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Old 6th September 2006, 06:11 PM   #1
Kiai Carita
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Default Fighting with keris

Rahayu sedhaya,
Selamat semuanya,

In Jawa I often hear and read that the keris is not for fighting and in Jawa there are no traditional martial arts schools that teach fighting with the keris. The situation is different in Malaysia where the keris is a common weapon in the traditional silat. Would anyone here be able to explain when they think the keris in Jawa ceased to be used in normal fighting?

The way the Malays attach the hilts is very different to the way Jawanese attach them and to my mind the Malay way would be the way to attach the hilt if you were to fight using the keris as it would hold the blade in a position that would readily slip between the ribs of the opponent. It is almost like the Jawanese hilt, in a martial point of view, is twisted to indicate a 'safety-locked', 'peaceful' position.

I would be gratefull to learn the opinions of the experienced and knowledgable posters on this respected forum.

Warm salaams to all,
Bram.
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Old 6th September 2006, 06:22 PM   #2
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Very interesting question Bram, and one i am sure will raise some serious debate. I am not with my books right now, but i believe Stone makes reference to learning keris fighting moves from a prince of Jawa. Though some of his keris info is suspect, this reference actually names the prince and i can't see why he would make it up. Early Chinese contact brought back reports of the Javanese using the keris as a weapon back in the 15th century. People have argued these reports because the Chinese also made derogatory remarks about the Javanese as well. I am not sure that those remarks should necessarily negate the substance of the weapon use reports however. It does seem to me that the keris was at least used as a weapon in Jawa at one time. The exact point at which that changed may be very difficult to track.
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Old 6th September 2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Very interesting question Bram, and one i am sure will raise some serious debate. I am not with my books right now, but i believe Stone makes reference to learning keris fighting moves from a prince of Jawa. Though some of his keris info is suspect, this reference actually names the prince and i can't see why he would make it up. Early Chinese contact brought back reports of the Javanese using the keris as a weapon back in the 15th century. People have argued these reports because the Chinese also made derogatory remarks about the Javanese as well. I am not sure that those remarks should necessarily negate the substance of the weapon use reports however. It does seem to me that the keris was at least used as a weapon in Jawa at one time. The exact point at which that changed may be very difficult to track.


Thanks for the response, David...

I have argued that the weapons described by Ma Huan, who also described the indegenous people as 'devils', although could be, should not necessarily be keris. Personally I think that keris in Jawa was never intended to be used for fighting. That is why the Jawa keris is only sharpened once and there is no anual sharpening ceremony. Instead of sharpened, the Jawa keris was ritually examined, bathed in flowers and cleaned, and prayed on, and smoked with incense, and always put higher that the feet...

Some other curiouse facts related to this matter: the Malays wear their keris in the front, ready to draw, while in Jawa wearing it this way (sikep, I believe the position is called) indicates the wearer has left the worldly and is in pursuit of the spiritual. In wayang kulit, several gods wear their keris this sikep way under the folds of their Arabic jubah.

If indeed it did happen, does the keris' 'dissarming' seems to have began sometime during the cumbling of Majapahit and the emerging of Mataram. Does anyone think that this might have anything to do with the work of the Wali in spreading Islam in Jawa? I am truly interested in the opinions of the members of this forum.

Hormat,
Bram.
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Old 7th September 2006, 01:31 AM   #4
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I find this an intensely interesting subject.

In the Nagakertagama (circa 1365) , canto 54, stanza 2, verse 4:-

"Exterminated were the animals,thrusted, lanced, crissed,dying without a gasp."

also:-

"The criss, a token of manfulness has its place at the front"---this was in reference to the progress of the king.

In the Pararaton ( circa 1480-1600) there is a description of an exhibition of keris play as an entertainment.

When Sultan Agung attacked Batavia (1628), his principle weapons were firearms. In fact, although his levies were for the most part pikemen, all his military actions relied heavily on firearms.

By the time of the Kartosuro troubles roughly 100 years later, firearms were common amongst the general populace.

In 1811 Raffles was appointed Governor of Jawa, and I think he took up his post in 1812. In his book "The History of Java" he mentions that the keris in Java at that time occupied the position that the small sword had occupied in Europe 50 years previous.

