Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kris and the Malay

Kris and the Malay
The krises most preferred are those of the kinds termed Simpana, cherita and Sepukal. The ‘kris panjang’ (long kris) is worn generally by the Malayan aristocracy and the bridegrooms. The ‘kris panjang'; blades resembled that of a long, keen poniard of Damascus steel; the handles of ebony, covered with flowered gold, and sheaths richly ornamented with the same metal; they are used in execution of criminals in Malay Peninsular.

In the old days Malays do not prize their krises entirely by the quantity of gold with which they may be inlaid, but more for their accurate proportions agreeably to the measurement which is laid down in their treatises in this subject; the damask on the blade; the antiquity and certain lucky quality that they may possess either from accurate proportions, the damask the having shed human blood, or from supernatural endowment, like the famous sword “Excalibur.” This property is termed ‘bertuah’, which signifies literally exempt from accident, invulnerable. The reverse is termed ‘celaka’ or ill-omened.
Kris and the Malay
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