THE LEGEND OF THE KERIS TAMING SARI

Legend had it that the mystical keris Taming Sari could fly and seek out the enemy, just like modern missiles. Not only that but it would even rattle in its sheath to warn its owner of potential danger.

In the 15th. Century, when he wanted to ask for the hand in marriage of Majapahit princess Raden Galoh Chandra Kirana, Sultan Mansur Shah traveled to Java with his royal bodyguard, Hang Tuah.

Unfortunately, Hang Tuah, instead of the Sultan, became the center of attention there.This was the opportunity that Pateh Gajah Mada had been waiting for to oust Hang Tuah permanently from the Sultanís favourite list.

The envious palace official engaged a Javanese warrior, Taming Sari, to kill Hang Tuah but the tables turned and Hang Tuah won the fight as well as Taming Sariís keris (also named Taming Sari). Thus began the legendary saga of Malaysiaís most celebrated dagger.

Taming Sari, classified as keris kuasa or bawar, is made of an alloy of 20 metal composites, some said to come from bolts holding Meccaís Holy Kaabah gates.

A keris kuasa is said to poses supernatural powers and has to be ďcleansed?in the melimau ceremony periodically to retain its potency.

When he could not persuade Puteri Gunung Ledang to marry Sultan Mahmud, Hang Tuah threw the Taming Sari into Sungai Duyong out of frustration.  One legend said that if the Taming Sari surfaced up Sungai Duyong, Melaka will be famous again

Another legend said that Tun Mamat did history a favour when he recovered the Taming Sari for the Sultanís safekeeping.

In 1511, the Portuguese conquered Malacca and Sultan Mahmud fled to Johor-Riau and later to Kampar in Sumatra.

Taming Sari finally found a permanent home in Perak as part of its state regalia when Sultan Mahmudís son, Sultan Muzaffar Shah 1, was installed as the first Sultan of Perak and the keris was passed on to his successors till present day.

Footnote: The keris is a weapon peculiar to the Malay Archipelago which encompasses Thailandís Pattani region, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines?Mindanao region and certain parts of Cambodia. Historians believe the first keris was developed in 9th. Century and perfected by 14th. Century. In Aceh, the keris is call rencong and Sulawesi, badik.

The keris is surrounded by mystery and there are tales of deaths being caused by simply thrusting the keris into a victimís footprints.
Sculptures of keris, dating back more than 400 years have been found in Central Javaís Chandi Borobudur where it is known as kujang.

Another keris frequently mentioned in Malay forklore is Keris Mahsuri though no one really knows where it is today. It was said to be the keris used to kill Mahsuri who was wrongly accused of adultery.

www.tourism-melaka.com
2005