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Old 26th July 2020, 08:34 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default A most unusually dressed Minangkabau Keris

This one has very unusual silver dress to the hilt. The way it is applied it almost reminds me of royal garb or something like that. Makes me wonder what the purpose of decking this handle out in this manner. Also unusual is the silver gangya. Looking forward to thoughts and comments on this piece.
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Old 26th July 2020, 08:37 PM   #2
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Some additional pictures of this interesting piece.
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Old 26th July 2020, 09:38 PM   #3
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I think we would need to speak with the person who initiated this ornamentation before we could have any understanding of why it was done.

My guess is that the ornamentation was commissioned by somebody who really did wish to be noticed.
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Old 27th July 2020, 08:46 AM   #4
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IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade). The ganja was replaced, is it really made from silver?
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Old 27th July 2020, 01:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I think we would need to speak with the person who initiated this ornamentation before we could have any understanding of why it was done.

My guess is that the ornamentation was commissioned by somebody who really did wish to be noticed.


Yes, this is very true and we can only guess at the intent. The way it was applied made me think it was somewhat reminiscent of fancy dress. You have a sash across the chest, a head piece, eye coverings, etc. Not sure what the piece on the back would represent.
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Old 27th July 2020, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade). The ganja was replaced, is it really made from silver?


Hi Jean,

Thank you for the feedback. Yes, the ganja is silver or a silver alloy. It is not steel.
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Old 28th July 2020, 02:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
You have a sash across the chest, a head piece, eye coverings, etc. Not sure what the piece on the back would represent.

Well this one is a keris!
And yes, unusual dress for sure, at least the hilt.
My general feeling is that this keris and hilt got a bit of a re-design somewhere along the way. I don't think this ivory hilt was originally intended to have all this bling. The pieces used seem to be adapted from other things like pieces of jewelry. It's possible someone inherited this keris in bad condition without a gonjo and wanted to honour it in a big way. So silver replacement gonjo and bling added to the hilt. I don't think that piece of silver is meant to be seen as a sash btw. This is a form of Jawa Demam hilt, the "feverish Javanese", and the bit of silver is covering the stylized arm that is across the belly of the figure giving the impression of a person doubled over holding their stomach.
Frankly i would have preferred this hilt without all the glitz. Or at least with less of it. But then, it wasn't made for me.

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Old 28th July 2020, 02:31 AM   #8
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Not my culture, but I agree from a Westerner's point of view.
'Less is more.'
To quote the noted architect Mies Vanderoh.
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Old 29th July 2020, 08:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade).


Agree with Jean, I also would go with the Riau origin. Very interesting keris.

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Detlef
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Old 9th August 2020, 10:05 PM   #10
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The hulu bling looks very "Michael Jacksony" to me; mirrored sunglasses, pseudo-royal accoutrements. I'd bet my bottom dollar (even if the odds are around 2-5) on its having been gussied up the way it is now at some time after the "Thriller" album came out, but certainly not before. The hulu really distracted me from the wilah, and that interesting silver ganja.
I'd really like to know: is that proper? I don't know if I'd be more clear asking, "Is that cricket"? I've seen kujang with pamor of Cu and Ni, but I'd never expect to see a keris with such pamor; it would be too "out there", too avant garde, and..."It's just not done". How about a brass or copper ganja? Would such a thing be within the limits of what's acceptable?
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Old 10th August 2020, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
I've seen kujang with pamor of Cu and Ni, but I'd never expect to see a keris with such pamor

Really? I cannot image copper being used as a pamor material as it has a melting point that is lower than most forging temperatures.
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Old 10th August 2020, 08:36 PM   #12
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You're right David. If we are working with iron & steel, we do not bring brass or copper anywhere near the work area. That's what I was taught.

However --- I do have a badik that has copper and/or brass incorporated into the folds in the blade. I have no idea at all how it was done.
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