Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Originally Posted by David
Well Ibrahiim, you claim to want to understand the kastane. Any ethnographic weapon cannot be properly understood without a clear understanding of the culture that spawned it or that culture's intent in its design. Deities are gods and goddess, supreme beings that are worshipped by the people that attend to that culture. An "Icon" if you choose to insist on that term, when not used in its original sense of a painting of Jesus Christ, can be viewed as "a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something." If the Sinhalese people were placing their gods and goddess on these hilts it would have a certain meaning and power to it. That they chose the iconic lion, a symbol of the Sinhalese people, to place on the pommel, conveys a separate purpose, meaning and understanding. To confuse "Deity" with "Icon" or see them as somehow interchangeable terms will only lead to continued confusion on the intent, place and purpose of the kastane within Sinhalese culture. So, you ask "dragon, snake, eagle, serpent, Makara, beast, gargoyle, Lion, to name a few… does it really actually matter?" Come on Ibrahiim, of course it matters.
Salaams David, I think you are confused by the terminology and where I note your reference to religion, perhaps it underlines how difficult it is to engage in discussion without mentioning it. However, I am clear in my mind how these are viewed from the foreigner viewpoint and not being a follower of that religion... however, out of respect I have viewed the terms from a students angle in studying those religions from the Sri Lankan ancient historical viewpoint..
I have no problem with the words Icon or Deity. No it probably does not matter whether someone describes an Icon as a fish or dragon or Makara etc since it is only their perception ... nothing to get hung up about and since this is a discussion; no malice however hot the anvil becomes..
Prasanna Weerakkody would perhaps describe something as Iconic whereas I may perhaps call it a Deity... it doesn't matter.
we are talking about the same thing.
What matters is in getting together a set of informative details however hard that is...and being able to step back and freely admit that Library has been served and as having contributed to the understanding of this very difficult subject; I think that is fair.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.