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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:11 PM   #1
vinny
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Question please help identify this pamor

Hi

I am interested in buying this Keris (please see attached). Please let me know if I am breaking forum policy with my post.

I am unsure of the pamor, I think could be Beras Wutah. What does anyone else think.

Regards
Vinny
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Last edited by vinny : 22nd April 2005 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:26 PM   #2
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Vinny,

I do not see a problem with your post. You do not disclose the seller, or the nature of the transaction, and you don't even show the whole piece, so it is unlike to lead easily to finding that out. Plus, you are not asking for any sort of value estimate or authenticity, just information on the style of the piece.

Now, if someone jumps in with information about seller, source, whatever, their post is going to get zapped (be warned ...)

Mark
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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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Mark

Many thanks.

Hopefully the only responses will be to help identify the pamor type.

Thanks in advance if anyone can help.

Best regards

Vinny
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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:43 PM   #4
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Yes, it is Wos Wutah. But the workmanship is rather crude...imo only.
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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:52 PM   #5
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Alam Shah

Terimah kasih.

Regards
Vinny
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Old 22nd April 2005, 01:53 PM   #6
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The pamor does run off the edge a bit . Does the seller claim this piece is over 100 yrs old ? It looks a little ragged .
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:11 PM   #7
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Rick

I don't want to disclose too much so this piece can remain anonymous.

It is represented as > 100 years. It looks better on other pictures.

I am no expert, but I thought it looks better crafted and in better shape than some Keris I have inspected in an antique shop. They did not seem authentic, and looked artifically aged, were totally dry, pamor dropped off and had no smell or any other evidence of maintenance, and mostly in poor shape, with something broken, or clothes not fitting correctly. The worst one looked like it had been buried on the ground and rusted away, the blade was only 5 inches long and so thin, you could flex it with your fingers!

I like this one because the pamor is so clearly visible with a nice contrast without being really dark. But I am new to this sort of thing, so I don't really know anything.

Regards
Vinny
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:18 PM   #8
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Question Vinny

Have you read this past thread ?
It's from the old forum archives .
It's one of the best threads on keris to come out of this forum :

http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000402.html
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:35 PM   #9
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Red face

Rick

I did not see that. Its a long thread. I started reading, but theres is a lot to take in so I will pick up later when I can read more leisurely.

Thanks

Regards
Vinny
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:45 PM   #10
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Yep , it's long but when you finish you will be a better informed collector .

There is a treasure trove of info on almost any EEW subject to be found by searching the old forum . Search is in the upper right hand corner of the page .

http://www.vikingsword.com/cgi-bin/...passCookie=true
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:48 PM   #11
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Rick

I am not sure I would call myself a collector...
How many is a collection?

Regards
Vinny
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Old 22nd April 2005, 03:35 PM   #12
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Vinny,

The thing with keris is...first you start with one. The next time you check, you'll have 2 or more. Many have been infected by this 'bug'. (Me included.)
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Old 22nd April 2005, 07:20 PM   #13
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny
Rick

I am not sure I would call myself a collector...
How many is a collection?

Regards
Vinny


Wise man say, "If you got more than two, its a collection ..."
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Old 23rd April 2005, 09:43 AM   #14
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This one will be Keris number 4! That's including a rather touristy looking one my brother got from a market in Kelantan about 5 years ago - My grandfather took him shopping for Keris.

Regards
Vinny
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Old 26th April 2005, 01:50 PM   #15
Kiai Carita
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Default Vinny's Pamor

Vinny's keris seems to be a tilam upih or a brojol (altough most brojol have fatter blades) with a beras wutah or maybe pulo tirto pamor. Both pamor have similar esoteric value. As keris are never intended by Javanese to be used as weapons to kill many daour of keris have very thin blades. Having a thin blade does not mean that it is a tourist keris. However there are many-many tourist keris made to look like old ones by washing in acid. To ascertain whether this had been done or not one would have to actually handle the keris and inspect the consitence of the ricikan details and the type of metals used during a particular tangguh.

