This is Knaud's Kris. A Kris is a ritual dagger, and this one is from the island of Java in Indonesia. Dating back no less than seven centuries, it is the oldest known example of this kind of ritual dagger. So this Kris dates back to the same period as the Middle Ages in Europe: from the fourteenth century, when it was made. In Europe this was the period in which the plague and the black death wiped out a third of the population. The pin sticking out at the end is where the handle was attached. The handles were often made of wood or ivory. The blade is made of two types of metal, which is clearly visible. The kris is beautifully decorated with scenes from the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. There are many more examples of Krises in the collection of the Tropenmuseum, but those have not been decorated in this way. Just imagine what this Kris would look like if it was in pristine condition. But, as you can see, it clearly isn’t in pristine condition, because it has seen some rough times. Nonetheless, its great age, the stories attached to it, and its beauty, which it still clearly possesses, make this particular Kris a unique example of its kind.
27,8 x 8,5 x 1,2cm (10 15/16 x 3 3/8 x 1/2in.)