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Old 6th December 2009, 09:35 AM   #1
Michel
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Default a strange hulu detail

Ever seen such a small "ad on" a Jogakarta kriss handle ?
Why , What for ?
Thanks for any information
Regards
Michel
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Old 6th December 2009, 01:49 PM   #2
Marcokeris
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I have never seen before one like your hit Michel.
IMO nice hit (and ladrang too)
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Old 6th December 2009, 02:02 PM   #3
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Hello Michel,

I have seen this some time ago in e-bay, someone sold some keris with such hilts and small stones set in the warangka; your keris is maybe from this origin?
I think that this isn't original, I see on your pictures that the "knob" is glued.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 6th December 2009, 04:10 PM   #4
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Default Glued knob

Yes Detlef, the piece is glued.
I however doubt the kriss is coming from Ebay as the owner does not utilize Ebay (He is a well known kriss collector with an extensive knowledge on the kriss and the Indonesian culture)
He has not told me where from he got it. He had also not seen such a knob on any kriss.
He unfortunately does not come on the forum as his knowledge would help us a lot but agreed that I ask the question.
May be someone of the forum knows something about this curious knob, tis reason and origin ?
Although a well carved hulu, the gluing is not perfect. To my eyes it is a modern hulu with an added knob. But Why ? What are the reasons that were behind such a strange ad on ?
It cannot be aesthetic, nor functional, what could justify it ?
I am at lost !
Hey, could it be a simple marketing gimmick ? just like the stone or gold piece on the warangka ?
Regards
Michel
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Old 6th December 2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
Yes Detlef, the piece is glued.

Hey, could it be a simple marketing gimmick ? just like the stone or gold piece on the warangka ?
Regards
Michel


Hello Michel,

I think like this, since I never have seen something like this original, but this is only my guess.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 6th December 2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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In Surakarta there used to be a very famous art connoisseur, who has now left this world.

He had guided many fellow Indonesians with his knowledge and was known internationally. He had connections at the very highest level of Indonesian society, and almost invariably, when any officially sanctioned endeavour in the field of Indonesian art occurred, this man was involved.He was particularly well known in the field of keris.

There is no doubt that this man had immense knowledge, and his knowledge of the keris was absolutely first class.

He was constantly on the lookout for high quality and unusual keris, and he maintained links, mostly through agents, with many keris dealers in Central Jawa and beyond.

He was very, very well known in the keris trade, and people were constantly striving to create new designs he had not seen, and variations of design that he had not previously encountered. He was very well known within a segment of the keris trade as being always able to be deceived by something that he had not previously seen.Because of this a few people worked continually on producing keris and keris related items specifically for feeding to this extremely knowledgeable and well known connoisseur with an international reputation. Mostly their forgeries and other deceptions were successful.

Centini wrote 200 years ago that if you want to learn about keris you must go to the market place.

Nothing has changed since then.

There is one basic rule that should come before all others in identifying that which is genuine and that which is false in the world of the keris:-

recognise quality.

This will not invariably protect you, but at the level of the market where most people who collect in the western world buy, it is a very, very good rule to live by.

Quality does not necessarily equate to expensive, but it invariably equates to artistic sensibility.

In this hilt under discussion, can anybody see any artistic sensibility in a lump of wood with a coarse grain running the wrong way glued to a reasonably well carved hilt?
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Old 8th December 2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Default answer from the kris owner

Hello every one
Thank you Alan for your little story. Instructive point of view.
Now, I transmitted the complete discussion to the owner of the kris and this is a free translation of the main points of his answer:

Thank you to all of those who have examined and commented about this curious kris of mine.This kris is coming from a good Javanese kris collector who had it identified precisely with a sticker on the back of the pendok. I do not think that the handle has been modified for marketing purposes. The more I go into it, the more I think that it is one of these modification made by some Javanese related to an important events of their live or a special wish. One can find these kind of chiseling made on blades, addition made with inlay of gold, or precious stones on warangka. This is linked to mystical questions, that one has to take into account with kris. I will travel to Jogja next year and I will try to solve that little mystery.

Well gentlemen, I think we will have to wait for his return from Jogja to have his explanations.
Regards
Michel
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Old 8th December 2009, 11:09 PM   #8
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An interesting response from your friend Michel.

If he is going to Central Jawa in the near future, I am certain that he can look forward to beginning a new phase of his education in the keris --- perhaps analogous to entry into kindergarten.

I trust he will bear in mind that no education comes free.
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Old 9th December 2009, 02:04 AM   #9
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I've not seen this type of hilt in particular, but have seen some older hilts embedded with some objects like stones, metals and other wood. Bugis, Sumatran and Peninsular hilt forms..

As far as I'm told, the reason is more talismanic in nature, according to some belief system. How far this is true, I do not know.

