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Old 21st September 2020, 12:02 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default A Balinese Keris for Analysis

Here is another one for you guys to analyze. Normally, when I see a scabbard of this type I instantly think "tourist" piece, but this one as a serious heft to it, and the hilt reminded me of Balinese "cundrik" hilts. There patinated wear to the hilt and scabbard.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, so, your thoughts?
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Old 21st September 2020, 12:10 PM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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Blade:- Bali

Scabbard:- Bali, 20th century dancer's dress

Selut:- Bali

Hilt:- East Jawa

not bad individual component parts, but wrongly combined.
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Old 21st September 2020, 12:34 PM   #3
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Alan, the hilt is far too large for any Javanese keris.
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Old 21st September 2020, 03:50 PM   #4
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Hi Charles. This is a lovely Balinese keris.
On the sarung, does it appear that it was made for this blade specifically. Certainly it was made for a blade with gonjo wilut so it seems possible. I have not seen many dance keris sheath made for gonjo wilut, but if this sheath was made specifically for this keris than i can't see calling it a mismatch.
As for the hilt, i have a Bali keris that was once in the Frey collection that has a somewhat similar hilt. It too has led to some head scratching, but since this keris has been known to exist in this form since at least the early 1970s it is not some mismatched dealer special. It is, like yours, certainly an unusual hilt for a Bali keris though. So i am not going to dismiss you example as a mismatch too quickly, especially if, as you say, this hilt is too large for the usual Javanese/Madurese blade.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Alan, the hilt is far too large for any Javanese keris.


Hello Charles,
The hilt looks large because of the wrong balinese selut fitted to it but this type is originating from East Java/ Madura indeed.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:19 PM   #6
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Thanks David. The blade and sheath are a perfect fit, with the mouth of the sheath following the curvature of the ganja. The hilt is maybe like an E. Java keris hilt on steroids, but particularly its girth would not match a Javanese hilt, much like the example you have shown. It would simply overwhelm and take the balance out of the aesthetics of a Javanese ensemble.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:21 PM   #7
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I think my pics just do not properly convey the size of the hilt. Its selut is a perfect fit.

These pics may help show the comparative size of the hilt, but I am not even sure these pics do the dimensions justice.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:22 PM   #8
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I would said this keris is awesome except the warangka (personal opinion). I would love to own this keris with a beautiful polished bilah.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:24 PM   #9
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Hello Charles,
Attached is a Madurese kris estimated from the early 20th century with a somewhat similar type of thick hilt.
Regards
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:38 PM   #10
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Thanks Jean. Yes a similar( and lovely) hilt, but the size is much smaller than on that Balinese keris. It's easy to tell by the way it sits on the mendek.
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Old 21st September 2020, 04:57 PM   #11
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Hi Charles,
Pics of a Madurese hilt more similar to yours, its height is 10 cm. The balinese selut is definitely misplaced IMO. From my experience these pieces are relatively recent (mid 20th century).
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Old 21st September 2020, 09:17 PM   #12
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Charles, I suggest that you remove the hilt from the keris.

I believe that you will find that this hilt is sitting on top of the selut, not fitted to the selut.

Any selut is effectively a ferrule, it is supposed to fit around the base of the hilt, and was originally used to prevent the hilt splitting. On the keris under discussion I believe you will find that the hilt simply sits on top of the selut.

The hilt itself is an East Javanese style, it can also be found in Madura, and Madura itself is a part of East Jawa, and it can be found along the North Coast of Jawa, but only a small distance to the west of Surabaya, whereas it can be found anywhere east of Surabaya. There can be no question at all that this is an East Javanese hilt.

We can forget about the size of the hilt being any sort of indicator, size is totally irrelevant in this context.

There is at least one hypothetical, but I will not address that until after the hilt has been removed from the keris.
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Old 21st September 2020, 11:36 PM   #13
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The hilt is, indeed, sitting centered on the selut. So, you guys’ observations of it not being properly set seem to be correct. If I wanted to get a new hilt for the good blade, what kind of hilt should I get that would most correctly go with the scabbard???
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Old 22nd September 2020, 01:43 AM   #14
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Charles, this is a jamprahan sarung, in olden times, say, pre-puputan, this style of sarung was normally worn by very religious people, not necessarily priests or preachers, but usually lay people who took their religious duties very seriously.