Salam keris
Kiai carita
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Old 27th April 2005, 09:06 AM   #16
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Vinny - get a magnifying glass or lupe and check the pamur material for any crystalline formations.

I believe what you have is what the Malays call 'pamur miang' (by DAHenkel). It's a form of chatoyance that creates a 3D effect on the pamur layers when viewed at different angles against the light.

It's quite rare, I think.
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Old 27th April 2005, 11:37 AM   #17
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Pak Rahman and Kiai Carita.

Thanks for your valuable info.
I will examine the Keris when it arrives.
I don't know, I just had a good feeling about it when I looked at pictures, so I decided to buy. When it arrives, I will take some close shots and post them.

I have seen plenty of tourist Keris, and they and they are very easy to identify (my brother has a small collection of them!). You can see how they must have been etched using a wax resist method, and exposed to moisture to promote corrosion.

The vendor says this blade has been washed in the last decase, so the pamor should be in good shape. I have some Keris oil containing lime juice, lotus flower essence and a small amount of warangan (it only very slightly darkens iron and seems to stop darkening after a couple of hours), should I use this to refresh the pamor, or just oil with normal keris oil if it is dry?

Regards
Vinny
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Old 28th April 2005, 09:36 AM   #18
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The vendor says this blade has been washed in the last decase, so the pamor should be in good shape. I have some Keris oil containing lime juice, lotus flower essence and a small amount of warangan (it only very slightly darkens iron and seems to stop darkening after a couple of hours), should I use this to refresh the pamor, or just oil with normal keris oil if it is dry?

Regards
Vinny[/QUOTE]

Many modern Javanese now do not put warangan on their blades unless it is for an exhibition. Then they would get their blades given the warangan treatment by a professional. Warangan is poison and makes the blade dangerous as even a slight cut can do alot of damage and also the citric acid used eats away the metal of the blade. Personally I think that gun oil or sewing machine oil or bicycle chain oil mixed with sandalwood essential oil or some other royal aroma to taste is better than warangan although the pamor does not shine and the iron does not go black.
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Old 28th April 2005, 09:46 AM   #19
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Kiai Carita

I will adhere to your advice and use some oil I have that is scented with sandalwood and flowers, and no warangan. I was told that the oil that does contains the warangan, has such a tiny amount it will not harm me, but to be safe, I will avoid using it.

Many thanks for your advice.

Regards
Vinny
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Old 28th April 2005, 12:29 PM   #20
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So what of the poisonousness of the "stain"? Could this be part of its origin?
Always interesting to read/hear various permutations of the claim that k(e)ris is not a weapon. Reminds of that TV show StarTrek (NewTrek) and the Captain insists angrily to his uniformed underling as they orbit a possibly hostile situation in their heavily armed spaceship "Starfleet is NOT a military organization!" Of course, what has been said on this thread is considerably more reasonable, limitting itself to the Javanese culture. If we would add modern/current to that limit it would probably be more correct; ie. k(e)ris seems to have been in former times a weapon on Java; now it (at least primarily) is not, and this is the situation that has obtained for some time.
Probably any of us can spot a modern decorator k(e)ris(-like dagger) with a resist-etched blade as distinct from a real k(e)ris, especially if it isn't etched to imitate pamor, but with writing, as is common*, however, one should be advised that many keris are still being made (and this is sometimes spoken of as reproduction or a revival of somekind, but AFAIK it never stopped), in any degree of in-between-ness from unhardenable industrial monosteel snipped out of salvaged sheet (and even plastic blades) to ones with layers, but of untraditional materials and/or patterns, to physically exact ones, to even a few with all the full ceremony and spirituality in their production. Where along this continuum one draws the (perhaps misnamed) line of "tourist"ness seems to be almost equally variable; a k(e)ris collector friend once showed me a folded, patterned, sandwiched blade with a carved naga/dragon for the midrib; a large robust blade with some gold leaf. He seemed to consider it a fairly egregious tourist piece. On the other hand, one reads that Indonesians in olden times would sometimes carry wood/bamboo-bladed k(e)ris if they couldn't afford an iron/real one (and a similar thing is seen with swords in traditional Japanese culture).

