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Old 29th March 2020, 02:58 PM   #1
Sajen
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Default Sunda sword or golok?

Recently crossed this sword my way, Van Zonnefeld described it as West Java sword, two similar swords were shown before here, one from Willem here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=sunda
and one from Maurice here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=5211 but please note that both swords have the typically blade shape a golok shows normally while the here shown example has a different blade shape.
So is it like Amuk Murugul stated in the first given thread a "high-end long golok" what also Tunggulametung stated in the other thread or a Sunda sword?

OAL inside scabbard: 66 cm
OAL without scabbard: 63,7 cm
Blade: 49,5 cm
Handle: green horn, 14,2 cm
Blade thickness near handle: 8 mm
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Last edited by Sajen : 29th March 2020 at 03:18 PM. Reason: add pictures
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Old 29th March 2020, 03:20 PM   #2
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some more
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Old 29th March 2020, 08:48 PM   #3
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Over the years I've seen a lot of this type of thing in Central Jawa, and there I have never yet heard one called a golok,but always a pedang.
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Old 29th March 2020, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Over the years I've seen a lot of this type of thing in Central Jawa, and there I have never yet heard one called a golok,but always a pedang.


Thank you Alan, do you go by the blade profile? Or you judge it by the outer appearance? I bet by the first!

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Detlef
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Old 29th March 2020, 09:22 PM   #5
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So it would be a pedang abet when I understand the given threads correct.
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Old 29th March 2020, 10:28 PM   #6
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Actually, in correct ngoko Javanese a "golok" is a dagger, but in both Malay and Bahasa Indonesia, a golok is a short chopper or cleaver.

Pedangs are swords.

You do not ever use a cleaver or chopper as a sword.

Think about the pedang luwuk:- it is short, the front of the blade is wider than the ricasso section, the blade point declines to the edge. It could easily be called a golok, and it serves the work purpose of a golok, so if if I was using a pedang luwuk to chop light brush, I'd call it a golok, but if I was using it to defend myself I'd call it a pedang, and then later when I was telling my mates about how I sent the mongrels running with blood all over them, I'd call it a pedang luwuk.

So when I hear people in Solo referring to little short chopping blades as "goloks" they are actually using the Solo form of Indonesian, which mixes ngoko and Bahasa Indonesia.

Its the same old story:- we cannot understand the correct name for anything --- not just sharp pointy things --- unless we understand the language and how it is used in varying situations or to different people.

So what do we call this item under discussion?

Well, anywhere in Central Jawa I'd simply call it a pedang, but if it was definitely made and used somewhere else, maybe I'd need to learn another name for it, and that name might not be pedang, or golok, or anything else that is in the lexicon of collectors.
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Old 29th March 2020, 10:43 PM   #7
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Hello Alan,

Yes, understand! But we speak here about a Sunda blade and Amuk describe the "sword" from Willem, which is only a little bit shorter, as Golok Pandjang Djoeragan (high-end long golok) but both swords, the ones from Willem and Maurice show a different blade shape, so my question. I personally would describe my example as pedang.

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Detlef
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:15 AM   #8
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Yeah, so would I Detlef, but in reality the name used in place of origin and place of use might be something different.

This is the constantly recurring problem of the Name Game:- we do not know sufficient to be positive about a lot of things.
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Yeah, so would I Detlef, but in reality the name used in place of origin and place of use might be something different.

This is the constantly recurring problem of the Name Game:- we do not know sufficient to be positive about a lot of things.


Agree complete with you Alan. Would be interesting to read Amuks comment!

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Detlef
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Hello Alan,

Quote:
Over the years I've seen a lot of this type of thing in Central Jawa, and there I have never yet heard one called a golok,but always a pedang.

Like Detlef in post #4, I'd be interested if you refer to the blade only? Similar blades would not be very surprising, indeed.

If you have seen any examples of similar fittings being "native" to Jawa Tengah, I'd appreciate very much if you were able to show any examples!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 30th March 2020, 11:02 AM   #11
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Kai, I'm looking at the entire object, not just the blade, not just the hilt, not just the scabbard:- everything.

