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Old 5th February 2014, 08:17 AM   #3
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Salaams all Note to Library;

A vast amount exists pertinent to Royal Workshops at;

http://www.craftrevival.org/Extrali...PageCode=P00014

http://www.craftrevival.org/CraftAr...raftCode=003531


This description below from http://members.tripod.com/~images_of_ceylon/arms.html struck me as pertinent though there are many others and it is important to realize that dragon may mean Gargoyle, Lion, Deity or anything conjured up broadly related...

For another superb example of a described and illustrated blade please see http://www.caravanacollection.com/?...=kasthane-sword not shown here.

Kastana (or Kasthane) http://members.tripod.com/~images_of_ceylon/arms.html

Quote''The national sword of Ceylon. Typically a short curved single-edged watered blade, double-edged at the point. The hilt comprises a knuckle-guard and down-turned quillons, each terminating in a dragon's head with large in-set eyes. The dragon's head is usually decorated throughout with gold or silver panels and the pommel with tongue is formed from a piece of wood or red coral. The dragon's mane trails down the grip and is decorated with silver and gilt repousse floral designs. The entire hilt is often made of silver or gold and even inlaid with jewels. The blade close to the hilt is decorated with floral or thatched designs. The scabbard is made from wood and is covered with embossed and chased silver worked with flowers with leafy borders and richly ornamental.

The swords were intended to serve as badges of rank. Rev. James Cordiner in 1807 wrote that everyone in office wears a sword with a silver hilt and scabbard. These swords were made in the Royal workshops known as the "Rankadu Pattala" or "golden sword workshop" and the quality of the piece always depended on the rank of the wearer."Unquote.

Thus positive evidence supporting the theory about badge of rank status of this weapon coupled with the Mudaliyar detail in the previous post linking back through the 3 separate invading groups. It is however quite tantalizing that pre-Portuguese history continues to beckon since much of the detail in the Kastane is related to early religious design influence.

Was the Kastane a result of joint workshops design with the Portuguese or is it a purely Sri Lankan concept? Perhaps a map of the region showing the area of occupation over which Portugal held sway could form part of the clue.

See below the area controlled by Portugal; Would an invader nation be positioned to negotiate the design of such an iconic sword with only half the territory under its control...and a sword which ostensibly spread to other unconquered Kingdoms from this tenuous hold? Conversely did the design spring solely from Sri Lankan historical influence?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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