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Old 10th May 2022, 12:08 AM   #31
xasterix
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Thanks David and Detlef, I'm totally clueless on keris and it shows. I'm just wondering if there are also keris hilt samples that have some sort of extended metal ferrule before the pommel (like mine does).
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:24 AM   #32
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Thanks David and Detlef, I'm totally clueless on keris and it shows. I'm just wondering if there are also keris hilt samples that have some sort of extended metal ferrule before the pommel (like mine does).
Hello Xas,

Short answer: no, at least I never have seen one.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:38 AM   #33
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Thanks David and Detlef, I'm totally clueless on keris and it shows. I'm just wondering if there are also keris hilt samples that have some sort of extended metal ferrule before the pommel (like mine does).
Certainly not to the extent that your example extends, but many hilts have ferrule like metal attachments like a selut as this Sumatran Putri Malu hilt does.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:25 AM   #34
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Thanks again to the both of you!
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:41 PM   #35
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I am glad to see this discussion getting some traction!

So let’s start back with the idea of the bird form and then move to the Jawa Demam possibility.

In the pictures below I show the possible interpretations of the more traditional Moro hilt designs that are attributed the form of the Philippines native red-vented cockatoo. I want to remind that these are symbolic representations and likely talismanic in nature. Finding similarities in these forms and then looking toward those similarities in the form of what I am calling the Garuda Kris may be helpful in discovering or uncovering to origin of these more rare kris.

So in these pictures…(all from my collection &#128521 what is the symbolism for the highlighted area??
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:43 PM   #36
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I am glad to see this discussion getting some traction!

So let’s start back with the idea of the bird form and then move to the Jawa Demam possibility.

In the pictures below I show the possible interpretations of the more traditional Moro hilt designs that are attributed the form of the Philippines native red-vented cockatoo. I want to remind that these are symbolic representations and likely talismanic in nature. Finding similarities in these forms and then looking toward those similarities in the form of what I am calling the Garuda Kris may be helpful in discovering or uncovering the origin of these more rare kris.

So in these pictures…(all from my collection) what is the symbolism for the highlighted??

Last edited by SanibelSwassa; 10th May 2022 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Duplicate
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:51 PM   #37
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Now we can look for the same symbolism in the Garuda kris.

I have highlighted the area for observation.

To make the correlation to the amorphous bird form you would also need to look to orientation an find a beak and a crest.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:39 PM   #38
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We do not see these common symbols in the forms of the Java Demam nor do we find the Shivering Javanese man with the any of the various accompanying forms shown the the pictures already shared in the form of the Garuda kris shown above. While the pistol grip form of the hilt design shares in the indo style the symbolisms do not appear to follow the known elements of the Java Demam origin story associated with those blades.

Further we have other dissimilar elements in the Garuda kris. These elements include the motifs on what I will label the front and back faces of the hilt which should be examined.

As I have already shown other examples here is another compare and contrast.
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:44 PM   #39
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We do not see these common symbols in the forms of the Java Demam nor do we find the Shivering Javanese man with the any of the various accompanying forms shown the the pictures already shared in the form of the Garuda kris shown above. While the pistol grip form of the hilt design shares in the indo style the symbolisms do not appear to follow the known elements of the Java Demam origin story associated with those blades.

Further we have other dissimilar elements in the Garuda kris. These elements include the motifs on what I will label the front and back faces of the hilt which should be examined.

As I have already shown other examples here is another compare and contrast.
There are several okir (Mindanao) and ukkil (Sulu) motifs incorporating that shape/pattern that you isolated.

