the term "Modern Keris", but I was certainly derelict in failing to define exactly what I personally regard as a "Modern Keris". Please forgive my failure in this respect.
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