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Old 9th June 2020, 08:18 PM   #1
David
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Default Mahesa/Kebo

I have always found myself drawn to Mahesa/Kebo keris, though i'm not really sure why. And so i have a fair number of examples of the various forms in my collection. But i am always receiving contradictory information about the particular names of the various dhapurs in these extra long gandik forms and i have run into some confusion in certain written texts. Not surprising i suppose, since that applies to just about everything to do with keris. LOL!
I collected this one fairly early on in my study of keris. It came to me sheathless, so i ordered a "blank" ladrang sheath which i then cut and filed the hole to fit the blade. I then stained and finished the sheath and sent the brass pendok out for a heavy silver plating. I tell you this mostly as explanation for the somewhat bad fit you can see in one photo where the blade is riding a bit high in the sheath. Anyway, it was a good learning experience on just what it takes just to fit a blade well. Though obviously not perfect it has served my needs nevertheless.
One thing i am interested in learning from this posting is how others here would name this dhapur. In Empu Djeno's notebook he has a a dhapur called Kebo Salurung that has multiple gajah lambe like this called Kebo Salurung, but his drawing shows no greneng. I've seen some refer to this as Kebo Teki, but i am unsure if that dhapur is supposed to have the multiple gajah lambe. To be clear, i am not necessarily looking for the "correct name" of this dhapur as much as a discusions, with perhaps some proper references to what others think it is called and why.
I am also interested in hearing what folks think about the origin/era of this blade. It came with this lovely, finely carved and pierced Surakarta yudowinatan hilt, though i do NOT believe the blade also has it's origins in Surakarta. It was suggested to me some time ago that Gresik might be a possible origin, though i believe that was only an educated guess. Any feedback on this would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 9th June 2020, 08:40 PM   #2
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And just to push this discussion forward a little bit, here are two diagrams/drawings of keris dhapur. The one with three keris is from Empu Djeno. It shows Kebo Teki as having just one gajah lambe and no greneng. Kebo Salurung is shown with multiple gajah lambe (though 5), but also no greneng. Then here is a second reference showing Kebo Teki with 3 gajah lambe and with greneng. This one is sourced from a book/pamphlet called "Kagungan Dalem Buku Gambar Dhapuripun Dhuwung Saha Waos". But it does not seem to show the gandik elongated as is the defining element of all Kebo/Mahesa keris.
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Old 9th June 2020, 09:54 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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David, it seems obvious to me that you can no longer hide your true character behind a camera lens. You are clearly descended from a long line of farmers, even though you may not be able to identify one single agriculturalist or herdsman in your known ancestors.

As to the name, I reckon it depends on who you are and where you are. In conversation with any keris literate person whom I know, I would simply call it "kebo":- we've got the thing in front of us, we know what we're talking about, and my keris literate friend could very easily use a different name for it, so just "kebo" would be good enough.

Moving away from that scenario, I'd follow the lead of whoever I was speaking with, in order not to create any disagreement --- something that the Name Game is pretty good at generating.

I'm not going to suggest a name for this keris, because I'd only do what you have already done, I'd look in every reference I could find and list the names I found.

Re the keris fit. If you coat the gonjo with machine oil and put the keris into the scabbard, the oil will stain where it touches, then you take a small, sharp blade and scrape (NOT cut) the stained wood away. After repeating this operation uncountable times you eventually get a flush fit. It does take a lot of time & patience to get it perfect. I recently fitted dress to a Jayasukadgo for a gentleman in the USA, and the final fitting took around as long as all the rest of it put together.

However, this idea of having a perfectly flush fit of the blade to the wrongko is a pretty recent I think. I have seen many older, I mean much older, Javanese & Balinese keris where most of the gonjo projects above the top of the gambar, this is also pretty common with Bugis style keris.
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Old 9th June 2020, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks Alan. Of course, now that i have been living in rural Nova Scotia for a couple of years the farming in me may be beginning to surface. LOL!
I do understand your reasoning here and obviously we can see that even people consider themselves "authorities" will disagree on this stuff.
I am familiar with the drill on doing the fit. You may not remember, but i got this sheath through you and you walked me through the process back then. I did follow this technique as best i could, but was perhaps too impatient to achieve perfection at the time. As i stated though, i am fine with the fit as is, even if it is not perfect.
What i was hoping you might have an idea about is my question on the origin of this blade. We did discuss this before a long time ago with no firm conclusions, but these are better photos at a later date and perhaps you might have some ideas.