*however, I am given to understand that some, not many, but some, old k(e)ris are etched or otherwise marked with writing, AFAIK this is rare; I don't know if I've seen the real deal, and I doubt it looks much like the new ones (and it could even be a collectors' tale for all I know)..........
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Old 28th April 2005, 07:09 PM   #21
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Tom Hyle wrote: k(e)ris seems to have been in former times a weapon on Java; now it (at least primarily) is not, and this is the situation that has obtained for some time.

In Javanese legend death in which a keris was involved two blades. The first happened whe Aji Saka came from Hindustan and his Javanese servants fought to death over the custody of his keris. The second was the famous keris of Mpu Gandring which was involved with the founding and the deaths of the kings of the Singasari kingdom in the 13'th century. Afterwards a cowardly king of Mataram who sold out to the Dutch East Indies Company (a stupid move which still affects Java to this day) executed the people's rebel and hero Trunajaya using a keris.

In the wayang kulit shadow puppet ceremonies many kerises are found. Arjuna had a straight keris called Pulanggeni. Krisna had a keris of the simple Brojol shape. The demon Buta Cakil always comes out and fights and gets killed by his own keris.

The Javanese keris is a weapon but not in the same meaning as Exalibur was a weapon. A keris is a 'sipat kandel' something to make the bearer more confident and to esoterically protect him/her. It is a weapon that is weilded not by utilizing the sharpness and the strength of the blade. Rather it is weilded by the proper care of the blade which is believed to activate the Mpu's prayer beaten between the hammer and the anvil. Kerises were used in the Independence wars of 1945-1949 but they were not used to stab Dutch people as the war was mostly fought with fire arms. Indonesian guerrillas just felt better bringing their keris with them to battle.

Keris production in Java stopped after the Great Depression and died out during and after the Japanese Occupation. In the 1970-1980's several sons of Mpu families began to make keris again. Now there are several keris makers in Solo, Yogya, and a whole village in Aeng Tong-Tong in Sumenep in Madura. Most tourist keris are now made in Aeng Tong-Tong. The tourist industry also keeps several keris makers occupied in Bali. In the whole of Indonesia there are probably a handfull of keris makers who can still follow the old knowledge of making keris; Pauzan Pusposukadgo in Solo, Jeno Harumbrojo in Yogya, several people in AengTongTong. All keris out of Java are younger than the Majapahit Empire and that all keris used as a weapon in the physical sense are not from Java.

Salam Keris
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Old 28th April 2005, 10:58 PM   #22
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When we attempt the study of any culture, we should recognise that what we discover about that culture is dependent upon a number of factors. The knowledge gained of the culture depends upon the methodology which we choose to use, it depends upon our informants, it depends upon the time when the information was gathered, and it depends upon ourselves. I mention here only major factors, but there are other factors which viewed subjectively could seem to be minor, but which in the final analysis show themselves to have a major impact upon our findings.

When we seek to study the keris, most particularly the keris in Java, we find that there are many threads which must be drawn together before we can begin to form an objective opinion of this artifact of Javanese culture. If our study is limited to a study of the belief systems which are applied to the keris in present day Java by a segment of the Javanese community, then our understanding of the keris, and its development throughout time will be an understanding that we have gained by acceptance of the beliefs of a group of people within the Javanese community.I do not criticise these beliefs. They are an accurate reflection of the way in which many people now living in Java now see this icon of their culture. As such, these beliefs must be given a place in the study of the keris and accorded recognition as a phenomenon of cultural development.

However, objective examination of the history of the keris will reveal that the belief system which holds that the keris is not, and never was, a weapon, is an outgrowth of twentieth century Javanese Islam.

