Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 1st February 2012, 08:02 PM   #1
KuKulzA28
Member
 
KuKulzA28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: between work and sleep
Posts: 716
Default Sinhala / Sri Lankan Swords?

Hello! I've been curious about Sinhala swords... There doesn't seem to be as much information of Sri Lankan arms on this forum as there is on say Indo-Persian, European, Moro, and others. All I found were a few threads about Piha Kaetta and Kastane.

Does anyone have knowledge and/or sources on Sinhala weaponry especially swords? Anyone actually own examples?

Aside from kastane, the few images I have seen are from the angampora website which shows "urumi"-like flexible blades and also rustic looking sabers/cutlasses with simple guards and wooden cylindrical grips.

I have little to no knowledge of Sinhala swords and other weapons, so I was hoping maybe some EAA Forum members would have knowledge on this matter.

Thanks!
KuKulzA28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2012, 10:50 PM   #2
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Default

THE WEAPONS OF CEYLON / SIRI LANKA SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED. PERHAPS THERE IS A SCHOLAR OUT THERE SOMEWHERE PUTTING TOGETHER A REFRENCE BUT I PERSONALLY KNOW OF NO BETTER REFRENCE THAN WHAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COBBLE TOGETHER HERE ON THE FORUM. THE THREE FORMS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ASSOCIATE PRIMARILY WITH CEYLON ARE THE KASTANE, PHIA AND A FORM OF SPEAR.
I WASN'T ABLE TO DO MUCH EXCEPT TRY AND IDENTIFY WHAT DIFFERENT MATERIALS WERE USED IN CONSTRUCTION OF THESE WEAPONS AS WELL AS TAKEING APART A PHIA THAT WAS IN BAD SHAPE TO SEE HOW IT WAS PUT TOGETHER. FOUND ONE EXAMPLE WITH A BRONZE BLADE BUT ALL OTHERS HAD STEEL BLADES, CLEANED THE BLADE ON THE DIS- ASSEMBLED PHIA BUT SAW NO SIGNS OF PATTERN IN THE STEEL.

I WOULD HAVE TO ASSUME THERE WERE MANY OTHER FORMS OF WEAPONS USED EVEN WAR ELEPHANTS WERE USED, SO THERE MUST HAVE BEEN WEAPONS ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. THE PROBLEM IS I SUSPECT MANY WEAPONS WERE COPYED OR IMPORTED FROM INDIA SO DISTINGUISHING A WEAPON OF A COMMON INDIAN FORM WAS FROM CEYLON WOULD BE PROBLEMATIC. MOST LIKELY ALL THE WEAPON FORMS PRESENT IN SOUTHERN INDIA WERE USED IN CEYLON AS WELL.
THE KASTANCE IS SET APART AS THE NATIONAL SWORD OF CEYLON, I DON'T KNOW WHEN OR WHY IT WAS DESIGNATED AS SUCH.? THE PHIA IS ALSO A SPECIAL FORM ASSOCIATED WITH CEYLON, THESE TWO FORMS MAY HAVE BEEN PRESENT IN INDIA AS WELL. WE WERE LUCKY THAT ONE MEMBER HAD A VERY LARGE COLLECTION OF PHIA SO WE AT LEAST HAD A WIDE RANGE OF THEM TO OBSERVE AND DISCUSS BUT MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE. PERHAPS THERE ARE REFRENCES AVAILABLE SOMEWHERE ON THE SUBJECT BUT I AM NOT AWARE OF THEM.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2012, 09:44 PM   #3
KuKulzA28
Member
 
KuKulzA28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: between work and sleep
Posts: 716
Default

Vandoo, I appreciate the feedback. I guess I shall start researching Southern Indian arms more thoroughly and hopefully get a better idea of what Sinhala warriors used. As I've said, some of the weapons shown in angampora look very similar to those in kalaripayattu.
KuKulzA28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2012, 03:13 AM   #4
Gavin Nugent
Member
 
Gavin Nugent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,402
Default

There is an older publication about these weapons, a very small one but it is somewhere to start...I have it amongst my library but it is like a say small in in the ocean of books and paperwork and I can not currently locate it...I am sure Jim will be able to recall the title with ease.

Gav
Gavin Nugent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2012, 09:22 AM   #5
Prasanna Weerakkody
Member
 
Prasanna Weerakkody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sri Lanka
Posts: 49
Lightbulb New Publication on Sinhala Swords

There has been a very good publication " Ancient Swords, Daggers & Knives in Sri Lankan Museums" by P.H.D.H. De Silva and S. Wickramasinghe, - Sri Lanka National Museums Publication. 2006
Prasanna Weerakkody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2012, 03:10 PM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

[QUOTE=VANDOO]THE WEAPONS OF CEYLON / SIRI LANKA SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED. PERHAPS THERE IS A SCHOLAR OUT THERE SOMEWHERE PUTTING TOGETHER A REFRENCE

Salaams Vandoo, I certainly hope so!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2012, 06:44 PM   #7
Runjeet Singh
Member
 
Runjeet Singh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Warwickshire, England
Posts: 146
Default

I think the small book Gav is talking about is 'Sinhala Weapons and Armour' by P.E.P.Deraniyagala, originally published in 1942 but recently re-printed by Ken Trotman Publishing http://www.kentrotman.com/indexmn.htm

It's a must have for anyone studying Indian or Sinhalese Arms.

Regards,
Runjeet
Runjeet Singh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2012, 07:19 PM   #8
VVV
Member
 
VVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,635
Default

I also collected Sri Lankan swords years ago before I decided to focus on those from the Malay archipelagos.
There is a subchapter in H. Parker's Ancient Ceylon from 1909 on "The Ancient Weapons", consisting of 28 pages.
Below are the main illustrations.

On page 532 is mentioned:
"The Kris, Kriciya (c pronounced as ch), is shown by its name to be borrowed from Malaya. It is rarely seen, and does not often appear in the wihara paintings; but is represented at the Dambuhalla wihara, where it is held as a dagger. The fact that a broken blade which appears to belong to this weapon, with at least three bends, was discovered in the Tissa excavations, in the lowest pottery stratum, proves that it had been introduced into the island in very early times. Unfortunately I preserved no drawing of the blade, which is now in the Colombo museum."

Maybe some forumite can take a look in Colombo what it looks like and if it really is an old keris?

Michael
Attached Images
    
VVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 12:47 AM   #9
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,574
Default

Thank you Prasanna for the update on the museum publication, and I would add the article also by de Silva;
"Unique Kastane Sword in Japan", Sunday Observer, 15 Nov 1998.
This is the source for the reference I noted in earlier discussions concerning the term 'kastane' likely deriving from the Portuguese 'castao' for the decorative hilt of a walking stick.
This provides a presumed early period for the zoomorphic hilt and quillon system on these swords as the example in Japan is from the Hasekura Tsunenaga embassy sent by Date Masamune 1613 return to Sendai, Japan in 1620.

This example is believed to have been obtained in Spain from Philip III and presented to Hasekura in reciprocation for Japanese weapons gifted, as it was unlawful to give Spanish weapons so this was in lieu. It is unclear how the kastane reached Spain, but these were clearly stately weapons which were also found with English merchants (Alexander Popham).
from : "The Kastane and the Keris and Thier Arrival in Japan, 1620"
Sasaki Kazuhiro, Royal Armouries Yearbook, Vol.3, 1998

Also discussed in "A Fundamental Study on Hasekuras keris and Kastane"
Bulletin of Sendai City Museum, Japan

The Deraniyagala reference(1942) noted by Runjeet, is the only truly comprehensive work on Sinhalese weapons overall, and some of these references are noted in
Robert Elgood, "Hindu Arms and Ritual" (London , 2004).

An article titled "A Royal Dagger from Ceylon"
J.F.Pieris
'The Connoisseur" 1938
discusses the iron smelting and production of royal arms in the Kandyan shops in the island interior.
* iron smelters were discovered archaeologically in 1996 ("Ancient Smelter Used Wind to Make High Grade Steel", John Noble Wilford, N.Y.Times Feb. 6, 1996).

The kastane is of course referenced in Stones glossary, and cursorily noted in many general arms references where it has been claimed to be the 'national sword of Sri Lanka'.


These are added to the already listed materials discussing the fascinating arms of Sri Lanka, and now that we have them established, there are many questions unresolved on the kastane.

1. What creatures are represented in the pommel of the kastane and the quillons.? While the sinha (lion) is suggested, might this be the makara, and the quillon heads as well?

2. Is the kastane in its hilt configuration derived from the Arabian sa'if, or directly from European hilts such as those from North Italy, which also appear to have been the influence for the sa'if.

3. Was the kastane hilt with its zoomorphic pommel influenced by European hilts with lion or mythologic creature heads popularized by trade contact, or vice versa? We have established the motif of what appears to be a kastane with the Hasekura sword c.1620.

4. Were these kastanes actually fighting swords, or courtly and status swords worn by merchants and individuals of status.

5. Were the blades typically produced in the Kandyan shops, why were many with trade blades such as VOC blades in the 18th century.

Its good to have you back with this topic Prasanna, and I hope we can get discussion going on this clearly under researched topic!

Thank you again!

All the very best,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you Prasanna for the update on the museum publication, and I would add the article also by de Silva;
"Unique Kastane Sword in Japan", Sunday Observer, 15 Nov 1998.
This is the source for the reference I noted in earlier discussions concerning the term 'kastane' likely deriving from the Portuguese 'castao' for the decorative hilt of a walking stick.
This provides a presumed early period for the zoomorphic hilt and quillon system on these swords as the example in Japan is from the Hasekura Tsunenaga embassy sent by Date Masamune 1613 return to Sendai, Japan in 1620.

This example is believed to have been obtained in Spain from Philip III and presented to Hasekura in reciprocation for Japanese weapons gifted, as it was unlawful to give Spanish weapons so this was in lieu. It is unclear how the kastane reached Spain, but these were clearly stately weapons which were also found with English merchants (Alexander Popham).
from : "The Kastane and the Keris and Thier Arrival in Japan, 1620"
Sasaki Kazuhiro, Royal Armouries Yearbook, Vol.3, 1998

Also discussed in "A Fundamental Study on Hasekuras keris and Kastane"
Bulletin of Sendai City Museum, Japan

The Deraniyagala reference(1942) noted by Runjeet, is the only truly comprehensive work on Sinhalese weapons overall, and some of these references are noted in
Robert Elgood, "Hindu Arms and Ritual" (London , 2004).

An article titled "A Royal Dagger from Ceylon"
J.F.Pieris
'The Connoisseur" 1938
discusses the iron smelting and production of royal arms in the Kandyan shops in the island interior.
* iron smelters were discovered archaeologically in 1996 ("Ancient Smelter Used Wind to Make High Grade Steel", John Noble Wilford, N.Y.Times Feb. 6, 1996).

The kastane is of course referenced in Stones glossary, and cursorily noted in many general arms references where it has been claimed to be the 'national sword of Sri Lanka'.


These are added to the already listed materials discussing the fascinating arms of Sri Lanka, and now that we have them established, there are many questions unresolved on the kastane.

1. What creatures are represented in the pommel of the kastane and the quillons.? While the sinha (lion) is suggested, might this be the makara, and the quillon heads as well?

2. Is the kastane in its hilt configuration derived from the Arabian sa'if, or directly from European hilts such as those from North Italy, which also appear to have been the influence for the sa'if.

