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Old 20th January 2021, 09:52 AM   #1
Gonzoadler
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Default Kujang for comments

Hello,

I received this Kujang, your comments are welcome. The handle is carved in the shape of a tiger, the scabbard is decorated with a tiger's head and a paw as tip. The blade shows a nice pamor pattern.
dimensions: total 45.5cm; without scabbard 36.5cm; blade 22.5cm
I have some questions about it:
- How old could it be? I think it is not very old, but I'm not sure.
- Was this weapon only used by the Sundanese people?
- My Kujang blade has 7 holes. In this thread I can read that this refers to the seventh month of pregnancy: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=kujang
Is this right or are there other possible interpretations?

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Old 20th January 2021, 09:53 AM   #2
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Old 20th January 2021, 09:55 AM   #3
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the picture from the thread that refers the holes to the months of pregnancy:
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Old 20th January 2021, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
Hello,

I received this Kujang, your comments are welcome. The handle is carved in the shape of a tiger, the scabbard is decorated with a tiger's head and a paw as tip. The blade shows a nice pamor pattern.
dimensions: total 45.5cm; without scabbard 36.5cm; blade 22.5cm
I have some questions about it:
- How old could it be? I think it is not very old, but I'm not sure.
- Was this weapon only used by the Sundanese people?
- My Kujang blade has 7 holes. In this thread I can read that this refers to the seventh month of pregnancy: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=kujang
Is this right or are there other possible interpretations?

pictures:
Your kujang is fairly recent. I could say exactly, but i would image the oldest it could be is late 20th century, but it could well have been made yesterday.
Yes, this is a blade that is generally considered specific to the Sundanese people.
I find most of the lore that surrounds these blades to be relative new. If you have a kujang that "refers to the 7th month of pregnancy" i'm not really sure what that even means exactly in any practical or even spiritual sense. That is not to say this incorrect information, but someone would need to expand upon that greatly to make it useful information in my opinion.
So it looks like a nice new kujang with an attractive dress.
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Old 20th January 2021, 04:19 PM   #5
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I'd agree with "recent" as well as with its being a very handsome piece of work.
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Old 20th January 2021, 10:04 PM   #6
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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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Old 21st January 2021, 07:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for your comments.
The reference of this holes to pregnancy months was also a little questionable to me. I don't understand what that should mean exactly. Maybe they were just a decoration element in the past and all cultural or religious interpretations are new or fantasy.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:44 PM   #8
A. G. Maisey
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In fact if anything is believed by sufficient people, it is true, and even if it is believed by only one person, for that person, it is true.

Belief is a powerful force.
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