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Old 6th April 2018, 03:22 PM   #1
Gustav
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Default Small Bugis Sepokal

Dear All,

an interesting small (blade length 24,5 cm) Bugis Sepokal with unusually elaborate Pamor - two twisted bars, separated by a central Adeg line on both sides, and Batu Lapak on one side. Adeg inlay also on the spine of Gonjo. Alan had a Sepokal with similar Pamor in his last catalogue.

The frequency of twists is quite big, yet there are no forging flaws, all's thigth.

The crosspiece of sheath is made from a very well chosen piece of wood, the sunburst pattern is placed quite perfectly. The carvings on hilt almost seem to reproduce in 3D the chatoyance patterns of it.

The hilt is of shape commonly attributed to Selayar, though I would want to see a prove other then van Z's book for such attribution.
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Old 6th April 2018, 09:15 PM   #2
kai
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Hello Gustav,

This is a really sweet piece - I like it!


Quote:
The frequency of twists is quite big, yet there are no forging flaws, all's thigth.

I assume you mean that the number of twists is relatively low? This is indeed an unusual feature I can't remember having seen with keris Jawa.

One might wish the pamor control being a tad better; however this is good work, especially for Bugis standards.


Quote:
The crosspiece of sheath is made from a very well chosen piece of wood, the sunburst pattern is placed quite perfectly.

Yeah, very nice wood!


Quote:
The carvings on hilt almost seem to reproduce in 3D the chatoyance patterns of it.
The hilt is of shape commonly attributed to Selayar, though I would want to see a prove other then van Z's book for such attribution.

The details and wood grains are tough to see. Could you post some hilt pics taken in full sun, please?

I'm not convinced that this hilt belongs to the type usually associated with Selayar (the latter is also known from Sumatra and Tammens reports it from Kalimantan Barat); I see some semblance but the head doesn't exhibit the typical twist; also the carving pattern seems very distinct from the typical examples, doesn't it?

[BTW, I can't remember Albert vZ writing anything about these hilts?]

Regards,
Kai
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Old 6th April 2018, 09:52 PM   #3
Gustav
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Hello Kai,

thank you!

Yes, indeed, no twist. The feature common to Salayer hilts is the rather pronounced neck, the "bridge" under it is missing (if it ever was there, patina is absolutely even).
I don't have Tammens, but also have seen hilts with a similar feature from Sumatra.

I have never before seen a carving similar to that on my hilt, and suppose, it perhaps was an "individual model" by a person who perhaps wasn't a professional woodcarver.

What I wanted to say is, when you look at it on your hand, the carvings on hilt are echoing (and continuing) the wood chatoyance effect on Sampir. I know it sounds weird.

Well, he didn't write about them, he just shows one on page 74.
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Old 6th April 2018, 11:46 PM   #4
Battara
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Love this pamor! Thanks for posting!
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Old 7th April 2018, 12:01 AM   #5
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The blade has a real purity of form.
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Old 7th April 2018, 09:48 AM   #6
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Thank you, Jose!

Rick, I feel the same. The blade, by all it's simplicity, is well shaped and evokes a harmonius and somehow "completed" feeling. I often regret the new makers tend to exuberant pieces - we never or very seldom see new pieces with this kind of self-evident character.
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Old 7th April 2018, 04:57 PM   #7
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Would this serve as a keris selit then. It seems to me that keris patrem are not present in Bugis culture, but perhaps i am mistaken. Though i understand that keris selit are more a Peninsula thing. Anyone know the function of this keris in its culture of origin?
Nice blade btw. I quite like this little keris.
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Old 7th April 2018, 07:45 PM   #8
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Thank you, David.

The "dress Keris" theory is perhaps the most safe guess. There are many of such small Kerisses from Sulawesi around, but complex Pamor is seldom seen. I think, for a pure dress Keris (Selit) the blade ceases to be the most important part; so, if we see well crafted examples with more elaborate Pamor there perhaps is a possibility of an intended heirloom blade (as is mostly the case with Badik).

For example, in some editions of "Court Arts of Indonesia" a state Keris of Gowa is depicted - I attach a picture of it. The length of the blade is not given, yet it should be about 25-27 cm (the overall length in sheath about 40 cm).

Just to prove that there is a possibility of a small Bugis blade in a normal size sheath, there is another Keris, possibly also from Gowa (the attributions of Tropenmuseum are sometimes quite... adventurous), 27 cm, the overall length is given as 40 cm (Inv. Nr. RV-1526-39).
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Old 8th April 2018, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Love this pamor! Thanks for posting!


Many of you seem to be highly impressed by the pamor pattern of this blade but frankly I am not. From the pictures it seems to me that the central "adeg" pamor line was added to fill the gap between the 2 welded sides (welding flaw or erosion?), but of course I accept that I could be wrong.
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Old 8th April 2018, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Many of you seem to be highly impressed by the pamor pattern of this blade but frankly I am not. From the pictures it seems to me that the central "adeg" pamor line was added to fill the gap between the 2 welded sides (welding flaw or erosion?), but of course I accept that I could be wrong.
Regards


Yes, and by the same occasion the guy who did it added also a stripe of it on spine of Gonjo. He had lots of time that day.

Sorry, but the welding flaw is in your eye, to paraphrase the saying.

Regards
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Old 8th April 2018, 10:09 AM   #11
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Gustav,
Thank you for the detailed pic.
Regarding the hilt, this style is apparently called takala in South Sulawesi but yours has unusual carvings and I also doubt about the specific origin of Selayar island.
Regards

Last edited by Jean : 8th April 2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 8th April 2018, 02:50 PM   #12
kai
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Hello Gustav,

Quote:
The feature common to Salayer hilts is the rather pronounced neck, the "bridge" under it is missing (if it ever was there, patina is absolutely even).

I'm with Jean that this hilt with its planar head seems to be a pangulu ma'bainang (aka takala) variant rather than a Salayer pangulu ca'gillung.

BTW, the bridge is a dam here - just not pierced. IMHO this isn't a defining feature for any hilt type: More of an optional add-on, especially for above-average carving quality.


Quote:
I have never before seen a carving similar to that on my hilt, and suppose, it perhaps was an "individual model" by a person who perhaps wasn't a professional woodcarver.

It may be fairly unique and village style; does look reasonably well-carved to me though! Any idea what kind of wood was utilized?


Quote:
What I wanted to say is, when you look at it on your hand, the carvings on hilt are echoing (and continuing) the wood chatoyance effect on Sampir. I know it sounds weird.

No, already understood - looks nice, indeed.


Quote:
Well, he didn't write about them, he just shows one on page 74.

Yes, the pangulu ca'gillung also comes with badik (often this hilt variant with additional protrusion as shown in Fig. 286). The Bugis community seems to agree that pangulu ca'gillung is typical for Salayer. However, trade/etc. will also have brought it elsewhere.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 9th April 2018, 06:20 AM   #13
Gustav
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Thank you Jean and Kai.

So it could be from everywhere in South Sulawesi.

Not enough space for piercing anymore, no idea about species. Definitely not from root.
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