Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sri Lanka
I must say Jim that despite all that you would read- in the ground context of Sri Lanka Makara or Lion is not considered as any god or deities. You must realize Sinhala context is not Hindu either and some of the mainland concepts do not properly apply here anyway.
Fernando I have always found your posts interesting and inspiring as it provided a counter/ more Portuguese oriented perspective to how I experience things down here. Your sources and material presented are just great. I think it is clear that the kasthane origin is Sinhala. but there are many un-answered questions remain and it is also clear that it did draw inspiration from many foreign sources as well. one of the questions that I am intrigued by is that the changeover of the Sinhala fighters from the dominance of double edged long swords of the previous era- that seem quite similar to the arms of the Portuguese roughly at the time of their arrival and shifting to the Kasthana. The Portuguese is possibly the first enemy the Sinhala armies face off that used heavy armor- cuirasses etc at that scale. many other weapons show adaptations to items that are better suited to armor piercing purposes at the time but Kasthana travels a different path in retaining a slashing blade. why? (keeping in mind that Kasthana may not have been a primary weapon of the soldiery of the field (Calachurro example?)). Also I just noted that brass blades are common among modern replica’s but it in no way necessitates that the image you presented is modern. Please let know the date of publication you extracted the swords from. If you look at the proper battle kasthana and the later purely ceremonial ones one of the most noted differences is the way the blade attaches to the hilt (like in the images provided), it will be very interesting to see how far back this type of construction can be set to.