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A long time has gone by since “The Invincible Krises”, 1991 and my article “Keris hilts materials” on Arts of Asia, 1997, but I never gave up caring for krises.
Thus, now this book; a book without text because many publications on the subject have been issued in these years and I have nothing to add to them. I simply want to introduce some “krises one can talk about”, not
distinctively beautiful or in perfect condition, but particularly interesting, hoping they can be reason of study for the new collectors; this is why in my writing I constantly insist on references.
The few words I wrote besides the “technical descriptions”, are just an incentive to a deeper research, just to show that there is always something more to know about this weapon and its environment, just an attempt to make clear how wide is the kris world and how intense is the relation between:
Kris and Nature: flowers, leaves, plants, fruits, the rice, the animals, the snake and the bird, the ocean, the mountain, the fire and water, the wind, the iron and the minerals, the stone and the gems: the spirit, semangat, of all these natural things, is living in the keris.
Kris and Man: man’s character, his luck, his courage, but also fear in front of supernatural powers, his search of protection, his art and ability, his devotion to the ancestors and their inheritance, his social position, life and death, amok and the power of the Empu, all this is in the kris.
Keris and the Invisible World: the word of Islam, the profound echo of the great Indian gods, the voice of the heros and the mysterious wind of the ancestral tradition, magic and charms permeate the kris, all over the Archipelago.
I want also to give some information on woman’s kris and kris and woman, a completely forgotten subject in all kris books.
Anyway, I realise that a book about the kris written without the full co-operation and help of an Indonesian kris-lover and expert, is always a “crooked book”, incomplete and far from the way Malay peoples regard the kris.