Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Keris Warung Kopi
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 25th June 2018, 08:28 PM   #1
Bjorn
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 155
Send a message via MSN to Bjorn
Default Jejeran Pulungan

Recently the name pulungan has popped up a lot. For orang Batak, it seems to be a family name. For Javanese it appears to have a very different meaning. As related to keris, the word pulungan refers to a specific type of jejeran, although what the exact characteristics of this type are is unclear to me. At the very least, it seems to share a lot of similarities with the buta or raksasa types of the pasisir.

Alan recently wrote (though not on this forum), that The figural pasisiran hilt is a well sculpted pulungan form, probably thus named as a reference to the falling star that indicates a person destined for a high position, most collectors would simply refer to this hilt style as "raksasa" or "wayang".

In 2014, Ganjawulung posted the below photo, stating it depicts both buja bajang and pulungan hilts. I'm ashamed to say, that I am unable to differentiate between the two.

In this thread, I'm hoping we can pool our current knowledge on how to identify this jejeran, the meaning of the name pulungan, and its associated symbolism.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=pulungan
Attached Images
 
Bjorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th June 2018, 11:47 PM   #2
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,935
Default

Bjorn, based upon personal experience I feel myself that the difference between the two is perhaps a matter of what school one attended, or perhaps how erudite one wishes to appear to be --- but then again, I do admit to being somewhat of a sceptic.

The photo is copied from "Pesona Hulu Keris", Aswin Wirjadi, ISBN 978-979-25-2533-5

Incidentally, "bajang" translates as "stunted", "buta" as "ogre" or "giant", so more or less "stunted ogre"
Attached Images
 
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2018, 06:44 PM   #3
Bjorn
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 155
Send a message via MSN to Bjorn
Default

Alan, that would certainly not seem uncommon to the realm of kerisology.

Then, would it be fair to say that for all practical intents and purposes, the terms pulungan and buta bajang refer to the same style of pasisir hilt?
Bjorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2018, 09:43 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,935
Default

I do not believe I can go that far Bjorn, I think if we took 100 or so of each of these hilts, had them classified by three experienced members of a Jakarta keris study group, and then very closely inspected and compared the hilts in each group, we would find minor stylistic variation that would permit us to say that one varied from the other in identifiable ways.

However, if we did the same thing with a group of hilts and referred them to a group of collectors from other places, I believe that we would get an overwhelming classification of all 200 hilts as "raksasa".

The thing is this:- in Jawa, there was a keris revival that began in the early to mid-1970's and grew from the early 1980's into a major social element in Jawa and in Indonesia overall. Analysis can reveal the reasons , and at the top end of the market those reasons had very little to do with an interest in the keris per se.

From about 1990, classification of all things to do with the keris really blossomed, to the point that respected keris authorities in Solo would sometimes wonder where all this new knowledge with which they were surrounded had come from. Over time it became fairly clear that the new "knowledge" was being driven by prestige and market orientated forces.

It is really very simple:- you can create a naming hierarchy by making variations in style into variations in type. Many, if not most collectors focus on type, style can be split into a number of stylistic or execution or regional variations which then can be recognised as variation in type. The more recogniseable "types" you can create by recognising style variation as type variation, the broader your market becomes.

Most collectors of almost anything love classifying. The collector who can come up with the most names for similar objects tends to move higher in the hierarchy of his group. Invent a few more names and you can move up a notch. The desire for prestige tends to drive an increase in classification in all fields of collecting.

The result of all this is that I can see a lot names used in keris classification that I had never even heard of 30 years ago, and these new names and knowledge seem to appear regularly. As I mentioned above, during the 1990's a number of old-time Solo keris experts were similarly amazed at this increase in knowledge that seemed to materialise from nowhere.

I have a very great tendency to disregard the game that we now know as "The Name Game".


In 1978 Garrett & Bronwen Solyom published a small exhibition catalogue, more of a guide book really, that in my opinion is still the very best publication in English dealing with the Javanese keris. Garrett did the field research, Bronwen assisted in the writing. Garrett's mentor was the man who was recognised in the 1970's as arguably the most knowledgeable collector of keris, and certainly one of the most knowledgeable keris authorities in the country. This man was the man who became Panembahan Harjonegoro (Alm.).

Garrett's major teacher was perhaps the most respected m'ranggi in Solo, a gentleman to whom he refers as Pak Bei ( I forget his formal name).

