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Old 6th March 2011, 09:43 PM   #1
A. G. Maisey
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Default Den Pasar Museum

In December last year I went to Indonesia for a couple of months. I normally go into Indonesia via Bali , stay there a few days, then go up to Solo.

While I was in Bali I took the opportunity to make as complete a photographic record of the Den Pasar Museum as I was able. I did this because last year I had been told that the Indonesian Government has intentions of making a major grant to the Bali Government for the purpose of renovation or rebuilding of the Den Pasar Museum.

The Den Pasar Museum is its own exhibit. I think it was finished in 1939, and it was designed to show the various building styles of the regions of Bali. The museum is set in a series of courtyards that you enter and exit by way of steps through a gateway, so each display pavilion is a separate regional building in its own courtyard.It is worth a visit just to look at the buildings and courtyards.

Anyway, when I heard about this grant I immediately became fearful that this wonderful and unique museum would be replaced by a modern monstrosity of stainless steel and glass. So I decided to get as many pics of it as I could during my next visit.

So what has this got to do with keris?

Use this link, and on page 2 you will find pictures of every weapon that is on display in the Museum.

http://kerisattosanaji.com/Denpasarmuseum.html

Regrettably not a lot of weapons, even less keris, and not particularly wonderful photographs, but better than nothing, especially if there is no immediate prospect of a visit to Bali.
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Old 6th March 2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Thanks Alan. I understand your fear. Hopefully the grant money will be used wisely.
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Old 6th March 2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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Hopefully David, but I have my doubts.

Going back a few years we had a wonderful museum here in Sydney.

It was the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. It was housed in a beautiful old Victorian building, and it had some absolutely wonderful displays.

It was typically 19th century, and visit there took you back into the 19th century. It was exactly what a museum of this type should be.

Our bureaucrats did not see this museum in quite the same way as did the people who regularly used it.

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences was closed and in its place we got the Power House Museum, which is a modern museum that functions as a dumbed down child minding facility.Since its opening I have heard a stream of negative comments about it from all classes of people and for a wide range of reasons.

But it does entertain children very well.

I am more than a little afraid that a similar fate to that which befell the old Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences will befall the Den Pasar Museum.

I really do hope I'm wrong.
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Old 7th March 2011, 03:20 AM   #4
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Thank you for sharing the link Alan.

It would be a shame to see this establishment moved to another location, it is a beautiful setting with a lot of history in the immeadiate surroundings and if you have a historically versed companion who can point out various locations and explain what happened and when etc it is all that much more interesting.

Changed happened to the old QLD musuem in Brisbane, I remember as a child the smell of old displays and every time I see the 'Mummy' on TV and the adventurer's estate I remember the old QLD museum. I loved the place!
Whilst modern aspects and interaction for the kids of today is important, I think the old world style leaves more of an imprint in anyone.
Now it is all modern and sitting at South Bank Brisbane and all the really good old stuff is gone to the back rooms and weapons, HA!!! All gone in the last two years too.
Of course the Social History Curator is very helpful with supplying spreadsheets and appointments can be had to view any item you wish but it just isn't the same...another wonderful historical aspect of old world museums gone.....

I too have many images images of the complete collection on display available if further examples are required by anyone.

I have always wanted to know more about the large 'Lurus' labeled Keris but have never asked thus far so I ask Alan, if appropriate in this thread, can you explain it's past? Any information on this piece would be greatly appreciated if shared.
I think there are a good many threads that could be started on many of the aspects seen in the Keris in Den Pasar such as the Keris holders of the 19th centruy that many disgard as a non traditional items.
Another of interest is the Keris that reminds me of the Italian Cinquedea on a Keris scale, lovely form, lovely fullers.


Gav

Last edited by freebooter : 7th March 2011 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 7th March 2011, 03:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Thanks Alan. I understand your fear. Hopefully the grant money will be used wisely.


If anything I hope the money is used to improve security and protect the collection. Despite out of date cameras, anyone can open most of the sliding glass doors and gain access to the items...I know I was not questioned when I slid open a panel to get a good clear flash shot of some pieces....This is where any money would benefit the museum.

Gav
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Old 7th March 2011, 03:56 AM   #6
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How long ago were you able to open the cabinets Gav?

The ones I tried will not open now.

I did something like 1000 images of this museum,I photographed everything inside and outside that I could point a camera at, but all I've provided in my site is a sample. If I get sufficient interest I might put up a few more pics, but essentially this site of mine, and this Forum, are about weaponry, rather than architecture and sarcophagi, so I reckon what's there is sufficient for the moment.

I asked about info on the keris on display two years ago, and I could not find anybody on the staff who knew anything at all.

The "cinquadea" type keris is a pretty scarce type. I have two, but I've only ever seen four altogether.
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Old 7th March 2011, 04:11 AM   #7
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Hi Alan,

I had two cabinets open for quite a while at the end of 2010.
I may not have been seen or it may have been that as I had my partner, children and a Balinese friend with me that no one came rushing in or I just looked plain honest and friendly with only an enquiring mind and a camera working overtime.
A lot were sealed tight with no access though, others I thought it would be too bold to do so further as I did want to see the whole museum without ticking of officials.

