The Neka Arts Museum in Ubud has added 55 rare keris or traditional daggers to their collection. The new daggers, acquired during 2011, brings the total keris collectionof the Museum to 212 complementing the 312 valuable paintings and wood carvings housed at the Museum.
Quoted by Kompas.com, Pande Wayan Suteja Neka, the founder of the Neka Museum said the keris collections is comprised of daggers that are centuries-old, painstakingly collected across the entire Indonesian archipelago.
Included among the keris collection are 21 weapons linked to the ancient Balinese kingdoms of Ki Baju Rantai from the Karangasem Palace and Ki Gajah Petak of the Kanginan Palace in Singaraja.
Pande Neka also noted that the collection of sacred daggers includes “kamardikan” keris made by esteemed craftsmen after Indonesian independence in 1945.
All the daggers will be exhibited to both the many domestic and foreign tourist who visit the popular museum to celebrate its approaching 30th anniversary.
Prior to the acquisition, the daggers were largely held in the sacred collections of royal palaces where they could be seen only once every 420 days during “Tumpek Landep” ceremonies when items made of metal are ritually cleanses and blessed.
UNESCO, the United Nation’s organization concerned with educational and cultural matters, have designated Indonesian Keris as forming part of the world’s heritage of fine artifacts.
The Neka Museum was drawn to establishing their extensive collection of fine traditional daggers because of their sacred qualities and their use in ritual ceremonies, and because of the intrinsic artistic value.
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