A KERIS PANJANG, 'LONG KERIS' OR 'EXECUTION KERIS'

 

Sumatra, 19th/20th century

 

Iron hilt, silver mendak, horn hilt, wrangka and scabbard made of wood the latter with embossed silver with leaf and foliage motifs (daun mrambat, “continuous meandering foliage”) at the top and tip, and in between undecorated silver bands.


L. 60 cm

Note:

The reason why the keris panjang had to be long is that the keris was inserted above the collarbone of the squatting victim and pushed down directly into the heart, causing instant death. This could be done quickly or slowly, according to the sentence. The keris was driven through cotton, wool or other textile so that the blood could be soaked up. Only the ruler was allowed to spill blood directly on the ground.

A KERIS PANJANG, 'LONG KERIS' OR 'EXECUTION KERIS'

 

Sumatra, 19th century

Ivory hilt, gold mendak, ivory wrangka inlaid with gold strings, and pendok consisting of variously coloured bands of horn inlaid with mother of pearl.


L. 58.5 cm

Note:

The keris panjang in Sumatra and Malaysia functioned as a status symbol and as a form of regalia for local rulers and sultans, but it also had a utilitarian nature. The long straight narrow double-edged blade is not made of iron but good steel and was traditionally used to execute criminals.