The Penn Museum is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. Learn more.
logo

Dagger

Native NameKris
Object Number:42-30-372A
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Javanese
Provenience: Java (uncertain)
Section:Oceanian
Materials:Metal
Wood
Length: 47.6 cm
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Morgan Wing on behalf of the Estate of Florence C. Whitney, 1942
Other Number:518 - Other Number

Description

Dagger with straight blade with median ridge both sides and faint mottled watery markings (pamor). Corner of blade base features high-relief sinuous crowned snake (naga) and branches with gold leaves and inlaid colorless stones. Guard (ganja) has meandering spiraling gold vine and, on top edge, gold leaves and 7 eight-petalled flowers inlaid with colorless stones (two now missing). Bent, faceted dark wood handle (“young shoot in tree trunk”) with two carvings on the inner side, possibly the stylized representations of masks or monster (kala) faces. Ring between blade and handle has rows of beading top and bottom and a band of large triangular teeth alternating with ten large beads inlaid with similar colorless stones. One of a class of daggers called kris, defined by the widening at one side of the blade base. Kris are not only weapons but also works of art and objects of mythical, ritual, and ceremonial significance: in 2005, UNESCO gave the title “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” to the kris of Indonesia.

Bibliography:

[Book] Groneman, Isaac. 2009. The Javanese Kris.. C. Zwartenkot Art Books - Leiden and KITLV Press. Type Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pp. 35, 186, 272View Objects related to this Type Citation
[Book] Frey, Edward. 1988. The Kris: Mystic Weapon of the Malay World.. Oxford University Press. Type Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 49View Objects related to this Type Citation

You may also be interested in these objects:


See a problem? Let us know online.collections@pennmuseum.org