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Old 3rd March 2018, 04:05 AM   #1
alexish
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Default Newly-made Minangkabau Keris Naga

Dear fellow collectors,

I hereby enclose pictures of my newly-commissioned Minangkabau Keris Naga blade (with and without warangan) that was forged in Madura.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 04:17 AM   #2
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Default New Sarung

Here are some pictures of its newly-carved sarung:
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Old 3rd March 2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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Nice art work and pamor Lawe Satukel but I won't call it a Minang blade....
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Old 3rd March 2018, 12:31 PM   #4
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New artistic design but not my cup of tea.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 01:59 PM   #5
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I would have to agree that despite drawing references from Minangkabau style naga keris, you can't really call this one and i don't believe anyone looking at it with any knowledge of that style would think it was. If it truly was you intention to own a keris that could be identified as Minang i don't believe this is it.
However, what you have had created by your Madurese smith is an attractive modern "art" keris that seems to have some decent craftsmanship behind it. Like Paul i would say this is not my "cuppa", but i can appreciate the work that went into it.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 02:31 PM   #6
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I like it.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 09:58 PM   #7
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Alexish, if this is what you asked them to make then I think they have done an admirable job. It may not fit with the classics but the garap (workmanship) on the blade looks good, the pamor well controlled and the sheath nicely carved. Enjoy your keris.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 11:01 PM   #8
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If I am not completely mistaken, we have seen at least two Kerisses of this maker on forum before, both Malela blades. He surely is improving.
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Old 4th March 2018, 03:29 AM   #9
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Unhappy Opinion

For what it's worth, and only my point of view:

Garish is a word I might use to describe this end product.
For me his effort begs the question; who designates what is the proper form of a traditional Keris?

Should this be considered a product of the keris culture as is known at present?
If it is:
Where are the parameters?
Where do we go from here?
Have we discarded the Kraton dapurs' guidance for bling?
When this happens are we, in fact, cheapening the end product culturally and spiritually?

I have always equated the form of a Keris with Haiku; there are rules; if you don't meet them in the composition; then it is not Haiku.

I evaluate the keris's I see within the same type of parameters.

I feel that the new improvisations we see too often these days are not really improvements; rather they are distractions from the ideal.

In essence:
What actually constitutes a proper keris?

Last edited by Rick : 4th March 2018 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 4th March 2018, 05:16 AM   #10
A. G. Maisey
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Rick, something like 35 years ago there was an exhibition in Solo of the work of the new keris making generation, who were known as the Anak-Anak ASKI.

The work on display was beautifully sculpted, it was immaculate in its execution. Superb garap.

A very famous keris connoisseur was attending this exhibition in the same group of people that I was with. His name was Goh Tik Swan aka Harjonegoro.

His comment was:- "Well, this is certainly art, but are these things keris?"
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Old 4th March 2018, 06:31 AM   #11
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Default Hulu

Dear collectors,

Thanks for all your comments. Here are more detailed pictures of the keris hulu after staining. I also enclose pictures of the original antique ivory hulu that inspired this newly-made piece.
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Old 4th March 2018, 06:43 AM   #12
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Default Warangka

Here is how the warangka looks after staining. Compare with the original antique warangkas that inspired this newly-made piece.
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Last edited by alexish : 4th March 2018 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 4th March 2018, 07:54 AM   #13
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Here a comparison from the newly made keris with the old/antique one which was shown in a previous thread.
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Old 4th March 2018, 08:03 AM   #14
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Agree with Gustav, the smith is improving. But when I would have the choice I would take the antique example.

And can we call the new example a Minang keris? I think not. It's still a Madura blade to copy a Minang blade IMVHO.
Not my cup of tea neither.
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Old 4th March 2018, 08:11 AM   #15
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In fact, I modelled my newly-made keris more closely to Jean's Minangkabau Naga Keris, as shown in the attached picture.

Actually, I deliberately asked the keris-maker to omit the Naga tail, and put a sogokan instead, as I felt that a sogokan would flow better with the malela-style fullers and the pamor Lawe Satukel. In fact, I see the pamor Lawe Satukel as a replacement for the Naga tail.
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Old 4th March 2018, 04:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexish
In fact, I modelled my newly-made keris more closely to Jean's Minangkabau Naga Keris, as shown in the attached picture.

Actually, I deliberately asked the keris-maker to omit the Naga tail, and put a sogokan instead, as I felt that a sogokan would flow better with the malela-style fullers and the pamor Lawe Satukel. In fact, I see the pamor Lawe Satukel as a replacement for the Naga tail.

