Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
No one will doubt that this authentic treatise on the Kasthana is more than enlightening in the most varied points ... speaking by my humble self .
If i am not insisting too much on the same point, i would dare to ask you objectively whether outer influence in the Kasthana form is to be excluded. By placing the Kastana in the mid XVI century we may infer that it was born whilst the Portuguese stayed in the Island; the same Portuguese that a century later mentioned in chronicles various Sinhala weapons (Calachurro and all) but not the Kasthana. Maybe this is due to such sword not being a field weapon, its involvement in bellic narrations didn't occur. I didn't however give up searching this theme in Portuguese history of the period, as i find it hard to beleive that the Kasthana, or the equivalent term attributed by Portuguese, is not mentioned here or there.
Concerning quality of these swords, it is easy to understand that it degenerated within time, specialy attending to the fact that its adornment purposes didn't need their martial skills to prevail in use.
But knowing less than nothing about the subject, i fail to discern how modern examples with blades made of brass are. In page 57 of the book above mentioned, i face the picture of two Kasthanas; one in chiseled gold and silver and rubies in the beast eyes and another with a brass blade and the hilt (and scabbard?) made of turtle.
The pictures are in black and white and not of the best quality. But judging by the knowledge of the owner, i wouldn't imagine this brass example having been used just the other day in belly dance ... although for lack of knowledge i will not reject the idea.