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Old 4th October 2012, 03:03 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,694

Thank you so much Ibrahiim! and for noting my comment on under research on the kastane, as seen in the relative dearth of material on them specifically as noted. Interestingly this is characteristic of many weapon forms, with many ethnographic forms particularly the case. While many forms such as Japanese swords, and the keris for example, have been afforded focused study which has become virtually a kind of science in itself, others have remained relatively generally recognized near cliches'.

I believe the kastane, often termed the national sword of Ceylon, now of course Sri Lanka, is a good example of the way ethnographic weapon forms often reflect deep cultural influences, both traditional and the effects of external circumstances. As is often the case, colonization, geopolitical events, trade and warfare are key factors which may be reflected in weapons which have become in many senses, cultural icons.

It has seemed that mysteries of the deeper history of the kastane have remained almost complacently accepted, and the simple identification as a form indiginous to Sri Lanka regarded as sufficient. Personally I have always believed that this is markedly insufficient, and that these arms like many other ethnographic forms, deserve to have thier true histories researched, studied, and preserved.
This is why I believe we are here, and I hope that with the participation of the remarkably knowledgeable membership here, we can not only advance our understanding of the kastane, but continue the long standing study of other forms which has been in place here as well.

All very best regards,
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