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Old 9th February 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
keriswarisanpattani
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Default variation of tok chu

just for sharing. some said variation of keris tok chu
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Old 9th February 2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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This is an immediate reaction to the top keris. I'm not posting it as fuel for any sort of ongoing discussion on the forms and merits of various types of keris.

To my eye, this top keris looks very much like somebody had seen an early East Javanese --- read "Majapahit" --- keris only once and only briefly, and then tried to reproduce it --- or maybe had it described to him.

This keris has the features of a Mojo keris, but as they would be described, not as they are executed in the original.

I find this type of thing quite interesting, just as I find the similarity of the Panataran keris to Bugis keris quite interesting. It helps to track dispersion.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 10th February 2012 at 10:11 AM. Reason: missing punctuation
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Old 10th February 2012, 03:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keriswarisanpattani
just for sharing. some said variation of keris tok chu

I see 3 different keris in you post. Are you suggesting these were all made by the pandai Tok Chu?

Last edited by David : 10th February 2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 10th February 2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I see 3 different kerns in you post. Are you suggesting these were all made by the pandai Tok Chu?


hi david,

all 3 keris belong to a senior collector in kelantan. all 3 are the variations of keris tok chu (what have been told to me and opinions from other senior collecters as well).
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Old 10th February 2012, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keriswarisanpattani
hi david,

all 3 keris belong to a senior collector in kelantan. all 3 are the variations of keris tok chu (what have been told to me and opinions from other senior collecters as well).

Hullo everybody,

Just a passing comment:
The first keris doesn't look to me to be Tok Chu. I suppose it all depends on how liberally one takes the term 'variantions'. I'd tend to look on it as more of a Saras variation
Perhaps one should ask someone like Cikgu Nasir for an opinion.

Best,

Last edited by Amuk Murugul : 10th February 2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 10th February 2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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Hello to all!

Alan - your comment is very interesting, because it resonates with the views of some native Kelantan keris collectors that keris makers in Northen Malay Peninsula trace their pedigree to Javanese pandai keris. There is even a "Kampung Java" in Kelantan (though I'd admit that this may not be definitive evidence of anything, because in Singapore, there is also a place named "Kampung Java", much like one can find Chinatown anywhere in the world). Further, we don't see much really old kerises in N. Malay Peninsula. It seems that kerises don't go back more than 300-400 years, which would seem to coincide with the end period of Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms in Java.

I realize what I'm saying can not be supported by hard evidence, and is backed mainly by opinions of more senior keris collectors. But I'm just sharing it for what it is worth.


Specifically to the first keris in this post, I thought it would probably just be called a "carita" in the N. Malay context. The "Tok Chu" classification is really nebulous, and no one can definitively say what it covers. The main characteristic of "Tok Chu" kerises seem to be that they are really broad (I would even describe some as having "squat" proportions), have a massive feel, and use good quality steel with very tight grains.

I also thought that the greneng work in this keris reminds me of the sort found on the Terengganu keris unduk-unduk form. Is this a more recent greneng form compared to the more commonly seen "open" greneng form? I'm not sure. I have a keris which was found in a sheath that looked like Terengganu in origin, but was very large, and somewhat different. The keris was also very large, which seems to run against the general rule that Terengganu kerises are of a more "polite" size, and more refined. Could the keris (and by extension of its similarity to this keris posted here) be from certain regions in the Terengganu/Kelantan/Pattani area?

Apologies for raising more questions than giving answers. I realize that I don't really have any answer to anything... After years of collecting, I feel with each passing year that I know less and less about the keris than I thought I did.
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Old 10th February 2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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Keris I was talking about. Note the striking similarities in the gandik area.
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Old 10th February 2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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This was said to be a Tok Chu.
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Old 10th February 2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for your comment, Kai Wee.

I don't think there's any doubt that the keris came into the Peninsula from Jawa, but what I find of interest is its roots in Jawa. When I look at the way we would describe the characteristics of this keris, what I see is a Mojo description, but equally, such a description could also apply to Banten.

