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Old 12th July 2009, 06:55 AM   #1
ganjawulung
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Default TALISMANIC KERIS?

I have washed and brushed this palm-sized keris many times with lime juice and cream detergent soap, but still the tiny blade smelled specific odor -- not like parfume odor, but more like "misik" (javanese traditional non-alcoholic parfume). Very strong odor. I have washed it again and again, and separated it from its sheath. But still, it smelled the same old odor. Talismanic keris?

Please share your talismanic experience here... Your supposed to be talismanic pieces too

GANJAWULUNG
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Old 12th July 2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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And here is the sheath, small old gayaman style -- supposed to be Jawa Timur (East Javanese) simple "iras" (one piece) warangka. With very small mendhak, and very rough-crafted hilt...

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Old 12th July 2009, 07:06 AM   #3
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Close up of the rough motif of naga. I got this tiny 'talismanic' from Cirebon, in the north coast of eastern part of West Java. It was owned by a late "dukun" in a village. They just call this type of "jimat" (talismanic) keris, as "keris nagarunting". I don't even know the meaning of "nagarunting" (not "runcing" or sharp)..

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Old 12th July 2009, 07:11 AM   #4
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Default Size Comparison

Size comparison to a normal "naga" keris and a Madurese patrem in Yogyakartan sheath and javanese "sandang walikat"...

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Old 12th July 2009, 09:05 AM   #5
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Interesting thread and here is my contribution.

This keris is 31 cm in sheath and the blade is 18 cm.
It was collected outside Banjarmasin and supposed to belong to a dukun.
I donīt know where it comes from originally as it seems to be a mix of several different influences?

Michael
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Old 12th July 2009, 09:37 AM   #6
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Default Talismanic Patrem?

Yes, yes, yesss. Thank you Michael Jackson (ouff.. Sorry) Michael, for your beautiful talismanic patrem... I bet you've dreamed 'talismanic dreams' on it too?

I also have, almost the same size with yours. A supposed to be "talismanic patrem" (of sempana?). Very simple garap, with good old iron... The blade is 25 cm long (the first keris in my previous post is 17,5 cm long, the blade only)...

Like the first one, this blade also smelled with specific "misik" odor. Brushed and washed it, but still smelled the same odor...

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Old 12th July 2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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Default Size Comparison

And the size comparison with the normal luk 9 keris...

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Old 12th July 2009, 09:42 AM   #8
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The gandhik part of the second keris...
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Old 12th July 2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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I have two keris which you can call "talismanic patrem".
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10439
Here you can see the first.

sajen

BTW, very nice Banjarmasin keris you have there Michael!

Last edited by Sajen : 12th July 2009 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 12th July 2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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And this is the other one, the blade is 12,5 cm without peksi, the shape similar like the one from Ganjawulung.

sajen
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Old 12th July 2009, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
And this is the other one, the blade is 12,5 cm without peksi, the shape similar like the one from Ganjawulung.

sajen

Thanks a lot, Sajen, 'BROTHERHOOD' then...
Did you notice, that it is more like "the human's head" than naga's head? Please look at this picture...

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Old 12th July 2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Thanks a lot, Sajen, 'BROTHERHOOD' then...
Did you notice, that it is more like "the human's head" than naga's head? Please look at this picture...

GANJAWULUNG


Yes, it needs some phantasy to see a naga head inside, but think that it shall be a naga head. What's surprising that many from this jimat keris have the same naga head and also a very similar pamor. Look for example to the picture I take from this site:http://old.blades.free.fr/home.htm.

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Old 13th July 2009, 03:56 AM   #13
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Default Talismanic Sajen?

Thanks, Sajen. I like this smaller size sajen too. And from the "smelling" of the blade, and from the former owner, I think that this palm-sized sajen (less than 22 cm) was once used to be a kind of amulet too...


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Old 13th July 2009, 06:28 AM   #14
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Very interesting thread!

My smallest keris has a blade length of 17,5 cm (without peksi); 7 luk; very simple putut figure at the gandik; pamor ngulit semongko.

Unfortunately I still cannot provide photos ...

