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Old 20th January 2021, 10:04 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 145

With regards to the meaning of the eyelets and just about anything else to do with features, knowledge and beliefs on Sundanese bladed objects, something to consider is that they were not as important to spiritual and social life as the keris was in Jawa culture. Secondly there are no longer any centres of influence and cultural regulation through which knowledge and standards are disseminated from a source of legitimacy. By this I mean there are no longer any functional keratons or a court culture There is no keraton in Sunda which has cultural legitimacy in the same way that Surakarta Hadiningrat or Yogyakarta hadiningrat has. Of course not everyone is under the influence of these courts and a keris enthusiast, student or collector who is outside of that influence doesn't have to adhere to the keraton's rules, but my point is that they are institutions of legitimacy and influence which can conserve knowledge about these things and by their very existence can act as somewhat of an anchor against outright fabrication. It doesn't stop the fabrication or even people from believing it, but it means that there is a source to which people can refer or even follow and they would not be considered wrong or in an errant stream. Or at least my naivety deems it so.

This doesn't seem to exist in Sunda. You can just about make anything up and someone will believe it if the shoe fits the needs of the mental foot. The same goes probably for Java, but as I said above, in Jawa at least there are sources of legitimacy (not to be confused with infallibility).

Among the explanations for what the eyes mean, I have seen:
- that they are in relation to numerology and the numbers meaning can be deciphered using the Qur'an
- the configuration of eyes holds meaning about the nature of god or the supernatural. e.g. 3 eyes on the spine of the kujang plus 1 on its front signify that the Hindu triad of Brahma, Wisnu and Siva have been refined and amalgamated into Allah, the one true god.
- that their true meaning can be found at certain sites of spiritual significance, like certain mountains and caves, because either the ancestors or Prabu Siliwangi had crafted them in mountains and boulders.
- that the number of eyes, and also the type of kujang, designates the holder's position in society (e.g. teacher, diplomat, priest, farmer, nobleman etc.).
- that more eyes = higher social status

If you believe it, it is real.
If you have been taught it by your teacher, it is true.
If you have been taught something else by another teacher, that is also true.
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