Bambang Harsrinuksmo

Expert of Keris and Wayang from Prambanan

In 1979, a young journalist was assigned by his superior, to pick-up 4 experts of keris cleansing from Yogyakarta, the weekly was organizing heirlooms’ cleansing during the Javanese mounth of Suro in Jakarta. Many heirlooms were cleansed, and many people have asked more detail information about keris.

The journalist, Bambang Harsrinaksmo involved deeper in his ‘special’ activity. One of the experts, Mr. Widya Setika , his new name granted by the Kraton/Palace of Yogyakarta now is Purbabudaya told him to study the knowledge of keris. He did the study seriously. For the first 3 months he studied general introduction. Letter-on he learned from Pak Kardi in Boyolali, Pak Karti in Mantingan and Pak Samsul Alam in Surabaya. He read also a lot of books to acquire better knowledge.

A boy from Prambanan

As a boy who has been born in Prambanan, he was quite familiar with Javanese culture including wayang and keris. The kid – Bambang – had been witnessing, that his grand-father was a keris collection. In his old days, his grandpa had distributed all his keris, to his children and grand-children.

The kid Bambang, he got also a keris, probably his love to keris and wayang was natural gift. To understand keris, according to Mr. Bambang Harsrinuksmo, one must have a deep inner (spiritual) feeling (in Javanese: Roso)

Lectures and Books

He was invited to many places in the country, as well as in Malaysia and Brunei to give lectures on Keris. (After his resignation in 1983 as Editor in daily, Berita Buana). Keris, along with Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language) are considered as National Culture. Keris is appreciated as a highly antique masterpiece. In Brunei, the appreciation towards keris is even higher.

Many Empu keris (keris makers) from Brunei have studied the keris making in Indonesia. In 1985, he organized a keris exhibition in Brunei, with 240 keris and delivered a lecture on keris. He has written also books on keris:

  • Pamor (drawing and design on its blade) 1985
  • Encyclopedia of keris 1989

Books on Wayang

He writes also several books on wayang:

  • Rama Bargawa
  • Sinta, her suffering since a child
  • Rahwana, not her mother’s fault to give birth to a son like him.

Now, he is writing Encyclopedia of wayang, consisting of 7 volumes, each volume has 400 pages. It should be the most complete wayang encyclopedia in Indonesia. For this big job, he is assisted by 10 dalangs (puppet-masters) and 16 writers of wayang.

Mr. Bambang Harsrinuksmo is at present living with his wife and family in Jakarta. His two children are University graduates.

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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