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Old 12th November 2021, 01:28 AM   #1
Ghostextechnica
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Hey there,

Hoping someone can help, a few years ago when my grandfather passed he left me a Keris I always admired as a young boy.

I don't have much detail at all - he apparently purchased it when he went traveling sometime after World War II.

Would love to know more!

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Many thanks!
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Old 13th November 2021, 01:49 PM   #2
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Hello,

Welcome to the forum. It's a Javanese keris from Solo (Surakarta), 9 luk blade.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 13th November 2021, 03:45 PM   #3
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Just to add to what Detlef has written, it is the gayaman (everyday) form of Surakarta dress. There is also that ladrang (formal) style.
"Luk" as Detlef wrote, refers to the number of waves. There is a specific way to count these and by that method we count 9 (both sides of the blade are counted).
I would also say that it is the dress (sheath and hilt forms) that is Surakarta. This appears to be village work to my eye, not the higher end spectrum to be found with members of court or wealthy merchants, and it is always difficult to place such keris in exacting geographical locations. Though certainly the blade could come from that time and place.This appears to be a keris made for common folk by the local smith. Probably 19th century. It is not in good stain (warangan) so it's difficult to say what pamor pattern the blade might have. Probably the common wos wutah, but the blade would need a warangan (arsenic and lime) treatment to bring out the pattern better to know for sure.
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Old 13th November 2021, 07:50 PM   #4
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David & Detlef are right on the mark, but I would be inclined to call this a Central Javanese keris, dressed in the style of Solo, this is only playing with words, but when we use "Surakarta" we are implying a degree of refinement. Surakarta Hadiningrat is the name of the Karaton, the "place of the Ratu", Ratu meaning "ruler", and Surakarta was established near the village of Solo.

A lot of Central Jawa comes under the influence of Solo and of the Surakarta Karaton.

This is a rather humble keris, but it has the potential to be brought to a good level of presentation. The hilt is too far gone for acceptable restoration, but the scabbard (wrongko) is really quite nice, it is not the normal everyday gayaman form, I'd need it in my hand to be definite, but from the photo it looks like a Gayaman Ladrang or possibly a Gayaman Kagok Bancihan. It looks as if it could come up pretty nice.

The pendok could be improved a bit, but really, its not too bad as it is.

The hilt and hilt ring (mendak) should be replaced.

The blade does have pamor wos wutah, but in a blade of this class it is likely to be pamor sanak, which means that the material used to create the pamor is various forms of ferric material, unlikely to be any nickel or high contrast material in this blade.

All in all, this is a pretty decent example of this class of keris, absolutely worth spending time on restoration, and absolutely worth a place in a collection.
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Old 14th November 2021, 09:13 PM   #5
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Thanks so much Detlef, David and A.G. Maisey!

Really, really appreciate the detailed comments - fantastic to know more about the Keris I've admired for so long.

I currently have it displayed on a wall in my home and I'm pretty tempted to merge some of your comments into a placard that explains the style and background (especially as I want to pass it down to my children some day).

Something like this?:

Central Javanese Keris (19th Century) - dressed in the style of Solo (Surakarta), 9 luk blade.

Completely makes sense that it's likely village work - my grandfather wasn't very wealthy but liked to travel to remote areas of the globe (comparative to where he lived) long before it became more common to be well travelled. Highly possible he purchased it from a village smith.
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Old 14th November 2021, 11:22 PM   #6
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Hi Alan. Could you expand upon your identification of the wrongko as Gayaman Ladrang or possibly a Gayaman Kagok Bancihan. How do these forms of gayaman wrongko differ regarding form and place in cultural use. Thanks!
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Old 14th November 2021, 11:49 PM   #7
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Here is a page from Haryoguritno's "Keris Jawa", in reality we do not see this variety in use these days, and to find physical examples of many wrongko styles other than the commonly used ones is quite difficult.

I do not know the correct social usage for all the styles. Everybody knows ladrang for dress-up, gayam for everyday, sunggingan for parties --- there are another couple of current usages, but right now I do not have time to look them up, and these are all I can remember.
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Old 14th November 2021, 11:55 PM   #8
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Ghost, I'm not real big on hanging keris on walls, they get dusty, fly spotted, if you're in a humid environment they rust.

Its just too much work & constant attention when you hang them up, I used to do this a long time ago, but I've learnt a little bit since then.

This keris is worth putting a bit of work into. If you care to PM me I'll be happy to advise.
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Old 15th November 2021, 10:43 AM   #9
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As a passionate collector I personally love to hang my krisses on the wall, I handle them and replace them regularly for varying my pleasure... And provided that you live in a dry environment and don't expose them directly to the sun light, they don't need much attention, just oiling the blade and polishing the pendok from time to time.
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Old 15th November 2021, 01:02 PM   #10
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Yes Jean, many people do like to display their keris and other things on their walls.

I did the same for about the first half lifetime of my keris involvement, before I finally decided it was not a good idea I had around 50 keris and a few pedangs and other things on the walls of a hidden alcove off my lounge room. At the time I was living in the western suburbs of Sydney, a remarkably dry part of the Sydney area.

I maintained these wall hangers pretty much as you describe, and I had done the type of maintenance you describe throughout the entire time I had accumulated keris and other sharp pointy things. I had in fact gone a little further, and wherever possible I had used plastic sleeves over the oiled surface of my blades.

There were two reasons for the sleeves, the first is that an oiled blade kept in a plastic sleeve can survive for many years without needing to be restained, the second reason is that an oiled blade, even if wiped off after oiling will over time corrupt and stain the wood of a wrongko. Quite simply it is very unwise to store ferric materials touching wood, if oil is involved it damages the wood, and always the wood will damage the ferric material. some woods are a bit kinder than others, sandalwood and teak are both a bit oily and adverse reactions are slower with these woods.

However, no matter how diligent I was with my maintenance procedures the simple fact of the matter is that to maintain more than a couple of keris left out in the open, on a wall costs time, and time costs money.

Not only that, but finely finished wood definitely will lose its fine finish if kept in the open when compared to keris that have been kept in singep and a protective environment, such as a drawer or a cabinet.

Perhaps if one lives in an air conditioned house or apartment where both temperature and humidity are controlled this situation might be a bit kinder than the accommodation that I prefer to live in. I have never lived in an air conditioned house, I like my doors and windows open, and in most parts of Australia that means you live with flies and other insects and dust. In the Western Suburbs of Sydney winter temperatures can go to zero C and summer temperatures can go above 45C. No cooling in summer, only localised heat in winter, frankly I much prefer to put on another pullover, I find artificial heat uncomfortable.

I mentioned that I had around 50 wall hangers in the period before I abandoned this practice, but in my drawers and cabinets I had a great many more keris and other, let us say, "security blankets". I was able to compare condition of the items kept in a protective environment and items kept on walls over a population of more than 500 objects. The protected items fared very much better over time than did the exposed items.

I should also mention that by the time I had decided that I would limit my wall hangers to between something like one or two and none at all, I had been exposed to Javanese thought, close up & personal, for around 20 years. It had become obvious to me that the people I associated with in Jawa who were very traditional, and who also had intense involvement with keris did not go in for keris display. At most, they might place a pusaka keris or a particular spiritually charged keris in a position that was open to family, but not to those outside the family, and that very limited display would be for a very limited period of time.

Wanton display was regarded as very kasar(coarse, rough, unrefined) behaviour , behaviour indulged in by those who "were not yet Javanese"(literal translation). In the most simple of terms, open display of keris in polite traditional Javanese society is straight out bad manners and disrespectful.

I must admit, that this alternate way of looking at things has had an effect on the way I now look at the world in general, and at keris in particular.

So these days I pretty much follow what I was taught in Solo to be acceptable behavior where keris are concerned.

I do not condemn the display of keris by others in societies outside of Jawa, they are not in Jawa, they do not attach Javanese values to the keris, they do not feel as traditional Javanese people do about the keris, in short, they can make their own rules.

To a traditional Javanese person a keris is in fact a spiritual object, it is a link between the hidden world and the world we can see, it represents Mount Meru, abode of the Gods and the ancestors, and in the case of the pusaka keris it is a link between this generation of a kin group, and the previous custodians of the pusaka keris.

