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Old 27th September 2021, 08:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Eastern Sierra
Posts: 165
Default Bugis or Javanese blade?

It has been slow in the keris sub-forum lately so I thought I might ask some questions without diluting the quality of the discourse. I bought this "keris," I believe it to be a keris not a keris like object (question 1), some time back as a project piece to learn skills with, such as cleaning and staining. Handle removal is an unforeseen bonus skill. It remains to be seen if it is attached with resin, rust or epoxy. It seems too soft to be epoxy. When I bought it I thought it was a Javanese keris placed a Sumatran Bugis influenced sheath (the fit isn't great). I took it out a while back to decide if the blade could withstand the cleaning and staining process and noticed that the blade was very flat and thought, "this is a Bugis characteristic." It is a very worn blade, was it forged with the flat of the blade being flat and not lenticular or did this happen due to time and erosion through cleaning, staining, and neglect cycles? Could it be a newish blade dipped in an aging chemical bath? ( I guess a sub-question of question 2) It is lacking a mendak and I began to wonder "Is this a Bugis style blade and wrangka with a Surakarta ukiran?" (question 2) Though the blade is 9 luk I have atached a picture from Tammens' De Kris vol. 1 of a 13 luk blade in which the luks have a similar profile and shape to my eye. The bells and whistles on the two gandiks are very different. Finally concerning the blade the I believe what I have seen called buntut of the ganja is split. Is this by design? If so what is it called, or is it just a failure of a weld? (question 3)

Now to take a bit of a tangent for the question 4 barrage. This group concerns the ukiran; I believe the OP example is modeled on Surakarta style. Most if not all examples in books I've found are mounted 90 degrees differently from this example with the cecekan facing the gandik. Why is this so when many other regions trun the ukiran so it faces away from the body when being carried? What makes a Surakarta ukiran well carved? I.e. I know there are several different profiles that theoretically illustrate different characters, but what lines are considered more refined? When finishing the wood is a perfectly flat plane preferred or are the slight undulations created by an obviously curly grain and a soft sanding block appreciated? What does one look for in cecekan. How does one interpret what one sees? Are questions of the ukrain's overall shape related to ascetic and more elementary significant interpretations of cecegan patterns too esoteric and personal, to be enquired about? I have not found a thread or a book that states these parameters. I think this forum group is well qualified to answer these musings.

Thanks for your consideration and any help you can provide to further my general research.

I.P.
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