Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1743 Madurese mantri
Subjectmantri nobleman
Culture: Madurese
Setting: Madura/north Java 18thc
Evolution1275 Singhasari warrior > 1342 Majapahit bhayankari > ... > 1743 Madurese mantri

Context (Event Photos, Period Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Ricklefs 1993 p

* Draeger 1972 p

​* A passion for Indonesian art 1996 p48
"[M]any Madurese mercenaries were virtually in permanent service of the Susuhunan of Surakarta."


* Frey 1988 p46
"Krises from the island of Madura are frequently fitted with ivory hilts carved in intricate floral patterns.  The mode, called gaya kembang (flower style) is unique in that these hilts are further adaptations of the severely stylized Javanese hilt.  This seems to be a reversal of the typical stylizing sequence, because here a new style has emerged which is equivalent in originality and detail to the old form. The handsome Madura hilts most often show overall floral carving -- tendrils, leaves and blossoms filling every space.  Others are done with an eye to geometry and show orderly design elements of chevrons, spaced leafy sprays, knobby grids, and sometimes, a Chinese key border.  Occasionally a strangely abstracted face, barely discernible, can be made out in the details of the carving.
    "It is difficult to separate some Madura figural hilts from similar Java hilts.  Generally, ivory Madura hilts are bent over more; the themes are usually abstracted demi-god figures, sometimes animals, rather than subjects from mythology.  The Madura ivory carving is better executed.  European motifs are often found.  The hilt may be capped with a Greek helmet, it may display a panoply of pole-arms, epaulets may be discerned at its 'shoulders'.  A crown or winged horse displayed frontally is frequent.  They are said to be symbols of the royal house but one should not so assume if the carving is of ordinary or inferior quality."

* Aspects of Indonesian culture 1979 p62
"The kris is a magical weapon surrounded by ceremonies and legends.  Even nowadays when cleaned once a year it is drawn with prayers, treated with oil, perfume and incense and stored in silk.  It is supposed to have a power of its own, as for example the evil kris Kyai Gondong which stole off at night to search out a victim and drink its blood.  The Madurese increased the power of the kris by bathing it in the bowels and brains of scorpions and snakes."


* Draeger 1972 p76
"The arit, or sickle weapon, has many variations on Madura.  The tjelurit; the bulu ajam (chicken feather); the arit lanchar (fluent); and the arit biasa (common) are some of the most well-known types in use.  They are all generally longer and more curved in blade design than the arit of Java.  Sickle tactics employ both the single blade or two, one held in each hand.  By a continuous series of circular criss-cross patterns of swinging, this vicious blade is difficult to defend against; combined with the pisau few venture to combat against it.  The deadly arit can be swung over the shoulder, under the armpit, or between the legs to catch a rear-closing enemy off guard."

* Steel and magic 2020 p93
"Sickles in different sizes were originally used - primarily on Java, Madura, and Sumatra - as improvised weapons, but were then later integrated as a weapon category of their own into Malay martial arts, similar to the sickle-shaped weapons of Okinawa and China. The longer ones ... are usually found on Madura, and if attached to a pole are labeled arit lancar."

* van Zonneveld 2001 p