3. Was the kastane hilt with its zoomorphic pommel influenced by European hilts with lion or mythologic creature heads popularized by trade contact, or vice versa? We have established the motif of what appears to be a kastane with the Hasekura sword c.1620.

4. Were these kastanes actually fighting swords, or courtly and status swords worn by merchants and individuals of status.

5. Were the blades typically produced in the Kandyan shops, why were many with trade blades such as VOC blades in the 18th century.

Its good to have you back with this topic Prasanna, and I hope we can get discussion going on this clearly under researched topic!

Thank you again!

All the very best,
Jim


Salaams Jim, May I reply in stages to this very complex issue as follows
Stage 1. General detail. This Post.
Stage 2. Myths and the Historical mix up. Next Post.



Thank you for the excellent appraisal of the research so far on Kastane and your poignant remark at the end Quote "this clearly under researched topic"! Unquote. It is indeed or it was ~ that is ~ until now where I hope we are going to blow the lid clean off its shrouded mystery.

What I intend to reveal is~

1. That the Lion (which is a European invention has nothing to do with Sri Lanka and that the Kastane is in fact purely derived from the Macara.. A mythological sea beast that is often displayed emitting other creatures from its wide jaws...thus the additional heads on the knuckle guard etc.

2. That the 3 ruling invaders induced a mystery that has yet to be unveiled around the Kastane and indeed the National Flag.

3. That the Kastane may once have been a weapon but was reduced to the role of court dagger/sword because of restrictions on wearing weapons though it was used in certain circles (Popham Armour refers.) and as a known one off gift to Japan.


Stage 1 General Detail.

Forum is advised that this sword and its history exist behind a myriad of sliding doors and mirrors clouded by 3 invading nations activities ; The Portuguese, The Dutch and the British. As a nation Sri Lanka was splintered into separate kingdoms before and during these invasion periods~all or some of which were for or against the foreign rulers (or both) in varying degrees. The net effect (insofaras history and thus ethnographic arms is concerned) has been a swiveling, changing and altered historical record changed to meet the whims and political status quo at the time and which I will show as instrumental in the importation of the European Lion and its spurious adoption onto the Sri Lankan National Flag!

Such is the impact of the lion that some even use the term to describe the hilt of the Kastane as being a lions head, however, I will show that it is in fact the Macara; The ancient mythical creature respected in religious circles far beyond Sri Lanka across Buddhist and Hindu borders into China, Vietnam, India, Burma and beyond. History therefor depended on who was the ruling power and has been rewritten accordingly. To find out the truth about the Kastana will mean stripping away the shall we say "artistic licence" to get near the facts.

Not withstanding the Machiavellian skullduggery lies and deceit ~ ~ I would like to copy in a useful document on Sri Lankan steel work as follows..though this specialty seems to have closed in the 11th Century it is recorded (and I have it penciled in the margin for later ~ that the Royal Court workshop in at least one separate Sri lankan Kingdom has a devoted department in its craft workshops for sword making. This may also be very relevant to any supposition on Kastana production.

I Quote Sri Lankan Wind-Powered Furnaces; Volume 49 Number 5, September/October 1996
by Brett Leslie Freese


As early as the seventh century A.D. Sri Lankans made steel in furnaces powered by monsoon winds, a previously unknown ancient technology. Forty-one iron-smelting furnaces have been found at a site in the arid region of Samanalawewa, according to Gill Juleff, director of the excavations for Sri Lanka's Archaeological Department.

Archaeologists had rejected the possibility of wind-driven furnaces because they believed that air blowing into them would not be sufficiently constant to sustain the high-temperature charcoal fires needed for smelting. To test this assumption, Juleff and her team built two replica furnaces based on the remains of those found at the site. Smelting trials revealed that monsoon winds blowing over the tops of the furnaces' front walls caused air to be drawn through conduits into the furnaces at a continuous rate. About half of the metal produced in these trials was high-quality steel.

Juleff says at least 76 other smelting sites identified in the region indicate that "the scale of operations went far beyond any village-based local activity." An estimated annual output of ten tons of steel from these sites was possibly traded in the Indian Ocean region. Sri Lankan steel, mentioned in ninth-century Islamic literature, may have been used for the blades of Damascus swords. Carbon-dated charcoal indicates that the furnaces were used until the eleventh century A.D. Unquote.

History Detail; Whilst it is not immediately imperative to read and absorb the historical detail ~ since this is a full on assault on the otherwise largely misreported and misrepresented Kastane situation I have placed it for on going reference.


Quote "By the late fifteenth century, Portugal, which had already established its dominance as a maritime power in the Atlantic, was exploring new waters. In 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and discovered an ocean route connecting Europe with India, thus inaugurating a new era of maritime supremacy for Portugal. The Portuguese were consumed by two objectives in their empire-building efforts: to convert followers of non-Christian religions to Roman Catholicism and to capture the major share of the spice trade for the European market. To carry out their goals, the Portuguese did not seek territorial conquest, which would have been difficult given their small numbers. Instead, they tried to dominate strategic points through which trade passed. By virtue of their supremacy on the seas, their knowledge of firearms, and by what has been called their "desperate soldiering" on land, the Portuguese gained an influence in South Asia that was far out of proportion to their numerical strength.
At the onset of the European period in Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century, there were three native centers of political power: the two Sinhalese kingdoms of Kotte and Kandy and the Tamil kingdom at Jaffna. Kotte was the principal seat of Sinhalese power, and it claimed a largely imaginary overlordship not only over Kandy but also over the entire island. None of the three kingdoms, however, had the strength to assert itself over the other two and reunify the island.
In 1505 Don Lourenço de Almeida, son of the Portuguese viceroy in India, was sailing off the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka looking for Moorish ships to attack when stormy weather forced his fleet to dock at Galle. Word of these strangers who "eat hunks of white stone and drink blood (presumably wine). . . and have guns with a noise louder than thunder. . ." spread quickly and reached King Parakramabahu VIII of Kotte (1484-1508), who offered gifts of cinnamon and elephants to the Portuguese to take back to their home port at Cochin on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. The king also gave the Portuguese permission to build a residence in Colombo for trade purposes. Within a short time, however, Portuguese militaristic and monopolistic intentions became apparent. Their heavily fortified "trading post" at Colombo and open hostility toward the island's Muslim traders aroused Sinhalese suspicions.
Following the decline of the Chola as a maritime power in the twelfth century, Muslim trading communities in South Asia claimed a major share of commerce in the Indian Ocean and developed extensive east-west, as well as Indo-Sri Lankan, commercial trade routes. As the Portuguese expanded into the region, this flourishing Muslim trade became an irresistible target for European interlopers. The sixteenth-century Roman Catholic Church was intolerant of Islam and encouraged the Portuguese to take over the profitable shipping trade monopolized by the Moors. In addition, the Portuguese would later have another strong motive for hostility toward the Moors because the latter played an important role in the Kandyan economy, one that enabled the kingdom successfully to resist the Portuguese.
The Portuguese soon decided that the island, which they called Cilao, conveyed a strategic advantage that was necessary for protecting their coastal establishments in India and increasing Lisbon's potential for dominating Indian Ocean trade. These incentives proved irresistible, and, the Portuguese, with only a limited number of personnel, sought to extend their power over the island. They had not long to wait. Palace intrigue and then revolution in Kotte threatened the survival of the kingdom. The Portuguese skillfully exploited these developments. In 1521 Bhuvanekabahu, the ruler of Kotte, requested Portuguese aid against his brother, Mayadunne, the more able rival king who had established his independence from the Portuguese at Sitawake, a domain in the Kotte kingdom. Powerless on his own, King Bhuvanekabahu became a puppet of the Portuguese. But shortly before his death in 1551, the king successfully obtained Portuguese recognition of his grandson, Dharmapala, as his successor. Portugal pledged to protect Dharmapala from attack in return for privileges, including a continuous payment in cinnamon and permission to rebuild the fort at Colombo on a grander scale. When Bhuvanekabahu died, Dharmapala, still a child, was entrusted to the Franciscans for his education, and, in 1557, he converted to Roman Catholicism. His conversion broke the centuries-old connection between Buddhism and the state, and a great majority of Sinhalese immediately disqualified the young monarch from any claim to the throne. The rival king at Sitawake exploited the issue of the prince's conversion and accused Dharmapala of being a puppet of a foreign power.
Before long, rival King Mayadunne had annexed much of the Kotte kingdom and was threatening the security of the capital city itself. The Portuguese were obliged to defend Dharmapala (and their own credibility) because the ruler lacked a popular following. They were subsequently forced to abandon Kotte and retreat to Colombo, taking the despised puppet king with them. Mayadunne and, later, his son, Rajasinha, besieged Colombo many times. The latter was so successful that the Portuguese were once even forced to eat the flesh of their dead to avoid starvation. The Portuguese would probably have lost their holdings in Sri Lanka had they not had maritime superiority and been able to send reinforcements by sea from their base at Goa on the western coast of India.
The Kingdom of Sitawake put up the most vigorous opposition to Western imperialism in the island's history. For the seventy- three-year period of its existence, Sitawake (1521-94) rose to become the predominant power on the island, with only the Tamil kingdom at Jaffna and the Portuguese fort at Colombo beyond its control. When Rajasinha died in 1593, no effective successors were left to consolidate his gains, and the kingdom collapsed as quickly as it had arisen.
Dharmapala, despised by his countrymen and totally compromised by the Portuguese, was deprived of all his royal duties and became completely manipulated by the Portuguese advisers surrounding him. In 1580 the Franciscans persuaded him to make out a deed donating his dominions to the king of Portugal. When Dharmapala died in 1597, the Portuguese emissary, the captain-general, took formal possession of the kingdom.
Portuguese missionaries had also been busily involving themselves in the affairs of the Tamil kingdom at Jaffna, converting almost the entire island of Mannar to Roman Catholicism by 1544. The reaction of Sangily, king of Jaffna, however, was to lead an expedition to Mannar and decapitate the resident priest and about 600 of his congregation. The king of Portugal took this as a personal affront and sent several expeditions against Jaffna. The Portuguese, having disposed of the Tamil king who fled south, installed one of the Tamil princes on the throne, obliging him to pay an annual tribute. In 1619 Lisbon annexed the Kingdom of Jaffna.
After the annexation of Jaffna, only the central highland Kingdom of Kandy--the last remnant of Buddhist Singhalese power-- remained independent of uese control. The kingdom acquired a new significance as custodian of Singhalese nationalism. The Portuguese attempted the same strategy they had used successfully at Kotte and Jaffna and set up a puppet on the throne. They were able to put a queen on the Kandyan throne and even to have her baptized. But despite considerable Portuguese help, she was not able to retain power. The Portuguese spent the next half century trying in vain to expand their control over the Kingdom of Kandy. In one expedition in 1630, the Kandyans ambushed and massacred the whole Portuguese force, including the captain-general. The Kandyans fomented rebellion and consistently frustrated Portuguese attempts to expand into the interior.
The areas the Portuguese claimed to control in Sri Lanka were part of what they majestically called the Estado da India and were governed in name by the viceroy in Goa, who represented the king. But in actuality, from headquarters in Colombo, the captain-general, a subordinate of the viceroy, directly ruled Sri Lanka with all the affectations of royalty once reserved for the Sinhalese kings.
The Portuguese did not try to alter the existing basic structure of native administration. Although Portuguese governors were put in charge of each province, the customary hierarchy, determined by caste and land ownership, remained unchanged. Traditional Singhalese institutions were maintained and placed at the service of the new rulers. Portuguese administrators offered land grants to Europeans and Singhalese in place of salaries, and the traditional compulsory labor obligation was used for construction and military purposes.
The Portuguese tried vigorously, if not fanatically, to force religious and, to a lesser extent, educational, change in Sri Lanka. They discriminated against other religions with a vengeance, destroyed Buddhist and Hindu temples, and gave the temple lands to Roman Catholic religious orders. Buddhist monks fled to Kandy, which became a refuge for people disaffected with colonial rule. One of the most durable legacies of the Portuguese was the conversion of a large number of Sinhalese and Tamils to Roman Catholicism. Although small pockets of Nestorian Christianity had existed in Sri Lanka, the Portuguese were the first to propagate Christianity on a mass scale.
Sixteenth-century Portuguese Catholicism was intolerant. But perhaps because it caught Buddhism at its nadir, it nevertheless became rooted firmly enough on the island to survive the subsequent persecutions of the Protestant Dutch Reformists. The Roman Catholic Church was especially effective in fishing communities--both Singhalese and Tamil--and contributed to the upward mobility of the castes associated with this occupation. Portuguese emphasis on proselytization spurred the development and standardization of educational institutions. In order to convert the masses, mission schools were opened, with instruction in Portuguese and Singhalese or Tamil. Many Singhalese converts assumed Portuguese names. The rise of many families influential in the twentieth century dates from this period. For a while, Portuguese became not only the language of the upper classes of Sri Lanka but also the lingua franca of prominence in the Asian maritime world".
Unquote.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 4th October 2012 at 03:49 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 03:03 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,574
Default

