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Old 11th May 2009, 07:23 PM   #31
erikscollectables
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Default some Jawa Deman

Here some from my collection.
Sorry for the poor quality of the pics.
This was all I could do at the moment...

Regards, Erik
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Old 11th May 2009, 10:53 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonng
That the gesture is a bow is I think probable (and could have evolved later?). That the "arm goes across the belly and the figure is bent over as if sick to the stomach" is to me a bit difficult to accept because I cannot see any in my collection or those that have been put up here having the arm going across the stomach. All of them seems to have the right arm going across the chest (or do I see them wrong?!).
Have the carvers made some mistakes in their carving or interpretation some time in the past? If not, regarding posture I often see these two:
1. squatting or sitting on something (very low) with both knees up, right elbow slightly over or resting on the right knee.
2. semi-kneeling/ half squat position, right knee up with the right elbow resting on it and left knee on the ground.
The right arm looks to be above the stomach in all these forms. Of course I could have seen them all wrong so I'm really grateful this thread came up.

Jonathan, i am not asking you to accept that the arm goes across the stomach or the chest as i am not making a case for either. It doesn't seem to me that you can really be sure way or another considering the abstractness of the hilt form. My point is that at some time, someone apparently saw the arm as being across the stomach in a stooped over posture, ergo the name Jawa Demam, the "sick Javanese". At least this is what i have been told. This does not in any way prove what the original intent of the body posture may have been. If it is possible we might want to try to nail down when this name for this hilt form first came into fashion and explore what other names, if any, may have been used for it.
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Old 11th May 2009, 11:12 PM   #33
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G.B. Gardner, Keris and Other Malay Weapons, 1936.

The Jawa Demam.

The legend is as follows:-

A certain raja called his pandai besi and ordered him to make a keris hilt that was unlike any other, or lose his life. The keris maker could not think what to do , but as night came on, it grew cold and the raja who had a fever (demam) pulled his sarung up, and hugged himself to keep warm. Then the keris maker carved a hilt in his likeness. This, at any rate is the story; but I think the use of a figure is to give luck to the keris.
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Old 11th May 2009, 11:16 PM   #34
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Alan, is this name found in any writings that you know of previous to Gardner?
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:03 AM   #35
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Off the top of my head, no, David.

Stone calls these figural demon-like hilts "raksha". I can't remember reading these terms in any other early writings. Might be a good idea to have a look at Raffles. The Ying Yai Sheng Lan --- 15th century--- refers to "--- human or devils faces---", so the Chinese percieved them as such also.

You could also call some of these "raksasa" style hilts "buta".

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Old 12th May 2009, 12:29 AM   #36
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Checked Raffles:- no reference there that I can find.
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:07 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Stone calls these figural demon-like hilts "raksha". I can't remember reading these terms in any other early writings. Might be a good idea to have a look at Raffles. The Ying Yai Sheng Lan --- 15th century--- refers to "--- human or devils faces---", so the Chinese percieved them as such also.
You could also call some of these "raksasa" style hilts "buta".

This is just my personal observation, but i really think we are looking at 2 completely different hilt form developments here. I can't help but think that the figures crouching with their hands on their knees are a distinctly different intention than the ones most often referred to as Jawa Demam, with the one crossed arm. To me these are 2 completely different postures that seem to convey different cultural attitudes. Though i can't claim to know what exactly, each of these postures seems to be telling me a different story. It is the squatting, hands on knees variety that i am more likely to associate with raksasa.
I do find Kai Wee's example in post #26 puzzling though as it does appear to be a hybrid of both these forms, but i have not seen too many that do that.
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:44 AM   #38
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I'm sorry David, but I cannot pursue this discussion.

I know too little about the subject to make any worthwhile remarks or to formulate any even vaguely supportable theories.

But I will say this:-

I can see more than just two sources for keris hilt origin. There are the giants, the ogres, the spirits, the demons, the deities, the wayang characters, and perhaps even the ancestors. Then there are the purely vegetable forms and purely animal and bird forms. There are also the rarest of the rare:- the naturally occurring forms that are adapted for use as keris hilts. There are many sources for keris hilt motifs.

