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Old 17th April 2018, 02:36 PM   #1
Anthony G.
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Default Enquiry on keris motifs

Hi

Anyone has any idea how many types of Naga motifs/design are there in existence across the Malaya and Indonesia Archipelago? I can only think of 6.
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Old 19th April 2018, 04:59 AM   #2
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Old 19th April 2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David


Hi, thank you
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Old 19th April 2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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I believe you will find more specific styles than are included in that thread, but it's a start. Add more here if you find them.
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Old 20th April 2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I believe you will find more specific styles than are included in that thread, but it's a start. Add more here if you find them.


Recently I found out that there are new contemporary Naga design <Chinese dragon style> in Indonesia which I felt that is not following the keris tradition. Therefore I will not show here. Not sure if it is right thing to happen or is it me being traditional thinking.
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Old 20th April 2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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I have this Naga in Malay dress. I have always wondered if it is Peninsular or an imported Java blade. Can we tell the difference? What I like about it is how the Naga's body limits itself to the sogokan. Is there a law or adat for this? Which is more common - this body form or the full blade length body?

The sarong has no buntut I so did not show the whole sheath to meet upload limits.

Comments please.
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Old 20th April 2018, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Pattani Naga

Dear Paul,

This is supposed to be a Pattani Naga. What is your opinion?
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Old 20th April 2018, 11:35 AM   #8
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I am sorry Alex but I have never seen a Patani Naga so I can't say.


Quote:
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Dear Paul,

This is supposed to be a Pattani Naga. What is your opinion?
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Old 20th April 2018, 04:44 PM   #9
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Paul, I have the impression, that the blade is seriously reshaped, perhaps already a longer time ago.

Sorsoran is very massive compare to the rest, (especially Gonjo seems to be really huge) and Luk previously could have been deeper.

What seems curious to me is, that the grain at the first Luk shows strong bending. Normally the very first Luk is carved, not bent.
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Old 20th April 2018, 05:43 PM   #10
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Actually when I look at the picture of Sorsoran, I see 3 different materials - Slorok (marked in blue), an Adeg grained layer, and a layer which comes above Adeg in the lower part of Sorsoran, we see it better on Wadidang side. Gonjo also is made from that material.
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Old 21st April 2018, 12:53 AM   #11
A. G. Maisey
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I cannot speak with any authority in respect of keris from areas other than Jawa, Bali, & Madura, but in these places the normal way in which all luk were and are put into a keris blade was and is by forging.

Some blades that have undergone revision, usually very inferior blades that have been reshaped for the souvenir market, may have had luk cut into them.

It is not at all unusual to find a blade, be it a keris blade or otherwise, that is comprised of several layers of material, in older Javanese blades, especially those blades that are classifiable as Mataram from around the Sultan Agung era, it is quite common to find a construction where the steel core has been inlet around the blade edges, the body of the blade will appear as relatively loosely grained iron, not dissimilar to common wrought iron, and the overlaying material will be tight, well compacted iron, sometimes with contrasting pamor, sometimes a simple sanak. In keris made specifically for combat from this era, sanak is the more common material.

I have put this blade under discussion into correct orientation for viewing, and I can see no evidence of reshaping. Proportions are well within accepted parameters for a relatively recent blade --- "relatively recent" = post 1850 in this context.

I am unwilling to state probable geographic point of origin from the photographs, but garap would not be out of place in East Jawa.
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Old 21st April 2018, 04:52 AM   #12
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Default Malay Nagas with Malela-like thick spines

I hereby enclose some peninsular malay keris nagas with malela-like thick spine along the blade. One of these has no scales on the tail, while the other Naga blade has scales which gradually disappear along the thick spine of the keris. Any opinion?
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Old 21st April 2018, 05:27 AM   #13
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Alan - a question. In your paper you write about the first Luk:

"Similarly, the first wave counted is not a wave in the blade either; it is a slight undulation that
occurs on only one side of the blade. When the maker of the blade is forging it to shape he bends the
forging away from and then back towards the wadidang side of the blade to create the first true wave in
the blade:- a blade wave has two sides to it, a negative (concave) side, and a positive (convex) side. The
current convention used in counting blade waves ignores this fact and counts a slight undulation above
the gandhik as the first wave, and the straight section of blade at its point as the final wave."

As I understand it, it says, the first real bending occurs on the second Luk, on Wadidang side. So the first Luk would be shaped by carving?

Why the Adeg-like grain we see in this blade clearly bends away and then back to Gandhik side of the blade (between the blue lines in my picture), so the very first commonly counted Luk appears to be done by bending?
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Old 21st April 2018, 09:13 AM   #14
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Yes Gustav, the first commonly counted luk --- which is not really a luk at all --- is created by movement of the metal, not by reduction of the metal, or more correctly, by a combination of metal movement and metal reduction.

