Categorized | Art & Culture

Keris, the World Heritage

Keris, the World Heritage

It was many years back in a youth conference  in Jakarta, i rolled my eyes to hear that my friends from Singapore believed and were sure that Keris (they called it Kris) was originated from Singapore, just because Singapore Airlines had been used it to call their product, the Kris Frequent Flyer. I did not respond, since I had no proof that their claim was simply wrong….and i eventually forgot the issue.

Various ways on wearing kris in Javanese culture

Until yesterday, when my boss, he is a foreigner, asked me about Keris and the history of it, i started to panic, since i never really learnt about it. Well, i started to dig in, and found out some interesting facts.

  • Keris now is scatered around countries outside Indonesia in Southeast Asia , Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam. Many believe that it was spread out during Majapahit kingdomship back in 14th century

  • 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
  • The origin of the word kris derived from the old Javanese term “ngiris” which means to stab, wedge or sliver

  • Rendering of Keris can be found on Borobudur and Prambanan bas-relief, both were built in the early years of the 9th century.
  • In the 16th century, Tome Pires wrote that every man in Java, whether he is rich or poor, must have a kris in his house .. and no man between the ages of 12 and 80 may go out of doors without a kris in his belt.

  • Keris, as a term, is also used by many companies, like Singapore Airline, to name their product, The Kris Frequent Flyer. 
  • Most people in Malaysia and Philippine believe that Keris (in Philippine it’s called “kali”) was originated from their land.
Hishammuddin Hussein’s infamous waving of the kris as a symbol of Malay supremacy at the 2005 United Malays National Organisation Annual General Meeting
  • The UMNO (United Malays National Organization) uses Keris printed in their party logo

Kris Monument in Malaysia

  • Keris is also used in Malaysian currency denomination.


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This post was posted by:

Akhyari - who has posted 870 posts on Good News From Indonesia.

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One Response to “Keris, the World Heritage”

  1. Dzulqarnain says:

    Keris is the most beautiful weapon I ever see.
    The black colour, the shape, and the pamor make this weapon very unique and beautiful.

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