From the time of Kartosuro, European influence in Jawa, and European manipulation of the Javanese rulers and social system resulted in changes that were reflected in social norms and consciousness. During the Kartosuro period, and continuing through to arguably the Japanese occupation during WWII, Javanese society emphasised some elements of Javanese culture, and de-emphasised other elements, as a compensating measure for loss of power and identity under European domination.

The keris was in early Jawa a weapon, with many of the attributes of culturally significant weapons found in other cultures across the world, for instance, in the Viking sword. With its weapon function reduced by replacement with more effective and efficient weapons, its symbolic and iconic status appears to have increased and this, combined with the social and cultural compensatory trends of the 19th and early 20th centuries , have led to its present cultural position.

It is important that in any commentary on the keris, the conclusions drawn about its nature be placed within a framework related to historical time.

If anybody has any interest in pursuing further reading in this matter, I would be happy to provide a reading list. I have not done so here, because this list would be very lengthy, and I could just be wasting my time in compiling it.
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Old 7th September 2006, 03:12 AM   #5
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Well Alan....not a waste of time from my perspective.
I think such a list would be considered very helpful by many.
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Old 7th September 2006, 03:46 AM   #6
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OK, I`ll put it together, but it won`t happen overnight. Maybe next week.

Bear in mind:- this will not be a list of books about keris, but rather about history and social comment, along with some Javanese babads. You`d need to plod through the whole lot and then digest it and form some opinions.It will include English language, Indonesian and Javanese sources.
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Old 11th September 2006, 07:21 AM   #7
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Despite what traditional keris 'scholars' in Java said, IMHO, keris is a deadly weapon. From the very start, that is the keris making process, what empu really do is making a fine weapons, and plus, plus, plus some more intentions, of course. But even there are many intentions, it's 'weapon construction' had never changed. It's layering construction is technologicaly the best construction possible, called Jia Gang by Chinese Jian smith or Sanmai by Japanese Katana/Nihonto smith. The 'Wasuh' process, is the purifying process also done by Chinese and Japanese smith. The 'Flaw' categorizing in Javanese keris such as Pegat Waja, Pegat Pamor, broken tang, etc also reflected the weapon assesment (such as Kizu in Katana), which then extended to symbolism and spiritual meaning. It is the Javanese cultural tendency to extend almost anything to symbolism and spiritual realm. IMHO, the development of keris symbolism would be paralel to the development of ricikans, dhapurs, and pamor motifs.

Because of it's relatively small/short blades, it never became main weapon for javanese soldier. As a weapon, keris should be considered as today's bayonet. It is, as already stated, a last resort weapon, before you use the bare hand. As the last resort, it should vanish any enemy you encounter (or they may vanish you ). IMHO, Those who use keris as a weapon should 'hide' the blade to 'invite' the enemy to come closer, rather than to exhibit it in a threatening pose. Considering it's relatively small tang, ones shouldn't slash or parry opponent's weapon with (Javanese) keris. Stabbing, or occasionally slicing/cutting opponent's hand, are the prefered ways. To use the warangka as a forearm protection, the elders said, ones should hold the longest wooden section in his palm, and let the gandar/pendok cover the outer forearm through the elbow. Using iron pendok, it is a sufficient, expedient forearm protection one may use to parry opponent's weapon. By using the sharp, protruding part of ladrang style sheath, ones may even use the warangka as an offensive weapon. But unfortunately, no written traditional book on using keris as a weapon ever wrote.

As already stated, no main Javanese Silat school such as Setia Hati Terate, Perisai Diri, Merpati Putih or Tapak Suci has keris jurus, as long as I remember. The Maduras Pamur school, while it use keris as it's school symbol, has it neither. If I were a Javanese soldier in old days, I would bring lance/tombak or firearm, a pedang, and two keris: a sturdy, straight one in front as my last resort, and the old one on my back as my guardian angel . A good keris then, should fulfill the functional(weapon), aesthetical, and symbolic/spiritual requirements.

