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Old 24th November 2023, 09:00 PM   #1
Pendita65
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Default Balinese Keris

Hello all,

My name is Martin and I am from Amsterdam, i am a teacher in restoration and art history and collect since several years Keris mostly from Java Surakarta and Solo. Although the occasional Sumatra Keris is in my collection too.

After lurking for months on this forum about the Keris I will post my last addition to my collection. It,s a Balinese Keris I bought at an auction and it comes from a Dutch collection that was housed in a castle in France since 1923. Sadly no warong or mendak. It,s a beautiful blade I guess from the 19th century. ItÂ’s slightly rusted and I just started the removal of the surface rust.

Would like to know in what type of warong it would have been dressed..

Best wishes, Martin
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Old 24th November 2023, 09:34 PM   #2
David
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Hi Martin. Welcome to the forum.
I assume you are asking about what kind of sheath this should have? A warong means "stall" in Bahasa Indonesian, "tavern" in Javanese. You may have been thinking of the Javanese word wrongko (also spelled wrangka or warangka). Or maybe you meant "Sarong", which is sometimes used in Bali to mean a sheath.
If i am correct that you are referring to the sheath then there are a few options for dress, but i would say that the Bali version of the standard everyday dress (called gayaman in Java, the Balinese name is eluding me right now) would probably work best for you.
Also, the hilt rings in Java are mendak. In Bali they use a somewhat different style of ring called wewer or uwer. It should not be to difficult for you to find a wewer for sale on eBay or some other similar site. The sheath will be harder to come by. Sometimes i have seen used sheaths for sale on eBay that can possibly be adapted to fit your keris.
This seems like a decent blade and does seem to present as Balinese, though the greneng seems a bit strange me for 19th century Bali blades. Though i can't think where else i would place this blade.
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Old 24th November 2023, 09:47 PM   #3
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Hello David,

Thank you for your answer and yes the difference in names I did not think off. I am still learning but love the history and craftsmanship that is used in the past by the creators of these beautiful Keris.

Have to find a good book about Bali Keris.

Martin.
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Old 24th November 2023, 09:52 PM   #4
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Hello David and Alan,

Thank you for your answer and yes the difference in names I did not think off. I am still learning but love the history and craftsmanship that is used in the past by the creators of these beautiful Keris. I think there are different styles in Wewer so what type would suit the hilt?

Have to find a good book about Bali Keris.

Martin.

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Old 24th November 2023, 10:51 PM   #5
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I believe I would accept this keris as being of Balinese origin.

In Bali the most commonly used word for a keris scabbard is "sarung", but the Javanese term wrongko/wrangka/warangka also exists and in Bali it becomes "urangka". In Bali the top cross part of the scabbard is called "sampiran" & the long lower part that covers the blade is called "penyejer" or "penabeng"

The name for the Bali everyday scabbard is Bebatun Pohan, customarily abbreviated to Batun Poh.

The usual spelling of "warong" is "warung", in Javanese speech & spelling the individual letters in a word, both vowels & consonants, often get interchanged, linguists regard Javanese as a non-standard language. So "warung" & "warong" are actually the same word, and both pronunciations would be understood in either Javanese or BI.

I do not know of the word "warong" or "warung" as having a meaning of "tavern". The English language idea of "tavern" would need to use "warung" or "toko" or "kedai" together with "minuman" (drink) to express the English language idea of a tavern. The way native English speakers understand the idea of "tavern" is probably not able to be given in either Javanese or BI with a single word.

As David has commented, the greneng is not really what we might think of as typical for a Bali keris. I'm wondering if this particular keris might be a bit older than it appears to be, or another possible reason for this greneng variation could be that it has been made somewhere out of the mainstream.

Still, all that perhaps irrelevant detail that I've written can be put to one side, this is a pretty nice keris, and well worth bringing back to life.
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Old 25th November 2023, 08:55 AM   #6
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Hello David and Mr. Maisey,

thanks for the information and yes i wrote some of the terms wrong, but still learning. I have to see if i can find a nice dress for this Keris and when it is to difficult, i might look for some suitable wood and create my own sheath.

Have a nice day.
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Old 25th November 2023, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendita65 View Post
Hello David,

Thank you for your answer and yes the difference in names I did not think off. I am still learning but love the history and craftsmanship that is used in the past by the creators of these beautiful Keris. I think there are different styles in Wewer so what type would suit the hilt?

Have to find a good book about Bali Keris.

Martin.
Balinese wewer vary mostly with the materials used. Gold, silver, brass, etc, generally decorated with various stones, glass or pastes. The "stones" are usually white, black, red or blue or a combination there of. They are generally cabochon "stones', but more recent ones seem to have added cut stones or glass to the mix. Of course these wewer can be found in all levels of quality from simple and cheap to precious metals and really gemstones. Though in Balinese ensembles you will often find glass and paste "stones" in the mix. It is relatively easy to find wewer for sale in places like eBay. If the photos are good you can usually get a good idea of the quality of the wewer being presented, even if you can't be sure of the materials.
Yes Alan, i thought you might comment on "Tavern" as a translation of "warong". But that is what the Google translator kicked out. I do agree it is not a satisfactory translation, but my point was to show that "warong" was not the word Martin was looking for.
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Old 25th November 2023, 07:03 PM   #8
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Yeah, I guessed it might be a google result.

But its like I said, "warong" is a legit alternative spelling & pronunciation, just not the usual one. I just checked Echols & Shadilly & that also lists it as an alternative.
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Old 26th November 2023, 01:14 AM   #9
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A warung is a small shop on the street where you can buy nearly everything, cigarettes, obat (medicine), instant noodles and so on.
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Old 26th November 2023, 02:03 AM   #10
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Yes Detlef, that is one kind of warung, but a stall in a market is also a warung, warung effectively means a stall, most warungs you cannot walk into, the counter is at the front and the owner has the stock behind him or, more often her.

Our little discussion group is Keris Warung Kopi, & there are warungs that sell only coffee, or only drinks or even full meals --- often better than a restaurant.

Sometimes a big pricey restaurant will go out into the street and buy some particular meal --- something like sate --- and dress it up on a fancy plate and then serve at a 500% profit.

There are warungs that act as a rental point for prostitutes, they gather there and can make a glass of tea last all night, or at least until somebody rents them.

Lots of different kinds of warung --- or if you prefer warong.
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