Kris

The kris or keris is an asymmetrical dagger most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia, but also indigenous to Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei. It is known as kalis in the southern Philippines. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, but in the past, most had straight blades.

A kris can be divided into three parts: bilah (blade), hulu (hilt), and warangka (sheath). These parts of the kris are objects of art, often carved in meticulous detail and made from various materials; metal, precious or rare types of wood, or gold or ivory. A kris's aesthetic value covers the dhapur (the form and design of the blade, with around 150 variants), the pamor (the pattern of metal alloy decoration on the blade, with around 60 variants), and tangguh referring to the age and origin of a kris.

Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are often considered to have an essence or presence, considered to possess magical powers, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. Kris are used for display, as talismans with magical powers, weapons, a sanctified heirloom (pusaka), auxiliary equipment for court soldiers, an accessory for ceremonial dress, an indicator of social status, a symbol of heroism, etc. Legendary kris that possess supernatural power and extraordinary ability were mentioned in traditional folktales, such as those of Mpu Gandring, Taming Sari, and Setan Kober.

In 2005, UNESCO gave the title Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the kris of Indonesia. In return, UNESCO urged Indonesia to preserve their heritage.

Read more about Kris:  Etymology, Description, Forging, Cultural Beliefs, Legends, Kris As A Symbol

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