But how, when, where and why I simply cannot theorise on.
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:39 AM   #39
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Here are a few of my hilts of this type, mixed in with others---sorry.
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Old 12th May 2009, 06:02 AM   #40
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I will put up some of my hilts for further discussions later when I have the time to photograpgh them. But I need to point this out. I think the carvers are quite observant and they do not carve without taking the natural body posture into considerations. To me the Minang and Palembang (Sumatra), and Malaysian "Jawa Demam" forms are quite similar. They have the right elbow over the right knee and no matter what the posture is, I think it is extremely awkward to be able to get the right forearm across the stomach!

Yes Sajen I agree the left leg of hilts from the north east coast/ Cirebon? or Raksasa form is more or less straight. These tend to have the right elbow just touching or just above the right knee and the toes pointing downwards which would suggest sitting on the edge of something high to me.

I have seen only a few suggesting the left knee touching the ground and these are I believe Sumatran in origin. Will try to find them.
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Old 12th May 2009, 06:42 AM   #41
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here's some
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Old 12th May 2009, 06:48 AM   #42
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is the motif near the base (where I think the ankles are) the anklets? it's just a simple horizontal line on the Big Minang? "jawa Demam.
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Old 12th May 2009, 06:59 AM   #43
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more
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Old 12th May 2009, 07:09 AM   #44
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more for comparison
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Old 12th May 2009, 11:55 AM   #45
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another simple brass form (the ring is not right...but i like it)
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Old 12th May 2009, 01:48 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I'm sorry David, but I cannot pursue this discussion.

I know too little about the subject to make any worthwhile remarks or to formulate any even vaguely supportable theories.

But I will say this:-

I can see more than just two sources for keris hilt origin. There are the giants, the ogres, the spirits, the demons, the deities, the wayang characters, and perhaps even the ancestors. Then there are the purely vegetable forms and purely animal and bird forms. There are also the rarest of the rare:- the naturally occurring forms that are adapted for use as keris hilts. There are many sources for keris hilt motifs.

But how, when, where and why I simply cannot theorise on.

I see your points Alan and of course i agree that there are more than 2 sources for hilt origins. I was merely pointing out that it seems to me that in this discussionnwe are trying to find a single origin for at least 2 (probably more) distinctly different forms. In other words, i am not convinced that the hilt form that we have come to know as "Jawa Demam" is an abstracted evolution of the hilt form that we have come to recognize as "raksasa".
And Jonathan, i am not sure you understood me fully. Whether the arm is intended to cross the stomach or the chest was not meant to be an arguing point. You questioned why this hilt was called the Feverish Javanese, calling it a derogatory term. I was merely relaying one explanation for that, that perhaps the posture was misinterpreted at some point and the story spread. I am not convinced that the original intent of the form was to portray a sick person, but this is the name in common usage. However, i am not really hopeful that we will ever be able to uncover the original intent or name if there is one. The questions are good but the answers are impossibly elusive and unfortunately much has been lost to time.
So can anyone accurately determine when the Jawa Demam hilt first appeared? Are there any hilts with established provenance? Does the name Java Demam appear in any documentation before Gardner? Was Gardner mislead or perhaps just confused?
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:34 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I do find Kai Wee's example in post #26 puzzling though as it does appear to be a hybrid of both these forms, but i have not seen too many that do that.


Dave's example is probably even older. It even has a facial features on the face, and it does not look like a rashaksa; more like a old man. Maybe I'll try to ask him to post a pic. But even then, it probably won't help much with the discussion on origins.
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Old 12th May 2009, 03:50 PM   #48
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Interesting topic. Would this qualify as one?
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:53 PM   #49
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Here's another vote for Cirebon being the origin of this figure.
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Last edited by Mick : 12th May 2009 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:50 AM   #50
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Default Jawa Demam

Here is another.
Does this qualify as Jawa Demam or maybe a Raksasa (see the Raksasa/Figur al discussion).

It is much less stylized than the other Jawa Demam's I have.
Much more figural and less "bird" like so to say.
I think it also has the fangs that would make it a raksassa type of hilt.
On the other hand the crossed arm is quite typical I think or not?

Would like to hear your opinions.

Regards, Erik
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Old 13th May 2009, 09:41 AM   #51
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Dear Eric,

The hilt you just posted look like a newly carved one. Is it new?