If we are to gain an understanding of Javanese culture and the keris, then we must look at this culture not only through the window of the present, but we must strive to project our examination back into time and try to understand what the keris was in times past. As an example to demonstrate my position in this matter, I will use the Javanese language. Anybody with only a passing understanding of Javanese culture and society will know that the Javanese language is a multi level language. The basic level of this language is Ngoko, and the other major level is Krama, which is a ceremonial version of the basic level. Between these two levels is a third level, Madya. The way in which these levels of language are used is strictly prescribed, and is not a matter of choice for the user, but depends upon social hierarchical organisation. Further, some people maintain that within the closed world of the Surakarta Kraton a total of eleven levels of language are used. Now, looking at this situation , it would be easy to believe that this development of language has occurred over a very extended period of time. In fact, the most recent studies indicate that these levels of language have only developed since about 1600, and coincide with attempts by the new dynasty of Mataram to legitimise their position.

For somebody living in the twentieth century, it would be a natural assumption that this structure had been a feature of the Javanese language back into time, and had applied during the golden age of Majapahit, and during the the eras preceeding Majapahit. Only a student of Old Javanese would recognise that Old Javanese was not strictly structured as is Modern Javanese.

As it is with the Javanese language, so it also is with the Javanese keris.
During time, the nature of the keris has changed, and those who put forward the claim that it is not, and never was a weapon are presenting a very modern point of view.

There is ample evidence in the literature to support my assertion that the nature of the keris in the twentieth and twenty first centuries was not the nature of the keris in earlier times. For those who may be interested in discovering this for themselves, I suggest that they may care to start with a reading of :- "Java in The 14th. Century"--Pigeaud, note particularly the Nagarakertagama and the Nawanatya, and Groenveldt`s translation of the Ying-Yai-Sheng-Lan (1416), which can be found in "Historical notes on Indonesia and Malaya compiled from Chinese sources".

Knowledge can only be gained through study. The study of belief systems is necessary to gain a rounded understanding of any aspect of a culture, but belief cannot be substituted for fact.
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Old 28th April 2005, 11:20 PM   #23
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Sorry Kiai, but i am afraid i must side with Tom here on most points.
Firstly, while arsenic is certainly a poisonous substance, with a little common sense (i.e. Don't lick the spoon! ) it isn't all that dangerous to use. I have used it to stain blades safely many times. Small nicks with a treated blade would hardly cause any trouble. Now, plunge it into a vital organ and you've got real trouble.
Once again we have the keris as weapon vs. spiritual talisman debate. One thing that i believe confuses many people on this issue is that they don't understand that the keris is a living and evolving spieces. What is commonly believed and accepted now may not be the same as what once was. I deeply respect your spiritual attitude towards the keris. I, as well, view the keris as a spiritual tool, a prayer in iron which can be used to transform ones life. I certainly would never dream of using one of my keris to do harm, physical or otherwise. HOWEVER, to make claims that the Javanese keris was never intended to be used as a weapon and base this theory on legend and myth is just misleading. Mind you, legend and myth serve a very important role in understanding society, culture and self. But these stories are parable meant to teach us lessons, not really meant to be taken as fact to prove academic points. Keris have been made through the ages to serve MANY different purposes. Some, such as the particularly thin blades you discussed in a different thread, were never meant to be used as a weapon. But keris were also carried in early times as a personal side arm. They were not a choice weapon of war (spears would be preferrable), but of personal defense. The Chinese made written record of early encounters that young men who were quick to anger and to revenge insult would draw their keris blades and fight. These are not the only accounts, nor are they the stories of mythical figures of early Javanese history. Nor are they characters from the Wayang whose stories are also meant to teach lessons, not real history. These are accounts of the common people.
As i stated, keris were made on many levels and for many purposes. On the royal level it is unlikely that any of these keris would ever be used for something as mundane as fighting. I think these keris, though, have more in common with the legend of Excalibur than you might think. Excalibur was about the transference of power and the divine right to the throne. Only Arthur could pull it from the stone and take his rightful place on the throne. Royal keris were often used in similar manners to distribute power.
As for modern keris, you are right that very few empus are still at work using the old ways to produce keris. Even Empu Djeno hasn't made a keris in some time, leaving the work to his apprentices. There are, however, a great deal of highly artistic keris being produced in Jawa and Madura. These keris may not hold the spiritual levels of energy that empu made pieces do, but on some levels they are technically superior pieces of metalwork. To call these keris "tourist" items would be misleading. The vast majority of them never leave the islands, being collected mostly by Javanese collectors. I would not call these tourist keris. I leave that designation to punched out blades with painted on pamor. These i would call "art keris". There is a growing group of collectors for these and for better or for worse, they are keeping the keris culture alive.
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Old 28th April 2005, 11:28 PM   #24
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Wow Marto, i think we were having a simultaneous thought bubble.
Thanks for providing source material for my Chinese reference, Your analogy to the Javanese language is also quite interesting.
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Old 29th April 2005, 06:57 AM   #25
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Thank you Marto Suwignyo for explaining some cultural background to the keris.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marto suwignyo
.