If a person can really understand what all this adds up to, I rather doubt he would want to hang keris all over his walls. It took me years to come to this understanding, and I no longer decorate my walls with keris.

But that's me. Others can do as they will.
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Old 15th November 2021, 02:46 PM   #11
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Hi Ghost,

Not sure how familiar you are with the terminology singep and what kind of oil to use.

So just to share with you what I do (basically pretty much what Alan said):

1. Use a mix between Singer Oil and Sandalwood oil (only 5-6 drops of Sandalwood oil, itís quite expensive)
2. Wrap the blade with a cling wrap
3. Put it back in the sheath
4. Put it in singep
5. Polished the Pendok with silver cloth (if the pendok is silver)

Cheers,
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Old 15th November 2021, 03:16 PM   #12
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I must add that I don't generally use oil for preserving my blades but rather WD40 or equivalent which I let to dry and wipe before re-inserting the blade into the scabbard. This allows to protect the blade against rust for ever (in a dry environment & old scabbard of course) and avoids reacting with the wood as advised by Alan. I noticed that if a blade was regularly treated with cendana oil, it will smell for ever as the blade & scabbard are impregnated with it.
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Old 15th November 2021, 04:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Here is a page from Haryoguritno's "Keris Jawa", in reality we do not see this variety in use these days, and to find physical examples of many wrongko styles other than the commonly used ones is quite difficult.

I do not know the correct social usage for all the styles. Everybody knows ladrang for dress-up, gayam for everyday, sunggingan for parties --- there are another couple of current usages, but right now I do not have time to look them up, and these are all I can remember.
Thanks Alan. I was aware of many of these variations, but had thought it was more a matter of different eras and styles than different purposes. Though i don't have a copy of Haryoguritno's "Keris Jawa" i believe i do have a digital copy of this chart you posted. I guess i never noticed one was named "Gayaman Ladrang". So do i now understand correctly that this is a gayaman sheath form that is acceptable for formal wear?
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Old 15th November 2021, 08:58 PM   #14
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Jean, WD40 has very limited capability as a long term protective against corrosion. It does have good short term capability, and as a moisture displacer I personally believe that it is supreme in its field. I have used and recommended WD40 for moisture displacement prior to applying oil and after blade cleaning & staining for many years, I believe I started to use WD40 some time in the 1950's, and I have been using it ever since. It is not just a good product, it is a great product. But it does have limitations.

The manufacturer advises that in a protective environment it has about a two year life as a rust preventative, and in an unprotective environment about half this time.

Prior to oiling a blade my complete preparation is to remove old congealed oil with a toothbrush & mineral turpentine, I then drench with WD40 and stand the blade and allow it to dry off overnight, the following day I brush on a mixture of +/- 50% sandalwood oil and either Singer sewing machine oil or medicinal paraffin.

I buy the sandalwood oil by the litre, it works out a lot cheaper that way.

I then tightly wrap the oiled blade in a plastic envelope.

Blades prepared in this manner can go for 20 years and longer with no maintenance at all.

I live waterfront to a salt water lake. I do not have any rust problems with my blades stored in this way.

The tradition in Jawa for oiling a blade with sandalwood or rose or jasmine oil is to comply with the concept of respect to the keris and to make it a pleasant place for any entity which may care to visit. Yes, the fragrance of the oil does penetrate the wood of the wrongko and the open grain of a blade, and this is exactly as is intended.

The downside of oil penetrating wrongko wood is that it leads to staining and material deterioration, which mean that in a wrongko where the gandar is attached to the atasan with an adhesive, this bond will eventually be loosened, and the gandar will become detached. Once oil has contaminated the joint surfaces of atasan & gandar there is only one adhesive that I know of that will give a degree of adhesion, & that is button shellac used as a hotmix glue. Button shellac is a very weak adhesive, and the joint will separate very easily.

Javanese wrongko joints frequently use button shellac, but keris from other keris bearing societies normally use a fish based wood glue (traditionally) or a modern adhesive at the present time. These other societies do not observe the same traditions as those which apply in Jawa.

