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Old 11th July 2016, 09:21 PM   #1
Tatyana Dianova
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Default Balinese Keris Exhibition in Hollenstedt, Germany

There is a Balinese Keris Exhibition "The Gods & the Forge" in Hollenstedt, Germany, till October 2016. Alas, it is a too far away for me to visit it...
The catalogue to the exhibition is also available: Weihrauch Achim, Kloubert Udo "THE GODS & THE FORGE. BALINESE CEREMONIAL BLADES IN A CULTURAL CONTEXT."
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Old 11th July 2016, 11:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up. Too far away for me as well i'm afraid.
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Old 11th July 2016, 11:33 PM   #3
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There is a book with the same title.

If anybody has read it, I'd be interested in an outline of the contents.
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Old 12th July 2016, 03:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
There is a book with the same title.

If anybody has read it, I'd be interested in an outline of the contents.

It looks like the book is simply a catalog of the exhibition.
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Old 12th July 2016, 03:48 AM   #5
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Yeah, it could well be, but at E65 and with these two names attached to it, I would expect some text of substance.

Garret's "World of ---" was only a cat. too, but it remains probably the best single work on the Javanese Keris.
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Old 12th July 2016, 04:38 AM   #6
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Perhaps. But unless i'm reading wrong it looks like it has 150 illustrations on 138 pages, so unless the illustrations are particularly small it doesn't seem to leave much room for text.
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Old 12th July 2016, 05:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Another book of pretty pics we can live without.
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Old 12th July 2016, 11:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for bringing this up.

If these are old authentic keris, I would love to see them.
460 kms, probably much closer than most other forumites. But I am afraid I am not making the trip.

Pretty high price for the catalogue BTW.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 13th July 2016, 02:11 AM   #9
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The exhibition is in the greater Hamburg area. So forumites visiting Hamburg should be able to make it!

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Kai
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Old 13th July 2016, 08:58 AM   #10
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I ordered the catalog and will report on it. One of the authors is well-known among European kris collectors.
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tip.
I think Sajen and I going to visit this Keris Exhibition. Seems very promising.

Roland
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:26 PM   #12
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Tell us how it goes Roland and Detlef.........
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Old 14th July 2016, 07:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Tell us how it goes Roland and Detlef.........


Yeah we will do and make some good pictures for the forum.
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Old 1st August 2016, 11:04 PM   #14
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Here you can see what and who is behind of this exhibition: http://www.ificah.org/webflyer/

Sounds more as interesting.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 03:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Perhaps. But unless i'm reading wrong it looks like it has 150 illustrations on 138 pages, so unless the illustrations are particularly small it doesn't seem to leave much room for text.


Hello David,

the book has two parts, the first part is meant as introduction for ethnograhic and cultural interested poeple to introduce them to the world of the keris and it's cultural background, who want to read here new insights should not acquire this book.
But we have here members who could be interested to get a first impression about the Bali keris who will get some useful informations and can have a look to some higher end Bali keris.
And yes, it's a cat. but with some very nice and exquisite Bali keris, which seems to my eyes very worth an exhibition, more as good photographed.
The text part takes the first 61 pages.

Not everyone have the ability to visit museums where he will see only a few keris or have had the good luck to handle and see some good Bali keris so books for a lot of people the only access to see such keris.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 2nd August 2016, 05:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello David,

the book has two parts, the first part is meant as introduction for ethnograhic and cultural interested poeple to introduce them to the world of the keris and it's cultural background, who want to read here new insights should not acquire this book.
But we have here members who could be interested to get a first impression about the Bali keris who will get some useful informations and can have a look to some higher end Bali keris.
And yes, it's a cat. but with some very nice and exquisite Bali keris, which seems to my eyes very worth an exhibition, more as good photographed.
The text part takes the first 61 pages.

Not everyone have the ability to visit museums where he will see only a few keris or have had the good luck to handle and see some good Bali keris so books for a lot of people the only access to see such keris.

