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Old 1st November 2017, 04:00 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,705

Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The Piha Kheata is a very interesting weapon.

In searching for a fine description I selected for what I consider as an excellent all round observation on this Sri Lankan Icon.

Note that this was produced in the Royal Workshops probably along side the Kastane and employing artisans of the highest calibre.

Quote" The most unusual feature of the piece is the style and material of its pommel which is cast from a single piece of brass, in the form of a Sinhalese mythical bird called the sérapéṅdiya. It's tail is connected to a brass, heavily silver-plated "sleeve" from which the blade emerges, as if it sprouted from the bird's tail. The sleeve is decorated with more liya-vęla, some flowers, and a number of intricate curls upon curls, again typical for Sinhalese work, called liya-pata. This elaborately worked sleeve is almost always present on Kandyan knives, but with many knives the handle doesn't represent the bird, at least not anymore.

Such sérapéṅdiya hilted knives are very rare. One, possibly the oldest, is published in Hales (2013) and is thought to date from as early as the 15th century. Hales suspects that the earliest forms all had the sérapéṅdiya head, and the hilt lost the bird shape in favor of ever more elaborate abstract forms later. Another, probably 18th century example is published in Deraniyagala (1942), which seems to have a horn or wooden hilt. According to De Silva & S. Wickramasinghe there are only five more in verious Sri Lankese museums."Unquote.

See below a weapon and accompanying pen for writing on leaves..

Just wanted to thank you for adding this historical material and overview on these interesting knives. There is a relatively little material readily available on them, and it is much appreciated to have this research added here with this very nice example. For those of us interested in learning more on these weapons, it is great to have such a nice example paired with this data.
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