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Old 26th November 2017, 05:31 PM   #1
Athanase
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Default Miniature Bali Belakas Pengentas??

Hello,

I found this two miniature axes at the same antique dealer.
It looks a lot like Pengentas Belakas but much smaller ones.
The sharp edges are very sharp and that with the "Semar"? is a damask blade (we can see the alternation of layers on the edge but I have not managed to make pictures that shows).

Semar : 9,5cm without pesi
Mouse : 8cm without pesi

It's ritual blades?
What is their symbolic? and / or function?
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Old 30th November 2017, 10:29 PM   #2
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Nobody knows any information on it?
Are they souvenirs for tourists?
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Old 2nd December 2017, 01:48 PM   #3
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Sorry, never seen something similar before!
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Old 2nd December 2017, 07:44 PM   #4
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OK, thanks.
The problem with this kind of unusual find is that it's often very difficult to find information on it. Especially if you aren't from the culture that produces its items.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 09:00 PM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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Athanase, I have seen a few of these, they are a legitimate part of Balinese culture.

I have not previously posted to this thread because I really do not know much about them, and I had hoped that somebody else might know more than I do and would be able to respond better to your question.

In about 1982 I visited Mangku Pande Made Wija who lived in a little village just outside Klungkung. He had just completed a keris that Dietrich Drescher had ordered from him, and he asked me to advise Mr Drescher that it was ready for him to collect. I examined the keris and complemented Pande Wija on his work.

I then asked what sort of things he usually made, and he showed me a basketfull of axe blades of the type you have, but they were not yet decorated with silver.

I asked what these were used for, and he gave me a long complicated response that I did not fully understand, but the impression I got was that they were for use in cremation ceremonies, mainly for cutting the ropes that bind up a corpse.

The rather poor photo (2011) of a much more elaborate example of the same type of hand axe in the Den Pasar Museum supports my understanding of Pande Wija's explanation.

I have never seen this type of hand axe for sale in markets in Bali, neither local markets nor tourist markets.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 09:55 PM   #6
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Hello Alan,

do you have recognized the measurements of the two blades from Athanase? I can't believe that such small blades are for real use!?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 3rd December 2017, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello Alan,

do you have recognized the measurements of the two blades from Athanase? I can't believe that such small blades are for real use!?

Regards,
Detlef

Well Detlef, you don't really need a very large blade to cut a rope, do you?
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Old 3rd December 2017, 11:30 PM   #8
A. G. Maisey
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I did see the measurement Detlef, but they did not register, because I tend to think in imperial, not metric. However, I have now looked at a ruler, and I realise they are quite small, but not too small to cut corpse binding ropes.

I suppose they could be souvenir-type imitations, but over a 50 year period I've spent a lot of time in Bali, and I've never seen this sort of thing in the tourist traps. This doesn't mean it has never been there, just that I've never seen it.

In any case, what we are looking at here is certainly not a household tool, it is some sort of cutting implement meant for use in some sort of ceremonial context.

Corpse ropes? Maybe.

Offering preparation? Maybe.

Internal use in a pura? Maybe.

But it surely is not intended for peeling mangos or pineapples.
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:51 AM   #9
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Alan is right. From what little research there is, I have found that these axes/knives are for cutting strings that hold down the funeral coverings over the bones of the dead.
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Alan is right. From what little research there is, I have found that these axes/knives are for cutting strings that hold down the funeral coverings over the bones of the dead.


We have had a discussion about this sort of knives and axes before: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=Pengentas
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Well Detlef, you don't really need a very large blade to cut a rope, do you?


No, not really. But like Alan you should take a ruler by hand that you can see how small they are, even for the hand of a child they are very small.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I did see the measurement Detlef, but they did not register, because I tend to think in imperial, not metric. However, I have now looked at a ruler, and I realise they are quite small, but not too small to cut corpse binding ropes.


Alan, we Europeans think metric but when Athanase ask his question I take a ruler by hand and was very surprised how small they are. But agree, even with small implements like this you can cut corpse binding ropes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I suppose they could be souvenir-type imitations, but over a 50 year period I've spent a lot of time in Bali, and I've never seen this sort of thing in the tourist traps. This doesn't mean it has never been there, just that I've never seen it.


Also I am have never seen souvenir Belakas Pengentas. They could has been there but I doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
In any case, what we are looking at here is certainly not a household tool, it is some sort of cutting implement meant for use in some sort of ceremonial context.

Corpse ropes? Maybe.

Offering preparation? Maybe.

Internal use in a pura? Maybe.

But it surely is not intended for peeling mangos or pineapples.


Agree complete with you!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 4th December 2017, 01:56 PM   #13
Athanase
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Thank you very much for these answers.
The Semar is made of damask steel and both are very sharp. I think they could cut ropes without problems.
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Old 4th December 2017, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
Thank you very much for these answers.
The Semar is made of damask steel and both are very sharp. I think they could cut ropes without problems.



Hello,

I would say, these are ritual knifes. Maybe for the first shave of hair of a boy, circumcision or something like that with a religious or ceremonial context. A very sharp blade strengthen this assumption.
No toy, no tourist souvenir.


Roland
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M
I would say, these are ritual knifes. Maybe for the first shave of hair of a boy, circumcision or something like that with a religious or ceremonial context.


Hello Roland,

the use of this knives is very well known, read this thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=Pengentas Special from post #29 and following.

Regards,
Detlef
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