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Old 26th May 2022, 03:19 PM   #1
Paul B.
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Default Bugis keris

Herewith I show you a nice Bugis blade and after warangan this special pamor showed up. Who can enlight me about it.
The luk are well balanced and I like the last slow waving luk especially.
Last pic is before cleaning.
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Old 26th May 2022, 04:14 PM   #2
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I am not able to identify this pamor pattern, and I did not find any similar one in the book Senjata Pusaka Bugis.
IMO this blade does not originate from Sulawesi nor Sumatra/ Malaysia but rather from Sumbawa or Lombok because of the following features:
. Lines on the front side of the ganja.
. Twin lambe gajah
. Protruding kembang kacang (not recessed)
. Long, straight, and thin sogokan
. Peculiar greneng style on the wadidang
I have a similar blade but with 15 waves and a more rustic pamor pattern (see pic).
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Old 26th May 2022, 05:51 PM   #3
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Thank you Jean. Your blade looks similar. These pics are more clear in respect to the pamor.
Fitting is not perfect. Protruding is not the problem but it is sloping.
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Old 27th May 2022, 12:59 PM   #4
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Thank you Paul. After further checking, the pamor pattern of your blade may be Tebbabunga (equivalent to Lar Gangsir in Java), but it is not very clear.
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Old 31st May 2022, 05:44 PM   #5
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What happened to the kerisforum? It used to be a environment of kerislovers with a vivid atmosphere. Commited forumites with different background who joined a topic. So it was a joy and pleasures to read, learn and enjoy it. Now you often have to ask twice to trigger anybody to give an opinion. At present it are always the same guys who put energy in it.To bad.
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Old 31st May 2022, 07:35 PM   #6
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What happened to the kerisforum? It used to be a environment of kerislovers with a vivid atmosphere. Commited forumites with different background who joined a topic. So it was a joy and pleasures to read, learn and enjoy it. Now you often have to ask twice to trigger anybody to give an opinion. At present it are always the same guys who put energy in it.To bad.
Perhaps a valid criticism Paul, though i'm not sure exactly what triggered it for you exactly at this moment. I mean Jean did give you an answer, even if he was not too sure. Others may be having the same difficulty identifying this pamor. It is an unusual one and perhaps not executed to perfection which may make a positive ID more difficult. I believe Jean found information of the last pamor name he mentioned in the book Senjata Pusaka Bugis. Perhaps this would be a good book for you to acquire if you have a strong interest in Bugis keris. Jean posted some other examples of pamor Tebba Bunga in this thread.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18667
If you google pamor Tebba Bunga you will find other examples. I saw quite a few on Badik and it does bear some resemblance to yours.
Personally my own focus is more on Jawa/Bali/Madura/Sumatra. So i am not really much help when it comes to Bugis blades. I know Alan tends not to comment much on blades outside of that nexus of keris making as well.
I do believe you are correct that at least some old time regulars are not participating as much here as they once did. I know that there are at least a couple of Facebook pages that have drawn folks away, but frankly discussion on those pages rarely gets in depth and it is mostly show and tell and people trying to sell stuff.
I have personally not contributed anything here mostly because this is not my area of concentration and Jean seemed to have at least an idea of the answer to your question about pamor. Frankly i don't see that you have really asked any other questions about this keris. So i'm not sure what else you are looking for and surely you do realize that this forum will rarely, if ever, be able to answer all of your questions about any particular keris anyway. But if you would like more input i will add that beyond the more exotic pamor this seems like a fairly average Bugis blade to me, probably from the first half of the 20th century, maybe a little older. The over all form does seem fairly balanced as you noted, but i don't particularly care for the work on the various features, particularly the sloppy carving of the sogokan, which i find rather jarring and don't really quite understand. Possibly carving a sogokan was an afterthought on this keris.
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Old 31st May 2022, 11:55 PM   #7
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I'm pretty much on the same page as David, Paul, his comments echo what my own would be.

As for the overall paucity of action, I feel that there are probably several reasons for that, but if I needed to name just one it might be that everybody has a lot more on their mind at the moment than keris, and for that matter, other interests that might be classified as side interests.

