WARANGKA or Sarong (Malay Peninsula)

 The origin of a Keris can be determined by the shape of its sheath. There are four basic shapes: 

Gayaman in Java or Bali, for every day use

Ladrang in Java or Bali for ceremonies

Sandang Walikat, the most simple type

Tengah, which is found in the Northern part of the archipelago.

 In Sulawesi, the Peninsula and some regions of Sumatra, the sheath has a shoe called buntut

 When making a Warangka, the Mranggi pays a special attention to the choice of the wood, it is made from the most ornamental wood, which is often not the strongest. 

 Many Gandar (lower part of the sheath) are fitted with a metal sleeve: the Pendok.

   A painted warangka is called "sunggingan"

(sheath's craftsman)


   The four basic shapes are :


   The choice of the wood is an essential part of the Keris, as for the pamor, each Kayu (wood) and each Pelet (wood pattern), has a special power


   Examples of Kayu:

Kemuning (Murraya Paniculata), honey hardwood with a beautiful flame-like, luminescent grain running through it.
Trembalo (Cassia Glauca)
Teak or Jati (Tectona Grandis) 
Sawo (Manilkara Zapota)
Cendana (Santalun Album), prized for its fragrance 
Awar Awar (Ficus Leucantatoma)
Timoho (Kleinhovia Hospita)
Cemara Gunung (Dysoxylum acutangulum)


Sono or Angsena (Pterocarpus indicus), deep orange-gold hardwood

Mahogoni (Swietenia macrophylla)

Sanakeling (Dalbergia latifolia)

Kendayaan (Bauhinia malabarica) 

Gemia (Bouea microphylla), reddish wood

Examples of Pelet, mostly found on Kayu Timoho and their Tuah (magic power):

Sembur numerous small dark spots 

Tulak, thick vertical dark lines

Segoro Winotan, few large dark spots, increases wisdom

Pudak Sinumpet, similar to Tulak, but the center part of the lines is not as dark

Pulas, a mix of spots and lines, looks like clouds

Nyamel, big black spots

Ngingrim, thin parallel dark lines, some are shorter than others

Kendit putih, a single horizontal dark line, brings respect

Kendit rante, a single horizontal dark line that looks like a chain, helps public prosecutors to prevent defendants from escaping

Kendit Ilat-Ilatan, similar to kendit putih, but the line is not as flawless, helps the owner to have great influence

Gandrung, middle size black spots, brings fame and love 

Doreng, looks like tiger skin

Dewaduru, a mix of thin and large vertical dark lines, brings fortune

Ceplok banteng, many dark spots close together, gives authority

Ceplok kelor, similar to cepok banteng but less dense, prevents from having a bad behavior


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OLD BLADES - Malay World Edged Weapons.  Copyright 2000 - 2007
Revised: 2007-05-20