Thank you so much Ibrahiim! and for noting my comment on under research on the kastane, as seen in the relative dearth of material on them specifically as noted. Interestingly this is characteristic of many weapon forms, with many ethnographic forms particularly the case. While many forms such as Japanese swords, and the keris for example, have been afforded focused study which has become virtually a kind of science in itself, others have remained relatively generally recognized near cliches'.

I believe the kastane, often termed the national sword of Ceylon, now of course Sri Lanka, is a good example of the way ethnographic weapon forms often reflect deep cultural influences, both traditional and the effects of external circumstances. As is often the case, colonization, geopolitical events, trade and warfare are key factors which may be reflected in weapons which have become in many senses, cultural icons.

It has seemed that mysteries of the deeper history of the kastane have remained almost complacently accepted, and the simple identification as a form indiginous to Sri Lanka regarded as sufficient. Personally I have always believed that this is markedly insufficient, and that these arms like many other ethnographic forms, deserve to have thier true histories researched, studied, and preserved.
This is why I believe we are here, and I hope that with the participation of the remarkably knowledgeable membership here, we can not only advance our understanding of the kastane, but continue the long standing study of other forms which has been in place here as well.

All very best regards,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 03:40 PM   #12
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default Myth or Legend ?

Salaams all ~ In this post I intend to show the spurious nature of a cornerstone Sri Lankan hypothesis ...in fact a mistake ...The Lion and how it has been misapplied as descibing the head of the Kastane Sword... which is in fact The Macara. If any emblem were to accurately descibe the historical nature of the nation then The Sun abd Moon or even The Macara itself would certainly fit the bill ! however ~

The Lion on the National Flag. In showing that this simply doesn't stack up I will then in my next post show how the Kastane developed originally ~but succumbed to similar mythology in being exported amongst other things as
a BELLY DANCING TOOL!!


Stage 2 The Myths...Quote

"1. The 'Lion' myth
(History and Myths)
Many modern myths have been spun around the Lion flag which was adopted in 1950 as the National flag of Sri Lanka.

Myth #1
The first myth is that Vijaya, the first King of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka in 486 BCE, with a lion flag and that since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the history of Sri Lanka. It is also claimed that the lion flag was used extensively by monarchs who followed Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope.

There is absolutely no historical evidence to justify such claims. On the contrary, none of the Kings and Queens of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa have ever claimed to be Sinhalese. But they have consistently claimed in their inscriptions to be from the Kshatriya race and the Indian Sun Dynasty and Lunar Dynasty ( proven by ancient Sri Lankan stone inscriptions in Sun & Moon symbols). The ancient Mahavamsa chronicle of Sri Lanka too refers to the ancient kings and queens of Sri Lanka, not as Sinhalese, but as Kshatriyas from the Solar and Lunar dynasties.

Accordingly their royal symbols were the Sun and the Moon. The Lion was not a royal symbol for these ancient monarchs and they used the lion image on foot-stones at entrances to buildings and on urinal-stones. The lion appears to have been an important symbol only for the Indian born Kalinga kings of Sri Lanka, particularly king Nissankamalla (1187-1196 ) who claimed to hail from Sinhapura (lion city). Nissankamalla and other Kalinga monarchs used the lion symbol extensively and popularized it's use during their reigns.

The Karava Singhe dynasty of Jaffna (which succeeded the Kalinga dynasty rulers of Jaffna) too appear to have used the lion symbol as evidenced by the name of the dynasty and the crest of their Karava descendants. Intermarriage with the Kalinga royal families could explain the transfer of their symbolism to the Karavas and explain the existence of ancient Karava Lion flags in Sri Lanka.

The lion was also the symbol of the south Indan Pallava kings. Pallava coins with the Pallava lion emblem are found in Sri Lanka too and these coins are knowingly or unknowingly mistaken by some as Sinhalese lion coins.

The Sinhalese word for "Throne' , Sinhasana is probably derived from Tamil Singasanam and could have been popularised by the Singha dynasty of Jaffna and the connected Karava Raja-Singhe kings of Kandy. It is interesting to note that Dona Catherina the sole heiress to the Kandyan kingdom is referred to in Sinhalese as Kusumasana Devi (ie queen of the Flower throne)

Myth #2
that all, or at least a majority, of the Sinhala speaking people in Sri Lanka are descendants of Vijaya and that their original ancestor was a Lion.

According to history, there was no such Mega Sinhala race in Sri Lanka until the British period. And the fact that most castes have their own origin stories proves this. For Instance the Salagamas caste traces it’s origin in Sri Lanka to Nambudiri and other Saligrama Brahmins who came over from Malabar (i.e. Kerala) at the invitation of king Vathhimi Buvenekabahu of Sri Lanka. The ‘muni’ clan names of the Salagamas bear testimony to their Brahmin origins. The Durava Caste traces its origins from the Nagas and retinues of Pandyan consorts. The Navandanna caste traces it’s origin to Vishwakarma. According to J. Kulatilleka, the Deva Kula (Also known as Wahumpura, Hakuru etc) are descended from a deified ruler of Sabaragamuwa named Sumana. (Ravaya 30 August 1998). According to Warnapurage Lal Chandrasena of Wellawatte, the Sunnakkara Kula (Also known as Hunu) are descended from the traditional architects and Engineers of Sri Lanka (Ravaya 13 September 1998). According to T. Jinadasa Fernando Municipal Councillor of Telawala Moratuwa, Kumbal Kula (Also known as Badal, Badahela etc.) are descended from the first humans to graduate from wild men to humans who cooked their food in clay pots; Cultivating and other occupations are breakaways from this first quantum leap. (Ravaya 18 October 1998). According to I. Gunaratna of Malvana, the Bathgama caste is descended from the original pre- Vijayan, Yakka (also called Yaksha) inhabitants of Sri Lanka; They were expert Artificers. (Ravaya 13 December 1998). The 'Govi Caste', according to the Janawamsayaa and other sources, sprung from the feet of Brahma as this fourth category was the lowest of the four caste groups. And the modern Govigama caste is an identity created during the British period by the De Saram Mudaliar family of mixed origins. (see Govigama) Many successful individuals of unknown provenance joined the Govigama group during the British period. Several other castes trace their origin to the guilds that arrived with the sacred Bodhi tree.

Interestingly not a single caste has an origin story connecting it to Vijaya or a beastly lion ancestor. And according the Mahavamsa the term Sinhala could be applied only to the initial royal family and not to the population at large. And according to the chronicles Vijaya did not father a successor.

Myth #3
that the legendary King Dutugemunu carried with him a banner with a sword bearing lion when he embarked on his campaign to defeat King Elara.


However although Dutugemunu is the hero of the Mahavamsa, that great chronicle says nothing about a lion flag or a lion race. Those who believe this myth refer to a mural at the ancient Dambulla cave temple but they fail to realise that although the Dambulla temple is ancient, the particular mural is only about 200 years old and from the British period !!

Myth #4
The fourth myth is that a Lion flag was the royal banner of the Kotte kingdom.


There is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim. A fake flag of a whip bearing lion is now being popularized as the ancient flag of the Kotte kingdom but there is absolutely no historical evidence as to the existence of such a flag in the Kotte kingdom.

On the contrary the literature of the period including the Sandesha Kavya say that the rampart of the Kotte kingdom was adorned with Tiger faces (Puli mukha in Thisara sandesha) and that Makara flags (Muvara dada in the Kau Silumina and min dada in the Thisara Sandesha) of victory flew over the city of Kotte. The Thisara Sandesha says that the Garuda flag was a royal flag of the Kotte kingdom. It is important to note that both the Makara flag and the Garuda flag are traditional flags of the Karava community.

The coins issued by King Parakramabahu VI for the kingdom of Jaffna did have a Lion on it. But that was because the reigning royal dynasty of Jaffna at that time was the Karava Singha (Lion) dynasty. The lion on the coins probably gave them more acceptability in the region. More importantly we need to note that the coins issued by Parakramabahu Vi for the Kotte kingdom didn't have a lion on them.

Myth #5
The fifth myth is that a Lion flag was the royal banner of the last King of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815).
~

1.Firstly, King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe and the other Kandyan kings were not Sinhalese. They were Indian Kshattriya Vaduga kings.
2.Secondly there is no historical evidence to say that King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe used a lion flag as his royal standard.

The royal grants of the king nor the literary work from the period talk about a lion or a lion flag. European eye witness accounts from the period say that the king’s banner was the Sun and Moon banner and that various other flags with animal motifs were also used. And indeed many flags with animal motifs (swans, peacocks, deer, bears, lions, elephants, leopards, cranes and numerous other birds etc ) have been found in Kandy and elsewhere… as "simply other miscellaneous items".

"Percival" writing in 1805 refers to flags with the sun emblem being carried before Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (AD 1798 - 1815), the last king of Kandy (Percival, Account of the Island of Ceylon, pp 267, 268). It is interesting to note that the lion flag which is now believed to have been the personal banner of the king is not mentioned by Percival or any others.

Going back a few centuries to 1639, the reign of king Rajasinghe II, which is a century before the Nayakkar dynasty inherited the Kandyan kingdom, we see that the Sun and Moon flag was the flag carried in the vanguard of royal pageants (Abeyawardana p 145)

Although the lion was not a heraldic symbol of the Kandyan kings, the Lion was indeed a very important heraldic symbol for the Dutch. The Dutch who were ruling the coastal areas during the Kandyan period. Their heraldic lion is to be found on almost all Dutch coins issued during that period (17 - 18thC). The use of lion imagery by the Dutch had nothing to do with a Sinhala race.