In any case, whether one relies on oil soaked wood to prevent rust, or plastic film & oil, or constant repeated maintenance, this much is true:- nowhere in the world will we find a museum curator or conservator who recommends storing ferric materials on or against wood or any other cellulose based material.

Another thing that is true is this:- a good quality gun oil will provide far better protection against corrosion than either WD40 or Singer sewing machine oil --- but the stink of the stuff will surely guarantee that no spiritual entity will ever come anywhere near that keris.
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Old 15th November 2021, 09:12 PM   #15
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David, I cannot answer your questions in Post #13.

I simply do not know.

My guess is that these various styles were deemed suitable for certain usage at certain times in the past, but that is a guess, it is not a supportable answer.

I just had a look at what Haryoguritno says about the naming of various styles of wrongko, both for Surakarta & for Ngayogyakarta, and although he goes into how the styles are named and from where some of those names came he does not go into explicit detail. He seems to mostly associate the various forms with the stature and physical appearance of the wearer.
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Old 15th November 2021, 09:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
David, I cannot answer your questions in Post #13.

I simply do not know.

My guess is that these various styles were deemed suitable for certain usage at certain times in the past, but that is a guess, it is not a supportable answer.

I just had a look at what Haryoguritno says about the naming of various styles of wrongko, both for Surakarta & for Ngayogyakarta, and although he goes into how the styles are named and from where some of those names came he does not go into explicit detail. He seems to mostly associate the various forms with the stature and physical appearance of the wearer.
OK thanks. I appreciate your caution in not forming a definitive opinion here. But i assume you can see why i might wonder is a sheath form called "gayaman ladrang" would be acceptable formal wear given the use of "ladrang" in the name. I can understand how this might not have the most obvious meaning though.
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Old 15th November 2021, 11:14 PM   #17
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Yep, for sure.

Your guess might be right, or it might not.

Even HG's identifications might be subject to different terms.

You know the name of the game:- everything changes everywhere, all the time and always.

HG was a very conscientious gatherer of information, I was present on one of his visits to Empu Suparman and watched him in action.

If there was more to be known about these wrongko forms I believe he would have included that info in his book.

The name of something does not always lead to an obvious conclusion where Javanese/ Indonesian usage is concerned. Sticking with wrongkos, we can find the word "bancih" or "bancihan" used.

In Javanese "bancih" means "hermaphrodite", and in Indonesian "banci" means a transvestite homosexual but in Javanese, the same word "banci" is a kind of vegetable soup, this word "banci" has other meanings as well, depending on context & language.

Some people used to believe that a wrongko that contained the word "banci" or "bancihan" in its name was a special kind of wrongko for use by homosexuals, but in fact use of the word indicates that it is a wrongko that is part way between the two basic forms of wrongko, the ladrang & the gayam.
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Old 16th November 2021, 02:48 AM   #18
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"The tradition in Jawa for oiling a blade with sandalwood or rose or jasmine oil is to comply with the concept of respect to the keris and to make it a pleasant place for any entity which may care to visit" (A. G. Maisey, Post #14)


Alan, in the Javanese belief system, what would make a keris worthy or eligible of being visited?

I'm mainly asking my question from the perspective of before and during the actual manufacture of the keris - the planning, the intents, the focusing of that intent through spiritual practices and so on.
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Old 16th November 2021, 08:09 AM   #19
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Jaga, this is a big question, principally because it involves going back into the past and restating things that as far as I can see have largely been forgotten.

The element of "respect" is still there, Empu Suparman used to say it was respect for the maker, but there are other principles tied into the character of the keris that Jawa under Islam has forgotten in detail but remembers in principle in that respect must be given.

If we wish to adopt a way in which to differentiate between the keris made as an item of trade, or dress, or a weapon, and a keris that has been made with spiritual content, then the easy way is to simply look for an old keris that bears the hallmarks of manufacture by a master craftsman, an empu. Such a keris might have been made with spiritual content. But then again it might not have been. One thing is believed to be certain, and that is that an ordinary trade, dress or weapon keris made by an ordinary smith cannot have been made with spiritual content, simply because such a maker would not have known the mantras.

