The Pamor of Keris is Javanese word. It refers not only to the laminated patternson keris blades but also to the raw material used to create those patterns nickel ous iron from meteors or the ground, or commercial foundry nickel. The word also carries the meaning to mix, and thus to become one, and indeed, in the forging process, pamor becomes one with the iron to which it is symbolically "married".

In SOLO, several types of pamor are recognized. Pamor Prambanan derives from a meteorite that fell near Prambanan temple. When interleaved with iron , it is said to be rough and sharp to the touch, and ranges in tonal value from very dark grey to pearly white. It was sometimes mixed with pamor nekel, commercial nickel. Pamor bugis is also rough and sharp to the touch but of a more uniform grey and thus less "alive". Sulawesi has sizeable iron deposits with some nickel content. The Buginese seafarers of southern Sulawesi may have carried this commodity to Java, hence its name. It may also be synonymous with pamor luwu from northern Sulawesi. Pamor Sanak emerges in a finished blade as a subtle amorphous pearlescence, said to derive from layering brittle and impure low grade iron with higher grade iron.

For many Javanese, pamor is an essential part of the Keris, and magically powerfull. Part of the Prambanan meteorite still sits in the Keraton Susuhunan in its own special pavilion and carries the title Kyai Pamor. When the dense heavy chips hacked from it were carried to empu in Yogyakarta, they were sometimes tied to the end of a bamboo pole held a way from the body to avoid contact with the skin. To other Javanese, however, pamor is only the Sekar (blossom) of the Keris and the iron itself is the most magically charged, especially if it involves ritually mixed "old" iron.

Like the various blade sharpes, pamor patterns have different symbolic meanings and associations.
For example, wengkon (border-like) is a line around the edge of the blade said to represent a protective circle. When combined with other patterns, it protects whatever lies within it. It often appears with tambal (patch) which symbolizes the power to provide what is needed, or adeg (upright standing form, a line of pamor following the spine of the blade) which symbolizes the individual himself.

The Empu may purposefully set out to create a specific pattern such as those named above ; other patterns may emerge spontaneously. Flukes of the forge combine with the blade-shaping process to give accidental form to human figures, rojogundolo (said to mean "shadow of the king") or animal figures, putri kinurung (princess in a cage). These are thought to be very special.

Specific pamor patterns arise according to the manner in which the billet of iron and pamor laminations is manipulated. It may be twisted, folded, drilled, gouged, filed, reforged and combined in many possible ways before being contour-sectioned as the blade shape is cut. Pamor mlumah, in which the laminations remain parallel to the flat surface of the blade, can be distinquished from pamor miring, where the laminations are aligned at an angle to the flat surface of the blade. Sometimes only a hairline edge of each pamor layer is visible. Combinations of both types also occur.

Secondary light-reflection patterns are a phenomenon seen in a very few young blades. A pamor mlumah pattern, usually beras wuntah, may be further gouged or filed at regular intervals and reforged flat so that when the finished blade is patinated the repeated angled distortions of the layering in the smoothed surface catch the light and an illusion of raised patterns appears.

One type of pamor miring procces is the basis for many patterns. It begins with a long narrow billet, one half of its thickness containing laminations of iron and pamor, the other only iron. This billet is bent anf folded back on top of itself until a shorter broader bar is formed with compacted layer snaking sharply back and forth within the bar. After the edges are trimmed and the layers aligned, two suchbars are forge-welded together side by side and sectioned to produce a variety of patterns, note the center line ofeach bladewhere the two sides of one face were welded.


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