Kriss knife - Island of Java, Indonesia - First half of the 20th century

Frédéric Coridon


Kris knife

Java Island, Indonesia

First half of the 20th century

Wood, pamor, brass and metal

Long. total: 46 cm; Long. sheath: 45 cm

Long. blade: 32cm; Long. handle: 10.5cm

(small accidents)

The handle, called ukiran , is made of slightly bent dark wood and finely carved with scrollwork motifs appearing like a stylized mask.

The upper part of the scabbard, called wrangka , is made of wood with a slightly red patina, while the section constituting the body of the scabbard, called ganda r, is covered with brass embossed into a vegetal decoration in a register. The double-edged pamor blade. A metal ring with incised geometric patterns, called a mendak , marks the junction between the ukiran and the blade.

The kris is a specifically masculine weapon. A social and wealth marker, it was also the object symbolically offered to a young boy who had become a man.

The more the blade was worked and the more the hilt was made of noble materials, the higher the rank of its owner.

The ukiran , which is almost systematically anthropomorphically carved, is considered an allegory of its owner. Thus, the head would be the hilt, the body the blade and the garment the scabbard. Note that the traditional clothing of the Balinese man is the sarong – the same name given to the sheath of the kriss .

The kriss , endowed with magical powers, is considered as a vector of spirituality. It is transmitted by inheritance, which allows it to increase its power.

Text and photos © FCP CORIDON

140 €

Companies : buy it under leasing


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Frédéric Coridon
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