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Old 14th September 2016, 06:18 PM   #302
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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An interesting conundrum appears in the shape of Sri Lankan Spears. The question as to whether Partisan Spears migrated to Sri Lanka as a shared form since the Sri Lankan Patisthania appears as an almost identical weapon to the European Partisan Spear...wings and all. That is not to say point blank that it is; since we are all aware of parallel developments in completely unlinked regions of the world. This is not just apparent in items such as dishes or utility items but weapons particularly in basic form. So is it related or not? For anyone not familiar with the weapon please see where it states Quote"

Location: Europe
Common Construction: Wooden haft with steel head

The partisan has a central spear, but on either side of the spear are "flukes" that jut out. These flukes evolved over time into what the partisan is commonly described as; a spear with an axe head on either side. This design provides many advantages. First, it limits how far the spear can penetrate so it won't get trapped inside an object. In hunting, spears have crossbars called "lugs" for the very same reason. Second, you can use the weapon in two ways now, by thrusting it like a spear, or bringing it down on someone like an axe. Once you knock someone off their horse, it's hard to stab through their armor with your spear because the steep angle of attack deflects the spearhead. The partisan allows you to perform a chopping motion that is much more effective". Unquote.

On the possibility of some sort of design crossover I refer to the description at Henry Parkers famous presentation on weapons of that region in which he writes Quote "Although the winged spear-head of recent times seems to be copied from from weapons carried by the early Europe and invaders it is certainly of much more ancient date. On the side of the crown of a wooden statue which is supposed to be that of Duttha-Gamini,at the Nikawaewa Cave wihara, there are carved relief which evidently represent spears winged heads like those now in use, as well as others resembling the fourth and fifth types just described. I have already mentioned that these sculptures possibly date from the eleventh century A.D.''Unquote.

Are we looking at an accidental non related spear design with a similar name but purely unrelated or is it possible that either the Portuguese or Dutch form has some bearing on the Sri Lankan version.

Comments are welcome...
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