Right now the world seems to entering a darker time, there are other, more pressing things to occupy our thoughts than our hobbies.
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Old 1st June 2022, 11:38 AM   #8
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i come to this forum just about every day religiously in the hope that there are new threads /posts or inputs on old posts.

Too bad that it has become rather empty lately. I do find this forum the only one that people do put effort to discuss honestly and seriously and my hat off to people like mr Maisey, David, Jean etc that i've benefited a lot in my keris knowledge from their comments on various keris matter.
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Old 3rd June 2022, 02:37 AM   #9
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While it would be nice if this forum were more lively, I can understand why it isn't (anymore), for reasons mentioned by Alan and David.

The reality is that there really aren't that many Anglophone or English-speaking keris interested people.
And of that number I would say there are even less who like to, or have the knowledge to discuss and study the keris in the way that is often seen in this forum.
I think it's easy for us to underrate just how niche this interest is. It may not be as niche in the keris' home land, but we are an English-speaking forum.

There are also only so many keris in our possession that we can share or ask about. My collection is small, I don't add to it just for the sake of accumulating another keris, and sadly at the moment I find myself quite bereft of questions or contributions. There's plenty of contemplation, but this is not the forum for contemplation.
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Old 3rd June 2022, 06:01 AM   #10
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Default Pamor Kurrisi

According to a good friend from Sulawesi, it seems to be made of a variation of pamor Kurrisi.
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Old 6th June 2022, 09:14 AM   #11
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Too bad that it has become rather empty lately...

Since this has been brought up a few times now in this thread (and it has been on my mind often during the short time that I have been a member) let me , please, take some time and space to discuss it (although it may be better to open a thread about it)

I come to the forum often for reference and information BUT very seldom see new stuff.

New discussions are often cut very short after they are opened and I often see new members who are just participating for a short while and then no longer post. As far as I can tell ( reading through the posts) this was true even before the pandemic and the war so I wouldn’t ascribe it on the things happening in the world.

Truth to be told , the fora ( I have a long term experience elsewhere) are all suffering a diminishing interest because of the fact that their population is getting older and there is little fresh blood....BUT...

I think it is necessary to have some honest looking into the mirror and ask oneself the question why so many members knock on the door, which means they are obviously interested and motivated( by the way becoming a member requires some effort and waiting), then they ONLY briefly participate and then they silently go away...

If anything, the things happening in the world should motivate people to seek refuge in places like this rather then deter them from taking part!

I see no shortage of collectors (even young) in the Netherlands ( certainly one place in the world which after Indonesia has one of the highest density of krises per person in the world) , most of whom are capable to express their thoughts and questions in English and I have met and know several of them in the short time that I’ve become a kris person(if you pass me this expression) but some have expressed mixed feelings about this forum. Some people have been positively feeling a lot of resistance and few even told me they didn’t particularly feel that their contribution was appreciated much or felt welcome at all.

Now, obviously it is not my place to say what the forum should or shouldn’t be or do but if I had a restaurant where only few people occasionally sit, nibble a little and then come by only few times they they then stay away and never return, you can certainly blame it on the patrons themselves BUT, it is a good idea to look at the menu and whether the patrons feel welcome to stay and linger on or not.

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Old 6th June 2022, 09:43 AM   #12
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According to a good friend from Sulawesi, it seems to be made of a variation of pamor Kurrisi.
According to the reference Bugis keris book, La Kurisi seems to be one of the pamor techniques used in Sulawesi (apparently similar to pamor puntiran in Java?), alongwith La Toasi, La Kajing, La Gecong, (La) Gantara.
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Old 6th June 2022, 02:38 PM   #13
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I feel, that to a degree you are correct Milandro, I have noted that long before the presence of covid there was a tendency for people to jump in, ask a few questions, pass a comment or two, and then more or less disappear.

I have thought about this over time, and I believe that there are several factors involved. I feel that one of those factors could be the nature of the keris itself:- it can be quite difficult to come to an understanding of the nature of the keris, and of the multitude of aspects that it presents.

Several very well known & prolific contributors to other divisions of this Forum have commented to me in private correspondence that as they began to come to a slightly better understanding of the keris, they discovered that there were elements involved in a serious study of the keris that did not appeal to them, and so they lost interest.