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Old 10th June 2020, 02:19 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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I had forgotten that David, but when I looked at the dress it did look like the sort of thing that could have come from me.

Re blade origin, what I look for are indicators, and then it becomes a case of process of elimination. A primary indicator, if present, is the ron dha. With this keris, the rondha is not distinctive enough for me to place it anywhere except "Jawa". The pawakan, the other features, such as kembang kacang don't really point me in any direction. That pretty much leaves me with material, and I'd need to feel this to come to some sort of defensible opinion. If the blade is inclined to lightness, I still feel that its sort of Gresiky --- if it was me who gave it that previously --- but the material really doesn't look like Gresik.

I don't know, maybe just a general sort of "East Jawa" might be OK. I don't like Central Jawa or Jogja. North Coast? I can't see that. Some unknown desa somewhere in Jawa? Maybe, but the level of craftsmanship looks a bit too nice for that.

It is simply not always possible to hang a reasonably definite opinion on the geographic location of origin, or on the period, with a lot of keris related things. Where we have very high level quality, or very definite style, yeah, we can take a crack at it, but with something that is more or less generic it is only guesswork --- or salesmanship.
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Old 10th June 2020, 09:39 AM   #6
Jean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I have always found myself drawn to Mahesa/Kebo keris, though i'm not really sure why. And so i have a fair number of examples of the various forms in my collection. But i am always receiving contradictory information about the particular names of the various dhapurs in these extra long gandik forms and i have run into some confusion in certain written texts. Not surprising i suppose, since that applies to just about everything to do with keris. LOL!


Hello David,
Although I have seen several blades with a dapur similar to yours, it does not exactly match with any description in the books Dhapur, Keris Jawa, and the EK (Roning Teki, Kebo Teki, Kebo Giring). However it almost matches with the description of dapur Kebo Giring in the book Keris Jawa with the exception of 2 lambe gajah instead of 3 on your blade. Dapur Ron Teki is described without a long gandik in the book Dhapur.
So the proposal from Alan of Kebo X looks the best solution...
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Old 11th June 2020, 04:00 PM   #7
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Dear David

Could you provide a few more details about Kagungan Dalem Buku Gambar Dhapuripun Dhuwung Saha Waos. I cannot find it in WorldCat. Perhaps pictures of the front and back (if there are publication details on it) of the title page? Many thanks, Tim
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Old 12th June 2020, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loedjoe
Dear David

Could you provide a few more details about Kagungan Dalem Buku Gambar Dhapuripun Dhuwung Saha Waos. I cannot find it in WorldCat. Perhaps pictures of the front and back (if there are publication details on it) of the title page? Many thanks, Tim

Hi Tim. This is the best i can do for you. It is the title page of the source where the gentleman told me he found the information.
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Old 13th June 2020, 09:09 AM   #9
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Thank you very much David. Best wishes, Tim
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Old 15th June 2020, 10:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Compliments.

Nice ukiran. I'd run the risk of being pleased with myself if I was able to produce a mendak like that. And I can't find fault with the warangka.
Too many times I've had the disconcerting experience of the wilah becoming jammed in the warangka. This most often results in a prolonged struggle, trying to ascertain the precise "sticking point", tapping here and there, various undignified contortions, sweating, fretting about peeling pamor, muttered obscenities, cursing, and when everything comes to naught: blasphemies shouted from the very back of my throat. Now, unless the keris easily and effortlessly seats itself all the way in, I prefer to have the wilah sit a bit proud. I dunno if that's analogous to trying to wear pants too small in the waist... No...obviously, it's like trying to wear a kain panjang without enough width. I've yet to resort to the bench vise with jaw liners.
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