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Old 31st July 2014, 12:31 AM   #1
Pusaka
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Default Interesting keris making video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3jZm1sPMDc

Above is the most interesting keris making video I have watched for a number of reasons.

Firstly it shows you some of the ceremony involved, offerings, full moon etc

Secondly most keris making vids I have seen show folding steel/nickel from factory whilst this vid shows them making the keris from raw materials taken from the ground.

Thirdly a technique is shown that I had never seen before in which the palmor material is put into a steel tube and both ends hammered down.

Fourthly and most interesting to me was the metals put into those tubes to make the pamor, meteorite and what looks like a gold chain are two things I picked out.

Using a tube solves many problems with using a material that does not readily forge easily in my mind.
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Old 31st July 2014, 03:50 AM   #2
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Good!!

The commentary is in Krama Inggil (high level Javanese) and I only half understand all that is being said, however, the work that is being done looks like it was filmed in Bali.

Whatever. Its really good stuff.

The use of the tube for consolidating small pieces of material is actually a very old technique, but in the old days they didn't use a tube, they made a packet and folded the small pieces into it. The tube is the same idea but it makes it easier.
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Old 31st July 2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Good!!

The commentary is in Krama Inggil (high level Javanese) and I only half understand all that is being said, however, the work that is being done looks like it was filmed in Bali.

Whatever. Its really good stuff.

The use of the tube for consolidating small pieces of material is actually a very old technique, but in the old days they didn't use a tube, they made a packet and folded the small pieces into it. The tube is the same idea but it makes it easier.


What do you think about using gold in the palmor, is it something you had heard of before?
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Old 31st July 2014, 10:17 AM   #4
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Yes, I've heard of it, but frankly, I'm rather dubious about the way it would react in a weld. The melt point of both iron and gold is fairly close,I think from memory, gold about 1100C , iron about 1100C to 1500C, so it might possibly happen that they could form a weld, but it may not bond well. I don't know, but my guess would be that even if it did form a weld it would not be a strong joint.

In Javanese and Balinese belief there is a lot of very improbable stuff. Additionally, in the keris belief system, amongst people who are not directly involved in the making of keris, there is a lot of misinformation and erroneous belief. Very often "information" is presented in a way that reinforces that belief. For instance, the way in which this video has been made is in fact misinformation in that it shows the way lay people want to believe keris are made, rather than the way they are made. Still, I found it very interesting because it shows a small scale smelt process that probably did exist at some time in the past, and the actual hands-on forge process is a good, solid representation. The window dressing is BS.

The video was made by a bloke who lives not far from my Javanese address, and it has been made to entertain, but stripped of the window dressing it is good, solid stuff. My guess is that it was probably made in Madura or Bali, but much of the background is in a Balinese context, so it might have been made there.

I find the commentary in Krama Inggil very peculiar, as not a lot of people in this day and age are conversant with this speech level. Moreover it is Surakarta Krama Inggil, which limits 100% understanding even more. It would reach more people if it had been done in Indonesian. But this was the whole objective of the video:- to impress, and it surely does do that.

Good video. Technically correct process. Very informative. But a bit more elaborate than it needs to be.
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Old 31st July 2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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Very good video, thank you for sharing!

Alan, why is the commentary vocalize in second part of the video?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 31st July 2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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You mean "sung" Detlef?

Artistic effect. As I said, the video is for entertainment.
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Old 31st July 2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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Im thinking of how sometimes the metal with the lower melting point actually acts as a solvent to melt the metal with a higher melting point.
Brass has a melting point of 930C whilst Nickel melts at 1453C yet if you add nickel to a pot of molten brass the brass will dissolve the nickel and you end up with nickel brass.

Same for mercury and gold, mercury will dissolve gold and the two will form an amalgam.

I'm also thinking of the alloy used to make expensive gamelan gongs in Bali. It consists of a blend of gold, silver, copper, zinc and Iron. Normally we would never think of adding Iron to such a mixture but I guess when the other components are molten they act like solvent to dissolve Iron into the mixture.

I have seen a few keris which had a yellowish/brown pamor and I often wondered why it had that color since pamor is usually white/silver or gray
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Old 31st July 2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
You mean "sung" Detlef?

Artistic effect. As I said, the video is for entertainment.


Yes, have meant sung! Thank you for the answer!
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Old 31st July 2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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Here is an example, notice how the pamor of this blade has a golden color, could such a pamor result from a more exotic pamor alloy possibly containing gold or other metals as in the video?
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Old 31st July 2014, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusaka
Here is an example, notice how the pamor of this blade has a golden color, could such a pamor result from a more exotic pamor alloy possibly containing gold or other metals as in the video?

I could be mistaken, but i thing that yellow hue is more likely the result of a bad staining job.
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Old 31st July 2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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I like the video quite a bit.