What it cannot apply to is Mataram, so my feeling is that we're looking at a beginning that perhaps precedes Mataram, and that coincides with the widely held belief of dispersion during the Mojo era, which can probably be screwed down a bit tighter, to dispersion pre- +/-1380, that's if we accept Mojo.

If we don't want to accept Mojo, then it can certainly go later, with the root as Banten, but then we'd be into probably post 1550-1600, and my feeling is that that's maybe a bit too late.
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Old 11th February 2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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i think the best person to refer for keris tok chu is ahmad zaini from kelantan. he's doing research for so long,present paperwork,seminars and forum. At beginning, i was thought tok chu is a straight, broad and short. meanwhile we have been introduced with tok chu luk, normally with 3 n 5 luk. tokchu pamor..tok chu with 'belalai gajah' with atmost similar to keris malela.At least 10 variations of tok chu have been found.

it was said that tok chu is a pandai keris for the royal family. he was came later after pandai saras and settled at a place called palekbang now located at tumpat kelantan. if we refer to the modern kelantan kingdom, there is a placed called kota kubang labu (now pasir pekan) kelantan.. circa 1750 to 1800..The famous Kg Laut mosque also located at palekbang before it's relocated at Nilam Puri.

For variations of tok chu, take it this way. If i'm a royal family member, i do not like to see someone carry same keris as mine. that's one reason we should consider why there are variations of tok chu and why it's hardly found.but it's hard to prove with evidence that tok chu is a pandai keris only for the royal family and high ranking officer. but it's passed from one generation to others.
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Old 11th February 2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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I asked a question earlier and i am still not sure it has been answered. When we refer to a keris as "Tok Chu", are we speaking of keris actually made by the pandai Tok Chu or are we talking about keris that seem to be merely in his style of making? Frankly the designation seems rather dubious at best without any hard provenance and i see more than variation difference between the three keris originally presented.

Last edited by David : 12th February 2012 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 12th February 2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
To my eye, this top keris looks very much like somebody had seen an early East Javanese --- read "Majapahit" --- keris only once and only briefly, and then tried to reproduce it --- or maybe had it described to him.

This keris has the features of a Mojo keris, but as they would be described, not as they are executed in the original.


Hello Alan,
I have some difficulties to see a similarity between this kris and a Majapahit kris as described in reference books or (rarely) shown on pictures.
Unless this subject was already raised in an earlier post, can you show us some pictures of what you consider as representative Mojo krisses or description of their specific features?
Thanks and regards
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Old 12th February 2012, 07:34 PM   #13
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Jean, the keris in this thread is not similar to Majapahit.

I did not say it was.

What I said was this:-

"To my eye, this top keris looks very much like somebody had seen an early East Javanese --- read "Majapahit" --- keris only once and only briefly, and then tried to reproduce it --- or maybe had it described to him.

This keris has the features of a Mojo keris, but as they would be described, not as they are executed in the original."


Imagine:- you've never seen a Mojo blade, but you get a quick look at one, or somebody who has seen one, but doesn't know a hell of a lot about keris has seen one, and then they describe it to you:-

longish, slim, elegant, waved gonjo, tall, narrow, upright blumbangan, tight greneng, two grooves starting at the blade base, kruwingan, another little greneng under the kembang kacang

then you go away and try to make it.

What you finish up with is this.

Nothing like a Mojo blade, but the description fits.

That's what I find interesting.
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Old 13th February 2012, 07:50 AM   #14
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Hello Alan,
Thank you for the clarification. My point was that this blade is not particularly slim nor tall nor narrow, hence my question....
Best regards
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I asked a question earlier and i am still not sure it has been answered. When we refer to a keris as "Tok Chu", are we speaking of keris actually made by the pandai Tok Chu or are we talking about keris that seem to be merely in his style of making? Frankly the designation seems rather dubious at best without any hard provenance and i see more than variation difference between the three keris originally presented.


hi david,

i believed nobody can claim this originally made by Tok Chu..same as for Keris Pandai Saras...nobody can claim it's made by pandai saras..but of course somebody can identify it's old or newly made....
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Old 13th February 2012, 10:10 AM   #16
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Jean, its all in the proportion, not the actual measurement, and to my eye this blade is slim and elegant.

