Join Date: May 2006
The terms "keris panjang" (ie, "long keris") & "executioner keris" are a western collector invention.
A "keris Bangkalan" is a keris from Bangkalan that has a blade between 49 - 68cm.
These Bangkalan keris were copied by makers from Bangka, Belitung and Kampar, but these copies were shorter than the Bangkalan keris and usually only measured 42 - 45cm. These Bangkinang keris and especially the copies were taken into Sumatera by salesmen (pedagang), Bangkinang was a transit point/crossroads for salesmen from Sumatera and Malaya. It is possible that some were made locally in Sumatera, but looking at the record of keris blade manufacture and usage in Sumatera this seems unlikely, it is more likely that blades were taken into Sumatera and dressed there.
These copies became very popular with seamen and because of this they came to be known as "Keris Bahari" --- "bahari" is an Arab word that means something associated with the sea.
In Brunei and some other parts of SE Asia these "long keris" were known as "Keris Penyalang". I used to know a gentleman from Brunei who understood a "Keris Penyalang" to indicate a keris used in executions, but I do not know the meaning of "penyalang", it seems to indicate something crossways or at an angle.