The lion was a prominent Dutch royal symbol and it was used by the Dutch also on coins issued by them in other colonies in Asia and even as far as America. Inevitably the Dutch flags of the period too would have had similar lions on them. As such the prevalent use of lions by the Dutch appears to have had an influence on Kandyan flags too. The Kandyan flags with lions and other animals with European style iconography might even have been drawn by European captives living in the Kandyan kingdom or done by local artists who were inspired by the novel Dutch designs.

Myth #6
The sixth myth is that the flag had bo-leaves at the four corners from its inception to represent Buddhism.


The bo-leaves in the four corners replaced the European style finials ('Banku Kakul' in Sinhala language) only in 1972. But this myth and the others appear even on government documents and web sites and have been repeated so often that they are now accepted as fact by many.

Development of the 'Lion flag' myth
The opportunities offered by the liquor trade in the 19th century had produced a new class of wealthy Sri Lankans. Some of the liquor dealers to amass large fortunes during this period were Don Spater Senanayake (see his details under Mudaliyars) the Father of D. S. Senanayake and Wevage Arnolis Dep (whose daughter Helena married timber trader Don Philip Wijewardene the ancestor of J. R. Jayawardene and Ranil Wickremasinge)

At the turn of the century, the second generation of these families were striving hard to gain power and status through divisive means such as religious controversies, temperance movements and anti-Muslim riots.
The older class of Dutch and British appointed Mudaliyars were disdainful of this class of new rich people who were clamouring to join the 'Govigama identity' (see Govigama) created by the Mudaliyar class. Sir Christoffel Obeyesekere the most prominent member from the Mudaliyar class referred to these new rich group; D. S. Senanayake, his two brothers F.R and D.C and others as “a few who are nobodies, but who hope to make somebodies of themselves by disgraceful tactics”. It’s this outburst by Sir Christoffel that gives Kumari Jayawardena the title for her insightful book on this period, ‘Nobodies to Somebodies - The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka'.

The search for a 'Sinhala' racial flag by this group led to E. W. Perera's so called discovery of three Kandyan flags in England. These were flags taken away by Captain Pollock in 1803, and hung at the Chelsea Royal Hospital alongside other captured flags, colonial trophies from many other colonies. Perera was neither a historian nor an expert on flags but had been sent to England by the Wijewardene / Senanayake cabal to promote their political agenda. However permission for Perera's trip to England had been obtained by saying it was for 'research at the British Museum' .


As such on his return, in 1916 E. W. Perera published the book 'Sinhalese Banners and Standards; with a commercially designed, spurious lion flag as it's frontispiece. The book promoted a concocted case to accept that flag as the national flag.

The three Kandyan flags "discovered" by Perera at the hospital were hopelessly faded and could be identified only by the name plates on the wall. Perera admits that the flags were too faded even to get a sketch from them. He says that he sketched the lion flag not by looking at the flag but from the identifying plaque on the wall. However the official colour copies of these flags procured by the crown agents for the Colombo Museum had been rejected by Perera saying they were inaccurate and useless. (Perera 3). In their place Perere chose the commercially designed and drawn spurious lion flag.

Bishop Edmund Peiris who also saw the flags confirms that that all three flags were hopelessly faded. According to him two of the flags hung by the second window on the left as you enter and the third hung from the organ loft which then contained lumber. In the office of the Chelsea Hospital Bishop Peiris had seen the record of colour sketches of all the flags in the Hall. This record had been titled “Collection of trophies deposited in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea / copied from the original book of Drawings and Descriptions arranged and compiled in 1841 by S. Ford, Captain of Invalids / 1861” (Peiris 271).
As such it is indeed surprising that E. W. Perera chose to reject the official colour copies of the lion flag procured by the Crown Agents and instead readily accepted an illustration privately commissioned by D. R. Wijewardene. A commercial artist had drawn it for a private firm in London and E. W. Perera used it as the frontispiece for his book on ancient flags and it was used as the Flag of Ceylon from 1948-1951.

It should also be noted that according to the wall plaques at the Chelsea Royal Hospital, the royal standard of Sri Vickrama Rajasingha was not the flag copied by Perera but the martial flag. Perera has totally omitted this flag and has not even included an illustration of this flag in his book.

Further, the lion on the Sri Lankan flag doesn't resemble any of the lion motifs from Sri Lanka’s history. The lion on the flag is clearly a design inspired by European heraldic lions. . As admitted by Perera himself in his book , it is a design drawn by a commercial British artist. As such the European nature of the lion is to be expected.

On March 2, 1915, D. R. Wijewardene issued a special edition of his Sinhala newspaper Dinamina, to mark the centenary of the so called ‘end of Sinhala independence’, and promoted this Lion flag in colour on the front page with portraits of the last King and Queen of Kandy. Ironically neither the king nor the Queen were Sinhalese. They were The Vaduga king Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe and his Chief Queen Rengammal. The main purpose of E. W. Perera’s ‘Sinhalese banners and Standards’ published in 1916 too appears to be the promotion of the spurious Lion Flag as the royal flag of Sri Lanka.
However, after preparing the background for adopting this flag as the flag of independent Sri Lanka, the Wijewardene / Senanayake cabal enlisted the obliging Muslim Mudaliyar , A. L. Sinnelebbe, the Member of Parliament for Batticaloa to move a motion in parliament calling for the adoption of this flag.
As such this was the flag hoisted by D. S. Senanayake at the independence festivities on February 04, 1948. This Lion flag has been a bone of contention from day one and is still an obstacle to national integration and peace.

References
• Abeyawardana H. A. P. 1978 Kadaim Poth Vimarshanaya (A critical study of Kadaim poth) Department of Cultural Affairs Sri Lanka
• Paranavitana Senerat 1967 Sinhalayo Colombo
• Perera E. W. 1916 Sinhalese Banners and Standards, Colombo
• Peiris Bishop Edmund 1976 The Drum Flag Malalasekera Commemoration Volume, Colombo" Unquote.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 03:41 PM   #13
KuKulzA28
Member
 
KuKulzA28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: between work and sleep
Posts: 716
Default

WOW... thanks guys... this is awesome!

Let's unshroud this mystery!
KuKulzA28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 03:56 PM   #14
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuKulzA28
WOW... thanks guys... this is awesome!

Let's unshroud this mystery!



Salaams KuKulzA28 ~Ok Lets go ! ...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Pictures Below~

1. Showing an original Sri Lankan (Karava Kingdom style flag with lion style)
i.e. Nothing like the later European heraldic lion "adopted" onto the National Flag.
2. Another style of Macara (I have an actual Macara from Tibet somewhere???...later.)
3. The Sri Lankan form of Macara.
4. A water spout architectural fantasy with Macara decoration on one of the ancient shrine roofs.
5. Illustration of a Macara spewing another demon beasty of human form from its mouth and often seen on the knuckle guard and guard of the Kastane.
6. The hilt showing the Macara and additional spewed beasty.
Attached Images
      

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 4th October 2012 at 04:39 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 04:01 PM   #15
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Ok Lets go ! ...



Salaams All ! More Pictures~
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

1. The delightful Popham Armour. I have top say that having studied about 300 pictures of portrait and armour this is the only one I have seen with a Kastane. Initially I thought that the sword may have simply been an artists "atelier prop" but this logically cannot be the case. The armour itself is extremely expensive and not the run of the mill stuff... This was Pophams personal armour thus it follows that this was his personal side arm... not perhaps his main armament as there is a firearm forward of that and he may logically have had a long sword...This case marks this particular weapon as a defensive weapon or more likely his court sword(or both)?

2. Close up of the Popham Kastane.

3. I think this is the Russian Job. A specially commissioned decorative court sword made in Russia in the style of the Kastane bejewelled on Hilt and Scabbard.

4. Various sized blades. The question as to how long was the blade and if this in fact was a sword, a court sword or a dagger or all three remains? It may have been neither! as an accoutrement only... and not intended as a weapon...?

5. Axe weapons . The Macara decorated many things... Monumental Architectural Archways, water spouts, weapons ... here it is on an Axe weapon.India / Malaya.
Attached Images
     

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 4th October 2012 at 04:43 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th October 2012, 05:43 PM   #16
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

[QUOTE=Jim McDougall]
This provides a presumed early period for the zoomorphic hilt and quillon system on these swords as the example in Japan is from the Hasekura Tsunenaga embassy sent by Date Masamune 1613 return to Sendai, Japan in 1620.

This example is believed to have been obtained in Spain from Philip III and presented to Hasekura in reciprocation for Japanese weapons gifted, as it was unlawful to give Spanish weapons so this was in lieu. It is unclear how the kastane reached Spain, but these were clearly stately weapons which were also found with English merchants (Alexander Popham).
from : "The Kastane and the Keris and Thier Arrival in Japan, 1620"
Sasaki Kazuhiro, Royal Armouries Yearbook, Vol.3, 1998

Also discussed in "A Fundamental Study on Hasekuras keris and Kastane"
Bulletin of Sendai City Museum, Japan


Salaams Jim and All, Just checking back through the detail on the Japanese delegation to Spain . It appears that the Kastane was transferred by Franciscan monks from the Malabar Coast of India someone having obtained it from Sri Lanka and that it was given as you say as a delegation gift with the hope that Spain could enjoy trade relations with Japan and vice versa. It was placed in the Sendai Museum, Japan.

The Popham is very interesting and I believe their are Kastane exhibits in The Leeds Museum, UK... where the portrait is displayed.

I find it startling that the Kastane was forbidden to be worn in the Kandyan Kingdoms; Even the highest Adigars could only wear a short knife as part of their ceremonial dress.

Looking through Forum Library you will discover brass copied hilts probably European and some original form Sri Lankan exhibits on http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=KASTANE

A Dutch East Indies Co. marked blade is at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=KASTANE

I believe that a number of things happened to the Kastane during the 3 nations occupation and we may need to look at these and in parallel with your questions some of which I have already remarked upon. Here are my questions~

1. Is the Kastane a Sri Lankan or Portuguese weapon?
2. Was it in fact a weapon, (a sword, a dagger or a court sword? or all of these)?
3. Why has it been drawn with a multitude of different sized blades and what is the significance of the VOC and other blade markings? Are there actually any EIC marked blades?
4. Is it related to the Nimcha of Europe or Zanzibar? Were the Moors of Sri Lanka responsible for bringing this migrating form?
5. What are Belly Dancing Kastane Swords and how did they develop, are they real and why are the hilts reversed?

Here I appeal for any lookers on... who have yet to join the Forum to come in from the cold and for current members ~ please enter the discussion. As usual we find ourselves at the forefront of an important topic ...largely working without a safety net ! All comments are warmly welcome... as are any photographs.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 5th October 2012 at 03:01 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th October 2012, 05:14 PM   #17
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default The Makara.

Salaams all ~ PLEASE SEE http://www.michaelbackmanltd.com/1407.html Michael Backman antiques shows photos of a sold KASTANE of exceptional quality.. but wrongly attributed as a lion head..Its a Makara !! Otherwise the description is accurate... and well produced by Michael as usual.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH__TFpU2SA for a very nice Kastane which I believe is now in a Sri Lankan Museum.

I should like to address the Makara situation since dating its decorative style may point toward a start date of the Kastane. I will show that the Makara is a revered, mystical creature that is ingrained in Buddhist and Hindu ritual beliefs. The question of the other beasts (Nagas ~ snake like serpent Gods and a human / crocodile form) emanating apparently from the mouth of the Makara on the Kastane Hilt is also described here.


