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Old 7th October 2011, 03:51 PM   #1
Karttikeya
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Question Sombro Or Jaka Sura?

Hi all, anybody can help me to identify this keris? If you ever see or have this keris type, kindly share your experiences with me..

Thanking you in advance
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Last edited by Rick; 8th October 2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: picture uploaded to the site .
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Old 8th October 2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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Neither Sombro nor Jaka Sura, is not a name of keris type. Sombro, was a female empu -- according to some keris legends -- once lived in the era of Pajajaran kingdom, West Jawa around 10 century. While Jaka Sura was one of Supamandrangi's son -- while he was serving as 'abdi dalem' (king's servant) as an empu in Blambangan, East Jawa in Majapahit era (around 14th century). Supamandrangi is the most famous name of a Majapahit empu. These are legends, of course, not history. Your keris's dapur is Puthut... Or betok type of keris, with puthut motif..
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Old 8th October 2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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I find your post very interesting Pak Ganja.

You say that there is no keris type that is known as "Keris Sombro".

Is this correct?

However, from the mid-1970's until Monday 3rd. October 2011, very knowledgeable people at the heart of the keris world in Solo were still referring to small, lightweight keris betok with a piercing at the end of the tang as a keris sombro.

I do understand that you are very well placed in the keris world in Jakarta, so I accept your advice that within this coterie of which you are a part, Sombro now is only taken to refer to the legendary female maker who bore that name, however, people in other places still recognise a particular type of keris as "Sombro".

I find the recent --- let us say, within the last 10 or 15 years --- changes in keris "knowledge" and terminology very interesting. It demonstrates very well that no matter how long established a particular field of interest may be, new comers can always make alterations to suit current needs.

However, in respect of the keris under discussion, yes, I agree, this is a betok puthut.
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Old 9th October 2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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Thank you, for the response, Mr Maisey,

And thank you too, that you always mention that I am very well placed in Jakarta, although more than 20 years -- from my childhoold -- I was grown up in Solo as a javanese. And even both, my late parents were born and grown up in Solo as Javanese family. We "lived in the tradition" of keris, as did wayang and gamelan music too. At least, I knew that my father owned keris, since my childhood. And Jakarta where I live is still in Jawa, and only less than 12 hours by car to Solo, or 55 minutes by plane. Keris circle in Jakarta, and Solo or Yogya are not too far to work together, or to communicate in this "Steve Jobs" era. We still organize keris exhibition together. But I think the "sombro case" is not the case of whether I am Jakartanese, or Solonese. Or even Australian, as you. I apologize if I can not say in the right English word, on this case, as usual...

If I can say, that keris with certain characteristics of blade is usually called as "keris sedayu" is a type of keris, then I must say I was wrong to tell, that "sombro keris" is not the name of keris type. Concerning, that the name "sedayu" derived also from the name of empu, Pangeran Sedayu or Ki Jaka Supa as the case of "sombro keris". And not derived from location, Sedayu in Yogyakarta or other place. Pangeran Sedayu was also known as the son of Majapahit empu, Supamandrangi. But what I want to say in my response to Karttikeya, is mainly the type of his keris in the picture. The type of keris of his, in the image, is Puthut. Or keris which bears dhapur, Puthut...

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Old 9th October 2011, 01:28 AM   #5
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Pak Ganja, you can call me Alan.

If it helps, I'll address you as Jimmy, but I really do not feel comfortable with the "Mr." appellation from a man of your seniority.

Permit me to clarify:- you are not under attack.

As I have never met you, it may seem strange to you, but I am well aware of your background.

I mentioned Jakarta because it is in Jakarta you have your place in the world of the keris. At least, that is my understanding gained from those with whom I associate in Solo. You are undoubtedly a part of the Jakarta coterie.

Again, although Jakarta is geographically placed in the Island of Jawa, I feel that many people living in Solo would not agree that it is a part of the Land of Jawa --- but perhaps their views, as is my own, are somewhat dated.

