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Old 6th August 2020, 02:25 AM   #1
apolaki
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Default Identifying 3 hilts

Hi, can anyone help me identify these 3 hilts and where they are from?
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Old 6th August 2020, 03:23 AM   #2
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I'll leave a definitive argument to the experts, but I'm pretty sure these are all from Bali and all fairly recent.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 6th August 2020, 03:48 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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All Bali style.

Can I have a look at the back of the top hilt please? He's probably Nawa Sari, but I need to see the back to be certain.

I cannot identify the other two.
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Old 6th August 2020, 04:05 AM   #4
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Hi, here is the back side of the first hilt. If it is Nawa Sari, can you tell me more about who that is?

Do you know more about the names of the face less figures on the other two hilts? One is covered by long hair and the other is like an abstract faceless figure.

Thank you!

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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
All Bali style.

Can I have a look at the back of the top hilt please? He's probably Nawa Sari, but I need to see the back to be certain.

I cannot identify the other two.
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Old 6th August 2020, 04:05 AM   #5
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I agree with Alan that the top one is most probably Nawa Sari. I assume Alan wants to see the grain sheaf in the hand behind the back, but everything else about this hilt fits the commonly encountered design for Nawa Sari.
The hilt with the hair over the face probably doesn't represent a single figure, but i seem to recall story of leyak or ghosts that are know to appear in this form, so that is the direction i would investigate with that.
No idea on the really abstract one, but i do find it to be really cool.
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Old 6th August 2020, 04:40 AM   #6
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Thanks all for your impressions! What about this hilt, who could it be representing?
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Old 6th August 2020, 05:58 AM   #7
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Yep, Nawa Sari.

For a long time, a lot of people believed that Nawa Sari had nine heads of rice in his hand (nawa = nine) in fact he has a pandanus flower in his hand.

There was Forum discussion of this not all that long ago.

See:-

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=nawa+sari
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Old 6th August 2020, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
Thanks all for your impressions! What about this hilt, who could it be representing?
IMO, this hilt depicts a prabu (king). This is a fairly common and standard style of hilt from Bali/Lombok.
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Old 6th August 2020, 01:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link to your description of Nawa Sari!! It was really interesting to read through.

I am interested to know if there are Balinese keris hilts in the shape of Barong? Do you happen to have any photos or discussions on that topic?

Would you say the photo below is Barong perhaps or another carving of Nawa Sari? The one below seems to be wearing a mahkota. I also took a photo of the back, and seems like there is something being held in the hand in the same orientation as Nawa Sari. Thanks again!



Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Yep, Nawa Sari.

For a long time, a lot of people believed that Nawa Sari had nine heads of rice in his hand (nawa = nine) in fact he has a pandanus flower in his hand.

There was Forum discussion of this not all that long ago.

See:-

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=nawa+sari
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:56 PM   #10
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It's always nice to be able to see the handle from a few angles; it makes identification easier.
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Old 7th August 2020, 01:17 AM   #11
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Thanks Rick!

What is the Prabu commonly holding in his hand?

Is there any story or history tied to Prabu hilts?

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It's always nice to be able to see the handle from a few angles; it makes identification easier.
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Old 7th August 2020, 01:27 AM   #12
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You're welcome Apolaki.
I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with the object he holds in his left hand nor the object clasped in his right hand between his thumb and fingers.
I would love to know however, and also about the face on the back of his headdress; it looks like it might be a rendition of Garuda. I think I see one of these on your example of a Prabu.
One who knows could probably write a paper on the interpretation of the symbolism incorporated in hilts such as these.
I have heard that noble figures are shown with the eyes downcast.
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Old 9th August 2020, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
Thanks for the link to your description of Nawa Sari!! It was really interesting to read through.

I am interested to know if there are Balinese keris hilts in the shape of Barong? Do you happen to have any photos or discussions on that topic?