Without putting too fine a point on this " The fact the Hindu structure alone stretches back about 4,000 years, therefore, you may agree, puts some tension on the Kastane being 15th or 16th Century Portuguese, though, it may yet be so.

Some of the descriptions below are shown in pictures I have posted previously...see above posts.

The Makara.

Typically Makara are displayed disgorging other beasts (usually Nagas ~ snake like serpents) e.g. On corner of a lintel on one of the towers surrounding the central pyramid at Bakong, Roluos, Cambodia. They also appear on the Kastane Hilt.

Its symbolic representation in the form of a Makara head at the corner of temple roofs is as water element which also functions as a "rainwater spout or gargoyle". It is also seen as water spouts at the source of springs. The artistic carving in stone is in the form of identical pair of Makaras flanked by two nagas (Snake Gods) along with a crown of Garuda, which is called the Kirthimukha face. Therefor the two are commonly seen together and in ancient settings.

Such depictions are also seen at the entrance of wooden doorways as the top arch and also as a Torana (Entrance)behind Buddha’s images.

The Newa art of Nepal uses this depiction extensively. In Newar architecture, its depiction is; "as guardian of gateways, the Makara image appears on the curved prongs of the vast crossed-vajra that encompasses the four gateways of the two-dimensional mandala. Of the three dimensional-mandala this crossed-vajra supports the whole structure of the mandala palace symbolizing the immovable stability of the vajra-ground on which it stands."

Makaras are also a characteristic motif of the religious Khmer architecture of the Angkor region of Cambodia which was the capital of the Khmer Empire.

They are usually part of the decorative carving on a lintel, tympanum, or wall. Makaras are usually depicted with other (various and miscellaneous) symbolic animals, such as a lion, naga or serpent, emerging from its gaping open mouth.

Makara are a central design motif in the beautiful lintels of the Roluos group of temples: Preah Ko, Bakong, and Lolei. At Banteay Srei, carvings of Makaras disgorging other monsters were installed on many of the buildings' corners.

Occasionally I see human form similar to the carving on the bows of sailing ships (on the knuckle guard of the Kastane) though this may be coincidental but I have yet to crack the reason for this I will do in a minute !!..It could be that or another beast style in the human form? Anyway the Makara appears to spew out these Naga mini beasts and others in several depictions... and as seen on pictures at my above posts.

Makara (Sanskrit: मकर) is a sea-creature in Hindu mythology. It is generally depicted as half terrestrial animal (in the frontal part in animal forms of elephant or crocodile or stag, or deer) and in hind part as aquatic animal, in the tail part, as a fish tail or also as seal. Sometimes, even a peacock tail is depicted.

It is the Vahana (vehicle) of the Ganga - the goddess of river Ganges (Ganga) and the sea god Varuna. It is also the insignia of the love god Kamadeva. Kamadeva is also known as Makaradhvaja (on whose flag a Makara is depicted).

The Makara is the astrological sign of Capricorn, one of the twelve symbols of the Zodiac.(absorbed into Hindu/Buddhist doctrines from the Ancient Greek Zodiac and in the case of Capricorn modified with their own version.. "The Makara".) It is often portrayed protecting entryways to Hindu and Buddhist temples.

It is symbolized in ornaments are also in popular use as wedding gifts for bridal decoration. The Hindu Preserver-god Vishnu is also shown wearing Makara-shaped earrings called Makarakundalas. The Sun God Surya and the Mother Goddess Chandi are also sometimes described as being adorned with Makarakundalas.


There is a Row of Makara in base of Chennakesava Temple at Belur, Karnataka

In Hindu iconography, Makara is represented as the Vahana (‘vehicle’) of Ganga, the river goddess. A row of Makara may run along the wall of a Hindu temple, or form the hand rail of a staircase.

The leading Hindu temple architect and builder Ganapati Sthapati describes Makara as a mythical animal with the body of a fish, trunk of an elephant, feet of a lion, eyes of a monkey, ears of a pig, and the tail of a peacock.

A more succinct explanation is provided: "An ancient mythological symbol, the hybrid creature is formed from a number of animals such that collectively possess the nature of a crocodile. It has the lower jaw of a crocodile, the snout or trunk of an elephant, the tusks and ears of a wild boar, the darting eyes of a monkey, the scales and the flexible body of a fish, and the swirling tailing feathers of a peacock."

Traditionally, a Makara is considered to be an aquatic mythical creature. Makara has been depicted typically as half animal half fish. Some traditional accounts identify it with a crocodile, specifically Gharial because of its long extended snout. It is depicted with the forequarters of an elephant and the hindquarters as a fish tail. Crocodile was also a form which was used in the earlier days which was shown with human body.

So could this be one of the beasts in human form seen occasionally spewed onto the knuckle guard of the Kastana ? see picture above. The other beasts emanating from its open jaws being miniature Makara and Nagas.

A Row of Makara decorate the base of Chennakesava Temple at Belur, Karnataka. In many temples, the depiction is in the form of half fish or seal with head of an elephant. It is also shown with head and jaws resembling a crocodile, an elephant trunk with scales of fish and a peacock tail. Other accounts identify it with Gangetic Dolphin having striking resemblances with the latter, now found mainly in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary. Others portray it as a fish body with an elephant's head. The tradition identifies the makara with water, the source of all existence and fertility.

In the medieval era of South India, Makara was shown as a fifth stage of development, symbolized in the form of an elephant head and body with an elaborately foliated fish tail. Most myths maintain this symbolism of this stage in the evolution of life.

The Makara Thoranam above the door of the to Garbhagriha of Chennakesava Temple at Belur. Two makaras are shown on either end of the arch.
In a Hindu temple, the Makara often serves as the structural bookends of a thoranam or archway around a deity. The arch emerges up from the jaws of one Makara, rises to its peak, the Kirtimukha (the ‘Face of Glory'), and descends into the gaping jaws of another Makara. Varuna is also depicted as a white man sitting on the monster makara. As a marine monster, it is also shown with the head and legs of an antelope, and the body and tail of a fish.

A Makara made in iron shows the monster in the form of half stag and half fish.These elements are variously joined to form one of the most common recurring themes in Indian temple iconography. In Indian art, the Makara finds expression in the form of many motifs, and has been portrayed in different styles. Makara figures are placed on the entry points (Toranas) of several Buddhist monuments, including the stupa of Sanchi, a world heritage site. It is found guarding the entrances to royal thrones.

In the Tibetan Buddhist format it evolved from the Indian form of Makara. However, it is different in some ways such as, "display of lions fore paws, a horse’s mane, the gills and tendrils of a fish, and the horns of a deer or dragon. From its once simple feathered fishtail it now emerges as a complex spiraling pattern known as Makara-tail design (Sanskritmakaraketu)".

In Tibetan iconography, it is depicted in the Vajrayana weaponry of strength and tenacity which is the hall mark of crocodiles, since crocodiles hold on its hapless victim in nothing but death. The Vajrayan weapons which have crocodile symbolism are; axe, iron hook, curved knife, Vajra, ritual dragon in all of which the theme is "emergence from the open mouth of Makara".

In conclusion it can be seen that the Makara is the ancient Sri Lankan and neighboring Buddhist and Hindu regional form from which the design is taken in Sri Lanka for the Kastane Hilt. The question of the additional beasts are explained as serpent or snakelike gods usually spewing from the Makaras open jaws and the appearance of a strange human like figure which is clearly the early human crocodile form explained above. (in red for easy reference) and often seen on the Kastane Knuckleguard.

Looking ahead; the question emerges ~ Is the Makara a Sri Lankan design or was it taken from a Sri Lankan design by the Portuguese and put onto a Sword? I cannot imagine the latter. In my view the hilt is Sri Lankan and taken from their historical design. The Makara; Common all over their iconic religious format in architecture et al. I see no evidence of a Portuguese design... yet.
The existence of a Portuguese word for stick (Castao) is interesting but may only be coincidental. After all Kastane is closer to Kattara than Castao but I'm not examining the "whats is a word conundrum here"...Sri Lankan word strings are long and complicated enough as it is !!
In my next article I hope to shed some light on the situation in Sri Lanka before and during the period leading up to Portuguese partial takeover... looking at the splintered kingdoms and their mode of craftsmanship and how the Kastane may have developed.

Feel free to join in ....all.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 5th October 2012 at 07:14 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th October 2012, 06:45 PM   #18
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Note to library ~ Pictures of two different styles of Kastane hilt both Makara.
Attached Images
  
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th October 2012, 08:47 PM   #19
Jens Nordlunde
Member
 
Jens Nordlunde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,238
Default

This book is not about the Sri Lanka flag, but maybe it will bring some understanding to what happened in the earlier times between India and the countries in that area.
R.C.Majumdar: Suvarnadvipa. Hindu Colonies of the Far East, vol. I-II.
Jens Nordlunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2012, 12:02 PM   #20
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Salaams All ~

''Makara'' is a Sanskrit word which means "sea dragon" or "water-monster" and in Tibetan language it is called the "chu-srin", and also denotes a hybrid creature. It is the origin of the word for crocodile 'mugger' (मगर) in Hindi. The English word 'mugger' evolved meaning one who sneaks up and attacks another. The name is applied to the Mugger crocodile, the most common crocodile in India, and is descriptive of its aggressive feeding behavior.

It would seem that in all respects the Makara Hilt was ideal for incorporation onto the Kastane sword. It achieves honorific almost heraldic importance reflecting ancient religious artefacts, beliefs, architecture and recognition as a mythological fabulous creature.

For those reasons I find myself fighting the corner marked Home Grown Weapon. "The Kastane".

What I cannot see is a window through which this icon suddenly appears as a Portuguese, Dutch or British incorporation onto a Sri Lankan sword design. Portuguese swords were Portuguese, in design and inscription but the Kastane is not in that orchestra. Later the Dutch seem to have hijacked the blade and marked variants sporting the VOC marks are common but although books aspire to explain that EIC marks exist; I admit to seeing none as yet.

Anyway it is perhaps irrelevant since we are not that interested in the 3 invading ownership periods, rather, we need to get at the earlier known dealings i.e. between the Portuguese and Sri Lankan kingdoms of the Karava and Kandyans and in the build up before actual Portuguese dominance. Once the entire Island was taken over and ruled by the Dutch then the British the vagaries of outside dominance appear to shroud the Kastane story in thick impenetrable clouds.

The entire muddled load of brass copies appearing in Europe via Egypt (I assume Suez if indeed they were produced in Sri Lanka) in the 18th/ 19thC thence to Algeria and Morocco and beyond as Belly dancing swords needs to be ring fenced as irrelevant cheap castings. More than likely they were created in brass molding works throughout Europe also. It appears that they were refitted or made with the hilt reversed and the blades were never sharpened as to balance better on the performers head !

The weapon needs to be viewed in context with its use within the different kingdoms at the time the Portuguese assumed part control thus;

Part 1 will cover the Kandyan Kingdom 1593-1815.
Part 2 at my next post will deal with the Karava (The Sri Lankan fighting class) Kingdom.

The notes below are mostly quotations rearranged and paragraphed for easier handling and meant as Library records in the advent of further research etc... However, almost as a conclusion to the following extracts I consider that the Kandyan Kingdom was well placed through its established Royal Workshops to turn out all the requirements for the Kastane using locally employed artisans.

