Indonesian Wavy Bladed Keris From Java
AGE: – lIKELY 19TH cENTURY
LENGTH: – 48cm
BLADE LENGTH: – 34cm
#117 – PRICE: CONTACT
Indonesian Wavy Bladed Keris From Java with a nicely grained wrangka and grip with plain metal mendak. The Javanese smiths when forging a keris practiced basic alchemy, by “marrying” iron from the earth with meteorites from the heavens to forge the blade (pamor), the Javanese word pamor refers to the laminated patterns on the keris blade but also to the raw material used to create the patterns. The word pamor can also refer to the mix or becoming one through the transmutation by fire, The forge in which the keris was made was considered a holy place where they achieved objects of unquestioned power.
Legends about smiths with their forges in or on mountains are not uncommon, while a divine power was given to those smiths who forged the keris pamors. Divinity aside, tradition gave the keris smith a special place, naming him Empu. This title was reserved only for men of special power. It applied to the sage-priest and court poet (often one and the same person) who dealt with the supernatural and transformed thought and feeling into the tangible written word which carried its own power to “impress”. It applied also to the gamelan gong smith while in the process of transforming crude material into a new form that could, when struck, magically affect its listeners.
Smiths are sometimes referred to as pande, which also means expert, skilled, or clever.” Since the skills and knowledge of the Empu were passed from father to son, their genealogies became very important to the understanding of stylistic relationships and patterns of influence.
Most likely the sons learned by doing work in the forge and gradually being entrusted with more and more difficult parts of the work. In the twentieth century and probably well before, there was a distinction between “trade” keris destined for a dealer or. the open marketplace and those made under commission.
The latter was much more carefully made following prescribed rituals and became more significant pieces, each matched to an individual and having a spirit. The best-known Empu, like other traditional artists, often came under the patronage of the courts. There they worked in a special environment.
Other styles of Javanese Keris
The information above was referenced in the book “The World of the Javanese Keris” By Solyom Garrett