Utami Diah Kusumawati, Contributor, Jakarta | Culture | Tue, May 06 2014, 12:41 PM
Kris have been forged from iron by master craftsmen, known locally as empu, for hundreds of years.
Creation of the daggers, sacred to people in Indonesia, Malaysia and even parts of the Philippines, involved complex rituals to boost their connection with the spirit world and to put magic power into the hands of those who carried them.
Today, however, many view a kris as a work of art, divorced from the local wisdom and philosophy of the empu. The Panji Nusantara kris community would like to change that, according to Toni Junus, the author of Kris: An Interpretation.
Toni said that the local wisdom embodied in kris remained under threat. Religious fanaticism, for example, has led some separate the sacred daggers from the spiritual values infusing those who made or owned them.
The community, founded in 2005 after UNESCO recognized the daggers, wants to reposition the kris in line with contemporary thought and religion.