Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Keris Warung Kopi

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 29th August 2021, 05:15 PM   #1
Interested Party
Member
 
Interested Party's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Eastern Sierra
Posts: 161
Default Keris Minangkabau by

The forum has been quiet lately so I would like to ask a book question while we have time. Has anyone seen, or better yet read, this book Keris Minangkabau by Basuki Teguh Yuwono and Fadli Zon? How is it?
Attached Images
 
Interested Party is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2021, 12:11 AM   #2
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,363
Default

Just a note...
I have just moved another book related thread to the swap section, so a brief reminder. DISCUSSION of books, their content and merit, criticism, etc. is permissible material for threads in this forum. However, NO discussion on where and how to obtain said book is allowed as NO commercial content is allowed in either the Keris, Ethnographic, European or Miscellaneous Forums on the Vikingsword site. ALL commercial posts belong in the swap forum. So please be aware of this as we proceed to discuss this book.
I, for one, have not read this book. Is it available in English?
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2021, 01:25 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,870
Default

As far as I can see it is in Bahasa Indonesia.

I've looked at a few things that relate to this book, and as with so many other keris books that have been published in recent times, I did not buy a copy.

But that's me.

Other people might well be able to find value between the covers.

It was published about 5 years ago.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2021, 06:46 AM   #4
Loedjoe
Member
 
Loedjoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oxford (UK)
Posts: 96
Default

Any improvements at the following attempts at translation of the chapter headings would be welcome.

Yuwono (Basuki Teguh) & Zon (Fadli). Keris Minangkabau (Fadli Zon Library, Jakarta Pusat, 2016). Includes, verso of titlepage, a list of the museums (8) and collectors (5) from whose collections photographs were taken; pp. xxiii-xliii, glossary; 1-65, ch. I, Minangkabau Pusat Budaya Keris Rumpun Sumatera [Minangkabau Cultural Centre for keris of Sumatran origin] ; 66-149, ch. II, Ragam Jenis Keris Minangkabau [various kinds of Minangkabau keris] ; 151-77, ch. III, Latar Belakang Sejarah [background history of] Keris Minangkabau; 178-325, ch. IV, Visualisasi [i.e. many photographs of] Keris Minangkabau, including, 184-5, names of parts of the sheath, and 186-91, names of parts of the blade, with photographs, and, 295-305, ninety hilts; 326-73, ch. V, Bahan [materials used for] Keris Minangkabau, including, 345-61, descriptions and picture of types of wood 374-420, ch. VI, Fungsi dan Peran Keris Bagi Masyarakat Minangkabau [function and role of the keris in Minangkabau society]; 421-30, bibliography; 438-42, appendix, a table of 'Nama-nama kerajaan yang berhubungan dengan Minangkabau' [Royal names associated with Minangkabau]. With many good colour photographs, a mixture of full page photographs, and smaller photographs in the margins of many pages, with, for most of them, a brief description, and the name of the collection; some outstanding keris are included, e.g. pp. 106-7, Keris Siginjei; 140-1 Riau keris as in Jessup; 177, Keris Kyai Singkir, as well as a good number from Banjarmasin, Sulawesi and many other parts of Sumatra. With a few photographs of men wearing keris, 19th-20th cent.
Loedjoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2021, 05:56 PM   #5
Interested Party
Member
 
Interested Party's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Eastern Sierra
Posts: 161
Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Just a note...
I have just moved another book related thread to the swap section, so a brief reminder. DISCUSSION of books, their content and merit, criticism, etc. is permissible material for threads in this forum. However, NO discussion on where and how to obtain said book is allowed as NO commercial content is allowed in either the Keris, Ethnographic, European or Miscellaneous Forums on the Vikingsword site. ALL commercial posts belong in the swap forum. So please be aware of this as we proceed to discuss this book.
I, for one, have not read this book. Is it available in English?
David, this thread was opened purely for discussion. I have not read this book and I was hoping for opinions of people who had. I have not found it in English. My project for this summer was to teach myself to read Bahasa Indonesia. It started well, but other than translating bits of the EK I have not had the time I thought I would.....

Alan, Thanks for the comment. Appreciated as always. I believe I understand your feelings as Solo being the heart of keris culture and others being imitations or shadows. Somehow I am drawn to north coast Java and Sumatra Keris the same I am pulled into the dark places of a wet forest. There is a magnetism that I feel. An emotional response to the art. I appreciate the precision of Solo, but not being part of the culture it's forms are harder to grasp. East Java vegetational forms are also intriguing. I've been looking at true Janggelan hilts. As well as a Putrasatu.

