Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Every now and then in auction houses, I come across a few dozen pieces of some category coming up for sale.
It seems like a whole collection is being given up.
Maybe the collector just got fed up of too much stuff and decided to sell off his possessions and go on a lifelong cruise instead!
Or maybe the answer lies in the circle of life.
And so it was when I saw a collection of Kris handles. I did not know what a Kris is (but I do know who Kris is) and I did not know that Krises had handles or that they could be collected. So I browsed through the auction like Alice in wonderland.
“The Kris is an asymmetrical dagger with distinctive blade-patterning achieved through alternating laminations of iron and nickelous iron.
The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well.
Kris have been produced in many regions of Indonesia for centuries, but nowhere is the kris so embedded in a mutually-connected whole of ritual prescriptions and acts, ceremonies, mythical backgrounds and epic poetry as in Central Java.
Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are often considered to have an essence or presence, considered to possess magical powers, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. Kris are used for display, as talismans with magical powers, weapons, a sanctified heirloom, auxiliary equipment for court soldiers, an accessory for ceremonial dress, an indicator of social status, a symbol of heroism, etc. Legendary kris that possess supernatural power and extraordinary ability were mentioned in traditional folktales”
Picture of a Kris:
And here is a display of the love and passion that people felt for that Kris that was so consuming that they expressed it as art and craftsmanship:
Which would you prefer? Be struck by the Kris or the Art of the Kris Handle?
[The photos are all the property of http://www.czernys.com but the bad jokes and the all mine!]