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Old 7th March 2006, 09:51 PM   #1
VVV
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Default Old Tajong or Coteng???

At first I thought this Keris was a Coteng.
But after reading in the book "Spirit of Wood" it looks like what is described as a
Tajong 1 Hulu Coteng, the oldest version (page 120 and 168).
And it doesn't look like other Coteng I have seen.
What's also strange is the "head scarf" that I haven't seen on any other Tajong or Coteng.
I would really appreciate comments from the more knowledgeable on Malay/Patani Keris.
And is it a Tajong, Coteng or both?

Michael
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Old 8th March 2006, 12:02 AM   #2
BSMStar
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Micheal,

I do not know very much about these... I have a silver one that I would like to know more about too... I do not believe it falls into either of the above categories.
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Old 8th March 2006, 02:30 AM   #3
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Michael, i don't know all that much about keris on the peninsula side, but i must say i love this one. Any chance of some better pics of the blade? It does seem to me to fit more clearly in the tajong catagory than coteng, but it is an unusual one. I am sure that some of the peninsula crowd will have better info for you.
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Old 8th March 2006, 03:30 AM   #4
Alam Shah
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Default An 18th Century Coteng style...

VVV, your's looks like an 18th Century coteng hilt. But your sheath form is unusual.

Reference:
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/taman.sari/...iran_pekaka.htm

BSMStar, your's is a coteng...a pretty one.

Some write-up on Tajong and Coteng
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/taman.sari/...tion/patani.htm

Some other examples...
http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...lbum.php&page=9

Hope it helps...
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Old 8th March 2006, 10:00 AM   #5
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Thanks Alam Shah,

I forgot to look in the article of CÚdric le Dauphin that is referred to on the great reference site you linked to. I will do so later tonight.
At first glance the conclusions of the hilt evolution in the Le Dauphin article seems to differ from the ones in Spirit of Wood?
But I have to check if that's the case later.

Below is an additional picture of the blade to Nechesh.
No visible pamor as you can see (dapur Pandai Saras?).

I also have the silver Coteng version but I have heard that the oldest hilts are made of wood.
Is that correct?

Michael
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Last edited by VVV : 8th March 2006 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 8th March 2006, 02:28 PM   #6
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Hi,

VVV's keris is a coteng. The hilt does not have a beard, and has a very 'flat' head. Tajongs have boxier heads and a beard. This coteng is unusual in that it has that highly exaggerated garuda mungkur at the back of its crown. The sheath is of a very old form. Its amazing it survived. Please take extreme good care of it because it is very rare. Try not to do anything drastic to it please. The blade is of the pandai saras form. However, most cotengs I've seen do not come with pandai saras blades. They come with this sort of blade:

http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~dspf/

Hence, there is a possibility (I'm not 100% sure) that this piece may be 'put together'. Even then, its well-fitted, so it still looks good. Some Bugis-influenced blades can also be found in coteng kerises.

Cotengs and tajongs are very closely related. In some cases, they are almost hard to tell apart:

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php

The above hilt is boxy like a tajong, but has no beard. Even more confusing - the sheath form is usually associated with cotengs.

BSMStar's hilt is probably a modern reproduction made in Indonesia. The beak is not too correct, and the "front-view" proportions is not quite correct. The hilt was probably made based on a photo, because the proportions are more or less correct when viewed from the side, but not from the top. Plus, the motifs on the hilt looks very S. Sumatran, not N Malayan.
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Old 13th March 2006, 02:21 AM   #7
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Default Sheath Question for BluErf

Hi,
I don't want to hijack the thread but I would appreciate it if you could tell me if my sheath is another example of the rare type you mentioned. I would also like to know if the blade (which fits the sheath well) and the hilt really belong with the sheath. Do you know what this sheath called and is it only found in the peninsula? Last but not least, should the mendak on my piece have a stem below it?
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 13th March 2006, 12:25 PM   #8
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Hi Rob,

I'm so jealous -- you have another rare keris form which I have been looking for, for years!

This keris is from Java, easily 17th century. Probably from one of the Javanese kingdoms in the Northern coast. The parts are complete and fitting to each other. It's not supposed to have a mendak; instead, the hilt has that brass selut. The blade is definitely Javanese. I think the whole package is 'original'. Congratulations!

The sheath form is a very early type, probably very close to the "root" of the keris sheath "evolutionary tree". You can call it the 'proto-ladrang', with the 'leaves' on both ends not as pronounced as later ladrang forms. And yes, it is very similar to the early coteng sheath posted here. This 'proto-ladrang', you may have noticed, is also very similar to the Balinese ladrang form, which also has muted 'leaves' and similar 'keel' shape (see 1st 2 pics below). Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of some of the older Balinese ladrang forms, which are not as fancy as the one below, and is closer to your keris sheath. It has been said that the Balinese inherited the keris-making traditions of the early Javanese Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, and is closer to the original early Javanese keris forms than in Java itself.

Your keris sheath is probably the forerunner to the early coteng sheath. I would not find this surprising, considering the widely accepted view that the keris spread out from Java to the rest of the Southeast Asian archipelago. While the keris and sheath forms in Java evolved, so did the keris and sheath forms in the other regions, and they eventually became so distinct that the commonality is hard to spot. However, when one looks at the early sheath forms from each of these region, one starts to find the similarities.

Sometimes, you also see sheaths from other regions, such as Sumatra or even Bugis areas, that are reminiscent of this early Javanese sheath form (see 3rd pic below).

Its an interesting connection to think about.
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Old 13th March 2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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And here's another of those old Javanese ladrang form similar to yours. I also throw in a Sulawesi sheath, which if you look carefully, has the similar 'leave' structures on both ends of the sheath, but a lot more subdued. The boxy form is clearly evident in both sheaths.

Now it's not so difficult to visualize the commonality between the Javanese keris and the Bugis keris, is it.
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Old 14th March 2006, 01:41 AM   #10
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Default Thanks for the info

Hi BluErf,
Thanks for taking the time to give such a clear and complete explanation on the morphing of sheaths as keris spread and evolved in different cultures. It's something I had never considered before and it will cause me to view my sheaths in an entirely different light. I had initially thought my keris came from Java because that's what Frey's book shows but when I saw VVV's sheath I figured I either had a married piece or I was totally off base on my hilt identification. Although I am aware of some of the changes hilts have undergone over time and at the hands of different cultures, it never occurred to me that two widely separated locations could have at one time shared a basic sheath shape which subsequently evolved into two different shapes.
Sincerely,
RobT
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