What needs to be understood about the Kandyan kingdom is that they were never taken over by the Portuguese. They fought many wars and skirmishes with each other but the Kandyan Dynasty never succumbed.

It would seem likely that the Kastane if it was made in the Kandyan Royal and other workshops would have enjoyed a degree of freedom ... to wear in public and as a secondary fighting dagger, short sword/and or for wearing at court.

Some further work is needed to view the restriction on such weapons being displayed during this dynasty's time span; The question "Could Kandyans wear swords during the time of Kandyan kings"? appears as "They could not". Even the highest Adigars could only wear a short knife as part of their ceremonial dress. Did the Kastane then adopt or "morph" into a short blade dagger?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Notes; Quote "Arts and Crafts in the Kandyan Kingdom
by ANURDHA SENEVIRATNA
Monday, 30 March 2009
Speaking of arts and crafts during the Kandyan period which is considered the time between 1593-1815 with Kandy as the Capital we notice several aspects of art and crafts. From Architectural point of view Buddhist temples and deistic shrines built during this period occupies a prominent place. They include monuments such as Len Vihara, Tampita Vihara and Ambalamas.

The Buddhist physician, John Davy, writing an “Account of the Interior of Ceylon” (1821:104-105) described the royal palace of the last Kings of Kandy. He gives us a long list of official attached to the place. Among them were, the officers in charge of music, Dance and handicrafts. The Ran Avuda Maduwe Lekam Mahattaya was the Secretary of the Golden Arms. The Avudage Vannaku Nilame was the officer in charge of the Armoury. The Netum illangame Muhandiram Nilame was in charge of the Department of Dance. The Kavikara Maduwe Muhandiram was in charge of the court of Musicians. The Wahala Ilangame Muhandiram Nilame was in charge of the Royal Dance Ensemble. The Tamboru Purampattukara Muhandiram Nilame was in charge of the musicians who played the Tamboru and Trumpet.

The most skilled craftsmen in the country were selected from among several thousand workers and were raised to the rank of Royal craftsmen. They were attached to the royal palace itself. These masters craftsmen worked within four workshops called the Pattal Hatara: (1) Abharana Pattale (the workshops of the jewelers); (2) Rankadu Pattale (the work shop of the craftsmen engaged in making golden swords); (3) Sinhasana Pattale (the work shop of the craftsmen engaged in making the royal throne which included painters and ivory carvers) and (4) the Otunu Pattale (consisted of craftsmen engaged n making the Royal Crown). The chief of the work shop was called the Mulachari and he was in attendance at the Royal place.

Each Department or Workshop was in charge of a Kankanama or a supervisor, sometimes called a Muhandiram or Hangediya according to the type of craft. It was considered a high honour and prestige for an artist at the time to achieve this distinction. He not only enjoyed prestige but also royal privileges such as land grants and royal titles. The status of the artist was something that the kings had honoured from the remote past.

There were also 14 offices in charge of Baddas (Departments). They were organized on a caste basis to perform certain duties to the palace, such as supplying clothes, pots, mats and various other necessities. During the time of the Kandyan Kingdom, there were two such Departments, one for the Kandyan areas and the other for the Low Country areas.

Besides the functions attached to the royal palace these craftsmen were also organized under the district administration headed by a chieftain called the Dissave. The artists and the craftsmen received patronage from the king himself who represented the central administration; the Disave at the district level; the lay chiefs if the temples of gods (devale) known as the Basnayake Nilames and the Buddhist temple (viharas)headed by the Diawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in the Kandy.

While government administration supported various categories of artists and craftsmen by means of land grants and other rewards for their services to the royal place, and to the chiefs of the districts, the viharas and devales also gave patronage to the artists and the craftsmen for the services performed for these places of worship included, the painters, sculptors, drummers, and dancers as well as other craftsmen such as the blacksmiths, the silversmiths and the goldsmiths.

The various artists and craftsmen organized into a caste system in the Kandyan period acquired certain flexibilities. These caste group were attached to state department called Kottal Badda (The Department of Artificers) who were dawn from Nawandanna caste (families of craftsmen). They inter – married with the South Indian craftsmen who had settled in the Kandyan Kingdom. They were divided into two groups known s Achari (the metal workers) and Waduwo (wood/stone workers). Still later, they were sub-divided into several castes such s Achari (black smith), Badallu (gold and silver smith) Waduwo (Carpenters), Galwaduwo (Stone cutters), Hitaru (Painters), and Lokurovo (brass founder), etc. The gold and silver smiths, the painters, ivory carves and brass workers were known as Gamladdo or Galladdo and were regarded s the highest rank. As the name suggests they ere people who enjoyed royal lands granted to them.

In return these craftsmen supplied various items such as Chunm boxes, Arecanut cutters, Bill-hooks, and Coconut scrapers, to the Rajakeeya Gabadawa (the Royal Stores).

There is ample evidence available as to show these artists and the craftsmen were looked after by these organizations. This information is found in Sannas (copper plate grants) given by the king himself and on ola leave (tudapat, sittu and panivida panata) given by the district chiefs. The Medawala copper plate grant given by King Kirti Sri Rajasinha of Kandy (1755 A.D.) records the benefit received by the Buddhist Vihara at Madawela. This pious king, who heard of the negligence of the Viharaya, had rebuilt an image house decorated with murals, statues, and exquisitely rich wood carvings. The copper plate (Ez.Vol.V.1965:466-486) explains how this was carried out and also the manner in which the artists and craftsmen were rewarded.
“When after the completion of the wood work of the two storeyed seven cubit image house, artist were summoned for the work of planting and the work on the image commenced, the King heard of the ceremony and made a grant of a thousand coins from the Royal Coffers, and from the royal Offices and Commandants, that the services should be rendered without delay and gave without any shortcoming all gifts such as rice and beetle to the master craftsmen.”

“When it came to the ceremony of the painting of the eyes, this was conducted, having given to the Master Craftsmen without shortfall two yalas and ten amunas of raw rice which was contributed for the –ceremony of Atamangala and the placing of pots of luck connected with the shrine, twenty three cows for the Gowasa (the cattle enclosure set apart for the use of shrine), one hundred and one pieces of cloth, one thousand one hundred and fifty fannamas, the neck ornament of Pandiran gold from Pandyan?) and Uttaran (pure gold) for adoring the five fold bodily members and all the rest. So was complete the eye ceremony that the master craftsmen may be pleased and so give thanks”.

It is also believed that at the time that the Gangarama Viharaya in Kandy was completed, Kirtisiri had an entire costume presented to the master artist and also tied a gold frontlet (Nalalpata) to the forehead of the artist. He is also known to have given Gannoruwe Davunda Abharana Achariya, a skillful goldsmith working in the King’s Place, land, money and an elephant Furthermore, when Marukona Ratna Abharana Wedakaraya appeared at the place gate before King Rajasingha the Second he was ordered to make jewellery prepared for Royal Dress. Having done so, he stated that he required Mottuwela Nilapanguwa Badavidilla in Pallesiyapatttuwa of Asiri Korale in the Matale District for his maintenance. In the year 1665 the King granted the request to this craftsmen.

According to popular legend, when Kirtisri Rajasingha was on his way to Hanguranketa, he spent a night in the house of a goldsmith, Ratnavalli Navaratna Abharana of Neelawela. If this was true, then it shows that the King never treated the artists as low. We have ample examples of ancient Sinhalese Kings who were themselves proficient in various arts such as literature, ivory carving, etc.


The Kandyan arts and crafts are not completely free from foreign influence. It is evident from historical sources that during the latter part of the Kandyan Kingdom of the 18th century, various arts and craftsmen were invited to the Kingdom from South India by the last generations of Kings in Kandy who were Nayakkars of South Indian origin.
“The Navandanna or artificers at any one time, speaking of the 18th and immediately preceding centuary at least consisted partly of indigenous craftsmen and partly of newly settled Tamil artificers, coming from South India to work for the King, who showed them favour and made the grants of land. Hence, it is that not only do we find the close correspondence in detail and technique between South Indian (Tamil) and Sinhalese work, but also that the Artificer families have often Hindu names (such as Rajesvera, Devasurendra) they preserve traces of Siva workship and of other Hindu ceremonies (Netra Mangallaya) etc. The technical works are obviously a part of the Indian Silpasastra, some of the technical terms are corruptions of Tamil words, they make use of the Hindu Mntrams. They are occasionally referred to as Kammalar, and so forth.
(Ananda Coomarasamy, Medieval Sinhalese art.)
As far as the tradition of dancing in the Kandyan hills is concerned, it is clear that it has derived inspiration from the village ritual known as Kohomba Kankariya. According, to the popular beliefs prevalent among these traditional dancers,’ the vannamas of the present day tradition of Kandyan dance were introduced by the famous Silpadipati Ganitalankara of Kerala. Sinhalese arts and crafts flourished throughout a magnificent period of several centuries and absorbed this particular foreign influence. When the country was ruled by these South Indian Nayakkara rulers, local artists lives and worked together harmoniously with South Indian artists and crafts and craftsmen which resulted in new tradition of arts and crafts which is Kandyan.

The social organization of the Kandyan Kingdom, then consisted of various social groups practicing various trades under a Badda (in the strict sense it means a caste). Thus a new caste system emerged solely’ on The basis of occupation, which is only partially true of the Indian system. This generation of artists, who worked within this system of occupational divisions, continued to live in Kandy and its suburbs even after the down fall of the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815. The following list will show the continuation of these divisions of labour and the traditional villages to which various craftsmen are attached, even to this day:

Craft Village
Brass work and casting Madawla, Kirivavula,Embekke
Silver and brass Danture,Ullandupitiya,Arattana
Nilawela,Pilawala,Medawela
Gold and Silver Embekke and Nilawela
Lacquor and wood work Gunnepana,Embekke and Hapuvida
Cloth Talagune
Mat weaving Henawela
Drum making Kuragala, Kuragandeniya
Crystal work Kirivavula
Dancing and drumming Tittapajjala,Malagammana,Ihalawela,Molagoda,
Hewaheta,Yakawela,Kondadeniya,Nittawela,
Amunugama
Decorative art Kulugammana
Painting Nilagama
Ivory Kundasale, Mawanella.

Though the castebased social organizations remained intact, the artists and the craftsmen, as well as their arts and crafts suffered immensely after the downfall of the Kandyan Kingdom as no support and patronage was provided. In 1882, for the first time, the artist and the craftsmen in the Kandyan Provinces were brought together by the British Government of Kandy represented by Sir Frederick Dikson, who organized the Kandyan Arts Association, which has continued to this date.

With a magnificent new building complex constructed for the century this Association located in Kandy, near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, continues to serve the artists and the customers alike maintaining its great traditions. The National Crafts council of Sri Lanka, the Department of Small Industries and government organizations such as Laksala have joined hands in looking after the arts and crafts of the old Kandyan Kingdom." UNQUOTE

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 6th October 2012 at 01:51 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2012, 03:01 PM   #21
Gavin Nugent
Member
 
Gavin Nugent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,402
Default

An image of the Kastane in native context with a baldric suspension a video of an outstanding example.....subtitled for those who don't understand "American"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH__TFpU2SA

Gav
Attached Images
 
Gavin Nugent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2012, 03:37 PM   #22
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Salaams All ~

The Kandyan Dynasty which was never brought to heel by the invaders neither Portuguese nor Dutch but which eventually fell to British control in 1805. There were treaties cleverly enacted by the Kandyan rulers prior to that but no takeover and no control "per se". The Kanyan kingdom comprised most of the eastern three quarters of the entire country.

