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Old 2nd August 2022, 07:06 AM   #31
Anthony G.
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I have a close friend who collects weapons of all sort including keris but then he decided to 'stop' keris collecting. He has a devoted Thai Buddhist friend who one day paid him a visit and told him that he saw an old Malay man (invisible) squatting in the area. And he put all his collection in a storage space at another location. I was told strange events sometimes happen at the other location but no more at the place where he lives.
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Old 2nd August 2022, 08:46 AM   #32
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This story is one I've heard more times than I can count, it varies in the details but the overall theme is always the same:-

keris > strange, inexplicable happenings> old man, not always visible to everybody> keris moved > inexplicable things cease.

there is one other factor that is always present in every keris story, and that is that human beings are always involved.

I cannot provide explanations, but I have heard lots of stories and I have experienced at arms length some peculiar things.

I do accept that things can happen that I do not understand.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 08:31 AM   #33
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There is a lot to think about in your post #26, Alan. Thank you for this very valuable knowledge.

Times seem to be changing fast, and the knowledge and beliefs about the keris with it. It would seem to me that if things continue going the way they currently are, that the knowledges and beliefs as you learned them might disappear. That to me sounds disastrous in that it could be irretrievable, and maybe even akin to the collapse of a culture, but maybe I'm being too bleak. Do you see these knowledges and beliefs enduring?
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Old 3rd August 2022, 09:27 AM   #34
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Time changes perspective Jaga.

That simple.

The way in which anything has been thought about in the past is only relative to that time.

Islam did not abolish the keris, it just set out to make the belief systems attached to the keris more acceptable to Islam. Same thing happens with many things when a new philosophy begins to take over a society, the changes in the society in turn change the details, but not the roots of the culture.

When we try to understand the keris we need to determine which window in time we will use to provide the perspective that we use for that understanding.

I prefer a slightly older perspective than most people.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 08:10 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
And then we have the concept of "isi".

I'm still considering just how I should approach this concept.
I thought i would at least get the ball rolling on "isi". As i understand it, this word has the meaning of "contents" in Bahasa Indonesian and in Javanese i found the definition as "filling". These are similar, though not identical concepts.
I do not wish to interject my own feelings about "isi" at this point, however, here are a couple of links that approach the subject. I do not present these because i am convinced they are correct. Rather they are intended simply as fuel for the fore so to speak, to get the conversation going.
The first link is a short video by David Gallas about how to connect to the isi of a blade. I do not know if David is a member here, but i have encountered him in online keris chat groups on Facebook. Again, i am not suggesting David's take is right or wrong, but simply presenting it for discussion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLmlRKlcNs
This second link is a section of Jan Mrázek's book "The Visible and Invisible in South East Asia" where he discusses the concept of isi as related to the keris. Hopefully these two links will provide a starting point for our discussion of the concept.
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...st_Asian_World
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Old 3rd August 2022, 10:55 PM   #36
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Thank you for those links David.

I am reluctant to comment much on the content of either link, but I think I can perhaps make a couple of comments that should not offend anybody.

Both gentlemen involved with these links touched on one idea that is central to the idea of "isi", that idea is that whatever might be the effect of the isi of a keris, that effect is ultimately a very personal matter.

This "personalisation" of effect is one of the things that is causing me to pause before I go into print.

Both gentlemen have clearly had personal contact with Javanese society and have absorbed some of the beliefs that are attached to the keris within that society, but there is, in my opinion, little depth in what is presented. I do not know (obviously) if this is intentional or not.

Mr. Mrazek has, I think, made it very clear that one is not able to understand the keris in isolation from a very good understanding of the Javanese style of communication, this style is always indirect, a bit like aiming at something that can be seen, but hitting something that cannot be seen.

One implies by words and actions, one does not ever act in a straightforward fashion, for polite people, gratuitous truths are very unsavory, it is best to deliver a message through a back door, rather than by walking up to the front door and ringing the bell.

I rather feel that Mr. Mrazek has been very much influenced by the Jogja (Ngyogyakarta) way of understanding.

