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Encyclopedia > Kris
Kris from Yogyakarta - Dapur Carubuk
Kris from Yogyakarta - Dapur Carubuk

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. Ingmar Bergman   (IPA: in Swedish) (born July 14, 1918) is a Swedish stage and film director who is one of the key film auteurs of the twentieth century. ... Young Nelly lives a quiet life with her foster mother until her real mother makes an appearance. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (283x855, 120 KB) Samenvatting Description: Balinese kris (or keris), a type of dagger found in Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (283x855, 120 KB) Samenvatting Description: Balinese kris (or keris), a type of dagger found in Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines. ... The Special Region of Yogyakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, or DIY), is a province of Indonesia on the island of Java. ... Southern Thailand is a distinct region of Thailand, connected with the Central region by the narrow Kra Isthmus. ...

The kris spread from the island of Java to many parts of the archipelago of Indonesia, such as Sumatra, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, South Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and to the Southeast Asian areas now known as Malaysia, Brunei, southern Philippines, southern Thailand, and Singapore. Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...


Kris vs. keris

The term keris probably had a Javanese origin, though it cannot be ascertained how it came about. The term "keris" may have evolved from the old Javanese word ngeris which means ‘to stab’ or ‘to pierce’. Kris is a European rendering of this Javanese term.

Another source from Kelantan claims that the term/word 'KRIS' is an abbreviation (to be read in Jawi_script) State motto: Berserah kepada Tuhan Kerajaan Kelantan State anthem: Selamat Sultan Capital (and royal capital) Kota Bharu Ruling party PAS  - Sultan Tuanku Ismail Petra  - Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat History    - Siamese control 1603   - British control 1909   - Japanese occupation 1942-1946   - Accession into Federation of Malaya 1948  Area  - Total 14... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Yawi. ...

KAF - Keramat, RA - Rahsia, YA - Yang, SIN - Satu

Basically translated as 'The Miraculous Secret of The One' [1]

As noted by Frey (2003), kris is the more frequently used term, but this pertains mainly to 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, creese. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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

Blade and fittings

Keris blades are usually narrow and have a wide, asymmetrical base. Blade length is highly variable. The blade is made from different iron ores and often contains nickel. A bladesmith, or Empu, makes the blade in layers of different metal. Some blades can be made in a relatively short time, while more legendary weapons can take years or even a lifetime to complete. In a high-quality keris, the metal of the blade has been folded dozens or even hundreds of times and handled with the utmost precision. There are keris blades that purportedly carry the imprints of the smith's thumbs, or even lips, which were impressed upon the blade during the forging process. The different metals used to forge the blade gives the keris its distinctive ‘watered’ appearance. This is called pamor and is similar in concept to Damascus patterning on Indo-Persian blades and "hada" on Japanese blades. Blades are acid-etched after forging to bring out the contrasting patterns formed by the various metals used in the keris. Iron ore sources are rare in some areas of the Malay world, especially in Java. The Empu (for those highly skilled smiths in the employ of Kratons, who can pass down their title of Empu to their sons) or pandai keris (for smiths of varying skill levels, working outside of kratons), often use myriad types of metal ores that they can find to make the blade. There are tales of blades made from meteorite iron (rare and highly prized due to its spiritual significance and higher nickel content) to scrap metals from vehicles, tools, railway tracks, captured Dutch cannons and blades, and in recent times, bicycle chains. Keris blades can be straight or sinuous. With sinuous blades, the bends are called luks. Most keris have fewer than 13 luks and the number of luks should be odd, or the keris would be considered unlucky. The sinuous blade has become synonymous with the keris, especially today as it has become a popular tourist souvenir. In reality more than half of the old keris have straight blades. The luks maximise the width of wound while maintaining its weight. General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... General Name, Symbol, Number nickel, Ni, 28 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 4, d Appearance lustrous, metallic and silvery with a gold tinge Standard atomic weight 58. ... Bladesmithing is the art of blacksmithing that relates specifically to creating knives, swords, and other blades using a forge, hammer, anvil, and other smithing tools. ... Damascus ( transliteration: , also commonly known as الشام ash-Shām) is the largest city of Syria and is also the capital. ... Indo-Iranian can refer to: The Indo-Iranian languages The prehistoric Indo-Iranian people, see Aryan This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Kraton is one of the two most common names of Javanese palaces (the other being Istana, identical to Malay). ... Willamette Meteorite A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earths surface without being destroyed. ... Roller chain and sprocket A bicycle chain is a chain that transfers power from the pedals to the drive-wheel of a bicycle thus propelling it. ...