Upon reflection, you may perhaps agree that the language, culture, world-view and attitude from a Jakarta-centric position is just a little different from the Surakarta-centric position.

I repeat:- you are not under attack; the comment in my previous post was simply an observance of the way in which perspectives change in accordance with the passing of time and emergence of new needs. I have been observing the changing nature of the keris world in Jawa --- and I guess in Indonesia --- now for around 40 years, and I really do find the changes as fascinating as the subject itself.

You owe nobody any apologies for your English, as usual it far more than adequate.
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Old 9th October 2011, 03:16 AM   #6
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Ok Alan, thank you for the clarification. Yes, we have never met. But a few years back, I've asked someone whom you visited couple of times (Mr Yantono, he has a besalen, and I still have a house of my parents less than 200 meters away from him in Palur, empty house though. My parents were not used to stay there, but in Mangkubumen, in Jalan Yasadipura. I used to spend my childhood in my grandmother's house too in Kusumayudan...), once I asked Yantono to say to you that I want to meet you (I know you regularly visited him). Yantono said, you don't want to meet and talk with me if related to keris matter.....

Anyway, Solo was part of my childhood, and also still have big family there. And of course, still have "keris family", keris friends like young "empu" or you may say "keris makers" such as KRT Subandi Supaningrat (given formal name by the kraton Surakarta), Sukamdi, Yanto, Yantono and of course the respected Pak Pus or empu Pauzan Puspasukadgo you know him well. I don't even feel, that I am Jakartanese for the last couple of years. Because I am still "living javanese", talking javanese, watching javanese wayang at Taman Mini, or other occasion, and gathering with keris friends there...
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Old 9th October 2011, 04:23 AM   #7
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Two things here Jimmy.

The failed meeting of several years ago, and your inheritance.

I do understand your antecedents. I know where you came from, and it is undeniable that by birth and upbringing you are Javanese. However, it is equally undeniable that you are now a citizen of the world, that you live in an international environment and that you are a part of the Jakarta keris coterie.

There is no necessity for you to list the people whom you know. You are well placed in the world of the keris, and none of this is in question. Forgive me if I misinterpret your writings, but it seems to me that you are adopting an overly defensive attitude, when in fact there is nothing happening here that requires any sort of defence.

Now, about the business of you wishing to meet with me a few years back.

Jimmy, I'm 70 years old. When somebody wishes to meet with me they usually make an appointment and I make myself available to that person for an agreed period of time, for discussion or interview within agreed parameters. Forgive me if my attitude seems a trifle too formal, but that is the way I work:- I will give everything I have, within agreed parameters; I will give nothing where parameters and timing are not agreed.

Then there is the fact that you are by profession a journalist.

I have had very considerable experience with journalists, both in Australia and in Indonesia, and that experience stretches back over a 50 year period of time.

Quite simply, what one may say to any journalist cannot be guaranteed to kept as private conversation, and is never subject to one's own edit, correction and approval. The journalist takes what passes between himself and the person interviewed and manipulates that as if it were raw material to be used to create the highest level of interest, amusement, indignation, or whatever is demanded of him by the current situation or his editor.

This even happens in live TV interviews.

The end result can be extremely unfortunate for the person who has been interviewed.

Bear this in mind:- I am the only person from a western culture to ever have been trained by a Javanese karaton empu. Every time I open my mouth on the subject of keris in Jawa, it is not only I who is being weighed and judged, it is my teacher. Because of this I tend to say very little about keris when I am in Jawa. I may have been trained by Empu Suparman, but my own very considerable research has resulted in findings and theories that are very, very divergent from my teacher's position, and from the position of every other person I know who has committed seriously to the study of the keris --- with the possible exception of one very well known world authority.

Even though I have very deep family roots in Jawa, it is undeniable that I am an Australian, and the product of a culture based in European culture and society. It is inevitable that in any interview conducted across a divide of language, society and culture that the result of that interview will be less than an accurate reflection of all that transpired.