By chance, I was able to borrow some kris (probably preWW2-postWW2 era thereabouts) that incorporated the hilt in question- but one of them clearly depicted what it was all about
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:31 PM   #40
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So in these pictures…(all from my collection &#128521 what is the symbolism for the highlighted area??
I'll throw this link into the mix for you to ponder. While this theory received some amount of resistance if i recall properly i am somewhat drawn to it, though i cannot say it is at all conclusive. But i would suggest that your highlighted areas are representative of wings, but perhaps not in the orientation that you are expecting. I have not yet found there to be any significant evidence that the kakatu (cockatoo) bird has any cultural significance to Moro peoples, so using it in abstract for the pommel design on not one, but two of their most iconic weapons (Kris and Barung) seems a bit strange. But we can indeed find significance in the legend of the Sarimanok and when exampled with the blade pointing upward we can see a very clear abstract of a bird that quite resembles the Sarimanok.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=sarimanok
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Old 10th May 2022, 06:06 PM   #41
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I'll throw this link into the mix for you to ponder. While this theory received some amount of resistance if i recall properly i am somewhat drawn to it, though i cannot say it is at all conclusive. But i would suggest that your highlighted areas are representative of wings, but perhaps not in the orientation that you are expecting. I have not yet found there to be any significant evidence that the kakatu (cockatoo) bird has any cultural significance to Moro peoples, so using it in abstract for the pommel design on not one, but two of their most iconic weapons (Kris and Barung) seems a bit strange. But we can indeed find significance in the legend of the Sarimanok and when exampled with the blade pointing upward we can see a very clear abstract of a bird that quite resembles the Sarimanok.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=sarimanok
That's an interesting theory. But with regard to pattern, I think that upside-down pommel matches this better. You can even 1:1 the "mouth" of the drawn naga and circular design above its head, with the outline of the upside-down pommel itself.
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Old 11th May 2022, 04:50 PM   #42
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That's an interesting theory. But with regard to pattern, I think that upside-down pommel matches this better. You can even 1:1 the "mouth" of the drawn naga and circular design above its head, with the outline of the upside-down pommel itself.
We all see what we want to see i guess. Frankly i don't see that much of a match with your naga drawing and to my eyes this pommel clearly looks like a bird.
Also, let's remember this is a 3-dimensional object. Comparing this to a 2-D drawing doesn't show the full extent of the shape for a good comparison. If we look at these pommels from the top and image that we are looking up at the bottom of a bird's body in flight it also clearly looks like a bird.
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Old 11th May 2022, 05:28 PM   #43
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We all see what we want to see i guess. Frankly i don't see that much of a match with your naga drawing and to my eyes this pommel clearly looks like a bird.
Also, let's remember this is a 3-dimensional object. Comparing this to a 2-D drawing doesn't show the full extent of the shape for a good comparison. If we look at these pommels from the top and image that we are looking up at the bottom of a bird's body in flight it also clearly looks like a bird.
We can always look at the culturally-accurate depictions: in this case, the original pattern as conceptualized by Bangsamoro hands. Here's an excerpt from the book "Ukkil: Visual Arts of the Sulu Archipelago" by Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa (2006). These ukkil patterns existed in Bangsamoro infrastructure and grave markers as early as 1600s (some sources say even way before this date).

As you can see...the resemblance is murky if you flip the kris pommel. I would have agreed with you that it MAY represent a sarimanuk if it's the right way up (blade pointing down).

You'll also notice how closely related the naga and sarimanuk patterns are.

I'll prefer to stick to the naga interpretation though- because one of my kris pommels is obviously a snake-head.
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Old 12th May 2022, 12:25 AM   #44
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We all see what we want to see i guess. Frankly i don't see that much of a match with your naga drawing and to my eyes this pommel clearly looks like a bird.
Also, let's remember this is a 3-dimensional object. Comparing this to a 2-D drawing doesn't show the full extent of the shape for a good comparison. If we look at these pommels from the top and image that we are looking up at the bottom of a bird's body in flight it also clearly looks like a bird.
David,

I think the relevance of this part of the discussion is significant IMHO. As we are in agreement that the symbol that we are calling either a wing… which is my personal belief, or maybe an eye if you are seeing the hilt as the Birds head with a crest and a beak. Either way the commonality in both the “Garuda” kris and the traditional kris can assist us in creating working hypothesis to test regarding some of these questions.

For example if we see the symbol as a wing(my starting hypothesis) then the directionality of the overall structure is potentially identifiable as the Garuda kris is only viewable as a form with the blade tip pointed down. It also has a definable front, back, sides and top. The wing symbols are clearly on the “sides” of the structure. This then gives us an point of reference for both the traditional Moro structure and the Garuda form. “If” the meaning for the symbol and the location are defined then the other symbols under consideration can be defined more reliably.

This pic below may allow us to continue that discussion productively.

Obviously the Garuda form is more figurative.
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Old 12th May 2022, 12:35 AM   #45
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Another form for comparison.
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Old 12th May 2022, 01:11 AM   #46
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I'll throw this link into the mix for you to ponder. While this theory received some amount of resistance if i recall properly i am somewhat drawn to it, though i cannot say it is at all conclusive. But i would suggest that your highlighted areas are representative of wings, but perhaps not in the orientation that you are expecting. I have not yet found there to be any significant evidence that the kakatu (cockatoo) bird has any cultural significance to Moro peoples, so using it in abstract for the pommel design on not one, but two of their most iconic weapons (Kris and Barung) seems a bit strange. But we can indeed find significance in the legend of the Sarimanok and when exampled with the blade pointing upward we can see a very clear abstract of a bird that quite resembles the Sarimanok.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=sarimanok
Also when wielded the beak here is oriented to the cutting edge of the first blow.
What would a bird defend or attack with, the beak, I think.
Just a thought.
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Old 12th May 2022, 01:38 AM   #47
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Sorry to throw this in guys... but all PH figural hilts should be viewed with the blade pointing down, not up. Whether it's Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao, all figural pommel samples you'll find are oriented that way. There's no reason for the kris pommel to be different or "flipped" for viewing.
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Old 12th May 2022, 02:41 PM   #48
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Sorry to throw this in guys... but all PH figural hilts should be viewed with the blade pointing down, not up. Whether it's Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao, all figural pommel samples you'll find are oriented that way. There's no reason for the kris pommel to be different or "flipped" for viewing.
I agree and believe the Garuda kris form confirms this orientation. However, I also agree with David’s assertion that the symbol in the side of the form is most likely a wing.

With that defined we can begin to examine the other symbols on the “Garuda” kris that diverge from the more traditional Moro form. This is where I hope other forum members can assist in deciphering their origins and meanings, with the hope that leads us closer to the group of smiths and people that venerated this kris form.

Below are pics for the front, back, and top of two of the kris I own for discussions.
And while I am labeling this “Garuda”, forum members should feel free to present alternative or conflicting hypothesis. Delving into the symbols and their origins is my line of focus.
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Old 14th May 2022, 06:43 PM   #49
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Default Study in Malay wood carving

To better establish the linkage back to the cultural influences from the Hindu/Buddhist contacts with the Malay area I am supplying a paper on studying the carvings of the area. Given the overlay of the Muslim influence perhaps we can see the potential for the Garuda as the source for this interesting form.
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Old 14th May 2022, 06:50 PM   #50
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Default Hindu/Buddhist sculpture examples

Here are a interesting pieces with floral motifs that are similar, however the Islamic art from the same time periods also have similar motifs.
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Old 15th May 2022, 12:05 PM   #51
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To better establish the linkage back to the cultural influences from the Hindu/Buddhist contacts with the Malay area I am supplying a paper on studying the carvings of the area. Given the overlay of the Muslim influence perhaps we can see the potential for the Garuda as the source for this interesting form.
Mr SanibelSwassa, I talked with a Malaysian keris collector and an Iranun friend who's also based in Malaysia. According to both of them, while the Indomalay-looking hilts that we have may seem related to keris, they're only roughly reminiscent Jawa Demam form; but symbolically, they agreed that our hilts represented a 'dragon'- in other words, a naga. And- this is most important- that they were made in the Philippines, and not elsewhere in the Malay archipelago.

When I asked about the standard and junggayan kakatua form, they said different people viewed it differently; same as in Sulu and Mindanao. Some will say it's a naga, while others will say it's a garuda. To them, it can be either, or both.
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Old 15th May 2022, 02:30 PM   #52
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As supporting evidence that this indomalay-style hilt was made in the Philippines- I noticed that the insignia carved into my kris butt pommel perfectly corresponds to the recurring okir structural pattern of a torogan, the traditional Maranao royal residence for nobility. It was reserved for the datu or sultan. This pattern is exclusive to the Bangsamoro.
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Old 15th May 2022, 04:00 PM   #53
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As supporting evidence that this indomalay-style hilt was made in the Philippines- I noticed that the insignia carved into my kris butt pommel perfectly corresponds to the recurring okir structural pattern of a torogan, the traditional Maranao royal residence for nobility. It was reserved for the datu or sultan. This pattern is exclusive to the Bangsamoro.
Xasterix,

That is a fabulous direct origin connection! The Okir on your piece and the corresponding wood lattices is a near prefect match. Do you know what building that picture was taken from and or the buildings rough age??