There is ample evidence in the literature to support my assertion that the nature of the keris in the twentieth and twenty first centuries was not the nature of the keris in earlier times. For those who may be interested in discovering this for themselves, I suggest that they may care to start with a reading of :- "Java in The 14th. Century"--Pigeaud, note particularly the Nagarakertagama and the Nawanatya, and Groenveldt`s translation of the Ying-Yai-Sheng-Lan (1416), which can be found in "Historical notes on Indonesia and Malaya compiled from Chinese sources".
.


I believe that the keris was only passingly mentioned by the writer in Zeng He's who did not even know the name of the weapon he was attempiting to describe. If nowadays a writer saw something in an other culture and described it without even knowing its name would his notes be reliable? I don't have the Nagarakertagama and Pararaton on me but I have read old texts and Mpu Gandring's keris is the one and only keris used to kill. There is more evidence in literature to support the notion that the Java keris was never intended to kill even before Islam. Look in Bali where the keris/kedutan is also never intended to kill. When the keris left Java/Bali it began to be seen as a weapon to kill. So it is the other way around, the coming of Islam coincided with the use of the keris as a physical weapon.

Salam keris
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Old 29th April 2005, 01:01 PM   #26
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Actually, the Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan as presented by Groeneveldt is a composite of accounts prepared by two priests named Ma Huan and Fei Hsin , who accompanied the Chinese admiral Cheng Ho.

As is the case when most historical studies are undertaken, that which we wish to investigate, or to learn about is seldom set out in a form that makes our quest for knowledge easy. We need to research available resources, to apply logic and to draw conclusions, and to be prepared to defend those conclusions. In the case of the Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan, it is true that the word used to refer to the daggers worn by the men of Java in the 15th century is not given as "keris", however the description of these daggers does coincide with the description of a keris, and scholars have long accepted that this description does in fact refer to the keris. In the absence of any evidence to support the existence in Java during the 15th century, of some other generally worn dagger with characteristics that would agree with the description given in the Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan, then I believe we must accept that the current concensus of opinion is correct, and that the Chinese writers were indeed talking about the keris when they wrote of the inhabitants of Java:-"---if they get into a quarrel in trading, or if they are drunk and insult each other, they draw their dagger and begin stabbing, thus deciding the question by violence.---"

The passage in which these daggers is mentioned is far from a casual mention of Javanese attitudes and character during this period of history, and paints a vivid picture of the Javanese encountered by the Chinese voyagers.Mention is made of the three types of peoples living in the country of Java at that time:- Mohomedans, Chinese, and the natives who are described as :-"---very ugly and uncouth;they go about with uncombed heads and naked feet and believe devoutly in devils---".