There were a murder case in Jogjakarta, where the murderer use his heirloom keris and stabb the victim on the buttock. The victim died after several hours hospitalized. Well, Gentlemen, please use your another 'poisonous keris' when you're fighting with your wife I shouldn't tell where you should stabb her, should I ?

Best Regards,

boedhi adhitya
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Old 11th September 2006, 09:27 AM   #8
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Awas Pak Boedhi. Awas.

99.9% of what you have written is so close to my own position on the keris within Javanese society that were I to address the subject as you have, only form and words would be changed.

Meaning and intent would be unaltered.
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Old 11th September 2006, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boedhi Adhitya
Well, Gentlemen, please use your another 'poisonous keris' when you're fighting with your wife I shouldn't tell where you should stabb her, should I ?


LOL! OK Boedhi, you owe me a new keyboard after making me spite up my morning coffee laughing at this.

Would either you or Alan like to make any comments on the validity of these stories of poison used on keris blades?
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Old 11th September 2006, 11:04 PM   #10
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Check this one out. Not a lot of flash here. Just usable stuff. Ouch!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPhUE9JzSE4
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Old 11th September 2006, 11:40 PM   #11
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A bit off-topic, but interesting none the less.
The Karambit is indeed a nasty little weapon.
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Old 12th September 2006, 12:43 AM   #12
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I was taught to expect everything when fighting - never ignore/underestimate a threat just because it may seem unlikely/weird/whatever!

That being said, poisons and caustic substances seem to be an integral part of (most?) traditional MAs/warfare throughout the archipelago. AFAIK, one "acid" test for skill is that an opponent isn't able to touch/grab you at all during "rough play" (without weapons). This makes sense since you never expect a real opponent to be unarmed in the first place but it also was explained to me that possible applications of poisons, skin attacks and other very unpleasant "distractions" weighted into this cautionary approach.

I'm far from convinced that even in the "good old days" Keris blades were routinely poisoned since this would seem to be unnecessarily risky. But I seem to remember accounts that blades (Tombak, arrows, bamboo traps, etc.) were poisoned when battle was imminent.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th September 2006, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boedhi Adhitya
....
As already stated, no main Javanese Silat school such as Setia Hati Terate, Perisai Diri, Merpati Putih or Tapak Suci has keris jurus, as long as I remember. The Maduras Pamur school, while it use keris as it's school symbol, has it neither. If I were a Javanese soldier in old days, I would bring lance/tombak or firearm, a pedang, and two keris: a sturdy, straight one in front as my last resort, and the old one on my back as my guardian angel . A good keris then, should fulfill the functional(weapon), aesthetical, and symbolic/spiritual requirements.

There were a murder case in Jogjakarta, where the murderer use his heirloom keris and stabb the victim on the buttock. The victim died after several hours hospitalized. Well, Gentlemen, please use your another 'poisonous keris' when you're fighting with your wife I shouldn't tell where you should stabb her, should I ?

Best Regards,

boedhi adhitya


Nuwun sewu, everyone,

There was a couple of years ago a murder in Sragen where the killer used his keris and tried to convince the judge that his keris made him do it but the judge didn't have it.

In my experience there are two ways to poison your blade common in Jawa. The rich-man's way is to us warangan. A friend of mine died within hours after being stabbed in the thigh with a waranganed badik and the hospital refusing to treat him because he had tattoes. So plain warangan seems to be deadly enough.

The other is the poor-man's cacam way, in which you collect as many venomous reptiles and insects you can get, let them rot in a container, and let you blade soak in the rotting mass preferably untill there are layers of the goo on it. Every time the general elections are near and the campaiging season starts, alot of village and kampung thugs begin to do this.

There are now Western Pendekars who claim to teach Jawa silat and add keris and kujang jurus to their repertoar. However in my opinion this would be most likely be their own invention. As for Jawa Princes studying silat? Of course it happened! Although the name was kanuragan rather than silat. It was not a good thing to do (politically) though, for if the Dutch found that you were interested in martial arts your career prospects were sorely influenced.