Heinz
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Old 13th July 2009, 07:29 AM   #15
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I realy like these small keris. I hereby send a picture of two small keris of mine.
The "big" one has a blade length of 29 cm, the middle blade is 19 cm long and the smallest one has a blade lenght of 11 cm.
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Old 13th July 2009, 01:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Thanks, Sajen. I like this smaller size sajen too. And from the "smelling" of the blade, and from the former owner, I think that this palm-sized sajen (less than 22 cm) was once used to be a kind of amulet too...


GANJAWULUNG

I'm a little confused her Ganja. What other function would a keris sajen have other than a talismanic one? Isn't it already established that sajen are by their very nature talismanic?
BTW, i love the sheath on this little fellow.
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Old 13th July 2009, 02:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I'm a little confused her Ganja. What other function would a keris sajen have other than a talismanic one? Isn't it already established that sajen are by their very nature talismanic?
BTW, i love the sheath on this little fellow.


The main purpose of a keris sajen is AFAIK as a sacrifice, an offering (like the name says).

Michael
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Old 13th July 2009, 04:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I'm a little confused her Ganja. What other function would a keris sajen have other than a talismanic one? Isn't it already established that sajen are by their very nature talismanic?
BTW, i love the sheath on this little fellow.

Yes, agree. Created as a talismanic. And for sure it was not made as a weapon... The sheath, IMHO not recent Maduran. Or could be Eastern Jawanese?

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Old 13th July 2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
The main purpose of a keris sajen is AFAIK as a sacrifice, an offering (like the name says).

Michael

Michael, is sacrifice not a talismanic purpose. The word is from Middle Greek "telesma", from Greek, consecration, from "telein" to initiate into the mysteries, complete, from "telos" end.
This all seems well in line with "sacrifice", to make sacred.
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Old 13th July 2009, 04:56 PM   #20
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How about this type?
Although the hilt is separate, it is still a talismanic piece, imho.
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Last edited by Alam Shah : 13th July 2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 13th July 2009, 05:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Michael, is sacrifice not a talismanic purpose. The word is from Middle Greek "telesma", from Greek, consecration, from "telein" to initiate into the mysteries, complete, from "telos" end.
This all seems well in line with "sacrifice", to make sacred.


Well yes and no and you forgot to credit the Arabs, tilsam
There is a difference between the etymological origin and the present meaning.
But maybe we should focus on the keris instead?

Michael
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Old 13th July 2009, 06:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
There is a difference between the etymological origin and the present meaning.
But maybe we should focus on the keris instead?

True Michael, so here is Websters present meaning:

1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune
2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects

At least to my way of thinking the purpose of making a sacrifice (perhaps not on the mundane level, but when dealing with spiritual matters) is in fact to bring about a "magical or miraculous effect".
So no Michael, i do not find the etymology of the words meaningless in this case.

Now, if we do return our focus to keris as you suggest, it is obvious that keris sajen have been used in the past as both a personal talisman to be keep and a sacrifical talisman to be, perhaps, thrown into a field in blessing. Just the fact that there are so many well preserved sajen that have been passed down as pusaka shows that many of them are meant to be kept, not "sacrificed" to the fields.
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Old 13th July 2009, 09:11 PM   #23
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We seem to still disagree on how far you can stretch an explanation, like Webster 2, to give it another meaning.
The main purpose of an offering is to bribe, pay tribute or make the "spiritual matters" indebted to you (compare the Roman principle of do ut des).
Itīs the reciever of the offering that maybe will produce magical and miraculous effects, not the object, by itself, that is being offered.

Source: One of the greatest researchers on magic etc., Marcel Mauss, covers sacrifice, reciprocity etc. in his classic book The Gift or even more specifically in Sacrifice : Its Nature and Function (written together with Henri Hubert).

Michael

PS Maussīs student Jeanne Cuisinier specialised in Malay Magic etc. If you read French her books are IMHO even better than those of Skeat and Gimlette and at similar level as Winstedt and Annandale when it comes to this topic.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Itīs the reciever of the offering that maybe will produce magical and miraculous effects, not the object, by itself, that is being offered.