Think about it:- here we have two highly intelligent academics who were instrumental in the Javanese keris revival of the 1970's. They were very eager to get everything as precise and as correct as it could be. Is it reasonable to assume that if all these names that are now accepted as "keris knowledge" had been known in the 1970's that Garrett & Bronwen would have known those names and included them in their book?

Well, now go and re-read "The World of the Javanese Keris". This is a statement on the level of keris knowledge that was current at the highest level in Solo during the 1970's.

Where did all this so-called "knowledge" that we now have come from?

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 26th June 2018 at 09:59 PM.
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th June 2018, 09:23 PM   #5
Bjorn
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 155
Send a message via MSN to Bjorn
Default

Thank you for the detailed response, Alan. The matter is very clear now.
I had erroneously assumed that the name pulungan had a far longer history already, but that it was one that was not well known or of little interest to most collectors. I had not at all considered yet that it was part of the name game.
Bjorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th June 2018, 09:51 PM   #6
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,935
Default

Bjorn, I think that the real truth of the matter might be that we do not really know what the true name of any of these was at the time they came into use. In fact, it seems likely to me that the name "Raksasa" is simply something that is also a comparatively modern invention , just an invention that pre-dates the others.

In the elite levels of society prior to, say, 1800, what were these hilt styles really called?

I do not know, and I doubt that anybody else does either.

I'll take this a little bit further:- the keris has been around for over 1000 years, in one form or another.

But what was it called in ancient times?

We have a number of names to choose from, but we do not with any certainty know exactly what that asymmetric dagger was called, in fact, it seems likely that just as is the case today, it had several names, each name depending upon style of wear or method of use.
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2018, 08:45 PM   #7
Bjorn
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 155
Send a message via MSN to Bjorn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
In the elite levels of society prior to, say, 1800, what were these hilt styles really called?

I do not know, and I doubt that anybody else does either.


I fear you are completely right here, Alan. One of the frustrating aspects of keris study is how much knowledge has been lost to time.
Bjorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2018, 06:08 AM   #8
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default Naming Game

As Alan, mentioned: naming game, we do not know where originally certain names pops up. It could also from within the area we found the items ( in this case hilts).

Just to add a few, we could also get names from local people for example :cirebon then the elders told them this is what they called or could be some marketing guys thinking of selling his item and call something fancy to sell things. We do not know, for me: i just accepted the information and with times and other information we could come into a conclusion of our own.

My samples here: its just a variation from the carver?
1. One crown over the head
2. With snake over the shoulder
3. Something in front the chest, or pendant?
4. Round head?

We really do not know for sure, but what we can be sure is:
1. Material used
2. Carving quality
3. Old or newly made or processed
4. If any fixing being done


Regards
Rasjid
Attached Images
      
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2018, 09:27 AM   #9
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,137
Default

Very interesting questions Rasjid, I have the same with no definite answers
However it seems to me that these are just variations of the Cirebon "buta bajang/ Bima" style whatever you call it. In his book "Gods, Demons, and Ancestors" Marco Noris calls the hilts with a bird shaped nose/ beak as "pulungan".
Regards

Last edited by Jean : 1st July 2018 at 10:53 AM.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2018, 01:36 PM   #10
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default

Yes Jean, agreed. They all similar but from local discussion they talks some differences if they have crown and no crown? Means younger age or older?
When we discuss like more specific detailed about hilt, its become more complicated as who is the real trend setter to make statement?
For Keris, we can from keraton Solo for example about Solo keris.
Alan mentioned many times, keris knowledge change following which group you are belong too... its the nature but if we are discussing a high level keris, even from photo given at certain degree we can come into a conclusion or general agreement.
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2018, 03:27 PM   #11
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,137
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rasjid
Yes Jean, agreed. They all similar but from local discussion they talks some differences if they have crown and no crown? Means younger age or older?


Yes Rasjid, the specimens with a crown look a bit different and generally older, may be from a specific area or period? However they probably date from later than the 17th century as no such specimen seems to have been brought to Europe at that time? (but I may be wrong).
Regards
Attached Images
 
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2018, 04:57 PM   #12
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 5,626
Default

