Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stamford Raffles and The Origin of Kris

Stamford Raffles and The Origin of Kris
There are many theories as to the origin of the kris. One school predominantly Western, holds that the weapon evolved in Central Java prior to the fourteenth century from Hindu beginnings.

From evidence that the kris existed in that era was first reported by Raffles in 1817 after visiting the ruins of the Hindu temple at Sukuh, twenty six miles east of Surakarta.

Raffles, a brilliant scholar and tireless observer, provides a sketch of Vishnu one of the principal Hindu gods, holding a kris while straddling his mount, the bird god Garuda.

Then he provides a sketch and an excellent description of what has since become known as the Candi Sukuh forge scene.

The forge scene is a sculpture stone triptych depicting the manufacture of what surely must be kris blades.

Raffles, interpreting thee inscriptions with the aid of scholars he employed in his work, established the date AD 1362 for the Candi Sukuh complex.

So the weapon in a form that we recognize as a kris is at least 600 years old according to the evidence of the Candi Sukuh carvings.
Stamford Raffles and The Origin of Kris
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