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Old 9th April 2014, 06:44 AM   #144
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
Fernando, yes both caskets are included in the catalogue I copied the images from. I forgot to mention that it was from the second one. The image accuracy seem quite good judging from other elements depicted. so swords are also most probably accurate. In the second image at the top (plate 18) there are two panels in the upper row that depict gladiators. one pair carry a curious double curved sword and a strange plate like object instead of a shield. the swords in the second set seem straight and thin - sort of like rapiers and rather diminutive shields….

Ibrahiim- though there are many claims that Angam arts go back to Antiquity it is not based on solid evidence. no doubt there were fighting arts though time but the Angam in its present form can only be dated reliably to the 16th century.

For me the absence of Kasthana in these significant records (on the caskets) of the time in question signal the probable upper limit of time where Kasthana can be taken to. It must also be noted that almost all early Kasthana swords are associated with gifts by King Rajasinghhe I. of Sithawaka who was the rival to King Dom Juan Dharmapala of Kotte who was the vassal king to the Portuguese.

The images depicted on the casket were historic events contemporary with the item and the artist. they depict kings and not Gods so there is no reason to portray “older” types of arms on this. though on some other references found among temple art it may be true.



Salaams Prasanna, Thanks for that detail which as you note underpins the period around the time of Rajasinghe 1 rule as the apparent Kastane appearance. In brief for other readers an extract from wikepedia;

Quote.''Rajasinghe I (Sinhala:පළමුවන රාජසිංහ) [1] was a king of the Kingdom of Sitawaka from 1581 to 1593. He is known for his bravery. Born as Tikiri Banda to King Mayadunne of the Kingdom of Sitawaka, the name "Rajasinha" was given to him after a battle against Portuguese forces. Rajasinha means the King of Lions (or the Lion King).''Unquote.

No amount of (distant)research seemed to be able to uncover the martial art inclusion of the Kastane of an earlier date, thus, I thank you for the clarity on Angampora .. It again underlines the cloudy period we are attempting to see clearly ...I think the period you mention is a fair bracket for the Kastane's birth (1581 to 1593).

I would appreciate your view of the stone carving at post #120 comparing that to the Japanese Hasekura Tsunenaga weapon that he obtained in the Philipines noting that he, as a Samurai, may have appreciated the blade as genuine? ~ and if this was the case we have two virtually identical blades and grips which may be the early version of the Kastane ...In the case of the Warriors sword perhaps preferred without quillons (Vajra) and handguard..? If these blades were original form it poses the question where did that blade style come from? Was it possibly from the Storta?

We know the sword was a court sword, Royal favourite and a badge of office both in earlier and later periods...and initially for Sri Lankan military commanders then for various Mudalyer and civil service officers etc ...

Perhaps we are closer to seeing its earlier development and in considering the time scale when it was designed?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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