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Old 29th June 2020, 07:37 AM   #1
Mickey the Finn
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Default Re: Kayu sawo, maple, moose antler etc.

As this post is in relation primarily to the use of woods for keris handles, I post it here.
There's a great deal of "hoo-hah" in relation to the precise identity of various tree species, and their suitability as lumber for this-or-that application.
Apparently, kayu sawo is also known as sapodilla and ziricote, and is native to southern Mexico and Central America. If anyone can provide the "scientific" or Latin name of the species of tree from which kayu sawo is sourced, I'd be grateful.
A few years ago I was considering shipping some roasted curly maple lumber to Java for use as handles and warangka for golok Nabi Mulud.
Some of the properties of this wood include: brings harmony and stability to the home, extends society life, makes your enemies be at peace with you, nullifies all your opponent's pelets, and neutralizes all ilmu sihir. The presence in the home of even a small object carved from this wood (a deder, for example) gives off a pleasant and sweet fragrance which is an invincible defence and an infallible repellent to toyol, siluman, and all hantu, and prevents their entering the house. Some have said that the fragrance of this wood is intolerable and repulsive to penyihir, but opinions vary (and I myself have doubts about this particular point).
I've seen some carved works being sold out of Bali said to be of moose antler. Far as I know, moose isn't native to anywhere in the Nusantara.
Where I live, moose antler is pretty common. Even so, a simple, flat, coin-sized, undrilled disc of this stuff sold as a "button" sells for CAD $0.05 (starting price, for urbanites living "beyond Hope" [the name of a town at the edge of civilization, about 500 km. south of here]). You take the average Jogjakarta ukiran and slice it up, even a dummy should realize that it might be more profitable to ship this stuff to Java rather than saw it into buttons, or feeding them to your dog as "chew toys". I've had a casual look into Indonesian import regulations. Things just don't seem to add up.
But it's 12:33, and I must be at work in 7 hours 27 minutes.
I suspect the answer may be "Korupsi, Kolusi, Nepotismi", or something similar.
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Old 29th June 2020, 07:57 AM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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I've used kayu sawo many times over many years, it makes nice hilts, supports carving well, nice tight grain, nice reddish sort of colour, finishes well.

All the other stuff you've mentioned I know nothing about, and I've never bothered with the botanical names of any woods I've ever used, or bought or sold.

But here is the Wiki entry on sawo:-

https://bjn.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawu
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Old 29th June 2020, 05:09 PM   #3
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
A few years ago I was considering shipping some roasted curly maple lumber to Java for use as handles and warangka for golok Nabi Mulud.
Some of the properties of this wood include: brings harmony and stability to the home, extends society life, makes your enemies be at peace with you, nullifies all your opponent's pelets, and neutralizes all ilmu sihir. The presence in the home of even a small object carved from this wood (a deder, for example) gives off a pleasant and sweet fragrance which is an invincible defence and an infallible repellent to toyol, siluman, and all hantu, and prevents their entering the house. Some have said that the fragrance of this wood is intolerable and repulsive to penyihir, but opinions vary (and I myself have doubts about this particular point).

This is very interesting Mickey. However, i am having a hard time understanding how Curly Maple, a rather beautiful wood that is native to the central and Northeastern regions of the USA and used mostly for musical instruments, would have any particular spiritual/magickal properties attributed to it within the context of Indonesian keris culture. If it is indeed being used at all in that area of the world these days it is certainly a rather recent introduction. Also, it is not known as a particularly fragrant wood, unless, of course, you burn it, so your comments on that i find confusing.
Kayu sawo does indeed originate in Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean. However, it was introduced to SE Asian during Spanish colonialism and so has had some time to ingrain itself culturally within Indonesian society. The same can hardly be said about Curly Maple, which i seriously doubt would even grow very well in that environment. I would be most curious to know what the source of your information on this wood and supposed properties within Indonesian culture are. Because if you are going to make such statements about how it is used there to protect against witches, ghosts and black magic, brings peace and harmony and nullifies your enemies own protective charms then you certainly should be able to back up those statements for actual references. Please enlighten us.
Moose antler has indeed become a popular carving material in Bali in recent years. While i have seen some nice carvings done with the material i frankly find the over all effect rather flat and unsatisfactory. It is a poor substitute for ivory i'm afraid. While i do not know anything about import regulations into Indonesian i am afraid none of that is particularly germane to the subject of this forum, which is, as you know, keris. If you would like to discuss keris hilts made of moose antler on these pages and would like to upload a few examples that would be a most reasonable subject for this forum. But if you are trying to start a conversation on or figure out how to start up a business selling raw material to Indonesia for that purpose that is not appropriate discussion material for this forum, IMVHO.
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Old 30th June 2020, 06:59 AM   #4
Anthony G.
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This is one of my favourite Bali made moose antler Hulu.
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Old 30th June 2020, 10:30 AM   #5
Mickey the Finn
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Mr. Maisey, you've concisely provided just the information I was most concerned with: is it going to stand up to use as a keris hilt. And to think I was set on going the convoluted route of comparing Janka hardness and other arcane mumbo jumbo.

