Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Requesting Help!! Identifying the specifics of a Kris (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26590)

maximummason 8th January 2021 04:03 AM

Requesting Help!! Identifying the specifics of a Kris
 
6 Attachment(s)
Hello VikingSword forums,
Thank you for allowing me to register as a user on this forum. Already I can say that it's been a great resource for me to gradually understand more about the Kris and it's cultural significance.
I was redirected here from a user on Reddit that had graciously assisted me when I posted some pictures of my Kris. Therefore, I ask help in finding out more information it. More specifically, if I could find out the composition of the grip, the age of the blade and scabbard, and the significance of the hilt in relation to the other aspects of the Kris. Many thanks for your thoughts and time. I look forward to spending more time on this resource.

David 10th January 2021 03:17 AM

Welcome to the forum Max.
A nice old Madura/East Jawa keris.
The ivory hilt looks like Kojuk Mrenges, though in a less detailed form. It seems to have some age. Is the base wood or horn. It is possible it is a newer part to replace damaged ivory at the original base of this hilt.
The top sheath is a wood i have seen before but can't name. Maybe someone here knows. This style of top sheath is a bit of a village folk art as far as i understand it. I like this carving. The motif is Si Mega, the mythical winged horse. It is regional emblem for Sumenup.
The gandar (stem) of the sheath looks newer than the atasan. The wear and the carving skills look different. But that shouldn't bother you.
Honestly your photos of the blade aren't very good for analysis, but the blade looks like the oldest part of the ensemble and seems to have been fairly well constructed. I would say it was probably an 11 luk blade, though it seems to have lost it's final luk over time along with its finer details. It would be nice to see this blade cleared and re-stained to reveal the pamor better.
If this were mine i would probably replace the flattened mendak (metal hilt ring) with a new bit of jewelry. :)

Jean 10th January 2021 09:13 AM

I agree with what David said, the scabbard is in Madurese deng-udengan or gabilan style.

jagabuwana 11th January 2021 12:26 AM

Welcome maximummason!

With regards to David's suggestion about cleaning and staining, you may find these threads useful:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23934
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25562

For more, I suggest you to use the search function to find out more about how to do that. but the two above should be more than enough to get started.

The cleaning should be simple and accessible to anyone, but a good staining job, depending on where you live and what you can access, will be difficult.
This is because traditionally in Indonesia "warangan" is used, which is a mineral containing high concentrations of arsenic. In lieu of that some on this forum use lab-grade arsenic trioxide which is inaccessible to most.

It is worth noting too that a thorough cleaning, which will invariably involve a light acid such as cooking vinegar, will remove whatever is left of the stain that is already on this keris.

You could always start with giving it a scrub with a toothbrush and dishwashing detergent then drying it thoroughly using a lint free cloth then a blowdryer.

David 11th January 2021 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jean
I agree with what David said, the scabbard is in Madurese deng-udengan or gabilan style.

Thanks Jean. Gabilan was the name i was searching my aging brain cells for.
;)

maximummason 12th January 2021 09:36 PM

Many thanks to those of you who replied to me. I appreciate it greatly and apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I believed that it would send me an email when someone replied, but it did not.

If by the base you are referring to the top part of the hilt, then I believe it is a dark wood material!

If you would like me to attach more specific photos of the blade, I would be happy to do that! Anything to get some more information on the Kris.

Thank you for the suggestions on cleaning it. I will start off with a toothbrush and slowly see if I can remove some of the staining.

If I can ask one more question, why are there holes in the grip of the Kris? Were those intentional?

Many thanks for your thoughts and time again.

David 16th January 2021 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jagabuwana
The cleaning should be simple and accessible to anyone, but a good staining job, depending on where you live and what you can access, will be difficult.
This is because traditionally in Indonesia "warangan" is used, which is a mineral containing high concentrations of arsenic. In lieu of that some on this forum use lab-grade arsenic trioxide which is inaccessible to most.

The mineral that is used to make warangan is realgar i believe. It is not difficult to get, though many specimens appear to be relatively expensive and since i have never used it i could not really guide anyone on which ones are the best to use. I have heard the the redder/pinker varieties are best, but i cannot confirm. Lab-grade arsenic trioxide is far superior to use because its strength is always exactly the same and if applied properly it it will give the most consistent results. However, as you have already said, it is hard to obtain unless you have the right licenses. I have seen some good staining results with other, easier to obtain substances, but do not have any personal experience with them.

asomotif 17th January 2021 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David
If this were mine i would probably replace the flattened mendak (metal hilt ring) with a new bit of jewelry. :)

Maybe someone used to working with silver can put the mendak back in shape
:shrug:

David 17th January 2021 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asomotif
Maybe someone used to working with silver can put the mendak back in shape
:shrug:

That doesn't really make too much sense to me unless it was a particular rare form. Mendaks of good material and construction are relatively cheap to acquire through regular dealers or on eBay. You would probably have to pay a silversmith more to repair this than it is worth.

