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Old 15th September 2018, 03:42 PM   #1
Jens Nordlunde
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Default Memorial/Hero stones

Studying Memorial stones is not often mentioned, but it is quite interesting, as it gives a 'picture' into the past, and it shows how the warriors were dressed and their weapons.
The pictures shown are from south west India, and the stone from the 16th century.
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Old 15th September 2018, 04:29 PM   #2
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I am mad about stones and megaliths, and even sea stacks {I paint them in the landscape}, great idea. Pict stone Scotland Dundee, web sourced.
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Old 16th September 2018, 07:46 AM   #3
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Got to be the best.
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Old 16th September 2018, 10:46 AM   #4
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Hi Jens,

You will recall our discussion of the Paliyas (hero stones) from Gujarat in a discussion of katars here. I'm still working on finding a translator.

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Old 16th September 2018, 11:56 AM   #5
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Web sourced, Mongolian Kurgan stelae.
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Old 16th September 2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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Tim, nice little stone man:-).


David, thank you for showing a Mongolian one. I did not know they had them as well.


Ian, yes I do remember very well. That is why I started this thread, to see if others on the forum also had an interest in Hero stones.
Somewhere I read that these stones can be found all over India, but mostly in the south.
Translating the texts on the stones is likely not easy, as the language used is centuries old, and the translater will, no doubt, also have to have some historical background.
Is your mail address the same?



In Hindu Arms and Ritual Robert Elgood writes about these stones on pp. 13 and 131. He also quotes Baden Powell, who in the first volume of the Journal of Indian Art and Industry in 1896 wrote: "It will be interesting when, some day, some antiquarian is found to reproduce the various forms of weapons as they appear in the sculpture".
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Old 16th September 2018, 12:37 PM   #7
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No warriors shown on this one ...the famous "Minto Stone" or "Stone of Sanggurah". 10th century ancient Java and brought to Scotland in 1812 by Sir Stamford Raffles.
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Old 16th September 2018, 02:04 PM   #8
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Jens, he is big about 4 to 5ft. In the Berlin museum of ethnography which is reopening in Museum Island Berlin centre 2019.

ps, this gives you an idea of the size from, San Agustín Archaeological Park Colombia.
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Old 16th September 2018, 03:05 PM   #9
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Tim, the statues are quite impressive, but are they Hero statues - like the Hero stones in India?
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Old 16th September 2018, 03:53 PM   #10
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They look pretty heroic to me. Divine heroes. Who knows, but wow they are the coolest.
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Old 16th September 2018, 04:45 PM   #11
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I find the stones Ian shows in post 4 are very good. Especially the last one clearly shows the weapon types used at the time.
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Old 16th September 2018, 05:11 PM   #12
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Talking of weapon depiction. There are some similarities here even though my club is from the Amazon.
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Old 16th September 2018, 06:36 PM   #13
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Note to admin
Very good topic but in the wrong section...
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Old 16th September 2018, 09:40 PM   #14
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Kubur, I dont know where you want it placed, as it has to do with Indian history and with Indian weapons.
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Old 16th September 2018, 10:20 PM   #15
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The links below are to pages in my own site, the carvings shown are at three Javanese "temple" sites, Candi Panataran, Candi Prambanan, and Candi Sukuh. These three sites are considered to be extremely important for the study of Javanese life during the Hindu-Buddha period.

Prambanan and Panataran show scenes from Hindu stories, but the material objects shown in the carvings are from Javanese society at the time of the carving. Sukuh uses a style known as "Wayang Art", but again, the weapons are representations of Javanese weaponry at the time the carvings were done.

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/PANATARAN.html

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/Prambanan.html

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/CAND...HOTOSPAGE1.html
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Old 17th September 2018, 05:12 AM   #16
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Hi Jens. Yes, same email address as before. Ian
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Old 17th September 2018, 09:42 AM   #17
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Thanks Ian.


Alan, thank you very much for showing these pictures, the stone pieces are very interesting. How old are the temples?



For those of you interested in the early Indian history I will highly recommend Suvarnadvipa, Hindu Colonies of the Far East, vols. I-II, by R.C.Majumdar, Cosmo Publications, New Delhi, 2004.
It is about colonizing Malaya, Sumatra, Java and a lot of other places from the 8th to the 11th century - bringing the Indian culture to these places. However, in vol. I, on p. 100 there is a reference to a Chinese source mentioning a Hindu colony on Java in 132 AD.


It has sometimes been discussed if the early Indians were able to build and sail big ships - they were, or the above mentioned would not heve been possible.
I sometimes wonder if there are Hero stones in the old colonies, or if the Hero stones only came later.
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Old 17th September 2018, 01:23 PM   #18
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Candi Prambanan dates from 9th-10th century, Candi Sukuh dates from the 15th century, Candi Panataran (or Penataran) dates from the 14th century.