Four hundred years later, in the period immediately after 1812, Raffles when writing of the Javanese was full of praise for their cleanliness and good manners, and in reference to the keris wrote:-"---the keris, among them, has for a long period been more exclusively a personal adornment, than a rapier was in Europe fifty years ago---"

Clearly, some civilising influence had been at work in Java between the early 1400`s and the early 1800`s.Could this influence perhaps have been Islam? Or are we simply looking at societal development?

Further evidence of the use to which the keris was put in early Java can be found in the relief carvings of Candi Panataran and Candi Lara Jonggrang. The explicit nature of these carvings leaves no doubt that the keris in early Java was indeed a weapon.

So, we have evidence in the literature of Java itself, we have the reports of Chinese voyagers, and we have graphic illustrations in relief carvings on Javanese candis that show clearly how to use a keris if we wish to end another`s life with one. Additionally, we have the various mentions of the keris as a weapon in historical accounts. We have the instances of use of a keris to end life which are a part of the accepted Javanese version of history, as in the use of Pangeran Puger`s Kanjeng Kyai Balabar, and the execution of Trunojoyo in Kartasura by Amangkurat Amral. In Bali there are several historical accounts on record of execution by keris. Coming up to the present day we have the case that occurred only a couple of years ago in a village near Sragen in Central Jawa, where a man killed his wife and a neighbour, and wounded several other people, with his keris. When he came to court he claimed that the spirit in the keris had caused the homocides, not him:- he was only the instrument of the evil spirit that dwelt in the keris. The judge did not accept this explanation.

The keris of the legendary Mpu Gandring was the one and only Javanese keris ever used to kill?

Oh yes, of course it was.

There is a theory on the nature of truth that says something to the effect that if sufficient people believe something to be true, then it is true.

In spite of evidence, in spite of logic, in spite of reason , if the point has been reached where the mass of faith outweighs the mass of evidence and logic , then the truth lays in faith.

In the matter of this discussion I cede the field to faith, which in this case is clearly stronger than my desire to continue a discussion where objectivity carries no weight.
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Old 29th April 2005, 03:44 PM   #27
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Thank you for the long winded essay Sir!

As you know Zeng He and Cheng Ho are the same Ming dynasty eunuch Admiral who spent much time in Indonesian waters. Ma Huan was describing something that could be a keris but also could be an other weapon such as a wedung or a badek or a glathi and as he saw the natives (like me) as demons I would imagine that he did not bother to even look at them properly or get to know them better or learn their language and again I ask how can you trust a journalist who doesn't even bother to ask the name of the exotic blade he saw? The keris is not the only tosan-aji that could fit the description of the Ming sailing monks.

There are only two famous keris killings: Mpu Gandring's unfinished keris killed Tunggul Ametung, Ken Arok, Anusapati, and Tohjaya but according to Pramoedya Ananta Toer the keris was not a real keris but rather a metaphor for an elite military unit. The second famous keris killing was Trunajaya's execution by the traitor king Amangkurat II Amral: an event that still shocks Javanese today. The keris is now in the Surakarta Kraton (which does not use 11 levels of language) and not thrown in to the South Sea because and only because it was used by a king to personally kill a rebel who very nearly took his throne.

Not only do temple reliefs have keris' being weilded as weapons, the wayang kulit repertoar does also. But if you look closer the reliefs actually depict times from the Zaman Purwacarita just like the wayang kulit does. However the most famous keris deaths in the wayang kulit is also the death of Buta Cakil/Gendring Caluring in the perang kembang part of the wayang performance. Cakil is a bad guy and always gets killed with his own keris. As there are also Prambanan reliefs of monkeys carrying keris would you conclude that Javanese learned about the keris from monkeys?

As for the recent murders using a keris in Sragen I have not heard of them. I come from near Sragen by the way. In 1965-66 the people of Bali had to execute members of their families who were Communist. What weaon was used to stab the hearts of most victims? Not the family keris nor the victims keris but ordinary pig stabbing pisau.