A keris and its sheath have many parts. The names for these parts vary by region. The following terms apply mainly to the Javanese keris. ukiran – handle/hilt; patra – handle carvings (especially on Javanese ukiran); selut – metallic cap on the ukiran (not on all krisses); mendak – metal cup on the tang between the ukiran and the blade guard; wilah – blade; pocok – blade point; peksi – tang; ganja – guard/parrying structure; wrangka – the wide, top portion of the sheath; gandar – the narrow portion of the sheath; pendok – a metal sleeve for the gandar; buntut- end of the pendok.

The ukiran and the sheath are often made from wood, though examples made from ivory or covered in gold sheets could be found. Different regions in Southeast Asian produce different styles of wilah, ukiran, and sheaths. One beautiful material used for some ukiran and wrangka was fossilized mammoth molar, called "graham". Such a molar would be cut to reveal the dentine patterns within the molar. Aged graham sheaths exhibit an attractive orange, white, and beige stripe pattern. Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...


A display of various kris.
A display of various kris.

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 the form that is credited with being the earliest form of the kris, the keris majapahit, was inspired by the daggers of the Dong-Son in Vietnam (circa 300 BC). Frey (2003) dismisses the Dongson 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. One of the more famous renderings of a kris appears on the Borobudur temple and Prambanan temple. Image File history File links Kris_display. ... Image File history File links Kris_display. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles (6 July 1781 - 5 July 1826) was the founder of the city (now country) of Singapore, and is one of the best-known of the many Britons who created the largest empire the world has ever seen. ... 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The main monument of Candi Sukuh. ... Founding of the University of Pavia, Italy. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC - 300s BC - 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC Years: 309 BC 308 BC 307 BC 306 BC 305 BC 304 BC 303 BC 302 BC... The Majapahit Empire was based in eastern Java and ruled much of the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bali from about 1293 to around 1500. ... The Majapahit Empire was based in eastern Java and ruled much of the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bali from about 1293 to around 1500. ... Borobudur is a ninth century Buddhist Mahayana monument in Central Java, Indonesia. ... Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple compound in Indonesia, located in central Java, approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta ( ). It was built around 850 CE by either Rakai Pikatan, king of the second Mataram dynasty or Balitung Maha Sambu, during the Sanjaya dynasty. ...


Functionally, the kris is not a slashing weapon like a bowie knife or other fighting knife, but rather a stabbing instrument. If a kris fighter had stealth on his side, the kris was lethal. There are many stories of a kris being made especially for killing a specific person. However, the slashing wound made by kris is terrible. The edge of the blade "danced" in the wound, and left the tatters of dead flesh, which began to rot. This is the reason why all sinuous blades were considered inhuman all over Europe.[citation needed] Bowie knife is a term commonly used in modern times to refer to any large sheath knife. ...

Kris has a cranked hilt, which served as a support for stabbing strike. At the same time it allowed to add the strength of the wrist to the pressure on the blade while slashing and cutting. Kris has no special protection for the hand, except for the broad blade at the hilt, which offers some protection for the hand. In rare cases Kris has its blade made to rotating around the axis, fixed in the hilt. The idea was to get the blade automatically turning to slip past the ribs. This works poorly and leads to low durability of the weapon.

Krisses were worn everyday and at special ceremonies, with heirloom blades being handed down through successive generations. Yearly cleanings, required for as part of the spirituality and mythology around the weapon, often leaves ancient blades worn and thin. In everyday life and at events, a man usually only wore one kris. Women sometimes also wore krisses, though of a smaller size than a man’s. In battle, a warrior carried three krisses: his own, one from his father-in-law, and one as a family heirloom. The other krisses served as parrying daggers. If the warrior didn’t have another kris to parry with, he used the sheath. Krisses were often broken in battle and required repairs. A warrior’s location determined what repair materials he had. It is quite usual to find a kris with fittings from several areas. For example, a kris may have a blade from Java, a hilt from Bali and a sheath from Madura.

