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Old 21st January 2007, 04:18 PM   #1
VVV
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Default Help with talismanic inscriptions?

Do you recognise or have any ideas on the meaning of the talismanic inlay on this Moro Kris?

Michael
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Old 22nd January 2007, 11:22 AM   #2
Bill M
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Could we see some overall pictures? The handle?
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Old 22nd January 2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
Could we see some overall pictures? The handle?


Sure,

Do you have any ideas of the meaning?

Michael
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Old 22nd January 2007, 04:58 PM   #4
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Hi Michael very nice handle does it have an scabbard


Ben
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Old 22nd January 2007, 05:46 PM   #5
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Hi Ben,

No, sometimes you can't get it all...

Michael
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Old 22nd January 2007, 06:26 PM   #6
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Default A wild guess

Seeing the whole blade could it be a fire breathing mythical creature. At the handle there are what might be scales then a decorated snout? and what could be flames. Do Eastern dragons breath fire or is that just European dragons which are always terrible creatures?
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Old 22nd January 2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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Hi Michael after a close look I don t think this is talisman inscription
It might be decoration they use like floral motifs

just a gues


Ben
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Old 22nd January 2007, 06:59 PM   #8
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Hi VVV,
I am wondering whether the central 'column' of symbols... maybe some form of pictogram.....the bottom one does have a 'resemblance' to a human form.....a possibility if there are no 'definative answers'.

PS I am assuming that it is read 'sword upright' .....bottom being 'closest to hilt'........nice example..by the way
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Old 22nd January 2007, 07:29 PM   #9
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Thanks all for your input!

Ben, sorry but I disagree that floral motifs are decorative only.
It's one of the oldest, universal symbols of the cycle of birth/life and death.

Tim, maybe the scales are eggs (Naga eggs)?
I don't know but your dragon description gave me some ideas...

Katana, I haven't thought about it as a pictogram before.
Anyone knowledgeable about Moro culture who has seen pictograms used somewhere else within this culture?

Michael
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Old 22nd January 2007, 07:58 PM   #10
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Eggs. An interesting point. To me the egg shape is so distinctive you do not have to be much of a craftsmen to communicate the idea. Also the arcs that could be eggs, are placed in an ordered pattern that look very much like scales of either a reptile or fish. I am not at all sure but to me the art work on this blade is to be seen and easily understood. What may seem a jumble of simple marks to our eyes given our educated/channeled views of communicating may make it difficult to read a very simple message. Also there could be the tendancy to see far more than is actually there. I could also be talking out of my ///// .

Could fire breathing be from the relatively long European influence in the PI. ?
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Old 22nd January 2007, 08:59 PM   #11
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The swirly stuff does not have to be fire. It could be clouds and then we have a flying dragon? There is limited space to show all this information and I do not think we are looking at a weapon made for the court, so to speak.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 09:39 PM   #12
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Default another thought

Just thought if the arcs near the handle are scales then they face the wrong way tail to head. This may have been done for convenience of pleasing design?
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Old 22nd January 2007, 10:17 PM   #13
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I don't think the egg/dragon ideas are going to fly...

There seem to be only few people left who can read the old Moro script. AFAIK it's not based on pictograms as, for example, Chinese script.

Considering the cultural setting, I wouldn't expect to find obvious graphic references. Repetitions are much more likely to be tied to some numerological symbolism IMVHO. I'd guess that the inlay of this kris is also mainly talismanic but getting even approximate/tentative guesstimates for just about any questions regarding these and their underlying symbolism seems to be very difficult.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 23rd January 2007, 06:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
... I'd guess that the inlay of this kris is also mainly talismanic but getting even approximate/tentative guesstimates for just about any questions regarding these and their underlying symbolism seems to be very difficult.

Regards,
Kai


I agree but even if it's difficult let's give it a try.
Maybe it will take a couple of years, maybe we will never find out?