But all this stuff is good. There is really not only one belief system that is attached to the keris, there are in fact a multitude of belief systems. Being "beliefs", that makes it almost impossible to look at the matter objectively and declare one belief right and all others wrong.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:23 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I do not know if David is a member here, but i have encountered him in online keris chat groups on Facebook. l]
As far as I can tell Mr. David Gallas is a member here

David Gallas was last seen here 5th March 2021

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/member.php?u=29981

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/search...archid=4536660
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Old 5th August 2022, 10:59 PM   #38
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G’day Alan and also everybody here.

The unseen world is always an interesting topic in keris study. I just thought I’ll add some of my observations with respect to the mystical aspects of the keris in the Malay and Jawa world on top of the tuah and isi elements discussed here.

I think the most popular viewpoint we commonly encounter towards keris mystics nowadays is the “Islamic” viewpoint where the magical aspects are mainly attributed to the presence of unseen beings such as the Djinn. This is due to the fact that in Islam, it is seen as possible (although sinful) to ask for help from the Djinns.

Some people in the keris trade use this line of thought to sell their keris claiming it has some power that can aid the owner to achieve their worldly desires. However, I must highlight here that although this understanding is quite popular, Islam actually does not acknowledge this viewpoint. It is considered as taking partners to God (shirk) and it is the ultimate sin.

Since this viewpoint is prohibited Islam and more people here in Malaysia and Indonesia are rejecting it, I think there is a movement to change this viewpoint towards "New Age” understandings. Meaning that there are some people that try to push the idea of keris mystics as some kind of “energy” that can be manipulated; again, to achieve their worldly desires. I think they are trying to make it sound scientific (although it’s pseudo-science IMHO) to re-attract interested people that were lost due to the Islamic prohibition described above back to keris mystics. I have no understanding of this “New Age” energy viewpoint so I cannot comment any further.

What we are seeing here in my opinion is people reacting to changes in society according to their current beliefs and knowledge . Keris has been known as an object of mystics for a long time; probably since the Islamisation of the Nusantara. In the old manuscripts (usually from the 1600s onwards) keris is frequently described to have supernatural powers. People tend to justify the unexplained, understandably using their current belief or knowledge. Since the majority of people in the keris world here in the Nusantara are Muslims, the explanation to the unexplained naturally is an Islamic one. Nowadays, people are mostly towards scientific understandings therefore the way of justifying the unexplained must be a scientific one thus, the emergence of this “New Age” point of view - although personally I don't think it is actually science.

If we go back in the pre-Islamic times the understanding is very likely a different one especially if we accept that the keris as a Hindu icon. I cannot imagine an icon of religion being used as an object to achieve worldly desires - something like Aladdin's lamp. The current understanding must be very offensive to the people back then (maybe also Hindus of the current time).

Last edited by rasdan; 6th August 2022 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 7th August 2022, 04:28 AM   #39
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I have never attempted to set forth in writing my own understanding of the concept of "isi" in a keris. I do know thoroughly the folk beliefs of Jawa that relate to this concept, equally I know well what my teachers told me about keris "isi". The folk beliefs and the higher Javanese beliefs do have variation, and to detail all of this is really beyond what can reasonably be presented in a place such as we have here.

Put in very superficial terms, Javanese folk belief seems to accept that any keris can have a good, bad or indifferent spirit in it, but higher belief seems to differentiate between the possibility of any spirit essence occupying a keris made by a common smith, and a keris made by an mpu in accordance with full ritual. Thus a keris made in the absence of ritual is just an object made for common use, but a keris made with correct ritual is an object that can possess power.

Correct ritual depends upon knowledge of the relevant mantras, mantras are often referred to as prayers, but in fact a mantra is not a prayer, the words in a mantra sound like language, but they are not, they are sounds that are felt in the core of being and the person giving life to that mantra is merely the instrument for delivering the sounds, this is somewhat similar to the tradition in Christianity of speaking in tongues:- when a Christian speaks in tongues that person is accepted as having been occupied by the holy Spirit, the use of mantra functions in a similar way.

