From: Java

Curatorial Section: Oceanian

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Native Name Kris
Object Number 42-30-438A
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Javanese
Provenience Java
Section Oceanian
Materials Metal | Ivory

Dagger with wavy blade (3 shallow curves), widening asymmetrically at base. Raised median ridge both sides. Flanking the ridge, bands of gold leafy vines. The bent, honey-colored ivory handle is densely and deeply carved as a stylized figure, covered with curled tendrils: possibly a stylized demon (raksasa). A zig-zag band around the top may represent the points of a crown. The metal ring and cup between the blade and the handle are decorated with rows of tiny balls and a band of curling vines. One of a class of daggers called kris, defined by the widening at one side of the blade base. A similar hilt is illustrated in "Kris Hilts: Masterpieces of South-East Asian Art," with the comment: "Some experts believe this hilt to come from north-eastern Sumatra." 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.

Length 47 cm
Credit Line Gift of Mrs. Morgan Wing on behalf of the Estate of Florence C. Whitney, 1942
Other Number 541 - Collector Number

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