Keris Sardulo Mangsah, also known as ‘Sinom Pudak Sak Tegal‘, is a relatively modern design which originates from the Surakarta era (18th-19th century). The philosophy behind this keris is focused on strive and aspiration, like a tiger’s strong focus when it is about to attack its prey. This makes the keris suitable for anyone who pursues high goals and works hard to accomplish them. Though this keris does not contain any pamor, yet the metal still reveals the subtle marks of the forging of the blade. The design of Sardulo Mangsa is empu Subandi’s favorite dapur (‘ciri khas‘).
Empu K.R.T. Subandi Suponingrat is the only one left today who still makes kerises in the traditional way. He began working as an empu in 1979, and still continues to make kerises to this very day. Currently he is also active as the Professional Tutor at the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) in Solo. Though during his career he encountered many hardships as a keris master, he is still holding strong. Through the years many (keris) groups have come to recognize empu Subandi’s contribution to the world of the Indonesian keris.
Thus, the Keraton (‘royal court’) of Surakarta entitled him as Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung (in short: ‘K.R.T’. – a royal title) for his outstanding dedication to the world of Tosan Aji. The work of empu Subandi consists of thick, firm and prestigious kerises forged in Surakarta (Paku Buwono) style. He is specialized solely in the making of regular (‘pakem‘) kerises, and he forges only 10 to 15 kerises a year.
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