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Kelantan Keris Pandai Saras
A unique provenanced example
late 19th century

Keris Kelantan Patani Blade saras pandai pamor hulu pendokok timber carved pusaka jawi provenance www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A very special Kelantan Keris Saras with written provenance. Personal collection.

This keris is currently undergoing paper conservation to preserve the provenance, and complete restoration of its dress, blade and silver pendokok.

My thanks is extended to Shahrial Tahar for facilitating the translation of the Jawi scribed paper tag, and to those who provided discussion, insights and translation possibilities.

I have been fortunate enough to obtain several keris over the years, each with pasted paper tags attached to the Sampir.

In this instance, the tag to the left face of the sampir is largely unreadable. It is my hope, that through proper museum cleaning and conservation that further details may come to light.
All that can currently be read on this tag is "3rd of June 1914". What this date refers to is uncertain. I suspect it was the dated it was confiscated and entered police inventory during the British colonial rule of the area. It may also represent a later date that it was taken from Malaysia and entered in to a British collection.

The pasted tag to the right face of the Sampir contains a short direct amount of important detail. Through the help of colleagues and collectors, namely Mr Zaid Sulaiman, Nik Nizam Nasir, Azizi Che Hamid and Matt Said. The following translation has been put together.
"A keris owned by a pious person by the name of Semail/Ismail Bin Samad from Simpangan Village". There is some conjecture about the accuracy of this with the Jawi words "This keris belong to orang salah (guilty)" also being seen within.
For a stylistic perspective and that it was confiscated, likely by the local police of Tumpat, that the translation does read, "A keris owned by a dangerous (guilty) person by the name of Semail/Ismail Bin Samad from Simpangan Village".

Also of importance, as noted by Mr Zaid Sulaiman, this style of Jawi is unique to in the 1910-20s. This does cloud the 1914 dates on the left.

Simpangan Village lays on the Golok River, on the Thailand Malaysian boarder, on the northern edge of the greater Tumpat Provence., approx 5 kilometers inland from the mouth of the river.

Whilst the Pandai Saras blade is well known within the northern Malay states and Southern Thailand regions, having these details available to collectors, does add a great deal on insight in to the type of dress and blade found in the region circa 1900.

Returning to the tag in Jawi and the translation available, one could consider the owner a "dangerous" man in so far as the manner in which the blade sits within the sampir.
As can be seen from the photos, on this example, the gonjo or ganga, it is above the sheath. This is known as Ganja mengintai, or peeping ganja. It is an aspect that helps with a quicker draw of the keris. To have this feature, whilst common in peninsular keris, it is typically the sign of a capable and experienced fighter.

To be updated further shortly

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