What happens is this:-
the forging at this point of manufacture is straight, so the maker positions the edge of the forging just above where the gandhik will be carved, onto the horn of the anvil, or onto a jig, or if using a traditional Javanese anvil, onto the vertical side of the traditional anvil, and bends the forging towards the gandhik side of the blade, this is the first step in creating the first luk in accordance with my proposed alternate method of counting.

He then reverses the position of the forging and places the opposite edge of the forging against the curved surface of the horn or whatever, and bends the forging back towards the wadidang, thus creating a full luk in the blade. This is what I mean by:-

" --- When the maker of the blade is forging it to shape he bends the forging away from and then back towards the wadidang side of the blade to create the first true wave in the blade ---"


The first bend he put into the blade has the effect of dragging the metal towards the gandhik. He does not set out to intentionally create that first slight negative indentation, it is a by product of producing the first full luk, which is now counted as luk 2.

In fact, all the luk in a blade are created by a combination of forging and carving, the finished forging is only roughly forged to shape, it provides a forging that the finished keris can be carved from.

There is another thing about forging things to shape that is sometimes overlooked by people who have not actually done this, and it is this:- working as an old-time smith worked is not an exact science, it is more in the order of a craft, or an art.

In forging a blade to shape we start with a pattern, this might be taken from an existing object or it might be taken from a drawing. The outline of what we want the finished item to look like is transferred onto a piece of sheet metal, and this is the pattern we work from when making the forging.
It is commonly placed across the anvil , or next to it, and the forging is manipulated as close as possible to the pattern by judgement, there is no time to measure every blow against the pattern, we work by eye, and when it looks more or less correct it is measured against the pattern. Sometimes it does not match the pattern well enough to permit a correctly shaped finished product to be cut from the forging, so then, if possible, the forging needs to manipulated in order to bring the metal to where it is needed. This movement of metal will be reflected in the grain of the metal, and sometimes some quite surprising and unexpected grain structures will result.

There is one very old blade classification --- I forget which one, I think maybe Kahuripan, I do not have access to my references at the moment --- where the metal grain frequently runs across the blade in the sorsoran. What the makers were doing to cause that I would not attempt to guess.

I think that perhaps my explanation above may make clear the reason for the grain movement shown in the sorsoran?

In fact, the visible grain of the metal simply records what the maker needed to do in order to achieve his desired result. It records what the maker needed to do in order to create that first true luk above the wadidang.
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Old 21st April 2018, 09:56 AM   #15
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Alan, thank you!
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Old 21st April 2018, 12:44 PM   #16
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Thank you Gustav for your analysis of Paul's blade and thank you Alan for that explanation of forging. This has indeed been very interesting. While i do understand that threads do tend to develop tracks and directions of their own i would like to encourage that we now get back to the Anthony's original intention for this thread. Perhaps, Gustav, do you have some opinion of the origin of Paul's naga form blade and any ideas if it is a common form for that area or not?
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Old 21st April 2018, 10:17 PM   #17
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David, it's quite simple. Although my interest (at the moment) differ from Alan's in that I very much like some Sumatran and Peninsular Keris forms, for Nogo blades I am only into something, of which this one is a perfect example - Central Javanese, second part of 17th cent., high point of Kinatah work:

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/...2c+armor/515178

Later Nogo blade forms, even Javanese ones, are not my cup of tee.
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Old 21st April 2018, 10:43 PM   #18
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Regarding Paul's blade, I am afraid I cannot have an opinion, except, that the outline of Gonjo, widening towards Buntut, looks Bugis inspired. The blade is Javanese or is copying Javanese/Balinese motifs in a degree, which would be a little unusual for Nogo blades of this quality from outside of Java and Bali - there appears degenerative motif of Bintulu on Gandhik, the architectural element under Bintulu on Gonjo, the tree motif on Bawang Sebungkul. I have not seen any blade with Nogo Anom (?) outside of Java until now.
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Old 22nd April 2018, 12:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
David, it's quite simple. Although my interest (at the moment) differ from Alan's in that I very much like some Sumatran and Peninsular Keris forms, for Nogo blades I am only into something, of which this one is a perfect example - Central Javanese, second part of 17th cent., high point of Kinatah work:

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/...2c+armor/515178

Later Nogo blade forms, even Javanese ones, are not my cup of tee.

Thanks for that most beautiful example Gustav. I'm posting it here for more immediate access. While i can certainly see why this very specific time and style has caught your fancy i am personally open to more pedestrian forms of nogo blades, especially since i don't imagine that i would ever be able to acquire, or for that matter, even get to hold such a lovely example as this.
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Old 22nd April 2018, 01:30 AM   #20
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Default Scales on Nagas

Dear collectors,

with reference to the pictures in post 12 (malela-like keris nagas), has anyone seen the absence of scales on a naga tail, or gradual disappearance of scales along the tail, in keris nagas of other regions?
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Old 22nd April 2018, 05:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexish
Dear collectors,

with reference to the pictures in post 12 (malela-like keris nagas), has anyone seen the absence of scales on a naga tail, or gradual disappearance of scales along the tail, in keris nagas of other regions?

The short answer to this Alexis is yes.
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