Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all ~ Note to Library. Instead of searching among the martial weaponry it dawned on me that a far more accurate method of backtracking would be to focus for example upon ancient Buddhist ritual items. If a link could be established on a style/design of artefact from deep historical religious linkages to that of the Kastane then a lot could be revealed.
Forum is thus advised that a breakthrough has been observed between such a linkage and a report follows here.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Salaams All ~ Proving a Kastane design link to an ancient Tibettan Buddhist weapon/ritual item would place the Kastane
sword style well before the European appearance in Sri Lanka. That link comes in the shape of a Tibettan ritual chopping and stabbing tool displaying two Makara with the usual accompanying demon snakes or Nagas emanating down the shaft of the weapon onto the curious knotted crown like structures. In this case there are 4; creating a 3 dimensional quillon format on both the spear and chopping end.
As I have maintained from the outset the Kastane hilt (hilt guard knuckleguard and quillons) this concerns monsters "related directly" to the Makara and underpins my hypothesis that the Hilt of the Kastane is formed from the Makara serpent with Nagas (and other monsters flowing onto the knuckleguard, guard and apparent quillons
) See # 56 first picture and compare the item below. The basis of the design is Makara and supporting serpents... Not of the Lion.
The first question is..When did Buddhism arrive in Sri Lanka? Wiki encyclopeadia states "According to traditional Sri Lankan chronicles (such as the Dipavamsa), Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the 4th century BCE by Venerable Mahinda, the son of the Emperor Ashoka, during the reign of Sri Lanka's King Devanampiya Tissa. During this time, a sapling of the Bodhi Tree was brought to Sri Lanka and the first monasteries were established under the sponsorship of the Sri Lankan king. The Pali Canon, having previously been preserved as an oral tradition, was first committed to writing in Sri Lanka around 30 BCE".
The second question, though, equally vital is ...Are the quillons actually Quillons or simply two dimensional representation of the Buddhist form shown by my ritual item below? It is interesting that the so called "quillons" of the Kastane do not seem to have a practical purpose since they are too small to stick ones finger into and too decorative to be of much practical use and occur on short weapons which don't seem to need quillons per se? The fact that they look like quillons does not mean that they are ~ in this case ~ though in the longer blades perhaps they work more effectively as such. My point is that it is purely coincidental that the "quillon like" structure exists on the Kastane.
In illustrating the Tibettan weapon ritual item as a double weapon spike and axe I add to the already formidable number of weapons portraying Makara etc This array of weapon examples now includes cannon and gun barrel mouths, gun locks, powder flasks, axes, swords, (short and long) daggers and the spike head and axe cutter below.
In conclusion I submit that the Kastane is an original Sri Lankan pre European design inspired by an ancient Buddhist form rooted in history and with its foundations built from the Makara and supporting demons as illustrated by the Tibettan object below. My hypothesis includes the fact that the Kastane has "apparent quillons" but which are actually not quillons but designs from the ancient Buddhist religion which simply go hand in hand with the Makara and supporting demons. When shown with a rainguard extending down the throat the design there-on is often reminiscent of peacock feathering for which the Makara is famous.
Whilst the Portuguese and or others may have been involved in workshops production of the Kastane jointly with some Sri Lankan cooperation they were not the designers neither were the Moors. This is a thoroughbred Sri Lankan sword.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Note: Item is 2 feet long, heavy, of brass coated in either tin or low silver compound.