That power of the keris can be the power of tuah, brought into the keris, by the mpu, during creation, or it might be a power gained by the keris as pusaka to a descent group over generations, or it might be a power brought into the keris by the efforts of a sorcerer, or it might be the invasion of the keris by some wandering spirit force. In any case, the dividing line is who creates the keris:- mpu, or smith. There is another dividing line also, a keris that is pusaka has a power force that cannot be alienated from the descent group.

In very superficial terms, there we have the power of the keris as I understand it:- it is power brought into the keris during its creation and power that has come into the keris after creation. Folk belief seems to believe this can apply to any keris; the belief of higher level keris authorities seems to believe that the starting point of any power in a keris depends upon who created it:- mpu or tukang besi (smith).

In respect of the power of tuah in the Javanese keris, I am more or less satisfied that the comments I have already made give a beginning understanding of how this power is perceived by those people in Jawa who accept this belief system. Effectively belief in tuah is belief in a talisman, and is subject to pretty much the same parameters & principles as apply to other talismans, everywhere. Do you carry a Saint Christopher medal on your car keys? An image of Ganesha on your watch chain? If you do, you probably understand well enough the principle of tuah.

But the principle of "isi" is different. Just how different to belief in tuah, and beliefs in present day Jawa and present day Bali is something that I feel needs to begin with at least some understanding of the differences between these two societies.

Does anybody feel inclined to begin discussion on the ways in which Javanese society & Balinese society differ ? Most especially in the way in which these two societies understand the keris?
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Old 7th August 2022, 09:55 PM   #40
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"Does anybody feel inclined to begin discussion on the ways in which Javanese society & Balinese society differ ? Most especially in the way in which these two societies understand the keris?"

I'm certainly in no position to begin such a discussion, but I'd welcome the opportunity to read much more on the topic, if those with information of substance would be willing to contribute.
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Old 7th August 2022, 10:33 PM   #41
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A lot of good information sources here:

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/keris-information
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:09 PM   #42
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Yep Rick, dead right, but if I were to pick just one of those listed sources, I'd pick Wiener.

However, not many people want to begin at ground level, they just want to pick the roses, not try to grow them.
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:22 PM   #43
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Thumbs up Bali

I enjoyed Wiener, a bit confusing for a Westerner but enlightening, nonetheless.
I need to read it again to refresh my memory; it's been 10 years since last I read her book.

Thank you for compiling that page, Alan.
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Old 8th August 2022, 01:30 AM   #44
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Its probably about time i added a few titles to it Rick.
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Old 8th August 2022, 02:05 PM   #45
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Well, the most obvious difference between Balinese and Javanese cultures is that Java has been under the influence of Islam since the fall of the Mojopahit while Bali is mostly Hindu. In many ways the Balinese culture has inherited and maintained the understanding of keris from the Hindu perspective while Java has adapted the keris to fit into the structure of Islamic culture.
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Old 8th August 2022, 04:34 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Does anybody feel inclined to begin discussion on the ways in which Javanese society & Balinese society differ ? Most especially in the way in which these two societies understand the keris?
From what I can see, I think the essence remains the same. In Kejawen, the Javanese sees the keris as an object to remind them of God (since they are Muslim it is Allah). From Alan's explanation above, we can see that they also believe a keris made by the Empu is positive (known as tuah, - I don't know the source of power for this in Javanese belief; is it God or some other source), but it can also serve other purposes where the owner can embed other types energy (probably known as isi - I am assuming that generally the Javanese believe that the source of power for this aspect is Djinn as I have stated in my previous post).

Current Balinese understanding also acknowledges this. A pande can make a keris that is positive; something with Taksu obviously from the Hindu God, but if a person wants to use it for other purposes, it is up to the owner to imbue the keris with other forces. (There is a video in Youtube of Pande Ketut Mudra explaining this)

I am not sure the difference or similarity between Taksu in Balinese keris and Tuah in Javanese keris.

