Friday, June 15, 2007

Magic in Metal: Indonesian Kris

A gift from a very good friend, this Kris is one of the most magical embodiments of the art of metallurgy. The blade is far older than the hilt and sheath. It is quite usual for the blade of a fine kris to be the oldest element. With each new owner, the hilt and sheath often are replaced. The blade probably contains metal from a meteorite, as indeed do many of the old wootz or watered steel swords and knives.

The shape of the blade reminds one of 'the path of the serpent', an old Norse kenning for sword, although it is from the other side of the world.

Special oil containing sandalwood permeates this kris... unfortunately, I do not own this oil, which is traditionally used to keep the blades free from threat of rust. Even after more than a decade, however, the scent of sandalwood clings to blade and sheath.

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