In many parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, the kris was the choice weapon for execution. The specialized kris, called an executioner's kris, had a long, straight, slender blade. The condemned knelt before the executioner, who places a wad of cotton or similar material on the subject’s shoulder/clavicle area. The blade is thrust through the padding, piercing the subclavian artery and the heart. Upon withdrawal, the cotton wiped the blade clean. Death was fairly quick. This article is about the body part. ... Collarbone and collar bone redirect here. ... Section of an artery For other uses, see Artery (disambiguation). ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ... Cotton ready for harvest. ...

Cultural beliefs


One of the most famous folk stories from Java describes a legendary kris bladesmith, called Mpu Gandring, and his impatient customer, Ken Arok. Ken Arok wanted to order a powerful Kris to kill the chieftain of Tumapel, Tunggul Ametung. Ken Arok eventually stabbed the old bladesmith to death because he kept delaying the scheduled completion of the kris, which Ken Arok had probably ordered several months before. Dying, the bladesmith prophesied that the unfinished or incomplete kris would kill seven men, including Ken Arok. The prophecy finally came true, and the unfinished kris of Mpu Gandring disappeared. Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia, and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... Mpu Gandring was a well known famous Keris maker, a type of Javanese knife, who lived during the Kediri era. ... Ken Arok or Ken Angrok, (d. ... Ken Arok or Ken Angrok, (d. ... Ken Arok or Ken Angrok, (d. ... Ken Arok or Ken Angrok, (d. ... Ken Arok or Ken Angrok, (d. ... Mpu Gandring was a well known famous Keris maker, a type of Javanese knife, who lived during the Kediri era. ...


Discussing the essence of the kris is a complicated topic. For the most part, blades were considered to almost be alive in some cases, or at the very least vessels of special powers. Krisses could be tested two ways. A series of cuts on a leaf, based on blade width and other factors, could determine if a blade was good or bad. Also, if the owner slept with the blade under their pillow and had a bad dream, the blade was unlucky and had to be discarded. However, just because a blade was bad for one person didn’t mean it would be bad for another. Harmony between the owner and the kris was critical.

It was said that some krisses helped prevent fires, death, agricultural failure, and myriads of other problems. Likewise, they could also bring fortune, such as bountiful harvests and the like. Krisses could also have tremendous killing power. Some are rumored to be able to stand on its tip when its real name was being called by its master. Legends tell of krisses moving on their own volition, and killing individuals at will. When making a blade, the empu could infuse into the blade any special spiritual qualities and powers the owner desires.

Because some krisses are considered sacred, and people believe they contain magical powers, specific rites needed to be completed to avoid calling down evil fates. For example, pointing a kris at someone is thought to mean that they will die soon, so in ceremonies or demonstrations where ritualized battles are fought with real krisses, the fighters will perform a ritual which includes touching the point of the blade to the ground to neutralize this effect. Also it´s used in the Baris, a traditional dance of Bali. In various religions, sacred (from Latin, sacrum, sacrifice) or holy, objects, places or concepts are believed by followers to be intimately connected with the supernatural, or divinity, and are thus greatly revered. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Baris can refer to: Baris (dance), a Balinese dance Baris, Egypt, an oasis in Egypt Baris (name), a Turkish name, written as Barış in the Turkish alphabet, meaning Peace. This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ...

Moro kris

A Moro kris is a heavy sword of Philippine Moro invention with an asymmetrical blade approximately 50 cm long. It may or may not be sinuous. Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Filipino Muslims form the largest non-Christian group in the country, comprising 5 % of the total Philippine population as of 2005. ...