Regards,
Detlef

Detlef, i believe you might be addressing your argument in favor of acquiring this catalog to the wrong person. I have never suggested that it was not worth acquiring, only pointing out that according to the specs i read on the book it doesn't seem to leave all that much room for in depth analysis. Actually i personally find quite a bit of usefulness in books of well photographed nice and/or rare keris as i personally do not have quite as much access to view such keris first hand as a few of our members do.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 05:59 PM   #17
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Hello David,

used only your comment to give a short insight from the content of the catalogue. And yes, you have been correct that there isn't much place for deep analysis but wasn't thought to give it I think.
I only want to report what someone will find when he will order it. When I understand correct, it's available in german and english. The link to the flyer shows pictures from the exhibition rooms.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 21st August 2016, 06:18 PM   #18
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I was lucky to be able to visit this exhibition on short notice - thanks heaps to GŁnther Heckmann for opening the doors and showing me around!

IMHO it is a small but really nice exhibition on a topic - keris Bali (including Lombok) - that has not received a lot of international attention lately. If you have access to leading musea (Leiden, Jakarta, etc.) including their non-public research collections, you may not have to see this exhibition; however, I believe most of us will discover a special piece making a trip worthwhile. Moreover, the exhibit is exclusively based on keris from private collections and many pieces won't show up again in the public realm for a long time! For those not able to make it, all pieces are included in the catalog (a few blades not shown though).

Quality of the keris ranges from about average to high end examples, including some really special, exceptional, or possibly unique pieces. A few blades seem to be really old with most being antique and some probably from the first half of the 20th century (at least one is still under research). This is quite a contrast to Pak Suteja's well-known publications featuring a lot of keris karmadikan (for understandable and perfectly legit reasons).

Also the old fittings exhibited are really diverse and show the inclusive nature of Balinese culture as well as its influence on neighbouring areas (Lombok, eastern Java, Madura). Again a very nice selection (vs. comprehensive coverage as this would be impossible to achieve for a small, privately funded foundation with limited exhibition space).

I hope others will be able to make it there and chime in with their impressions, too!

Regards,
Kai

All pics courtesy and copyright of IFICAH 2016
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Old 21st August 2016, 08:37 PM   #19
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BTW, don't forget to also check the nice pics in the flyer available from ificah.org !
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Old 21st August 2016, 08:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Yeah, it could well be, but at E65 and with these two names attached to it, I would expect some text of substance.

Garret's "World of ---" was only a cat. too, but it remains probably the best single work on the Javanese Keris.

Actually, I do like the booklet (available in German and English versions): about half is IMVHO a pretty well-done introductory text mainly based on AW's thesis and the other half pics and short descriptions of all exhibited keris. I would have loved AW to integrate Alan's not-so-recent-anymore paper (2013. An Interpretation of the Pre-Islamic Javanese Keris: cp. http://kerisattosanaji.com/INTERPRETATIONPAGE1.html) or at least comment on it since I feel it also weights in quite a bit on the subject of keris Bali; also I would have liked the pics to also show blades which are hidden in scabbards at the exhibition. Nevertheless I believe it is a really nice book to have...

The booklet/cat is available from ificah.org for 38 Euro (+ postage fee) which certainly is much better deal than offered by the commercial online stores!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 22nd August 2016, 09:39 PM   #21
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Roland and I am have had last Sunday the trip to Hollenstedt. I only can second what Kai already has said. GŁnther Heckmann is a very nice and courteous person and we have had some very enjoyable and informative hours. In respect to ificah and the nice booklet for resonable price we don't have taken pictures but it's planed to bring the pictures from ificah online visible but this can take some time.
What I can add is that the display is arranged with care and love to distraction. Very intersting!
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Old 29th August 2016, 09:51 AM   #22
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I received and read the booklet and basically concur with the positive evaluation made by Kai and Sajen. All the kris shown are of good to high/ exceptional quality, I feel that the estimated age of some blades may be overestimated but have no definite elements to prove it.
The pictures are excellent but because of the black background, the pamor pattern of some blades is hardly visible.
The pamor pattern of many blades (22 out of 31) is identified as "Balinese Ilining Warih (flowing water) equivalent to Javanese Beras Wutah" although they look quite different from each other. This terminology was also used in the book from Neka but I am not sure that it is correct, other opinions would be welcome.
Some Balinese kris terms used (type of hilts, etc.) are not standard.