I would be the first to admit that study of the keris does require a great deal of dedication over an extended period of time, and in the present day & age this sort of lengthy road needed to reach an objective seems to be not particularly popular.

Many people are simply collectors of objects, they have no desire at all to put forward the time & effort that is required to even accumulate and classify the keris.

I can see nothing negative in this rather simple approach, but it does seem to militate against somebody who wants quick results and instant satisfaction being able to satisfy his needs.

We could probably put together a whole list of reasons why we do not see as much action in this Keris Forum as we might like, but I do not wish to do that myself, perhaps some other people might like to offer a comment or three ?
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Old 6th June 2022, 06:19 PM   #14
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We could probably put together a whole list of reasons why we do not see as much action in this Keris Forum as we might like, but I do not wish to do that myself, perhaps some other people might like to offer a comment or three ?
Some suggestions for explaining the progressing lack of interest in this keris Forum:
. The Covid pandemic has deeply affected the keris trade (people had other priorities), especially the commercial relationship between the Western collectors and the Indonesian dealers & collectors. It is now more difficult & costly to ship a keris to Indonesia for maintenance, or to receive one.
. The market for old krisses is largely depleted after years of strong interest due to the Unesco nomination of the keris in 2005. Since 2020 I could see only few attractive keris offers in European auctions such as Czerny's in Italy, and the reached prices for good pieces were discouraging for the average collectors.
. The keris collectors are ageing and no longer collecting or selling their collections, and the young generations are not much interested.
. The more stringent ivory ban has deeply affected the trade of ivory hilts.
. There is not much new knowledge emerging from the forum as most of the contributors have exhausted their resources.
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Old 6th June 2022, 06:34 PM   #15
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We could probably put together a whole list of reasons why we do not see as much action in this Keris Forum as we might like,......... perhaps some other people might like to offer a comment or three ?
Alan, thank you for your comment.

Being a newcomer and a new “ adept” (for lack of a better wordt) in the world of the kris I have to say that while I enormously appreciate the advise and guidance of the more experienced people here, I too have felt that the forum has a very tight structure and ways to relate to one another which may be felt more than passingly intimidating and at times positively feel not welcome.

I am very active on a completely different forum and there I am, by now, one of the longest serving and more prolific members. I have seen there how newcomers may feel hushed by the longstanding members and I know all too well what that means.

I don’t believe that covid has much if anything to do with the shrinking of interest, in my opinion, forgive me, this is a red herring.

There is no shortage of krises where I live , being old or new, and I promise you that, in fact, in the Netherlands if anything the marketplace is growing because many collectors have reached the end of their lives and the collections are all sold at auction with no shortage of buyers. Some even relatively young and I know of some collectors or people washing krises that are in their late ’40.

Most Dutch people are proficient in English and there would certainly be more people spending time here if there would be a somewhat "lighter “ atmosphere.

Again, one can blame it on external factors and they certainly play a role, but a certain amount of introspective criticism may also serve the purpose to change in attitude which may appeal to more people.

Of course the people on the forum may conclude that having a dozen members active on the forum is what the forum wants and if that is so, so be it but I think that a lanrger number of people will bring fresh ideas and ways.
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Old 6th June 2022, 06:37 PM   #16
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as for my case, initially (many years ago) I found this forum really very stimulating, but then slowly and slowly it became more and more boring. Furthermore, there is here an iron discipline and being me of Italian nationality, that is undisciplined and careless by nature, I do not like that if I make a mistake I am immediately blocked.
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Old 6th June 2022, 06:55 PM   #17
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as for my case, initially (many years ago) I found this forum really very stimulating, but then slowly and slowly it became more and more boring. Furthermore, there is here an iron discipline and being me of Italian nationality, that is undisciplined and careless by nature, I do not like that if I make a mistake I am immediately blocked.

....And this is precisely what I am talking about Marco.

