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Old 10th August 2017, 12:21 PM   #151
kai
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Hello Roland,

Quote:
If you like to see the scabbard, I will send some pictures to you via Email. The scabbard is worth to have a look on it.

I believe it would be worth to have a dedicated thread on this keris!

A pic of the other side of the blade (only the basal third, pointing upwards) would be greatly appreciated, too. Thanks!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 10th August 2017, 01:06 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Roland,


I believe it would be worth to have a dedicated thread on this keris!

A pic of the other side of the blade (only the basal third, pointing upwards) would be greatly appreciated, too. Thanks!

Regards,
Kai


Hello Kai,

thank you and I will make a thread on this Keris in the next few days. The scabbard alone is worth a thread. The pamor on this blade is pretty unusual and many collectors may dislike it, but well controlled random patterns are my personal favorite.


Regards,
Roland
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Old 10th August 2017, 02:53 PM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I believe it would be worth to have a dedicated thread on this keris!

A pic of the other side of the blade (only the basal third, pointing upwards) would be greatly appreciated, too. Thanks!

Thanks Kai. As i was reading through these posts this morning i was going to suggest the same thing.
Both clear, sharp detail shots and over all images in good light would be helpful to the discussion.
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Old 29th January 2018, 09:27 PM   #154
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As it's been a while since any hilts have been posted - and as this is such a lovely thread - I thought I'd share my humble collection. They're certainly not all old or as impressive as some of the previously posted hilts, but nevertheless I hope you'll enjoy seeing them.
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Old 29th January 2018, 09:28 PM   #155
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Second batch
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Old 29th January 2018, 09:30 PM   #156
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Third
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Old 29th January 2018, 09:30 PM   #157
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And final.
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Old 29th January 2018, 09:43 PM   #158
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Thanks for posting Bjorn. Even if they are not all particularly old they are nonetheless interesting additions to our gallery.
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Old 16th October 2019, 11:15 PM   #159
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I'm not sure of the geographical origin of this Javanese hilt (East Java?)

But I'm pretty sure it represents Bhima: position of the hands, the belt with its buckle, the bun, etc. ... it's very close to Balinese hilts representing this deity.
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Old 19th October 2019, 11:53 PM   #160
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Hello SÚverin,

Another very finely carved hilt! If you ever decide to let it go...

IMVHO this is a somewhat later example based on the early type representing a demonic being (I believe I also can make out fangs with your example) apparently belonging to the Kastrya echelon. Based on carving style and wear/patina, I'd guess your's is really old and certainly antique though.

The additional wooden "bead" below the hilt is weird. I've seen a few of these but no idea where this idea came from?

This keris seems worth a dedicated discussion - maybe you could post the blade and its fittings in a separate thread?


Quote:
I'm pretty sure it represents Bhima: position of the hands, the belt with its buckle, the bun, etc. ... it's very close to Balinese hilts representing this deity.

BTW, I'd posit that with many/most Balinese hilts the original attribution (intended by the carver and/or sponsor) is not possible to prove. Same-o for figural hilts of other regions, I guess. Thus, it might be safer to qualify any interpretations.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 20th October 2019, 01:20 AM   #161
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Yes Kai, affixing names of specific Balinese deities or folk figures can be pretty difficult sometimes. Moreover, sometimes the people in Bali whom one would think might have a good idea of what specific personage is represented by a totogan, will have no idea at all, or else, be demonstrably wrong.

But sometimes an attribution will be included in the carving that might be sufficient clue to venture a guess on. With Bhima it is usually an overlong thumb nail and/or rather massive genitals.

In respect of hairstyle, I'd be looking for a crab-claw hairstyle on a Bhima representation. The simple knot of hair is normally associated with a low level personage, maybe a punakawan, or servant, or common man.

Edit

I've referred to "hair style" above. Ideally, this crab claw (supit urang) would have been a hair style, but in reality it was probably mostly a head-dress, its symbolism is that it identifies a hero.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 20th October 2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 20th October 2019, 08:00 AM   #162
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Hello Alan,

Thanks for your thoughts!

Regarding the genitals we can only guess, this type seems to always maintain decorum...

It is also always carved with 4 fingers with apparently the thumb hidden from view. (If it were meant to represent Bhima, I'd expect the thumb(nail) not to be hidden from view though.)

While the bun may appear simple, this type always comes with quite elaborate hairdo with very neatly arranged hair, several successive rows of curls in the bun and often additional curls below - pretty much nessitating a hairdresser (not a DIY thing, I believe).

This type also always come with lots of status wear: A huge central diadem which is kinda mirrored at the back of the head, too. Around the ears there seems to be a sumping ron (slightly smaller than usual?) and possibly an eloborate ring dangling down from the earlobe (if not part of the sumping ron). Then we have a massive and heavily decorated breast plate followed by a very broad belt with central plate/buckle and, again, heavy decor. The upper arms, wrists and ankles are also carrying elaborate bangles. Definitely a member of the upper echelons and not a common man is represented here!

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Kai
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Old 20th October 2019, 12:22 PM   #163
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If you say so Kai.

So give us a name.

Or maybe point us at a known monumental representation or a wayang figure?

Kai, my comment was this:-

"The simple knot of hair is normally associated with a low level personage, maybe a punakawan, or servant, or common man."

If you understood this remark to be an indication of an opinion on who or what this hilt could be, I apologise for my failure to be clear. This remark on the "simple knot of hair" was a general comment in respect of symbolism, it was not an inference of identity in respect of this specific hilt. For example, Bagong is often shown with a simple knot of hair, but this is not to suggest that the character that this hilt represents is Bagong.

