Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kris in Java

Kris in Java
For Javanese the Kris is most usually worn in such a manner as not to be instantly at hand. It is proper to wear it trust through the sash in an oblique way, lower end of the sheath on the left side, grip on the right side. If carried aring downward the intention is peaceful. Reversing the aring so that it points upward requires the normal sheath to be worn frontal side against the back; this is not usual, but such a wearing permits an instant draw and fast use of the blade.

The kris has also served as a tool of execution for criminals. The condemned man was made to kneel. His executioner stood behind him holding the kris above the condemned’s left shoulder. At a given signal the executioner plunged the blade in an oblique path, downward through the shoulder flesh near the collarbone and into the victim’s heart.

Javanese blade types do not stop with the kris. An almost unaccountable variety of blade designs can be found on this island. Some generalizations are possible and may sometimes be extended to then weapons of other areas of Indonesia. The terms pedang, kelewang, parang, pisau, golok, and arit all identify bladed weapons commonly seen on Java.
Kris in Java
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