The keris is a distinctive dagger indigenous to Indonesia. Nearly all regions in the Indonesian archipelago have their own distinct from of keris. Most Javanese families own a keris that has been passed down through generations.
The best keris are made by master blade smiths called ‘empu’ who are highly respected craftsmen and also learned in the arts, history and occult sciences. The process of making keris is often secretive and mystical.
Keris blades are generally narrow with a wide, asymmetrical base. A keris aesthetic value comprise of the dhapur (the form and design of the blade), the pamor (the pattern of decoration on the blade), and tangguh (its age and origin). In high quality keris, the blades are created by folding in layers of different metals hundreds of times with utmost precision. The Javanese keris can have either a straight or wavy blade with an odd number of curves.
Both weapon and spiritual object, the keris is considered to possess spiritual powers or kesaktian to which special titles are conferred. Today, this magnificent dagger are still used for display purposes, as talismans, weapons, sacred heirlooms, auxiliary equipment for court soldiers and accessories for ceremonial dress which is an indicator of social status and a symbol of heroism. Cleansing rituals in keris-bathing ceremonies on the first of the Javanese Sura month ensures the kesaktian of the sacred keris.
Source : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
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