Interested Party 19th January 2021 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David
That doesn't really make too much sense to me unless it was a particular rare form. Mendaks of good material and construction are relatively cheap to acquire through regular dealers or on eBay. You would probably have to pay a silversmith more to repair this than it is worth.

I can't see the damage. I have seen ones that seemed to have been crushed by impacts. If replacement is necessary then maybe an attempt to tap out the damage would be in order as there is nothing to lose :shrug:

Has this blade been cleaned to the point it is hard to guess dapor? I was playing around with Tammens and could find a suitable match, but that is a condensed list if I am not mistaken.

A. G. Maisey 19th January 2021 03:10 AM

If this blade had been made in Surakarta style we could give it as dhapur Bandhotan. Since it is not Surakarta style it misses out on some of the characteristics that we expect to see in a Surakarta keris, but it is still probably close enough to use bandhotan.

David 19th January 2021 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Interested Party
I can't see the damage. I have seen ones that seemed to have been crushed by impacts. If replacement is necessary then maybe an attempt to tap out the damage would be in order as there is nothing to lose :shrug:

Has this blade been cleaned to the point it is hard to guess dapor? I was playing around with Tammens and could find a suitable match, but that is a condensed list if I am not mistaken.

You can't see the damage? Looks pretty crushed to my eyes. I am also fairly certain there is material lose. Some of the little silver balls around the edge appear to be missing. I suppose one could take time and effort to try to pop it back up and maybe, if you had the skills, solder some new silver balls in place. But i'm not convinced you would ever be able to make it look like it hadn't been damaged.
Also, from my perspective, bringing a new keris into the family is sort of like getting a new girl friend. If you like her enough you might want to buy her a new piece of jewelry. Again, there is nothing in this particular mendak that i see that makes it special enough to warrant saving. I have bought sterling silver ones with stone inclusions for $25USD and you can find fairly attractive cheaper ones as well. I just don't see why it would be worth the effort to try to restore this one unless you just really want the challenge and are open to the strong possibility of an unsatisfactory result. :shrug:

Interested Party 20th January 2021 05:40 AM

David, it might be crushed but with the angle of the photo I can't be sure. My eye for evaluation is still developing. As far as repair goes, I guess I tend to fix things, even things that aren't worth fixing. My friends actually make fun of me for the habit and the time I lose, but sometimes the results can't be duplicated by something new. Most of the silver mendaks I've seen online seem to be in Bali's style.

David 20th January 2021 02:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Interested Party
David, it might be crushed but with the angle of the photo I can't be sure. My eye for evaluation is still developing. As far as repair goes, I guess I tend to fix things, even things that aren't worth fixing. My friends actually make fun of me for the habit and the time I lose, but sometimes the results can't be duplicated by something new. Most of the silver mendaks I've seen online seem to be in Bali's style.

I certainly understand the joy that restoring things brings to many people. Don't let your friends make fun of you for things that bring you joy. ;)
I won't provide any links to mendaks for sale online because that would break our rules, but if you just google "mendak keris" you will no doubt find many opinions for Javanese mendaks. I can be fairly certain the mendak on this keris has indeed been crushed flat because Javanese and Madurese mendaks have more width to them than what i can see. I cannot be sure of the exact style this mendak is, as there are many variations, but this mendak probably looked something like the one i have posted below.
Bali keris rings are called uwer (or wewer) btw, though sometimes they are misidentified as "mendak".
But my point here goes even a bit beyond whether or not you can restore this mendak (though i seriously doubt you could get a very good result), but more the idea that giving the blade a new mendak could be seen as something of a gift to MM's newly acquired keris, an honouring to the spirit of the keris and an acknowledgement of new ownership. Keris dress is often changed when a keris changes hands. It's just a matter of a different perspective i guess.
Of course, if you are up for the challenge you could always exchange info with MM and he could send you this mendak so you can see what you can do with it. I'd love to see you be successful with such a project in spite of my doubts. ;)

asomotif 26th January 2021 09:41 PM

Hello David,

This new mendak looks "die casted". Is that correct ?
Not much of a gift to a very old an genuine keris as presented in this thread.
I really prefer old mendak, as they are indeed like a jewel, a gift to the keris.

Ps, I like this thread about mendak :
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...=madura+mendak

maximummason 27th January 2021 12:24 AM

Thank you all for the comments. I think I will replace the mendak with one that radiates more...."bling" :-)

David 27th January 2021 02:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asomotif
Hello David,

This new mendak looks "die casted". Is that correct ?
Not much of a gift to a very old an genuine keris as presented in this thread.
I really prefer old mendak, as they are indeed like a jewel, a gift to the keris.

