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Old 11th February 2021, 08:18 PM   #1
Klop
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Default Philippene/Malay (?) kris with naga

Dear members,

this kris crossed my path, the blade shape seems Philippene to me but the base with a delicate Naga and curved ganja with very nice greneng don't. Contrast forging pattern shows and should be very nice after cleaning. It shows age with some pitting and a few dings in the edges but nothing too serious

I'd appreciatie any thoughts on origin and age, and input on what kind of hilt and sheath this should have!

Kind regards,
Eric.
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Old 11th February 2021, 09:46 PM   #2
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This could be a Malay Sundang.
Try using those words in our search engine and list ethnographic weapons as the forum to search.
IIRC Malay sundangs can be found with a round peksi or tang whereas the Moro kris usually has a flat tang.
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Old 12th February 2021, 02:06 AM   #3
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Total agreement with Rick.
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Old 12th February 2021, 12:17 PM   #4
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Yep, I agree. Malay not Filipino.
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Old 12th February 2021, 09:12 PM   #5
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thanks gentlemen! I have scanned the posts with sundang (there's a lot to read) and will dive deeper into it later, interesting new area for me.

In the pictures of examples I didn't see a naga head like this, doesn't appear to be a textbook example.

The peksi starts round at the base but is forged square, some remnants of resin on it. About the hole behind the naga mouth, do you think this is meant for a baca-baca or just decorative?
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Old 12th February 2021, 09:22 PM   #6
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oh and what I forgot, any idea's on which part of Malaysia? North/north east Borneo?

Kind regards,
Eric.
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Old 13th February 2021, 02:28 AM   #7
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The hole seems a bit incongruous in its relation to the Naga's head so it could have been for attachment of a baca baca, but I see no evidence on the blade to indicate it was used as such. The sword having a Ganja Wulung might complicate the attachment of the aforementioned piece.

Is the Ganja a separate piece?
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Old 13th February 2021, 04:50 AM   #8
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Hello Rick,

modern renditions of keris Naga often exhibit holes:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23571

I don't think this hole was meant for fastening with a clamp.

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Kai
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Old 13th February 2021, 04:52 AM   #9
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BTW, good call to question the gonjo construction, Rick.

Based on the heavy pamor of the blade, I'd guess it is separate though...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 13th February 2021, 04:57 AM   #10
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Hello Eric,

As the others have mentioned, certainly not Moro work. Kris from Brunei seem to be very close to Sulu work, too.

I can't positively prove that this wasn't made on the Malay peninsula. Based on the features at the base of the blade, I'm inclined to believe that this piece was made by a Madurese pande...

IMHO, it would be interesting to stain the blade.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 13th February 2021, 05:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
This could be a Malay Sundang.
Try using those words in our search engine and list ethnographic weapons as the forum to search.
IIRC Malay sundangs can be found with a round peksi or tang whereas the Moro kris usually has a flat tang.
hmmm...i don't really have any doubt about that Rick. Should we move this to the keris forum? It is not a Moro kris IMVHO.
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Old 13th February 2021, 09:05 PM   #12
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Hello Gents,

thanks for the additional input.

the ganja is indeed a separate piece, after some mild cleaning the pattern is more clear on the entire blade. Interesting feature at the tip is that the pattern runs to one edge and a separate dot in the tip is visible on both sides.

At this moment I don't have a container big enough but I'm certainly going to give this a bath in lemon juice to clean the rust and etch it, should be nice.

Kind regards, Eric
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Old 17th February 2021, 08:02 PM   #13
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Hi Eric. Thanks for the additional photographs.
This is definitely a sundang of Indonesian though it is difficult for me personally to pinpoint origin. If it came with original dress it might be easier. I know Kai has suggested Madura, but i am having a hard time seeing that. If i were forced to make a guess i might suggest Sumatra. It is a lovely sundang though. It would be great to see it with some new clothe. I'm not sure that you have access to the anyone in Holland to do that kind of work though. I personally would hesitate sending it back to Indonesia to a mranggi, but maybe you could find someone willing to work from line drawings and tracings of the blade and do the finishing work at home.
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Old 18th February 2021, 08:53 PM   #14
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Hi David,

Indeed, I won't be sending this piece anywhere but at least it needs a handle. A sheath is of secundary importance to me (might be relatively simple just like shirasaya) but I always like to have a decent grip to hold a blade.

It won't be soon but I think I can produce something that would do the job, allthough I doubt I can find the lovely original striped wood. Second best would be a piece of teak which is easy to source - table leg .

Kind regards,
Eric.
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Old 19th February 2021, 06:33 AM   #15
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Hello Eric,

Have a look to this old thread, the naga could be a good hint from where your blade coming: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ght=naga+malay

I would guess that your blade is from Malay origin.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 10:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klop
Indeed, I won't be sending this piece anywhere but at least it needs a handle. A sheath is of secundary importance to me (might be relatively simple just like shirasaya) but I always like to have a decent grip to hold a blade.
Hello Eric,

Like said, I guess a Malay or Bugis origin for your blade, look for examples and their handles here at old threads and elsewhere that you know how a handle has to look. It will be extremely difficult to find an old/antique handle but I know that you can find very well carved new handle in Malaysia. Just search a little bit, you can also use the swap forum for your search. A simple Malay scabbard can get crafted from someone who has some skills if wanted.
Attached some pictures for inspiration, taken from old threads.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
....., I'm inclined to believe that this piece was made by a Madurese pande...
Hello Kai,

May I ask why you think so? Is it the scrolled greneng at the gonjo?
I've noticed this feature and let me think in this direction but all other features I can see by the pictures let me think to see an old blade here and not something recently worked on Madura. But like always I could be wrong.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:13 PM   #18
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Thanks Detlef, meanwhile i've been catching up on old threads with "sundang" and also saw the birdheaded keris, that's a stunning piece.

