Monday, October 17, 2011

The Malay smith of kris

The making of the kris was a work involving great power and art the empu or ‘smith’ was considered a holy man and his work was fraught with ritual.

The empu puts into kris far more than just dexterity and judgment of physical properties. He belief in the mystic significance of what he is doing sets him apart from other smith.

His weapon are magic weapon and in his often exalted state at his incandescent forge he forges his beliefs into that host blade.

He prepares the kris himself physically and emotionally though ritual procedures handed down from smith to smith.

In making the blade a number of pieces of iron and steel are cut and forge down until they form plates.

This include ‘besi baja’, ‘besi pedang’, ‘besi kurai, besi rantai’ and many other.

The shape and size of the kris vary within a very wide latitude, depending upon the geographical area and the mission for which the blade was designed.

All forging is veiled in mysticism and the smith controls these arts with secretive jealousy.

Not all the kris today are functional, Newly made ones are more for decoration purposes than for combat.

Traditional, old kris are kept as family heirlooms and are passed from generation to generation.
The Malays smith of kris
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