As I have tried to say:- it looks like something made from a description or a quick look at a Mojo style blade:- the elements are there, but the result is different.

Additionally, let us not forget this:- what people think of as a Mojo blade today is not really the way Mojo blades were. Here we're into tangguh again, and I'm not going to go there, so please just accept my comment in the spirit in which I made it:- a personal observation, if you don't see this blade as I do, that's because you're looking at it with your eyes, not mine.
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Old 13th February 2012, 12:17 PM   #17
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I got interesting point here where I'd like to ask since so long regarding tangguh system. Pak Alan, once again figure out that keris Mojo in fact does not like what we are applying on playing tangguh till date which are longish, slim, elegant, waved gonjo, tall, narrow, upright blumbangan, tight greneng, two grooves starting at the blade base, kruwingan, another little greneng under the kembang kacang are features of Mojo blade. So if we assume that tangguh can represent production date of blade, these features should fit which era? I remember that you ever mentioned that most of keris today seems to have blossomed as an arm of the population as whole after the advent of Islam so there should be very less blade of Mojopahit period with uncommonly appearance and finally we may accept that blades above can be assumed as Mojo blade. The problem is most of the people, mainly here in Indonesia is still aligning tangguh with era.
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Old 13th February 2012, 12:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keriswarisanpattani
hi david,

i believed nobody can claim this originally made by Tok Chu..same as for Keris Pandai Saras...nobody can claim it's made by pandai saras..but of course somebody can identify it's old or newly made....

Thank you for finally addressing this question. I understand that the term Keris Saras has come to be used to define a keris of a particular form which is said to be based upon a design created by Pandai Saras. We see many Keris Saras which obviously are not the creation of the famed pandai. It has also been my understanding that the same is true of Keris Tok Chu. My reason for pursuing this line is that in this thread you have presented 3 very different forms or dhapurs of keris and have claimed them to all be variations on Keris Tok Chu. I don't see how this is possible. None of them look like my own understanding of this dhapur which is more like the keris presented in BluErf's post #8. So i am wondering what possible claim these 3 keris have to the name Keris Tok Chu? If there was some provenance that these keris were actually made by Tok Chu i could understand them holding the name (though they would still need some kind of name extension to distinguish them). But too my eye these look like 4 completely different dhapurs with BluErf's being the only one that fits the generally accepted design for this particular form.
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Old 13th February 2012, 03:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Thank you for finally addressing this question. I understand that the term Keris Saras has come to be used to define a keris of a particular form which is said to be based upon a design created by Pandai Saras. We see many Keris Saras which obviously are not the creation of the famed pandai. It has also been my understanding that the same is true of Keris Tok Chu. My reason for pursuing this line is that in this thread you have presented 3 very different forms or dhapurs of keris and have claimed them to all be variations on Keris Tok Chu. I don't see how this is possible. None of them look like my own understanding of this dhapur which is more like the keris presented in BluErf's post #8. So i am wondering what possible claim these 3 keris have to the name Keris Tok Chu? If there was some provenance that these keris were actually made by Tok Chu i could understand them holding the name (though they would still need some kind of name extension to distinguish them). But too my eye these look like 4 completely different dhapurs with BluErf's being the only one that fits the generally accepted design for this particular form.


dear david,

like my earlier post, at beginning i was taught keris tok chu is a straight, broad as same like Bluerf's posting. but after met few seniors, attending seminars, forum about keris tok chu, it's have variations. And it's accepted here. it is believed that Tok Chu same like pandai saras did not produce only 1 type/dapur of keris. The problem and different with javanese keris, most northern keris, pattani etc did not classified according to dapur...if it's been classified, like keris tok chu dapur aaa, keris tok chu dapur bbb, it's much easier to understand.

my private collection for keris tok chu with wifiq/arabic
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keriswarisanpattani
dear david,

like my earlier post, at beginning i was taught keris tok chu is a straight, broad as same like Bluerf's posting. but after met few seniors, attending seminars, forum about keris tok chu, it's have variations. And it's accepted here. it is believed that Tok Chu same like pandai saras did not produce only 1 type/dapur of keris. The problem and different with javanese keris, most northern keris, pattani etc did not classified according to dapur...if it's been classified, like keris tok chu dapur aaa, keris tok chu dapur bbb, it's much easier to understand.

