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Old 18th August 2022, 08:03 AM   #1
Green
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Default Correct positioning of keris hilt

Positioning of keris hilt confuses me.
If one look at pictures of keris in Indonesia virtually all keris hilts are positioned pointing towards the 'kepala cicak' of the ganja, (facing the left ) but in Malaysia or Patani even in books or keris photos from the 'experts' and major collectors virtually all are facing the OPPOSITE direction. i.e pointing towards the 'ekor cicak' of the ganja. (This will require the hilt to be twisted the opposite way again when we want to hold it! if we are right handed. )

The third position is to twist the hilt so that it is 90 degrees to the sampir.


Can anyone explain if there is a right/proper way or any position is considered valid?
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Old 18th August 2022, 09:29 AM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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These types of keris are outside my area of interest now, but a long time ago they were very much of interest to me.

Back in the 1980's I used to attend the gunshows in eastern Australia, I attended as a dealer. At one of these shows I was approached by a two gentlemen, one was British, one was from Malaysia, the matter of hilt position on this type of keris came up and what I was told was that the reverse position of the hilt indicates that the person wearing it is at peace with the world & need not be considered to be a threat, so as a matter of good manners, he reverses the hilt.

If the keris is expected to be used then the correct position is determined by pinching the blumbangan between index finger and thumb & the top of the gonjo is anchored against the first joint of the index finger, somebody expecting to need to use the keris used to wear a wide ring that acted as a cushion for the gonjo, and then twisting the hilt to the position that is comfortable, which will place the flats of the blade parallel to the ground.

This hilt position for use will place the angle of the hilt about midway between sirah cecak & pesi.
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Old 18th August 2022, 09:34 AM   #3
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probably others will elaborate further but this discussion has been done before and there is no conclusive and univocal answer, I think.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...tioning&page=2
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Old 18th August 2022, 11:38 AM   #4
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I would like to add, that for Malay Keris there seem to exist also the last hilt position, not depicted in #1, the hilt facing backwards. I have two higher status Riau Keris where this is the case. On one I took the hilt off, it was very firmly secured with a dark mass, which, I conclude, is Jabung. The second fix is also very firm and I won't try to take it off. It has a good, old provenance.

I have read an explanation, the hilt of a dead persons of some importance Keris was fixed that way, at least in this region. Who knows.
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Old 18th August 2022, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
.... the matter of hilt position on this type of keris came up and what I was told was that the reverse position of the hilt indicates that the person wearing it is at peace with the world & need not be considered to be a threat, so as a matter of good manners, he reverses the hilt.
i.

interesting you should say so!

I just had a gentleman over to the hose to buy a Kris that I had for sale and he told me that he is accustomed to wear a kris when participating to functions at the Malaysian embassy or elsewhere , with the hilt turned inwards, pointing against the body, to signify that one is completely relaxed and not planning to defend himself.
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Old 18th August 2022, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milandro View Post
interesting you should say so!

I just had a gentleman over to the hose to buy a Kris that I had for sale and he told me that he is accustomed to wear a kris when participating to functions at the Malaysian embassy or elsewhere , with the hilt turned inwards, pointing against the body, to signify that one is completely relaxed and not planning to defend himself.
I think this was discussed briefly in on of the UPM video lectures you just posted a few days ago, wasn't it?
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Old 18th August 2022, 05:52 PM   #7
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it is possible, I recall something about this too
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Old 18th August 2022, 07:02 PM   #8
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Yes, that appears in the video, but in this case the whole Keris is being reversed, hilt staying in common position.
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