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Old 29th August 2016, 01:28 PM   #23
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Jean, if this book says that ilining warih is equivalent (ie, the same as) beras wutah, they are wrong.

Sorry, but they misunderstand.

Beras wutah (wos wutah, wusing wutah --- and a number of other spelling variations) is the major random pamor pattern:- you take the material, fold and weld a few times, forge the keris, carve: job done. Result:- random pamor:- beras wutah.

However, that random pamor has a number of variations in form, so we can have different wos wutah motifs; this is so in Javanese wos wutah and also in Balinese wos wutah.

The text in "Keris Bali Bersejarah" was written by Basuki Teguh Yuwono, a young Javanese gentleman who is a product of the Central Javanese keris school of Solo, and this background shines through consistently in his text.

On pages 97 & 98 of "Keris Bali ---" there are photos of various random pamor motifs. These pamors are all named as Wusing Wutah (ie, beras wutah, wos wutah), but then the motif variation is named, and ilining warih is one of these beras wutah motif variations, along with ngulit semangka, pulo tirto. gedhegan, gedhegan bulat, semangka wengkon, ngintip, wengkon.

So ilining warih is definitely not equivalent to beras wutah, it is motif variation of beras wutah.

We can find exactly the same thing in Jawa.

Strictly speaking the pamor motif should be named as "Beras Wutah, ilining warih", but who is so tightly controlled in terminology all the time? Not me, that's for sure, so mostly we just use the name of the motif variation, same as if we are talking about a motor vehicle, we don't always say "Ford Mustang", mostly we just say "Mustang":- everybody knows its a Ford.

Re the pamor being difficult to see. Is it possible that these blades with difficult to see pamors are older blades? Mostly very old Bali blades do not have high contrast pamor, it is often, maybe usually, quite dark, very little contrast, especially in keris that would have been the property of common people.
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Old 29th August 2016, 03:06 PM   #24
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Hello Alan,
Thank you for your reply.
In the English version of the booklet, the pamor description is as follows: "Pamor in Balinese teminology ilining warih (flowing water) in Javanese beras wutah". A bit confusing? It was my impression that pamor Ilining Warih in Java is not a variation of Beras Wutah but more similar to pamor Adeg?
And regarding the pamor contrast of the blades, it is generally good but not clearly visible only because of the black background and the (too) dark shade of the pictures, it would appear much better on a clear background.
Regards

Last edited by Jean : 30th August 2016 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 30th August 2016, 12:07 AM   #25
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As I said Jean:- that is wrong.

Ilining warih is one of the variations of wos wutah:- it's still wos wutah, but sub-motif ilining warih --- at least according to Basuki Teguh Yuwono in "Keris Bali ---' .

I have never seen a pamor in a Javanese keris that anybody referred to as ilining warih. In fact, even though this name could legitimately be used to describe a pamor in a Javanese keris, I've never heard it used.

The word "warih" is Javanese literary usage and in Bali it has a similar position in the hierarchy of usage, it is a Kawi word, which means it is literary usage and it is also OK for court usage.

I do not speak Balinese, I pulled all this out of a dictionary. I asked a Balinese lady I know first, but she only speaks low level Balinese.

However, "ilining" is legitimate Javanese usage. The name ilining warih is legit Javanese usage, it is not normal Balinese, but it may be in use in Balinese as a combination of Kawi + the word "ilining" which could perhaps be deemed a foreign word because it is Javanese.

So let's accept that it is legit usage in both places, even though I have never encountered it in use anywhere.

The only illustration I can find of ilining warih is in Harsrinuksmo, and that entry goes on and describes what I know as an adeg pamor. As is not uncommon with Harsrinuksmo, I think it may be another of his, let us say, "journalistic" entries.

This is a common criticism of Harsrinuksmo, and it could well be unjust. He did not hold himself forth as a keris expert, but rather as a writer about keris. He sourced his info from various accepted keris authorities.

One of the very well known characteristics of information sourced from Javanese informants is that if you ask a question you will be given an answer and the answer you get is very likely to be the answer that the informant thinks will please you. You need to be very close to somebody before you get a "sorry, I don't know", or even a 100% genuine transfer of information, which even then must be questioned and validated.

