Keris Kala Munyeng Mataram (16th–18th Century CE)


‘Kala Munyeng’ is the name of a dapur of a straight-bladed keris (‘lurus‘). The blade of this keris is 35 cm long, and 40.5 cm in total (including pesi). The dapur of this keris features an ordinary gandik, tikel alis and tingil on the back side of the blade. The characteristic feature of the Kala Munyeng dapur is that it contains a long sogokan on the front side of the blade, stretching out almost to the tip of the keris.

Keris Kala Munyeng Mataram

Legend has it that the design of the Kala Munyeng dapur was created by empu Pangeran Sedayu as requested by Sunan Giri, one of the nine saints (Wali Songo). Sunan Giri, also known as Raden Paku, established a meeting place in Giri, from which an Islamic boarding school developed. In that time, the place Giri was regarded as the centre for Islamic studies. People from all backgrounds came to Giri in order to receive instructions in Islamic doctrine by Sunan Giri. He taught his students various Islamic child plays, like Jetungan, Gendi Gerit and Jor, through which he arose religious awareness of the Islam among his followers. He also used the singing and recitation of Islamic hymns as an effective means for the spread of Islam.

Keris Kala Munyeng Mataram (16th-18th Century CE)

One day Sunan Giri went to see the famous empu Pangeran Sedayu and ordered him to make a keris. But it was not at all an ordinary request that an empu would usually be assigned to, because empu Pangeran Sedayu was ordered by Sunan Giri to forge him a keris from a pen point which he had brought with him. And so, Pangeran Sedayu took the pen point and placed it on the iron anvil to start forging it. But as soon as he hit it with his hammer for the first time, the pen point started spinning and spinning, making it impossible to hit it for a second time. But then, when it eventually stopped spinning, the pen point had transformed into a keris. Hence, since Pangeran Sedayu did not have a name for this miraculous keris, Sunan Giri himself then named the dapur ‘Kala Munyeng’. ‘Kala‘ in both Javanese and Sanskrit, means at the time; ‘munyeng‘ is Javanese for spinning. Hence ‘kala munyeng’ means while spinning, i.e. a spinning dapur.

Keris Kala Munyeng Mataram (16th-18th Century CE)

The warangka of this unique keris is made in the characteristic style of Yogyakarta. The specific model of this Yogyakarta warangka is called ‘Branggah‘, which can be recognized by the shape of a leaf known as godongan, or bapangan depicted on the back of the warangka. For this reason, then, a warangka of this kind is often used on formal occasions, such as a wedding or other important ceremonies.

Keris Kala Munyeng Mataram (16th-18th Century CE)

Lastly, this keris is attributed with a pendok of brass, which features the Royal emblem of Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII who was the ruler of the keraton of Yogyakarta from February 8, 1912 until he passed away on October 22, 1939.

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