Kris of Buritkang

Museum Negeri Mulawarman, East Kalimantan

The kris is a distinctive, asymmetrical dagger from Indonesia. Both weapon and spiritual object, the kris is considered to possess magical powers. The earliest known kris dates back to the 10th century and its use probably spread from the island of Java throughout Southeast Asia.

This kris is from the Kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara in Kalimantan and is considered to be a sacred object. While the exact date it was made is unknown, according to folklore it dates to the 13th century. This kris was passed down through generations by the rulers of Kutai Kartanegara and has remained a sacred heirloom, even after the kingdom became an Islamic Sultanate.

Use in rituals and ceremonies

While the object is now kept in a museum, it is still used for special rituals and events, such as the coronation of the King. At the coronation of Sultan Aji Muhammad Arifin as the 21st Sultan of Kutai Kartanegara in 2018, the Sultan raised the Kris of Buritkang while wearing other sacred objects, including a helmet, sword and robe.

The object has high social significance as it has not changed its function from the beginning of the kingdom's establishment until today.

Winda Saputri from Mulawarman Museum, East Kalimantan, shares the significance of the keris held in the museum’s collection.