Jens, if I may, I suggest a reading of George Coedes " The Indianised States of South East Asia" might be of use to provide an enlightened perspective of Indian contact and influence in S.E. Asia.
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Old 17th September 2018, 01:58 PM   #19
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Interesting to know how old the buildings are, when you see the weapons.
In the early centuries I dont think the weapons changed much/at all for long periods.
Thank you for the tip about the book - I have ordered it - will get it in a few days:-).
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Old 17th September 2018, 03:29 PM   #20
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I have just seen that Hero stones were used in India from BC 3rd to AD 18th century - which is a very long span of time.
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Old 17th September 2018, 03:38 PM   #21
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Jens,

I think the erection of stones commemorating fallen Rajput heroes in Gujarat may have continued into the 19th century CE. The ones with which I have some familiarity were originally erected at the site where the warrior was killed. Much later they were collected and transported to the rajah's mausoleum where they lie today. Present relatives of the fallen heroes still adorn some of these with paint, and some have recent gilt work.

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Old 18th September 2018, 04:43 PM   #22
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Ian,


I am not surprised, but I was surprised that these stones went back so far.
They are really worth a study to see the old weapon forms, and where they were used.
Like the kukri formed daggers, and the forward curved swords, which were obviously used in the south earlier, but not for centuries.
Maybe Baden Powell has a point when he writes that some of the weapons were used for cutting the jungle as well. Later when they got more 'specialised' they had weapons for cutting the jungle, and others for war.
But why the kukri dissapeared from the south, but survived in the north - Nepal, is a big question.


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Old 18th September 2018, 05:42 PM   #23
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Jens,
This is a fascinating topic and while not always conducive to weapon study per se' it does represent well the warriors who used these arms in battle. In many cases, particularly it seems in India, the iconography on many stones does have depictions of certain arms and sets a time frame of course for the form.
I think the only caution might be if the stone has been added at a later time in commemoration using then current forms....the possibilities and variations abound.

Having said that, and admittedly not directly pertinent to the intended theme, I would note that it seems virtually all cultures in some way have so honored their warriors, and comes to mind our Viet Nam memorial and many other such monuments to fallen heroes of all wars across our country.
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Old 18th September 2018, 06:20 PM   #24
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Hi Jim,

Good to hear from you! I agree there are pitfalls in examining the weapons depicted on statuary and monuments. The Indian culture, in particular, lends itself to studying these artifacts. I've been trying to find a translator of the stones in Gujarat for some time. Perhaps there is a member here who could help.

Ian.
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Old 18th September 2018, 09:23 PM   #25
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Hi Jim:-),
I must admit that the Hero stones area is a new subject to me. Not that I did not know they excisted, but I had not focused in on them - I will try to give them some more of my time.


I am sure Ian is very much ahead of me on this subject, but I find it very interesting - if you want to learn something that is:-).
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Old 19th October 2018, 07:49 AM   #26
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Zavkhan province, Mongolia 2002.

Turkic speaking tribal memorial stone, circa 7th C.

The belts typically featured on these stones are similar to those still worn ceremonially by Kazakh men today. The format is standard: Figure holding cup in right hand, facial hair, belt and usually sword/dagger.

In mongolian, these stele are known as 'Khun Chuluu', or Man Stones. Once Buddhism was firmly re-established in the 17th C, many of these stones were damaged or decapitated. Today they are much used by Steppe Buzzards (B. vulpinus) as a platform on the treeless steppe.

Finally, the bike in the background was an Ural.
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Old 19th October 2018, 04:25 PM   #27
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Jon, thank you for showing this very old Man Stone.
When it comes to sculptures I am sometimes wondering if it is a Hero Stone, or if it is a deity. Especially when it is so old and worn as this one, where any possible text has long been gone.
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Old 19th October 2018, 10:31 PM   #28
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Hi Jens, yes, I follow.

Here is a link to start further reading, good for bibliography.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan_stelae

These Turkic stones are well documented.
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Old 19th October 2018, 11:04 PM   #29
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Jon:

Thank you for the information about these ancient stones used widely as funeral stones to commemorate the deceased and the site of the burial of their ashes.

I think what Jens has described, and what I have observed in Gujarat, may be a little different in nature. The stones that I observed were to recognize notable warriors who fell in battle. The stones were placed by their families at the site they were killed. Centuries later they were collected by keepers of the local Royal mausoleum and placed there. Their collection and storage in that cemetery occurred in the last 20-30 years.

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Old 19th November 2018, 06:57 AM   #30
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Default Tiya menhirs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Studying Memorial stones is not often mentioned, but it is quite interesting, as it gives a 'picture' into the past, and it shows how the warriors were dressed and their weapons.
The pictures shown are from south west India, and the stone from the 16th century.


This burial menhirs are from Tiya, Ethiopia - archeological UNESCO World Heritage site. It should be from 10 - 15 century. Enigmatic symbols are allegedly swords (if not space shuttles) - reportedly (acc to Wikipedia) of old Galla (Oromo) type.
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