While i would not aggressively argue with this there are many who would no doubt argue that the "magick" or "miracle" is more a product of the mind of the offering giver him/herself. Certainly there is importance and indeed power intrinsic to objects that are spiritually offered, some more than others and i feel it is no stretch at all to attribute a bit of "magick" to these offered objects themselves.
While i do spend some time researching magick from a anthropologic/sociologic viewpoint i have spent much more of my energies over the past 30 years in the actual practice of magick and frankly, for me, in that context, giver, gift and deity are all one.
Unfortunately i do not read French or i would most certainly check out these books.
Still this brings us, as always it must on this forum, back to keris. Again i must point out that the objects that we refer to as keris sajen were obviously not always meant to be an offering or we would not have all these fine examples in our collections. They would all be buried in the fields where they were offered. It seems obvious to me at least that a great number of these keris were intended to be kept for talismanic purposes. Perhaps this means that the name is "wrong". This is the trouble with the name game. It goes 'round and 'round and 'round. But this is the name we seem to identify with this form today. Yesterday perhaps, we called them keris Majapahit. Tomorrow there may indeed be a consensus to call them something else. Still, i see no problem personally in referring to this form as a "talismanic keris" as i did previously in this thread.
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Old 14th July 2009, 01:35 AM   #25
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Hi all,
I have a question..
Which event started first, the keris as a ceremonial/talismanic item (keris sajen) then evolved into a weapon OR evolved as a weapon first, then a variant for talismanic use comes later?

Last edited by Alam Shah : 14th July 2009 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 14th July 2009, 01:42 AM   #26
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Default NIELS MULDER

Dear David and Michael,

Interesting discussion. I can only suggest you to look at this cultural anthropologist who had spent much time in studying 'cultural belief' in Thailand and Indonesia -- especially 'Javanese Belief'. He is dutch born anthropologist Niels Mulder. (His books: "Mysticism & Everyday Life in Contemporary Java: Cultural Persistence and Change" -- Singapore University Press, 1978 and also his interesting work, "Mysticism in Java: Ideology in Indonesia" -- Pepin Press, Amsterdam). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javanese_beliefs

Then you may see the trace of Javanese past -- the trace of "javanese mysticism" in (Indonesia) contemporary life. Mysticism is still seen until today in Indonesian life, although they have adopted Islamism for their formal belief..

A daily ritual in Java until now, as "Slametan" for instance, is still practiced among the javanese moslem until today. Pls see this http://www.songofsnow.com/Mysticism...a-p/mysjava.htm

Niels Mulder had spent a couple of years in studying this Javanese belief

GANJAWULUNG
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Old 14th July 2009, 02:03 AM   #27
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I like words, and I like the way in which words develop, both in form and in meaning.

However, the words from which the English language is constructed can vary in meaning, and in shades of meaning, dependent upon the form of the English language being used.

David has given us an interpretation of the word "talisman" that I am sure his quoted reference will support.

Michael has approached the subject from a slightly different direction, and has provided a slightly different interpretation that I am once again certain his references could support.

Since we are involved in discussion here in an international forum, where for most of those of us who are native English speakers, it is certain that we do not use Standard English as our everyday vehicle of communication, and for those of us who are not native English speakers, the English that we use is in the category of English as a second language, I suggest that perhaps we should use as our reference the one inarguable authority on the words which comprise the English language, and that authority is the Oxford Dictionary.

My personal favourite of the many editions of Oxford is the Oxford on Historical Principles.

If I consult Oxford H.P. in respect of "talisman", I find that development is from late Greek :- telos>telein>telesma >> Arab tilasm ( also tilsam).

telos = result, end; telein = complete, performance; telesma = completion, performance, religious rite, consecrated object.

The first recorded use of the word "talisman" in the English Language appears to have been in 1638.

Used in a formal fashion the word talisman has the meaning:-

" a stone, ring, or other object engraven with figures or characters, to which are attributed the occult powers of the planetary influences and celestial configurations under which it was made; usually worn as an amulet to avert evil from or bring fortune to the wearer; also used medicinally to impart healing virtue; hence, any object held to be endowed with magic virtue; a charm."