To be able to name any pamor with reasonable accuracy you need to understand how it was made.

In the Balinese examples that Basuki Yuwono names as "wusing wutah --ilining warih" the pamor has been made by welding the layers of contrasting pamor material with minimum distortion, and then cutting the kruwingan to expose the separate layers of pamor mlumah. In effect we are looking at "laying down pamor" that has carefully had the distorted layers of material removed to expose principally parallel layers of material.

In an adeg pamor we are looking at a pamor miring, where the layers of pamor have been manipulated in the forge so that they stand at 90 degrees to the core of the blade:- a "cross-ways" pamor.

Yet Harsrinuksmo tells us that ilining warih is similar to adeg?

Come on, the bloke simply didn't know what he was writing about and that means his informant didn't understand what he was talking about. Don't think that just because something is written by an Indonesian, or a Javanese, that they all know what they're talking about --- or that they necessarily want to tell you everything they know.

But Basuki Yuwono does know what he's talking about. He is a skilled pande keris in his own right. Some would accord him the title of empu.

In summary:-

Yuwono is right.

Harsrinuksmo is wrong.

Whoever believes that ilining warih is not a sub-motif of beras wutah is very misguided.

~~~~~~~~~~~

re the indistinct pics --- understood, thanks
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Old 30th August 2016, 09:34 AM   #26
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Thank you Alan for your detailed and thorough reply, especially the difference between pamor Ilining Warih and Adeg.
I hope that you will have the opportunity to see the catalog yourself for getting a more complete idea. What disturbs me as I said is that a number of blades identified with pamor Ilining Warih do not show principally parallel layers of materials.
And about the pictures, sorry I should have said too dark shade instead of colour.
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Old 30th August 2016, 02:11 PM   #27
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I understood what you meant about the pics Jean, no problems there.

I doubt that I'll see the catalogue Jean. What you say about the contents I find disappointing, so I'm most certainly not going to waste my money on a book that is riddled with error on something as simple as the thing we have been discussing.

I have seen a parade of books about keris over the last 20 years or so.

A parade.

All waving their multi-coloured flags and all babbling on about irrelevancies.

Lots of pretty pictures of things that the authors do not seem to have even the smallest understanding of.

The foundations of my own knowledge came from a man who never wrote a book.

But his constant criticism was this:-

"If somebody wants to write about keris, why don't they learn about keris before they start to write?"

I've felt the same way for a long time now.
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Old 31st August 2016, 04:39 PM   #28
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Hello Alan,
Of course you won't learn anything from this catalogue but in spite of my specific comments I would not want to leave a negative opinion to other collectors. The effort from the authors is still appreciated and the booklet attractive to read for most kris collectors, and after all there are only few books relevant to the Balinese krisses (Neka and Dibia, and Djelenga for the krisses from Lombok).
Regards
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Old 31st August 2016, 05:02 PM   #29
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I have red the book and I think it is very well done and perfect with the museum exhibition and good to increase the interest in the kris to those who still do not know them.
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Old 31st August 2016, 11:47 PM   #30
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Jean, I have not read the book, nor have I seen the exhibition, and because of this I have not given either a positive or a negative opinion on either.

I have made comments, and those comments are based on what you and others have said

Certainly I have indicated that I will not spend the E38 + postage on a book that from all reports appears to be a very well presented book of very good photographs, but which appears not to address any matters that could be of interest to me personally.

Frankly I'm fed up with opening books full of pretty pictures which address the keris as an art work. These books have been appearing with great regularity for about the last 20 years.

I'm well aware that I'm out on a limb, all by myself, in this attitude, and I am sure that the vast bulk of collectors, as distinct from students of the keris, do not share my attitude. So surely, this catalogue of the exhibition will be welcomed by keris collectors who are unable to attend the exhibition in person.

My greatest disappointment is that according to the comments I have read here, and in personal correspondence, the involvement of Achim Weihrauch did not result in text that was other than superficial commentary. I suppose this is understandable in a catalogue of an exhibition that is directed at a wide audience, however, in such a publication the benchmark is Solyom, and in his catalogue he managed to produce the best single reference on the Javanese keris that has yet been published.

Something similar on the Balinese keris would have been very nice.
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