In my "Interpretation" article I did touch on this idea of the keris as shrine, but that was in the context of Old Jawa and of Bali.

Essentially we are considering elements of ancestor worship. Where a keris has been made as pusaka it has been made with the intent that when called upon the ancestors can visit the custodian of that keris and through him reach the present day kin group.

But then a similar idea can exist where a keris has been dedicated to a particular deity. The visitor, ancestor or deity is not present all the time, but the keris is held in readiness for such a visit. During those times when the keris is empty it must be guarded against becoming occupied by an unwanted, perhaps evil or malicious entity, and that is the purpose of the hilt figure.
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Old 30th November 2021, 05:06 AM   #20
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I might have to get into the weeds abit here so that I can better understand the moving parts. Please excuse what might be pedantic.
The element of "respect" is still there, Empu Suparman used to say it was respect for the maker
Do you mean respect for the maker of the keris, by its current custodian or owner?
I suppose then this also means respect for all who have taken care of this keris ever since it was made, and the families and groups that it has bound together.
One thing is believed to be certain, and that is that an ordinary trade, dress or weapon keris made by an ordinary smith cannot have been made with spiritual content, simply because such a maker would not have known the mantras.
Yes that makes sense, and is a reminder that an empu is very different to a pandai keris, and that the empu was a person who through his works was able to create a conduit for the unseen in ways that are legitimate and potent to a Javanese person.

~~

The original question was "in the Javanese belief system, what would make a keris worthy or eligible of being visited?" (emphasis added).

What if we were to remove that part of the question?

Could a keris have spiritual content or the potential for it, if it was to be made in a way that does not include all the Javanese belief system's particulars such as the right mantras?

I ask this question to Alan and others, but will attempt to elaborate and answer it myself to add to the discussion.

It makes sense that there are particularities that go into any artefact, product or outcome born from a belief system. Islam, for example, has many prayers and supplications for very specific things. Whatever it is that one needs to do in life, one can find in Islamic texts the right supplication to God. The specific utterances vary but invariably they are either praises to God or the Prophet, permission-seeking from God or protection-seeking from God.

No scholar of Islam would ever argue that your own words, with the right intent, directed to God would fall on deaf ears, but I guess the existence of specific prayers and supplications are a way of reaching God in a way that is deemed to be more refined. And refinement of the individual is probably the whole point of prescribed prayer and practices.

The point here is that mantras and prayers alike, specific ones as prescribed from a legitimate place in any belief system, matter.

But to who do they matter?

To continue with the Islam example, I would say that they mean less to God than they do to us. They are for humanity's sake, not for God's. But what about in the Javanese believe system where there are gods (including plenty enough room for the unitary, Abrahamic god), but ancestors, demons, animal spirits, nature spirits and so on? Do they need to hear those very specific words uttered with the right intents before they can do what they are called upon to do, like a password that only the initiated have? (I apologise in advance if that question comes off as crass. That isn't my intention).

There are many more questions and digressions I could add but it would all just be arriving at a final question, which is a metaphysical question within which the keris can be situated but stands on its own.

And that is:- how much of the unseen, and our relationship with it, can be accessed in a way that is unmediated by particulars, but in a way that is universal?

To bring that back to the keris:- suppose it is true that the ancestors can be honoured or worshipped, god can be honoured or worshipped, unseen beings can be offered to, by anyone in any way that is respectful, dignified and with sincere intent.
What does this mean for the keris when situated outside of its mother culture, belief system and practice? Can it still objectively (for lack of a better term) or truly be a spiritual object to the person with those beliefs who holds that keris? Or can a smith who is, say, an Aboriginal Australian shaman forge a keris and have it be a spiritual object?

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Old 30th November 2021, 10:38 PM   #21
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Jaga, you have, I think, provided a platform for discussion, rather than a straightforward, simple question that can be met with a straightforward simple answer.

Further, that platform is loaded.

I could dive headlong into this and in the process antagonise & offend a lot of people.

I'd sooner not do this.

I'm going to assume that you have read this:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/inter...e-keris-page-1

and that you understand what I have written and do not wish to debate anything in this article that has a bearing on your thoughts in respect of the matters you wish to address.