However, I think there is a possibility that some of the original Balinese keris understanding have been lost and in the current revival many elements in Bali keris understandings are actually modified from post-Islamic Javanese understandings. I am unsure of this, just my feeling.

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Old 9th August 2022, 01:32 AM   #47
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Thank you David & Rasdan for your comments.

Rasdan, I'm not sure that the "essence" of the keris remains the same in both societies, but I do think that the "roots" remain the same.

I tend to the point of view that the essence of the keris has changed in accord with the changes to both societies that have occurred since the migrations of Hindu-Buddhist people (Wong Maospait) from Jawa to Bali, and the subsequent domination of Jawa by Islamic philosophies.

youtube is perhaps not a particularly reliable source of information in respect matters that are understood by a very limited number of people, ie, esoteric matters.

The concept of "taksu" is not at all easy to understand, in very simple terms it might be understood as "spiritual strength" but in reality the understanding and the use of the word & concept go much deeper than this, it is not directly connected to Iswara, nor Siwa, nor in general to a specific deity but rather to a higher authority, a higher force. I am probably not sufficiently knowledgeable in respect of how the concept of "taksu" should be understood in specific circumstances to provide a legitimate explanation.

A custodian of a keris can use that keris in ways that the maker did not intend it to be used, and that use might, or might not, have some effect upon the keris itself, but it is very questionable that any custodian of a keris can himself bring any force into a keris that the maker did not intend that it should have.

However, one thing does seem to be certain, and that is that present day understandings in both Bali & Jawa do vary --- sometimes very widely --- with older understandings, and this can apply to things other than keris alone.
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Old 9th August 2022, 11:34 PM   #48
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In post #46 I wrote that I was unable to provide a clear explanation of "taksu", last night I took steps to remedy this deficiency and made a very long phone call to a lady I know in Bali who is an acknowledged authority in Balinese tradition & culture.

It seems I was not alone in having a deficient understanding of the concept of taksu. According to what I was told, it is a pretty popular subject for discussion and everybody seems to have their own ideas on exactly what taksu is. There are however, a number of things that all can agree upon.

If a performance of music, or dance, or acting, or of other form of art is complimented by saying that it has "taksu", that is the highest compliment that can be given. With taksu the art lives, without taksu the art (whatever it may be) is empty and tasteless.

The perception of taksu by an observer, and the creation of taksu by an artist is limited by three boundaries:- inner power, spiritual power, magic power. An artist who has taksu is able to exercise intelligence in creating his art work, no matter what that might be, and the result of his efforts will be more authoritative and will have a greater presence the higher the degree of taksu that he has.

The principal association of taksu is with the arts, but in everyday usage it is applied to all professions, all endeavour to create, this can be as wide ranging as performance art, politics, cooking, accountancy (everybody here familiar with "creative accounting"?). In religious ceremony taksu is frequently present.

Everybody is born with a seed of taksu but only those who work at its development succeed in gaining the perfect condition of having recognisable taksu.

It is important to understand that to the Balinese people art is not created by the artist, but rather it is created through the artist, so the degree of excellence of an artist's work is evidence of that artist's closeness to divine origins. Each creation is from and for a higher power.

The word "taksu" comes from the Kawi* word "caksu" which means what you can see, what your perspective is, what you witness. So taksu is dependent upon actually witnessing something, but the result that you witness has been produced by the unseen element of taksu, it is the essence that raises a creation far above the ordinary.

The taksu that a great creator has can be absorbed by things that he once used, his clothing, his mask, his tools.

There is another meaning given to the word "taksu", it is the name of a personal shrine in a family compound that is devoted to a person's profession, the person who is responsible for that shrine will make daily offerings to the shrine for the duration of any creative endeavour in which he might be engaged.

The above explanation has come from one person, but bearing in mind the stature of that person I personally am inclined to accept her comments as being pretty accurate.

