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Old 15th August 2012, 05:43 PM   #31
migueldiaz
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this guy i totally missed when i went to the museum this morning. we will see later.
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Old 15th August 2012, 05:46 PM   #32
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another rectangular tang hole, and part of the tang can actually be seen on the specimen.

note: all these pics i'm posting are being cobbled from various sources, but i personally checked out the specimens at the museums, to find out the inferred tang shapes.
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Old 15th August 2012, 05:47 PM   #33
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this hilt is too crumpled and damaged. thus it was impossible to find out what the tang's shape was.
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Old 15th August 2012, 05:49 PM   #34
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this one has a circular hole where the tang passes.

to summarize, as far as these 10th to 13th century a.d. gold hilts are concerned, the vast majority would have inferred square or rectangular tangs.
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Old 15th August 2012, 05:54 PM   #35
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then a hundred or two hundred years later (given that this specimen is estimated to be from the 10th to the 15th century a.d.), we find the bohol kalis with a square tang.

to recap, it appears that for philippine blades we can trace a progression from a round tang (circa 500 b.c. to 100 b.c.), then to a hexagonal one (circa 0 a.d. to 950 a.d.), then finally to the square or rectangular tang (10th to 15th cent. a.d.), even up to now.

i'd just like to qualify that these are anecdotal evidences. and especially for the hexagonal tang (assuming it's really hexagonal -- and i'll try to view the actual specimen the next time i'm in cebu), i think it's too early to say that this tang shape persisted.

most probably it's a simple switch from a round tang, and then to the square or rectangular tang. but the thing is the square or rectangular tang appears to have come up even way earlier, as we've seen.
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Old 15th August 2012, 07:18 PM   #36
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Miguel, thanks for all these diagrams and research. These gold hilts are indeed quite interesting and beautiful. However, from what i can see in the diagram you presented in post #15, these hilts clearly were not attached to the weapons that we consider to be kris today. Different types of weapons use different types of tangs for different reasons. Indonesian keris still use a round tang because it is a stabbing weapon, not the slashing weapon that the Moro kris developed into, so the stability that the rectangular tang offers along with the a sang-asang is not necessary. So i am not sure that we can use the evidence presented here to make a case for a evolution in these kalis forms from round to hexangular to square or rectangular tangs that we see in Moro kris since we are looking at completely different weapons.
It's fine to use the general terminology of "kalis" to describe all these weapons, but when you use the term in that way, all "Kris" might be "kalis", but clearly not all "kalis" are "kris".
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Old 15th August 2012, 11:20 PM   #37
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There are some interesting comments in this thread, but I'm not going to get too involved in it because I do not have the necessary cultural, societal nor historical knowledge specific to the matters being discussed to be able to make valid comments.

However, I will make this one comment:- in the Javanese keris the kembang kacang or sekar kacang, the "elephant's trunk", did have a definite symbolic meaning when it first appeared, which was in the Modern Keris, the form that appeared after the Keris Buda. Its origin was rooted in Hindu belief, nothing at all to do with elephants roaming around Jawa. It should be noted that both kembang kacang and sekar kacang are euphemisms.

How the kembang kacang may be interpreted in the societies to which the keris spread from its point of origin, I do not know, but I am reasonably confident that any such interpretations would have been generated within those societies, rather adopted from early Javanese society.

The later, although still early in terms of keris development, additions to the Javanese keris of singo barong, naga, or bomha held iconographic meanings which differed from the meaning and purpose of the original kembang kacang.
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Old 16th August 2012, 03:24 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I will also make one more note. Antonio de Morga in the 1600s wrote about his travels in the region. In his section on the Philippines, he gives a poor description but mentions the "unusual" form of what the natives call a balarao. This term is still used at the turn of the century for the Mandayan dagger like this one from my collection below:
Jose, that Mandaya dagger to me is like a coelecanth, a living fossil! What would be the cross-sectional shape of the tang? Thanks.
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Old 16th August 2012, 04:40 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
It's fine to use the general terminology of "kalis" to describe all these weapons, but when you use the term in that way, all "Kris" might be "kalis", but clearly not all "kalis" are "kris".
David, yes, agreed. Not all kalis are kris. And just to clarify, all of the kalises I'm presenting here are of the pre-kris variety. And so I can even concede that the Bohol kalis is still a kalis, and not a kris (yet), given the qualifications we have made on what defines a kris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Miguel, thanks for all these diagrams and research. These gold hilts are indeed quite interesting and beautiful. However, from what i can see in the diagram you presented in post #15, these hilts clearly were not attached to the weapons that we consider to be kris today. Different types of weapons use different types of tangs for different reasons. Indonesian keris still use a round tang because it is a stabbing weapon, not the slashing weapon that the Moro kris developed into, so the stability that the rectangular tang offers along with the asang-asang is not necessary. So i am not sure that we can use the evidence presented here to make a case for a evolution in these kalis forms from round to hexangular to square or rectangular tangs that we see in Moro kris since we are looking at completely different weapons.
Thanks for making all these observations. My only point was that as far as ancient kalises are concerned (that is, i'm not referring to krises as they have not been born yet during that time), we can see that very early on the tang quickly evolved from the round tang to the rectangular tang as early as the 10th to 13th century AD.

