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Old 20th May 2011, 05:12 AM   #1
A. G. Maisey
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Default The Tuk Mas Inscription

This post is directed principally at those of our members here who are readers of Indonesian

There is an element of keris interested society in Jawa that seems to think that the further back we can push the origin of the keris, the more convincing it is that the keris originated in Jawa.

This is not only unnecessary but is actually counter productive, as when the errors and falsehoods are exposed it simply opens the way for doubters to claim that if one piece of information is incorrect, so is all the rest. We have more than ample evidence for origin of the keris. We do not need to create myths.

For some time this "early keris" element has wanted to attach the Tuk Mas inscription( around 650CE) to the early keris.

In Ensiklopedi Budaya , which was the fore-runner of Ensiklopedi Keris, it was claimed that the illustrations accompanying the Tuk Mas inscription showed a keris that resembled a keris sombro.

In fact the illustration shows a knife, nothing keris-like about it. See the illustration.

This misrepresentation has been repeated with variations many times over the years, but a recently published book, written in Indonesian, about the history of the keris goes one step further, it claims that not only is there an illustration of a keris, but the inscription itself contains the word "kris".

This is a complete nonsense, and a dangerous nonsense.

The Tuk Mas inscription is written in Pallawa script, using the Sanskrit language.

The word "kris" does not occur in Sanskrit, nor do any of its variations.

The Sarkar (Corpus Inscriptionum Javanicarum--- H. B. Sarkar) translation of this inscription reads:-

Originating from pure (or bright) lotuses, (herefrom) , gushes out this (spring or streamlet), which is as purifying as the Ganges, coming out in some places from stone and sand, in others spreading out its auspicious and cool water.

Not a single word or thought about keris or anything related to keris. It is a verse in praise of a pure water source.

So, let it be clearly understood :-

the Tuk Mas inscription does not show an illustration of a keris, nor does it mention the word "kris", nor anything like it.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 06:30 AM   #2
rasjid
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Default

G'day Alan,

I can read Indonesian but the Tuk Mas Inscription you've mention is very new to me. I haven't finished reading the new book Sejarah Keris and I would like to understand your point here, in regards the "early keris element" with the Tuk mas.

Is the attached picture coming from the Sejarah Keris book?
thanks


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Old 23rd May 2011, 07:16 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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Rasjid, I did not want to mention the names of books, nor of writers. There is no need to denigrate the efforts of people. The ones concerned know who is being referred to, and they have the opportunity to apply themselves a little more diligently and correct their misrepresentations.

The illustration came from a web site.

Tuk Mas gets a number of mentions in keris writings of the last 20 years or so. Again it is easy to find plenty on Tuk Mas online. My problem is that it has been used as having a keris connection, in fact it has none.
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