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A pangulu style kris hilt

Number

7618

Origin

Indonesia, Sulawesi

Time

19th century

Technique

Carving

Material

Wood

Dimensions

Length 67 mm

COMMENT. This hilt represents the pangulu style, which is typical of the Buginese krises. The hilts are shaped as a highly stylized bird head with a huge beak that resembles a toucan. The Buginese or Bugis are one of the largest ethnic groups in South Sulawesi, a province on the third largest island of Indonesia. In European historical literature, the Bugis are known as a ferocious and warlike people. As the largest ethnic group in the region, they have significant cultural and political influence over their neighbors. The conversion to Islam in the 17th century greatly influenced the Buginese culture. The pangulu style is also common on the island of Sumatra and on the Malay Peninsula, where there is the numerous Buginese diaspora since the 17th century. Many researchers believe that the name of the style comes from the word "pengkhulu", which means "village headman" or "Muslim leader". This style is also known as kerdas, literally "pistol", which is associated with a strongly curved shape of the hilt.