For instance, WS Rendra's father and grandfather were silat teachers in the Yogya kraton in the line of Suryoningalogo. The late Bagong Kussudihardjo's Grandfather was Gusti Djuminah, who would have been Sultan Hamengkubawana VIII had not he been put under house arrest because of interest in silat. The more famous Merpati Putih school traces its lineage back to the times of the traitor-king Amangkurat of Kartasura.

I would like to restate my question about the position of the handle... does anyone have any picture or knowledge of how the handle was positioned in Jawa when the keris was still a weapon? And also, in the Majapahit and earlier eras, what was the keris Bali like?

Thank you all in advance,
Bram.
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Old 12th September 2006, 01:48 PM   #14
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Warangan used to stain a keris blade does not render the blade poisonous.

The warangan combines with the ferric material of the blade , in much the same way as the chemicals used to achieve a cold blue effect in firearms , combine with the ferric material of firearms. If by some extremely unlikely chance there was a residue of arsenic on a keris blade, this residue would be so miniscule that it would not cause any injury through a poison effect.

For those with an interest in arsenic:-

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/arsenic/index.html

The word "cacam" puzzles me.

I do not know this word.

Nor do the seven Javanese people whom I have asked its meaning.

I cannot find the word in any Indonesian, Modern Javanese, or Old Javanese dictionary.

There is a word "cacampuri" in Kawi (ancient literary language) which seems to carry the meaning of mixing ingredients.

I would be very pleased to learn the meaning and origin of this word "cacam".

During colonial times there were many Javanese princes. I agree that it would be unlikely that at least some of these princes did not learn some Javanese martial art, however, in the written accounts of the education of those princes who rose to become rulers I can find no mention of these personages indulging in a study of silat, and quite frankly, I find it very difficult to reconcile the Kraton culture of the colonial era in Jawa with the study of silat by the heirs to the throne.
George Cameron Stone visited Jawa during the late colonial period, so in the matter of Javanese princes demonstrating systems of fence using the keris it is the probability of such systems being taught to Javanese royalty during this period which must be considered.I concede that the possibility does exist that George Cameron Stone was provided with a genuine exhibition of a system of fence specific to the keris, however, I cannot accept that this was a probability.

The word "kanuragan" is not a synonym for "silat".

"Kanuragan" in the sense of a protective discipline, means "invulnerable", and is a synonym of "kedhotan".

For those of you with an interest in understanding "kanuragan" you may care to visit this site:-

http://www.antarakita.net/reviews/r28.html

Gusti Djuminah was put under house arrest because of an interest in silat?
Isn`t it amazing how the truth of matters becomes buried in popular belief?
I had always thought Gusti Djuminah was exiled because he was a traitor.
Apparently many other people also think that this is what happened.

http://www.tasteofjogja.com/IDA/detailbud.asp?idbud=297

Ah well---truth will out.


Merpati Putih USA does make the claim that :-

"Merpati Putih Pencak Silat is the Indonesian Royal Familyís secret Martial Art and Inner Power System. MP was developed in the 1550ís and passed down through the generations very strictly from father to son & so on, only taught by the King to his Heirs. For over 400 years MP was very rarely if ever, seen by anyone outside the Royal Family. "
1550 is some considerable time prior to the Kartosuro era.

Regretably no references or documentation to support this claim are provided on the Merpati Putih USA website.

In spite of this long and regal history of silat in Jawa, there would seem to be no mention of it in literary sources, which to me, seems a little strange. I would have expected at least a passing mention in Centini, but I can find nothing.

I guess this proves beyond doubt that silat in Old Jawa was such a closely guarded secret, known of only by initiates, that virtually nobody else knew of its existence.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 12th September 2006 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 12th September 2006, 03:25 PM   #15
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Or maybe it's like fishing stories?
I have heard several examples of fantastic stories of the history of different Silat styles that is only told in US, and in some cases has been exported to European Silat circles...

Michael
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Old 12th September 2006, 03:45 PM   #16
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Default warangan, cacam and Gusti Juminah

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Warangan used to stain a keris blade does not render the blade poisonous.

The warangan combines with the ferric material of the blade , in much the same way as the chemicals used to achieve a cold blue effect in firearms , combine with the ferric material of firearms. If by some extremely unlikely chance there was a residue of arsenic on a keris blade, this residue would be so miniscule that it would not cause any injury through a poison effect.

