Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
It is difficult to locate the earliest records of the true Kasthana Swords. but my personal belief is that it is earlier than presumed. I am including an image of a Kasthana presented by Prince Tikiri leading the Sinhala army (at age 16); Who Later became King Rajasinghe I to the Arachchi of the Korathota “Angam” fighters. The Korathota warriors mounted a flanking attack on the Portuguese in the major battle in the Fields of Mulleriyawela in 1559. This Battle was a decisive Battle with one of the worst defeats to the Portuguese with near annihilation of its troops. The Sword still survives in the Family as a heirloom. and if this reference is accepted this will push the earliest record of the Kasthana to mid 16th Century. There are other similar records as well. As I mentioned before there is a proper Kasthana sword in the Colombo Museum that is believed to be of King Buwanekabahu I of Yapahuwa Kingdom which predates the Kotte and Sithawaka Kingdoms. (Though I am not convinced of the authenticity of this piece based on the portrayal of design elements which point to a later date.)
And Thank you Balushi for including the summery of my Presentation to the workshop on the “Portuguese Encounter” held in 2005.
Salaams Prasanna Weerakkody~ Always a pleasure to quote a decent reference... You refer to Quote ''Sinhala Weapons and Armor: Adaptation in Response to European Style Warfare Weerakkody P1 and Nanayakkara A 2 Unquote.
I also viewed your artwork website and clearly you have a vast interest in the subject. I absolutely agree that we should be looking at pre Portuguese timeline for the origin of the Kastane. The point being (as I see it) that Sri Lankan Kingdoms were not likely to adopt a foreign inspired weapon with a Sri Lankan style to it. It simply doesn't add up. Why would they do this if there was such conflict between the two?(Generally they hated the Portuguese invaders) I think the Kastana is a purely Sri Lankan invention though I disagree with the hilt design origin. I think it is from The Makara.
Where the Forum wins, however, is in having a specialist in Sri Lanka so that we may build a clearer picture of this swords history.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.