The gilding of this keris and the fine ivory hilt mark this keris as the possession of a high ranking member of the Palembang court. In most Malay courts, strict sumptuary rules reserved the use of gold to persons of noble birth, usually of direct descent from the royal lineage. Keris with gold ornamentation were also sometimes given as gifts to individuals as a mark of the sultan’s favour. Keris were an important dress accessory and status symbol, as well as a weapon and also were regarded as powerful objects of supernatural protection. The keris was thought to contain a spirit or isi which if properly cared for would ward off both physical and magical injury.