It seems we had the same approach with photography too. I climbed one of those steep stair cases and took a few ariel shots...nice and cool in the breeze too.

I agree you covered the limited amount of weapons very well.
One however that sticks in my mind was in the theatre abode, the theatric shield with the long central spike, I kind of wondered if there was historical aspects of real use based around its manufacture?

It is a shame there is nothing noted of the 'Lurus' keris it is a stunner and although I didn't get close enough, it appeared one aspect was hollowed/pierced. great form, great size, great desire to handle one.
The other above had 15luks from memory, something else I have never seen before on a Bali Keris.

You are a lucky man to own 2 'cinquadea' style Keris, they are indeed gorgeous.

Gav

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Old 7th March 2011, 05:08 AM   #8
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This the two keris you mean?

I think the straight one is probably Bali/Lombok. Looks like the gandhik has been pierced, and they do unusual stuff like on Lombok keris fairly often.

The other waved one I don't find unusual. Nice keris, but not unusual.

Yes, the multi-fullered keris are pretty nice, but they didn't come cheap. I got the first one in Australia years ago at a shop in the Rocks, the other one came as part of a deal. I saw one in Celuk a couple years back too, and would have bought it, but the seller was just being ridiculous with his price, so I let him keep it since he apparently liked it so much.
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Old 7th March 2011, 06:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
This the two keris you mean?

I think the straight one is probably Bali/Lombok. Looks like the gandhik has been pierced, and they do unusual stuff like on Lombok keris fairly often.

The other waved one I don't find unusual. Nice keris, but not unusual.


That's them Alan.

Every time I see this Keris Lurus I think of the Ulan Danu for some reason, perhaps the pergoda like gandhik.

The other luk Keris with it, how common is 15 luks on Bali keris, I always thought 11 was the limit in this region??

Thanks

Gav
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Old 7th March 2011, 07:07 AM   #10
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Yeah, I can see that.

15 luk is not unusual for a Bali keris.

Even a lot more luk is not unusual.

It is a little out of the ordinary in Jawa, where more than 13 is an indication that the keris was made for somebody with an unusual character, somebody like, say, an artist, dancer, healer. Not Mister Subiasa.
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Old 7th March 2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
I have always wanted to know more about the large 'Lurus' labeled Keris but have never asked thus far so I ask Alan, if appropriate in this thread, can you explain it's past? Any information on this piece would be greatly appreciated if shared.
I think there are a good many threads that could be started on many of the aspects seen in the Keris in Den Pasar such as the Keris holders of the 19th centruy that many disgard as a non traditional items.
Another of interest is the Keris that reminds me of the Italian Cinquedea on a Keris scale, lovely form, lovely fullers.


Gav


Hi Gav,
If we're talking about the same 'Lurus' ; I think it's a keris pedang .. In one of Alan's photos I think I can see where the upper edge seems to show the transition point from dull to sharp .

Maybe it's an optical delusion .
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Old 7th March 2011, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
If I get sufficient interest I might put up a few more pics, but essentially this site of mine, and this Forum, are about weaponry, rather than architecture and sarcophagi, so I reckon what's there is sufficient for the moment.


Well... Both architecture and sarcophagi are artifacts of the same culture(s) that gave birth and nurtured the keris as we encounter it today so it would not be off the mark to have more insight to them.

Just my opinion of course but it is understandable if the answer is "no" as putting those files up and running takes considerable time which is a scarce commodity.

That said, and to be clear, I vote yes. Please.

Thanks,

J.
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Old 7th March 2011, 08:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Hi Gav,
If we're talking about the same 'Lurus' ; I think it's a keris pedang .. In one of Alan's photos I think I can see where the upper edge seems to show the transition point from dull to sharp .

Maybe it's an optical delusion .


Optical I think Rick. The top edge has a beveled edge all the way to the tip. Here is another close up.

Gav
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Old 7th March 2011, 11:03 PM   #14
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Yeh, you're right Gav .
That is the only picture that makes the blade look a bit humpy .

Rick
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Old 8th March 2011, 03:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
The "cinquadea" type keris is a pretty scarce type. I have two, but I've only ever seen four altogether.

Would i be correct that the "cinquadea" type keris is #12. Instead of describing it that way i would be more inclined to see it as a Balinese take on a keris sepang. I have never seen one like this. Do you know much about these Alan? Does this type of keris serve the same "purpose" as keris sepang? I'd say you are fortunate to have 2 of these in your possession.
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Old 8th March 2011, 07:18 AM   #16
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Yeah, its valid to call it a sepang. I just followed Gav's lead, and as a general rule I don't really care too much about what anybody calls something, as long as we understand one another.

I do not know anything about them except that they are exceptionally rare. My two are quite heavy, substantial pieces, but I do not know where they come from, what period, Balinese name, who used them,nor anything else.

