Thread: keris palembang
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Old 18th August 2020, 03:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I think I need to clarify exactly what I mean when I use the word "Tangguh".

Firstly, when I use the word "Tangguh" I am using it in the way that my teachers used it, and that means that it does not mean that just because a keris has been made in a particular place, or during a particular era, that automatically confers upon it the right to use the place where it was made, or the era during which it was made as its "Tangguh".

As an example:- I have made a number of keris myself, I have made a couple in styles other than the Surakarta style, but the only keris I made under Empu Suparman's direction was made in Surakarta style, and most others I have made have been made in Surakarta style too.
Several of these keris have been made in Australia, but does that mean that these keris are "Tangguh Old Toongabbie"? Old Toongabbie, a suburb of Sydney, being exactly where they were made.

No, it does not. These keris are Tangguh Surakarta because they are stylistically Surakarta.

In olden times the style of a keris usually indicated where it was made, so when we affix a Tangguh that relates to a particular geographic location we are basing that affixation of location upon style.

Within the Tangguh system that I was taught, there is room for classifications other than Javanese classifications, in the notebook that records my original instruction I can find Madura, Kupang, Bali, Bugis. If I take this a little further, what I find is that Tangguh Kupang actually does not refer to Kupang at all, it refers to keris that came from the islands to the east of Bali, the people who began to use "Tangguh Kupang" knew that these keris came from East of Bali, they knew Kupang was to the east of Bali, so these "East of Bali" keris got named as "Tangguh Kupang".

Then we have "Tangguh Bugis", and the basis for that Tangguh is the keris that is stylistically Bugis, it does not matter where it was made, what matters is its style.

Same with Madura, if a keris has the stylistic attributes of a keris that is KNOWN to have been made in Madura, that keris is Tangguh Madura, even though it may have been made in Malang, on the mainland of Jawa.

One keris that I made was made in the Surakarta style, but with a Balinese level of craftsmanship and finish. Several ahli keris from Solo commented on it in almost the same words:_"This is a Surakarta keris, but it was made in Bali" actually it was made in Australia, but when I gave it to these men for comment I did not initially tell them that I had made it.

Tangguh is NOT the keris equivalent of "Made in China", or "Made in USA".

Tangguh is an opinion of a keris classification that may or may not TRULY relate to the place where the keris was made, or the era from which it came, and it is based upon the style of the keris.

For example, Tangguh Pengging is often given as "Tangguh Pengging Witaradya(Witorodyo)".

Pengging is a real location, it is near Solo airport in the present day district of Banudono and during late Majapahit it was a small administrative area, probably about equivalent to a kabupaten these days. However Pengging Witaradya or Wikaradya is purely mythical and is probably placed in 9th century Central Jawa.

Tangguh is an opinion that is part of a belief system and to understand what it does mean, might mean and can mean we need to be able to think about the concept of tangguh in a Javanese way.

Now, Kai has decided that my original question relating to tangguh was not phrased sufficiently clearly and he has decided to rephrase it in a form that he feels is more correct. Regrettably Kai was unable to understand my question, which was:-

" --- if we saw this blade alone, by itself only, no dress, what classification (ie, tangguh) would we be forced to give it?"

In the above text I have done my best to try to explain what the concept of "tangguh" is and how we need to consider and apply it.

Anybody feel like answering my question?
Thanks Alan. This isn't new to me as you have described this many times in the past. But this approach to tangguh is one that seems to be consistently ignored these days. You have laid this out rather concisely and clearly here i believe.
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