08 November 2008

Al-Bahr is now mine

If you notice, the Keris For Sale box is missing on the sidebar. There's a very good reason for this. The keris now belongs to me.

The keris, named Al-Bahr was presented to me by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad of Silat Telapak Nusantara Malaysia as a gift. I say gift because the dowry which took its place in his hands is too measly a sum to compare.

We don't know much about the keris except that the hulu and sarung are made of buffalo bone and bears a striking resemblance to ivory. I intend to have it inspected by several keris experts to determine its type and age.

In the meantime, I invite anyone reading this blog to contribute their knowledge of the design and if they have ever seen it before, to provide some historical background to the weapon. It's exciting for me, because, although some people might never believe it, it is actually my first keris. I've never owned one before this.

So, welcome Al-Bahr, to our humble home.

Update 5 Feb 2009
I spoke to the previous owner, Ustaz Saiful and he told me that the keris is approximately 30 years old and was made by an empu in Johor of Bugis descent. The name Al-Bahr was given by Ustaz Saiful to commemorate the keris's elegant make.

I sent a photo fo Al-Bahr to a keris collector friend, Fazli Ibrahim. He gave his first impressions that the keris isn't very old and the blade has been blackened by warangan (In fact, ustaz has been using his own homemade keris oil on it). As with Pok Nik's assertion, Fazli determined that it was a keris Melayu with heavy Madura influences.

Listening to these opinions has made me realise uniqueness of the blade and the sheath, of which I (nor anyone else I have met) have never seen before. This makes this keris one of a kind.

I recently introduced the keris to the public in Melaka when I performed a Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 wardance for PETRONAS staff attending a team building program. As luck would have it, one of them immediately recognised the form as Lok 9.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab


kemanga said...

tahniah tuan!!!

Ridzzy said...

Salam Brother Nadzrin,

I know nothing of Keris, but the Al Bahr certainly looks majectic. Congrats bro!

On a different topic, did you catch "Human Weapon" on astro history channel (ch 555) when they featured Silat? I think they were learning the seni gayung..if not mistaken.

Although i think it was alot of acting on the host side (no way he can take on 5-6 silat masters after a few days training) , I am still proud that they featured our local martial arts in an international channel.

djambu puadovich said...

al-bahr certainly looks nice.
btw, wut are the criteria determining the looks of a beautiful kris? is it the length? the loks? the pamur? the intricate carvings? do tell :)

Mohd Nadzrin Wahab said...

Assalamualaikum all,

Coach Lan, I'll still need to borrow your kerises, though, hehehehe... can't bring just one to the talk. Tak Merika laaa...

Abang Ridzzy! Thanks for the congrats. I'm happy to finally own a blade of my own, although I don't know how long I'll have it with me.

Most of us here caught the Human Weapon episode, either on Astro or online. Quite a few of us were disappointed, as you probably guessed.

Here is the review I wrote: http://silat-melayu.blogspot.com/2007/11/review-human-weapon-silat-martial-art.html

Djambu, I have absolutely no knowledge on the anthropology of the keris, although this year, I'm making the effort to learn.

My field of study all this while has always been the application of the keris, so the anthropology is a growth area for me.


kemanga said...

can2 insya'allah... come down & i buy u teh tarik.. :-)

Ridzzy said...

Salam bro,

I just read your review. Wow how misinformed was I to think that it was something to be proud of?

Sincerest apologies to those who read my comments and probably rolled their eyes in disgust.

Well the inaccuracies seems typical American romanticism. After reading what you posted, the show has lost some credibility to me. I knew it was staged, but I didnt realise the inaccuracies and other (insulting?) errors that came with it..


Salam brother Nadzrin

Just a brief one.

Name - Al-Bahr - Ocean/Sea - probably linked to knowlege.

1. Blade = Madura Design

2. Sarung =

am not too sure but most of the Malay Keris are using this design. It has some Java elements as well.

3. Holder = (I think) Madura Design.

The blade looks older than the sarung and holder...right?

The application; based on the design; is of warrior category. It's unlikely royalty.

Well..just giving a shot..I may be wrong.Anyone else care to try? Perhaps you should try Tuan Guru Azlan Ghanie? or the 'ex' owner himself?

Pok Nik

Malaysian Tigress said...

Yo bro...

is Saturdays still on?

any wimmen?

I lost the address...can you sms me again...