Thank you for sharing both the information you gathered from your Malay source and the detailed Okir pics!

Very excited! At the same time I’m having a difficult time finding matching Okir or sculpture reference to the symbol on my kris. The number 8 is strongly represented in the three layers of the “flower”. I still have some leaning toward a connection back to Hindu/Buddhist roots on this symbol… but that a work in progress.
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Old 15th May 2022, 05:21 PM   #54
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Xasterix,

That is a fabulous direct origin connection! The Okir on your piece and the corresponding wood lattices is a near prefect match. Do you know what building that picture was taken from and or the buildings rough age??

Thank you for sharing both the information you gathered from your Malay source and the detailed Okir pics!

Very excited! At the same time I’m having a difficult time finding matching Okir or sculpture reference to the symbol on my kris. The number 8 is strongly represented in the three layers of the “flower”. I still have some leaning toward a connection back to Hindu/Buddhist roots on this symbol… but that a work in progress.
Thanks for the kind words sir. That specific torogan is called "Bantog-a-Unaya" located in Lanao del Sur; most of the royal house is in ruins unfortunately. It's estimated to be over a hundred years old.

I'm attaching a picture from Baradas (1968) study on okir, there's a Maranao okir motif there that corresponds with the carving on our kris pommel.
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Old 15th May 2022, 05:43 PM   #55
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Default Tree of life

When inquiring about my copper alloy bladed Kris, one of our friends mentioned that the carving on the back of the hilt somewhat resembles the tree of life. He then forwarded a photo of a Tausug tapestry of the Tree of life that resides in the Philippine National Museum. Xas I wonder if carving on top of the hilt of your Kris could be interpreted as such. Would you classify your blade as hailing from Sulu?

Photo of the Tausug tapestry.
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Old 15th May 2022, 07:04 PM   #56
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When inquiring about my copper alloy bladed Kris, one of our friends mentioned that the carving on the back of the hilt somewhat resembles the tree of life. He then forwarded a photo of a Tausug tapestry of the Tree of life that resides in the Philippine National Museum. Xas I wonder if carving on top of the hilt of your Kris could be interpreted as such. Would you classify your blade as hailing from Sulu?

Photo of the Tausug tapestry.
Halloo sir Albert, in my eyes the pommel carving looks closer to the Maranao torogan's pattern.
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Old 16th May 2022, 05:45 PM   #57
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When inquiring about my copper alloy bladed Kris, one of our friends mentioned that the carving on the back of the hilt somewhat resembles the tree of life. He then forwarded a photo of a Tausug tapestry of the Tree of life that resides in the Philippine National Museum. Xas I wonder if carving on top of the hilt of your Kris could be interpreted as such. Would you classify your blade as hailing from Sulu?

Photo of the Tausug tapestry.
Kino,

Thank you so much for sharing the tapestry pic!! That’s a great reference piece. I would agree with Xasterix that his Okir is a direct match back to the royal line used as shown in the pics he shared. Which is an incredible find as to providence. I am excited by the sharing for resources and ideas.
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Old 17th May 2022, 04:10 AM   #58
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Kino,

Thank you so much for sharing the tapestry pic!! That’s a great reference piece. I would agree with Xasterix that his Okir is a direct match back to the royal line used as shown in the pics he shared. Which is an incredible find as to providence. I am excited by the sharing for resources and ideas.
Hi sir, can I see the butt-pommel of your krises? I might come upon more insignias, I'll let you know if any of those match.
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Old 17th May 2022, 07:05 AM   #59
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Hi sir, can I see the butt-pommel of your krises? I might come upon more insignias, I'll let you know if any of those match.
Here you go! Let me know if you uncover any interesting similarities with other Okir.
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Old 19th May 2022, 01:15 AM   #60
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Here’s another hilt to throw in the mix.
Too bad a detailed image of the hilt is unavailable.
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