I am not sure that it is a matter of nationality ( I am Italian born Marco, but I have dual nationality) but I think that “you get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
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Old 6th June 2022, 07:06 PM   #18
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Milandro, you've hijacked a thread to make your complaints without making any suggestions on improvements to be made.
Please be more thoughtful in the future.
If you guys have any constructive suggestions, please contact the moderators and be specific.
We'd love to hear from you.
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Old 6th June 2022, 07:07 PM   #19
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Milandro, you've hijacked a thread to make your complaints without making any suggestions on improvements to be made.
Please be more thoughtful in the future.
If you guys have any constructive suggestions, please contact the moderators and be specific.
We'd love to hear from you.
Rick, I didn’t hijack the thread, you are incorrect, I responded to at least 3 before mine bringing this up. I am making no complaint, I am answering to one , I am asking for a reflection that others made before of me.



for your reference see the posts, If nothing else I simply responded to 3 posts before of mine, I didn’t start it .

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While it would be nice if this forum were more lively, I can understand why it isn't (anymore), for reasons mentioned by Alan and David.

The reality is that there really aren't that many Anglophone or English-speaking keris interested people.
And of that number I would say there are even less who like to, or have the knowledge to discuss and study the keris in the way that is often seen in this forum.
I think it's easy for us to underrate just how niche this interest is. It may not be as niche in the keris' home land, but we are an English-speaking forum.

There are also only so many keris in our possession that we can share or ask about. My collection is small, I don't add to it just for the sake of accumulating another keris, and sadly at the moment I find myself quite bereft of questions or contributions. There's plenty of contemplation, but this is not the forum for contemplation.



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i come to this forum just about every day religiously in the hope that there are new threads /posts or inputs on old posts.

Too bad that it has become rather empty lately. I do find this forum the only one that people do put effort to discuss honestly and seriously and my hat off to people like mr Maisey, David, Jean etc that i've benefited a lot in my keris knowledge from their comments on various keris matter.

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Originally Posted by Paul B. View Post
What happened to the kerisforum? It used to be a environment of kerislovers with a vivid atmosphere. Commited forumites with different background who joined a topic. So it was a joy and pleasures to read, learn and enjoy it. Now you often have to ask twice to trigger anybody to give an opinion. At present it are always the same guys who put energy in it.To bad.

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Old 6th June 2022, 07:13 PM   #20
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Apologies for my error Milandro.
However, rest of my post still stands.
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Old 6th June 2022, 07:25 PM   #21
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Apologies for my error Milandro.
However, rest of my post still stands.
Apology accepted.

If necessary I move to move the posts on this matter on a new thread.

Obviously, it is not something caught from thin air or there wouldn’t have been people before of me and after commenting on the forum being frequented by fewer and fewer people.

Asking oneself WHY, is important, I like this forum but the fact that participation is wilting is a fact, not an opinion.
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Old 6th June 2022, 08:39 PM   #22
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Apology accepted.

If necessary I move to move the posts on this matter on a new thread.

Obviously, it is not something caught from thin air or there wouldn’t have been people before of me and after commenting on the forum being frequented by fewer and fewer people.

Asking oneself WHY, is important, I like this forum but the fact that participation is wilting is a fact, not an opinion.
To make it a bit clearer Milandro, the public forum is not really the place for such a discussion. The moderation staff is ALWAYS open to suggestions, but you should contact us directly if you have any.
Unfortunately your post seems to contain vague and veiled criticisms.
"Again, one can blame it on external factors and they certainly play a role, but a certain amount of introspective criticism may also serve the purpose to change in attitude which may appeal to more people."
If you have specific criticisms for the moderators by all means send us a PM and we can discuss them. If you have suggestions about what might possibly improve forum participation, by all means let us know. But trying to create an open "bitch session" in the public forum is not OK.
As i see things currently there are a number of reasons we see less traffic these days on this forum and why we often see some new members post only a few times and then disappear.