Taming Sari

One of the most well known keris in Malay Literature is the Taming Sari. It was the keris of the Hang Tuah, great Laksamana (Admiral/General) of Malacca. According to the legend from the book Sejarah Melayu by Tun Sri Lanang, Hang Tuah obtained the magical keris by killing the king of Majapahit, which was an empire located on the island of Java. He tricked the king into letting go of his weapon, and then killed the king. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A bronze sculpture of Hang buah with Ta Melayu Hilang Di-Dunia written at the top. ... State motto: Bersatu Teguh State anthem: Melaka Maju Jaya Capital Malacca Ruling party Barisan Nasional  - Yang di-Pertua Negeri Mohd Khalil Yaakob  - Ketua Menteri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam History    - Malacca Sultanate 13th century   - Portuguese control 24 August 1511   - Dutch control 1641   - British control 17 March 1824   - Japanese Occupation 1942-1946... Sejarah Melayu or The Malay Annals is a historical literary Malay work that chronicles the establishment of the Malacca Sultanate and spans over 600 years of the history of the Malay Peninsula. ... Tun Sri Lanang is the 17th century bendahara (an ancient Hindu-Malay title equivalent to prime minister) of the royal Court of Johor Sultanate. ...

The Taming Sari was said to grant its user invunerabilty, meaning when someone wields the keris no one can cause any physical damage to the wielder. In the legend, the keris was passed to Hang Jebat, Hang Tuah's best friend, after the supposed execution of Hang Tuah. Hang Tuah was executed by the Sultan for treason after being framed, but with the help of the Bendahara (Prime Minister), he escaped and hid. His keris was passed to Hang Jebat who became the new Laksamana.[2][3] Hang Jebat was the closest companion of the legendary Malay hero Hang Tuah. ... Officials in the Malaccas Sultanate (1402 - 1511) Bendahara is an ancient senior position in Malay community. ...

Later on Hang Jebat rebelled against the Sultan for killing his best friend without a fair trail, but then Hang Tuah, who was loyal to the Sultan, came out of hiding to stop his friend. They fought in the palace, which Hang Jebat had took over thanks to the magical keris. Hang Tuah knew that Hang Jebat could not be defeated when he held the Taming Sari, so he tricked Jebat saying that the Taming Sari was going to break, and gave Jebat his spare keris. Now, Jebat was no longer with the legendary weapon, and was stabbed by Tuah. He died soon after by the poison of Hang Tuah's keris. [4]

Kris as symbol

As a spiritual and legendary weapon, the keris could not avoid being depicted on different coats and symbols. For example, it can be seen on an obverse copper-zinc-tin RM1 coin with a songket pattern in the background. The Malaya and British Borneo, 1 cent (1962) coin also depicted a pair of crossed keris dagger. See British North Borneo dollar Songket is fabric which belongs to the brocade family of textiles. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The British North Borneo dollar was the currency of British North Borneo from 1882 to 1953. ...

See also

A kalis is a type of double-edged Filipino sword, often with a wavy section, similar to a kris. ... The Kampilan is a famous long sword widely used in the pre-conquest Philippine Archipelago and still in use by many Filipino Muslims today, especially by the Maguindanao and Maranao moros. ... The klewang is a traditional single-edged machete-style sword from Indonesia. ... Kriss might refer to: People Eric Kriss, a musician, writer and business executive. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Kris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1677 words)
The kris or keris is a distinctive, asymmetrical dagger indigenous to Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines.
The Kris is also loosely used to differentiate between the Moro kris swords found in Southern Philippines and the keris daggers found everywhere else in the archipelago.
In 2005, UMNO Youth Chief Hishamuddin Hussein brandished a kris at the UMNO general assembly in response to Opposition questioning of the Malaysian social contract, which was received enthusiastically by the Malay delegates, but scoffed at or criticised heavily by the intelligentsia of the nation.
Kris Daggers and Swords of Indonesia and the Philippines (1166 words)
The kris is a mark of social distinction and is regarded as an "inseparable brother of men".
One method of execution using the kris is to have the condemned man sitting in a chair with his arms extended and held horizontally by two men.
It is believed that his weapon, the kris, along with its power and spirit, endows him with the spiritual and physical virtues to meet the challenges of life.
  More results at FactBites »



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