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Old 15th February 2020, 10:41 PM   #1
elsquibble
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Default Crudely Carved Hilt - Seeking Information - Buta Nawasari?

I bought this hilt to possibly go on my keris that I posted here recently(the one that has been ground to make it wavey). I paid almost nothing so no great loss if it doesn't suit.

It seems to me to be a very crude carving compared to any other examples I can see, upon comparing to some photos it looks sort of like Buta Nawasari but I am not sure. I think it is probably a very recent tourist piece but looking for any thoughts. Apologies for the bad photos I had trouble getting the detail. Thanks.
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Old 16th February 2020, 05:49 PM   #2
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I think you may be correct on all fronts. Frankly i have never seen an example of this form so crudely executed. You might well have made a better example if you carved one yourself.
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Old 16th February 2020, 05:52 PM   #3
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Hmmm, I don't know what I am looking at!? It is not only crudely cut but broken too? Not worth keeping.
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Old 16th February 2020, 08:42 PM   #4
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I don't think it's broken, it is hard to make it out in the photos it's easier in person. I will look for a better one and just put this one on a shelf.
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Old 17th February 2020, 04:40 AM   #5
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Can see one arm and with a bit of fantasy two legs but where is the head? Here is another better example of the BN handle (recent also).
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Old 17th February 2020, 08:07 AM   #6
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Ready for the trash bin. Every euro spent on it was one euro too much.
Better spent a little bit more for a decent ukiran.
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Old 17th February 2020, 04:48 PM   #7
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B.
Hmmm, I don't know what I am looking at!? It is not only crudely cut but broken too? Not worth keeping.

I don't think it is broken Paul, just really poorly carved. The head is there, it is just thrown back and hard to see in the photos.
I'm afraid i do have to agree with my fellows here. Even at a very low price this was nothing but money thrown out the window. I do realize that different people will have different standards, but by my own this hilt is not suitable for anything beyond those fake pamor tourist keris-like-objects that you can find on eBay and in Bali marketplaces. You don't want to go overboard and buy a hilt that is far beyond the quality of the keris you are trying to dress, but if you search eBay you can probably find something suitable for this kris between $40-60usd.

Last edited by David : 19th February 2020 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 18th February 2020, 07:14 AM   #8
Jean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsquibble
It seems to me to be a very crude carving compared to any other examples I can see, upon comparing to some photos it looks sort of like Buta Nawasari but I am not sure. I think it is probably a very recent tourist piece but looking for any thoughts. Apologies for the bad photos I had trouble getting the detail. Thanks.


If you stretch your imagination a bit, you may see it as a beautiful piece of modern art from a talented artist rather than junk, see the interpretation of the pudak flower in the back and the face for instance, it reminds me of Miro...
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Old 18th February 2020, 09:45 AM   #9
A. G. Maisey
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Jean, I'm not going to get into any sort of discussion in respect of the artistic worth of this hilt. It is a hilt. There are artistically fine hilts, and artistically inferior hilts, and everything in between.

However, what has thrown me is your reference to "the interpretation of the pudak flower in the back".

I cannot find a pandanus flower anywhere, and frankly, if this hilt is Nawa Sari, I would not expect to.

Where is the pudak flower?
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Old 18th February 2020, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Jean, I'm not going to get into any sort of discussion in respect of the artistic worth of this hilt. It is a hilt. There are artistically fine hilts, and artistically inferior hilts, and everything in between.

However, what has thrown me is your reference to "the interpretation of the pudak flower in the back".

I cannot find a pandanus flower anywhere, and frankly, if this hilt is Nawa Sari, I would not expect to.

Where is the pudak flower?


Hello Alan,
You should not take my comment too seriously, the pudak flower or else is clearly seen on the top right pic, you can distinguish the hand grasping it also....
PS: 11 posts may be sufficient for commenting on this piece?
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Old 18th February 2020, 05:43 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone looks like I did well there
Like I said I don't mind as I hardly paid anything. Will be keeping an eye out for a decent hilt.
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Old 18th February 2020, 08:16 PM   #12
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you very much Jean, you have given me the response that I was seeking:- you have clearly identified the object held by Nawa Sari as a pandanus, or pandan, or pudak flower.

However, I feel I must strenuously disagree with you that there has been sufficient discussion about this hilt. By your mention of the pudak flower you have with this single word turned this discussion in what I personally deem to be a very useful direction. Simply forget the quality or lack thereof of the hilt and focus on the idea:- we have here a representation of Nawa Sari.

Nawa Sari is frequently encountered in Bali, usually at or near the entrance to a pura (shrine, temple), sometimes near the entrance of buildings, often important buildings, sometimes government offices. In Bali Nawa Sari is regarded as one of the most powerful guardian figures, and this is his function when placed at an entrance:- he guards the entrance.

When he is employed as the hilt of a keris, his function is precisely the same as when he is placed at the entrance of a pura, that is, he guards the keris against the possibility of entry by any evil entity. The keris has the same nature as a shrine, and just as a shrine or pura must be guarded against entry by evil, so must the keris.

Now, where does the pandanus flower fit into all of this?

Well, the pandan or pudak flower was the flower used by Siwa when he was practicing his tapasya. The word "tapasya" is from the Sanscrit, and its meaning is "deep meditation". The word has come into Balinese & Javanese & Indonesian as "tapa", and has the meaning of asceticism. Asceticism is tied to the concept of deep meditation because such meditation in these places is practiced in extreme physical discomfort, even pain.

Because the pudak flower is Siwa's flower used in deep meditation, it is taken to represent Siwa himself, thus Nawa Sari is grasping behind his head a representation of Siwa and the inference is that Nawa Sari is ready to bring forth the power of Siwa against any evil entity that attempts to enter the pura, or the keris, that he is guarding.

The name "Nawa Sari" is interesting. In Balinese the word "nawa" means "nine", the word "sari" is situational and has several meanings depending upon the situation, but all these meanings can be understood to have the same essence. The meanings of the word "sari" in Balinese are understood as:- flower, pollen, mother's milk, the best of something, egg yolk, yellow, rice, coins when used in an offering.

Thus, in the context of the name "Nawa Sari", the word "sari" can be understood as "flower", so Nawa Sari : Nine Flowers. Clearly there is a deeper meaning to this name, and I am still working on the "nine", I suspect it is tied to the Balinese Trinity. I've been working on Nawa Sari for around 25 years, but I have not yet been able to get a clear explanation of the "nine" part of his name. This is one of the problems with deities in Bali, they are not regarded in the Mediterranean way, but rather in a distinctly Balinese way --- which we need not go into here.

The two images below show a somewhat sharper image of Elsquibble's Nawa Sari, and an image of Nawa Sari showing very clearly what his pudak flower should look like. This carving of Nawa Sari is situated at the entrance to a pura in Ubud, Bali.

I said I was not going to comment on the quality of the hilt under discussion, but I will say this:- in the hilt under discussion the character of the deity represented is perfectly clear, it is Nawa Sari, and it cannot be understood as anything other than Nawa Sari. If this is clear to people here, would it not also be perfectly clear to any evil entity?

Jean, I probably owe you an apology, I phrased my query on the pudak in a way that I thought would draw you out. I apologise if my wording was unsettling.
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Old 19th February 2020, 07:06 AM   #13
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Thank you Alan for the interesting discussion about Nawa Sari, and no apology needed
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