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Old 10th March 2022, 08:22 PM   #1
SanibelSwassa
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Question Garuda Kris

I thought it might be interesting to revisit the Garuda Kris topic and open the floor to origins, providence and symbolism for the forum members. I recently acquired a third Garuda Kris from England. It was collected by a British Naval officer in the 1920’s while aboard a Royal Navy Hydrographical Survey Ship in the British North Borneo region.
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Old 11th March 2022, 05:08 PM   #2
BBJW
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Garuda? I'm familiar with garuda kukris. Interesting.---bbjw
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Old 11th March 2022, 05:29 PM   #3
kai
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Quote:
I recently acquired a third Garuda Kris from England. It was collected by a British Naval officer in the 1920’s while aboard a Royal Navy Hydrographical Survey Ship in the British North Borneo region.
Wow, you have been busy - congrats on acquiring these neat pieces, especially the 2 old ones!

Dimensions and a close-up of the sosoran area (base of the blade) taken from exactly above would be great though!

I might stipulate that the link to Garuda is far from established! It seems likely that this type of pommels originates from successively abstracted figural keris hilts (Java, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, brought to bangksa Moro possibly via coastal Malay communities from Borneo); their exact symbolism is also not convincingly established yet. An originally protective function as well as a root in ancestor worship can be assumed though.

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Kai
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Old 11th March 2022, 11:54 PM   #4
Ian
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SanibelSwassa,

Thanks for posting these interesting examples. Of the older two, the shorter one with scabbard looks to be Maranao in origin and is of the typical "archaic" form. I would place the longer one as a little later, perhaps early 19th C, and appears to be Sulu.

The largest and most recent one is probably Maguindanao in origin from the late 19th C.

An excellent trio of this uncommon hilt form spanning more than a century of kris development across different Moro groups.

Last edited by Ian; 12th March 2022 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Incorrectly attributed third one as Maranao instead of Maguindanao
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Old 12th March 2022, 07:29 AM   #5
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Will work on getting a few pics as requested.

Working theory:

Blades from left to right: Maranao (left); Sulu (double fuller with twist core) (middle); Malay (double fuller with twist core) (right)

The weight of the Malay blade(much lighter) and the corse grain of the steel are significantly different from the other two blade. Also the silver wrapping style of the Left most krisÂ’ hilt is a style seen in Malay kris.

With that said input or theories are definitely welcome and appreciated.

A discussion around the Garuda and symbolism is also welcome. The two archaic kris hilt style, carving and form start to give some basis for comparison. If there are other forum members with examples of this style of hilt form I would also encourage posting those for us to all compare and contrast.

SS
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Old 12th March 2022, 09:45 AM   #6
Ian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelSwassa View Post
... Working theory:

Blades from left to right: Maranao (left); Sulu (double fuller with twist core) (middle); Malay (double fuller with twist core) (right)
...
SS
I agree that the one on the right may well be Malay in origin. However, the elephant trunk area does closely resemble the Maranao style, and the raised bands on the hilt are also found on Maranao pieces. In my earlier comment, I misidentified the largest one on the left as Maranao--it more closely resembles Maguindanao work in the elephant trunk area (per Robert Cato).
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Old 13th March 2022, 04:02 AM   #7
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SS, amazing collection. I really like that 3 siko example with the octagonal (?), ferrule.
Here’s one that I have but really doesn’t compare to yours.
This one is really small with a brass or some copper alloyed blade. The hilt has a carving of a “Tree of Life”.
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Old 13th March 2022, 04:09 PM   #8
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Hello Ian,

Quote:
In my earlier comment, I misidentified the largest one on the left as Maranao--it more closely resembles Maguindanao work in the elephant trunk area (per Robert Cato).
Thanks for your clarification - I was already wondering whether you had mixed things up...

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Kai
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