For those with an interest in arsenic:-

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/arsenic/index.html

The word "cacam" puzzles me.

I do not know this word.

Nor do the seven Javanese people whom I have asked its meaning.

I cannot find the word in any Indonesian, Modern Javanese, or Old Javanese dictionary.

There is a word "cacampuri" in Kawi (ancient literary language) which seems to carry the meaning of mixing ingredients.

I would be very pleased to learn the meaning and origin of this word "cacam".

During colonial times there were many Javanese princes. I agree that it would be unlikely that at least some of these princes did not learn some Javanese martial art, however, in the written accounts of the education of those princes who rose to become rulers I can find no mention of these personages indulging in a study of silat, and quite frankly, I find it very difficult to reconcile the Kraton culture of the colonial era in Jawa with the study of silat by the heirs to the throne.
George Cameron Stone visited Jawa during the late colonial period, so in the matter of Javanese princes demonstrating systems of fence using the keris it is the probability of such systems being taught to Javanese royalty during this period which must be considered.I concede that the possibility does exist that George Cameron Stone was provided with a genuine exhibition of a system of fence specific to the keris, however, I cannot accept that this was a probability.

The word "kanuragan" is not a synonym for "silat".

"Kanuragan" in the sense of a protective discipline, means "invulnerable", and is a synonym of "kedhotan".

For those of you with an interest in understanding "kanuragan" you may care to visit this site:-

http://www.antarakita.net/reviews/r28.html

Gusti Djuminah was put under house arrest because of an interest in silat?
Isn`t it amazing how the truth of matters becomes buried in popular belief?
I had always thought Gusti Djuminah was exiled because he was a traitor.
Apparently many other people also think that this is what happened.

http://www.tasteofjogja.com/IDA/detailbud.asp?idbud=297

Ah well---truth will out.


Merpati Putih USA does make the claim that :-

"Merpati Putih Pencak Silat is the Indonesian Royal Familyís secret Martial Art and Inner Power System. MP was developed in the 1550ís and passed down through the generations very strictly from father to son & so on, only taught by the King to his Heirs. For over 400 years MP was very rarely if ever, seen by anyone outside the Royal Family. "
1550 is some considerable time prior to the Kartosuro era.

Regretably no references or documentation to support this claim are provided on the Merpati Putih USA website.

In spite of this long and regal history of silat in Jawa, there would seem to be no mention of it in literary sources, which to me, seems a little strange. I would have expected at least a passing mention in Centini, but I can find nothing.

I guess this proves beyond doubt that silat in Old Jawa was such a closely guarded secret, known of only by initiates, that virtually nobody else knew of its existence.


Nuwun sewu Pak Alan,

The word cacam is related to cemceman (oil and herbs for the hair) or tempe bacem. The cem part would indicate a marinade. It is mentioned in Pak Bambang's Ensiklopedi, and I have often seen people doing it.

Katosan and kanuragan is what most Jawanese would learn and pencak silat can and often is a part of katosan / kanuragan.

Gusti Juminah was a traitor to the Dutch colonialists but to the nationalist Mataramites he was the king of Yogya who never was. Studying kanuragan and silat was seen as a sign of treachery by the Dutch. This story I got from almarhum Pak Bagong himself, grandson of Gusti Juminah so of course it sees him positive.

If warangan doesn't kill, what makes people die in hours after being stabbed with a blade that has warangan on it? The wound becomes blue quickly and it begins to swell. Or are there other kinds of warangan? My friend died from a badik that had warangan on it.

As for Merpati Putih going back further that Kartasura, I would not be surprised. Merpati Putih as it is now, however comes down through Mataram, to the Jawa War 1825-30. The form we see nowadays was formulated after the Merdeka.

warm salaams to all,
Bram
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Old 12th September 2006, 04:51 PM   #17
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You can still order poison blades today although I think the process is different.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmJJLhy0o-M
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Old 12th September 2006, 07:52 PM   #18
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Most respected members of this Forum,

Is that True.... keris for fighting? Let's see from another point of view.