But I think a more stylized (cockatoo) head would also be fine - and less difficult to carve. I won't dare to say I'm a pro but I do have some woodworking skills, given time I'll make a handle and possibly a sheath and show it here.

About madura -I don't see that too, blade shape and size don't fit the bill. Looking at all the signs I also don't believe this blade has been produced recently - but Kai also never claimed it was recent. Or that it was made on Madura for that matter, he just mentioned a madurese smith. When or where is another thing.

Recap: Phillippenes have been ruled out definately, most votes are for malaysia, and some thoughts of Sumatra or a Madurese smith (who might have migrated somewhere else a century ago).

I don't see a curved ganja with scroll at the end (dhunkul) in other pictures of sundang. All in all we'll never be sure where it's from because it's a mix of style elements, let's call it keris campur :-)
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klop
About madura -I don't see that too, blade shape and size don't fit the bill. Looking at all the signs I also don't believe this blade has been produced recently - but Kai also never claimed it was recent. Or that it was made on Madura for that matter, he just mentioned a madurese smith. When or where is another thing.
Hello Eric,

I am not aware of old/antique Madurese keris sundang, so I guess that Kai have had a recent manufacture in mind!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:37 PM   #20
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Hello Detlef,

Quote:
Have a look to this old thread, the naga could be a good hint from where your blade coming: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ght=naga+malay

I would guess that your blade is from Malay origin.
I already posted a link in posting #8...

We need to be very careful though: I don't believe this initial classification can be taken for granted yet - more research is certainly needed IMVHO!

However, if we go with the tentative overview presented in that linked thread, I don't think that the naga on this kris supports any Melayu origin!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th February 2021, 07:47 PM   #21
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Hello Detlef,

Quote:
Like said, I guess a Malay or Bugis origin for your blade, look for examples and their handles here at old threads and elsewhere that you know how a handle has to look. It will be extremely difficult to find an old/antique handle but I know that you can find very well carved new handle in Malaysia. Just search a little bit, you can also use the swap forum for your search. A simple Malay scabbard can get crafted from someone who has some skills if wanted.
Attached some pictures for inspiration, taken from old threads.
Let's keep my Bugis keris sundang (ex Kai Wee's collection) out of this - it's a completely different beast!

What really makes me doubt any Melayu origin is the bold pamor and it's very unusual pattern (including near the tip): If anything, pattern-welded keris sundang from the Malay peninsula as well as Sumatra are extremely rare (even more so than in Bangsa Moro kris blades)!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th February 2021, 08:33 PM   #22
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Hello Eric,

Thanks for your additional pics!

I'm afraid there are no genuine keris sundang originating from Madurese culture. Blades that probably might have been crafted by entrepreneuring Madurese bladesmiths appear to be a fairly recent phenomenon. From my observations, it seems that native styles (typical for Madura/Jawa) tend to shine through with these blades.

I believe this piece has been artificially aged: There is a considerable difference of surface corrosion and damage between the tip and the base of the blade (as well as the pesi).

I already mentioned the weird pamor and the carved naga both of which do not really vibe well with a traditional Melayu origin IMHO.

Also the features at the base of the blade do not seem to be compatible with a traditional Melayu origin for me.

Thus, there seem to be way too many red flags with this piece. Please don't see it as a final verdict though: More info gained from a detailed analysis (staining, etc.) may help to gain more insights.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th February 2021, 08:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I already posted a link in posting #8...
Hello Kai,

Sorry, I have overlooked this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
We need to be very careful though: I don't believe this initial classification can be taken for granted yet - more research is certainly needed IMVHO!
For sure, full agreement! But it seems that we have had the same thread in mind when we looked to Eric's pictures. I only want to point out the direction Eric should search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
However, if we go with the tentative overview presented in that linked thread, I don't think that the naga on this kris supports any Melayu origin!
I haven't compared, it's not my own blade. But I haven't ruled out a Bugis origin, the pamor could be a hint.
It's a more as unusual blade, also at this point I agree with you completely but my feeling refuses to accept a recent manufacture for this blade, otherwise I would agree with you. Such a black corrosion I see by the first pictures coming not in a few years.

Regards,
Detlef

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 08:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Let's keep my Bugis keris sundang (ex Kai Wee's collection) out of this - it's a completely different beast!
Hello Kai,

Congrats, nice addition! When you ....... I've posted this one because I don't rule out a Bugis influenced origin for Eric's blade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
What really makes me doubt any Melayu origin is the bold pamor and it's very unusual pattern (including near the tip): If anything, pattern-welded keris sundang from the Malay peninsula as well as Sumatra are extremely rare (even more so than in Bangsa Moro kris blades)!
Yes, again agreement with you, another fact which points to a possible Bugis origin.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2021, 08:58 PM   #25
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No worries, Detlef!

Quote:
I haven't compared, it's not my own blade. But I haven't ruled out a Bugis origin, the pamor could be a hint.
IMHO, this pamor does not look like what we usually see coming out of Sulawesi; and, if anything, keris sundang are extremely rare...


Quote:
It's a more as unusual blade, also at this point I agree with you completely but my feeling refuses to accept a recent manufacture for this blade, otherwise I would agree with you. Such a black corrosion I see by the first pictures coming not in a few years.
I'd love to be proven wrong! Collectors sometimes tend to be a bit too paranoid...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th February 2021, 09:05 PM   #26
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Hello Detlef,

Quote:
Congrats, nice addition! When you .......
Thanks! Sure, I will keep you in mind...

I'm really looking forward to seeing more info on Eric's blade, especially from staining!

Regards,
Kai
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