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Old 28th January 2021, 12:54 AM   #21
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
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Please refer post #14 & #17

In post #14 David has shown a mendak that Jean in post #17 has identified as "bejen" Jogja (Ngayogyakarta) style.

Jean's reference is Haryoguritno "Keris Jawa".

About this style of mendak.

On Page 39 of Solyom "World of the Javanese Keris" this style of mendak is identified as "parijoto" style. As to whether the mendak shown in post #14 is Jogja style or Solo style, there are minor differences only in Solo & Jogya styles, and it would be necessary to have the actual mendak in hand before it would be possible to state definitively whether it was suited to a Jogja keris or a Solo keris. My personal opinion based upon the photograph is that this current production mendak in Post #14 would probably prove to be better suited to use on a Solo hilt than on a Jogja hilt.

A further comment in passing:- in my experience, this current production mendak would be fabricated (ie, built of several separate pieces)it would not be produced from either a single die nor would it be cast. However, some of those separate parts could have been produced from dies, this is standard practice in the trade and has been for a very long time.

Solyom identifies this mendak style as parijoto, I also identify it as parijoto, both Solyom and I gained most of our Javanese terminology from Surakarta (Solo).

Haryoguritno spells "parijoto" as "parijatha" (see HG page 280).

In fact, "parijoto" is two words:- "pari + joto", it means "swollen rice grains", ie, not cooked rice grains, cooked rice is or "sega" (Ng) or "sekul" (Kr.), but it is dry rice ("pari") that has become wet & thus swollen.

The word used by Haryoguritno , "parijatha", is the name of a little bush that has yellow berries, these berries have a medicinal purpose, I'm not sure what that is, but it is something to do with pregnancy & child bearing. I'm afraid that Haryoguritno got it wrong in this case --- or more probably his informant got it wrong.

There is another problem with Haryoguritno's identification also.
He identifies the mendak style in post #14 as "bejen". In fact the spelling is not "bejen", but "pecen".

The word "pecen" comes from the word "peci" ("pici"), and can be understood as "like a peci", whilst this mendak style is not precisely similar to a peci, it is very similar to a fez (tarbus), so as with many terms used in the keris world we have an oblique reference. Again, Solyom appears to draw exactly the same line of connection as I was taught to draw.

I believe this term of "peci" for the Indonesian national black velvet cap was made popular by Sukarno, the other names for it are "songkok" and "kopiah". The name "kopiah" can be found (with various transliterations) in Old Javanese and appears to date from Majapahit times when it referred to a black three cornered cap worn by warriors, and until now as formal wear for a warrior. "Songkok" is I believe more Malay usage.

In Solo, a "pecen" style mendak must be set with stones.

The mendak shown by David in post #14 is not pecen style, it is parijoto style and it is more likely to be suited to a Surakarta (Solo) hilt than to a Ngayogyakarta (Jogja) hilt.
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