...reminds me of early African work.
I use the "pipe" containment method from time to time....good to know its traditional.

As to gold/iron alloys. I'd have to look at the binary phase diagrams for those two, but I'm sure some form of eutectic can be reached. I am not sure that new alloy would forge well or show any evidence of a gold color when completed.

Many cultures have the multi metal in their blade making processes. One would have to chemically test the final metal to see what, if any, made it through the processing. I'd imagine in trace amounts it neither helped nor hindered the process.

On thought on the gold:
I'm sure it never happened, but one may suspect that it requires several ounces of gold to make a thing...only to have that gold transmuted from the process and not being found in the final work piece.....it may have jumped in time and space to the neck and ears of the smith's wife some weeks later. Just a thought.

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Old 31st July 2014, 09:56 PM   #12
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As David has indicated, the yellowish stain that shows in the pamor in post #9 is the result of failure to get the blade perfectly clean and white prior to staining.

Another way that we can get very peculiar colours in a finished stain job is by using other than proven warangan, or other than laboratory quality arsenic trioxide.

However, what I'm looking at in post #9 gives every indication of failure to clean adequately prior to staining.

Richard, I think that you have a close to perfect understanding of the way gold given to a smith for inclusion in pamor could actually produce a favourable result for the smith --- and his wife.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 1st August 2014 at 01:22 PM. Reason: credit where credit is due
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Old 31st July 2014, 11:17 PM   #13
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I think we would have to consider the gold making an alloy with the nickel component of the meteorite as a higher possibility then an Iron/gold alloy being formed.

As far as I could understand it he put crushed meteorite, gold and that black material from the smelt into those tubes, I'm not sure if that black material is iron, nickel or nickel iron.

If you look at the first bowl of material he puts into the smelting furnace it looks almost copper colored, have no idea what that is.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:41 AM   #14
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The text that flashes onto the screen is Indonesian, and that tells us that it is "biji besi" : "iron seed" that is put into the smelt, and a little later the Indonesian text again tells us that the product is "sponge iron".
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Old 1st August 2014, 09:51 AM   #15
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Did a search for gold-nickel alloy and it confirms gold will combine with nickel to form an alloy, so it would appear there is a high possibility of the gold forming an alloy with the nickel component of the meteorite.
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Old 1st August 2014, 01:16 PM   #16
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Thanks Pusaka, that's interesting, but in respect of the video that we have seen, the presence of both gold and meteoritic material is not yet confirmed.

As I have stated, I only half understand Krama Inggil, but I have had two native speakers of Javanese look at that video, and although they can follow the general gist of what is being said, they also cannot understand word for word.

If you are a speaker of Krama Inggil, perhaps you might be able to give us a better understanding of exactly what the commentator is saying and confirm for us that meteorite and gold are both included in the material used.
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Old 1st August 2014, 03:52 PM   #17
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If I could see the entire process I could tell rather closely what is likely to be occurring with the metals. Analysis of the slags and each material along the way would confirm.

The issues with binary phases is that there relevance is under idea conditions...which smelting/forging is not.
One would need to take into account trace elements and the varied oxygen content.
Iron can alloy with many metals and it may have a a greater affinity then other metals so it may form stronger bonds then other metals and lock up the other metals...or oxygen or silicon may break that bond and do away with it in the final bloom trapping it in slag.
Smelting is a rather dynamic process.

In the end I like to concept of multi metal blades, but the reality may be something less than the fantasy.

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Old 1st August 2014, 06:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Thanks Pusaka, that's interesting, but in respect of the video that we have seen, the presence of both gold and meteoritic material is not yet confirmed.

As I have stated, I only half understand Krama Inggil, but I have had two native speakers of Javanese look at that video, and although they can follow the general gist of what is being said, they also cannot understand word for word.

If you are a speaker of Krama Inggil, perhaps you might be able to give us a better understanding of exactly what the commentator is saying and confirm for us that meteorite and gold are both included in the material used.


I cannot understand fully what is being said but at 1:56 I think he mentions meteorite and at 1:58 one of the guys is putting what looks like a gold chain into one of the pipes.

In addition I did a search for the smith (his name is Empu Basuki) and found a few articles about him which says he uses gold, Silver, and Iron extracted from volcanic sand from Mt merapi and material from Solo river depending on the order
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Old 1st August 2014, 08:20 PM   #19
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Gold is a highly symbolic metal in most cultures. That the smith uses gold is not really an indication that the gold has any practical application in the forging process though.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:41 PM   #20
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I do not know Bp.Basuki personally, and I have never met him.

Because of my lack of personal knowledge of this gentleman I will not make any comment in respect of the man himself nor his work. In this case, I do not believe that repeating the comments, or the reporting, of other people would be advisable in this Forum.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 12:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Gold is a highly symbolic metal in most cultures. That the smith uses gold is not really an indication that the gold has any practical application in the forging process though.