It was usually paired with a kusia hilt. The kusia hilt style is rather rare, and these days the kusia and the kocet-kocetan style are more or less considered to be the same, which they are not quite, but the difference is very slight, off the top of my head I forget exactly what the difference between the two is, something to do with the face I think, but I'd need to look it up.

I'd say either a kusia or kocet-kocetan hilt would be the hilt of choice for this sarung.

However, since this sarung is a rather recent creation I am relatively certain that it was not intended for the original purpose of this style, so an ordinary bobondolan style that was inlet to accept the selut would also be just fine.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 08:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Charles, this is a jamprahan sarung, in olden times, say, pre-puputan, this style of sarung was normally worn by very religious people, not necessarily priests or preachers, but usually lay people who took their religious duties very seriously.

It was usually paired with a kusia hilt. The kusia hilt style is rather rare, and these days the kusia and the kocet-kocetan style are more or less considered to be the same, which they are not quite, but the difference is very slight, off the top of my head I forget exactly what the difference between the two is, something to do with the face I think, but I'd need to look it up.

I'd say either a kusia or kocet-kocetan hilt would be the hilt of choice for this sarung.

However, since this sarung is a rather recent creation I am relatively certain that it was not intended for the original purpose of this style, so an ordinary bobondolan style that was inlet to accept the selut would also be just fine.


According to the Neka book the kocet-kocetan and kusia hilts depict two different types of bugs but the most commonly accepted difference is that the name kocet-kocetan is more common in Bali, and kusia is more used in Lombok. I attach the pic of a typical hilt in this style.
Howevever I agree with Alan that since the sarung is a recent piece, any type of hilt would match, the tourist balinese krisses are usually fitted with a Nawasari style hilt, so any togogan hilt would be a good match also.
Regards
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Last edited by Jean : 22nd September 2020 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:10 AM   #16
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Which Neka book is that Jean?

At your prompt --- ie, your mention of "the Neka book" (saved me searching) --- I opened up "Keris Bali Bersejarah", page 126, and I cannot find any mention of varying terminology in Bali & Lombok. That is not to say there is not, of course. There could be varying terminology if we walk from one side of the road to the other.

The KBB explanation of difference between Kusia & Kocet-kocetan is that Kusia does not have tusks & its face looks like the head of a butterfly, whilst the Kocet-kocetan has a face that looks like an insect with tusks or a horse with tusks.

Neka produced a few books, so maybe his explanations change depending on what he had for breakfast.

Actually, these forms do not represent bugs, or completely developed insects, they represent pupa or chrysalis, the stage before a bug becomes a bug, as such they represent change, what that change is can be interpreted in a number of ways.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:31 AM   #17
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Default About that face...

"Kusia" is a term I've not encountered before.
I have, however, seen photos of hilts described as "kocetan"; most have "horse heads", but a very few have "insect-like" heads. And I've read that kocetan hilts were (in pre-puputan times, if not nowadays) supposed to be owned by Brahmins more-or-less exclusively. This may or may not be true, precise, or accurate. I myself am very ignorant about religion and keris culture on Bali.
They are very striking hilts, however, and not unattractive.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:03 AM   #18
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Thanks for the input here gentlemen. I look forward to making the correction.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:25 AM   #19
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Way it worked is this Mickey:-

the jamprahan sarung was for religious people (agamawan)

the jamprahan was paired with the gagang kusia

the Brahmin caste is the caste that is concerned with religion

if we are looking for God-botherers we look amongst the Brahmins, because this is where we will find the agamawan.

The "insect with tusks" is Neka's description, not mine.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:00 PM   #20
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Jasper J.E., who started to gather his information at the very beginning of 1900'ties and published his book with Mas Pirngadie in 1930, states, that Kocet-Kocetan hilt was called Kusia in Klungkung.

