en

A pekaka style kris hilt

Number

7620

Origin

Thailand, Pattani

Time

18th century

Technique

Carving

Material

Wood

Dimensions

Length 92 mm

COMMENT. Pekaka (or hulu pekaka) is the name for kris hilts designed as a grotesque figure of a bird or bird-like creature with a large head and a long beak, which can be either straight or curved upward. The word "pěkaka" (or "pěkakak") means "kingfisher" in the Malay. Birds of the family of kingfishers (Alcedinidae) living in Southeast Asia may indeed have been the prototypes for such hilts, since they all have long beaks. This hilt represents the most common variation of the pekaka style called "tajong", which is characteristic of some areas of the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, especially Pattani (South Thailand), Kelantan and Terengganu (West Malaysia), as well as the Riau archipelago (Indonesia), Jambi (the southeastern part of Sumatra Island, Indonesia), Sarawak (the northwestern part of Kalimantan Island, Malaysia) and Brunei (the northern part of Kalimantan Island). Unlike the coteng (or cho-teng) variation typical of Songkhla province in Southern Thailand, such hilts have a shorter beak.