You are welcome to think that the evidence you have touted proves that the keris was intended as a weapon to stab using evidence from Zeng He's monks. But if you take their one paragraph as evidence of keris habitually being used to kill please also accept that racist ethnography and journalism produces valid accounts of the culture observed because that was what these Chinese monks were: racists who did not even bother to say hi what is that thing called? Please add to your theory that Javanese learned to make keris from Indian monkeys! Plus Amangkurat Amral who bent over to be raped by the VOC was a good example of Javanese kingship and cultural use of the keris!

Salam Keris
Salam Keris
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Old 29th April 2005, 05:58 PM   #28
nechesh
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Kiai, i would image one can learn as much about the true history of Jawa from wayang theatre and legeend as one can learn true history of England for the writings of Arthurian legend. Myths and legends serve many great purposes, but i'm afraid accurate and reliable history is not one of them.
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Old 29th April 2005, 06:35 PM   #29
Kiai Carita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nechesh
Kiai, i would image one can learn as much about the true history of Jawa from wayang theatre and legeend as one can learn true history of England for the writings of Arthurian legend. Myths and legends serve many great purposes, but i'm afraid accurate and reliable history is not one of them.


I never said that legend is factual but there are clues there: in Java legend was the way people transmitted history. True history? Hmmmmmm. That is a very novel and Western idea that is foreign to me. Only you Westerners imagine that you can grasp the truth and all the truth and nothing but the truth. Walahualam.

An other legend which cannot be true because it doesn't involve any tangible proof but would be good to mention would be the ancient Ramayana that mentions Lokapala (the spice islands) and also Java. This means that according to the Ramayana there was trade and political relationships between the Indonesian islands and india before the Christian age or any stone buildings were built in Java. We all know that this can not be because Walmiki could have just made it up and the name Java was actually given to the island by Raffles in the early 19'th century because he was writing a book called the history of Java and he needed an island to fit in with it? Pior to Raffles' 'study' there was never a Javanese history was there so that means that there was no Java as well?

I suppose your true history of the keris uses the writings of the racist Chinese monks and Portugese pirates and reliefs on stone temples to support the idea that Indonesians were once demons (as written by the racist monks) and learned about kerises from monkeys so that they could better stab people.

Arthurian legends are not alive now while Javanese legends have had a continous narrative life since the beginning of Javanese memory. I suppose you could actually ask a British man in the street about the Chapel Perilous and he could tell you what it was. Or who was Sir Gawain? On the other hand if you asked a Java man in the street what Kawah Candradimuka is and he would be able to tell you. He will also be able to tell you who owns the arrow Pasopati and who owns the club Rujakpolo.

But then if we learnt about kerises from monkeys I suppose our legends are full of crap as well? Thank you for supporting the notion that monkeys brought the keris to Java.

I am all for supporting the views of Ma Huan about the Javanese being uncouth demons and the Java keris being used to kill at the slightest provocation, if we all agree that racism is part of the kerisology and that of course non Javanese know more about the Javanese than the Javanese themselves! Viva racism! Viva ma Huan! How could Javanese uncouth demons make a beautiful thing like a keris? Impossible! The monkeys must have taught them! That make you happy and feel scientific now?

You must use all threads and narratives and legends and other mentions or depictions of the Java keris to construct an idea of what it was. What the keris is now should also be a consideration. Or were Ma Huans jurnals free of racism and there were really demons in Java when Zeng He sailed the Ming armadas around the world?

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Old 29th April 2005, 06:58 PM   #30
Ian
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Gentlemen:

Like so many of our discussions of keris, this one is straying into metaphysical areas and conjecture. We seem to wandering off the original topic posted by VVV.

I would also remind folks this Forum asks that we remain respectful and civil in our exchanges with other members. Some of our past keris discussions have become heated and personal, with people taking offense.

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