Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
The Yarl is not part of the Sinhala Mythical beasts, though they do on occasion exist in Hindu Kovils it has not spread further than that in Sri Lankan Culture.
The Lion represents the race of Sinhalese, While Makara in most contexts is associated with rejuvenation and re-generation, It is an Auspicious symbol - A good luck charm if you will. Not too sure of the Serapendiya- a commonly figured beast with a rather vague history here.
The Images I posted earlier didn't upload properly so I am re- attaching them here. The First two are of the Kasthana of Leuke Disawa. While the Third is one of my paintings of a Sinhala warrior- The figure is holding the transitional sword between the older sword types and the emergence of Animal head motifs that I mentioned in my earlier post.
Salaams Prasanna Weerakkody ~ Thank you for posting the superb pictures. Firstly I have absolutely no allegiances with any political movement in your country and have tried to place a factual library reference showing the clouded issue and notwithstanding the internal politics magnified through 3 European dynasties involvement which has affected this swords perception.
Kastane. There has been the perception (false in my view ) that the sword was introduced inspired invented by the first invaders... Your explanation of the pre Portuguese Kastane indicates as does my historical detail that this is simply not the case and that the weapon in a Sri Lankan thoroughbred.
I think you may agree that the weapon has been hijacked through the ages firstly as a court weapon/sidearm on the Popham Armour and secondly the early Kastane in the Japanese Museum.. Whilst fascinating, these two artefacts have distorted the issue somewhat. Perhaps the Hispanic link of the Kastane being presented by Spain to Japan somehow contrived to suggest a Portuguese origin and since they were in Sri Lanka in the 1600s...? Further warp has been caused by the appearance of the belly dancers cheap prop in about the mid to late 19th C which had a reversed brass hilt on a contrived blunt scimitar like blade. That irony (an apparently Arab style) perhaps threw peoples idea of origin into being originally an Arabian sword.
As if that were not enough we have an apparent hybridisation of short and long blades corrupted by foreign blade marks in the form of VOC Dutch East Indies and possibly though not confirmed EIC marks.
Lion versus Makara. I am convinced that the hilt is not a Lion head. This is not a politically charged question since you simply need to view the water spout (see #14 on this thread)and to see the other deities portrayed pouring from the Makaras mouth. My post shows 6 photographs and the final one shows the hilt. The design ?.. Makara not Lion.
Sinha...of course means Lion but that is not to say that this is a lion head hilt because of the name of your people. Moreover it is Makara head because it is reflected by many of your architectural Temple Archways, waterspouts, wonderful and ancient history, religious artifacts, deities, and battle flags. The lion, particularly the British Lion, in all its heraldic splendor isn't. (see # 14.)
Naturally and whilst this may be a sensitive issue (the Kastane appears on your National Flag held by the National Lion and the Sword itself is a National Motif) I have to point out the mirroring of the Makara in the Kastane Hilt.
Having made that point I still would like to get to the Kastane origins and feel that with your help we can achieve this. This is a great thread. Excellent detail and pictures ... Shukran.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.