I would also like you to go here:-

https://books.google.com.au/books?id...Maisey&f=false

and read the content of Chapter 6, this has not yet been published, but is scheduled for publication in the USA on 1st. December 2021

In this chapter I have touched on what happened with the Javanese keris after Islam decided that in order to facilitate the replacement of Hindu-Javanese culture with Islamic culture, one of the things that Islam needed to deal with was to change the nature of the keris in Javanese society.

If what I have written in both of these pieces of writing is insufficient for you to form your own opinions in respect of this matter, perhaps you might care to break your enquiries down into simple direct questions that can be addressed in less than 5000 words.

I actually started to write a response to your post last night, but after about 1200 words, I decided that I could not do justice in a public Forum based discussion to the ideas you have formulated.

Break those ideas down into a format that an educated 8 year old child can understand and put them before us one idea at a time, and I think we might have something that has the potential to teach all of us, something of value.

The "8 year old child" idea was given to me many years ago by a well known Australian journalist, I was advised to always try my best to never write anything for public consumption that an 8 year old child could not easily understand. I think this was very good advice, I do not always succeed , but I do try to follow it.

So, I'd like to put the hard stuff that you have set before us, off to one side for the moment.

But you have also asked a couple of uncomplicated things, so I'll try to get rid of those.

You have asked:-

"--- The element of "respect" is still there, Empu Suparman used to say it was respect for the maker ---

---Do you mean respect for the maker of the keris, by its current custodian or owner?
I suppose then this also means respect for all who have taken care of this keris ever since it was made, and the families and groups that it has bound together. --- "


For Empu Suparman the respect was limited to only the maker


As you have noted, all keris are not equal. The role of the keris as a link between the perceived world and the hidden world is really only applicable to the pusaka keris of a kin group. In Balinese culture this facet of keris culture is still alive, in Javanese culture the link to ancestors seems to have been considerably watered down. I feel that within some kin groups the acceptance of this link might still be real, in other kin groups I believe this aspect of the keris, both as pusaka and as link to the hidden world has been lost.

I think that as a general principle at the present time, the broad acceptance of the keris as a personal piyandel (a talisman, belief, reliance), is perhaps a more accurate placement in Javanese society of the keris. There is still that connection with the unseen, the esoteric, but not to the same extent, nor in the same way as is the case in Bali. Probably in rural areas, where people are still closer to animism & ancestor worship, the original nature of the keris has stronger recognition than in the Islamised urban setting.

Pauzan Pusposukadgo was one of the first, and one of the most talented keris makers of the modern age. He was also a devout Muslim. He was regarded as an empu keris by the general populace and within Surakarta Karaton society, but he refused to use the title Empu, preferring to style himself as "Pandai Seni Keris".

It was his firm belief that only a person who could bring life to a keris could call himself an Empu Keris. He was a Muslim, a very devout follower of Islam, and for him it was absolutely unthinkable that a human being could bring life into anything. This idea alone was sacrilege, as only God can give life.

So for Pauzan, good, solid Muslim that he was, it was a pretence of Man that anybody with the supposed powers that were attributed to the Empu, could ever have existed.

Nothing made by Man can be greater than Man, and only God can give life.

But on the other side of the page we have the ideas and beliefs of Sufic Islam, which the Javanese adherents of Javanese indigenous belief systems found to be quite acceptable and close to their own beliefs.

Thus, when we consider the entire, convoluted morass of keris belief, what we are left with is a web of interwoven belief systems, and for any true believer in anything, what he believes is indeed true for him. It is all a matter of perception and perspective.

One belief is that a keris, like a shrine, is created empty, but it can be visited by a spiritual entity. So then, perhaps we need to ask if it is legitimate for any lay person to create a shrine, or perhaps further, if something that was not created as a shrine can in time become one. This question again becomes one that is open to belief.

