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Old 12th October 2012, 09:26 PM   #50
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Hi Ibrahiim.
Thank you for the kind words. It is great to continue working on the history of these fascinating hilts, which have always been held to represent the sinha or lion on the pommel, while the other zoomorphics on quillon and knuckleguard terminals typically are makara. I have always thought that this was because these other creatures, makara in particular, were effectively subordinate in the pantheons and dieties theologically and mythologically. With this being the case, I think the lion had been regally held in Sinhala from early times, and with the early invaders from the subcontinent.
Visually, as we know from the constant efforts of ethnologists and archaeologists and all students of worldwide cultures, it is often difficult to identify some of the extremely stylized and interpreted zoological and mythological creatures in material culture. There are of course many examples, but here we focus on most of these pommels, which have a curiously represented ruff around the neck, and while somewhat water creature looking, still I think are lions.

The early examples may reveal more once we find examples or more data, but for now I still think lion for the most part. I still wonder if variants could have makara though.

All the best,
Jim
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