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Old 17th March 2014, 07:08 PM   #11
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
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Hello again Prasanna

I am beginning to learn that the interpretation of this mural stone has been a largely divulgated enigma; which makes me feel a dwarf among so many specialists, versus whom i, a non schooled person, wouldn't dare to contradict.
But ...
Although the character of Simão Pinhão (Fernão's oncle) appears to be of no doubt, the Cingala warrior individual and his situation in the scene is still a mistery. So much because the text mentions more than one King and, the posture of the Portuguese Captain, i humbly insist, is that of imposing submission and not of execution.
An atemptive translation of the text reminds us that Pinhão is (only) defeating his adversary. While he says that "with this i render this", he doesn't say i am executing or executed this; if he had in fact killed the warrior, why wouldn't he prefer the stone sculpted with such final image ?
An exponential example of this is one provided by a source that pretends that Pinhão is rescuing from death the successor of the King of Jaffna ... whatever this statement is worth :
(QUOTING) In 1591 the king of Jafnna was unwise enough to attack Mannar, and in consequence lost his life and throne at the hands of the Portuguese under Andre Furtado. His successor, whose rescue from death by Simao Pinhao is depicted on the mural tablet at the Saman Dewale near Ratnapura, was the creature of Portugal, and from 1593 there were only two powers in the island, the Kandyans under Vimala Dharma Surya and the Portuguese notninally fighting for Dharmapala;. the latter, as we have seen, had taken Sitawaka and recovered most of the old dominions of Kotte with such ease that in.. 1594 they proposed to annex the highland kingdom and place on the throne Dona Catharina, the daughter, of the king expelled by Rajasinha. Pedro Lopes De Sousa, the first `Captain General of the Conquest,' succeeded in entering Kandy, and enthroned the princess. But he alienated the people by surrounding the young queen with Portuguese. Further, Manamperi was suspected of treason and slain; his levies thereupon deserted, and the expedition ended in disaster in the neighbourhood of Gannoruwa. The general was killed and Dona Catharina fell into the hands of Vimala Dharma Surya, who perfected his title by marrying the heiress of Kandy. The `Apostate of Candea' treated the captive Portuguese with great cruelty, mutilating fifty of them and sending these to Colombo `with one eye for each five (END QUOTING).
The other "confusion" is that Pinhão mentions various Kings in the text. Although the deciphering does not reveal the name of them all, we clearly read OS REIS DE meaning the plural for Kings (*) ... this before mentioning the last King, such one considered to be the one subjugated in the scene.
(*) Could one be the King of Uva ?
Another touch up in the translation would be that he mentions that he has "defeated" or "beaten" (the King or Kings) ... perhaps better terms than "conquered".
Concerning the inclusion of the name of Jaffanapatão (Jaffnapatan), even with the help of the decipherings already published i am not qualified to assure the word is there ... although it looks plausible, certainly more plausible than the other possibilities suggested. Besides the erosion of the stone, translations of (early) texts are (also) contextual, hence worthy of a specialist. I have read that Donald Ferguson is intimate with the portuguese language.
One possibility i haven't yet heard of, which being a remote one is not necessarily implausible, is that the scene depicted may only be a virtual (symbolic) one, commissioned by a presumptuous Pinhão, based on his feats. Symbolism also exists; somehow like the multiple attribution of the Cingalese warrior in the scene.
But coming back to the topic of the thread, which is the Kasthane, the sword in the hands of the Cingala (Kandyan) warrior looks more like a calachurro

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