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Old 1st July 2010, 06:34 PM   #1
Gustav
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Default "Bawar" hilts from Aceh

Dear All

in Tammens "de Kris III" there is a picture (Nr. 173) of a planar hilt. In the description (page 205) he writes:

"Very old wooden copy of the silver "Bawar" hilts, which were donated centuries ago by the Sultan of Aceh to the Kampong leaders in the Gayo and Alas countries."

In the recent thread about Sajens sheath I posted an old picture (between 1890-1920), where two keris from Aceh with very similar hilts are depicted. The surface looks like worked with a white metal.

Is somebody able to confirm Tammens' information or add something?

Has somebody an example of such hilt? My only sources are Tammens and this picture, and when I saw it for the first time I was really perplex.
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Old 1st July 2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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The Selut-Mendak in this picture resembles very much the selut on the golden keris from Sulawesi (and Bima), with hilts depicting Bhima (or Arjuna). These keris are clearly status symbols, the blades seems to be Javanese, and probably also the hilts. There are roughly made Toraja copies, but the originals are most probably pre-islamic.

In Sumatra there are occuring similar, very roughly made keris (for bridal ceremonies).

Similar selut in Tropenmuseum:

http://collectie.tropenmuseum.nl/nB...e=&culturenode=

Stunning, how details of status keris are following Javanese prototypes ewerywhere in the archipelago. Planar hilt forms (without patra's) are occuring in Java early, probably before 1600.
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Old 1st July 2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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Hello Gustav,

yes, I have a hilt like this worked from black horn. I get it with a small Minangkabau keris. This keris was shown in this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10058
Unfortunately I can't add other informations.
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Old 1st July 2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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Gustav - the picture and your story originally come from the book: De tocht van Lt Col Van Daal naar de Gajo, Alas en Bataklanden door . (book by Lt Kempees)
On of the most infamous expeditions by the Dutch East Indies Armies and a very interesting read. These kerisses were given to the local Gayo leaders as a symbol of their office and therefore locally very important that were passed on generation after generation. Will try to look up the original text in the weekend or after if that is of interest to you.

Regards, Erik

for those that read Dutch about this expedition:

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atjeh-...n_Daalen_(1904)

http://www.acehbooks.org/pdf/ACEH_00343.pdf


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Dear All

in Tammens "de Kris III" there is a picture (Nr. 173) of a planar hilt. In the description (page 205) he writes:

"Very old wooden copy of the silver "Bawar" hilts, which were donated centuries ago by the Sultan of Aceh to the Kampong leaders in the Gayo and Alas countries."

In the recent thread about Sajens sheath I posted an old picture (between 1890-1920), where two keris from Aceh with very similar hilts are depicted. The surface looks like worked with a white metal.

Is somebody able to confirm Tammens' information or add something?

Has somebody an example of such hilt? My only sources are Tammens and this picture, and when I saw it for the first time I was really perplex.

Last edited by erikscollectables : 2nd July 2010 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 1st July 2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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Sajen and Eric, thank you very much!

Of course I am interested in this text!
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Old 2nd July 2010, 02:54 PM   #6
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Here already the same photo but with the caption and the first page of several about Bawars - will make a list of the important parts later on...
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Old 2nd July 2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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Very, very interesting!

And it stops at the most interesting point! A little bit like a TV production.

With impatience waiting for the continuation
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Old 2nd July 2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Very, very interesting!

And it stops at the most interesting point! A little bit like a TV production.

With impatience waiting for the continuation


The total is 4,5 pages including a legend around a specifi bawar...
Here the highlights:
*Sign of dignity for the "heads" of gayo given by the Sultan of Aceh - the "owner" of the lands.
*They were passed on each generation to the new ruler
*They are very old (written in 1914)
*The blade has the wavy form and size of the Javanese keris.
*It should be worn in a much longer sheath
*Most of these sheaths have been lost by new ones
*They are worn in a girdle in the front of the body.
*Most often as it is too precious it is covered in clothes and worn by one of the people
*The ones in the photo have a grip made of silver, a cup made of suassa set with rubies of which many have been lost over time.
*The sheath is short but very old and made of a beautiful type of wood and with some decoration in the wood.
*Apart from the local kings also some lesser heads have them but it is doubtfull if these were really gifts by the Sultan of Aceh.
*Probably many of these were locally made to improve the status of the lesser heads.
*The "copies" also have been passed down the line and now are also pusaka's
*The are less beautifull with grips of copper or even wood.
*The were also used at feast to give the wearer more status for example on a wedding.

Well that is it for the moment.
If any of you have one please make a picture and if you have on to sell do send a mail...
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Old 2nd July 2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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One nice example is shown on the kris disc from Jensen chapter 9.3, picture 173b.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
One nice example is shown on the kris disc from Jensen chapter 9.3, picture 173b.


Indeed a similar one of the type with a wooden hilt and very nice suassa/gold cup style selut.
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