Jaga, if my short response is insufficient for you to be able to find your own answers, I am happy to continue, but only on a step by step basis.
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Old 30th November 2021, 11:57 PM   #22
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Alan, thank you for taking the time to attempt to approach, at least in part, Jag's difficult questions, and Jag, thanks for asking them in the first place. At first i too wondered whether this forum was the place to even attempt to approach these subjects, buy your response, though of course not all encompassing, should be immensely helpful for anyone who has been ruminating upon these subjects, even an eight year old.
Also great thanks for the link to your chapter in this upcoming book. If the other writers involved have offered chapters even half as well written as what you have contributed to the subject of the personal object i believe it would be well worth acquiring.
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Old 1st December 2021, 05:17 AM   #23
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Thank you for your compliments David.

I have not yet read all of the contributions to this book, I have read a couple, and it does seem to me that there is some worthwhile & thought provoking writing between its covers.

It has been a very long time in production. It has been driven by a group of philosophers, so I suppose we should expect to meet with some ideas that might be considered to be brain-food.

Actually, I rather enjoy the questions & comments that our Guardian of the Universe posts to our Forum. Jaga has managed to get a firm grasp of the dimensions of the keris that most people fail to acknowledge, if indeed they are even aware that such dimensions even exist.
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Old 1st December 2021, 07:52 AM   #24
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Hahaha... I was wondering when the Guardian of the Universe thing would come up. It's so pompous.

I hate to disappoint you all, but neither my appearance or how I think of myself is consistent with the name I use on the forum. But it does have a story, not for sharing in a public forum. Maybe one day when we can do the inaugural Keris Warung Kopi conference, and shoot the breeze in person. I'm sure we can pull some strings to get a grant so that we have funds for a very fancy venue. That way I might even be able to tell them to call me Jagabuwana without them laughing (as they should), before I request valet service for my 2005 Mazda 3


But in all seriousness, thank you Alan for taking the time to answer my question and point me in the right direction. Funnily enough I came across the forthcoming article you shared me shortly before my brain dump. I skimmed it but also earmarked it for closer reading. I'll be sure to digest what you've written and take your suggestions before I ask any further questions.

David, thank you also. Yes I think eventually every keris student ponders its spiritual aspects. I hope even though this discussion forayed into more general spirituality and metaphysics, that it can have a place in this forum for better understanding the keris.
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Old 1st December 2021, 08:34 AM   #25
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I think more than a few people cottoned on to your elegant little non-de-plume Jaga, I remember thinking that maybe you were one of the Surakarta princes in disguise.

Pomposity did not cross my mind for an instant.

But a 2005 vehicle is nothing to skite about.

My Sunday-go-to-meeting vehicle is a 1971 Landcruiser.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 05:08 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Jaga, you have, I think, provided a platform for discussion

Thus, when we consider the entire, convoluted morass of keris belief, what we are left with is a web of interwoven belief systems, and for any true believer in anything, what he believes is indeed true for him. It is all a matter of perception and perspective.

One belief is that a keris, like a shrine, is created empty, but it can be visited by a spiritual entity. So then, perhaps we need to ask if it is legitimate for any lay person to create a shrine, or perhaps further, if something that was not created as a shrine can in time become one. This question again becomes one that is open to belief.

Jaga, if my short response is insufficient for you to be able to find your own answers, I am happy to continue, but only on a step by step basis.
It seems we are entering a nature vs nurture discussion with all answers filtered through the lens of worldview and experience. Although, if I am correct, the question is "what is the Javanese perspective?"

This topic makes me wonder if I am rather simple.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 08:40 PM   #27
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IP, there is no single Javanese perspective.

My own perspective is very strongly influenced by a number of Javanese perspectives, but it has also been influenced by some Balinese perspectives.It would be fair to say that when I say "my perspective" this is an incorrect statement, because I really do not have a single way of considering the keris.

The other thing that we need to consider is this:-

time alters perspective

so when we start to consider perspectives we need to consider each perspective relative to the window of time through which we are looking.

When we scratch below the surface , the surface that can be seen by everybody, we find that the nature of the keris is an exceptionally complex matter.

Probably a useable way to come to some sort of an understanding of the keris is to use a three dimensional matrixical approach. We could construct such a matrix by having places across the top, times running down one side, then running back into the third dimension, an analysis of the variations on the entry to two dimensional box.
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