New Angles: daily inspiration


Posted in art, crafts - art by menno1976 on September 5, 2009

Today I had dinner at my mum’s (she was born in Indonesia) and we were discussing what had happened to the family kris (an asymmetrical, often beautifully decorated dagger).

These daggers were used as weapons, status symbols, but they were also believed to be vessels for spirits. Because they are regarded as sacred objects the owners need to perform special rites to keep the spirit living inside the blade satisfied. From what I know, people sacrifice flowers, fragrant oil and water to the kris. I remember my grandparents talking about it as if it were alive.


Apparently my family forgot about the kris and totally neglected it. According to my mum strange things started to happen, upon which my grandparents decided to give the kris away…


Although the shapes (slithering like snakes) of some daggers are interesting , I like the pattern in the welding work even better. Empus (blacksmiths) are said to weld together different metals and meteorite iron to achieve this mystical pattern called Pamor, which reveals the Kris’s supernatural powers (agricultural prosperity, repelling black magic, success in business, etc).


Whenever I see a kris at an antique fair or in a museum I’m always filled with awe as well as a bit of apprehension. At the same time I can’t stop but wondering where our family kris is now…


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