B/rgds,
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Old 13th May 2009, 11:21 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonng
Dear Eric,

The hilt you just posted look like a newly carved one. Is it new?

B/rgds,
jonathan


As far as I know it is from the 1950s and brought from Sumatra to the Netherlands in that period.

So not new but quite recent.

It is very well carved (in horn) that is why I kept it despite the relative young age it has. It is th eodd one out in my collection but i like it nevertheless

Regards, Erik
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:17 PM   #53
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Default Another cross over?

Here another example of a cross over.
A figural hilt with crossed arms like the the Jawa Demam but also with Fanks like an ogre/demon.

Would this qualify as a Jawa Demam?

It is a nice old ivory example.

Regards, Erik
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Old 13th May 2009, 08:20 PM   #54
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Erik, i can't answer you question, but i did want to say that you seem to have a wonderful collection of figural hilts.
A old hilt like this, with the ogre-like qualities such as fangs and the crossed over arm posture of the Jawa Demam is indeed very interesting. What i am most curious about is if there is a specific meaning to this crossed over arm posture. Does it have a specific cultural significance? Likewise does the hands on knees posture also have cultural significance? Are the meanings here different or doesn't it matter?
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Old 14th May 2009, 06:42 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Erik, i can't answer you question, but i did want to say that you seem to have a wonderful collection of figural hilts.
A old hilt like this, with the ogre-like qualities such as fangs and the crossed over arm posture of the Jawa Demam is indeed very interesting. What i am most curious about is if there is a specific meaning to this crossed over arm posture. Does it have a specific cultural significance? Likewise does the hands on knees posture also have cultural significance? Are the meanings here different or doesn't it matter?


Thanks, in fact the collection is quite small but I do try to improve the quality of the collection continuously and I try to learn from the items I have as much as I can.

I am interested in the same question as you are.
In fact I have four hilts that are almost the same and have lot of characteristics that they all have. This must be the same character (the one I used to call Raksasa in being the flesh eating demon).
It has the hand position you mention.

I will try to make an overview of the characteristics.
If anaybody can positively identify this character that would be very nice!

I'll post it as a seperate thread.

Regards, Erik
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Old 14th May 2009, 07:30 PM   #56
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Default Jenssen Krisdisk

Hi David,

I just did what I should have done immediately.
I reread the krisdisk and it has a lot of the answers.
Regarding my earlier question regarding the cross over type:
if you have the disk chapter 4 on Cirebon read page 10.

Regards, Erik
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Old 16th May 2009, 02:50 AM   #57
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Just to share, Adni has 3 hilts in his inventory, which came in at different times, of the same rashaksa form with arms crossed-over like the jawa demam. The hilts were probably made in the earlier part of the 20th century as well. The keris hilts are probably still evolving as we speak.
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Old 16th May 2009, 07:42 AM   #58
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If I might refer back to something you mentioned Alan

Quote:
I can see more than just two sources for keris hilt origin. There are the giants, the ogres, the spirits, the demons, the deities, the wayang characters, and perhaps even the ancestors. Then there are the purely vegetable forms and purely animal and bird forms. There are also the rarest of the rare:- the naturally occurring forms that are adapted for use as keris hilts. There are many sources for keris hilt motifs.


What do you mean by the naturally occurring hilt forms that are adapted for use as a keris hilt? Do you have any examples that you could show?

If the moderators feel it would be better that this be a separate question please split this topic off

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Old 16th May 2009, 08:04 AM   #59
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Probably the most rare and most prized of all keris hilts is the hilt that is a natural object, say a piece of root-wood, that has a form making it suitable for immediate use as a hilt, and with only the finishing to be carried out.

I have only ever seen two hilts of this type, and I own only one.

I will put up a photo tomorrow if I have the light.
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Old 16th May 2009, 07:05 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Probably the most rare and most prized of all keris hilts is the hilt that is a natural object, say a piece of root-wood, that has a form making it suitable for immediate use as a hilt, and with only the finishing to be carried out.

I have only ever seen two hilts of this type, and I own only one.

I will put up a photo tomorrow if I have the light.


Interesting, look forward to this. To whom would this type have been valuable? People with money, nobility or religious people?

Erik
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