Thus it should not come as a surprise that the Bohol kalis (10th to 15th century AD) already sported the rectangular tang.

I also understand that all I've said somewhat invalidates a theory on Moro krises that goes like this:

1. all kerises (i.e., the Indonesian kind) have round tangs
2. said Javenese kerises are the ancestors of all kerises and krises
3. krises (i.e., the Moro kind) have rectangular tangs
4. krises came after the kerises
5. thus, the missing link between kerises and krises ought to be krises with round tangs.

However, as we've seen, the rectangular tang came about very early on, on kalises -- as early as 10th to 13th century AD.

And given that what I regard as the proto-kris (the Bohol kalis) also had the rectangular tang (as can be expected given the trend), then I think we can make an extrapolation, by saying that all krises from Day 1 had the rectangular tang.

Which leads us back to Ron's very old kris with a round tang that defied the trend. Well, I'm still scratching my head on that one. Can it be that the smith was Indonesian? Could the prematurely broken 'elephant trunk' be another sign that the smith was not that familiar with the finer points of making a Moro kris? Just thinking out loud ...
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Old 16th August 2012, 05:21 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
... However, from what i can see in the diagram you presented in post #15, these hilts clearly were not attached to the weapons that we consider to be kris today. Different types of weapons use different types of tangs for different reasons. Indonesian keris still use a round tang because it is a stabbing weapon, not the slashing weapon that the Moro kris developed into, so the stability that the rectangular tang offers along with the a sang-asang is not necessary. So i am not sure that we can use the evidence presented here to make a case for a evolution in these kalis forms from round to hexangular to square or rectangular tangs that we see in Moro kris since we are looking at completely different weapons.
Thanks again for the critique. 'As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.'

Actually all of those examples I posted have many many things in common:

1. all of them (except for a few Luzon plates from the Boxer Codex), are from the Visayas -- said region is the encircled portion on the map below;

2. within the Visayas, almost all of the examples I used are clustered on an area I marked with five 'x' in the map - thus, they share a common sub-culture;

3. as to their weapon types, all of them (except for the Bohol kalis) are: (a) very short, i.e., all of them are tiny hilts; (b) their blades appear to be all symmetrical and double-edged; and (c) as such they were all designed more for stabbing.

And though all designed for stabbing, the evolution from the round tang to a rectangular tang still happened. As to the impetus or motive for the transition to a rectangular tang, that I'm not sure of.

On a related matter, it might also interest others to know that some of those 10th to 13th century AD gold hilts have clay for its core inside, rather than wood. Perhaps as a ceremonial or dress dagger, sturdiness was not an issue, hence the use of clay sometimes.

And with regard to the early Iron Age (Argao, Cebu) dagger (500 BC to say 100 BC), there's a piece of cloth found wrapped its hexagonal tang. Would anybody have any idea on why a piece of cloth would be wrapped on the tang?
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Old 16th August 2012, 09:43 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Jose, that Mandaya dagger to me is like a coelecanth, a living fossil! What would be the cross-sectional shape of the tang? Thanks.

I whole heartedly agree, Lorenz!