I've been leaning towards calling these hilts Buta Bajang, but then, what's in a name.
This name game thing can be very annoying at times, but then we must consider that if it ever is possible to find the original name for something that name could, i suppose, lead to some deeper understanding of the thing itself...or not.
Even if we can determine if "pulungan" was ever a possible original term for such hilts, was it a general term or a more localized speciality term? And would such a naming lead us to any greater understanding of the hilt itself and it's place within Javanese/Cirebon keris culture? Strangely enough i do not yet have a good Javanese/English dictionary (yes, i know ). Google translator is horrible, but it does translate "pulungan" as "meeting". This is probably incorrect and maybe Alan has a more accurate translation as this one does not seem to add any particular incite into the nature of these hilts.
Ultimately though it seems that we are past the point where we can ever be sure of the origin of these names or what may or may not be more correct. I find that in many circles "knowledge" of the most amount of specialized keris terminology is part of the i-know-more-than-you-do game of one-upmanship. Unfortunately this game seems to often be inserted into discussions as a substitute for any substantial understanding about the nature of keris.
Here are a couple of my Buta Bajang hilts. One is very old and the other is a nice contemporary hilt that i believe holds to traditional design. I don't know if either of these has characteristics that would lead a more knowledgeable collector to label it "pulungan". It does seem that the body position in these two hilts are somewhat different, with the contemporary one in a deeper squatting position and the old one seems more seated atop something. That in itself might designate these hilts by completely different specific names.
Attached Images
        
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 12:00 AM   #13
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,935
Default

"Pulungan" is a very interesting word.

It exists in Old Javanese where it is given a single meaning :- " a particular type of official". So before +/- 1600 the word "pulung" referred to an official of a particular type.

However, in Kawi, which was one of the inputs to Old Javanese, "pulung" is given four meanings:- "a roll", "rolled", "to gather", as well the Javanese meaning given in the next paragraph. But Kawi is a Javanese adaption of Sanscrit, and the word "pulung" does not seem to exist in Sanscrit, so "pulung", as it is understood in Jawa and other parts of Indonesia, appears to have originated in Kawi.

Modern Javanese (New Javanese) began to develop with the rise of the Second Kingdom of Mataram. (Zoetmulder seems to consider Kawi, Old Javanese and Middle Javanese together as "Old Javanese').

In Modern Javanese "pulung" acquired a number of applications, but the most generally used application seems to be the one associated with "wahyu" = " a sign from heaven in the form of a falling star indicating that the one on whom it falls is destined for high office", so here we have the continuation from Old Javanese into Modern Javanese of "pulung" being associated with officialdom. But in Modern Javanese there is also a whole swathe of other applications for the word "pulung", and its derivatives .

In Javanese the word "pulungan" seems not to get any sort of formal recognition, it may be informally used, but it appears not to be a word that can be used in formal Javanese speech. I am not proficient in Javanese, it is simply too difficult for me to learn, in fact, too difficult for most Javanese people to learn also. I know of a middle-class Javanese woman who married into an aristocratic family, and before her wedding she had to take lessons in Krama and Madya so that she was able to converse politely with all members of her new husband's family, before this she had only been able to speak Ngoko and Bahasa Indonesia. In any case, my opinion that "pulungan" does not exist in correct Javanese is based on personal information from a competent native speaker of Javanese and from several dictionaries.

"Pulungan" is not a Javanese word.
But it is an Indonesian word.

In Bahasa Indonesia (B.I.) the word "pulung" has a similar meaning to the Modern Javanese meaning linked to officialdom, except the B.I. understanding is that it is a flash of light that legitimises a ruler, before I consulted a dictionary, this was the only meaning I knew, however Echols & Shadilly give us other meanings as well:-
1)to have power bestowed by the flash of light,
2) to have the bad luck to be given an unwanted task (obviously a colloquial and cynical meaning).
In colloquial usage (Ngoko) the word "pulung" can also mean "good fortune", just as cynically or sarcastically it can also mean "bad luck".

But in B.I. "pulung" also means "pellet", and in B.I. the word "pulungan" does exist, it means something that has been rolled into pellets. The "an" is a B.I. suffix that creates a noun, for example:- "makan" = eat, "makanan" = "food".

Thus, it seems obvious to me that this "pulungan" word that has been stuck on these figural hilts is the product not of a speaker of Javanese, at least not speaker of Javanese who is above the level of Ngoko, but rather of a speaker of Bahasa Indonesia. Probably somebody from Jakarta.

Here is a hypothetical:- we need a word to put onto a keris hilt that identifies that keris hilt as a style used by people of rank, we know that "pulung" is a flash of light that legitimises a ruler, so we add "an" to the end of it to turn "pulung" into a noun:- "pulungan", a hilt for a ruler or at least somebody of rank.