So, if we are to say that a keris has "taksu", then that keris must be able to assessed as having a physical presence that moves our own emotions to place it on a level of perfection that is far above the ordinary.

This is an overview of a lengthy conversation with a lot of twists & turns, and as was pointed out to me during this conversation, it is a reflection of how many people would understand taksu today, under the influence today's religious observances.

This is an abstract from an academic paper by June Mc Daniel, it can be read on Researchgate:-

"This article describes the role of Hinduism in modern Indonesia and the ways in which it has been adapted to fit the government's definition of religion as a prophetic monotheism with revealed texts and a universal ethic. It gives a brief background on Indonesian history and analyzes the structure and theology of Agama Hindu Dharma Indonesia. It discusses whether a governmental reorganization of an ancient religion can be considered a new religious movement, and some approaches that might be useful from the field of religious studies. It suggests that the definition of new religious movement be changed to fit the case in which a modern religion considered to be a revealed religion also acts as a civil religion."

If we understand how things have changed in recent years we can begin to understand the reasons why the understanding of the concept of "taksu" is somewhat fragmented.

I think this demonstrates something that I have often stated:- understandings are only relevant within a defined socio-cultural context that is limited by time & space.

* Kawi draws strongly on Sanskrit and forms a large part of Old Javanese, these days it is the foundation of literary language
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Old 10th August 2022, 05:27 PM   #49
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G’day Alan,

I agree with you that taksu can mean “full artistic value”, something that have achieved highest degree of artistry, something that have sort of “wibawa” – authority feel and look, handsome and attractive. It means the item has fully served its function. Be it physical item or artistic performance.

However, when listening Balinese speak of the force in the keris, they also refer it to “taksu keris” meaning the power of the keris. Sometimes they use the word tuah. They say that the taksu of the keris can come and can also leave. Similarly, I have read somewhere on the net that the taksu of performance art can also come and leave. Locations of a performance can have varying level of taksu. Some locations it is easy to get taksu, some are difficult. Usually, the presence of taksu is denoted with trance of the performer thus it can come, and it can leave. This is just from my vague memory.

So, in my mind, if it is regarded of energy (that originates from the unseen world) and it can come and go, it is quite possible that taksu of a Balinese keris is something that is parallel to tuah in Javanese keris. What is interesting is that, in Balinese understanding, something with taksu must meet physical requirement (artistic value in the case of a keris) and I think it must also meet spiritual requirement in order for a keris to be regarded fully functional in Balinese sense. (this is my guess) Thus a keris that has achieved spiritual taksu must also achieve a high physical artistic standards.

However, I think in Javanese tuah, a keris is not necessarily achieve a high artistic standard to have tuah, but we know one of the characteristics of an empu made keris is that it must have high artistic standards. So it is like an unmentioned rule that actually tuah is only present in high quality keris - similar concept with Balinese understanding.

Therefore, I think it is probable that the concept of tuah in Javanese keris has been watered down so that the elements of Hinduism in it is not so obvious. At the core, it is a Hindu concept. But this is just my guess. Do you think that it is possible to look at it that way?

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Old 10th August 2022, 10:44 PM   #50
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Rasdan, what I have written is an over-view, it is taken from a lot of notes made during a phone conversation, & compressed into something short enough and direct enough to be read quickly without the reader going to sleep.

So now, I'll expand a little.

The original use of the word "taksu" only applied to performance art, a performance had taksu when the performer became one with the part he played in the piece, when be actually became the character he was playing, when his mask was not a mask any more, but was the actual face of the character.

Then people started to use the concept of taksu to refer to other art works, and when an art object had become perfect it was considered to have taksu, what my friend actually said was this:-

"--- kalau obyek seni, atau barang seni sudah matang, yah, itulah sudah metaksu ---"

I guess we could say that something like the Mona Lisa or Girl with a Pearl Earring is "metaksu":- we look at the painting and what we witness with our eyes has an effect upon our emotions, however, since not only the creation of the condition of 'taksu' is dependent upon the three pillars of taksu, but also the perception of 'taksu' by the observer, an observer who is deficient in all elements of taksu will not be able to feel the taksu generated by the painting.