The tang is a square and tapers to a point at the distal end.
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Old 17th August 2012, 07:12 AM   #42
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so i reckon this kris is older than dirt then, right? lol, just kidding

excellent discussion so far guys, please keep it up. lorenz my friend, your research has come a long way since our last conversation on this subject matter! very impressive!!! please keep it up. i really thought we could get together for some sarsi and sisig this coming january for my bro's wedding, but since that was cancelled i will have to wait another year, lol.
on the side note, i can't help but notice the similarity of the wirework form the gold handle dagger handle on top of this page to sajen's gunong:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15927
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Old 17th August 2012, 12:06 PM   #43
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Spunjer, your kris share some similar features with this one, which perhaps even could be older, becouse it appears to have posessed a straight gonjo once:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15256

The tang of this one is disturbed, yet it also seems to be between square and rounded.

We will never know, how looks like the tang of this one, also straight gonjo:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13785

It seems to me also, the two linked kris are older becouse of features of Gandhik.They are close to very close to Javanese keris; the gandhik of your kris is already almost like this strange mixed Maguindanao/Maranao gandhik, which pops up so often in the last time.

Perhaps is your kris a very early Mindanao kris?
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Old 17th August 2012, 03:42 PM   #44
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I would say that the top one of your pictures (the one with the early golden hilt) is Sulu, although that early back we are not as sure because there are few examples from that period.
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Old 17th August 2012, 05:04 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Thanks again for the critique. 'As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.'

I'm not sure who is sharpening whom here, but you have certainly presented much food for thought.
I am certainly grateful for all this info on Visayan swords and daggers, but i do wonder just how much connection we can truly draw to Ron's kris that started this post or the Moro kris in general as we know it today. While i am not in a position to debate whether or not there is any real connection between your Visayan examples and the Moro kris, simply from observation the similarities are rather superficial. When we look at at Ron's sword we are able to draw very clear and solid connects to the Javanese and/or Balinese keris. These similarities are rather exacting, down to minute detail of the various features of these blades. We see in these early "archaic" Moro kris both a gonjo and a gandik. But even more we see most of the detailed feature that are contained in the diagram of Javanese keris that you posted in earlier in this thread. Clearly we see a developed kembang kacang (whether or not meant to be an elephant). We see a well developed double sogokan and greneng. So while i would not discount that Visayan swords may have had some influence on the development of the Moro kris, it is clear to my eyes at least that these early "archaic" Moro kris developed directly from the form of Javanese and/or Balinese keris. It's about so much more than the shape of the tang for me and i am afraid that all you have stated here has done little to invalidate the theory that the Moro kris is a direct development of the Javanese form. You have to look at the entire design of the keris/kris, not just the shape of the tang. I am afraid that i remain unconvinced that the Bohol kalis is the proto-type of the Moro Kris.
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Old 17th August 2012, 09:36 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I would say that the top one of your pictures (the one with the early golden hilt) is Sulu, although that early back we are not as sure because there are few examples from that period.


I ask me if there are non-Sulu krises with straight gonjo at all. If it would be true, we could suppose the straight gonjo dissapeared (or nearly dissapeared) before kris reached Mindanao (from Sulu).

One more kris with straight gonjo Gavin sold a time ago:

http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s250_full.html

Spunjer's kris is really interesting becouse of its very complete early kris features, together with Gandhik area which looks Mindanao to me.

Would you agree on it?
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Old 18th August 2012, 01:30 AM   #47
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Oh no question that Spunger's kris is an early kris (with a great blade!).
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Old 18th August 2012, 11:44 AM   #48
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thx for posting additional pictures, gustav! i noticed as well that on those other examples, the asang2x mark is non-existent. looks as if it never had asang2x. the one with the gold hilt: i'm almost certain the tang on that one is circular or squarish, as oppose to the rectangular ones. again, with a narrow base like that, there's nowhere to attach the stirrup, or should i say the stirrup wasn't part of the plan..
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Old 18th August 2012, 12:31 PM   #49
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Dear Spunjer,

the Sulu kris with golden hilt had a stirrup for asang-asang, yet although the hilt is very early there of course still is some possibility the hilt is later then blade and blade was intended to be without asang-asang.

In Cato's book on page 72 there is a hilt with similar construction of stirrup for asang-asang, which would let us think, this kind to attach asang-asang is also old if not the oldest one.

