Indonesian Keris Handles

 

kris knife handle ironwood

17th-18th century wooden Keris hilt from Central Java, Indonesia.

kris knife handle ivory

Late 19th century bone Keris hilt from Java, Indonesia.

Defined by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Education) as a “Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity”. The kris or keris is a distinctive, asymmetrical dagger from Indonesia. Both a weapon and spiritual object, krises are often believed to possess magical powers.  Considered as or even more unique than the knife blades, the handles or hilts are extremely rare and beautiful art objects which represent abstract, human, divine, and demonic figures.  The knife handles shown here, and others like them were made by master craftsmen of the Indonesian archipelago and are true sculptural masterpieces.