Antique Madura Wavy Bladed Keris with Bone Grip
AGE: – 19th Century or earlier
BLADE LENGTH:– 40cm
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Antique Madura Wavy Bladed Keris with Bone Grip (12 Luk), dressed in a sheath made of copper alloy with a filigree Rapousse decoration on the front of the sheath and a honey-coloured wooden warangka with a nicely carved bone grip.
The Indo-Javanese period, (1-1498 CE), is named after the main island where Indian influence as well as Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms dominated for over 1000 years. It is the period where external influences made their biggest mark on early Indonesian culture. It is also during this period that a series of cultural changes related to religion and royal art patronage heightened the importance of keris pusaka and other lavish, ritual objects used in the Indonesian royal courts.
The keris/kris can be seen with a straight or wavy blade of different lengths. It is one of the oldest forms of weaponry in the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, and the Philippines to a smaller extent. The keris made its appearance throughout Indonesia around the thirteenth century CE. The kris was initially used as stabbing weapons and were made in a wide variety of sizes and styles depending on the area in which they originated.
The majority of older keris blades were forged of meteoric iron, which was believed to give the keris magical and mystical powers and in turn, charged it with the energy of the cosmos making it a weapon that served as a magical protector to whom it belonged to.
The keris are also believed to possess internal spirits and have the ability to bring good or bad luck to people associated with them. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries CE, the keris attained iconic status within Indonesian royal courts. Throughout this period, the keris was one of a class of objects known as pusaka, that was considered sacred.
Pusaka is an old Sanskrit word meaning Heirloom, a treasure or an inherited object, which became an ancestral heirloom endowed with supernatural powers used to heal, seek revenge, and protect. In order to furnish this protection, metalworkers and woodcarvers created special hilts and keris holders. These keris accessories often take the form of or are decorated with images of prominent Indonesian deities, mythological animals or folklore heroes.
They serve not only as a protective function but also as visual examples of traditional art styles believed to hold mystic powers so great as to legitimize a ruler’s supremacy over his people. Such powerful objects required protection from human or cosmic forces that willed them harm and in turn, those connected with the weapon required protection from its influence.