1. Many of the new members who stay briefly are not really keris collectors. They have inherited a keris or were gifted with one from a friend or maybe just stumbled across one in a flea market and want to know more about what they have. That does not mean they have a committed interest in keris. I can also think of a couple of recent examples of people who have inherited a collection and are simply trying to figure out how to sell it. So once they hear that the keris they have is not all that or not particularly special they lose interest and go away. Or the ones trying to sell keris figure out that we don't do appraisals and they go away as well.
2. Many people are spending more time on one a many Facebook pages dedicated to keris or tosan aji. You will certainly find many more Indonesian collectors there. This is partly due to the fact that most of these pages do not insist on discussions taking place in English as we do here so they are more comfortable conversing there. Also it is easier for keris sellers to try to use these pages for sales presentations, something we are extra vigilant about on this forum.
I personally also moderate on two of these FB keris pages. These pages have thousands of members so you are indeed likely to see a lot of keris that you have never seen posted before. So they are exciting places to see new keris and a lot of variety, both good and bad. I do find that the discussions rarely get very in depth on these pages though. But they are still attractive place for people who just what to see nice keris from various collections or do a show and tell. The two pages i participate on were started and are maintained by forum members who may have once spent more time here. These pages are their babies and require their focus and upkeep, so they now seem to not bother much with spending time on this forum any more. This is understandable and frankly a loss for both us and them.
3. People don't like rules. But we have put specific rules in place on our forum for well thought out reasons. These FB pages seem to have a lot less in the way of rules and if the wild west is your thing you may find it better environment. But for my money it is really difficult to learn anything truly important about keris in that environment. Your mileage may vary. But if it is a "Lighter atmosphere" that you are seeking rather than a place for serious and focussed discussion using solid evidence based upon well-sourced study then these Facebook venues may be to your liking.
4. You may see no shortage of collectors in the Netherlands, but as Jean has mentioned, the keris collector world is aging out and sources for valid information are disappearing every day. We are certainly a relatively small group of collectors in the world at large and the number of people who truly know their stuff when it comes to keris are not necessarily passing a torch to the younger generation. They are, unfortunately, simply passing on. Many of the new ideas that arise about keris seemingly come out of nowhere. By that refer not only to new names for pamors and dhapurs, but new theories of origins, philosophies and spirituality. It is not for me to call any of the newer concepts about keris "right" or "wrong", but i have a tendency to lean towards sources that can be verified to some degree through trusted sources. We are not necessarily a group here that simply accepts unverified "knowledge" regarding keris at face value as i see time and time again on these Facebook sites. We are what we are. It is always our goal that debate on this forum remains friendly and civil, but there is the expectation that people will support their assessments and theories in some academic like manner. If that creates a heavier atmosphere on this forum then so be it.

At this point i would really like us to leave this aspect of discuss behind and turn our attention back to Paul's keris. Since he has complained about the lack of response it does seem that he has gotten a little bit more information. Though i don't know if there is really anything else to add in assessing his keris.
Again i would like to point out that this is not an appropriate venue for criticisms of this forum. Such public displays only create argument and discontent. But we are very open and indeed interested in anyone's suggestions on how to make this forum a better place and/or increase traffic and discussion. So anyone who has any serious suggestions should contact myself and/or Rick directly through Private Messenger. We will listen to any serious suggestions you might have. This does not, of course, mean that every suggestion will be accepted and implemented, but they will all be seriously considered.
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Old 7th June 2022, 01:25 AM   #23
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I feel, that to a degree you are correct Milandro, I have noted that long before the presence of covid there was a tendency for people to jump in, ask a few questions, pass a comment or two, and then more or less disappear.

I have thought about this over time, and I believe that there are several factors involved. I feel that one of those factors could be the nature of the keris itself:- it can be quite difficult to come to an understanding of the nature of the keris, and of the multitude of aspects that it presents.

Several very well known & prolific contributors to other divisions of this Forum have commented to me in private correspondence that as they began to come to a slightly better understanding of the keris, they discovered that there were elements involved in a serious study of the keris that did not appeal to them, and so they lost interest.

I would be the first to admit that study of the keris does require a great deal of dedication over an extended period of time, and in the present day & age this sort of lengthy road needed to reach an objective seems to be not particularly popular.

Many people are simply collectors of objects, they have no desire at all to put forward the time & effort that is required to even accumulate and classify the keris.

I can see nothing negative in this rather simple approach, but it does seem to militate against somebody who wants quick results and instant satisfaction being able to satisfy his needs.

We could probably put together a whole list of reasons why we do not see as much action in this Keris Forum as we might like, but I do not wish to do that myself, perhaps some other people might like to offer a comment or three ?
Dear all,

Personally I like this forum and visited it almost daily. This is a place where I can obtain conservative 2nd opinions rather than modern made up stories.

Some collectors just collect keris and they see it as a hobby rather than it is a serious thing that deserve study. And not many are willing to spend time and good efforts reading books about keris etc. I still felt that this forum will still serves it's purposes in years to come until senior knowledgeable members pass on to the other side.