True, most cultures symbolically see gold as a metal of the Sun because of its colour and link it with long life because it never rusts. If we think of a keris as being a talisman/amulet its all about producing a material which can receive and hold the charge
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Old 2nd August 2014, 04:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusaka
True, most cultures symbolically see gold as a metal of the Sun because of its colour and link it with long life because it never rusts. If we think of a keris as being a talisman/amulet its all about producing a material which can receive and hold the charge


Good point well made.
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Old 3rd August 2014, 10:46 PM   #23
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Here is a link to Part II of the keris making video, it has only been available for a few days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmZ...G5WlX4Baza6YidT


Pusaka:-

could you tell us exactly what words you heard at 1.56 of Part I of the video that you believe indicated that meteorite was included in the material used? Thanks.
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:38 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Here is a link to Part II of the keris making video, it has only been available for a few days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmZ...G5WlX4Baza6YidT


Pusaka:-

could you tell us exactly what words you heard at 1.56 of Part I of the video that you believe indicated that meteorite was included in the material used? Thanks.



He said something that sounds very similar to meteor...yo-metero

Also I had read some articles which had talked about keris he made with meteorites

http://www.fotografer.net/forum/view.php?id=3193791562

http://teknologi.news.viva.co.id/ne...ara-deteksinya-
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Old 4th August 2014, 12:47 PM   #25
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Thanks Pusaka.

Yes, at the moment there are more than a few people who have used meteoritic material, or who claim to have used meteoritic material to make keris. Frankly, I have difficulty in understanding why everybody thinks its so special, because its not --- apart from the mystical belief thing.

I was welding meteoritic material --- actually, consolidating small pieces of Arizona meteorite --- back around 1987 or '88, and then I worked with Pandai Keris Yantono in producing a couple of keris with meteoritic pamor. It is possible these may have been the first keris of the modern era that used meteoritic material as the pamor. Its not difficult to weld, not much different to welding ordinary iron and nickel, but it does require more than 7 welds before its clean enough to use.

In any case, I don't have any problem with accepting that Bp. Basuki may have used meteoritic material --- Pandai Keris Yantono was very probably his teacher so he would have had the basics. My only question is where the video commentary says that meteoritic material was used in the keris in the video.

There may be a word that sounds similar to the word "meteor", but what we would need to hear is something like "sela asal langit", or maybe "sela saking langit". Don't forget, this is not Bahasa Indonesia, it is Krama Inggil.

I have had two native speakers of Javanese listen to the section of the commentary between 1.50 and 1.60 several times each to see if they can identify mention of anything that we might be able to interpret as "meteor", but regrettably neither are speakers of Krama Inggil so although they understand the commentary better than I do, their understanding is far from perfect. My son-in-law can speak Krama Inggil, but he's in Solo and I'm in Australia, and I won't be seeing him until December.

Since none of us can understand perfectly what is being said, why not just ignore the commentary and accept the video for what it is:- a very entertaining essay on forge work, certainly incomplete, and leaving a lot to the imagination, but entertaining none the less.

Additional comment:-

just read this:-

http://teknologi.news.viva.co.id/ne...ara-deteksinya-


and found something interesting --- well, interesting to me, anyway ---


at the end of this article are two little pictures of five keris in a ploncon.

That picture has been lifted from my site.

Not the first time my site has been pirated by people in Indonesia, Solo tourist office lifted something I wrote and included it in their blurb. I don't really mind this, but it would be nice if people asked first, before just taking.

Anyway, here is the pic in full:-
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Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 4th August 2014 at 01:14 PM. Reason: something amusing + image added
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Old 4th August 2014, 03:06 PM   #26
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A.G. Maisey,

My interest in the video really hinges around the exotic blend of metals used to make the pamor, for some reason I find the concept of unusual metallic blends in addition to ceremonies preformed most interesting.

There is nothing special about meteorite Iron chemically, its just a lump of Iron-nickel but we must put ourselves in the place of people who's only way to categorise metals or different Irons types was where it came from, its taste, its smell, its color, its texture and its sound.

A good keris is one that is physically well formed, has a good pamor and when struck rings like a bell. Since I am not qualified in this sound Science I cannot say if a keris made from unusual metallic blends inc meteorite, gold,silver,brass etc might be endowed with a quality of vibration that sets it aside as being something special or not.

What I can say is that for a people who traditionally followed a Vadic tradition a keris that when struck produced the AUM sound would be something very special!
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Old 4th August 2014, 11:40 PM   #27
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One of the beliefs surrounding pamor material is that the materials used should come from 7 different sources. This idea is also reflected in another belief that the blade when completed should be heat-treated by quenching in water from 7 different streams. These are only two of a myriad of beliefs associated with the keris, and almost none of these beliefs are universal. But they could be an interesting field of research for somebody so inclined.