In fact the protuberance on the head of this figure might not be a knot of hair at all. Prabu Ratmaja is usually depicted with a head dress that looks somewhat like the ornament on the head of this figure. I have several examples of Prabu Ratmaja, and you can find more scattered through some of the well known references, like "Keris Bali", and "Understanding Balinese Keris", in most of my examples of Prabu Ratmaja the hair finishes in curls at the rim of the protuberance.

Prabu Ratmaja was a Raksasa King, and my examples all have the requisite fangs. I cannot see fangs on this hilt, but they could be there somewhere. He is a reasonably common figure on Balinese totogan hilts because he is regarded as having extraordinarily strong protective powers, he is also reasonably common on Javanese figural hilts.

This hilt could be intended to be Prabu Ratmaja, but really, I am reluctant to put this idea forward with any conviction. Naming hilt figures is a recipe for argument, and the only person who could sometimes tell you exactly who a figure is would be the carver and original owner.

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Old 20th October 2019, 03:05 PM   #164
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Hello,
Thank you both for all this information.
I admit that if I thought of Bhima it is because of numerous similar identification seen on internet on Balinese handles (very close to those generally attributed to Bayu but without the miroir).
But you are right apparently, after some research after reading you I realize that it isn't because a thing is very often repeated and taken everywhere that it is true ...

Here is an overview of Kriss, no sheath unfortunately and a simple blade.
For the "wooden ball" under the handle, I think it's a fairly "new" to compensate the absence of the mendak and a pesi too long.
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Old 20th October 2019, 04:58 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
For the "wooden ball" under the handle, I think it's a fairly "new" to compensate the absence of the mendak and a pesi too long.


Is the wooden ball integral with the hilt or not?
Martin Kerner showed similar hilts identified as Bima in his reference book "Keris Griffe aus Museen und privatsammlungen".
Regards

Last edited by Jean : 20th October 2019 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 20th October 2019, 05:05 PM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Is the wooden ball integral with the hilt or not? IMO this hilt is reasonably old but not antique.
Regards


Is not integral whith the hilt, isn't the same wood, it's just glued


For the age I think first part of XXth century (or a little more?), but it's just a "feeling".
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Old 20th October 2019, 07:35 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Post them up !


The only Hulu I have not attached to a Bilah.

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Old 20th October 2019, 10:24 PM   #168
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Both Kai & I have commented on the difficulty of identifying the specific characters that are represented in Balinese & Javanese keris hilts. It does not really matter who published what in respect of an opinion of a hilt character, what matters is how that character has been identified, and then that opinion needs to be qualified.

The rational way in which to identify a hilt character is to try to identify any attributes that the carved character may have and then match those attributes to the known and/or accepted attributes of characters found in monumental sculpture or the wayang. But even this approach does not give an answer that can be necessarily relied upon.

As with many Indian Hindu arms, the nature of the keris is that of a shrine, a shrine that is essentially empty but that is held in readiness for the entry of the character from the Other World for whom it has been prepared. That character might be a major deity, a personal, often minor deity, a folk spirit, an ancestor, or even a combination of ancestor plus deity where the ancestor is considered as merged with that ancestor's personal deity after passing from This World. The sacred part of the complete keris is considered to be only the blade, that blade is the shrine, as with other shrines, the shrine that appears as a weapon has a guardian, a dwarapala.

The word "dwarapala" is from the Sanscrit and was used in Old Javanese, the first syllable "dwara" means gate or place of entry, and combined with "pala" it carries the meaning of a gate guardian.

The weapon shrine is normally empty, and evil spirits and evil entities are attracted to empty spaces, so to prevent entry to the empty weapon shrine a dwarapala is needed, that need is fulfilled by the presence of the totogan hilt figure. That hilt figure had a meaning and a purpose for the original custodian of the keris for which it was prepared, but once separated from that original custodian it is really very difficult, if not totally impossible to correctly identify the character represented in the hilt. At least, this is so with older hilts or hilts prepared for a persons with the beliefs of their ancestors, such hilts were in fact prepared as dwarapalas, not simply artistic figures.

The element of ancestor worship within the indigenous societies of Jawa & Bali is one that is frequently disregarded or glossed over. In fact, for a person from these societies who has strong traditional beliefs, the idea of his ancestors is a very major part of his being.

Consider this:- the reason for the existence of all of the ancestors of any person living comes down in the present to just one point, which is the existence of the person who is the product of those ancestors. In extremity, all those ancestors can be called upon to assist the present person. This is a very old idea, and is not unique to Javanese or Balinese indigenous cultures.

So, in an old Javanese or Balinese figural hilt that was prepared in the form of an ancestor figure, that figure represents not just a single ancestor, but the entire line of ancestors who are now present in the person who has that hilt affixed to his keris.

In the modern world many deeply rooted traditional beliefs have been forgotten. Forgotten to the point where even people who should know the possibilities for identification of a Balinese hilt character need to go outside their own society and ask people who are not a part of present day Balinese society what those possibilities might be. Not long ago this loss of culture was driven home to me very clearly by the admission of the loss of some of his cultural memory by a present day, practicing, Balinese empu.


The evidence of the difficulty in naming Balinese keris hilt characters can be seen in the books published by Pande Wayan Suteja Neka:- he is very careful when it comes to attributing specific names to hilt characters unless the attributes are exceptionally clear, and taking the old perspective, perhaps even those identities that have been given, might not be the intention of the original owner. If anybody should be able to identify a hilt character it would be Suteja Neka, but does he jump in and express his first impressions or random ideas as an opinion? I think not.


Very often we see in this discussion group questions raised in respect of the identity of the characters represented in keris hilts. Sometimes the attributes of such a character are not difficult to identify and the hilt is then identified as a representation of some deity or folk figure. But if we take the perspective that could have applied at the time that a particular hilt was prepared, then perhaps our identification must be considered as merely a recital of observed characteristics, the intent of the carver and his client might have been entirely different.
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