Ps, I like this thread about mendak :
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...=madura+mendak

Sorry, i posted the following as an edit on your post by mistake and then went back and deleted it. :o :o :o
Yes, i grabbed the first shot i could find on the internet in order to show I.P. the general shape of a Jawa/Madura mendak so that he could better understand why i was convinced that the one on this keris is squashed flat. It was not meant as an example of an exquisite or even medium grade mendak. That said however, it would be far better than leaving the one that is presently on this keris in place. ;)

Jean 27th January 2021 08:58 AM

Hello David,
This mendak which you showed us is in bejen style from Yogya (see Keris Jawa book page 281) so not really suitable for this kris... ;)
Regards

David 27th January 2021 02:08 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jean
Hello David,
This mendak which you showed us is in bejen style from Yogya (see Keris Jawa book page 281) so not really suitable for this kris... ;)
Regards

Yes Jean, thanks, i am aware of that. LOL!
As i just explained to Asomotif, i was simply posting a any Jawa/Madura style mendak to demonstrate that the one on the OP's keris was squashed. This is an Eat Javanese keris and Max should seek a mendak that is more appropriate for this kind of keris. Of course, from what i can see of what is left of the mendak on the keris in question, it does not look like it was the proper mendak to begin with. Which is why i wrote " I cannot be sure of the exact style this mendak is, as there are many variations, but this mendak probably looked something like the one i have posted below."
So please excuse my laziness for not researching proper East Jawa mendaks suitable for this ensemble, but that was not my intended point at the time. If max would like to find a mendak more suitable for this ensemble he should probably be looking for ones in these variations. ;)

Jean 27th January 2021 07:33 PM

Yes David, these are very good and suitable pieces! I intended to show some pieces but did'nt as I got very few spares :)

A. G. Maisey 27th January 2021 11:54 PM

Please refer post #14 & #17

In post #14 David has shown a mendak that Jean in post #17 has identified as "bejen" Jogja (Ngayogyakarta) style.

Jean's reference is Haryoguritno "Keris Jawa".

About this style of mendak.

On Page 39 of Solyom "World of the Javanese Keris" this style of mendak is identified as "parijoto" style. As to whether the mendak shown in post #14 is Jogja style or Solo style, there are minor differences only in Solo & Jogya styles, and it would be necessary to have the actual mendak in hand before it would be possible to state definitively whether it was suited to a Jogja keris or a Solo keris. My personal opinion based upon the photograph is that this current production mendak in Post #14 would probably prove to be better suited to use on a Solo hilt than on a Jogja hilt.

A further comment in passing:- in my experience, this current production mendak would be fabricated (ie, built of several separate pieces)it would not be produced from either a single die nor would it be cast. However, some of those separate parts could have been produced from dies, this is standard practice in the trade and has been for a very long time.

Solyom identifies this mendak style as parijoto, I also identify it as parijoto, both Solyom and I gained most of our Javanese terminology from Surakarta (Solo).

Haryoguritno spells "parijoto" as "parijatha" (see HG page 280).

In fact, "parijoto" is two words:- "pari + joto", it means "swollen rice grains", ie, not cooked rice grains, cooked rice is or "sega" (Ng) or "sekul" (Kr.), but it is dry rice ("pari") that has become wet & thus swollen.

The word used by Haryoguritno , "parijatha", is the name of a little bush that has yellow berries, these berries have a medicinal purpose, I'm not sure what that is, but it is something to do with pregnancy & child bearing. I'm afraid that Haryoguritno got it wrong in this case --- or more probably his informant got it wrong.

There is another problem with Haryoguritno's identification also.
He identifies the mendak style in post #14 as "bejen". In fact the spelling is not "bejen", but "pecen".

The word "pecen" comes from the word "peci" ("pici"), and can be understood as "like a peci", whilst this mendak style is not precisely similar to a peci, it is very similar to a fez (tarbus), so as with many terms used in the keris world we have an oblique reference. Again, Solyom appears to draw exactly the same line of connection as I was taught to draw.

I believe this term of "peci" for the Indonesian national black velvet cap was made popular by Sukarno, the other names for it are "songkok" and "kopiah". The name "kopiah" can be found (with various transliterations) in Old Javanese and appears to date from Majapahit times when it referred to a black three cornered cap worn by warriors, and until now as formal wear for a warrior. "Songkok" is I believe more Malay usage.

In Solo, a "pecen" style mendak must be set with stones.

The mendak shown by David in post #14 is not pecen style, it is parijoto style and it is more likely to be suited to a Surakarta (Solo) hilt than to a Ngayogyakarta (Jogja) hilt.