The problem is though, that we are not really all that well educated, and we probably don't even have a dictionary in the house, let alone think of consulting a dictionary before inventing a new word that is really not all that fitting for the object we created it to describe (the pulungan hilt), so we do not know that the word "pulungan" already exists in B.I. and that it means something that has been rolled into pellets.

Words and the way they are used can tell us more than a little about the person using them.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 2nd July 2018 at 12:32 AM. Reason: maths
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 02:41 AM   #14
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Yes Rasjid, the specimens with a crown look a bit different and generally older, may be from a specific area or period? However they probably date from later than the 17th century as no such specimen seems to have been brought to Europe at that time? (but I may be wrong).
Regards



Yes Jean, some discussion also mentioned its older ( means by age) not in period making. To me, its just the carver's design and imagination.

Rembrant 1632 already have keris or some sort of dagger in the painting. So i never go to the detailed yet
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 02:46 AM   #15
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default Pulungan word...

Thank you Alan, detailed information there.

Just a little from me, Pulung- an, maybe its just a name to generalized things. Like "sejenis pulung-pulung an" or " some sort of pulung".
Same like the hilt with long nose, in sumatra or cirebon some called: "bebek-bebek" an. (Actual meaning: duck? Or duckling?) not sure myself.
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 03:01 AM   #16
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default

David,
I have one also...
bold, wood n fossilized, heavy in weigh.

called buta bajang? I'm no expert and not involved in the naming game. Its old and made from wood material.

Rasjid
Attached Images
 
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 04:29 AM   #17
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,935
Default

Rasjid, true, "an" can have other applications, but my post was already too long, too complex, and I did not want to turn it into a lesson in Indonesian grammar.

I probably used a bad word for an example of the use of the "an" suffix, but I wanted the use of the suffix to be clear, I did not want to give lessons in grammar. It was bad example because I used a verb as my root word, which does give good contrast for clarity of comprehension, but since "pulung" is a noun I guess it can also cause confusion, especially to someone like you, who is a native speaker of B.I. Please accept my apologies.

So let me try again:-
verb + an = noun that is result of action ( I probably used eat & food as my example because I was eating a chocolate biscuit as I wrote)

noun + an = noun that is more focussed than the original noun

adjective + an = noun that has the character of the adjective

So, your example of "bebek-bebekan" = ducks + an = duck-like, similarly "keris-kerisan" = kerises + an = keris-like, but here in your examples we have doubled the noun, so we are adding "an" to a plural noun, not a singular noun, thus it acquires a slightly different meaning that can be understood as generic :- duck like things, keris-like things.

In respect of the pulungan hilt, it is a hilt that is focussed on the idea of wahyu, good fortune, high ranking official, it is the adding of "an" to a noun, which creates a focus on the product of that flash of light:- "pulung" is the flash that brings rank and good fortune, the result of that flash is the person to whom the rank and good fortune has been brought, that is, this fortunate person is the "pulungan".

So, if some of these hilts have crowns, and others do not, who is the fortunate one, the one who received the wahyu?

But in another sense he is also something that has been rolled into a pellet.

Anyone feel like rolling a king?
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 06:04 AM   #18
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default

Alan,

Agreed, we do not explain about Bahasa Indonesia. Just touching a little bit, to explain.
Thank you, I'm learning as well from your post.

So my guess, we we rank them according to price wise and assuming all quality carving similar:
1. Crown head and Snake in shoulder would be rank 1 & 2, the crown one maybe #1, seldom seen around. Snake one, once in a while seen.
2. Pendant
3. Plain on chest or sometimes plain chest and the hands carved

So many other variants.
Welcome to the world of hilts, not to mention about the keris yet

Rasjid
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 12:36 PM   #19
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,137
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rasjid
Same like the hilt with long nose, in sumatra or cirebon some called: "bebek-bebek" an. (Actual meaning: duck? Or duckling?) not sure myself.


According to the book "Keris dan senjata pusaka bahari" (one of the rare books dealing with krisses from Cirebon), the name garan bebekan (duck hilt) refers to the Jawa demam style hilts from Cirebon (see attached specimen).
Regards
Attached Images
 
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 03:49 PM   #20
rasjid
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 110
Default

Thank you Jean. Is this yours? Nice one.
A new thread would be good for bebekan.
rasjid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2018, 06:55 PM   #21
Bjorn
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 155
Send a message via MSN to Bjorn
Default

Thank you, Alan, for that informative post. I always like to learn more about languages, as words and cultures are inextricably linked and influence each other in all sorts of ways.
Bjorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 05:56 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.