View Single Post
Old 21st June 2021, 10:37 PM   #19
Keris forum moderator
David's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,352

Originally Posted by Edster View Post
Why does the face have to be some sort of Symbolism? Why can't it just be Art? Images of Javanese facial masks are cultural, look similar, but without the ear. Once the face was made on the sword pommel, the scabbard maker just followed suit, but sans ear.
Well, in most cases with an original ensemble the person who made the hilt would also be the person to make the sheath. Of course this may not be an original ensemble. But i would say that it would be highly unlikely that a face would be placed on the dress of an old Indonesian sword just to simply be decorative. There would always be some meaning behind such an addition to the dress. In Jawa masks that are part of the culture (not made for import or tourists) always have some significance. They are Wayang Topeng and are used in a form of sacred theatre.
But these faces don't particularly resemble any of the Wayang Topeng i have seen. When a face is placed on a hilt and/or sheath like this it is there for a purpose, generally as a guardian to protect the owner and the blade. These guardians can be gods, demons or ancestral spirits, but they are not there merely to be decorative art.
David is offline   Reply With Quote