Loedjoe, Thank you for the synopsis of the contents. It was helpful and the most information I have seen on this book.
Interested Party is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2021, 01:04 PM   #6
Marcokeris
Member
 
Marcokeris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 846
Default

I red the book or...(perhaps is better! ) I saw this book (I don't know Bahasa). IMO it's a good book full of nice pics of nice keris and hilts....and the price of the book is very good (not expensive)
Marcokeris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2021, 06:06 PM   #7
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,599
Wink

I did not buy the book when it was published because the main author is Javanese and very prolific, and the second one is a rich collector & politician but maybe I was wrong and I will buy it if I can find an opportunity as the books about Sumatrese krisses are very scarce and I like them very much.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2021, 11:39 PM   #8
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,870
Default

My reasons were similar Jean.

I have never met the Javanese gentleman concerned, but I did know one of his teachers very well, and that combined with information from various other sources has caused me to form my own opinions.

I have read more than a little of the Javanese gentleman's writing, and he is a good --- no, a very good --- writer. But regrettably his writing does not say very much. He is a clever businessman, and a brilliant promoter. Altogether, a first class example of the 21st century man. I admire his initiative and I can only wish him every success.

But his approach to keris culture differs quite a lot from my own. I have limited time in which to address those things that interest me, this means I have virtually no time to address those things that do not interest me, and the contents of this book are of very little interest to me.

The co-author of this book is of Minangkabau ethnicity and is a very prominent Indonesian elite. Well educated, very talented, an accomplished writer, an outstanding example of the cultured elite class of modern Indonesia.

I perused this book, I did not buy it because it really had nothing to offer me. I really do not need another book full of pictures.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2021, 03:30 PM   #9
Green
Member
 
Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 272
Default

my "philosophy " is different. One of the best ways to understand a subject is to see as many as possible good examples of the subject. Be they paintings, ceramics, keris etc. And for beginners, this book is a good start to see what 'good' sumatran keris look like. I have this book, have not read it but love the pictures!
Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2021, 06:32 PM   #10
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,599
Default

I own one kris book titled "Keris Mayakarya Nusantara" which includes about 15 krisses from the collection of the co-author, and most of them have old blades but are matched with recent & bling-bling scabbards and hilts. Also some of the blades are probably of Javanese origin but attributed to Minangkabau...

Last edited by Jean; 4th September 2021 at 06:45 PM.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2021, 10:15 PM   #11
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,870
Default

Green, I don't believe that our philosophies vary all that much, but it seems certain that our areas of interest do vary.

I have been handling keris since before I went to school, so probably from about age 4 or so, I have owned keris since I was 12, I started to buy keris before I was 16.

By the age of thirty I had over 2000 keris. These were not all complete, perfect keris, they were keris blades, some were complete keris, many were damaged. I also had a lot of sundry S.E. Asian bladed tools and weapons. In total I had something approaching 3000 objects.

I sold most of these things beginning before 1974, and by 1983 I had only the collection from my grandfather, and perhaps 30 or 40 other items, most were keris.

In 1982 Empu Suparman began to teach me, and from that time I had a whole new perspective on the study of keris.

From 1974 through to 2015 I was spending 2 or 3 months every year in Indonesia and most of that time was spent in Solo.During every visit to Indonesia I went out of my way to look at and handle keris. I would estimate that during each visit I never saw less than one to two thousand keris, and most of these I handled.

I do believe that one of the things that is essential to keris study is to see & handle as many keris as possible.

However, over the time I've been involved with keris I have found that I cannot learn very much by looking at pictures, I need to see the actual keris and preferably handle it.

Link this attitude to the fact that I have a very narrow field of focus these days, and that focus is almost exclusively Jawa & Bali, and you will understand why I have very little interest in a book with a lot of nice pictures and (in my opinion) fairly light weight text.


Jean, it is an element of keris culture in Jawa & Bali, most especially in Jawa, that the scabbard & hilt of a keris is changed relatively often. A fine old keris is considered to deserve the best dress that its custodian can afford to give it. Inherited keris often need to have dress changed to reflect the status of the custodian, a keris that is in the custody of a member of karaton hierarchy will very likely have its dress changed every time the custodian achieves a new rank. During the life time of a single person the one keris can well have a number of changes of dress.

It is only collectors who use Eurocentric standards who value old keris in old dress. For some Javanese nobles such a situation would be at the least, an embarrassment.