Alexish, i did note when you posted this how the pamor lawe satukel mimics the flowing motion of a serpent. You are definitely creating your own thing here though, so perhaps we could refer to this as a MinangAlexish keris.
You have taken different influence and created a bit of a mash-up here. Though artistic license has always been at play in keris design there have always been general guidelines to all the various known keris patterns that one is usually expected to adhere to. So we have the question of who decides when it comes to creating a new keris that can be accepted by the particular keris bearing culture which it is aimed at representing? Does it matter if it pleases the owner? But we also have the question of how such a personally designed keris that was created to specifically to owner preference rather than established "pakem" will be received if, down the line, it is introduced into the collecting market. I believe there may well be precedent for such things, keris that have been designed by eclectic people to suit very personal tastes. But from my perspective this does fall outside the perceived norms of the collecting world. Keris like this can then become enigmas to collectors down the line that some may find worthy and others not, especially if they pass into the marketplace without clear provenance. Hopefully if and/or when this keris leaves your custody it is not presented to collectors as a Minagkabau keris because it is not. I would hate to see a future where collectors have become confused about the authenticity of such a keris due to the lack of proper representation or the loss of basic knowledge of what such keris are actually supposed to look like. But it does seem to be a well crafted "art" keris. I would never personally commission such a keris, especially coming from outside the culture. It is not for me, a non-Sumatran, to determine or influence the nature of the specific keris design from any particular port of keris culture. But i do believe we all collect keris for different, sometimes subtle, reasons. My personal keris mission is about the study and preservation of the existing cultures, not forging new paths or foisting new design upon it. That would certainly not be my place.
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Old 4th March 2018, 10:50 PM   #17
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I'm very sorry; I would have to classify this new piece as an 'Indonesian style dagger'.
For me it just does not fit the required parameters to be called 'Keris'.

We own AKC recognized dogs; Rhodesian Ridgeback hounds; they are judged on a very strict set of standards.
Some people these days are breeding Poodles (an AKC breed) with Golden Retrievers (another AKC recognized breed); they call the end product 'Golden Doodles'; they are not recognized as a AKC breed; therefore they are considered Mutts by the people who set the standards.

So when you toss tradition out the window either with keris or purebred dogs I fear the end products achieve the same result.
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Old 4th March 2018, 11:33 PM   #18
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Default Keris sarong

Dear David and Rick,

Any opinion on the keris sarung? As you can see in the attached pictures, both the hulu and warangka were almost completely influenced and inspired by the design of old antique pieces, unlike the blade which had more innovation. For your reference, I also enclose pictures of an antique carved Minangkabau keris pendok that inspired my new piece.
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Last edited by alexish : 5th March 2018 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 5th March 2018, 10:19 AM   #19
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Hello Alexish,
IMO the sarong shown in your post # 18 and which inspired your new piece is not at all an antique Minang sarong but a recent bone replica very popular since about 20-30 years and probably not even made in Sumatra. You can find plenty of similar krisses on Ebay or other commercial sites.
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Old 6th March 2018, 01:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I'm very sorry; I would have to classify this new piece as an 'Indonesian style dagger'.
For me it just does not fit the required parameters to be called 'Keris'.


I find this fascinating. I am heartened whenever I see traditional culture practiced by new generations. The alternative is a loss of heritage. That said, there are strong opinions of what qualifies as a continuation of tradition, and a cheapening of one's culture. I find alexish's newly commissioned piece very nice, a nifty example of smithing, but understand why it may offend some.

So this begs the questions:
1-What parameters MUST be met for a subject to be definitively dubbed "Keris"?
2-What elements exclude an object from qualifying as a Keris?
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Old 6th March 2018, 01:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
I find this fascinating. I am heartened whenever I see traditional culture practiced by new generations. The alternative is a loss of heritage. That said, there are strong opinions of what qualifies as a continuation of tradition, and a cheapening of one's culture. I find alexish's newly commissioned piece very nice, a nifty example of smithing, but understand why it may offend some.

So this begs the questions:
1-What parameters MUST be met for a subject to be definitively dubbed "Keris"?
2-What elements exclude an object from qualifying as a Keris?

I would just like to direct your attention to this old thread. This is certainly not the first time these questions have been discussed. If you find something to question or add after read it Shayde i might recommend that to make your comment there and revive that old thread.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=defines+keris
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Old 6th March 2018, 04:00 AM   #22
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Dear collectors,

Thanks for all your insightful comments. By the way, I was inspired to incorporate Malela-style fullers in my keris, because there actually exist old examples of Minangkabau kerises with Malela-style fullers. I enclose a picture of such an example.
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexish
Dear collectors,

Thanks for all your insightful comments. By the way, I was inspired to incorporate Malela-style fullers in my keris, because there actually exist old examples of Minangkabau kerises with Malela-style fullers. I enclose a picture of such an example.

Yes they do...but this is not a Naga keris. Just because you mix and match features that are in various Minangkabau keris forms does not mean that you have created a keris that can pass as authentic Minangkabau. But what you really don't find on any authentic Minangkabau NAGA keris is sogokan.
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Old 7th March 2018, 04:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Hello Alexish,
IMO the sarong shown in your post # 18 and which inspired your new piece is not at all an antique Minang sarong but a recent bone replica very popular since about 20-30 years and probably not even made in Sumatra. You can find plenty of similar krisses on Ebay or other commercial sites.
Regards


Please refer to picture of the entire bone keris including blade and handle. The blade looks to be of genuine Minangkabau origin. I think that the keris originated from the early 20th century, at least from the pre-war era. Very possibly, it could be among the very first bone kerises made in the Minangkabau area, before the practice of making bone kerises was copied in other areas such as Borneo. For comparison, I also enclose the pendok/batang sections of my new keris after staining.
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Old 8th March 2018, 05:45 AM   #25
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Nice blade....I think I like it
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Old 8th March 2018, 03:43 PM   #26
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Hi Bill. Welcome to the forum.
Are you a collector of keris?
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