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Albert 28th March 2021 09:17 PM

Review of an exceptional book on keris hilts and keris
 
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Book review by Albert van Zonneveld

Title: Heroes, Gods and Guardians. Hilts and Keris of Indonesia. Huntington Miller Collection.

Author: Bruce W. Carpenter
Photographer: Charla Thompson

Publisher: C. Zwartenkot Art Books - Leiden & Talisman Publishing - Singapore, 2021
www.ethnographicartbooks.com

ISBN-978-905-45-0024-7
Format: 29 x 22.5 cm
Cloth bound with jacket
Pages: 164
Illustrations: 130 colour photographs and 12 text illustrations
Language: English
Price: 45.00

The Huntington Miller Collection of keris and keris hilts is incredible. Not because of the number, but because of the unparalleled quality. It is amazing that so many keris and keris hilts of this superb quality are brought together in one collection.
Bruce W. Carpenter guarantees an elaborate text. Informative and with a lot of background meaning. The accompanying texts to the images not only describe the objects as we see them, but also give an explanation of the depicted figures, heroes, gods and guardians, and their role in the mythical world.
Charla Thompsom's photography is sublime. Each object is photographed from multiple sides and not only gives a beautiful picture of the details, but also show their powerful appearance.

In the book, fifty-nine hilts and seven full keris come into the limelight. They originate from Java, Madura, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sulawesi dating from the 15th-16th century to the 19th-early 20th century.

Contents
- Word from the Collectors
- Dance of the Keris
- Highlights
- Gallery
- Java
- Bali & Lombok
- Sumatra, Sulawesi & Borneo
- Royal Keris
- Bibliography and Image Credits

Heroes, Gods and Guardians is a cultural and artistic voyage that delights the eye and stimulates the mind.
It is not just another book on keris hilts, but indeed an indispensable book for those interested in Indonesian culture in general, as well as for collectors and aficionados of the keris in particular. Highly recommended!


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