On your kris I also see somethingwhich could be markings from front asang-asang, yet again, it could be attached later and then dissapeared again.
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Old 19th August 2012, 01:29 PM   #50
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i see what you're saying gustav, regarding the stirrup. that's indeed a unique method of attaching an asang2x, something you don't see on later krises. the closest type that i could see with an almost similar type would be this one:
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Old 19th August 2012, 01:31 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
i see what you're saying gustav, regarding the stirrup. that's indeed a unique method of attaching an asang2x, something you don't see on later krises. the closest type that i could see with an almost similar type would be this one:


Beautifull kris... Is this yours Ron?
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Old 19th August 2012, 01:35 PM   #52
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not quite as fancy with the teapot handle style stirrup, but rather the asang2x was attached using a silver wire. i haven't removed the handle on this one (no need to, i guess), but am wondering if the tang is squarish or rectangular. most likely rectangular...
yeah the older archaic does have a very faint asang2x mark but like you said, it must have disappeared early in its life...
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Old 19th August 2012, 01:37 PM   #53
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hello maurice! nice to see you back, bro!!!
yes it is. same kris from the old eewrs forum. the crossguard on the scabbard is solid carabao horn. pretty neat.
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Old 19th August 2012, 02:59 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
hello maurice! nice to see you back, bro!!!
yes it is. same kris from the old eewrs forum. the crossguard on the scabbard is solid carabao horn. pretty neat.


Thanks Ron!

I thought it looked familiar.... Now I remember!
A lovely kris indeed!!!
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Old 19th August 2012, 04:50 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
However, I will make this one comment:- in the Javanese keris the kembang kacang or sekar kacang, the "elephant's trunk", did have a definite symbolic meaning when it first appeared, which was in the Modern Keris, the form that appeared after the Keris Buda. Its origin was rooted in Hindu belief, nothing at all to do with elephants roaming around Jawa. It should be noted that both kembang kacang and sekar kacang are euphemisms.

How the kembang kacang may be interpreted in the societies to which the keris spread from its point of origin, I do not know, but I am reasonably confident that any such interpretations would have been generated within those societies, rather adopted from early Javanese society.

The later, although still early in terms of keris development, additions to the Javanese keris of singo barong, naga, or bomha held iconographic meanings which differed from the meaning and purpose of the original kembang kacang.
Hello Alan, many thanks for the comments. It's always a pleasure and an edification to read your commentary.

With regard to those two distinctive features of kerises and krises (encircled in the attached pic, which pic I merely hastily snatched from the Internet), what would be the latest views on which century or centuries those first appeared?

Being a stranger to Indonesian kerises, I don't have any idea on these matters. Thus hope that you can shed more light on the subject. Thanks in advance.
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Old 19th August 2012, 05:48 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
The tang is a square and tapers to a point at the distal end.
Jose, thanks for the info. Would you or anybody have any idea as to which one is harder to make -- a square tang or round tang?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
...please keep it up. i really thought we could get together for some sarsi and sisig this coming january for my bro's wedding...
Ron, well you throw me so many curved balls and so I have to keep up! Hope to bump into you one of these days here in Manila so we can further refine these theories (or reject some, and develop another). Or if I can have a US trip soon (but there's no plan yet), then maybe we can just have the sisig there in Ohio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I'm not sure who is sharpening whom here, but you have certainly presented much food for thought. I am certainly grateful for all this info on Visayan swords and daggers, but i do wonder just how much connection we can truly draw to Ron's kris that started this post or the Moro kris in general as we know it today. While i am not in a position to debate whether or not there is any real connection between your Visayan examples and the Moro kris, simply from observation the similarities are rather superficial. When we look at at Ron's sword we are able to draw very clear and solid connects to the Javanese and/or Balinese keris. These similarities are rather exacting, down to minute detail of the various features of these blades. We see in these early "archaic" Moro kris both a gonjo and a gandik. But even more we see most of the detailed feature that are contained in the diagram of Javanese keris that you posted in earlier in this thread. Clearly we see a developed kembang kacang (whether or not meant to be an elephant). We see a well developed double sogokan and greneng. So while i would not discount that Visayan swords may have had some influence on the development of the Moro kris, it is clear to my eyes at least that these early "archaic" Moro kris developed directly from the form of Javanese and/or Balinese keris. It's about so much more than the shape of the tang for me and i am afraid that all you have stated here has done little to invalidate the theory that the Moro kris is a direct development of the Javanese form. You have to look at the entire design of the keris/kris, not just the shape of the tang. I am afraid that i remain unconvinced that the Bohol kalis is the proto-type of the Moro Kris.
David, thanks. I agree with you that the subject matter has much more to do than the shape of the tang. And with regard to the 'invalidation' thing I mentioned, I was definitely not referring to the Indonesian keris' influence on the development of the Moro kris.