Michael
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Old 23rd January 2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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Hi,

Consider:

- krises are mainly attributed to the 'Bangsa Moro', inhabiting the Southern Philippines and mainly Muslim.
- up until and during the Spanish conquest the main script used by the peoples of the Southern Philippines was Jawi/Kawi/Arabic, which is not pictographic .
- the only other major script is Eskaya, which is also not pictographic.

IMVHO, anything produced after the Spanish conquest is very unlikely to have scrtpt other than those mentioned and of course, Latin. Thus, the inlay is most probably mere decoration.

Having said that, I must admit that I do not recognise the symbols, if that's what they are.

Cheers.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 10:49 AM   #16
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Pangeran Datu,

Thanks for your input on the possible scripts, maybe some more possible than others?
When looking at talismanic inscriptions and symbols I think we also have to consider the locally practised magic, in this case within "Folk Islam", where symbols from earlier religions, like Hinduism, has survived together with later symbols from Islam.
As well as local symbols that is difficult to trace to any religion.

That's one of the reasons why it's so interesting to study talismans on weapons where a lot of older beliefs quite often appears mixed together with the symbols of the present religion.

Michael
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Old 23rd January 2007, 05:46 PM   #17
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Hi Michael

........Ben, sorry but I disagree that floral motifs are decorative only.
It's one of the oldest, universal symbols of the cycle of birth/life and death.

Michael[/QUOTE]...........

I mean that they are not talismanic signs floral motifs


I mean something like this

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=peduang


To me talismanic signs are witchcraft signs to give you power protect you
in indonesian it is called goena goena in Suriname Winti in Jamaica or Haiti Voodoo it is mostly based on
The Use off white and black power

And I see nothing off that in the symbols off the keris
There are books that have those symbols.

Ben
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Old 23rd January 2007, 09:40 PM   #18
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Ben,

Please compare with Dayak tattoos and mandau inlays.
Some meanings are lost, some are documented and most of the Dayak today don't know the meaning of them. And several of those who do doesn't want to reveal it to outsiders. But they all have, and originally had, a meaning except only being decorative.

I have experienced the same when travelling in other parts of SE Asia.
First there is no meaning or belief in the old traditions. But once you really get to know people, and they discover that you are seriously interested and don't belittle their beliefs, it's everywhere.
The same could of course be experienced in Sweden and Holland even if more is forgotten here.

The floral vine motif is quite often seen on Moro Kris blades.
Usually ending with a "tongue" or trisula.
For me that's quite obvious symbolism but maybe I am biased because of my interest in religions and old beliefs?

Michael
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Old 23rd January 2007, 10:51 PM   #19
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Very interesting debate.... it is a shame that alot of tribal and indigenous symbolism has been lost.....it is a clear indication of the 'erosion' of culture, heritage and identity as they become ( pressured ??) to be 'more civilised'
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Old 24th January 2007, 07:21 AM   #20
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As Michael already pointed out: it's very, very difficult to assess how much really has been lost. While in most societies worldwide a considerable part of the population has lost intimate knowledge of the "old ways" this doesn't mean that there are not some who still hold it dear and pass it on. However, if it gets down to core beliefs/knowledge/skills in Asia, you basically have to marry into the (right) family to have a ... chance of becoming privy to it - in just about any other constellation one can consider oneself lucky if being considered worthy for some of the stuff you're looking for. Exaggerated? Not that much...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 24th January 2007, 08:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
As Michael already pointed out: it's very, very difficult to assess how much really has been lost. While in most societies worldwide a considerable part of the population has lost intimate knowledge of the "old ways" this doesn't mean that there are not some who still hold it dear and pass it on. However, if it gets down to core beliefs/knowledge/skills in Asia, you basically have to marry into the (right) family to have a ... chance of becoming privy to it - in just about any other constellation one can consider oneself lucky if being considered worthy for some of the stuff you're looking for. Exaggerated? Not that much...