David 28th January 2021 06:19 PM

Thanks Alan. This shows that even my lazy posting of the first mendak i could find just to show thickness can still be turned into a teaching moment. LOL! ;)

Jean 29th January 2021 08:59 AM

Hello Alan,
Both the EK (page 350) and the book keris Jawa (page 280) show a mendak model called parijata with peripheral balls of larger size than David's specimen and attributed to Solo, but the mendak shown by David with smaller balls is a different model in my opinion.
And in page 39 of the book "The Javanese kris" the "parijoto" model 119 with small balls is attributed to Yogya (120 also?), and model 121 with large balls is attributed to Surakarta.
Regards

A. G. Maisey 29th January 2021 11:25 AM

Thank you for your comments Jean.

I have not the smallest difficulty in acknowledging that you have every right to your own opinion, Jean. This is the wonderful thing about the Keris:- there is room for everybody to hold an opinion.

However, I am unable to know from a photograph if a mendak is suited to fit to a Solo hilt, or a Jogja hilt.

What I have learned about the parijoto mendak style is this:- any mendak of normal height that has balls of whatever size running around its middle is a parijoto style mendak:- the size of the balls is totally irrelevant.

The mendak shown by David is unquestionably parijoto, but whether it is suited to a Solo hilt or a Jogja hilt I have absolutely no way of knowing.

In the matter of deciding whether a mendak is correct for mating with a Jogja hilt, or with a Solo hilt, the single most important thing is the size of the mendak, not the size of the balls. Usually the base of a Jogja hilt is smaller than the base of a Solo hilt, design differences between Solo & Jogja mendak can exist, but they also overlap, and what needs to be done is match the mendak to the hilt. A mendak that is intended for a Jogja hilt will usually be too small for a Solo hilt, a mendak intended for a Solo hilt will usually be to large for a Jogja hilt. It is totally impossible to know from a photo whether or not a particular mendak will fit a particular hilt unless you have them both in hand, or you know their measurements.

Jean, I think the reference you mean is "The World of the Javanese Keris" ? Solyom?

On page 39 of this book there are 4 different styles of parijoto mendak shown, the common feature which makes all of them "parijoto" is that they all have a ring of balls running around their middles. It is that ring of balls that makes them "parijoto".

Now, Solyom has identified where they were collected, and possibly what hilt they will fit, but we can only take Garrett's word for it, because we do not have anything in the photos to compare them with, nor do we have them in front of us. It is diameter and overall size that determines whether a mendak is correct for a Solo hilt, or a Jogja hilt. The size of the balls, and even the shape of the balls, has nothing at all to do with it.

But still, I must admit, I am a bit particular about details like having a hilt fitted with the mendak that is correct for it, and in fact, the differences between Solo & Jogja mendak are only marginal, so I guess anybody can fit whatever they wish with anything else, if they are happy to do this.

Jean 29th January 2021 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Thank you for your comments Jean.

I have not the smallest difficulty in acknowledging that you have every right to your own opinion, Jean.

The mendak shown by David is unquestionably parijoto, but whether it is suited to a Solo hilt or a Jogja hilt I have absolutely no way of knowing.

Hello Alan,
It is not my opinion but Haryoguritno's one who distinguishes between the 2 types of mendak, see pages 279 to 281 of the book "Keris Jawa" (and also in the EK pages 289 & 290).
Regards

A. G. Maisey 29th January 2021 11:13 PM

I apologise Jean, I thought it was your opinion also, because of what you wrote in Post #23, however, if you do not share this opinion with KJ & EK, but are only citing those books as references, then I understand what you mean.

Still, this is only playing with words, I really don't care what EK & KJ say, these books were written by men, men who drew their opinions from other men, and some of those other men were my teachers also. In fact, I seldom draw upon published books for my own opinions, nor for what I write.

I do use terminology from published books when I write for what is principally a readership that is not literate in Bahasa Indonesia or Basa Jawa, and I do that because it makes communication easy, but often my vocabulary and my understandings that I use in this writing vary somewhat from my vocabulary and understandings that I use in communication with people I know in Solo. I try not to take issue with minor variations in understanding and vocabulary, because these little things are really of no consequence to anybody except hardcore collectors, and they do not impact upon the core of keris understanding.

Jean, I really did not want to get into this quoting of books area:- I do not draw upon books for my own opinions, and I feel it is not particularly useful to rely upon a book when I have over 50 years experience of involvement in the world of the keris in Jawa:- I prefer to rely upon my own teachers and my own observations.

The reason for this is that my teachers all had a high degree of contempt for books written about keris. I lost count of the number of times I heard:-

"Sayang sekali orang-orang yang mau menulis buku-buku tentang keris tidak belajar keris dulu"

or similar equally derogatory comments.

My teachers were what we might think of as "old school", and they had little time for anything that did not agree with their own opinions, which they had formed over a lifetime of involvement in the world of the keris in Jawa Tengah. All of my teachers were based in Surakarta, and my principal teacher was totally committed to the Surakarta school and was inclined to dismiss the beliefs held by the Ngayogyakarta school as more than a little erroneous. In fact, I found it to be wise not to even mention Jogja in his presence.