However, just for fun I'll imagine I'm in Pasar Triwindu, or down in the Alun-alun Lor, and I stumble across the blade, the scabbard and the hilt separately. There is not the slightest doubt I will refer to the blade as pedang, the hilt as pegangan pedang, and the scabbard as wrongko pedang or maybe sarung pedang.

This to me is a pedang, nothing else, and my opinion in this matter has been formed by the people I have associated with in Jawa Tengah for nearly 50 years.

Is this particular form of pedang "native" to Jawa Tengah?

I don't know, but I do know that I have seen blades similar to this one that were supposedly made in Jawa Tengah, I have scabbards similar to this scabbard that have been made during the last 50 years in Jawa Tengah, and during this same 50 year period I have seen hilts of the same type as this hilt made in Jawa Tengah.

Since 1978 I have sold a number of pedangs that had similar blades to the pedang under discussion, in the markets of Central Jawa these things used to be very common, just a plain, straight, robust blade, often with relatively recent dress, occasionally with original dress. They were all considered to be Central Javanese pedangs.

As for showing examples of anything, I think you might have realised by now Kai that I seldom show examples of anything, and most particularly I do not waste my time on producing photos of things in which I am not really interested. Single examples with no reliable provenance actually prove very little in my opinion.

Look, I put up a brief comment that related to my own experience, accept it, reject it, I don't care either way.
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Old 30th March 2020, 11:28 AM   #12
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Call it what you will Sajen, but a very attractive example. I particularly like the intricacies of the scabbard's mouth.
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Old 30th March 2020, 06:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Call it what you will Sajen, but a very attractive example. I particularly like the intricacies of the scabbard's mouth.


Thank you Charles,
The scabbard mouth piece is indeed a small masterpiece, I guess it was worked separately from an upper and lower silver piece with two slabs from different coloured horn and pressed on the end of the wooden scabbard a a whole.

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Detlef
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Old 30th March 2020, 09:24 PM   #14
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Hello Alan,

Thanks for your response!


Quote:
Kai, I'm looking at the entire object, not just the blade, not just the hilt, not just the scabbard:- everything.

However, just for fun I'll imagine I'm in Pasar Triwindu, or down in the Alun-alun Lor, and I stumble across the blade, the scabbard and the hilt separately. There is not the slightest doubt I will refer to the blade as pedang, the hilt as pegangan pedang, and the scabbard as wrongko pedang or maybe sarung pedang.

This to me is a pedang, nothing else, and my opinion in this matter has been formed by the people I have associated with in Jawa Tengah for nearly 50 years.

My apologies, my query was not precise enough: I did not want to enter the name game here.


Quote:
Is this particular form of pedang "native" to Jawa Tengah?

I don't know, but I do know that I have seen blades similar to this one that were supposedly made in Jawa Tengah, I have scabbards similar to this scabbard that have been made during the last 50 years in Jawa Tengah, and during this same 50 year period I have seen hilts of the same type as this hilt made in Jawa Tengah.

Since 1978 I have sold a number of pedangs that had similar blades to the pedang under discussion, in the markets of Central Jawa these things used to be very common, just a plain, straight, robust blade, often with relatively recent dress, occasionally with original dress. They were all considered to be Central Javanese pedangs.

As for showing examples of anything, I think you might have realised by now Kai that I seldom show examples of anything, and most particularly I do not waste my time on producing photos of things in which I am not really interested. Single examples with no reliable provenance actually prove very little in my opinion.

I was hoping your time on site might have resulted in any examples with reasonably reliable provenance. If not, the point is moot, indeed.

Thanks for the info on the parts; I suspect that the scabbard might be the most likely part to exhibit any local differences (in details possibly).

Regards,
Kai
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Old 31st March 2020, 01:17 AM   #15
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OK Kai, understood, my error, I thought we were headed towards one those interminable name discussions.

As for provenance, in respect of things things like pedangs and other little odds & sods of tosan aji, it pretty much does not exist unless you can buy personally from a friend or neighbour, and then at most it only goes back to a grand parent.

Yes, the dress of a blade can certainly provide some pointers, but that can only apply to the last place it was used, and even so, not necessarily in all cases.

A blade could have been made anywhere, and a plain straight blade could come from anywhere. To fix point of origin for a pedang blade is really very difficult, pedangs do not have the indicators that we can more or less rely on and that we find in keris & tombak.
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