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Old 13th March 2009, 01:21 AM   #1
A. G. Maisey
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Default Cinderella & Dewi Sri

In the recent past I was living in a foriegn country for a while.

Whilst I was there I met three ladies whom I am almost certain show the cross-cultural influences of European story telling on Javanese myth and legend.

Gentlemen, and ladies too, I give you The Three Ugly Sisters:-
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Old 13th March 2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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These wonderfully crafted keris hilts have been made from "Majapahit glass".

The original of this material appears as very old glass beads, supposedly from Majapahit times. If they are indeed original beads, they bring quite high prices.

There are a lot of recent imitation beads on the market that are almost impossible to differentiate from the originals. Some entreprenuer used this same material and produced these small figures in the form of keris hilts.This is the first time I have seen this sort of thing.
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Old 13th March 2009, 01:51 AM   #3
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Cool

Contemporary work using old glass .

D'you suppose there were glass jejeran in Majapahit times ?
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Old 13th March 2009, 02:46 AM   #4
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No, its new glass, made in an old style.

No, I do not believe that glass hilts existed previous to these ones.

There are a few examples of unique hilt types around. I've seen one made of porcelain, I've seen another from jade. These are the first I've ever seen from glass.
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Old 13th March 2009, 07:03 AM   #5
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Well Alan,
for me the two key words are Unique and Ugly. Still cant blame the maker for having a go at something new.
David
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Old 13th March 2009, 08:17 AM   #6
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Yes David, but beauty walks a razors edge, and sometimes it is bound to cross the line. (sorry Bob)
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Old 13th March 2009, 08:51 AM   #7
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Dear Alan,

How does the bottom of these hilts look ?
Are they intended to be used with a mendak or uwer ?

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 13th March 2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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Willem, these are not hilts that were ever intended to be put on a keris. In Jawa there is a whole field of collecting of keris hilts that does not go anywhere near the actual keris. This is not new. PBX had numerous hilts of various designs carved for his personal collection, that were never intended for use on a keris.

Somebody created these little ladies as individual works of art, not for use on a keris, but for addition to a hilt collection.

I gave them shelter from the storm and made them mine.(Sorry Bob).
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Old 13th March 2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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No worries Alan...i've always thought that any Dylan line was better song by someone else.
These are indeed interesting. They remind me of some characters that might have escaped from a Gumby clay-mation.
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Old 13th March 2009, 02:39 PM   #10
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Polymer clay jejerans will be the new rage .

Heat up your EasyBake ovens kids !!
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Old 13th March 2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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They are ugly in a beautiful way...

An art gallery owner recently told me that the sort of art pieces acquired by art museums need not be pretty.
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Old 13th March 2009, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
No, its new glass, made in an old style.

No, I do not believe that glass hilts existed previous to these ones.

There are a few examples of unique hilt types around. I've seen one made of porcelain, I've seen another from jade. These are the first I've ever seen from glass.

These keris hits are made by "pelangi" (rainbow) glass. This type of glass in Jawa is around 900 AD. About this type of glass there is a very very nice bahasa/english book "Manik Manik di Indonesia-Beads in Indonesia" .
In Indonesia (Balý and Yogia) i saw many hits made by "fiberglass" ...sometimes (Balý) covered with oil paint.
IMO about the quality of these three hits...from the pic they see not so good.

Last edited by Marcokeris : 13th March 2009 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 13th March 2009, 10:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
No, its new glass, made in an old style.

No, I do not believe that glass hilts existed previous to these ones.

There are a few examples of unique hilt types around. I've seen one made of porcelain, I've seen another from jade. These are the first I've ever seen from glass.


Hullo Alan,

I very recently, saw a crystal hilt for sale at a European Art Gallery/Auction House ( I think). As it didn't interest me at the time, I only glanced at it and noted that it was labelled as a crystal keris hilt. It's general shape reminded me of a flared Tapak Koeda.

Best,
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Old 13th March 2009, 10:53 PM   #14
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David, R.A. Zimmerman is in my opinion probably the greatest 20th century poet. He never needed to be able to sing to become a historical figure, but the fact that he can vocalise what he writes is a plus. In spite of what many people think of as deficiencies in his presentation, the man has been an absolutely brilliant musician for the best part of his life. Early in his career he went from Mr. Average to Mr. Exceptional. This change occurred in a very brief period of time, and if you were following him at that time, it was almost as if an alien had decided to take possession of his body. Anyway, he's a bit like Old Will---got a line that cover everything.

Yeah Marco, some people call it pelangi glass, others call it something else, and it has been around for a long time. However, it is only in recent years, perhaps the last 15 or 20, that it has started to be produced again. If you bought a bead of this stuff back in the 1960's and 1970's it was most likely the real thing. If you bought it anywhere from about 1988 forwards, it was probably newly made.

In respect of the quality of these hilts.
Marco, being the connoisseur of keris art that I know you to be, I would not expect that the provincial---no, correction:- primitive craftsmanship demonstrated by the maker of these hilts would impress you.

But answer me one question:- have you ever seen this material used previously for the production of a keris hilt?