This discussion of the keris becomes more and more interesting, certainly when we become involved in the discussion of the keris, we will become involved in the language, the form, and the significance of the keris, all of which become one, and have a meaning in a semiotic way.

I now wish to address one aspect of the keris, that is the aspect which we refer to as "jarwa dhosok", and which may be translated as "the modern Javanese equivalent of a literary, or an archaic , expression".

The word "keris" comes from the expression "mengker kerono aris" (mengKER kerono aRIS), which has the meaning of to distance oneself from the matters of the world and move in the direction of great wisdom.
Thus, the keris when considered from the symbolic aspect of a modern interpretation of an ancient idea is a symbol that mankind always tries to move in the direction of Great Wisdom ( Mahabijaksana), that is , God.

Then, if we consider each ricikan, or feature, of the keris, we can attach a philosophical significance to each of these ricikan.
For example:-
-the gandik can be interpreted as having the meaning that the life of man is dependent upon God.
-the sharpness (landep) of the keris can be interpreted as having the significance that a man should have a keenly aware feeling towards his environment , towards the people around him, which will enable him to move towards the culmination of his life, the final goal of his life, that is, God, and God equates to the point of the keris.

If we then address the matter of dhapur, we can see that each dhapur also has a philosophical significance in accordance with the specific form of each dhapur.Thus, this philosophy which derives from semiotic observations certainly can also be addressed from the aspect of "jarwa dhosok", or the modern Javanese way in which an ancient expression is viewed (jarwa dhosok).


The above is a very concise outline of the content of the thesis "Analisis Semiotika Makna Sosial Keris Pada Orang Jawa" (An Analysis of the Social Significance of the Keris to Javanese People) recently submitted to Universitas Pembangunan Nasional (UPN) Yogyakarta, faculty of Social and Political Science, school of Communication.This thesis was awarded an "A" grading.



Let us take as an example the way in which the dhapur "Brojol" may be interpreted.


"Brojol" is a word which relates to one process of birth, whether human birth, or animal birth, thus whether it is a human or an animal which is born, the birth itself is pure.

With ricikan which consists of only an unadorned gandik, the dhapur brojol has the significance or symbol of :-

"man must always remember and always base his life upon God, must always have a keen awareness of his environment, and always be close to God, in order that he can always be "born again" and return to the natural purity and Way of God"

If man is already born again, and has returned to the natural Way of God, thus pamor is the flower given by the empu, for instance, beras wutah which carries the hope that as time passes good fortune will increase.

Respected Forum members, I have had the assistance of a friend in providing this English translation of what I originally wrote in Indonesian. For those of you who read Indonesian I provide below a copy of my original text , in order to guard against any possible loss of meaning or feeling in the translation.



Forum yang terhormat, diskusi "keris" menjadi semakin menarik, tentu saja pada saat mendiskusikan keris kita akan melibatkan bahasa, bentuk, dan makna, yang menjadi suatu kesatuan, yang memiliki arti atau secara semiotika.

Saya langsung saja ke satu sisi, dari sekian banyak sisi tinjauan mengaenai "keris" yaitu sisi "jarwo dosok".
Keris.... berasal dari kata mengKER kerono aRIS, artinya menjauhkan diri dari hal hal duniawi menuju kepada Yang Maha Bijaksana, atau "menuju kepada yang maha bijaksana".
Makna Keris dari sisi semiotika yang "jarwo dosok" adalah symbol agar manusia selalu berusaha untuk menuju kepada yang Mahabijaksana, yaitu Tuhan.

Kemudian setiap racikan juga memiliki makna phylosophi;
- Gandik misalnya memiliki makna manusia dalam hidupnya harus selalu bersandar pada Tuhan yang Maha Esa.
- Landep, (landep ing wilah) memiliki makna agar manusia mempunyai perasaan yang tajam terhadap lingkungannnya, terhadap masyarakat sekitarnya, (setajam landep bilah keris) untuk dapat menuju kepada suatu Titik puncak yaitu ujung kehidupan, akhir kehidupan yaitu Tuhan... ujung keris (pucuk).

