The Sombro dapur is a very special keris model that differs from any other sacred daggers from Indonesia. To begin with, a Sombro is much smaller than most other kerises. For instance, the standard length of a keris blade is approximately 33-38 cm, whereas the total length of the Sombro’s blade measures only 19.5 cm. Though there are other dapur models (e.g., Sajen, Jalak Budha, Bethok) with a similarly short blade, yet they lack the distinctive identifying characteristic that the Sombro has; i.e., the marks on the surface of the blade made by the empu‘s (keris maker) fingertips.
Perhaps even more striking is the fact that this type of keris was first created by a female empu. Her name was Ni Mbok Sombro, and she lived in West Java during the golden age of the Sundanese Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran (12th century CE). It is believed that she was a person of great spiritual power. Indeed, the empu is said to have used profound supernatural abilities to consecrate the ritual daggers she made. After the forging process of the keris was completed, she would then quench the blade by immersing it in a bamboo tube filled with holy water and fresh flower leafs from ceremonial offerings. Next, she would take the blade and hold it between her index finger and thumb, pressing them firmly whilst uttering ancient mantras to empower the keris with sufficient magic power.
Besides the impressive fingerprints on the blade, the keris also features a pamor pattern. It is the Kulit Semangka (literally ‘watermelon skin’) motif that can be seen on the exterior surface of the blade. This type of pamor is the manifestation of metaphysical energies within the keris as a result of the empu‘s intense meditative concentration during the forge folding process. In this way, the forging process affects both the physical as well as the metaphysical properties of the sacred iron (Javanese: tosan aji). Thus, there are various mystical properties attributed to this particular pamor, such as the ability to boost one’s job prospects and career development. However, the Sombro keris is also known for its efficacious healing qualities in regard to alternative health treatment of physical ailments. In addition, mystics can use the keris for the purpose of cultivating spiritual development, whereas occultists will find the dagger to be very useful and effective for ritual and ceremonial magic.