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Old 3rd March 2014, 06:02 PM   #59
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Hi Napoleon,

What I would point out here is that the purpose of this topic in this thread is to discover and discuss more on the development of the kasthane as a recognized indigenous form of sword in Sri Lanka, and possibilities for its origins and the symbolism seen in its decoration.
Much of what we are discussing are examples and records of potential clues in these aspects, so actually Napoleon, what you are suggesting is pretty much what we have been doing and in point of fact we have been working on for years It is interesting to look through the search here to see the discussions over years and how far we have come though (my own research goes back only about 10 years).

Interesting observation concerning the identification of 'high end' weapons by stylistic association of certain artisans, and that factor does often come into play in identification of certain weapons in many cases overall . I would note that it is not a universally possible standard however, and in the case of the Royal Workshops in Kandy, it seems the artisans were collectively following the directives of those in power. With this circumstance it would seem that they were following guidelines in their work and that individual license would not be likely. It seems one reference I recall noted this was apparent in that these artisans did not sign their work in the Kandyan shops.

The issue of regional variation has almost typically been recognized as a problem in classification of ethnographic weapons overall as diffusion of forms through trade, warfare, colonialization and nomadic circumstances are ever present factors challenging such specific identifications often attempted.
What has been proposed here in a number of instances is that perhaps regional variation may account for some of the notable differences in some examples of the kasthane. It seems clear that certain similarly formed sword hilts in other cultural regions reveal distinct associations.

As Ibrahiim has well noted, we may have revealed more questions than answers here, but it that is often the nature of research and what is important is that these are what may lead us to key clues in the larger scope of the study.

I do very much appreciate your interest and participation in this study and its indeed good to see we share common views in our efforts here.
I also agree that I look forward to seeing examples of other collectors here, and on that note I am most grateful to Ibrahiim for furnishing the outstanding illustrations and references to date here.

All best regards,
Jim
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