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Old 8th March 2005, 12:51 AM   #1
rasdan
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Default A bit unusual keris

Hi guys,

Nothing much about this one. Only the size is rather unusual. Ganja to tip is 18". The blade curves and ends at a very narrow point. I think its for piercing chainmails. Its rather heavy as the thickness at ganja is around 1 cm. Pamor is as typical bugis blades, ujung gunung+wos wutah and wengkon. Its not too clear however. Sorry that the pictures are not that nice. I took it in nightime. Still trying to figure out the best way to take pictures.
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Old 8th March 2005, 01:00 AM   #2
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In spite of my hesitation to jump into the "shark pool" with you guys, I like this keris very much, rasdan. Thank you for sharing with us.

Was chain mail common in Indonesia at any time? If not, why would an empu make a mail-piercing blade (if that's what it is)?
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Old 8th March 2005, 01:05 AM   #3
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Hi Andrew,

The Bugis use chainmails. Theres one or two specimen of theese mails in museums in KL. I think they got the idea from their neighbouring Moros.
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Old 8th March 2005, 02:18 AM   #4
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So, Pak Rasdan

Do you think it was used against the Bugis (17-19th century) or against the Portuguese and Dutch (15th century)?

Er, sorry but I can't tell if this is a Malay oir Bugis keris? Maklumlah just beginning
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Old 8th March 2005, 04:53 AM   #5
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I like the beauty of simplicity of this thick graceful Bugis sepokal blade well complemented by it's matching pendokok. Good find and syabas.
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Old 8th March 2005, 06:15 AM   #6
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Hi guys,

From my point of view this keris is in straits bugis style (slightly curved and convex cross section) and I think it's used by the straits bugis during the war with Siak in 1700's. However i havent done any research regarding this to support my opinion.

Thanks John, nevertheless i still highly admiring your rhino horn bugis. Its simply stunning.
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Old 8th March 2005, 02:04 PM   #7
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Sulawesi!!
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Old 8th March 2005, 03:35 PM   #8
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Nice keris, its beauty lies in its simplicity. Wonder how old the scabbard is. More likely the Bugis developed armor before the Moro because of thier manner of combat with blow guns. This may be handy in dispatching a wounded armored warrior. "The Narrative of Captain David Woodard" is an interesting account of a group of sailors, lost at sea, & thier 2.5 years as prisoners of varying Sulawesi groups in the late 18thC. Woodard gives a first hand account of a battle between 2 villages. Also describes ceremonies where bird shaped hilts made of horn were given for acts of bravery on the battlefield for thier daggers & creese (described as 24" blades). Wonder if the origins of the horn Bugis hilts was reserved for warriors that had been deemed worthy.
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Old 8th March 2005, 03:56 PM   #9
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From what I've been able to ascertain, chainmail was indeed used throughout the region, often with tortoise shell, brass, bone or even fish scale plates incorporated into it, plus many tribes in the area also wore "war jackets" of very heavy woven plant fibre manufacture.
Many were extremely decorative as well as functional and would have been effective against small blades, darts and even arrows, so a thicker, very pointed thrusting blade would have been perfect against these as well.
I think the effectiveness of even many slashing type short swords would have been greatly reduced as well....try a slashing stroke against one of the thick, woven door mats seen everywhere in the northern US and it will give you a fair comparison.
Then try a thrust with a very thin, pointed blade and I think you'll find it slides through almost without noticable impedence.
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Old 9th March 2005, 01:47 AM   #10
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Thanks guys,

I think Conogre's remarks makes a lot of sense though we may dont wanna try it in the yard and get our neighbours selling their homes cheap and moving out fast. (Quoting Radu) Just kidding Mike.

I searched for the book Bill mentioned in the library but its in the red tab section. Then looked for it in the internet shops...no wonder its in the red tab, the price is between AUD825 to more than USD 1000!! Thanks for info Bill. I'm sure that horn or ivory kerdas (bird shaped) hilt can be regarded as a token of bravery. Theres not much in the market and this surely reflect the standard of such article in the old days. Sometimes i got the feeling that the horn ones are harder to find. (Just a feeling).

Hi Blu, i'm a bit blurrred about the line that divides sulawesi bugis keris and strait/ riau bugis keris either on the nature of the blade or the fittings. Can u kindly shed some light on this? At the moment i just regard the penghulu sampir as sulawesi and the thinner sampir, narowing characteristics of the batang and flaring buntut as straits bugis. Your help is highly appreciated.

Regards,
Rasdan
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Old 9th March 2005, 02:32 AM   #11
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Rasdan: http://www.elibron.com/english/sear...x=25&search.y=7 , still not cheap, think this one may be up Ricks alley, also has a few other accounts of shipwrecked sailors.
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Old 9th March 2005, 02:55 AM   #12
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At last, one option. Thank you very much Bill.
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Old 9th March 2005, 11:37 AM   #13
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A few things made me think its Sulawesi. First, the pendoko is the long-stemmed form type, which is more typical of Sulawesi than Straits. Straits Bugis tend to use the 'short-stemmed', wide-rimmed pendoko. The kerdas hilt should also shed some clues, but from the angle of the pictures, I can't tell.