I like to think of myself as somewhat more tolerant than my teachers. In many keris related matters I am prepared to accept that there is room for opinion. Nothing --- or at least almost nothing --- is graven in stone.

Because of this rather flexible attitude, and I guess also because I am not Javanese, nor am I a permanent member of any Javanese community, I am not prepared to get into debates about what is "right", and what is "wrong" when it comes to the keris.

Any culture is owned by the people who are a part of that culture, people who do not belong to the culture can only comment upon it, not arbitrate upon the beliefs held by those within the culture. However, my teachers were a part of keris culture as it was in Solo during their lifetimes, and my opinions in respect of the keris do in many respects reflect the opinions of my teachers.

If I respect the opinions of my teachers, would it be respectful of me to ignore their opinions and adopt the opinions of journalists and people who publish books for their own reasons?

I think not.

Equally, would it be respectful of me to be critical of the writings of people who are no longer with us?

Again, I think not.

Even though the opinions of these writers often are at variance with that which I have been taught.

So, even though you have not stated your opinion in this matter Jean, but have merely cited references that put forward an understanding that differs from my own, I feel it might be useful to consider a few things that contributed to what can be read in EK & KJ.

EK published in 2004, and was compiled by Bambang Harsrinuksmo, he was a journalist, he tended towards the Jogja school, in fact, I think it would be fair to say that he was heavily influenced by the Jogja school. Although he, himself was not recognised as any sort of authority on the keris, the man he worked with in keris writing was recognised in Jogja as an Ahli Keris. This man was Suwarsono Lumintu. I believe Lumintu is still with us. He was very influential in the Jogja school, and contributed heavily to current beliefs held by the Jogja keris community and other keris communities that align themselves with the Jogja school.

It is important to note that Harsrinuksmo uses the word "compiled" (disusun) for his work, he is clear that he did not actually express his own opinions, he gathered the opinions of others (principally the opinions of Lumintu in respect of Jawa) and assembled those opinions into book form.

EK was preceded by another book by Harsrinuksmo, again it was a compilation, not his own opinions, and again he worked with Lumintu in the production of this book. This book was "Ensiklopedi Budaya Nasional -- (Keris dan senjata tradisional Indonesia lainnya)" , and was published in 1988.

Apart from these two books a number of other little booklets and pamphlets that dealt with various aspects of the keris were published by Harsrinuksmo.

Everything produced by Harsrinuksmo and Lumintu was targeted at the collector market. All these books and booklets and pamphlets were books for collectors, and in all cases they reflected the beliefs of some keris collectors in Indonesia, during the period when they were produced. Although Harsrinuksmo acknowledges that he has drawn upon publications in various languages he does not include a bibliography nor does he use citations.

KJ was written by Haryono Haryoguritno, that is, it is original work by Haryoguritno, it is not a compilation. As original work the contents of this book must be understood as the opinions of the author, but we know that Haryoguritno gathered together the material for this book over many years, he drew upon previously published works, and his acknowledgements contained in the book reads like a list of prominent people. He provides a bibliography but not citations.

Again, this is a book for collectors and if considered from this perspective, probably the most useful book for a keris collector that has ever been published. But that does not mean that everything in this book agrees with the opinions of the people who taught me, nor with my own opinions.

KJ was copyrighted in 2005 and it draws heavily on EK.

Within the world of the keris there is plenty of room for variation in opinion, and if we look at the works that deal with keris, and that go back into the colonial era and progress to the present day, we find that opinions constantly vary. Not only do we find that opinion varies over time, we find that opinion varies from locality to locality within Indonesia, it varies from one keris study group to another, and it varies from one person to another within the same group.

In the case of the keris it is a mistake to believe that just because one person holds a particular opinion, that opinion is without question correct. Just because the opinion has been published in a book does not make it correct. The opinion may be accepted as correct by a greater or lesser number of people, but even that acceptance does not guarantee its correctness.

My own opinions in respect of the keris were formed to a large degree by my teachers, and in many instances these opinions have been re-enforced by my own observation of common practice and opinion within Surakarta during the period from 1974 to 2015.

However, I have no problem at all in accepting the opinions of others as perfectly valid opinions from their own perspective.

So Jean, even though you have now stated that these opinions put forward in EK and KJ are not your opinions, if you feel inclined to embrace these opinions and make them your own, I would never argue against your freedom to do so.

A. G. Maisey 30th January 2021 04:18 AM

I have just had it pointed out to me that I should have made something clearer than I have in my previous Post #26. I did not want to labour the point, as that post is already too long, and what I've been told to make clear is something that I believe everybody with a keris interest already knows anyway.