So --- "full artistic value"?
Maybe, this is not the way I would describe my present understanding.

Now, as I wrote, everybody has their own ideas on how the concept of "taksu" should be understood, you could have a dozen people who all recognise the taksu in a performance and they could well have a dozen different ideas about how & why the performance is taksu. When the word drifts into colloquial usage and is applied broadly to art works other than performance, the interpretations & understandings can vary even more widely, when it gets into gutter colloquialism and we have some half-ripe kid saying to his mother

"hey mum that soto was really metaksu"

well then we really do have a situation where language is undergoing change.

And this is one of the reasons why the word is so difficult to understand:- it means different things to different people, but its true, original meaning is only in performance art and it only means when that divine spirit enters the performer and he becomes one with his character.

If modern usage of the word corrupts the original way in which it was understood, we just need to recognise that this is one of the characteristics of a living language.

In Shakespeare's England you could get time in the stocks for uttering the word "occupy" in public, it was deemed to be obscene language, during the 17th & 18th centuries people in England avoided using this word.

So, if we want to apply "taksu" to a keris, then it would seem that we need to be able to feel the divine spirit in that keris when we look at it --- just look, not feel, do not forget that for the observer "taksu" is the result of witnessing something, and the effect that the observance has on feelings.

We very definitely cannot confuse taksu with tuah.

I cannot be too definite about that.

Tuah is NOT a Balinese concept, whereas taksu is 100% Balinese.

Tuah of a keris is talismanic in nature and is placed into the keris by a qualified maker.

Taksu is evidence of the presence of the divine spirit.

If some present day Balinese confuse taksu with tuah, this simply demonstrates the penetration of Javanese culture & language into modern Bali. Much of the current Balinese keris understanding has been drawn from Jawa, during the 1970's & 1980's it was almost impossible to find anybody with an in depth understanding of keris in Bali. During the last 20 years or so it seems that we have multitudes of keris literate people in Bali.

Who did they learn from?

Who were their teachers?

Rasdan, we cannot begin to understand a single blossom of a culture or society by only looking at that single blossom, we need to look at the garden it came from. If we want to understand the Balinese keris, we need to look at Balinese society & culture.

Balinese life is intertwined, many would say "defined by", religious observance.

I would strongly encourage everybody who has any interest at all in understanding the Balinese keris to begin by trying to gain an understanding of Balinese culture & society, including the changes that have been wrought by the necessity of forcing Balinese religion into a mould that is acceptable to Islam.

Question:- Has the concept of tuah been watered down in order to reduce elements of Hindu belief?

No, I don't think I'd put it that way. It is beyond doubt that the nature of the keris in Jawa, as it is understood at the present time, has been influenced by Islamic belief. But I don't think "watered down" is the way to think about this, rather understandings seem to have been pushed in a different direction. In Jawa we have this multitude of different pamors and dhapurs, most are able to be interpreted in some way or another, usually talismanic in nature.

Does the same situation exist in Bali? Not really.

In Jawa the keris has been principally a dress accoutrement since about the middle of the 18th century, during this time the talismanic component of its nature seems to have grown, whilst its function as weapon has seems to have decreased.

In Bali the primary function of the keris up until the puputans (only a bit more than 100 years ago) --- and maybe a for a while after that time --- has been as a weapon.

In Bali & in Jawa there is a somewhat different understanding of good & evil and the unseen forces that are representative of these concepts. This single variation in foundation understandings is sufficient to alter the way in which the world is understood, and the keris is an object that does physically exist in this world.
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Old 12th August 2022, 07:36 PM   #51
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Thank you, Alan. I can see the differences now. So, in short we can say that tuah is a Javanese concept and taksu is purely Balinese. Do you think that the tuah concept in keris Bali used in the current time is most likely an influence from Java?