In parallel the Karava dynasty, the fighting caste…was split in half; allegiance being half for and half against the Portuguese invaders.

A 19th century representation of the Karava Makara Flag. The image of the mythical creature Makara is extensively used in ancient Sri Lankan royal architecture. This flag is one of the main flags still used by the Karavas at their ceremonies. The Mukkara Hatana, an ola leaf manuscript now in the British Museum states that King Parakramabahu IV granted it to the Karavas.
Parakrama Bahu IV , came to the throne in the Saka year 1247 or A.D. 1325/6. More than 3 centuries before Portuguese involvement.

Karava (pronounced Karaava) also Karawa, Karawe, Karave, Kaurava, Kshatriya, Khatriya, Kuru, Kuru Kula, Kurukulam, Kurukulum, Kurukulather or Kurukulathar is the traditional military (warrior / Kshatriya / royal ) race, of Sri Lanka. The Karavas were one of the interconnected ruling dynasties of the Indian region. Royal succession in Sri Lanka passed on to Karava rulers during the Polonnaruwa period. Karava king Gajabahu was one of the greatest, and the Kandy Perehera and other annual pageants of Sri Lanka that end with the water cutting ceremony were initially pageants in honour of king Gajabahu's victories . The many kingdoms of Sri Lanka were thereafter ruled by Karava Kings and sub-kings until the last three kingdoms passed over from Karava royal families to Europeans; Kotte and Jaffna in the 16th century to the Portuguese and Kandy in the 19th century to the British (see Timeline of Kings)

True to their royal ancestry, the Karavas are the only Sri Lankan community to bear ancestral family names that signify royal ancestry, possess an array of ancient flags and use royal insignia at family ceremonies.

The fortunes of the Karava community has seen ups and downs over the centuries dependent on the fortunes of the leading Karava royal families and their victories, defeats and alliances with South Indian royal dynasties. European colonisation ended all native dynasties and rulers of the region and was therefore disastrous for the Karavas as well as the Kshatriya Rajputs of India. (seeTimeline of the Karava I) The post-independence period too has been particularly disastrous for the Karavas. Whatever lost wealth and power the Karavas had regained during the British period was taken away from the Karavas by Govigama dominated post-independence governments of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka government sponsored propaganda during the 1900s has attempted to falsely portray the Karawas as the "Fisherfolk Caste" of Sri Lanka!!

As the Karavas were the traditional martial race of Sri Lanka it is not surprising to find one of their symbols, the Makara, used as ornamentation on traditional swords. Such swords are unique to Sri Lanka and not found either in India or the Malay peninsular. Compare the similarity of the Makara on the water spout with the decorative hilts on the Kastane on my post above.

I believe that whilst this does not herald "game set and match" it goes some way to supporting my theory that the Kastane is a Sri Lankan invention moreover that it may have originated in the Karava dynasty " The Fighting Caste".

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2012, 05:00 PM   #23
Prasanna Weerakkody
Member
 
Prasanna Weerakkody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sri Lanka
Posts: 49
Default Animal heads on Kasthana

Thanks Jim.
While it is difficult to add any good clarifications to most of your points. I am also interested in the motifs and decorations of the weapons. There seem to be three primary animal forms used on sword hilts, The Lion which is a national symbol of the Sinhalese (Sinha =Lion) and two forms of mythical beasts The Makara or the equivalent of a “Dragon” and the Serapendiya which is a Raptorial bird.

The differences in depiction of the beasts is not always straight forward, The Lion head which in the late medieval tend to be stylized to different degrees can be defined by the clear depiction of a lions mane around the neck arranged usually as three rows of flowing curved motifs, The Lion figures often have the tongue extended as well. The Makara has its origins in a Water beast with combined elements from different animals as the trunk of an elephant, tusks of a boar etc. It is usually depicted with a up curved proboscis like devise at the tip of the snout and the tusk depicted as a large rounded knoblike tooth as is often used to depict the canine tooth of the Lion heads in some figures, The Serapendiya is often portrayed with a toothed down curved beak with similarly shaped pointed sharp teeth; lacking the enlarged canine tooth at the front end of jaw. This is a very basic guide which may not help define all depictions as the individual craftsmen seem to have introduced variations. The Pommel is (almost) always a Lion-head though few with serapendiya heads are sometimes also found. I have never seen a Makara head on the pommel of a kasthana Sword. The quilons and guards carry Makara and Serapendiya heads interchangeably. Some swords also carry representation of deities on sword hilts in addition to the Animal forms.

Being a Sinhalese from Sri Lanka - I think Ibrahiim has been reading too much of the Alternate “Fake” history propagated by the nefarious elements aligned mostly to the Separatist movements like the recently crushed LTTE in Sri Lanka. There is a Mainstream history in the country that also has one of the longest documented histories in Asia; substantiated with vast amounts of solid archaeological work. I do not know why Ibrahim is prejudicial against the Sinhales. If one is to accept most of what Ibrahiim have copied in as evidence; we may have to burn libraries of good books that say otherwise. This issue is not relevant here and due to the political / sensitive nature of it I shall not engage in any further comments in that regard. But would ask the readers to look at the so called “myths” and all the derogatory statements on the Sinhala race by Ibrahim objectively, much has been written on these issues in the relevant fora and it can be researched adequately there.

To keep it relevant to the topic the Sinha (Lion) motif has been well Identified with the Sinhala (People) both in motifs as well as within literary sources.

I have seen a very curious sword in a private collection that is transient between the predominant long straight double edged swords popular in the Polonnaruwa Kingdom 1017-1235 AD and the Kasthana in that it shows the early evolution of quilons with terminal primitive animal head devises while still carrying the straight blade and hilt elements from the Polonnaruwa swords. It is believed that this sword may belong to the period before the Kotte/Seethawaka Kingdoms or the time of the Portuguese wars. so a trend towards adoption of zoomorphic ornamentation may have existed prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. There is a proper Kastana sword in the Colombo Museum that is believed to be of King Buwanekabahu I of Yapahuwa Kingdom which predates the arrival of Europeans on the Island by at least a century. (Though I am not convinced of the authenticity of this piece)
The kasthana swords come in different sizes and classes of ornaments, some of the larger more impressive swords seem to have seen significant action; most of them would carry wooden or horn hilts and brass guards and quillons and some are rather simple swords that still carry the components of the Kasthana. The Golden and Silver swords with precious stones would more likely be side arms of Chieftains or in the latter centuries purely rank or gift swords. The practice of presenting swords as emblems of authority was prevalent. The short length of the blade may not in itself disqualify any sword as a fighting sword as it seem to have yielded to local fighting styles.

I shall include a sword Identified as having belonged to Kandyan Chieftain “Leuke” Disawa who was a prominent warrior in the wars against the British in the 18-19 centuries. It is a rather large and heavy Kasthana with intricate Silver workings, It is not clear when this sword was manufactured as his father was also known to be a leading figure in the Dutch wars.
Hope this was helpful
Prasanna Weerakkody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2012, 08:39 PM   #24
Jens Nordlunde
Member
 
Jens Nordlunde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,238
Default

Hi Prasanna :-).
Thank you for clarifying this subject.
I am wondering why the Makara is so important, and not the Yali?
As the Makara was more used in the northern parts of Indian, and the Yali was used more in the Deccan area.
I agree that the lion, and a number of other animals are important (royal), and therefore used on temple decorations, paintings and weapons.
Regards
Jens :-)
Jens Nordlunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 02:54 AM   #25
Prasanna Weerakkody
Member
 
Prasanna Weerakkody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sri Lanka
Posts: 49
Default

The Yarl is not part of the Sinhala Mythical beasts, though they do on occasion exist in Hindu Kovils it has not spread further than that in Sri Lankan Culture.

The Lion represents the race of Sinhalese, While Makara in most contexts is associated with rejuvenation and re-generation, It is an Auspicious symbol - A good luck charm if you will. Not too sure of the Serapendiya- a commonly figured beast with a rather vague history here.

The Images I posted earlier didn't upload properly so I am re- attaching them here. The First two are of the Kasthana of Leuke Disawa. While the Third is one of my paintings of a Sinhala warrior- The figure is holding the transitional sword between the older sword types and the emergence of Animal head motifs that I mentioned in my earlier post.
Attached Images
   
Prasanna Weerakkody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 04:11 PM   #26
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,574
Default

Prasanna, thank you so very much for your thoughtful, informative and wonderfully written reply. Also, thank you for sharing your absolutely superb artwork!!! That is a remarkable painting, and perfectly illustrates the prototype swords from which the kastane must have developed. There are of course it seems resemblances to the ancient forms in use on the subcontinent, and it is most important to see the use of zoomorphic figures on the quillon ends.

I want to thank you as well for your graceful response regarding the material which Ibrahiim added which was largely from some online detail as he had noted. I think that often revisionist or reassessments of historical and traditionally held topics are often politically charged, and may often be perceived differently by individuals depending on thier relationships to matters at hand. In this case, much of the material was presented to look into various angles in the decorative theme of the kastane beyond the commonly held general views typically recounted in most general references.
I do not believe any prejudicial stances were meant, but very much agree with your suggestion in not pursuing politically sensitive aspects in this course, but remaining objective in examining facts at hand. I think these fascinating swords deserve to be studied much more thoroughly, and clearly you have a well studied comprehension of them, as reflected in your comments and obviously in the artwork you have well researched.

I do hope we can continue this look into the development of the kastane as intended, as I am delighted to finally pass the 'mystery' barrier altogether too often experienced in so many ethnographic weapon forms.