I can very easily understand why many noted Indonesian collectors dress their keris in new, bling-bling scabbard & hilt. As Pak Parman said to me, old keris dress is just like an old suit of clothes, when it becomes shabby or out of style, you get rid of it, only the gold, silver and precious stones have any value.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 09:20 AM   #12
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post

I can very easily understand why many noted Indonesian collectors dress their keris in new, bling-bling scabbard & hilt.
Hello Alan,
I have nothing against this javanese tradition of replacing an old dress for prestige reasons provided that the blade and dress are of compatible origin, e.g. a javanese blade in a javanese or even madurese scabbard is acceptable to me, but not a sumatrese scabbard & hilt.
I remember a regretted Yogya kris dealer (Suryono) who got more than 100 kris scabbards in good condition for peanuts because a rich Indonesian collector wanted to replace them by more "precious" ones.
And I am not ashamed of my Eurocentric position (preference for well-matching blade & dress) which is in line with the philosophy of antiques collectors and museums in Europe.
Regards
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 10:09 AM   #13
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,870
Default

Yes Jean, I do understand your standards well. I used pretty much the same standards until I was, let us say. "re-educated". In fact I still very much appreciate nice, and even not so nice older keris fittings.

But I think you have missed my point, this preference for old keris in old dress all of a style originating from the same geographic location is thoroughly European, it is not a part of Javanese keris tradition, and possibly not a part of the keris culture in other keris bearing societies.

Whilst it is true that some people might replace existing keris dress for "prestige reasons", this is not the dominant reason, and in fact I do not know first hand of any case, outside of some collectors in Indonesia, who replace simply for "prestige".

The dominant reason for replacement of dress is social necessity. There is another reason also which is not as uncommon as might be supposed, and that is a message, or request, or demand that is brought in a dream.

As for the mating of blade & dress to a geographic location of common origin, this again is a European initiated standard.

Keris that are in actual use as family heirlooms or as items of dress very often do not have dress that matches the blade. People in what is now Indonesia did not stay put in just one place, they moved around, and they took their keris with them.

Bugis, Madurese, Balinese men were highly regarded by the Javanese and the Dutch, and rulers in other locations, as warriors, soldiers, guards. Often these men would remain in Jogja or Solo, or somewhere else, when their period of service finished. They would marry, settle into the community and their keris were sometimes passed through the family as heirlooms. In Bali, very many of the old keris are in fact Javanese.

I personally like the idea of having Javanese keris in Javanese dress, Bugis keris in Bugis dress, and so forth, but my personal preference is based in Western collector standards & values. It is not reflected in the communities where a Javanese gentleman of today might wear the pusaka keris in Javanese dress that was passed down from many generations in the past.

Thus, if our author should choose to do the blingy thingy with his keris one should, I believe, appreciate this as evidence of the continuing observance of long standing tradition.

It is an indisputable fact that the people who belong to any particular culture do own that culture. It may be regretted by some of us that they do not necessarily share the same standards that collectors from outside that owning culture have, but well, that's just the way it is.

I sort of think of this preference for "old keris in old, original dress" as an offshoot of antique collecting rather than of keris study.

The defining line between the student of the keris and the collector of the keris.

This is not to say that either the collector is superior to the student, or vice versa, it is to say that these two groups of people apply different parameters.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2021, 10:23 AM   #14
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,599
Default

My curiosity was piqued by our discussion (how could somebody write a book with more than 450 pages about these scarce Minangkabau krisses?).
I feel particularly interested by these krisses after my visit to Padang and Bukittingi in 1997 (during which I could see and handle many Minang krisses), so I decided to buy the book and just received it, and my comments are as follows:
The book is attractively presented with many excellent kris pictures, but most of these krisses are not from Minang origin in my opinion, so the book title is confusing. Some krisses are correctly attributed to other areas such as Palembang, Riau, Jambi, Sulawesi, Borneo, West Java, etc. but many others classified as Minang and "influenced by krisses from other areas" are actually originating from these regions IMO.
According to my observations and the descriptions from Jensen in his Krisdisk, I share the opinion that the original Minang krisses are of either of the 2 following types, with some variations of course:
. Average size kris with alang/ bahari type blade without pamor or with pamor sanak.
. Small size kris with anak alang blade generally with 3 luks, and possibly worn by women.
I attach 2 typical specimens of these krisses for your reference and discussion.
In spite of my questioning about the krisses attribution in the book, it constitutes a very good picture reference for many types of Indonesian krisses (especially from Sumatra) so I do not regret my purchase....
I will take more time for reviewing the text later.
Regards
Attached Images
  
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.