He writes also, this hilt from could be made from black wood with golden ornaments or entirely in gold, made with the same process like Togog hilts.

Interestingly, the drawing of Nieuwenkamp from 1907 shows both forms, which are different indeed. In an older thread Fearn identified these forms as the pupa and adult beetle, two different stages of the same insect.

Accuracy of a drawing and of information generally can be always questioned.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Which Neka book is that Jean?

At your prompt --- ie, your mention of "the Neka book" (saved me searching) --- I opened up "Keris Bali Bersejarah", page 126, and I cannot find any mention of varying terminology in Bali & Lombok. That is not to say there is not, of course. There could be varying terminology if we walk from one side of the road to the other.


Hello Alan,
In the Lombok reference book from Djelenga (published in 2000), he calls these hilts kusia also called kocet kocetan on page 293, but on page 317 he calls them kusia only.
And in his former (smaller) book published in 1993, he calls them kusia only (page 90). So it seems that the term kusia is more common in Lombok.
And despite what Neka says on page 126, all the hilts which he shows in his book are called kocet-kocetan and not kusia...
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Interestingly, the drawing of Nieuwenkamp from 1907 shows both forms, which are different indeed. In an older thread Fearn identified these forms as the pupa and adult beetle, two different stages of the same insect.


Pics of 2 different forms of hilt kocet-kocetan, and there are even more....
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Old 22nd September 2020, 01:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Pics of 2 different forms of hilt kocet-kocetan, and there are even more....


Now - of course, there are a plenty of them.

What interests me is Bali before 1908.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 03:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Now - of course, there are a plenty of them.

What interests me is Bali before 1908.


Hi, why so before 1908?
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Old 22nd September 2020, 07:33 PM   #25
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1908 happened the Puputan in Klungkung, the last independent Balinese kingdom. After that many things changed, and some of these things subsequently had influence on Keris dress.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 09:26 PM   #26
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Yep, Bali post 1908 was a different place to Bali pre-1908.

That is a certain.

And again pre-1950 and post 1952, and then post 1984. But the changes in this later scenario were more window dressing to satisfy the Ministry of Religion.

Yes Jean, Djelengga considered Kusia & Kocet-kocetan to be the same, just different names for the same hilt, as did I myself before KBB.

Something I have noticed in recent years, say, the last 25 years or so, is that a lot of "knowledge" is making an appearance that back in the 1970's & 1980's not even the most highly regarded of keris experts were aware of. Amazing how we discover things as time goes by. Things that have been forgotten, or maybe never even existed in times past.

Actually the two names for these hilts do exist in Balinese --- I just looked them up, I am not fluent in Balinese. Kocetkocetan is a species of beetle; kusiya is to be pale with exhaustion.

Probably the way I look after listening to or becoming involved in lengthy discussions about names of objects in Indonesian languages & places.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
1908 happened the Puputan in Klungkung, the last independent Balinese kingdom. After that many things changed, and some of these things subsequently had influence on Keris dress.



Noted with thanks.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 06:28 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

as did I myself before KBB.

Kocetkocetan is a species of beetle; kusiya is to be pale with exhaustion.



Hello Alan,
What is KBB please?
I would suspect that kusia has a different meaning in Lombok Sasak language?
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Old 23rd September 2020, 09:03 PM   #29
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KBB > "Keris Bali Bersejarah"

"EK" is now common for "Ensiklopedi Keris", so I innovated.

Yes, "Kusia" could easily be a Sasak word, or Balinese dialect, or Basa Dalang, or anything else. However, when we think of Lombok, we need to think of Balinese Lombok and Sasak Lombok. Balinese Lombok was essentially an extension of Bali and used Balinese, the Sasak people are mostly Muslim, I feel it is unlikely that Muslim Sasaks would invent a name for a keris hilt worn by Balinese Brahmins.
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Old 24th September 2020, 07:16 AM   #30
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Thank you Alan. BTW the EK describes the kocet-kocetan hilt as balinese and the kusia hilt from Lombok but it is subject to caution of course....
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