Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Here I bring on all the architectural details in picture form onto this thread from the other Sri Lankan epic.
First I make reference to #176 above where the weapons from arts of the Muslim Knights are shown thus a search light is shining on the South Indian weaponry shown there by Jim from
Quote"Arts of the Muslim Knight", Furasiyya Foundation, 2008 (p.206, #197). It is listed as Deccani, probably Bahamanid dynasty and of 15th century." Unquote.
Viewers may see a degree of Religious linkage from the adjacent Buddhist cultures and in particular from the main source India. Others may see the fact that The Great Buddha himself is said to have visited the country and that although there are different types of the religion they flowed like a tide in and out with large periods of time in one form or the other.
What the pictorial below shows is the obvious transition of architecture on the Kastane from Southern India and also mirrored from Tibetan weapons either direct or bounced in via Indian form.
The quillons are probably not quilons per se...They are Vajra and important tools and insignia in the Buddhist religion said to have been carried by The Great Buddha into Tibet personally and since the Kastana we know ...was never a Battle Field weapon these thunderbolts or diamonds that they represent were never meant to be for fighting but as badge of rank or court swords. For this reason it matters little that the finials comprising dragon heads are invariably closed on the blade in the narrowed throat and in direct contrast with any European type.
The deity comprising the main hilt is powerful represented by a Lion or Makara, hand carved and studded with precious stones.
The Tail represents another revered creature; The Peacock.
In the handguard we see several creatures including a Humanoid faced crocodile, probably Kurtimucha, in the Robert Hales picture at left where he also notes the provenance of the middle picture as Mysore or Madras.
Other Deities spill down the hand guard onto the cross guard area in typical Yali, dragon or monster form.
The scabbard is resplendent in decorative style culminating occasionally in a decorated ball perhaps a pearl or sometimes another zoomorphic arrangement.
Conclusion. Overall I see no external European involvement whatsoever moreover every inch of the Kastane cries out as Buddhist/Hindu style. The majority of influence appears from India thus it is from there that I suggest the form evolved. Tibet also offers strong reflections but it is not known to what extent each is measured. Except for late European blades being refitted to these exorbitant and magnificent hilts I confirm the importance of this sword as being solely produced in Sri Lankan workshops with no input visible from European sources.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.