Selanjutnya soal dapur, setiap dapur juga memiliki makna philosophy sesuai dengan masing-masing istilah dapur, makna phylosophinya juga terdiri berbagai tinjauan sisi semiotika, dalam hal ini tetntu saja saya akan melanjutkannya dari sisi yang konsepnya "jarwo dosok".
sebagai contoh "Dapur Brojol"

Brojol adalah sebuah kata yang mengungkapkan suatu proses kelahiran, apakah itu manusia ataupun hewan, maka apapun itu yang dilahirkan tentunya dalam keadaan suci.
Dengan komposisi racikan yang hanya gandik polos, dapur Brojol memiliki makna atau symbol "manusia harus selalu ingat dan selalu menyandarkan hidupnya kepada yang maha kuasa (Tuhan), memiliki perasaan yang tajam terhadap lingkungannya, dan selalu mendekatkan diri kepadaNya agar supaya selalu dapat menjadi manusia yang; "di-lahirkan kembali", kembali ke fitrah-NYA, Born Again, suci kembali.
Jika sudah dilahirkan kembali, kembali ke fitrah-Nya, Born again, maka pamor adalah kembang yang di berikan empu, sekiranya beras wutah maka semoga semakin bertambah rejeki yang diperoleh.

Demikian forum yang terhormat.
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Old 12th September 2006, 09:56 PM   #19
David
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Pak Bambang, i am assuming (please correct me if i am wrong) that from your post you are of the school of thought which does NOT believe that the keris was ever used as a weapon for fighting in Jawa. Certainly the metaphysical designation of the keris and it's various parts is an interesting and very valuable discussion. I would much appreciate it if you would actually start a new thread devoted to this line of thought. I think that even those who believe the keris WAS used as a true weapon would not argue that this philosphical manner of interacting with the keris is an established school of thought. The question is whether or not it was always this way or developed into this school over the centuries.
Your source for the word keris, mengKER kerono aRIS = keris, is also very interesting and i have heard this before. However, it would seem best not to present this as an undisputed fact. I have heard many different root sources for the word keris, but i do not believe any of them are cut and dry sources. I honor your right to believe yours is the correct source (and it may well be), but what you are presenting is open to debate.
Do you accept that the keris was used for fighting in other parts of Indonesia such as Bali, Sulawesi or the Peninsula?
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Old 12th September 2006, 10:30 PM   #20
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Pak David, in Bali i know exactly keris not for fighting except Puputan, here i will not explain about what is Puputan. In Bali they keep keris in Holly Room, or in Pura (as Pertime), but keris for collection is different.

Just for an example in Kosamba War, Anak Agung Istri Kania and her troops killed General Michiels and some of his leutenants not using keris but using tombak n gun, keris just for sikep.
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Old 12th September 2006, 11:08 PM   #21
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Just to be clear, i do not believe anyone here is suggesting that the keris was used as a prime weapon of war. Even before the introduction of the gun tombak would have been a perferred weapon in warfare over the keris. It has been put forth that the keris once acted as a personal side arm that might protect from theives or other troubles on the road, for instance.
The Kusamba war and the Puputans are both fairly recent events in the great scheme of the keris. But are attitudes that were held then or today the same attitudes that were held during the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries? Can anyone show proof of this?
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Old 13th September 2006, 01:24 AM   #22
A. G. Maisey
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Bram, I thank you most sincerely for your respectful form of address, however, since I am not Indonesian, and this is an English language forum, I would feel more comfortable with observation of English language convention by using only my name, without the title "Pak". Even though we have not been formally introduced, you may use my first name, rather than my family name.


Thank you for your explanation, Bram.

I understand your reference now. The word is "cencem", to soak in oil and poison. This appears to be another example of dialect difference that makes Javanese such a nightmare of a language.I am aware of this practice, and in my files I have several recipes for preparation of the soak medium. I have no doubt at all that you may have seen blades being prepared for use in this way, my only question related to the word you used.

Yes, kanuragan can be a part of pencak silat, or it can stand alone, but it is not a synonym for pencak silat. Kanuragan is perhaps more similar to tenaga dalam , than to the pencak forms, and is essentially a mystical practice, rather than a physical one.

I am not familiar with the word:- "katosan".