Add editorial requirement to less than accurate raw material, and we have something that I quite simply am not prepared to become involved in. I have no wish for, nor need of any sort of elevation of my public profile:- in short, there is nothing in a published interview that is to my benefit.

I returned from a couple of months in Solo only a week ago, and I would have been pleased to meet with you whilst I was there. However, the meeting would have been at an agreed time and place, and the conversation would have been on a personal level, not for publication. I would not have been prepared to discuss keris with you, but I would have been more than prepared to discuss almost anything else, provided it did not become raw material for publication.
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Old 9th October 2011, 05:01 AM   #8
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No more comments from me, Alan. I think all is too clear... We can meet here, at any time, any topic....

Thanks a lot,
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Old 9th October 2011, 05:28 AM   #9
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OK Jimmy.

I should be back some time in the first half of 2013. The visit I have just made was not planned and has cleaned me out. If you care to diarise me for follow up in January 2013 we can take it from there.
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Old 15th October 2011, 04:28 AM   #10
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Sorry for late reply, I would like to say thank to both Pak Ganjawulung and Pak Alan for your such explanations. Both of you are keris connoisseurs, Pak Ganjawulung, there's no doubt that you are experienced in keris, that's shown that you are the one of selected panels in Lomba Estetika Keris last time in Yogya (correct me if I am wrong). And Pak Alan, no one who does not know you as keris expert with deep and rational analysis and highly experienced absolutely.

Back to this keris, some people say this keris seems like Sombro characateristics however other people say this keris was made in Majapahit period. My question is it quite rare keris type? How its authenticity?
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Old 15th October 2011, 12:06 PM   #11
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Karttikeya, the proportion of the gandhik, the puthut side, IMHO is too short to be an iras (one piece) type of betok. It is possible the ganja was missed. For comparison, you may look at this betok in this picture below.... Pls compare the proportion of the gandhik side of this "puthut kembar" (twin puthut)...
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Old 15th October 2011, 12:42 PM   #12
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Pak Ganja, thank you for the sharing pic. Actually, I've seen that keris type 2 times and both no ganja, I do not know whether it has lost ganja or original shape (we might call it iras). For your information, there are some thumbprints on the blade and very thin. But I noticed both iron and pamor of yours are different from mine, probably your keris comes from different period. Anyway, thank you for your explanantion, Pak Ganja.
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Old 1st November 2011, 07:31 AM   #13
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Pak Alan, I am wondering whether this betok putut is genuine or not. I have attach another photograph..How to identity genuine and rework puthut? I think below photograph is quite clear to be identified..
Thank you..
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Old 1st November 2011, 08:21 AM   #14
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Karttikeya, its not as easy as just looking at something, and most certainly not as easy as looking at an image on a computer screen.

There are very many considerations when we try to ascertain if a particular feature, or form, is original to the blade. Sometimes this is as easy as using a jeweller's loupe and good light, but more often it is a matter of looking and touching the blade, and feeling the surface, and comparing various areas on the blade.

To make any supportable determination I need to actually hold something in my hand to be relatively certain.

From an image I can often make a fairly good guess, but I can very seldom make a guess that is good enough for me to risk my own money on a purchase, nor to advise anybody else to risk their money.

Money is what it comes down to:- every blade ever made is worth something, doesn't matter if its genuine or a considered attempt at fakery, its still worth something, so when we discuss this sort of thing it really becomes the same, or at least similar to, advising somebody to buy or not to buy investment property of any kind --- stocks, shares, real estate.

Nobody who has any integrity gives advice in the area of investment unless they can support that advice. In fact, under the laws of some countries it is an offense to give advice in respect of investment if it can be shown that the advice was given in the absence of good reason to support it.

It is almost impossible to support advice in respect of keris alterations, and many other things concerning keris, from images on a computer screen.

If a guess that I am not in a position to support is of any interest to you, my guess is that this keris was made from an original, much larger keris, and the puthut was carved into an existing gandhik.
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