Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12th December 2006, 02:15 PM   #1
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default Moro or Malaysian Kris?

This Kris was part of a lot of Indonesian/Malaysian Keris I found so it was posted on the Keris forum.
I thought it was Sulu, maybe redressed in Borneo.
But Ian noticed that it maybe could be Malaysian and didn't look like a typical Moro Kris.

So I post it here instead with hope of further comments to help me understand from where it originates?


Michael


Quotes from earlier discussion between Ian and me at the Keris forum.

Ian:
"That Kalis Sulu is beautiful. The ivory kakatua is considerably smaller than most. Do you have any idea where this one originated? I'm wondering if it came from Brunei or Malaysia because it is somewhat atypical for a traditional Moro kris."

Michael:
"I suspect that it maybe could come from NW Borneo based on the motifs on the silver band. But that's just a guess and I still think it's Sulu.
Please convince me if that's not the case?"

Ian:
"The reason that I think it is odd for Sulu (that is, Moro) is the hilt: a smaller than average kakatua and the continuous silver wrap to the hilt which has an octagonal "tubular" apeparance. The usual form of Moro silver hilt dress would be circular or oval bands of silver that overlap. Also, there is a small "lip" to the silver handle sheath just above the gangya -- not commonlty seen on Moro weapons.

That said, there was a lot of interaction between the Sulu and Brunei Sultanates, so some diffusion of styles each way probably occurred. Indeed "Sulu" has sometimes been used to include Brunei, so we may be splitting hairs."

I misunderstood what Ian meant with the octagonal hilt so Ian clarified:

"What I meant to say is that an octagonal hilt, per se, is not rare on Moro kris, but a continuous silver "sleeve" as shown in your first example above is something that I have not seen before."

And then I responded after not having found any resembling Moro Kris:

"I have been doing some research on this Kris but no success so far.
Maybe it is from Malaysia as you suggest?
I found this illustration (blew up the relevant part of it) of Sultan Abdullah and chiefs of Perak from 1878."


More pictures at

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
Attached Images
    
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 03:23 PM   #2
Lew
(deceased)
 
Lew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 3,191
Default

Moro kris with an Indonesian scabbard.

Lew
Lew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 05:08 PM   #3
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 5,306
Default

I have to say that the blade itself looks very Moro to me, though the greneng is very Indo. But it seems that i have seen this more Indo looking greneng on other Moro examples and it may just be something retained on early Moro pieces from it's Indo origins. The sheath on the other hand is just a larger version of a Jawa gayaman style and the hilt doesn't look particularly Moro to me, so i would vote for a Moro blade redressed somewhere in Indonesia.
David is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 05:25 PM   #4
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Question

Do we know the dimensions of this sword?
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 05:55 PM   #5
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Thanks all for your comments.

The Kris is overall 67 cm/26.4 inch with a 52 cm/20.4 inch blade.
I also think that the blade has some age based on the keris-characteristics, light weight and thin blade.
The only place in Indonesia where I know Moro Kris, or Keris Sundang, have been found is Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra?
And then of course Malaysia is an option?

Michael
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 08:07 PM   #6
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,885
Default

Hello Michael,

Quote:
This Kris was part of a lot of Indonesian/Malaysian Keris <snip>

I found this illustration (blew up the relevant part of it) of Sultan Abdullah and chiefs of Perak from 1878.

I still believe that the key to narrow down its last usage may be found in the engraving work on the scabbard and hilt; considering the trade throughout the archipelago that won't help to ascertain the origin of the blade (which could well be Sulu) though.

Michael, could you please try to take pencil rubbings from the silverwork engraving? It's hard to see details from pics... Thanks!

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2006, 10:05 PM   #7
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Michael, could you please try to take pencil rubbings from the silverwork engraving? It's hard to see details from pics... Thanks!


Hi Kai,

Never been a great artist but here you have from the scabbard.
Unfortunately the hilt engravings didn't come up.

Michael
Attached Images
  
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2006, 07:02 PM   #8
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,716
Default

Everything but the blade scream Indonesia. The blade is Moro, probably Sulu. The rest - no. This includes the type of chasing work on the silver mounts and especially the silver grip, never mind the scabbard. Trade did go on in the region, not too shocked to see this.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2006, 01:56 PM   #9
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Thanks Jose,

Has anybody seen a pommel of this small size before on a Kris?
Any other clues?
Here is a close up of the hilt.