I suppose to each of his own. I always told myself that rather than waiting for others to make the first step/move, why don't I make that first move instead and starting probing questions etc...............
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Old 7th June 2022, 05:35 AM   #24
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Anthony, I think Rick & David would like to put this discussion to sleep, and bearing in mind the history of dispute that keris discussion has generated in the past, I think I can understand their reasons, but that said, I do believe that you have hit on a major reason for the paucity of activity in this keris discussion forum, and that is a lack of questions.

Questions are generated by curiosity, and in my opinion curiosity about the keris is generated not by books about keris, but rather by thoughts that can be aroused by books and other sources of information about the social & historical background that the keris carries as baggage.

Without questions there can be no answers, and perhaps many people do not have questions simply because they lack the knowledge to generate those questions.

I do not believe that there is anything faulty in even the slightest degree with the format & conduct of this discussion group, it is not broken, so really there is nothing for our moderators to fix.

To my mind if there is a problem, it is just that perhaps all of the easy questions have already been answered and nobody has yet gathered sufficient understanding to permit them to ask the hard questions. I doubt that there is much that can be done about that except to encourage an ongoing learning process amongst our participants.

Somebody commented I believe, that:-

"there is no new information coming from this forum because most contributors have exhausted their resources"

from my own perspective I would most gently suggest that in at least one case this is very far from true, however, for information to be presented, the questions need to be asked, and to me it seems that the foundation knowledge required to ask serious questions is very, very thinly scattered.

It can be very difficult to frame a question in a way that will give you what you want. I have sometimes spent days working on a question --- or maybe even weeks --- answers can be often be spontaneous, but questions need thought & research, especially if one does not know much about the relevant field.

There is nothing at all wrong with this Forum in my opinion, the lack of questions might be because of a lack of interest from participants, or it might be because of a lack of adequate knowledge to permit the framing of questions.
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Old 7th June 2022, 05:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
To my mind if there is a problem, it is just that perhaps all of the easy questions have already been answered and nobody has yet gathered sufficient understanding to permit them to ask the hard questions. I doubt that there is much that can be done about that except to encourage an ongoing learning process amongst our participants.

Amen Alan. I have had my basic questions answered or have been given the tools to answer many of my own inquires. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this process. I believe there is a certain due diligence required to ask a question. I would not want to waste anyone's valuable time. I.e. is there already an answer on file if one spends the time to find it. There is so much in the archives. I believe most of what is left for me to find in the English language on keris culture is here on file. Minus the elusive Groneman of course I feel when we join this group we ask many questions. Often the answers are patiently given in references to old threads. After a few of these are given often I would imagine many members get the hint and take the onus of self education before posting. I will say looking through the archives I have had the honor to watch people and the overall knowledge base to grow, and opinions to change and then mature. This process does make for more inciteful questions, though harder to answer.

For me the next step is to improve my Bahasa Indonesia reading comprehension so to explore more obscure nooks and crannies. Then one day I hope to travel. My big fear would be in the 10 years it would take for me to ask a mature question will there be a loss of knowledge that makes it unanswerable?

Today's question for me before I read this thread was the difference in iconography and meaning between a kala mask and a kirtmuktha. Both ideas reinforcing the value of the moments given us and personal growth, but sometimes slow, steady change makes for dull reading.

My apologies to Paul for continuing the hi-jack of the thread instead of focusing on the ferric metals and abstract elephants, birds, and snakes.
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Old 7th June 2022, 06:40 PM   #26
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As a means of reparations to Paul I thought I would post this blade I had not intended to post before. The question is how does this blade relate to the original one? Jean said: "IMO this blade does not originate from Sulawesi nor Sumatra/ Malaysia but rather from Sumbawa or Lombok because of the following features:
. Lines on the front side of the ganja.
. Twin lambe gajah
. Protruding kembang kacang (not recessed)
. Long, straight, and thin sogokan
. Peculiar greneng style on the wadidang"
How does this one compare? The overall profile is similar, but it is different in almost all the smaller details Jean mentioned.
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Last edited by Interested Party; 8th June 2022 at 03:08 PM. Reason: not done, then to take Kai's advice
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Old 7th June 2022, 06:51 PM   #27
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Sorry, all. Those were not entirely the pictures I meant to post. Here is one that shows the whole blade on the screen at once. I did not show the pesi because it is wrapped and has locked the selut on and I find that distracting for our topic.