I have not, and not having such finely developed artistic taste as do you, I personally find them quite charming.

As for fibreglass handles, well that material has been around in Indonesia for as long as surf boards have been parked on Kuta Beach. I've seen and handled some synthetic productions that were so good that I had to take them into direct sunlight, in order to know that I was not handling ivory.

Manik2 is a real good book. I tried to get it everywhere when it first came out, and finished up buying it in Jogja airport. My wife has a pretty big collection of beads, so it was required reading.

This is what the beads look like:-
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Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 13th March 2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 14th March 2009, 12:10 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=A. G. Maisey]
But answer me one question:- have you ever seen this material used previously for the production of a keris hilt?

Of course not. I saw magma from vulcano becames a keris hit..or terracotta ...or white stone...or amber turn into a hit. But never this kind of (Venice?) glass.
Honestly i dont like these glass hits but, of course, is my personal taste.
About Zimmerman ...i don't know this poet ...or musician. But I know very well an astonishing australian musician: Paul Schutze that, together some others modern american musicians (Cage, Newby, Nerel) and an old european musician (Debussy), carried on the "indonesian gamelan music" in the haven.
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Old 14th March 2009, 01:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcokeris
[QUOTE=A. G. Maisey]
About Zimmerman ...i don't know this poet ...or musician.

Sure you do Marco, his stage name is Bob Dylan.
And Alan, i have a great deal of respect for Bob and think he has certainly earned his place in musical history, but i still think just about anyone who has covered his material has sung it better. But we digress, don't we.
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Old 14th March 2009, 02:09 AM   #17
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Yes.

Exactly.

And that is what makes something of this nature so desireable.

Not to put onto any keris, but to add diversity to a collection of keris hilts.A similar motive to that which propelled PBX.

You don't know Bobby Zimmerman? How about Bob Dylan?

Same bloke.

Paul Schutze I know. He's a very good axeman (the cutting kind, not the musical kind). I was unaware that he also had musical talents until I read your post, Marco --- or maybe my Paul and your Paul are different people. Anyway, I accessed some of your Paul's work from google. Not quite my speed I'm afraid.

When I first discovered gamelan I found it captivating. Bought recordings, listened to a lot of it, even tried re-scoring some western pieces in slendro and pelog. It reckon it took me about twenty years to get to understand gamelan, and when I did, I decided that it was not really my sort of thing.There is no doubt that gamelan is very, very clever, and it takes very, very talented musicians to play it well. There's a segment on Attenborough's "Tribal Eye" that shows just how incredibly clever the best gamelan musicians can be.Now, 50 odd years after discovering gamelan, I have finally decided that it is not quite my thing.

I know that some amongst those who read this will want to send me to the bathroom to wash my mouth out with soap after I say this, but I really don't like gamelan music much. Some of the Bali gamelan I can tolerate. Most Javanese gamelan I don't like much at all. I like langgam Jawa, and I like kroncong, but not gamelan. Guess I'm just a barbarian.
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Old 14th March 2009, 02:14 AM   #18
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Yeah David, so does my wife. But its the timbre and tonal quality of the voice that is lacking---not the musicianship.

And to once again display my barbaric roots, even though I can level valid musical criticism at Bob's listenability, I personally like his delivery. He gets more airtime in my car than any other three artists combined.

Further, Joan Baez. Brilliant voice. Wonderful singer. Love her!!!

But compare Joan's Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts to Bob's.

Not in the same street.

Bob gives us a full Western Movie starring---maybe---Clint Eastwood.

Joan gives us wishy-washy niceness.

Horses for courses.

Dylan does Dylan best.

Same as Leonard Cohen. Nobody, but nobody matches Cohen in the presentation of his own work.
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Old 14th March 2009, 02:28 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=A. G. Maisey]Yes.

.... my Paul and your Paul are different people.
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:39 AM   #20
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Yeah, I guessed they might be.
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Old 14th March 2009, 05:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Yeah David, so does my wife. But its the timbre and tonal quality of the voice that is lacking---not the musicianship.

And to once again display my barbaric roots, even though I can level valid musical criticism at Bob's listenability, I personally like his delivery. He gets more airtime in my car than any other three artists combined.

Further, Joan Baez. Brilliant voice. Wonderful singer. Love her!!!

But compare Joan's Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts to Bob's.

Not in the same street.

Bob gives us a full Western Movie starring---maybe---Clint Eastwood.

Joan gives us wishy-washy niceness.

Horses for courses.

Dylan does Dylan best.

Same as Leonard Cohen. Nobody, but nobody matches Cohen in the presentation of his own work.


I saw him get booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he went electric .
IMO he's the poet for our times .

His songs; his voice, our story .
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Old 14th March 2009, 10:50 PM   #22
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Yeah, I remember that. Didn't see it, but it was well documented.

In all honesty, his first efforts with electricity were pretty rough. Didn't like what he was doing much at that time. But it all settled down later.

Way back then, "electricity" was a dirty word with a lot of people.That was a long time before the art of the technician rose to the point where they can take somebody singing out of tune and out of time, and manufacture a Top Twenty hit from the material.
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