Would you say the photo below is Barong perhaps or another carving of Nawa Sari? The one below seems to be wearing a mahkota. I also took a photo of the back, and seems like there is something being held in the hand in the same orientation as Nawa Sari. Thanks again!
Does anyone know if this is a carving of Barong or Nawa Sari?
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Old 28th January 2022, 01:45 PM   #14
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I am bumping this,

I have a similar hilt on a Balinese Keris, the seller, a great connoisseur in the NL, told me that this represents Rarung (or Rarong) a witch asistent of Rangda

Last edited by milandro; 28th January 2022 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 28th January 2022, 07:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milandro View Post



I am bumping this,

I have a similar hilt on a Balinese Keris, the seller, a great connoisseur in the NL, told me that this represents Rarung (or Rarong) a witch asistent of Rangda
I have seen this hilt described as the witch Calon Arang, but this all seems fairly recent and i cannot recalling seeing this form in old hilts, so i am not convinced it is a traditional form.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calon_Arang
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Old 28th January 2022, 10:40 PM   #16
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Calon Arang & Rarung are both female.

I cannot clearly see if this figure has the attributes of a woman, but it appears not to have.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 09:53 AM   #17
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The version of this carved hilt that I have appears to have breasts, and on account of this Iíd say it may look female at least in the intentions of the carver. I understand that other elements that we in the west may suppose feminine arenít necessarily so especially in the Balinese iconography, but the general ď feelĒ is that this is a feminine entity. Whether Rarung or otherwise.

I found remarkably few references (in western Internet) to Rarung and no Iconographic source (other than this one above ) to compare to my carved figure on the Hilt of may Balinese keris.

But here are picture of this hilt for you to see.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 10:57 AM   #18
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I find interesting, that this recently carved figure, which perhaps could be identified as Rarung, holds a piece of fabric in each hand.
(In Barong play Rarung has a red magic cloth, which makes her invisible, when put over the head, but serves also other purposes during the play)

An older Bali Wadon hilt of David possibly has a piece of fabric in one or both hands.

Finally the old Wadon hilts from 16/17th centuries hold a piece of fabric in the left hand.

In modern Barong play Rangda has a piece a piece of magic fabric, called Kekudung or Kekereh, which makes her invisible when put over the head. Also Barong himself has such cloth.

Under the many layers of possible simplification/trivialisation/vulgarisation perhaps the same thing can be supposed as origin of this.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 03:01 PM   #19
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Thanks, interesting remarks.

I wonder if there is anything specific in the Rarung story (or any other traditional character ) which would specifically be connected with the feature, to me very striking of the face being covered by the hair.

It seemed to me that should be a distinctive feature, present in both these carvings ,but ( please, correct me if I am wrong, I know you will) not very common in general .


ADDENDUM: I have found a description of the Calon Arang story

https://australian.museum/learn/cult...inting-e74214/

She is a widowed woman which at some point of the story transforms herself into Rangdna ( I am quoting from the link)

"The fifth scene has two parts: on the left the Minister and his party attack Calonarang, who is asleep without her headdress and with hair loose, in a pavilion within her house. In the right section Calonarang has transformed herself into the invulnerable witch Rangda. She is shown incinerating the minister, while his followers are dismayed and prepare to flee. Some versions of the story suggest that Calonarang was actually killed while still asleep and only then assumed her magical form and retaliated...."


So this may be really Calon Arang (in a way so this is just before she turns into Rangda )

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Old 2nd February 2022, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Calon Arang & Rarung are both female.

I cannot clearly see if this figure has the attributes of a woman, but it appears not to have.
I have seen many fairly recent examples of this hilt form that are all clearly meant to be female so i believe it is safe to assume this one also exhibits some feminine form if viewed from the right angle.
Still had to be sure if it is meant to represent Calon Arang or any other specific female character though. I don't believe i have ever seen this form in an antique hilt. If anyone has an antique example i would love to see it. But until then i consider this form to be contemporary in nature.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 07:58 PM   #21
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The carver might know what he intended to carve --- on the other hand even he might be a bit curious about exactly who he finished up producing.

I have watched carvers --- and silver chasers too --- allowing their hands to work quite independently of their attention, while they talked, smoked or watched TV.
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Old 13th February 2022, 06:12 PM   #22
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I have come across this very crude example of an ultramodern (and rather unfinished) hilt with some character with the hair covering the face, I canít say who this may represent but again just showing it to show the fact that this theme , rare though it is, surfaces every now and again.
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