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Old 15th April 2013, 12:42 AM   #1
Spunjer
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Default An Interesting Kris

here's a kris i would like to share for viewing pleasure and comments. at first glance, it appears to be a normal type except for the asang-asang that's missing. other than that, everything seems to be intact.
the pommel is made out of ivory in a miniature fashion. handle is silver that is exquisitely decorated. scabbard is complete, with silver bands; and the blade is in a straight fashion and has a separate gangya. it appears to be laminated. i haven't had the chance to etch it.
now for the fun part: i got this idea from kino's last thread regarding his Goliath Panabas.

would anyone care to guess what is so unusual about this particular kris?
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Old 15th April 2013, 03:55 AM   #2
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hmmm, would i be right if i guessed it was rather small?
I like this kris. Is it yours?
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Old 15th April 2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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bingo!
smallest kris i've ever seen. blade length is 11.5", and the width is 5/8". the handle is slightly smaller than an average kris's, with a total length of 4". possible that it was a child's kris, although i've seen some that are labeled as child's kris which is bigger than this. it could pass for a stiletto type dagger without a doubt, as it has the heft and balance. what gets me are the details that went in making this kris. that and the materials that was used.

yes sir, my latest acquisition. found in an antique shop a couple towns over.

here are some pics taken next to an average size kris, just for comparison. notice how the gripping part of the handle is almost the same size. comments?
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Old 15th April 2013, 04:43 AM   #4
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I'm with David on the Kris being small. Blade is shorter than the scabbard.
Is it a Diki-diki sized Kris?
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Old 15th April 2013, 04:49 AM   #5
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Al, more like Diki-diki's son's kris this one. menehune size.
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Old 15th April 2013, 06:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
Al, more like Diki-diki's son's kris this one. menehune size.


Maybe can fend off the Night Marchers dis kine, eh?

Seriously, that is a real small blade, I have one that has a 14" blade, with a full sized handle. Good catch, there's plenty good stuff in your area, gotta visit one day.

That average sized one is very nice as well, is that a abbreviated elephant trunk or is it broken.
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Old 15th April 2013, 08:15 AM   #7
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Hello Ron,

congrats, I like this dwarf kris a lot!

From the blade and the silver work I'd place this well into the 19th century.

One may wonder wether this may be a very early attempt at circumventing sword bans (which would mean a relatively late date) considering the similarity of the bulbous grip ornament with those seen in gunong/punal. OTOH, some early kris also have this bulbous grip ornament although stylistically this dwarf kris appears to be closer to early gunong. Okir is very limited on this hilt (Ron could you please post a close-up taken from the top of the grip?); it doesn't look Sulu to me and also the scabbard points to Mindanao. I'd guess this is a relatively early type of additional sidearm and believe the history of gunong/punal also goes back for quite a bit longer than usually acknowleged.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 15th April 2013, 08:55 AM   #8
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Hi Ron,

very nice dwarf! And the big brother is beautiful as well!

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 15th April 2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Nice catch, Ron!
That's the smallest one I have ever seen.
It doesn't resemble a "proto-kris" so maybe a "proto-punal", as Kai suggested, could be an explanation?
What's your idea, based on actually handling it?

Michael
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Old 15th April 2013, 11:36 AM   #10
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Spunjer, I think I see a bit of a difference in the hilt size between the two you have displayed. If so that could suggest that the first one may be a "princely" kriss specifically made for a child. Only handling it would likely answer that question, so what is your take on it?
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Old 15th April 2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Spunjer, I think I see a bit of a difference in the hilt size between the two you have displayed. If so that could suggest that the first one may be a "princely" kriss specifically made for a child. Only handling it would likely answer that question, so what is your take on it?


I second the ' "princely" kriss specifically made for a child ' idea, makes the most sense given the quality of the handle.
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Old 15th April 2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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I'm with Ron - he already mentioned that it handles like a dagger and that those smaller kris possibly intended for kids/teens tend to be way larger than this dwarf; usually larger than typical archaic kris (on Mindanao). If it was common to have kris for baby princes, one would expect to see more of these rather than an unique example.

