Originally Posted by David
We have a person from the culture we are discussing come on to say that these creatures are not "deities". Let it go Jimů
Whew!! OK doc!! I'm alright now.......Ok, OK, let it go, let it go!
I'm glad to see the discussion is still going, and as I see various entries I can see just how silly much of it was. What I was trying to do, during my spell, was to illustrate what Prasanna noted quite simply, that the term denoting these mythical entities is different in many cases in Sri Lanka than in other cultural parlances.
The problems of semantics, transliteration and perception of course become issues in studying any facet of one culture by those of another. This is why we have footnotes, qualifying references or simply explanations of alternate views or terms. Actually those practices are unfortunately what often is in place with my 'avalanches'
By this same token, much the same as recognizing that definitions are not necessary applicable in every case (the reason why dictionaries offer multiple meanings) , descriptions of terms and meanings are not always 'cut and dry' particularly with the complexities of deeply subjective material.
With that I would recognize that proper understanding of terms, in the context being observed, is indeed important. This is why as researchers it is important for us to include these disparities in text as part of discussion, which often results in considerably more words. One of the key reasons for disagreements and misunderstandings in these venues is poor wording, lack of qualification or explanatory text, along of course with discourtesy.
I know that in trying to describe many of the figures we have been discussing, I feel very uncomfortable in using descriptions such as 'monster'; 'beast' or 'grotesque' as often used in many descriptions, as these are often seen with pejorative meanings in western culture. In this same manner I know that I try, as clearly has Ibrahiim, to find as proper an unoffensive term as possible to show proper respect in referring to the various elements we are discussing. Thankfully Prasanna has rejoined us to help us with these delicate aspects, for example in properly understanding the term deity, along with his comprehensive overall knowledge of course on these subjects.
What is even better is that Fernando has rejoined us with his extremely valuable knowledge and resources on the Portuguese part in the history of these weapons, not to mention his always brilliant wit which truly helps lighten the admittedly sometimes text laden burden here. With that I would acknowledge Rick's note on that issue, and his concerns on our integrity here due to the 'heavy' demeanor of the thread(s). It is true that many of us here are from different cultures, and certainly all have our own 'styles' and interests. It has always been my position that we should allow patience and understanding to prevail as we interact, as well as observing courtesy and gentlemanly respect toward each other.
A very wise man once said, if you find the style or subject matter of another disturbing or annoying, simply ignore them and avoid the thread and topics.
I am glad this thread has continued, and especially with the outstanding complement of participants now present. While some view the topic as having run its course, I have never seen history of anything as having reached that point, it is very much a living entity, always having more to say.
That is why we are here, and hopefully others sharing these interests will join, and emphatically I will say, all opinions, observations and views are welcome and eagerly accepted.