The Empu (keris’s blacksmith)

Generally, especially in the Javanese keris’s blacksmith known as Empu, in Bali known as the  Pandie or Pande or, in Sundanese known as the Master Teupa. David van Duuren in his book “The Collective” the empu is the people who are considered sacred and has a high position in society “(1998). Mas Ngabehi Wirasoekadga wrote in his book The Mystery of keris is a man who has a high degree in society[2].

Pandie or empu originally derived from the sect of Brahma, is the sect which have very important position among other sects, followers hold name as Brahmin Pandie, in those days was known as Brahmin dynasty Pandie.  In Java after hindu religion falling into the hands of Islam religion, the term of Brahmin no longer visible, but the dynasty still exist, commonly called as Iron Pande , Gold Pande etc.

In Bali, Pande dynasty tied by moral obligation and inscriptions by spiritual ancestor of the family are very closely related to each other by the term dynasty, the inscription that tied them the most famous is the inscription “Pustaka Bang Tawang”, they have raised the agreement Empu Baradah as a Guru. In Bali, not all people may learn Pande sience. It is arbitrary because only those who are descendants of the Pande dynasty may learn, while outside Bali Pande only a profession and anyone can learn it and they are not tied into one particular family system.

Empu is someone who is really expert in his field and has some skills that support the creative process in the creation of his works, as for some special expertise that is owned by the Empu, to refer to the creative process for as follows:

1.Expert in the field of religion and Spiritual
At the time Empu is one who is considered holy and true understanding will understanding of life and are able to understand the spiritual things, a master craftsman ordinary lead religious ceremonies or other ceremonies of offerings. The Empu is a role model for the surrounding community.

2. Expert  in the field of weapons expert
There is a word “a good weapons are weapons made by the great warriors ( weapons expert), so most of the Empu  was an expert of ” kanuragan ilmu” in play weapon / fighter / warrior science. In Bali Chronicle described, when Gajah Mada want to conquer Bali, Gajah Mada Mahapatih embrace the Empus / Pande and put on the front lines, He is convinced the courage and greatness of the Empus.

3.Expert in the field of Psychological

The Empu has the ability to understand the psychological character of customer personally  so the keris produced fully in accordance with the character of customer, behavior and character of the wearer, told in the Chronicle and also folklore that the knights dagger in order to conform with a master craftsman himself. Keris is a craftmaster capable of acting as “Object or Subject” of the owner, Keris can do as the desire of the owner such as used for weapons, accessory of clothing, collector things,  exhibition things etc also affect the nature and character of the owner as to the strength of conviction of the owner and or the language of symbols from the keris.

4. Expert in Anatomy

As the expert in self defence with the weapon on its own within the empu also expert in human anatomy. This expertise as a support for the work produced fully in accordance with the “dedeg Piadek” or the size of the user’s body, thus resulting work can be played within their owner. Please note again that all matters relating to the size of each part of  keris using measures such as body parts: “nyari, kilan, cengkang etc”.

5. Experts in the field of politics

During majapahit kingdom lead by Gajah Mada. The Empus were given a specific position in government.  Many of them  involved in politics, state and war strategy. Special award from the king is given to the Empus of keris who qualified, they were given high positions, complete with names and titles of nobility as Empu Supo who loved by the king because of meritorious restore Keris Sangkelat that have been lost from the palace later appointed as son in law and given the title of prince and land gifts or tax-free land.

6.Expert  in the field of Literature

The Empus usually studied literature and they are educated people, most of them established a good relationship with the palace so that they deepen the literature for their interaction, besides that, they think teaching is one of literature to increase knowledge and spiritual depth. In the teachings of “Aji Panca Bayu” which studied by the Pande in Bali, are part of “PancaBrahma Pancak sara” teachings that stem from “Aji Sara Sara Dasak Pamurtining” Script “Anacaraka” origin “Aji Saka”, explained:

“Aji Ngaran Saka, Saka ngaran tiang ngaran pokok” is contain a general understanding of the teaching of Literary sources Literature, in that teaching is an expression;
“Sastra ngaran tastas terang ngaran Astra ngaran Api ngaran sinar “

Which generally contains an understanding, with identifying fire people will recognize the light, Otherwise people who are not familiar with the literary illiterate means to live in darkness.

7.Expert in Artistic fields
The basic form of the bar of a keris consist from straight form. Bend kerises and a mixture of straight and bend form. The number of names from the dapur of a kerises is munificent, great poet Ronggowarsito mention no fewer than 560 names of dapur kerises. Sir Stanford Raflles in his book “History Of Java” (1817) describes 41 major names of dapur kerises existing in the 19th century. the remains book of Paku Buwono IX in subject of dapur krises (Saka 1792) mentions 218 names of dapur kerises.
If we compare with traditional weapons around the world such as spears, swords, arrows, knives etc, krises  is a traditional weapon of the most diverse variant shape as well as the most complicated of each part (part of a keris part or
ricikan more than 30 part, the Japanese sword Katana from about 15 parts, sword of Spain Toledo 10 sections, from Nepal Kukri 9 parts)

Basuki Teguh Yuwono

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