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Old 4th July 2018, 11:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 178
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Default Keris Terminology

Hello everyone,

As we all know, the keris has it's origin in Java. As such, Javanese is the language used to describe its various aspects.
I am not fluent in Basa Jawa, and I expect this is true for most of us. This, for me, makes it more difficult to correctly remember a lot of the terms, even more so as they are words that have a form but little meaning. By this I mean that we often do not know the meaning of the word. For example, kembang kacang is composed of kembang (flower) and kacang (bean), as this feature can be visually likened to a sprouting bean. This particular example is probably well known to most of us, but I believe many other terms may be less known.

Being able to link a word or phrase to a more concrete meaning makes it easier to commit to memory, and to recollect. While a lot of keris terminology acts as euphemisms or simple visual descriptions likening their features to a well known object, I am of the belief that knowing the meaning behind the words is still valuable because it aids in committing these terms to memory - even if they do not contribute to a deeper understanding of the keris per se.

In this thread, I would like to make a start with listing these terms with their translations. This would be valuable to new members, but could also aid experienced members in quickly accessing terminology that has faded away in their minds.

Below I inserted a diagram containing quite a few terms already as well as some of the terms I still remember (though there may be some errors). I'm hoping we can make a collective effort to expand this list.

Blumbangan = a small pond
Janur = Spine of a palm frond.
Lambe gajah = Elephant lips (lambe = lips, gajah = elephant)
Ri pandan = Thorn of the pandan plant.
Sirah cecak = Lizard's head (sirah = head, cecak = a type of lizard)
Tikel alis = Double eyebrow (tikel = double, alis = eyebrow)
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