The pommel material also doesn't help since ivory is fairly common in gunong, too.

I doubt we'll ever be able to ascertain its original use and may be stuck with guesswork...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th April 2013, 02:48 AM   #13
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thanks for everyone's comments so far...
yeah, this particular piece stomps me. another possibility would be a moro panday's attempt in making a version of an indonesian style kris but in a moro kris fashion??? regarding the handle, it's about half to a three quarter inch shorter than that of an average handle, and the circumference is a tad smaller. we can assume it was made for a smaller person, but why is the blade way shorter than what we consider as boy's kris? i forgot to mention that the blade has a diamond shape cross section, and it's about a quarter inch thick for the most part. as i have mention, the balance is excellent.
Al, regarding your question about the other kris's elephant trunk: no, it's not broken, rather it's abbreviated. kai, per your request, i've added a close-up of the handle. i've also added a close-up of the crosspiece. those pins btw are swaasa
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Old 16th April 2013, 04:59 AM   #14
Amuk Murugul
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Default Dress Dagger

Hullo everybody!

Seems to me it could've been made as a 'dress dagger', to be worn when attending formal Occidental functions.

Best,
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Old 16th April 2013, 07:41 AM   #15
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The regular kris sword was the EDC and alter ego of any male Moro and, contrary to fairly late developments of keris culture on Java, was meant to be used if (perceived to be) needed. Not carrying a functional kris (or barung in Sulu regions) was akin to advertising being dumb enough to bring a toothpick to a swordfight. (To modify a common saying... )

I never heard that anyone attending formal Moro ceremonies was asked to put down arms or come with "toys" instead of the real thing (I guess this would have been regarded as severe insult to the guest as well as showing lack of courage on side of the host). A datu had retainers around him which certainly doubled up as bodyguards to deter unwise moves.

Like today with cars/etc., if someone had a high social status it wouldn't hurt to display a larger or more lavishly fitted sword than your rival on the other side of the mountain. Considering the materials (and longer scabbard) this is certainly a datu-level 'dress dagger' but I don't think it could double for the real thing in Moro culture for any but the youngest sons.

Older kids would wear kris not much smaller than typical ones; I've never seen one of those suggested to be children's kris with a blade distinctly shorter than the scabbard. A dagger (needing a completely different fighting style) would defeat the whole purpose though, I guess.

This configuration with the "oversized" scabbard would make most sense in a colonial setting after sword bans got into effect. However, this piece seems to predate this unfortunate period in Moro history by at least several decades.

To me it seems more probable to be a dagger meant to be worn in addition to a regular-sized Moro kris. Ron, could you please check whether you can see wear suggesting on which side this piece was actually carried?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th April 2013, 07:47 AM   #16
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For the fun of it: Could you please take a pic of the kris under discussion with a average-size gunong and possibly a children's kris from Mindanao (or a Sulu kris of similar size) next to it, Ron? Thanks a lot!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th April 2013, 07:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Ron, could you please check whether you can see wear suggesting on which side this piece was actually carried?

I assume the side you're showing is the front of the scabbard. I'd especially check the wood for signs of stronger wear from the tip on top being more exposed and (with a lot of luck) on the lower side from wearing in the sash. The silver fittings may also preserve some cues.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th April 2013, 10:44 AM   #18
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Hello Spunjer, Seeing that I know little to nothing about kris swords I have a couple of question for those who do. If this is actually a dagger (usually meant mostly for stabbing) and not a true sword (meant for stabbing and heavy slashing motions) would it have originally necessarily even had to have had asing asing ? Is there any real evidence, shadow or worn area on the blade, gangya or remnants of broken mounts that would suggest that this piece ever did have asing asing? Either way, my congratulation to you on this most interesting and beautiful piece.

Best,
Robert
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