I won't mince words with this, I'll try to put it plain & simple:-

a lot of the names and associations presently in use by the current generation of keris collectors are modern inventions, the names and ideas might be in use within one group of collectors, they might have been invented by a dealer, or they might have been invented by an author, but many of these names and ideas are strange to the older generation of keris literate people.

When EK came on to the market I was in Solo, I bought a copy and later that morning I went to visit Pauzan. I'd only flicked through it, and it looked pretty impressive to me, but Pauzan had had a copy for a couple of weeks and had been through it, cover to cover. I asked him what he thought of it. I cannot remember his response word for word, but the sense of what he said was approximately:-

"I think a lot of it has been invented. Where did all these names come from? I don't know these names, nobody I know knows these names. Where did he get them? His first book (Pauzan meant Ensiklopedi Budaya) was good, but if you want to publish a new book about the same thing you need something to make people buy it"

Before Pauzan became an empu he had been dealing in keris for around 15 years, the last 6 or 7 of which he had dealt professionally in a stall in Pasar Triwindu. From about 1980 or '81 he had been making keris and was also probably the biggest trade supplier of high quality historic keris in Central Jawa.
20 years as a dealer, followed by 25 years as a dealer and maker, and all this right at the heart of the Javanese world of the keris. 40 odd years experience at least. Yet a new book compiled by a journalist with the assistance of a leading light of the Jogja keris community left Pauzan puzzled by all the new words that suddenly appeared in an area of knowledge that he knew inside out & back to front.

Draw your own conclusions.

KJ became available after EK

The biggest value of both EK & KJ is that they provide a common lexicon, these two books have established a language full of names, terms, ideas that are available to everybody for use and seem to have become a common language for the current generation of collectors. In a world where people use online communication and phone communication, the presence of a common language is valuable, so no matter if it is right or wrong, invented or brought back into use, or even pulled off the wall, these words and ideas that were strange to Pauzan when EK was published do serve a purpose today. Just so long as we do not believe that those words and ideas are universally accepted and inarguably correct.

Jean 30th January 2021 09:59 AM

Hello Alan,
Thank you very much for you very detailed and interesting comments. They show the complexity and uncertainty of the kris world for the Western collectors like myself, and the differences between the Yogya and Solo kris schools which cause more confusion.
David, did you imagine that your pic will raise such a debate? :D

A. G. Maisey 30th January 2021 10:59 AM

Yes Jean, its difficult.

I didn't imagine that a few little comments on a tiny, insignificant, little mendakipun would get any response other than an "Oh yeah".

But just one thing Jean:- there is no debate.

When people debate they try to convince the other party that one point of view has more merit than the other.

I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I truly do not care at all whether anybody accepts my comments as valid, or not. All I'm doing is just passing on a little of my experience:- accept or reject I don't care either way.

Actually the differences go further than just Solo & Jogja. I personally find some of the East Jawa opinions a bit hard to accept. Then of course we have the variation in opinions between people living on opposite sides of the road.

Its easier just to think in terms of everybody being right --- in their own way.

Interested Party 30th January 2021 02:57 PM

We are discussing 3 books I have wanted to read. Whatever their validity.
I read the Apocrypha so I am ok with dissenting opinions. I have a manuscript type copy of the EBN and need to purchase a copy of the original with pictures to have it make more sense.
I have not found a copy of the EK or Keris Jawa in English. Do translations exist? I thought they did but not having found one is making me doubt my belief.
And of course there is still my quest for a copy of Gronnman at a reasonable price. Tammens was not as helpful as I had hoped him to be.

PS I have found this thread fascinating. More information on mendaks than the rest of my library combined! :)

A. G. Maisey 30th January 2021 08:27 PM

EBN is not a low cost book. I know of two copies that were sold in Indonesia more than 5 years ago at the equivalent of approximately $US500 each, this book has apparently become a collector's item in its own right.

I have not heard of an English translation of either EK or KJ. Both these books are full of pictures and for a collector as distinct from a researcher, the pictures together with captions are probably enough.

The KITLV book that contains Groneman, ISBN 9789067183291, over the last few years has sold for between $US250 & $US350. My understanding is that this book is easily available.

Actually, this perceived barrier of language is not as high as one might think. Bahasa Indonesia is a very simple language to learn to a basic level --- after "basic" it can get a bit tricky, but with an Echols & Shadily I reckon anybody could get what they really need from EK, and perhaps KJ.

David 30th January 2021 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jean
David, did you imagine that your pic will raise such a debate? :D

LOL! Ahhhhh...nope, didn't see that coming. :D
Though once again, like the opinions you expressed, not MY pic. LOL! ;)
I think this has been an interesting discussion, though as Alan points out, his salient points should not be anything new to those that have had an interest in keris for any reasonable period of time.
I do feel a bid for Max, however, since this thread does seem to have gone off on more than one tangent. Hopefully he feels his questions about his keris have been properly addressed.