Incidentally, those photos were taken with a Canon 980 IS. This is a little P&S shirt pocket camera. In virtually all the inside shots the light was incredibly poor. I have never been so satisfied with any camera that I've owned, and I've owned a few.
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Old 8th March 2011, 05:24 PM   #17
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HOPEFULLY WHAT IS ALREADY THERE AT THE MUSEUM WILL REMAIN THE SAME AND PERHAPS THEY WILL ADD A INSIDE DISPLAY AREA WITH ARTEFACTS THAT NEED MORE CARE AND PROTECTION.
ONE OF THE THINGS I LIKE ABOUT BALI IS THERE ARE NO DEAD SHRINES THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO PUTS FLOWERS OR OFFERINGS ON THEM ALL, USUALLY EVERY DAY. THOUGH THE BUILDINGS MAY BE A MUSEUM DISPLAY THEY STILL LIVE IN THE TRADITIONAL SENSE AND OFFERNINGS ARE NO DOUBT MADE TO THE SPIRITS OF THE LAND AND TO THE SHRINES. BALI IS A VERY SPIRITUAL PLACE AS WELL AS A VERY EARTHLY ONE.
THANKS FOR THE PICTURES IT BRINGS BACK MEMORIES AND MAKES ME WANT TO RETURN FOR A VISIT.
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Old 8th March 2011, 07:06 PM   #18
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Pak Alan,

Did you see in your visit to the museum a bali wedung? One like i did post here about a year ago? You thought the name could be pentaga, but you were not sure about it. I hope you maybe seen one there, and that you maybe could remeber the information given by the museum.

Regards,

Michel
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Old 8th March 2011, 09:02 PM   #19
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Michel, there is a photo of one of these little axes on page two, and I'm posting it here also.

The display tag reads "tiuk pengentas, for cutting covering corpse"

The name I gave in response to your original query was "pengantas", I was running on memory, and I made an error.

"tiuk" is Balinese for "knife", so this is a pengentas knife. I do not know the meaning of "pengentas", but it has been explained to me that at a funeral procession one of these knives precedes the procession.

This form is only one of the styles that have the same name, I have seen, and owned, other Balinese knives and axes that had the same name.

Michel, I appreciate your courtesy, but there really is no need to use "Pak" when you address me. I'm not Indonesian, and this is an English language forum, so we use the rules of English language etiquette, which do not include addressing somebody as Mr. (pak) + given name.

When I'm in Indonesia it would offend me if somebody younger or of inferior status did not use "Pak" when they addressed me, but on this forum, we are not in Indonesia.
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Old 8th March 2011, 11:23 PM   #20
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If Agreed I can supply images of these knives leading and being used in a funeral ceremony, also many Keris in the procession too.

I took the crowded journey and many images of the ceremony in Ubud during my stay, I was told by locals it was the biggest ceremony in a very long time.

If improper, please let me know and I will refrain.

Gav
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:19 AM   #21
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In my opinion this would not be at all improper.

I do not understand the Balinese language, but I have been present at a couple of cremations, and the comments that have been interpreted for me have not been in the slightest degree respectful of the corpse.

To my understanding there is a clear distinction between the corpse, which is merely a vehicle, and the person who has passed, which is the spirit.

Actually there are quite a lot of photos of Balinese cremation on the net. If you google "balinese cremation" you'll get more images than you know what to do with.

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Old 20th March 2011, 08:45 PM   #22
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Alan,

Thank you for your reaction. I have seen the bigger ones few times here in Holland. They are used for funerals, thats right. But the smaller ones are difrent weapon/usage. Some one in Bali Den Pasar, just told me it's named Tiuk Temutik, does this sound familiair to anny body? In a quick search on the net, i can not find anny info about this. I pm the person in Bali, for extra info about this, when i get more info i wil post this here.

Regards,
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Old 20th March 2011, 10:30 PM   #23
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As I said, I don't speak Balinese, however, tiuk means knife, temutik I don't know, but possibly from "utik" which is twisted coconut husk fibre.

I have had a number of smaller knives over the years that are called tiuk --- or piso --- pemutik, and that are used for all sorts of small detail jobs
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Old 22nd March 2011, 03:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
If Agreed I can supply images of these knives leading and being used in a funeral ceremony, also many Keris in the procession too.

Gav, I would love for you to post pictures of these and their context. I love ceremonial pieces and have a Balinese ceremonial axe, pierced and silvered, and would love to see the context from which it comes.
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Old 26th March 2011, 02:39 PM   #25
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As promised...delays with mum being in hospital and kids being sick, that and the hundreds of photos to choose from, here are 22 images. Not all have the knives in them but it is a rough order of events without getting caught up on too much detail.
Look close at a few images and you'll see others with these in their hands or tucked in belts.

Gav
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Old 26th March 2011, 02:42 PM   #26
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More images of the ceremony.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 06:45 PM   #27
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OMG! Spectacular photos, Gav!!!!
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