Modern society is characterized by rapid technological development. It seems as though the process of technological innovation happens at an ever higher pace. In an attempt to work more efficiently, most jobs in contemporary society often involve an entirely systematical work flow which is mainly operated by machinery and high-tech computer systems. Obviously, the rather mechanical nature of modern society has created an artificial lifestyle, which leaves no room for time consuming menial tasks; instead, we heavily rely on technological equipment to do the work for us.
However, nowadays people often feel that the hectic lifestyle lacks sustaining value. Indeed, today’s work may already have lost its significance by tomorrow. Hence, people seem to become more aware of the destructive impact that certain socio-economic effects can have on their personal life. And so, ironically enough, modern society at the same time gives rise to reminiscence about the glory of a particular nation in the past, their sophisticated culture and highly developed civilization. When one thus analyzes a nation’s political environment, it soon becomes clear that, to this day, the legitimacy of power is founded on its (socio-cultural and economic) history. In this way, recollecting past events can increase a person’s awareness of his or her identity. As a result, one may begin to understand and appreciate the value of a nation’s material art and culture.
More often than not, a person’s reminiscence about the past is accompanied by a strong sense of mysticism. Considering the fact that rationality forms a precondition of the ongoing process of globalization, the revival of mystic beliefs and assumptions is a remarkable trend indeed. It is therefore not surprising to notice the recent revival of the keris in modern day society. The revival of the keris goes hand in hand with nostalgia for ancient traditions and ancestral customs.
In this context, the Indonesian keris not only has a remarkable socio-historical value and cultural significance, but also holds a special position as a mystical object of sacred value. Ancient kerises are forged according conventional designs of the time. Modern kerises, however, come in a much wider variety since new kerises are no longer confined to the standard shapes and measurements as implemented by the ordained empus at the keraton. Thus, the contemporary keris maker is free to exercise his skills of creativity he wants to express in his works. These so-called keris ‘kamardikan’ (Javanese for ‘independency’) often comprise high-end masterpieces, which are reserved only for statesmen and officials. In this way, then, the Indonesian keris still continues to be preserved as sacred heirloom (pusaka) item. Since ancient times pusaka items are material art object of speculation. Hence, the keris is considered a safe investment for the wealth and welfare of future generations.
A perfect example of a pusaka with speculative potential would be the keris kamardikan that features a unique combination of two luxurious dapurs (models), namely Naga Sasra (‘mythical naga creature with a thousand scales’) and Kidang Mas (‘golden deer’). This masterpiece is currently on auction for a stunning price of US$100.000,- (serious buyers may contact us for details).