my private collection for keris tok chu with wifiq/arabic

Could you please explain then what indicators are used to identify it as a Tok Chu blade?
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Old 13th February 2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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I've noted the question but I an unable to reply at the moment. 6.am here and I'm off to answer some very different questions at a couple of meetings in Sydney.
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Old 13th February 2012, 06:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I've noted the question but I an unable to reply at the moment. 6.am here and I'm off to answer some very different questions at a couple of meetings in Sydney.

Thanks for noting the question Alan. I look forward to your response.
Just to extend this a bit further, when we talk about Keris Pandai Saras they all usually show the same indicators that allow us to make that designation. Some may be straight, some luk, but we expect to see the same diamond cross section, a generally slim blade and similar application of greneng. It is therefore clearly identifiable as a Keris Pandai Saras, regardless of whether it was actually made by the famed pandai himself.
At this point the O.P. has posted 4 keris that in my estimation show great differences in form far beyond the simple lurus/luk question. I note different cross-sections, greneng, even iron types. These 4 keris really couldn't be more dissimilar to my eyes. So if we do not hold the almost impossible provenance that these keris were actually made by Tok Chu himself, how or why should they all hold the same type name?
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Old 14th February 2012, 07:29 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Thanks for noting the question Alan. I look forward to your response.
Just to extend this a bit further, when we talk about Keris Pandai Saras they all usually show the same indicators that allow us to make that designation. Some may be straight, some luk, but we expect to see the same diamond cross section, a generally slim blade and similar application of greneng. It is therefore clearly identifiable as a Keris Pandai Saras, regardless of whether it was actually made by the famed pandai himself.
At this point the O.P. has posted 4 keris that in my estimation show great differences in form far beyond the simple lurus/luk question. I note different cross-sections, greneng, even iron types. These 4 keris really couldn't be more dissimilar to my eyes. So if we do not hold the almost impossible provenance that these keris were actually made by Tok Chu himself, how or why should they all hold the same type name?


if they are not made by Tok Chu, of course there are masterpiece out there which is made by Tok Chu and been duplicated. It's may be easy to duplicate but not easy to claim and used Tok Chu name if there are no basic or evidence to do that.

what i believed and most of Kelantanese keris lover believed, Tok Chu (pandai) did not produce only 1 type of keris. But it's have variations which also called as Keris tok Chu.

another luk 3 tok chu keris owned by a royal family. new sheath.credit cikgu nasir
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Old 14th February 2012, 09:27 AM   #24
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Actually I suppose, the keris in Blu Erf's post (#8) is not correctly depicted, if I take a look on it's shadow. It could be longer then it seems. A pity we don't have more and proper pics of it.

As David stated, we see three absolutely different style keris in post #1, and material of them is of very different quality.

Here is one similar to post #19 with talismanic inscriptions.
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Old 14th February 2012, 01:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keriswarisanpattani
if they are not made by Tok Chu, of course there are masterpiece out there which is made by Tok Chu and been duplicated. It's may be easy to duplicate but not easy to claim and used Tok Chu name if there are no basic or evidence to do that.

what i believed and most of Kelantanese keris lover believed, Tok Chu (pandai) did not produce only 1 type of keris. But it's have variations which also called as Keris tok Chu.

another luk 3 tok chu keris owned by a royal family. new sheath.credit cikgu nasir

You will have to forgive me KWP, but this is the very first time i have ever heard such a thing. Not that Tok Chu didn't have any other styles, that goes without saying, just that any style perceived to have once been made by him would be referred to by his name. Most famous mpus or pandai that are honored by having a keris dhapur named after them generally only get one. I have no doubt that this is what you believe or you wouldn't be this insistent, but if truly most Kelantanese keris lovers believe this i would have thought it would have been brought up before. Can someone please tell me when Tok Chu was supposed to have lived?
Gustav, your example is beautiful. Until now i would have assumed it to be a straight carita keris...
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Old 14th February 2012, 07:23 PM   #26
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Gustav,

The keris you posted looks very "Danish"
Did you beat me on it?

