Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Salaams Jim, Thank you for your post. I remember the Hasekura adventure and how he acquired the weapons in the Philipines. One of my questions about the so called Kastane he purchased is still being looked at since the blade is non typical and although a quillons style is fitted the blade seems to be much wider...similar in a way to the stone frieze blade. It (the Sendai Museum weapon) looks suspiciously like a Chinese blade.
Regarding the West African Dahomey sword ..or the write up with the weapon... it is conveniently some would say willy-nilly even... given the write up as having certainly bounced back from a deployment with the Portuguese Battle Fleet from Sri Lanka and having influence from their armoury... from the Kastane . This is doubtful since why would a machette tribal sword make such a journey and be given this most peculiar treatment? It appears as a flambouyant idea straight from the head of the author without any proof but as a seemingly fanciful notion.
On the other hand concerning the Cross cut into the broad leaf style of blade; it is plausible that some shades of Portuguese influence in their long association in the region may have occurred and wall art in caves bears this out to some degree. Black Crab swords with similar crosses are further evidence of such liaison but as for the weapons going off on tour with the Portuguese Armada for me it is a bridge too far...That does not rule out a hilt being brought back from such an adventure and possibly being presented to a chief... but that is a very different notion. If the hilt is not a bring back from the Indian Ocean then where is it from?... I have suggested that this is either a home grown carved big cat favoured by chieftains in Dahomey regions or perhaps a Storta Hilt perhaps as a gift. Looking at the skills of the Ivory carvers in the region I suggest that this is the origin. Home grown in other words.
Your inclusion of the South Indian sword from arts of the Muslim Knights is amazing. Here is a direct link in form from Sri Lanka's nearest neighbour even though the style of religion was slightly different the mirroring onto this weapon is clear and one which I would base my next survey... and refer to your excellent addition here. The net result of such findings although I need to show the architecture as wholly linked regionally it would in my view cast serious doubt on external influence and positive proof of the Kastane as entirely Home Grown (exempt the European later blade replacements)
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.