Secondly, the sheath has this 'awkwardness' (not in the bad sense, its probably just our sense of aesthetics in this part of the Malay/Straits Bugis world is different from the Sulawesi Bugis). Its difficult to describe, but Sulawesi-made sampir has this 'unpleasantness' that contrasts with the 'sweeter', better-shaped Straits Bugis type of sampir. Also, the batang has this bulge (swollen part) near the top. Straits Bugis batang tends to be more 'straight-up straight-down'. The buntut too -- oversized and odd-looking, adds to the awkward feel.

The blade is the hardest to tell the origins from because the blade outlasts the fittings and do travel around the region and gets dressed up to suit the owner's culture and tastes. But this blade has again this characteristic Sulawesi 'awkwardness' that I do think its a Sulawesi blade. And of course the sheer proportions and thickness of this blade is 101% Bugis garang-ness.

Great catch!!!

See one of my previous post -- see the 'awkward' resemblance.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=warrior+keris
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Old 9th March 2005, 12:28 PM   #14
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Sorry, this is off-topic.

Blu - that 'x' on the ganja of your warrior keris -- could it the empu's signature. I read somewhere that sometimes, when an empu is satisfied with a piece of his work, he would leave behind his mark. Could this be one?

I have a riau keris that has a curious mark on its ganja, not an 'x'.
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Old 10th March 2005, 11:12 AM   #15
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Hi Blu,

Thanks for clearing up the point. However Frey in his book seperated sort of a Minang keris as Sumatra-Bugis keris. U know.. thick sampir, high pointed tip of sampir. Other than that he stated as Sulawesi kerisses. I'll try to scan the page to ease our reference.
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Old 10th March 2005, 01:39 PM   #16
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Rasdan, Blu is spot on with the Sulawesi provenance. Compare with this example below - note especially the lack of a "picitan" on the side of the sampir but also just the overall shape. You will never see a Straits Bugis keris like this.
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Old 10th March 2005, 01:41 PM   #17
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Rasdan, Blu is spot on with the Sulawesi provenance. Compare with this example below - note especially the lack of a "picitan" on the side of the sampir but also just the overall shape. You may see Sulawesi keris that look very close to a Straits Bugis keris but you will never see a Straits Bugis keris like this.
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Old 11th March 2005, 01:40 AM   #18
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Thanks Dave. I think i'll start a new thread as soon as possible regarding this topic.
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Old 11th March 2005, 01:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasdan
Hi Andrew,

The Bugis use chainmails. Theres one or two specimen of theese mails in museums in KL. I think they got the idea from their neighbouring Moros.


Hi Rasdan,

I missed this entirely until just now.

Thanks for the explanation. Interesting stuff. I've been a proponant of mail-piercing tips on pesh kabz and various Indo-Persian forms, but have not given much thought to the SEA weapons in this role.



Magabani, don't you have a full set of Moro mail?
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Old 11th March 2005, 05:55 AM   #20
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Hi Andrew,

Heres some armour used by Malays. The first is made of tin and the second made of crocodile skin.
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Old 11th March 2005, 05:59 AM   #21
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wow!

Pak Rasdan -- are these photos from Muzium Negara KL? I don't recall ever seeing them.

With armor like these, the Malays don't have to worry about being kebal

Are these bullet-proof? I don't mean from an M-16 but rather from a 19th century musket.
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Old 11th March 2005, 06:05 AM   #22
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They are from Selangor Muzium in Shah Alam, Rahman. Bullet proof? Nah.. i dont think so. Actually i wanted to take some pictures of a kemuning tree behind the Muzium, but to my suprise it was "trimmed" and not much is left to see. But it'll survive i think.
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Old 11th March 2005, 12:51 PM   #23
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Smile

These both look like examples of Nias war jackets .
Any provenance with the display ?
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Old 11th March 2005, 11:42 PM   #24
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Hi Rick,

I'm not sure. Theres no caption on these items. Sorry. If u hav samples of Nias war jackets, can u kindly show us?

Regards
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Old 12th March 2005, 12:51 AM   #25
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Smile Nias Armor

Like this .
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Old 12th March 2005, 01:08 AM   #26
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WOW!! I've seen the pic before but didnt notice it. This shows how ignorant i am. Thanks man!! I'll have the museum informed.
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Old 14th March 2005, 01:01 AM   #27
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Default Book reference...

For book reference, see...

Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago
by Albert G. Van Zonneveld

Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Kitlv Press (July 1, 2002)
ISBN: 9054500042

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Old 14th March 2005, 01:11 AM   #28
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Thanks, Alam.
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Old 25th March 2005, 03:04 AM   #29
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Default A picture of Bugis kerises from a 1916 Dutch Publication.

Whilst we have been on Sulawesi/Bugis... From the publication - HOUTSNIJWERK EN METAALBEWERKING IN NEDERLANDSCH-INDIE. PUBLISHER: DEBUSSY, AMSTERDAM, 1916.
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Old 25th March 2005, 08:39 AM   #30
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Default Bugis Keris in ACM

While we're on this subject, there's always one thing I wanted to ask Dave. Last month I visited the Asian Civilisations Museum across the bay from the Cavanagh bridge.
I was intrigued to see one of the kerises in the display. It has a nogo blade if I'm not mistaken but it was provenanced Bugis (again, if memory serves me right). I don't know if anyone else here, especially the orang Singapure have ever noticed this particular blade (inside the Malay world gallery).
Were the Bugis smiths also manufacturing blade types similar to those by the Javanese empus or was this one a trade blade? hmmm
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