What was invalidated to my mind via what I presented, is the theory that the 'smoking gun' insofar as the inferred transition from a Javanese keris to a Moro kris must have been a Moro kris with a round tang.

That can't be, because as we've seen our square or rectangular tang came about centuries even before our kris was born.

I also agree with you on the Javanese influence on the development of what eventually became the Moro kris (and earlier, on the Javanese influence on the development of the Luzon, Visayan, and Mindanao-Sulu kalises).

I'm now reading a nice book on numbers and units in Old Tagalog by Dr. Jean-Paul Potet. And in there (see excerpts below), the very close ties between our islands and Java was mentioned several times. We can also see that he also mentioned that there was a period where our forefathers were using Javanese currency, given the far-reaching influence of the Javanese economy. Thus, we can surmise from all these that there must have been a tremendous amount of cross-fertilization going on within our region (which region eventually became Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines).

And so I think we should always remember that it was and will always be a two-way street.

When I had the opportunity to interview the weapons expert of Museo del Ejercito in Toledo, Spain in 2010 (and our subject was antique Phil. blades), he suggested to me that one important area of study is the influence of Filipino sword design on Spanish blades. Because precisely he is emphasizing that the influence of one region to another will always be reciprocal.

Thus in my humble opinion the proper perspective is to think in grayscale and not in black and white. Or put another way, the approach is to think in percentages, rather than all or nothing.

To put it more concretely and by way of an example, I think the Moro kris' origin is 70% local (with the Visayan kalis, as my personal proof, which kalis form must have also existed in Luzon and in Mindanao-Sulu, and perhaps even before the advent of Islam in our islands) and 30% Javanese.

I suppose the alternative view is to think that it's lopsided the other way around -- e.g., the Moro kris' origin is 90% Javanese and only 10% local.

I don't have any problem with the two views above, hypothetically. My only issue is for anybody to claim that the influence on the any design is 100% local, or 100% Javanese, or 100% whatever

Next, I'll present some more info why I believe that the influence on the development of the Moro kris' design must have been predominantly homegrown.
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Old 19th August 2012, 06:07 PM   #57
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The following are excerpts from the book Philippine Ancestral Gold, which deals mainly with local 10th to 13th century AD artifacts.

We can see that in the area of craftsmanship then, only Philippines was at par with Java in the region.

I understand that this is not a direct proof with regard to the subject of this thread. I guess my only point is that the Philippines too must have had influenced Java a lot, in the general area of design of cultural objects, which included weapons.
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Old 19th August 2012, 06:50 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
David, thanks. I agree with you that the subject matter has much more to do than the shape of the tang. And with regard to the 'invalidation' thing I mentioned, I was definitely not referring to the Indonesian keris' influence on the development of the Moro kris.

What was invalidated to my mind via what I presented, is the theory that the 'smoking gun' insofar as the inferred transition from a Javanese keris to a Moro kris must have been a Moro kris with a round tang.

That can't be, because as we've seen our square or rectangular tang came about centuries even before our kris was born.

I also agree with you on the Javanese influence on the development of what eventually became the Moro kris (and earlier, on the Javanese influence on the development of the Luzon, Visayan, and Mindanao-Sulu kalises).

I'm now reading a nice book on numbers and units in Old Tagalog by Dr. Jean-Paul Potet. And in there (see excerpts below), the very close ties between our islands and Java was mentioned several times. We can also see that he also mentioned that there was a period where our forefathers were using Javanese currency, given the far-reaching influence of the Javanese economy. Thus, we can surmise from all these that there must have been a tremendous amount of cross-fertilization going on within our region (which region eventually became Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines).

And so I think we should always remember that it was and will always be a two-way street.

When I had the opportunity to interview the weapons expert of Museo del Ejercito in Toledo, Spain in 2010 (and our subject was antique Phil. blades), he suggested to me that one important area of study is the influence of Filipino sword design on Spanish blades. Because precisely he is emphasizing that the influence of one region to another will always be reciprocal.

Thus in my humble opinion the proper perspective is to think in grayscale and not in black and white. Or put another way, the approach is to think in percentages, rather than all or nothing.

