The Ancient Art of Kris-Making in Central Java

Asia Talk-Indonesia_JunListed by the UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, the Kris is an asymmetrical dagger with distinctive blade patterning. Kris have been produced in many regions of Indonesia for centuries, but nowhere is it so embedded in a mutually-connected whole of ritual prescriptions and acts, ceremonies, mythical backgrounds and epic poetry as in Central Java.

Destination Asia Indonesia invites guests to visit a traditional kris-maker and witness the ancient tradition in practice. They will be able to see first-hand the art of forging the mystical kris, which can take up to one month per piece. Kris-makers do more than simply forge the weapon, they carry out old rituals that could infuse the blade with mystical powers. For this reason, kris are considered to be almost ‘alive’, as they may be vessels of spirits, either good or evil. Following a classical city sightseeing tour in Yogyakarta (guests can visit the ‘Kraton’ – the Sultan’s Palace and the Taman Sari Water Palace), we drive to the outskirts of Yogyakarta to witness the spectacular process of kris-making.

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