All very best regards,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 06:29 PM   #27
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Thumbs up

IT IS A GOOD THING TO PRESENT ALL VIEWS AND INFORMATION AS WELL AS PERHAPS A BIT OF CONJECTURE WHEN DELVING INTO WHAT IS LARGELY UNKNOWN TERRITORY. I DON'T BELIEVE OUR MEMBERS ARE CONCERNED WITH POLITICAL VIEWS BUT JUST SHAREING WHAT REFRENCES AND INFORMATION THEY MAY HAVE. SO OFFENSE SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN IF THE REFRENCES OR VIEWS POSTED DO NOT AGREE WITH ONES OWN. IT DOES GIVE THE OPORTUNITY FOR ALL OTHER VIEWS TO BE EXPRESSED AS WELL.
THE MORE INFORMATION PRESENTED THE MORE IT ENRICHES THE DISCUSSION AND PERHAPS THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO CAN USE THE INFORMATION TO CUT THRU ALL THE CONFUSION AND BRING IT TOGETHER IN A COHEISIVE REFRENCE PERHAPS BETTER THAN ALL ITS PARTS. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT WE ALL HOPE FOR.
I HAVE READ A BIT OF THE HISTORY OF CEYLON/SIRI LANKA AND FOUND IT VERY INTERESTING. HOW MUCH WAS WRITTEN BY FORIGNERS? PROBABLY MOST OF IT AS IT WAS ALL IN ENGLISH. FORIGENERS TO ANY CULTURE OFTEN FOCUS ON THE WILDEST ASPECTS OF A CULTURE IN THEIR REPORTS. NUMBER ONE DURING THE DAYS OF COLONIAL CONQUEST WAS OF COURSE TREASURE. SECOND THE EXOTIC NATURE OF THE RULING CLASSES LIFESTYLE. THEN PRACTICES THEY CONSIDERED BARBARIC SO THEY COULD ESTABLISH THEIR MORAL SUPERIORITY OVER THE CONQURED THUS GIVING THEM AN EXCUSE TO DO AS THEY WISHED GOOD OR BAD.
THIS WAS TYPICAL AND THEY USUALLY DID NOT WORRY IF THEY TRULY UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS GOING ON OR NOT. THEY JUST WANTED TO MAKE IT INTERESTING AND DIDN'T CARE ABOUT ACCURACY OR TRUTH PERHAPS AN OUTRIGHT LIE HERE AND THERE TO MAKE A BETTER STORY. UNFORTUNATELY THAT IS HUMAN NATURE AND APPLYS TO ALL MANKIND, GREED AND POWER ARE A UNIVERSAL FLAW IN OUR KIND.
DANGER CONJECTURE !! I SUSPECT THE MAKARA IS FROM SOME ANCIENT LEGEND OF CREATION PERHAPS NOW LOST. MOST IF NOT ALL PRIMATIVE SOCIETYS HAVE THEM THE HAWAIIANS HAVE MAUI HOOKING THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA AND PULLING UP THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS AS WELL AS OTHER GREAT FEATS. THE AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS HAVE THEIR CREATION BELIEFS SUCH AS THE RAINBOW SERPENT. THE MAKARA SPEWING FORTH OTHER IMPORTANT CREATURES FROM ITS MOUTH SEEMS LIKE ONE OF THE ANCIENT BELIEFS TO ME. AS TO THE LION? DID IT EVER LIVE IN THE AREA? TIGERS SEEM MORE LIKELY. BUT SINGAPORE HAS THE SYMBOL OF A FISH WITH A LIONS HEAD IS IT A OLD ONE OR SOMETHING MOSTLY FORIGN INFLUENCE.
I HOPE YOU ALL KEEP POSTING AS THIS PROMISES TO BE A GOOD SOURCE OF REFRENCE FOR THESE UNUSUAL AND RARE ITEMS AND SEEING THE PICTURES OF THE WONDERFUL WORKMANSHIP IS A REAL TREAT.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 06:35 PM   #28
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
The Yarl is not part of the Sinhala Mythical beasts, though they do on occasion exist in Hindu Kovils it has not spread further than that in Sri Lankan Culture.

The Lion represents the race of Sinhalese, While Makara in most contexts is associated with rejuvenation and re-generation, It is an Auspicious symbol - A good luck charm if you will. Not too sure of the Serapendiya- a commonly figured beast with a rather vague history here.

The Images I posted earlier didn't upload properly so I am re- attaching them here. The First two are of the Kasthana of Leuke Disawa. While the Third is one of my paintings of a Sinhala warrior- The figure is holding the transitional sword between the older sword types and the emergence of Animal head motifs that I mentioned in my earlier post.



Salaams Prasanna Weerakkody ~ Thank you for posting the superb pictures. Firstly I have absolutely no allegiances with any political movement in your country and have tried to place a factual library reference showing the clouded issue and notwithstanding the internal politics magnified through 3 European dynasties involvement which has affected this swords perception.

Kastane. There has been the perception (false in my view ) that the sword was introduced inspired invented by the first invaders... Your explanation of the pre Portuguese Kastane indicates as does my historical detail that this is simply not the case and that the weapon in a Sri Lankan thoroughbred.

I think you may agree that the weapon has been hijacked through the ages firstly as a court weapon/sidearm on the Popham Armour and secondly the early Kastane in the Japanese Museum.. Whilst fascinating, these two artefacts have distorted the issue somewhat. Perhaps the Hispanic link of the Kastane being presented by Spain to Japan somehow contrived to suggest a Portuguese origin and since they were in Sri Lanka in the 1600s...? Further warp has been caused by the appearance of the belly dancers cheap prop in about the mid to late 19th C which had a reversed brass hilt on a contrived blunt scimitar like blade. That irony (an apparently Arab style) perhaps threw peoples idea of origin into being originally an Arabian sword.

As if that were not enough we have an apparent hybridisation of short and long blades corrupted by foreign blade marks in the form of VOC Dutch East Indies and possibly though not confirmed EIC marks.

Lion versus Makara. I am convinced that the hilt is not a Lion head. This is not a politically charged question since you simply need to view the water spout (see #14 on this thread)and to see the other deities portrayed pouring from the Makaras mouth. My post shows 6 photographs and the final one shows the hilt. The design ?.. Makara not Lion.

Sinha...of course means Lion but that is not to say that this is a lion head hilt because of the name of your people. Moreover it is Makara head because it is reflected by many of your architectural Temple Archways, waterspouts, wonderful and ancient history, religious artifacts, deities, and battle flags. The lion, particularly the British Lion, in all its heraldic splendor isn't. (see # 14.)

Naturally and whilst this may be a sensitive issue (the Kastane appears on your National Flag held by the National Lion and the Sword itself is a National Motif) I have to point out the mirroring of the Makara in the Kastane Hilt.

Having made that point I still would like to get to the Kastane origins and feel that with your help we can achieve this. This is a great thread. Excellent detail and pictures ... Shukran.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 7th October 2012 at 07:32 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 07:20 PM   #29
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
IT IS A GOOD THING TO PRESENT ALL VIEWS AND INFORMATION AS WELL AS PERHAPS A BIT OF CONJECTURE WHEN DELVING INTO WHAT IS LARGELY UNKNOWN TERRITORY. I DON'T BELIEVE OUR MEMBERS ARE CONCERNED WITH POLITICAL VIEWS BUT JUST SHAREING WHAT REFRENCES AND INFORMATION THEY MAY HAVE. SO OFFENSE SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN IF THE REFRENCES OR VIEWS POSTED DO NOT AGREE WITH ONES OWN. IT DOES GIVE THE OPORTUNITY FOR ALL OTHER VIEWS TO BE EXPRESSED AS WELL.
THE MORE INFORMATION PRESENTED THE MORE IT ENRICHES THE DISCUSSION AND PERHAPS THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO CAN USE THE INFORMATION TO CUT THRU ALL THE CONFUSION AND BRING IT TOGETHER IN A COHEISIVE REFRENCE PERHAPS BETTER THAN ALL ITS PARTS. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT WE ALL HOPE FOR.
I HAVE READ A BIT OF THE HISTORY OF CEYLON/SIRI LANKA AND FOUND IT VERY INTERESTING. HOW MUCH WAS WRITTEN BY FORIGNERS? PROBABLY MOST OF IT AS IT WAS ALL IN ENGLISH. FORIGENERS TO ANY CULTURE OFTEN FOCUS ON THE WILDEST ASPECTS OF A CULTURE IN THEIR REPORTS. NUMBER ONE DURING THE DAYS OF COLONIAL CONQUEST WAS OF COURSE TREASURE. SECOND THE EXOTIC NATURE OF THE RULING CLASSES LIFESTYLE. THEN PRACTICES THEY CONSIDERED BARBARIC SO THEY COULD ESTABLISH THEIR MORAL SUPERIORITY OVER THE CONQURED THUS GIVING THEM AN EXCUSE TO DO AS THEY WISHED GOOD OR BAD.
THIS WAS TYPICAL AND THEY USUALLY DID NOT WORRY IF THEY TRULY UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS GOING ON OR NOT. THEY JUST WANTED TO MAKE IT INTERESTING AND DIDN'T CARE ABOUT ACCURACY OR TRUTH PERHAPS AN OUTRIGHT LIE HERE AND THERE TO MAKE A BETTER STORY. UNFORTUNATELY THAT IS HUMAN NATURE AND APPLYS TO ALL MANKIND, GREED AND POWER ARE A UNIVERSAL FLAW IN OUR KIND.
DANGER CONJECTURE !! I SUSPECT THE MAKARA IS FROM SOME ANCIENT LEGEND OF CREATION PERHAPS NOW LOST. MOST IF NOT ALL PRIMATIVE SOCIETYS HAVE THEM THE HAWAIIANS HAVE MAUI HOOKING THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA AND PULLING UP THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS AS WELL AS OTHER GREAT FEATS. THE AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS HAVE THEIR CREATION BELIEFS SUCH AS THE RAINBOW SERPENT. THE MAKARA SPEWING FORTH OTHER IMPORTANT CREATURES FROM ITS MOUTH SEEMS LIKE ONE OF THE ANCIENT BELIEFS TO ME. AS TO THE LION? DID IT EVER LIVE IN THE AREA? TIGERS SEEM MORE LIKELY. BUT SINGAPORE HAS THE SYMBOL OF A FISH WITH A LIONS HEAD IS IT A OLD ONE OR SOMETHING MOSTLY FORIGN INFLUENCE.
I HOPE YOU ALL KEEP POSTING AS THIS PROMISES TO BE A GOOD SOURCE OF REFRENCE FOR THESE UNUSUAL AND RARE ITEMS AND SEEING THE PICTURES OF THE WONDERFUL WORKMANSHIP IS A REAL TREAT.



Salaams Vandoo~ Well put. It is sometimes necessary to put seemingly political constructs into the mixture whilst trying to remain in balance... when it is obvious that these dealings have had a bearing on the issue. You are right of course. I think it is somewhat sensitive, however, since we are dealing with National respected emblems such as the Lion and the Kastane as national symbols (for whatever reasons) but I thought it needed to be recorded.
Where I want to focus is on the sword itself and I agree these pictures arriving on Forum are beginning to set the record straighter. I wish I was on the ground myself in Sri Lanka but now we have representation there I think the clouds blanketing the Kastane issue are lifting.
Salaams,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2012, 07:28 PM   #30
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,763
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Prasanna, thank you so very much for your thoughtful, informative and wonderfully written reply. Also, thank you for sharing your absolutely superb artwork!!! That is a remarkable painting, and perfectly illustrates the prototype swords from which the kastane must have developed. There are of course it seems resemblances to the ancient forms in use on the subcontinent, and it is most important to see the use of zoomorphic figures on the quillon ends.

I want to thank you as well for your graceful response regarding the material which Ibrahiim added which was largely from some online detail as he had noted. I think that often revisionist or reassessments of historical and traditionally held topics are often politically charged, and may often be perceived differently by individuals depending on thier relationships to matters at hand. In this case, much of the material was presented to look into various angles in the decorative theme of the kastane beyond the commonly held general views typically recounted in most general references.
I do not believe any prejudicial stances were meant, but very much agree with your suggestion in not pursuing politically sensitive aspects in this course, but remaining objective in examining facts at hand. I think these fascinating swords deserve to be studied much more thoroughly, and clearly you have a well studied comprehension of them, as reflected in your comments and obviously in the artwork you have well researched.

I do hope we can continue this look into the development of the kastane as intended, as I am delighted to finally pass the 'mystery' barrier altogether too often experienced in so many ethnographic weapon forms.

All very best regards,
Jim



Salaams Jim~ I hope that none of my ramblings have in any way upset the apple cart and I agree with everything you have placed ... This can be a sensitive subject but I hope that now, as we have an excellent exponent of Ethnographic Arms actually there on the ground in Sri Lanka, this once shrouded issue can be uncovered. Excellent thread !!
I also hope that more people can come in from the touchline and get involved.

Regards,
Ibrahiim Al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:27 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.