Keris; Balinese Sacred Weapon

Although widely found across Indonesia, keris is actually a weapon used in Southeast Asia region during ancient time. The blade of keris (called wilah) is usually wave-shaped and narrow, with a wide asymmetrical base. Philosophically, keris represents the symbol of heroism, martial prowess, power, authority and force.

DSC04108Balinese people treat each keris as aesthetic being. They believe that sacred keris can prevent disasters such as fires, death, agriculture failure and many other problems. Likewise, it also could bring fortune and prosperity.

DSC04127In Balinese culture, keris is a symbolic weapon used by kings and warriors into battle. In Barong dance, you can see the male dancers in trance condition literally stab themselves in the chest with keris, but remain unhurt.

DSC04129Nowadays, the original keris blades made directly by Pande Besi (blacksmith) are preserved in the museums around the island. The replica of this weapon is also available at the art shop, where you can buy them as fine souvenir.