When the word "talisman" is used in a figurative way it means:-

"anything that acts as a charm or by which extraordinary results are achieved"; this usage dates from 1784.

From this it can be seen that when we refer to a keris sajen as a talisman, we are referring to the virtue which we believe to be inherrent in the keris. We are not referring to the original purpose for which this keris was concieved.

In fact, even this "original purpose" could be subject to debate, for, even though the accepted name for these small keris with an integrally forged hilt, is "keris sajen", it is open to question whether all keris of this type were originally fabricated for use as a part of an offering.

I have seen it mentioned that in colonial days people in Java carried small keris as amulets, see van Duuren

Additionally a number of this type of keris that I have in my own collection I believe to have been made specifically for talismanic purposes, rather than offering purposes. The reason I believe this is because some of the very old examples have been provided with suspension rings, and some of the more recent --- perhaps 18th-19th century --- ones have been made in a non-typical form and with considerable attention to artistic detail.

Further, although we read in several sources --- which could all originate from the same root --- that these keris are offering keris, and that they are used principally in the ceremony of Bersih Desa, the two references I have that set forth the ritual for Bersih Desa make no mention of a keris of any type having any part in the ceremony. In addition to this printed evidence I have been advised by a person who was responsible for the organisation of ceremonies such as Bersih Desa that no keris is used in Bersih Desa in his village.

Possibly these keris sajen were used in some places as a part of the ceremony, and not used in other places. Or possibly what we have is a misnomer. I have no firm opinion in this matter.

We can play the semantics game till the cows come home, if we wish, and I'm probably as partial as anyone to this game, but when we get right down to tin tacks there can be no argument about the fact that the type of keris that we know as "keris sajen" is considered to be a talismanic keris by the Javanese people. Since this object is a part of Javanese culture, the important thing here is how the members of that culture regard it, not how members of different cultures might like to regard it.

For those who have not yet seen this, here are few keris sajen:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/kerissajen.html
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Old 14th July 2009, 02:17 AM   #28
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That's a good question Alam Shah, and it deserves a far better answer than can be given in the context of a discussion group in an online forum.

My view of this matter, shortened and simplified to a digestable form and length is that there is evidence for the keris as a weapon prior to any evidence existing for the keris as a talisman, or indeed, the keris in its developed esoteric persona.

Logical argument can be constructed to support the keris as weapon prior to the keris as talisman, and this argument can stand independent of any physical evidence.
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Old 14th July 2009, 02:55 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
Dear David and Michael,

Interesting discussion. I can only suggest you to look at this cultural anthropologist who had spent much time in studying 'cultural belief' in Thailand and Indonesia -- especially 'Javanese Belief'. He is dutch born anthropologist Niels Mulder. (His books: "Mysticism & Everyday Life in Contemporary Java: Cultural Persistence and Change" -- Singapore University Press, 1978 and also his interesting work, "Mysticism in Java: Ideology in Indonesia" -- Pepin Press, Amsterdam). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javanese_beliefs

Then you may see the trace of Javanese past -- the trace of "javanese mysticism" in (Indonesia) contemporary life. Mysticism is still seen until today in Indonesian life, although they have adopted Islamism for their formal belief..

A daily ritual in Java until now, as "Slametan" for instance, is still practiced among the javanese moslem until today. Pls see this http://www.songofsnow.com/Mysticism...a-p/mysjava.htm

Niels Mulder had spent a couple of years in studying this Javanese belief

GANJAWULUNG

Thanks Ganja, i have and have read Mulder's Mysticism in Java: Ideology in Indonesia. I found it a very interesting read.
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Old 14th July 2009, 07:40 AM   #30
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Default Here's my 'talismanic keris'

Got this one from an aquaintance in Bali. I would love to hear your opinions.

Blade length 27 cm

total length 38.5 cm
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Last edited by Montino Bourbon : 14th July 2009 at 07:44 AM. Reason: measure
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