Regards,
Kai



You hit it right on the head...
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Old 24th January 2007, 03:20 PM   #22
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Hi Michael I did not now that you also Interested in old beliefs
next visit overhere I will show you very special book about the subject
WALI SANGA the javanese secret teaching contains also writings for the silence power and most off the javanese ghost and devils (try to learn Dutch I have a lot off books about the subject)

I now an grandson off an Iban headman (he is living in the Netherlands)
he went back there in the 80 to an special fest no white man invited
and did see there Iban s with fresh tattoo's so some old things never lost

But things that give you power have to be given by an doekoen or shaman

not by just someone that put old symbols on an weapon that is what I mean

( I also never heard or read that sudang moro krris are made whit the same intension as the javanese one if you know a book that says different let me now I like to read it )

like this you can make a kris a nice one but it have no power

But if an kris made by an special man that can put power in it you have an special keris

You now that some old krisses have still power

Like that madjapahid keris I have that have been proven by a few people also one guy that came 2 years ago from Indonesia to the Netherlands
He was invited by the orginisation TONG TONG I think it was on the PASAR MALAM IN DEN HAAG ( Ruud Greve was also there and a lot people did bring their stuff very interesthing)
that can feel if there is any magic or power in subjects from Indonesia
he did feel that there is still very strong power in the keris or chunderik

It does not always be a weapon that have power could be anything


Ben
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Old 24th January 2007, 04:34 PM   #23
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Hi Ben,

Look forward to read the Wali Sanga book.
I have heard about it and even if I don't speak Dutch I can understand most of it by now with some deduction and imagination.
And I have participated, as the only outsider, in exorcistic rites in both East Kalimantan and Negros, Philippines.

Of course Filipino weapons are also believed to have metaphysical powers within them.
Actually I had some of my weapons "spirit-checked" around 9 years ago by a Filipino friend who has experience in those matters. He doesn't like that I collect old, and even worse - used, weapons for that reason.

Michael
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Old 24th January 2007, 05:43 PM   #24
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Hi Michael I will translate some for you if you want it is from old javanese

books

I had only some bad and some good expirience with my own krisses when I had a collection more than 300 krisses


Ben
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Old 24th January 2007, 06:20 PM   #25
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Thanks Ben,

Michael
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Old 24th January 2007, 07:37 PM   #26
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Hi Michael,

You may, or you may not, have noticed that we have had some kind of the same discussion about Indian weapons.

The subject is very interesting, and I believe that the decoration of weapons means far more that the decorative side. The problem is, that I can’t prove it at the moment. There is a very strong symbolic force in this – and it is very ancient. Although the meaning may be forgotten, the same signs seem to be used. The signs can/will be different, and when designs half forgotten, different artists starts their own interpretation – but it is still there.

It may interest you, that Dr. Ann Feuerberg, who joined the excavations at Marv, is studying the symbolic value of the decorations on hilts and blades. She is one of the first scientists, whom to my knowledge, has take a serious interest in this subject.

Jens

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Old 24th January 2007, 08:41 PM   #27
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Hej Jens,

I wasn't aware of the Indian weapons discussion.
Could you please PM me the link?
Very interesting about the research of Dr Feuerberg.
On Indonesian weapons some research has already been done, mostly on Mandau and Keris. But there is of course a lot left to be researched.

Michael
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Old 24th January 2007, 09:38 PM   #28
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Hi, sorry i made a mistake about the name, it is Dr. Ann Feuerbach – sorry Ann.


Jens
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Old 25th January 2007, 08:45 PM   #29
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Michael do you have the Stone book ?

At the keris part is a story that tells how that the Dutch people could tell if an kris brings luck or brings bad luck

Ben
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Old 27th January 2007, 07:40 PM   #30
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Sorry I've been away - 'puter problems.

I have been looking through research and can only take a guess at some of this. They could be moon symbols with some other meaning or a special plant motif.

That being said, I agree with Kai 100% (good job Kai).
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