Keris is a true representation of Indonesia’s diverse culture. The keris, as Indonesia’s cultural heritage, forms the perfect portrayal of human life on earth, for it is always full of meanings and stories. Likewise, the historical accounts of Indonesian Kings and Sultans tell us about laughter, sorrow, joy, honesty and deceit, which all are reflections of the various aspects of the keris and its relation to life itself.
Keris-Indonesia.com is aimed at sharing historical and cultural background information on the role of the keris in the Indonesian archipelago. By making this information publicly available we hope that, both young and old, native Indonesian and foreigner, scientist and mystic may feel inspired to share their humble knowledge with others, thereby preserving Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. In this respect it is important to look at the traditional context from different angles, taking into consideration the multiple functions of the keris, namely as a weapon and as a spiritual object.
However, in reality the general distinctions between these conventional categories are not always so easily drawn. For example, an ancient keris that was inherited as a heirloom (pusaka) may in fact once been used as a real weapon, but when the keris was passed on to the next generation the general function of the keris altered due to certain societal developments in modern times. Likewise, partly due to the influence of modernization the keris got a more symbolic meaning; a traditional symbol of sacred imagery, primarily used in ritual ceremonies in the Royal Court (keraton). Because of the ritual function and its mystical implications, the keris’ material elements soon became sacralized and mystified. Over the course of time this lead to a commonly accepted view of the keris as an amulet or talisman.
Then, after Indonesia’s Declaration of Independence in 1945 the socio-cultural values changed significantly, which, in this context, lead to a general increase of interest in the subtle aestethic values of the modern keris (also known as Keris Kamardikan). And so, by appreciation of the keris as a refined work of art the tradition of keris-making could revive in contemporary Indonesia.
Based on a thorough investigation and understanding of the abovementioned facts, we feel confident about sharing our knowledge and experience in this field of study. Thus, with a deep admiration for Indonesian culture, and with sincere intentions to contribute something meaningful to the people’s common interest in the various aspects of the culture we value so much, Keris-Indonesia.com also functions as an Online Store that offers both old and new kerises, keris accessories and spare parts (blades, sheaths, hilts, rings, holders and oils) as well as many other items – all of which we guarantee 100% authenticity.
Besides kerises, Keris-Indonesia.com also deals with various other aspects of Indonesian art and material culture, such as traditional shadow puppetry (wayang) and batik cloths. Yet even more topics are included in the various scholarly research articles that we publish on our website. Another subject we focus on is mysticism and its various forms of practice. However, we want to emphasize that we do not hold any particular religion or tradition as primary or inherently superior to another, for according to the traditional understanding of Indonesian mysticism there is no difference in the true essence of any religion.