The appearance of pamor in Jawa was very probably the result of the need to cleanse the poor quality, high phosphorus irons that could be produced from local sources, so that these irons could be put to use in the construction of weapons. The same thing that happened in Europe with the Scandinavians and Merovingians.

In Jawa the art of pamor was raised to another level with the influx of Islamic metal workers to the North Coast, together with the expansion of Islam and the decline of the Javanese-Hindu social structure. The early forms of the Modern Keris (ie, the keris as we know it now) had relatively simple pamors, and the earliest forms of the keris carried no pamor at all, but were plain iron.

Lists of various types of iron exist in the 19th and early 20th century literature, and these names and descriptions seem not to have been present prior to the rise of the form of keris mysticism that was associated with Dutch domination of the Javanese royal houses and aristocracy. In the little booklet "Wesiadji" published by Bliksem in Solo in 1934 there are 21 types of iron listed, along with descriptions including the sound made when struck, no mention is made of "Om" or "Aum". It may be an attractive idea to search for a belief that a particular type of iron could produce the "Om" when struck, but I have not yet encountered this belief.

Om is the smallest mantra, it is used to begin and close prayers. Since the symbolism included in the ornamentation of a keris can be interpreted as a prayer to several deities, the appearance of Om should be expected, and it can be found in the Ron Dha. However, for a Javanese Muslim the Ron Dha will be interpreted as "Allah". (see images)

The Modern Keris at its inception relied upon form for its position in Javanese court society, and it was an accoutrement of men of the palace hierarchy. The Muslim traders who lived in enclaves along the North Coast of Jawa were much given to imitating palace style, and they adopted the keris as an item of dress. When Islam replaced the Javanese-Hindu courts the keris began its spread to the common people, and lost the function it had in the courts as a hierarchical indicator. With this change in function the keris in Jawa acquired a whole new character, one that was a mixture of indigenous Javanese belief, Hindu-Buddhist-Javanese belief, and Muslim belief. This amalgam of beliefs generated a mystic character for the Javanese keris that was in many ways quite different to its original character. It is not so difficult to understand this ongoing societal development of the keris when we look closely at it over time.

The ceremonies performed in the making of a keris in Jawa are a reflection of one of the aspects of Javanese society, and in recent history have included elements of indigenous tradition, Hindu-Buddhist tradition and Muslim tradition. Layer upon layer of tradition, so to speak. For the most part these ceremonies seek to establish a harmonious atmosphere for an occasion or undertaking, an aura of wellbeing and the avoidance of misfortune. Participation in these ceremonies tends to settle the mind.

Shown here from left to right are:-

Om as the Ron Dha, one of the ways in which Om can be written, this particular way is probably the most prevalent way used in Bali, the name of Allah.

I posted these as separate images, but they have appeared as a single image. For those with belief in unseen forces this could well carry a special message.
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Old 5th August 2014, 02:07 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusaka
There is nothing special about meteorite Iron chemically, its just a lump of Iron-nickel but we must put ourselves in the place of people who's only way to categorize metals or different Irons types was where it came from, its taste, its smell, its color, its texture and its sound.

A good keris is one that is physically well formed, has a good pamor and when struck rings like a bell. Since I am not qualified in this sound Science I cannot say if a keris made from unusual metallic blends inc meteorite, gold,silver,brass etc might be endowed with a quality of vibration that sets it aside as being something special or not.

I don't think we need put ourselves in anybody's place to have an interest or find symbolism in the idea of forging a blade with metals that have fallen from the sky. The interest in such "star metal" is pretty much universal in cultures all around the world. That said though, i have never seen any proof that the use of meteoric ore in the making of keris pamor is anything but a relatively new idea in the long and storied history of the keris. I have found no evidence whatsoever for any recorded meteor falls in Jawa before the Prambanan fall sometime in the late 18th century and with all probability meteorite was not introduced into the forging process for keris until the very early 19th century. So if we conservatively place the beginnings of what we call the "modern" keris at the end of the 14th century we have over 300 years of keris production (and most probably more) where "good" and "mystically powerful" keris that provided important cultural functions were fashioned without the inclusion of meteorite and a few more hundred years before that where proto-keris such as keris buda probably did the same. So while i also think "star metal" is pretty cool stuff to symbolically include in a blade i also believe that the unsubstantiated importance on such metal in the production of "good" or "mystically powerful" keris is a bit of a red herring in the path of better understanding of this iconic cultural object. Far more "good" keris have been made without meteorite than with.
BTW, while i would certainly agree that a "good" keris should have "good" form, i don't think it necessarily need have any pamor at all to still be able to qualify as "good".
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