View Single Post
Old 30th January 2021, 05:18 AM   #27
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,897

I have just had it pointed out to me that I should have made something clearer than I have in my previous Post #26. I did not want to labour the point, as that post is already too long, and what I've been told to make clear is something that I believe everybody with a keris interest already knows anyway.

I won't mince words with this, I'll try to put it plain & simple:-

a lot of the names and associations presently in use by the current generation of keris collectors are modern inventions, the names and ideas might be in use within one group of collectors, they might have been invented by a dealer, or they might have been invented by an author, but many of these names and ideas are strange to the older generation of keris literate people.

When EK came on to the market I was in Solo, I bought a copy and later that morning I went to visit Pauzan. I'd only flicked through it, and it looked pretty impressive to me, but Pauzan had had a copy for a couple of weeks and had been through it, cover to cover. I asked him what he thought of it. I cannot remember his response word for word, but the sense of what he said was approximately:-

"I think a lot of it has been invented. Where did all these names come from? I don't know these names, nobody I know knows these names. Where did he get them? His first book (Pauzan meant Ensiklopedi Budaya) was good, but if you want to publish a new book about the same thing you need something to make people buy it"

Before Pauzan became an empu he had been dealing in keris for around 15 years, the last 6 or 7 of which he had dealt professionally in a stall in Pasar Triwindu. From about 1980 or '81 he had been making keris and was also probably the biggest trade supplier of high quality historic keris in Central Jawa.
20 years as a dealer, followed by 25 years as a dealer and maker, and all this right at the heart of the Javanese world of the keris. 40 odd years experience at least. Yet a new book compiled by a journalist with the assistance of a leading light of the Jogja keris community left Pauzan puzzled by all the new words that suddenly appeared in an area of knowledge that he knew inside out & back to front.

Draw your own conclusions.

KJ became available after EK

The biggest value of both EK & KJ is that they provide a common lexicon, these two books have established a language full of names, terms, ideas that are available to everybody for use and seem to have become a common language for the current generation of collectors. In a world where people use online communication and phone communication, the presence of a common language is valuable, so no matter if it is right or wrong, invented or brought back into use, or even pulled off the wall, these words and ideas that were strange to Pauzan when EK was published do serve a purpose today. Just so long as we do not believe that those words and ideas are universally accepted and inarguably correct.
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote