Featured Lombok keris patrem (womens keris)

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Any Jewelry, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    One for @komokwa , and anyone else who enjoys the beauty of the keris.:)

    It is a special little keris patrem from the Indonesian island of Lombok, carried by women.
    'No elephant was harmed during the making of this keris.';)


    The sheath and the hilt are made of 'kayuh puti', which simply means white wood. The English name of the tree is weeping paperbark.
    Kayu putih symbolizes spiritual purity.
    It has a beautiful shimmering glow, which you can't capture on photos.

    The shape of the sheath is called Bataan, it is the same as the Balinese Kekandikan sheath. This type used to be reserved for the aristocracy.
    The hilt is the bebondolan, for everyday use by all castes. It has a wewer or hilt ring set with glass cabochons.
    Total height: 38.5cm / 15.5".

    The keris proper, the blade, has 13 luk or waves. That means this is a spiritual keris, which helps the owner with stability and confidence,
    The beautiful damascene pattern or pamor is called Aiq Ngelek Kelem. It is native to Lombok, and promotes sincerity.
    The 'Kelem' part makes it extra special, kelem means to sink into or disappear into, and refers to the edges of the pattern. The pamor looks as if it sinks away into the blade, and part of it is hidden.


    The base of the keris, with nicely carved details, and a gritty looking band of meteorite on the 'ganja' or crosspiece.
    The mysterious 'Kelem' effect, with the edges of the pattern seemingly disappearing into the main metal, can be seen as a brownish shadow next to the fine lines of the pamor design.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  2. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    It's beautiful, AJ! I especially love the damascene pattern and shape of the blade.
    judy, TraceyB, KikoBlueEyes and 4 others like this.
  3. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Thanks sabre. It is a special little beauty. Most of my keris are Javanese and Madurese, but I just couldn't let this Lombok girl go.:happy:
  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    the blade is stunning....almost hypnotic..!!!!

    10 Q !!!! very muchy !!!!!:kiss::kiss:
    judy, TraceyB, moreotherstuff and 5 others like this.
  5. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    Wow, that’s amazing!. The waves go on for ever.
    Beautiful :)
    judy, TraceyB, KikoBlueEyes and 4 others like this.
  6. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    :kiss: I know! Like you sink away into the blade along with the kelem.
    Thank you, K.:kiss:
    judy, TraceyB, KikoBlueEyes and 4 others like this.
  7. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    Nice thing but I had no idea the Rastafarians made it to the area. Learn something every day!
  8. aaroncab

    aaroncab in veritate victoria

    This is just beautiful!
  9. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Gorgeous. The thought process is fascinating. I love the mystical elements. It almost makes you forget we are talking about a knife packing woman.
    Any Jewelry, TraceyB and komokwa like this.
  10. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

    AJ, what was the specific function of the keris? Religious? Self defense? Just wondering...
    TraceyB likes this.
  11. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    it's for nurturing the human spirit....:happy::happy:
    if someone tries screwing with you........you stick it in their eye to calm them down..:jawdrop::jawdrop:...:dead:
  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I think that started when Haile Selassi (formerly Ras Tafari) visited Indonesia in the late '60s.:pompous:

    Some people spell the Javanese word ganja as gonjo. Neither spelling is the same as the actual pronunciation. I have read 19th century Dutch sources writing it as
    gånjå, using the Danish å. That comes closest to the pronunciation.
    Riveting stuff, I know.:hilarious:
    BoudiccaJones and judy like this.
  13. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It started in East Java as a religious symbol. On Java and Madura it evolved into spiritual-personality enhancing-status symbol. As a knife, it was only used as a so-called last resort weapon, in life-threatening situations when all else had failed.
    Personality enhancing can also mean things like giving a shy person more confidence, making a gambler stop gambling.

    Outside Java and Madura the keris was used for spiritual powers, status, but also as a regular weapon. That is one of the reasons why I focus on Java and Madura keris. A woman's keris, like this beauty, is always acceptable to me.
    Like this Madurese girl, a dance to welcome the king:

  14. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    She is fascinating. So many messages in her dress and the expression on her face. So confident. So serene. So measured.
    komokwa and Any Jewelry like this.
  15. RexOz

    RexOz New Member

    [ EF278179-5A37-464E-BB62-981DED8DA992.jpeg 1E07C919-472C-498C-9F54-835F6BBF7A4D.jpeg Here’s another kris. Old blade, modern handle and sheath in Macassan (striped) ebony. 27E0699C-2999-4AF1-A95B-3B837CD2314B.jpeg
    komokwa and Any Jewelry like this.
  16. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Welcome @RexOz . The sheath and hilt of yours are 20th century Balinese, but the keris itself looks Javanese.
    The combination was made for the tourist trade in the second half of the 20th century, which doesn't mean the keris(blade) is lesser quality. I have seen these souvenir combos with good Javanese or Madurese keris before.
    I don't have much time now, but will go into the details later.:) Just a question, how long is the blade?
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
    patd8643 and komokwa like this.
  17. RexOz

    RexOz New Member

    Any Jewelry likes this.
  18. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    we already have a gal who can identify any kris......
    maybe she should start charging........now ! ;););)
  19. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that would make Madurese more likely. That was something I considered, given the fairly late start of the waves, when seen from the base.
    It is a 19th century 13 luk keris. That means this is a spiritual keris, which helps the owner with stability and confidence. The pamor (damascene pattern) is called Kulit Semangka, which means water melon skin. Kulit Semangka is probably the most popular pamor, it is nice and fairly easy to make for an expert keris smith. The number of times the metal was 'folded' is between 16 and 24, which isn't much for a keris.
    Kulit Semangka helps the owner in social contacts and an easy way to make a living. What more can you want.:playful:
    I live in the Netherlands, so no thanks.:eek::hilarious:
    BoudiccaJones, KikoBlueEyes and RexOz like this.
  20. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am.:D He is a very nice guy who lives out in the country about 30k northeast of me. He owns several big farm buildings which are filled to the rafters with Indonesian imports. He imports it all himself, Madurese furniture, Balinese carvings, etc. He also sells keris and keris parts, all pricey.
    He is a seller of keris, has knowledge of keris, but is not a keris expert. Like many traders he marries keris parts in a way that is considered disrespectful to the authenticity and the symbolism of the keris, something an expert would never do.
    Yes, I do. Vanna Ghiringhelli writes good books, with mouth watering photography. She is a university trained arms specialist and has a scientific approach.

    There is a book I always recommend to starting keris collectors. It is "The Kris, a Passion from Indonesia", by Jean Greffioz.
    Jean is a French collector, he bought a keris hilt from me years ago when I still sold keris through a Dutch site. His book is written purely from a collector's viewpoint, and it includes all Indonesian keris regions, and information on other types of knives and daggers as well.
    His knowledge of Indonesian history is a bit lacking, but his knowledge of keris is good, and it is a nice book, an easy read, with very useful information. He published it himself years ago in a limited edition, so you will have to hunt for an antiquarian copy. I paid 25 euro for my signed copy, but that was many years ago.
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