To put it more concretely and by way of an example, I think the Moro kris' origin is 70% local (with the Visayan kalis, as my personal proof, which kalis form must have also existed in Luzon and in Mindanao-Sulu, and perhaps even before the advent of Islam in our islands) and 30% Javanese.

I suppose the alternative view is to think that it's lopsided the other way around -- e.g., the Moro kris' origin is 90% Javanese and only 10% local.

I don't have any problem with the two views above, hypothetically. My only issue is for anybody to claim that the influence on the any design is 100% local, or 100% Javanese, or 100% whatever

Next, I'll present some more info why I believe that the influence on the development of the Moro kris' design must have been predominantly homegrown.

Again, interesting information on coins, but i can't help but remark that this seems like an apples vs. oranges argument and i don't really see the connection you are attempting to make with the coins. Firstly the Mojophahit Empire was indeed the dominate force in that area at the time and parts of what are now considered the Philippines were vassal states of that empire. So it is no surprise that Mojopahit currency can be found there. However it must also be considered that when currency is made of gold and silver it hardly matters what government has stamped it's mark upon it. It retains value by it's weight regardless.
I do look forward to the evidence you will soon be presenting that will show why you believe the Moro kris is predominately homegrown. Given that early ("archaic") Moro kris seem to incorporate all the exact same minute details of design that we find on the Javanese keris (gandik, gonjo, sogokan, blumbangan, kembang kacang, greneng w/ rondha, lambe-gajah, etc.) and that none of these features are visible on any of the examples of these ancient kalis that you have posted i have a very difficult time accepting the Moro kris as 70% homegrown as you have suggested. What does seem homegrown is the development of this uniquely Javanese design from a stabbing dagger into a slashing sword, which certainly makes the Moro variety of kris/keris a different beast, a one to be seriously reckoned with. In order to effectively do this the change from a round tang to a rectangular one seems a necessity for the effectiveness of the weapon. Such shaped tangs were not a mystery to the Javanese either. They just were just not a necessity for the stabbing function of the keris.
Alan will be able to answer the question you posed to him better than i, but it is my understanding that the features you are questioning about are at least as old as the Mojopahit Empire when all this contact between Jawa and the southern Philippines was taking place. I have attached a map of the Mojopahit Empire for some context. Certainly when you have contact between peoples their is an exchange of ideas. However, one must also keep in mind which was the dominate culture at the time. Vassal states tended to adopt the styles and directions of the keraton in power.
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Old 19th August 2012, 07:17 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
The following are excerpts from the book Philippine Ancestral Gold, which deals mainly with local 10th to 13th century AD artifacts.

We can see that in the area of craftsmanship then, only Philippines was at par with Java in the region.

I understand that this is not a direct proof with regard to the subject of this thread. I guess my only point is that the Philippines too must have had influenced Java a lot, in the general area of design of cultural objects, which included weapons.

Miguel, there is no doubt of the skill of early craftsmanship of these old gold artifacts. I have been aware of this work for some time. However, it is still apples and oranges.
If you can show me a Moro kris that can be legitimately dated to this same period (13th or 14th century) of time that has all the features of the Javanese keris of that same period, that might be a game changer. Frankly i have never seen one that can be dated earlier than the 16th or 17th century at best (Cato is more conservative and calls these 18th century, but i think they must date a little older than that).
Getting back to tangs, these really early ("archaic") Moro kris that i have seen have not really developed yet into the slashing weapon they were to become. They are smaller (many not much longer than the blade length of many Bali keris) with much thinner width and a pointiness which infers that stabbing was still the main function. I have not had the opportunity to examine the tangs on these very early kris, but they could probably still be fairly effective as stabbing weapons if they still had a round or even square tang. It is only as the weapon gets larger and more intended for slashing that a rectangular tang becomes more necessary. Ron's kris shows that at least some of these early kris retained the round tang of their Indonesian cousins, though i would image that Moro smiths were probably trying different things at the time to develop a more effective weapon to use against the Spaniards.
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Old 19th August 2012, 10:11 PM   #60
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With regard to those two distinctive features of kerises and krises (encircled in the attached pic, which pic I merely hastily snatched from the Internet), what would be the latest views on which century or centuries those first appeared?

Miguel, the most recent opinions relating to the development of the Modern Keris (ie, the keris form that followed the Keris Buda) have not yet been published. With God's blessing perhaps later this year they may see daylight.
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