Can you please elucidate? Thank you.

Regarding Gusti Djuminah. I will preface my remarks by saying that I have only a slight understanding of the situation in Yogyakarta , and especially in the Kraton Yogya , at the time of the transmission of power from HB VII to HBVIII. However, what I have read indicates that the crown prince was a a troublemaker and obstructionist, who did indeed seem to pose future problems for the Dutch administration. In light of the wealth that HBVII accrued under Dutch policy, this would seem to have been a particularly stupid attitude to adopt, and since the well being of the people of Yogya was dependent upon the economy of the region, it could be, and apparently was, interpreted by many people as a betrayal of the people who were resident of Yogyakarta.

I can fully understand how some people, particularly a dispossessed grandson, may feel about the failure of his grandfather to take the crown, however, I would suggest that the reason for this denial of birthright by the Dutch had more to do with the political incompetence of the crown prince, rather than his interest in pencak silat.

I have absolutely no idea what could have been the cause of death in the case of the person stabbed in the thigh by a badik that had been stained with warangan.

But I am absolutely certain that it was not the warangan.

One may believe whatever one wishes in this respect, or any other, and for the person who believes that a blade treated with warangan will ensure a certain and swift death, then for that person, this is fact.However, the reality is that a blade which has been subjected to the process of warangan bears no active warangan upon its surface, and even if it did, the quantity that it might bear would be more of a medicinal nature than of death dealing one.

I did not say that Merpati Putih began prior to Kartosuro.

I said that Merpati Putih USA claimed this.

Personally, I find it very, very difficult to believe that Merpati Putih came from a royal source, or that it has roots going any further back than the 19th. century.

During colonial times practitioners of pencak silat were used by the Dutch administration as overseers. One of the ways in which an ordinary worker could gain advancement was to hone his martial arts skills and rise to the rank of an overseer or a controller. The elite of these people, known as "jago" were used by the Dutch as standover men and hit men.

The Dutch favoured Chinese people as tax collectors for a similar reason:- the Chinese martial art of kun tao---of which I can personally attest the effectiveness---seemed to be regarded at that time as a virtually unstoppable force, and as such more effective as an administrative tool than the various forms of pencak silat. So, the Chinese tax collectors could be expected , if necessary, to meet with little or no resistance from people relying on pencak silat.This, of course, is one of the principal roots of the dislike of the Chinese by the Javanese:- the Dutch employed the Chinese to collect tax and as a tool of enforcement that was more effective than the other tools of enforcement used by the Dutch.The Chinese were also more commercially able than the Javanese, so the people of Jawa were faced by a Dutch tool that had not only a commercial mentality, but had the physical ability to enforce Dutch demands.This must have been a truly horrible situation to live under.

Pencak silat appears to have entered Central Jawa during the 19th century, having been brought there by overseers whom the Dutch imported from Sunda. Sunda had been developed for Dutch purposes prior to the development of the Central Javanese plain, so when the farming lands of Central Jawa began to be exploited for Dutch gain, they used experienced overseers and controllers from their plantations in Sunda.

This appearance of pencak silat in the Javanese heartland during the 19th century would explain why Javanese literature from Centini and before appears to have no mention of pencak silat.

A further reason for the non-appearance of references in Javanese literature to pencak silat could well be because pencak silat seems to have been an art of the masses, rather than an art of the elite. Since the literature of early Jawa all comes from palace sources, one could hardly expect palace poets to write of the doings of labourers.

On the other hand, the practice of mystical exercises in attempts to gain invulnerability does sit perfectly with Javanese kraton culture of the colonial period, thus I believe we can accept that kanuragan was practiced amongst the elites during the colonial period

Let me conclude my remarks with this rider:-

I have no interest in any martial art, and I have no agenda to promote one martial art above any other, equally, I have no intent to denigrate any martial art.

I have a high respect for all martial artists because of their dedication to an athletic ideal that embodies both physical and mental prowess.

The martial arts of Jawa form a part of the culture of Jawa, and as such have my respect, however, to misrepresent, or to distort the true history and nature of this cultural element of Jawa is to do a disservice to the cultural inheritance of the Javanese people.
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