Michael
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Old 14th February 2012, 07:57 PM   #27
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David and Michael,

it isn't mine. At that point I still wasn't aware Denmark would be such an interesting country for people interested in keris
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Old 14th February 2012, 09:07 PM   #28
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David, I apologise for the misunderstanding, the question I noted was the one raised by Karttikeya.

I'm not buying into the "Tok Chu" discussion, as I am not familiar with the Peninsula belief systems relating to keris, however, Javanese makers can have many different styles attributed to them. They may work in a particular style that relates to a particular tangguh, but within that tangguh there can be a relatively wide variation in style. We tend to look at the way in which material has been managed, the material itself, and where present, the cutting of the greneng and especially the ron dha to give an attribution. The pawakan --- overall visual impression --- is important, but not nearly as important as the fine detail.

Perhaps something similar might apply with Peninsula makers.
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Old 14th February 2012, 09:38 PM   #29
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Karttikeya.

We've moved into the realm of tangguh with your question, and when we do that we are in an area where a sensible answer is difficult to give within the constraints of any online discussion group.

The Javanese, or more specifically, the Surakarta, tangguh system was developed for a very specific purpose, and that purpose was not to simply categorise keris for the creation of a more ordered world.

It is a system of classification that is in turn a sub-system of the Javanese keris belief system, which is closely related to Kejawen.

Within the tangguh system, the closer we are to point of origin in time, the more likely it is that the name of the tangguh can be taken as representative of the historic era. Thus, if we are talking about Tangguh Surakarta, there is an extremely high probability that a keris given this tangguh was actually made in Surakarta, during the period of Surakarta. However, the further back in time we move from this point, the lesser is the probability that a keris given a tangguh of, for example , Majapahit, actually originated during the Majapahit era.

Time distorts perception.

Various keris have various characteristics, and equally experienced people in the field of tangguh will in most cases classify high quality keris according to the same tangguh, however, this classification is in accordance with a system of belief, rather than with any documented or verifiable evidence that the tangguh given to the keris actually relates to the historic era from which the tangguh takes its name.

This alignment of tangguh name with historic era is a cultural phenomenon, and as such it is perfectly acceptable. It is a part of the Javanese keris belief system, and as with any belief system, the followers of that belief system have a perfect right to believe whatever they will. But that does not make the belief an accurate representation of fact.


The keris did exist in Majapahit, and this era is a key period in the development of the Modern Keris (ie, the keris as we recognize it today), however, based upon the available evidence --- monumental, literature, descendant types --- the keris in Majapahit during the period 1293 to 1389, or even 1527 --- did not look anything like the keris which is classified as Majapahit within the Surakarta Tangguh System.

This is why so many people in Jawa with deep keris knowledge will say :- "Tangguh nggak sungguh"

They simply do not accept the relevance of the tangguh system to the historic age of the keris.
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Old 15th February 2012, 03:10 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
You will have to forgive me KWP, but this is the very first time i have ever heard such a thing. Not that Tok Chu didn't have any other styles, that goes without saying, just that any style perceived to have once been made by him would be referred to by his name. Most famous mpus or pandai that are honored by having a keris dhapur named after them generally only get one. I have no doubt that this is what you believe or you wouldn't be this insistent, but if truly most Kelantanese keris lovers believe this i would have thought it would have been brought up before. Can someone please tell me when Tok Chu was supposed to have lived?
Gustav, your example is beautiful. Until now i would have assumed it to be a straight carita keris...


dear dave,

no problem. since everybody have their own views base on what they have learnt , research etc. No doubt that tok chu keris famous with one type of keris which is broad, straight etc. But as a famous mpus , i can't believe he's only produce one type of keris during his time. Base on paperwork been discussed tok chu lived circa 1750++ or may be earlier. for detail can referred to ahmed Zaini in kelantan ...on characteristics of tok chu, he can explain better . not saying his 100% right but who knows something new can be found.
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