Michael
Attached Images
 
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2006, 02:28 PM   #10
Bill
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 327
Default

From your pictures, the patina on the ivory looks like it's pretty old. It looks like everything is very old. The kakatua on the one I'm posting is bigger, but has some simularities. The "elephant" head is also simular. Would guess the age is about the same on both too. The one I'm posting, I would have thought came from Sulawesi or Brunei. I think there was a post sometime ago where someone stated the metal wrap on the hilt was Malay, Riau or the straits area. The Bugis would be common to the whole area.
Attached Images
 
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2006, 02:48 PM   #11
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Nice Kris!

Do you have a close up of the hilt?
I will try to find the thread you refer to.

Michael
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2006, 03:11 PM   #12
Bill M
Member
 
Bill M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA Georgia
Posts: 1,486
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I have to say that the blade itself looks very Moro to me, though the greneng is very Indo. But it seems that i have seen this more Indo looking greneng on other Moro examples and it may just be something retained on early Moro pieces from it's Indo origins. The sheath on the other hand is just a larger version of a Jawa gayaman style and the hilt doesn't look particularly Moro to me, so i would vote for a Moro blade redressed somewhere in Indonesia.



Or a Moro blade made by an Indonesian.

I have seen "crossovers" made by Madura smiths working in Java. You get a little of both.

Bill
Bill M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2006, 05:29 PM   #13
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,716
Default

Pommels like this, according to Cato, were made early and are indicative of earlier pieces, 1700s? I think the mounts are later.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th December 2006, 04:34 PM   #14
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Just recieved this Christmas card from another collector (not active on the forum).
It's from the Tropenmuseum, Kris from the Sulu archipelago, with a full silver hilt collar resembling mine?

Michael
Attached Images
 
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th December 2006, 05:19 PM   #15
rasdan
Member
 
rasdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 323
Default

The one on the card has malay/bugis fittings IMO whatever...and the blade is Sulu(?). This is an example. I had just seen one like this (solid brass hilt) a few weeks back. Its a relative's pusaka. Unfortunately i dont have pictures. Perhaps the key is the difference of the base of the hilt of a moro and malay keris...
Attached Images
 
rasdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2006, 09:57 AM   #16
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Thanks all,

Seems to be a consensus that my Kris is of Malay/Bugis, not Moro, origin regarding the dress.
Do you think the blades were imported from the Sulu islands or produced "Sulu style" in Malaysia or Sulawesi?
Or maybe it was the Malay/Sulawesi style of blades that inspired that of the Sulu islands?

Michael
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2006, 03:11 PM   #17
rasdan
Member
 
rasdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 323
Default

In an old book Tuhfat al Nafis written in 1865, the kampilan and sundang (written as sandang) are attributed to the Sulus. They are not attributed to the Malay or Bugis although it is used by them. Pls correct me if i'm wrong.

A lotta of moro keris are redressed later in malay dress in Malaysia and Sumatra.
rasdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2006, 04:27 PM   #18
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Thanks for sharing this info Rasdan!

The only source where I, at the moment, remember claims the Sundang as originating in South Sulawesi is Taman Indera by Sheppard.
But his speciality isn't exactly weapons even if the book has a chapter on Malay weapons.
So your source seems more probable that the Sulu Krisses were redressed in Malaysia etc.
On the Kampilan it's not usually attributed to the Sulu archipelago but Mindanao.

Michael
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th December 2006, 02:53 AM   #19
rasdan
Member
 
rasdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 323
Default

No worries Micheal. I think its the Bugis that introduced Sundang to the Malays in the 1700's. Thats why the Malay will say that Sundang is from the Bugis and later made their own Malay/Bugis version. But who introduced Sundang to the Bugis? Is it theirs? I cant answer this. I think the Sulus. (no proof available at the moment).

Oh, yes.. in the book Kampilan is said to be used by the Lanun. Iranun perhaps? But i guess that the author is not a weapons specialist afterall. Im still checking on this entire theory actually. Maybe im wrong.
rasdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th December 2006, 06:50 AM   #20
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

Rasdan,

Lanun/Iranun/Illanun etc. is a Mindanao tribe. Some of them later settled in North Borneo, Timor and Sulawesi.
They are the ones that brought the Kampilan to those islands so I think the book is correct on that part (even if they didn't come from Sulu).
They are famous for their pirating raids, sometimes reaching the Malay Peninsular.

Michael
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th December 2006, 07:29 AM   #21
rasdan
Member
 
rasdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 323
Default

Thanks Micheal, i made mistake in my first post.
rasdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 09:02 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.