David 30th January 2021 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
The KITLV book that contains Groneman, ISBN 9789067183291, over the last few years has sold for between $US250 & $US350. My understanding is that this book is easily available.

I do believe it is possible to find this book for somewhere in the vicinity of the prices Alan suggests, though i would not go as far as to say it is easily available.
I would suggest you checkout the website bookfinder.com. This website will list all the available options to find used books from booksellers all around the world. You will not find this recent edition of The Javanese Kris new anywhere. Even though this updated and expanded version of this classic keris book was first released in 2009 i do not believe they have plans to run any new editions of it so it should probably be considered out-of-print at this point. I was fortunate to have jumped on a copy of this when it first came out and was selling for under $100USD. It is a handsome hardcover edition with all kinds of added photos and diagrams that were not in Groneman's origin printing. A nice book to own, though i don't image it is very essential to an understanding of the keris and certainly has it's share of "errors", so you may not really want to spent $300USD to acquire one.
I do believe, however, that you can access an online version from academia.edu. It says it is free if you sign up. You can see about the first 40 pages of it without a sign in. I honestly don't know how it works because i have never pursued it to the point of signing up, but if you are interested in having access to this book this might be a good option to look into. ;)
https://www.academia.edu/23350430/THE_JAVANESE_KRIS

Interested Party 5th February 2021 05:00 AM

Max, I can't wait to see pictures of the keris after you give it some love!

Alan, daphor Bandhotan? Is this specific to 11 lok? I haven't found any information on it. Does it have something to do with a knot of protection, bandha in Sanskrit? Thanks for the Echols & Shadily suggestion. I don't know why I hadn't thought of that. I can find all three books (EK, EBN, and The Javanese Kris), I just would like to find copies for less. The $100 price range that David mentioned would be nice.

David, the academia.edu has seemed interesting before. On the down side they want your contacts from google or facebook. Unfortunately 40 pages doesn't get to daphor or pamor. Beyond that it seems like a subscription is necessary. I am liking bookfinder.com.

A. G. Maisey 5th February 2021 05:59 AM

"Bandhotan" is a kind of snake.

I know nothing about this dhapur, in fact i did not even know it existed until I looked it up, I only knew "bandhotan" as a tombak dhapur, that has a naga head at each side of its base, the naga bodies twine together and form the odo-odo. The tombak is luk 7.

I think there is possibly one of the Karaton Jogja pusakas that is bandhotan, but I don't know if it is a keris or a tombak.

In the SKA pakem keris bandhotan has 11 luk, but it is pretty widespread practice that if a waved keris agrees with a known dhapur in all except the number of waves it is acceptable to give it as that dhapur + the number of luk, so FX, Keris Dhapur Bandhotan Luk Lima for a keris that has ricikan that agrees to bandhotan, but only 5 luk.

I'm a member of Academia.com, and I used to have the premium pay membership, I dropped that pay membership because I began to get a bit annoyed with Academia, they send you a message every time your name gets mentioned in some publication or other, but regrettably there are several people who have the same name that I do, there's a marine biologist, a 19th century English historian, and others that have a name that is close enough to my name for their little machine to think we're the same person.

It doesn't even stop there, I think I've been sent well over 100 notifications of genuine mentions of my name in some paper or book or other, when I have already seen that mention. Only today I got advised for the umpteenth time that my name is mentioned in a South Sulawesi archaeology paper, it is a genuine mention, but they've told me many more times than once. It is very annoying getting continual emails that do not relate to anything that you might have done, or multiple emails that relate to something you have done.

But it is a twin edged sword, because you get sent publications that are mostly relevant to your own field and that you can download. I have about 200 academic papers that I have downloaded thanks to what gets sent to me from Academia, these are not all keris related papers but they are related to other stuff I'm involved in. I'd say that on balance it is certainly worth joining, but don't get sucked in to the "pay" version.

Mickey the Finn 15th February 2021 02:47 PM

Re: Academia.com & keris books.
 