The object that was glued, seem to be a cabachon meant for a ring, pendant or something along that line.. which probably have some animistic value.
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Old 9th December 2009, 03:40 AM   #10
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Cabochons are generally stone, not wood. While i agree that it is not unheard of to see stones, metal and wood embedded into blades and dress for talismanic reason i think what we really need to look at is the method used here. This wooden "cabochon" has been rather crudely glued to the side of this hilt, not embedded. I would think that more care and craft would be applied if there was some serious purpose to this addition.
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Old 9th December 2009, 08:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Cabochons are generally stone, not wood. While i agree that it is not unheard of to see stones, metal and wood embedded into blades and dress for talismanic reason i think what we really need to look at is the method used here. This wooden "cabochon" has been rather crudely glued to the side of this hilt, not embedded. I would think that more care and craft would be applied if there was some serious purpose to this addition.
Yes David, cabochons are generally stones or minerals of some sort. However, the same shape and form are made for various woods, metals, meteorites, corals.. or what have you.. a tradition of animistic belief..

In this case, it is quite evident that the method used is less desirable. I for one would not want my piece to be like this.. however some may fancy it.. Sometimes the storyline can be facinating.. but the again, I'm buying the keris not the story..
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Old 9th December 2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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We have a peculiar hilt.

One that does not fit a recognised style.

In Central Jawa, keris need to conform to very strict parameters. One does not have the freedom to move in whichever way one wishes and add, or subtract as one sees fit, to a very, very formal , indeed iconic, item of dress.

To my mind, any talk about mysticism or talismans & etc &etc &etc misses the point that no sane man in Central Jawa will wear a keris that makes him stick out from the mob like a broken finger wrapped in plaster. At the very least a hilt such as is on this keris would cause the wearer to become somewhat of a joke:- the person that everybody smiles at behind his back.

Javanese people conform. They conform to the dictates of the group. It is very, very uncool to be seen as somebody who does things in a different way to other people. Such an individual demonstrates that he really does not fit very well, and tends to be sidelined --- something that is almost like the Kiss of Death to a good Javanese person.

mangan nggak mangan asal kumpul --- doesn't matter whether we eat or not, as long as we're together ( broad translation)

This tells us a lot about Javanese people:- they do not want to be alone; more than this:- they fear being outside the group.

Javanese people work very hard at staying within the parameters of acceptable society.

If what I have said above is so, and virtually every text ever written on Javanese society will bear witness that what I have written is so, tell me what sort of Javanese person will take the icon that tells the world who and what he is, and do something to it that marks him as being outside the acceptable parameters of the dress code.

What we are looking at in this keris is something that is socially unacceptable in Central Javanese society.
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Old 9th December 2009, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
What we are looking at in this keris is something that is socially unacceptable in Central Javanese society.

Agreed. I don't think that this particular form of keris hilt provides much if any leeway for "creative" attachments or variation.
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Old 9th December 2009, 02:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Cabochons are generally stone, not wood. While i agree that it is not unheard of to see stones, metal and wood embedded into blades and dress for talismanic reason i think what we really need to look at is the method used here. This wooden "cabochon" has been rather crudely glued to the side of this hilt, not embedded. I would think that more care and craft would be applied if there was some serious purpose to this addition.


I know what Shahrial is referring to - I have seen rings mounted with cabochon-shaped wood here in Singapore. There are also rings mounted with a flat square piece of wood. These wood which are mounted on rings are believed to have mystical power. Perhaps we can relate that to the Spirit of Wood belief in the Malay world.
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Old 9th December 2009, 03:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluErf
I know what Shahrial is referring to - I have seen rings mounted with cabochon-shaped wood here in Singapore. There are also rings mounted with a flat square piece of wood. These wood which are mounted on rings are believed to have mystical power. Perhaps we can relate that to the Spirit of Wood belief in the Malay world.

Kai Wee, i don't think there is any question that mystical powers are attributed to various woods throughout that area (and indeed in other parts of the world). Ity is part of the reason particular woods are chosen to carve hilts and sheaths to begin with. But the question here is would someone in Jawa crudely adhere a piece of such wood to a hilt in a way that would stand out as and set him apart from the culture norm of the community in which he lives, a culture that is known for very strict parameters of design for such things?
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:46 AM   #16
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That has been explained by Alan as rather unlikely, but what Shahrial and I have mentioned is just to share what may be an acceptable practice in the Malay world. Not to say that in our part of the World, we simply glue the special piece of wood to something, but it is the significance of the wood, rather than the way it is mounted, or on what it is mounted, that counts, I guess.
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Old 10th December 2009, 01:10 AM   #17
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Suggesting perhaps that this Yogya hilted keris once belonged to a Malay and was adapted to his culture ?
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Old 10th December 2009, 01:14 AM   #18
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More likely the keris 'designers' took a leaf out of the Malay World practices in their continuous 'search' for new and exotic designs!
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Old 10th December 2009, 01:19 AM   #19
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Old 10th December 2009, 02:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluErf
More likely the keris 'designers' took a leaf out of the Malay World practices in their continuous 'search' for new and exotic designs!
Haha.. perhaps..
Regarding the Javanese culture, I agree with what Alan said. There are many collectors outside Java, collecting Javanese pieces.. whom perhaps does not conform to the strict Javanese culture and traditions.. I'm not saying that this practice is ok, but perhaps outside Java, anything goes.. even in other parts of Indonesia, like Sumatra and other remote location..
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