There is a professor here in Malaysia that says that the word tuah did not exist in the Malay language in the 17th century (if my memory serves me correctly). I wonder what is the word used for keris tuah prior of that. This is probably one of the hints that the concept of tuah in keris is probably something newer than the 17th century.
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Old 13th August 2022, 12:17 AM   #52
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you for your further comments Rasdan.

Bahasa Indonesia and Modern Malay are to a large degree mutually intelligible, but Modern Malay was preceded by Classical Malay, which was in common usage from about 1400 to about 1800, Classical Malay was proceeded by Old Malay.

So, your Professor is in fact saying that the word "tuah" did not exist in Old Malay, 1600 falls into the middle years of usage of Classical Malay, so what was happening in Malay society during those years from around 1400 to around 1600?

Your professor might be right, because in Wilkinson's original Malay Dictionary(Modern Malay) he uses the spelling "tuwah", the alternate, more modern spelling is used in the abridged version of Wilkinson:- "tuah".

In Modern Javanese the word "tuwah" does not exist, but it can be a regional variation of the word "tuwuh" which means "to grow, to rise to the surface, to increase in rank, to become greater".

In Old Javanese, the form of Javanese that was in general usage up to about 1600, the word "tuwuh" means "to grow, to arise from below".

Now look at Bahasa Indonesia, in this language we do not find "tuwah", nor do we find "tuwuh", but we do find "tuah", which is understood as:-

"1 good luck, good fortune. 2 magic power. 3 respect, honour, prestige."

I am not a linguist, in fact, my ability with languages other than English is pretty limited --- in school I had sufficient French to allow me to roughly understand cycling magazines, but not enough to pass examinations. Nobody could ever mistake my stumbling abilities in a few languages other than English to be representative of competence in these languages --- even in English I consider myself only barely competent. But I do have strong analytical abilities, and applying analysis to the various words & meanings attached to "tuwah/tuwuh" I feel it is not very difficult to understand the relationship between these two words and the word that is spelt as "tuah".

So, although the spelling of "tuah" now has this modern form, perhaps the concept of the modern idea of "tuah" is a concept that did exist in earlier times, but was represented by a word with a very slightly variant pronunciation. In earlier times, the spelling would of course not be a romanised spelling so perhaps these various romanised spellings do in fact come back to a single spelling in earlier scripts.

Just for interest sake, here is the entry in Wilkinson for "tuwah":-

" Luck, good fortune - in that things left to chance turn out well. Bertuwah:- lucky, luck bringing - as an amulet is supposed to bring luck, or as certain coins are believed to be lucky coins., HT.Abd., 58, 78, 486: "sudah dapat gading bertuwah, tandok tiyada berguna lagi: now that he has luck bringing ivory, common horn is of no use to him; now that he is wealthy, simple joys of his poverty please him no more; Prov. V. J.S.A.S.. XI 56, Untong ada tuwah tidak: he get profit but makes no lucky strokes; Prov."

I do think we can say that "taksu" is a purely Balinese idea, but as far as "tuah" goes, I am uncertain, I think the idea might be there, but not necessarily attached to the keris, Modern Balinese came in part from Old Javanese, if an idea existed in Old Javanese it probably still exists in Modern Balinese, but perhaps that idea is represented by a different word.

We still need to look at the idea of "isi" , the understanding of "tuah" is, I believe, essential to the understanding of "isi", but to understand "isi" we need first to understand how some elements of the Unseen World are understood in Bali, as opposed to Jawa.

Does anybody have any opinions on this variance in understandings?
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Old 26th August 2022, 07:10 PM   #53
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My daughter who is 12 when holding old keris can in some cases feel ceetain sensations like a feeling of warmth, Prickling of fingers, etc and once even told ne she could feel the keris waking up. I feel none of these sensations. As an example I just acquired 2 keris. One newer and one quite old. My daughter when holding the new one said it made her arm feel twitchy and she quickly returned it to me. The old one she said had no feelings arise. Funnily she does not want me to sell any of my keris but cares nought for any of my other old knives. She has no other interest in keris.
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