Over the years, I've become wary of giving out any of my email addresses for the privelege of access to this or that website. Last autumn I let my guard down for access to academia.org; in retrospect, I may have made a mistake.
I didn't even get a paid membership, but the amount of spam email I get regarding papers only marginally relevant to the topics I originally signed up to read about has got to be among the worst I've ever been plagued by. Every time I log into my email I have to delete dozens of their bothersome notifications. I'm considering blocking all emails from them, but the annoyance factor hasn't yet reached the tipping point for me.
As for keris books... I'm still less-than-actively searching for a Danish-English dictionary to help with Tammens. For books in Bahasa Indonesia, I make do with Tuttle's Concise Indonesian-English Dictionary. I've found it to be quite adequate to "get the gist" of Ensiklopedi Keris, for the most part. Some other keris books contain more words which I suspect are Javanese, or perhaps quite specialized, or of the nature of a "calque"-a "shoe word", or a term which would be understood by native speakers of B.I.
English language books about keris aren't too numerous.
My unlearned opinion is that it is of vital importance and of inestimable value to access online resources written in Bahasa Indonesia, even if such access is gotten through the medium of a translation program. One can learn very much keris lore if one is willing to put in the effort to do the "homework", as it were, and if one has the patience to sort through the "hoo-hah" and sometimes contradictory accounts. Does dhapur jarang goyang make you a chick magnet and/or as virile as a young stallion, or is there an altogether different kebatinan/filsafat? Along the way, you may learn different methods of measuring a keris to determine if you are compatible with it, about the mystical link between the Sultan of Jogjakarta and the Queen of the South, about why a Javanese groom often has a string of flowers draped over the warangka of his keris, about flying keris and disembodied flying heads, the identifying characteristics of certain kinds of "bad iron" used to forge keris. A keris forged of one memorable kind of iron will cause it's owner to become stupid, wasteful, and hated by his boss! You'll learn which pamor will enable you to always be able to find cheap food, which pamor will cause you to never own a home, the bad iron or pamor which will cause your wife to cuckold you, and the pamors which will cause your subordinates to obey you without question or enable you to become friends with almost anyone you meet! You may be able to piece together the reason why one author warns against kissing a keris or smelling it's fragrance [allegedly, doing so may cause your lips and/or nose to fester and rot away!] Much of this information I've only found in Indonesian language sources. English language sources do not discuss the esoteric aspects of keris in anything approaching the extent to which Indonesian sources do.

A. G. Maisey 15th February 2021 09:05 PM

I was going to comment on this post of yours Mickey, but I think I've already said what I wanted to say in my post to your "scribd.com" thread.

But I will say this:- just because something has been written in Bahasa Indonesia this does not give it any special value. Everything you read needs to be questioned and cross checked. But then my own objectives are perhaps a little different to those of most people who have a keris interest, so possibly such a stringent approach is not justified for many other people.

For somebody with a beginning keris interest there are a few books that are worth the time to read. I'm pretty sure that they have been mentioned here previously not once, but a number of times.

Once a basic understanding has been achieved it becomes easier to identify the precise areas of understanding, belief & knowledge that one would wish to devote time to.

jagabuwana 15th February 2021 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
sometimes contradictory accounts. Does dhapur jarang goyang make you a chick magnet and/or as virile as a young stallion, or is there an altogether different kebatinan/filsafat?

I've not heard of this dhapur but if it does what it describes on the label, maybe it should be renamed to sering goyang.

A. G. Maisey 15th February 2021 11:54 PM

The post that previously occupied this space was poorly worded, it was inaccurately put together and misleading.

Speed kills.

I'm driving slower this time, hopefully I can produce something sensible.

Mickey wrote:-

Does dhapur jarang goyang make you a chick magnet and/or as virile as a young stallion, or is there an altogether different kebatinan/filsafat?

To which Jaga responded:-

--- maybe it should be renamed to sering goyang.


"Jarang goyang"
if read as Indonesian means "seldom shake".
"jarang" = seldom, "goyang" - shake

However, if read as Javanese "jarang" means hot water, or more precisely boiling water, and it has a minor or regional meaning that is similar to the Indonesian "seldom".

In Javanese "goyang" has the same meaning as in Indonesian.

I think that most Javanese reading "jarang goyang" would probably read it as "boiling water shake". I just ran this past a couple of Javanese native speakers and asked them to understand it as Javanese and I was told that it doesn't really make sense.

Jaga read "jarang goyang" as Bahasa Indonesia and understood it as "seldom shake" (or similar) and replied in Bahasa Indonesia with "sering goyang", "sering" means often/frequently.

OK, all well and good, but there is no keris dhapur named "jarang goyang".

The correct name is "jaran guyang".

This is Javanese, "jaran" is ngoko for "horse" ( it has secondary meanings, but in this keris context it is "horse".

The word "guyang" occurs in both ngoko & krama and it means bathing livestock (ngguyang = to bathe livestock)

However, in Javanese krama (high level) the word for horse is "kapal".

Some people call this dhapur "kapal guyang", but in ngoko and in Indonesian the word "kapal" means ship, and the word "guyang" can only be used in connection with livestock. So understood as ngoko it is senseless.

The Surakarta Pakem gives the name as "jaran guyang", and this pakem was issued under the aegis of the Karaton Surakarta, so I don't believe it is necessary to use the krama form of this keris name.

Jean 16th February 2021 02:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
As a collector I am mainly interested to know that this dapur has 7 waves and is basically the only one without kembang kacang (see pic), and that it is suitable for seducers like myself... :D
Regards


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