Ancient Kerises

Discussing Kerises with all its aspects is talking about the depth of the complexity of the archipelago, especially Javanese culture, the expression “Curigo manjing warongko jumbuhing Kawulo lan gusti” is an expression of this kind of behavior and understanding of Java/Indonesia’s human life in his time. Sir Stamford Thomas Raffles in his book The History of Java that is quoted by Mr.  Haryono Haryoguritno in his book “Javanesse Keris between Myth and Reason” wrote that “A Javanese man who felt nude without  holding a keris …”. Koesni in his book of “Knowledge About Keris” wrote “Although the kerises  is not a sacred object but not a small community made as a sacred object”. (2003). In the Babad Brahmana Pande compossed by RSI Bintang Dhanu Manik  wrote “The keris is a sacred thing as the completeness of rituals ceremony” (1998). From the word of expression can be interpreted that the keris is part of the necessities of life that can not be separated from society of archipelago at that time.

Keris unlike other traditional weapons, which are somewhat regional, kerises can be said there and used in nearly all corners of Indonesia. Mubirman in his book “Keris as Heritage” wrote, “Keris is a weapon of unity cultural of Indonesia, and can be regarded as a symbol of Indonesian nation heroism.” (1980). Keris Mas Djomul in his book “Keris as Indonesia’s culture” wrote “the masters of ancient keris makers already have a large stake in the field of the prominence of Indonesian culture, while helping the foundation Indonesia Cultural identity. Another reality show that keris has affected  human life beyond its primary function as a weapon. (1985)

Keris is a multi-material works and multi skills / expertise, keris is the art of forging metal incorporation on the bar, the art of jewelry on it’s Mendak, selut and pendok, and the art of wood carving at the upstream and warangka. Some elements are generated by either by the skilled hands made and combined into a beautiful masterpiece, filled with high-quality symbol values. Haryono Haryo Guritno in his book “Javanesse Kerises Between Myth And Reason”, wrote for a complete work technically and aesthetically, the bar of keris should be given warangka and hulu handles or upstream. For the people of Java, and accessories of  kerises  is a kind of importance of the keris itself. [1].

Keris is derived from the kris or riris, or aris is something small, pointy and sharp. Althought  still uncertain when the keris  was first developed in the archipelago but Kris is estimated to have existed since the development of the art of metallurgy evolved in the archipelago. In some artifacts and historical records keris has existed and developed during the early Middle Ages, in the inscriptions saka rukam numbered 825 (907 M) had known the term “kris”, in the inscription of Poh and Karang tengah  inscriptions written that the other word of “kres” who allegedly meant kris. This indicated that the Java community has known kerises in age 9th AC.

Several other inscriptions which give the existence of the keris, among others: In the inscription of Kedu that created about 750 AC described the family dynasty of the king ordered to make keris. Rarajunggrang statue in the temple at Prambanan (AD 910 years) one of the hands holding the weapon, which means a sharp weapon  keris. Framed In one wall of the temple reliefs of  Sukuh Temple year 1456 reflected the situation at  forging in keris making.

Keris at first is one of completeness of the ritual ceremony (wasi wasi  prakara), where the keris as a part in the ceremony of Goddess Sima as goddess of fertility. At that time keris is a visualization conception  of  phallus and yoni. Along with the development of culture in the archipelago, the existence and role of the keris had been developed, where the completeness of its humble beginnings as a ritual keris penetrated on the functions of more complex, some keris  into sacred object and glory. Keris be a means of status social  marker, a kerises  also play a role in the political journey.  The kerises as a sacred object is celebrated, as a religious tool, a weapon of war, a marker of the number of years, precious objects and so forth.