Thanks for your patience.
IP

PS On a side note is there a way to edit photos after you accidently hit submit rather than preview?
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Old 8th June 2022, 01:18 AM   #28
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IP:- "Today's question for me before I read this thread was the difference in iconography and meaning between a kala mask and a kirtmuktha. Both ideas reinforcing the value of the moments given us and personal growth, but sometimes slow, steady change makes for dull reading."

"mukha" means "face", even in Bahasa Indonesia the word "muka" means "face", in Javanese literary form "mukha" means face

"kirti" means "glorious" in Sanscrit, and in Modern Balinese it means "religious merit"

"Kirtimukha" is a demon follower of Siwa

"kala" means "time" in Sanscrit and in BI & Jav., it is also the name of the son of Siwa & Uma; Kala was a ravenous demon, who tried to eat his younger brother Kumara (Ie, Dewa Kumara, Rare Kumara). Kalamukha can be understood as Kirtimukha

Kumara hid and escaped being eaten by his older brother, the demonic Kala, thus Kumara became the God Protector of children.

"Bhoma" in Bali, is the son of Wisnu & Dewi Basundari (Hyang Pertiwi), and is the Son of the Earth, in Bali he equates to the Javanese "Kala". As the son of Water and Earth he can be understood as growth and abundance, but if understood as Kala then he becomes time and time equates to Death, "Yama" is judge of the dead, Kala's other name is "Yama".

When we add the word 'mukha' we are really talking about an artistic motif that in form of Kirtimukha spread across all of Indianised Maritime SE Asia. It usually surmounts doorways and the entry that it surmounts can provide the prompt to how the motif needs to be understood.

So, if we look at Kirtimukha - Kalamukha - Bhoma we are looking at similar artistic motifs that are related but not exactly the same, and their placement and geographic location can result in varying understandings.

All of the above has precious little to do with keris, all this curiosity about what one motif or form might represent is simply curiosity for a name to hang on something, a classification, part of the "Name Game" UNLESS we go to the trouble of trying to understand how the people who own the culture of these motifs & forms understand them.

For somebody who just wants to collect exotic weapons, the whole thing just becomes too hard & too confusing, and in my opinion it is one of the major reasons why interest in the keris is often so very superficial.

The photos are of a gateway and a close-up of the motif above it, with what most people with a slight knowledge of Indonesian art would call a "Kala Mask". The gateway is in Bali, in the grounds of the Den Pasar Museum.

How do we understand this motif above a doorway that leads to nowhere and that is purely artistic expression?

We sometimes see this same motif used as the closure of the Javanese, Balinese and Madura topengan pendok. How should we understand it in this application?

In short, if we are members of an entirely foreign society & culture to the one that owns this motif, we cannot understand it, indeed, investigation will reveal that within the cultures that do own this motif it can be understood in varying ways and only a limited number of people will be in possession of the knowledge needed to understand the motif.

For example, this Kirtimukha we have been talking about eventually turned into the Garuda, and the wandering foliage of ancient Indian art eventually was represented as serpents, thus when we see a combination of Garuda with foliage or Garuda with serpents, we see an expression of the Good together with the Bad and by extension Positive elements overcoming Negative.

As I just wrote, the whole thing becomes too difficult, unless we expand our study from just one blossom, ie, the Keris, to the entire garden, ie, the culture & society.

Not many people with a primary interest in edged weaponry are prepared to do that.
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Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 8th June 2022 at 01:45 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 8th June 2022, 06:55 AM   #29
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See, not all easy questions have been raised!

Quote:
PS On a side note is there a way to edit photos after you accidently hit submit rather than preview?
1. Go back to the post within the 24h limit for editing
2. Hit the "Manage attachment" button
3. Edit/delete attachments at whim
4. Save edited post
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Old 9th June 2022, 01:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
See, not all easy questions have been raised!


1. Go back to the post within the 24h limit for editing
2. Hit the "Manage attachment" button
3. Edit/delete attachments at whim
4. Save edited post
Well played Kai, thanks!
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