Mr. David, when roasted curly maple is cut with a dull bandsaw having too many teeth per inch, it becomes scorched, and gives off a pleasant fragrance. But consider for a moment the new moon; just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there, and exerting an influence on the tides . Just because you don't burn it doesn't mean it doesn't give off a fragrance. As for references, I was about to write a list of proofs from personal experience, mostly of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc variety. The truth is, I made it all up, in much the same way the golok maker I'd planned to ship the lumber to imaginatively embellished the capabilities of his golok Nabi Mulud (among it's many other attributes, the guy said it could cut a tank. He didn't specify whether it was of the armoured fighting vehicle or compressed gas variety; either way, it's quite a claim to make). When a guy offers for sale a senjata bertuah like that, the last thing anyone with any sense does is ask him for proof it works. Asking for references, proof, or a demonstration didn't even enter my thought process. I missed out that year, but I asked him last November if he would be making any again. He didn't get back to me. And advice on exporting anything anywhere I don't need. I'm a compulsive hoarder, and I still have all my 1/72 scale "little army men" from when I was a kid (the complete sets. No missing mortars, no missing machinegun tripods). And all my cassette tapes from when I was a teenager. Even the ones I haven't listened to since then. I don't sell anything. Ever.

Mr. G, I'd often wondered what material was used for such hilts. I'd like to get a nice kocet kocetan like that.

Last edited by Mickey the Finn : 30th June 2020 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Additional information and clarification.
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Old 30th June 2020, 01:30 PM   #6
Anthony G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
Mr. Maisey, you've concisely provided just the information I was most concerned with: is it going to stand up to use as a keris hilt. And to think I was set on going the convoluted route of comparing Janka hardness and other arcane mumbo jumbo.

Mr. David, when roasted curly maple is cut with a dull bandsaw having too many teeth per inch, it becomes scorched, and gives off a pleasant fragrance. But consider for a moment the new moon; just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there, and exerting an influence on the tides . Just because you don't burn it doesn't mean it doesn't give off a fragrance. As for references, I was about to write a list of proofs from personal experience, mostly of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc variety. The truth is, I made it all up, in much the same way the golok maker I'd planned to ship the lumber to imaginatively embellished the capabilities of his golok Nabi Mulud (among it's many other attributes, the guy said it could cut a tank. He didn't specify whether it was of the armoured fighting vehicle or compressed gas variety; either way, it's quite a claim to make). When a guy offers for sale a senjata bertuah like that, the last thing anyone with any sense does is ask him for proof it works. Asking for references, proof, or a demonstration didn't even enter my thought process. I missed out that year, but I asked him last November if he would be making any again. He didn't get back to me. And advice on exporting anything anywhere I don't need. I'm a compulsive hoarder, and I still have all my 1/72 scale "little army men" from when I was a kid (the complete sets. No missing mortars, no missing machinegun tripods). And all my cassette tapes from when I was a teenager. Even the ones I haven't listened to since then. I don't sell anything. Ever.

Mr. G, I'd often wondered what material was used for such hilts. I'd like to get a nice kocet kocetan like that.



Hi, from my little knowledge; I think there are antler, ebony and also silver hulu made of Kocetan design.
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Old 30th June 2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
As for references, I was about to write a list of proofs from personal experience, mostly of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc variety. The truth is, I made it all up, in much the same way the golok maker I'd planned to ship the lumber to imaginatively embellished the capabilities of his golok Nabi Mulud (among it's many other attributes, the guy said it could cut a tank. He didn't specify whether it was of the armoured fighting vehicle or compressed gas variety; either way, it's quite a claim to make). When a guy offers for sale a senjata bertuah like that, the last thing anyone with any sense does is ask him for proof it works. Asking for references, proof, or a demonstration didn't even enter my thought process. I missed out that year, but I asked him last November if he would be making any again. He didn't get back to me. And advice on exporting anything anywhere I don't need. I'm a compulsive hoarder, and I still have all my 1/72 scale "little army men" from when I was a kid (the complete sets. No missing mortars, no missing machinegun tripods). And all my cassette tapes from when I was a teenager. Even the ones I haven't listened to since then. I don't sell anything. Ever.

Let me be as clear as possible with you Mickey. This is an online collector's study group, not eBay or Facebook marketplace. You are not an online seller of golok or any other weapon or product here. If you are going to make claims (as you did) that a particular wood has spiritual/magical properties in the context of Indonesian keris culture you will most certainly be asked and expected to back up those claims with some kind of reference to your "research". And no, i do not mean proof that the use of such a wood actually has the spiritual/magical powers that you claim. What i was asking for are references that this is actually part of any belief system operating within Indonesian keris culture. Obviously this is not the case as you have just admitted to you made it all up. Sorry Mickey, perhaps you believe yourself to be clever and witty in this conversation, but i will not tolerate such nonsense and game playing on this forum. If you want to play deceptive games like this take it to some other forum. Otherwise you will find yourself back in moderated status again.
Until Anthony posted that nicely carved moose antler hilt this thread has had nothing whatsoever to do with keris. I do think that a thread related to the use of moose antler in modern keris hilts could be an interesting subject so i would like to encourage Anthony to start a new thread that actually focusses on this subject if it pleases him. But i will be locking this thread as it is clear that it has no good place to travel.
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