Posted by: iqbibal | October 14, 2009


Keris or kris

Keris or kris

The kris or keris is a distinctive, asymmetrical dagger indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Southern Thailand and the southern Philippines. Both a weapon and spiritual object, krisses are often considered to have an essence or presence, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad.

In 2005, UNESCO gave the title Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to Kris of Indonesia. In return of the acknowledgment, UNESCO demanded Indonesia to preserve their heritage.

The term keris had a Javanese origin, although the etymology is uncertain. The term “keris” may have originated from the old Javanese word ngiris which means “to slab”, “to wedge” or “to sliver.” Kris is a European rendering of this Javanese term.

As noted by Frey (2003), kris is the more frequently used term in the Western world. The term “keris” is more popular in the native lands of the dagger, as exemplified by the title of a popular Javanese keris book entitled the “Ensiklopedi Keris” (Keris Encyclopedia), written by the late Bambang Harsrinuksmo. Some collectors prefer keris, others kris. Other spellings used by European colonists include “cryse,” “crise,” “criss,” and “creese.”

The Kris is also loosely used to differentiate between the Moro kris swords found in Southern Philippines and the kris daggers found everywhere else in the archipelago.

Frey (2003) concludes from Raffles‘ (1817) study of the Candi Sukuh that the kris recognized today came into existence around AD 1361. Scholars, collectors and others have formed myriad theories about the origins of the kris. Some believe its earliest credited form, the keris majapahit, was inspired by the daggers of the Dong-Son in Vietnam (circa 300 BC). Frey (2003) dismisses the Dong-Son origin of the Majapahit. Unverifiable claims of another form predating the Majapahit exist. Kris history is traced through study of carvings and bas relief panels found in Southeast Asia. Some of the most famous renderings of a kris appear on the Borobudur temple (825 CE) and Prambanan temple



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: