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Old 27th October 2012, 07:36 PM   #91
fernando
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Default And what about this one?

A lance sceptre, symbol of power of one of Ceylon Kings. One of the most beautiful and old existing examples, dated XVI century.
It is said that, the yielding of this sceptre would be equivalent of yielding power.
The haft is composed by nineteen engraved ivory hose sections, still keeping some of its colours (red and black). Each section couples to the other with copper rings, some of them still keeping its gold coating. The lance point is of steel, with two richly elaborated balls. The butt is in ivory. Total length 177 cms.


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Old 28th October 2012, 06:23 AM   #92
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Fernando thanks again for images,
Very interesting powder flask, and like you say (Cingalo-Portuguese) with significant deviations from the purely traditional Sinhala motifs. The very Crocodilian Makara is un-usual, but the most interesting is the full form Serapendiya apparently biting on to the human head at the hinge to the cap.

The workmanship on the scepter does not seem Sinhales; and if it was from here it was probably an imported item from elsewhere (Indian?).
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Old 28th October 2012, 09:07 AM   #93
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As no one has yet done so, might I politely suggest the 'Sinhalese sceptre' is actually the butt half of a rather nice Indian Lance.
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Old 28th October 2012, 05:43 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashoka
As no one has yet done so, might I politely suggest the 'Sinhalese sceptre' is actually the butt half of a rather nice Indian Lance.

I confess i am embarrassed. Not that i made it myself that this is a whole sceptre lance, as i am quoting the text of a 1989 auction catalogue. Given that this is the lower half of a lance, all i can do is invert the picture ... and appologise for the mislead .

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Old 29th October 2012, 09:43 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
A magnificent Cingalo-Portuguese powder horn; in principle the best known example produced in Colombo during second half XVI /first half XVII centuries. Probably made for a Cingalese Monarch or someone of high rank. The dragon body with ruby eyes is built with chiseled silver covered by with a thin perforated ivory net. The flask mouth has a human figure, possibly a Portuguese, judging by his dressing. The gunpowder pours by his head, while he is praying; this could be interpreted as he wishes the gunpowder is used for well doing. The lid is a Goruda, which releases the gunpowder by pressing its tail.
A real master piece.
.



Salaams fernando ~ Thank you for your superb pictures of..The Makara flask. This is accompanied by the usual pouring out of not only gunpowder (you will recall your gun lock which also poured out fire) but two demons... The first is a lesser makara form with a peacock tail and the second is an emerging humanoid whose face also appears on the knuckleguards of various Kastane including one of your exhibits. This is indeed the early Makara style as occasionally seen being ridden by one of the Gods.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th October 2012, 09:55 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
The following images were kindly sent to me by Mr. Ajantha Mahanth-arachchi who is a master of a Angam school of Korathotha

This sword is believed to be gifted by King Buwanekabahu VII of Kotte Kingdom (1521-1551) to the family of an ancillary prince(?) named Range’ Bandara. His descendants are still in possession of the Kasthana shown below as well as 2 Patisthana and one “Hella” spears, an ornate kris and a deed of a gift of land written on two sheets of copper issued under the name of the King.

In addition to the references I provided in posts # 62 and #87. this will provide additional evidence to support an earlier date for existence of Kasthana swords to mid 16th Century.

(Images of kasthana and Copper plates included)


Jim
Glad to have contributed in some measure to the understanding of the Kasthana. While being far from an expert on swords, my work as an Artist/painter specializing in re-construction of Ancient Sinhala lifestyle with a main focus on Ancient Sinhala warriors I have been involved in the study of Sinhala Art history and weapons and armor for a while. I hope I am more qualified in assessing material with a better footing on Sinhala culture and traditions and Traditional art practices. And hope we could take this discussion to a good conclusion.

My interest in Kasthana is to trace its origins, the sources, evolution and the time frame. and to better define the Kasthana with a understanding of the design elements. hence my perseverance to establish the true identity of the elements of the sword.

As I noted before I do not recollect seeing any Kasthana with pommels identifiable with Makara forms. If there is any specific candidates we should share them and assess them individually to set the record straight.



Salaams Weerakkody, We appear to be viewing the same object via two different prisms. Every Kastane I have seen has illustrated the Makara pommel including your last picture. The key elements of other deities being distributed about the knuckle guard, quillons and half cross guard...For an identical match with your kastane and a water spout in the Makara form see #14 .
I think the colliding facts of the Makara / Lion discussion can rest with that and I note the progress already made and the fact that all parties seem to be digging in the vital timezone both pre Portuguese and during their rise to power.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 30th October 2012, 07:02 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
The Hatan kavya text “Seethawaka Hatana” written by a warrior who was supposed to have fought in the Great Battle of Mulleriyawela include a narrative in which he refers to at least 5 chiefs who fought with Kasthana swords by name. These include Chiefs Kuruppu (of Korathota), Athulpana, Kahandawa, Weragoda and Wijeyakoon. The Mulleriyawela Battle occurred in 1559 and the text is dated circa 1585. I think this conclusively establishes the existence of Kasthana swords to mid 16th century and conforms my earlier note on the gift of a Kasthana sword to the Arachchi of the Illangama fighters Korathota (see picture above post #62). I need to re-locate my copy of “Rajasinghe Hatana” text which may provide additional reference to confirm the record

This also establishes the fact that Kasthana was originally used in war.



Salaams~ Mulleriyawela; It is an interesting battle (or battles). The website has pictures of Kastane in various places though I have no reference on the exact existence of the weapon. If you have the details it would certainly point to the weapon being home grown though the mid to late 1500s is still in zone for Portuguese co-operation is this swords production and design. Perhaps there is another clue to its origins.

Observing the style of fighting at Mulleriyawela which was derived from a traditional Sri Lankan martial art Angampora (Illangampora being the weapons style) They certainly have single edged short swords in their armoury amongst the many weapons traditionally used. By examining their ancient system it may be possible to see an earlier date on the Kastane. It would be very interesting to see in their records if and where the Kastane appears...See Notes below.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Notes; I have included a quote "Historical Evidences For Angam Kalawa;

MAHA WANSHAYA: This mentions about ANGAMPORA fighting which was used in the battle of king ELARA and KING DUTUGEMUNU.IT specially describes the fighting styles of GHOTAIMBARA AND THERAPUTHTHABAYA.

MAHA WANSHAYA: This mentions that king PARAKRAMABAHU enjoyed a martial art display done by his soldiers in 12th century.

CHULA WANSHAYA: This mentions that king 4 VIJAYABAHU enjoyed a fighting display of his army.

RAJAWALIYA: This mentions how KONAPPUBANDARA (1 WIMALADHARMASURIA) defeated a Portuguese swordsman by using ANGAMPORA.

MAGHA SALAKUNA KAWYA: This mentions about a fighting academy named as “AGE MADILLA” in Kandy in 15th century.

JUGAN HANDERSAN: This writer who served for Dutch in 1669 has mentioned about SRILANKAN fighters in his book on SRI LANKA.

DR.JOHN DEV: HE has mentioned about the “SUDALAIYA”CLAN and “MARUWALLIYA” CLAN who practiced ANGAMPORA.HE has specially mentioned about the deadly fights done in “URA LIDA” (Gladiator fighting arena)

H.C.P BELL: HE merely describes about a fighting clan which was started by a lady named “GALABODA KUMARIHAMI”.Then he reports about the battle of MULLERIYA".Unquote
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Old 31st October 2012, 07:18 AM   #98
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Default Returning To Original Theme Of Thread;)

Hullo everybody!
As I don't seem to recall any example or mention of a Kastane with a WAVY Blade in this thread, I thought I'd post these quick snaps I took when taking advantage of a 'Window Of Opportunity'.(If already given/mentioned, then my sincere apologies and enjoy anyway.)
Best,
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Old 31st October 2012, 07:46 AM   #99
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Hi amuk.

There are many Kasthana swords that seem to carry non-standard blades including imported ones. But in this specimen I wonder if the blade got this way through some bad blade repair effort. As you say wavy blades are not usual for Kasthana.
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Old 31st October 2012, 11:58 AM   #100
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... Or someone's bizarre idea to mount a yatagan blade on a Kasthana .
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Old 2nd November 2012, 01:17 PM   #101
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Default And what about this one ?

A Kastane with a grip in rhino horn and chiseled silver, with a pommel in the Pia Kaeta style.

(Collection Rainer Daehnhardt)

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Old 2nd November 2012, 07:58 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amuk Murugul
Hullo everybody!
As I don't seem to recall any example or mention of a Kastane with a WAVY Blade in this thread, I thought I'd post these quick snaps I took when taking advantage of a 'Window Of Opportunity'.(If already given/mentioned, then my sincere apologies and enjoy anyway.)
Best,



Salaams Amuk Murugul ~Interesting. It looks like a bent blade...so it probably is. It also looks quite old in what I would term original form... Hilt and blade decoration are in the old style.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 03:55 AM   #103
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Fernando

Remarkable weapon. Unlike most unusual pieces that may be later modifications of True Kasthana swords, this seem to be a custom made variation on the theme. It must be noted that the workmanship is very much traditional Sinhalese as for all floral and other motifs; but curiously done away with all animal forms.

would be interesting to find out what circumstances caused the artists to make such a deviant and who commissioned it and with what reasons.

What was the reason for avoiding animal forms???

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Old 3rd November 2012, 04:13 AM   #104
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Nice hilt. Possibly the animal motifs was avoided at the request of a Sinhalese Muslim owner? Or someone who wanted a change.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 03:16 PM   #105
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I regret not being able to contribute with some enligthening. The author/owner simply points out the hilt characteristic as a 'curiosity' .
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Old 4th November 2012, 01:52 AM   #106
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I tend to think on same lines as Alnakkas, very likely that it was for a Muslim Chief serving under the Sinhala King as the workman ship seem to be very much from a Sinhala traditional workshop.
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Old 7th November 2012, 05:38 PM   #107
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Old 7th November 2012, 05:51 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amuk Murugul
Hullo everybody!
As I don't seem to recall any example or mention of a Kastane with a WAVY Blade in this thread, I thought I'd post these quick snaps I took when taking advantage of a 'Window Of Opportunity'.(If already given/mentioned, then my sincere apologies and enjoy anyway.)
Best,



Salaams ~ Whilst this looks like a bent blade it may be related to blades on http://www.arms2armor.com/Swords/tulwaryatagan.htm , however, what is interesting other than the oddity factor of the blade is the old form hilt with ...a sea monster hilt ...Makara... virtually identical to the water spout and similar hilts shown earlier at # 14 # 15 # 18 etc. etc. typically pouring other deities from their mouths onto the Knuckleguard Guard and Quillons thus fulfilling their role on the sword as the traditional and ancient protector and provider of strength and battlefield prowess linked to the religion, underpinned in architecture, and held in high esteem by all.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 8th November 2012, 05:45 PM   #109
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I know the thread author is more on the sword side, but let me show here a very interesting XVIII century Singalese matchlock pistol that i found in the Web ... don't remember precisely where
... already with lock on the left side, as it became typical of Singalese firearms


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Old 9th November 2012, 12:45 PM   #110
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Default Speaking of Singalese decoration abilities

These two splendid 'Tanegashimas' were examined by a Japanese specialist in antique arms and were confirmed to have being produced in Sakai (Japan), having being later decorated in Ceylon, one with floral motifs and the other with mother of pearl ornaments .

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Old 9th November 2012, 02:40 PM   #111
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Salaams Note to Forum ~ The main thrust of my research is toward understanding the Sri Lankan martial art form "Angampora" which predates the Portuguese period in an attempt to link the Kastane to an earlier date ~ I have not achieved that yet, however, I am encouraged by detail on the website http://esrilankans.com/page.do?id=25 which depicts performers of the ancient fighting style with the weapon. Pictures below show Kastane Hilts depicting the Makara style on two weapons used by that martial system.

This indicates two things...1. It was a weapon and 2. If it was a true martial artists weapon the chances are that it originates in Sri Lankan history from ancient times. Angampora goes back at least 700 years before the Portuguese.

The last of the Angampora gurus existed during the Kandyan kingdom. The martial art, that had withstood the test of time, faced its biggest challenge during this era. The British, two years after capturing Kandy and gaining control over the entire island, passed a law to ban Angampora in 1817. The punishment was brutal ~ Shot below the knees.

Could this be one of the major reasons why this weapon has a clouded history?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 11th November 2012, 04:16 PM   #112
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Salaams~ Note to Forum~ The reader may be aware of an undercurrent of facts pertaining to the Arabs of Sri Lanka known as Sri Lankan Moors and who appeared as trader immigrants in the murky, distant past. It has been suggested that short curved swords were introduced by them though whilst they may have added weapons of that nature I have no reason to believe they were in any way involved in Kastane design but it is an interesting side note. They appeared thus in an article from http://salamlanka.blogspot.com/2010...onceptions.html

Quote ''Alexander Johnston has recorded that: …the first Muslims who settled in the country, were, according to the tradition which prevails among their descendants, a portion of those Arabs of the House of Hashim who were driven from Arabia in the early part of the eighth century by the Umayyad Caliph Abd-al Malik bin Marwan, and who proceeding from the Euphrates southward, established settlements in the Concan, the southern parts of the Indian peninsula, Sri Lanka and Malacca. He adds that the division of them that came to Sri Lanka formed eight considerable settlements.”Unquote.


From the same article I Quote "Similar sentiments have been expressed by other historians of the country including Dr. Lorna Dewaraja in "The Muslims of Sri Lanka, 1000 years of ethnic harmony 900-1915 AD", Dr. M I M Shukri and Professor K M De Silva".Unquote.

Another excellent description covering the Moros of Sri Lanka is at http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/srilanka.htm

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 18th November 2012, 04:42 PM   #113
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Salaams All ~Note to Forum~ Please check the Forum reference below for some superb pictures of Kastane in the Wallace Collection. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=indian+armour

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th November 2012, 06:14 PM   #114
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Salaams all ~ Note to Library. Instead of searching among the martial weaponry it dawned on me that a far more accurate method of backtracking would be to focus for example upon ancient Buddhist ritual items. If a link could be established on a style/design of artefact from deep historical religious linkages to that of the Kastane then a lot could be revealed.

Forum is thus advised that a breakthrough has been observed between such a linkage and a report follows at next post.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 1st December 2012, 05:16 PM   #115
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Default Quillon or not ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all ~ Note to Library. Instead of searching among the martial weaponry it dawned on me that a far more accurate method of backtracking would be to focus for example upon ancient Buddhist ritual items. If a link could be established on a style/design of artefact from deep historical religious linkages to that of the Kastane then a lot could be revealed.

Forum is thus advised that a breakthrough has been observed between such a linkage and a report follows here.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Salaams All ~ Proving a Kastane design link to an ancient Tibettan Buddhist weapon/ritual item would place the Kastane sword style well before the European appearance in Sri Lanka. That link comes in the shape of a Tibettan ritual chopping and stabbing tool displaying two Makara with the usual accompanying demon snakes or Nagas emanating down the shaft of the weapon onto the curious knotted crown like structures. In this case there are 4; creating a 3 dimensional quillon format on both the spear and chopping end.

As I have maintained from the outset the Kastane hilt (hilt guard knuckleguard and quillons) this concerns monsters "related directly" to the Makara and underpins my hypothesis that the Hilt of the Kastane is formed from the Makara serpent with Nagas (and other monsters flowing onto the knuckleguard, guard and apparent quillons) See # 56 first picture and compare the item below. The basis of the design is Makara and supporting serpents... Not of the Lion.

The first question is..When did Buddhism arrive in Sri Lanka? Wiki encyclopeadia states "According to traditional Sri Lankan chronicles (such as the Dipavamsa), Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the 4th century BCE by Venerable Mahinda, the son of the Emperor Ashoka, during the reign of Sri Lanka's King Devanampiya Tissa. During this time, a sapling of the Bodhi Tree was brought to Sri Lanka and the first monasteries were established under the sponsorship of the Sri Lankan king. The Pali Canon, having previously been preserved as an oral tradition, was first committed to writing in Sri Lanka around 30 BCE".

The second question, though, equally vital is ...Are the quillons actually Quillons or simply two dimensional representation of the Buddhist form shown by my ritual item below? It is interesting that the so called "quillons" of the Kastane do not seem to have a practical purpose since they are too small to stick ones finger into and too decorative to be of much practical use and occur on short weapons which don't seem to need quillons per se? The fact that they look like quillons does not mean that they are ~ in this case ~ though in the longer blades perhaps they work more effectively as such. My point is that it is purely coincidental that the "quillon like" structure exists on the Kastane.

In illustrating the Tibettan weapon ritual item as a double weapon spike and axe I add to the already formidable number of weapons portraying Makara etc This array of weapon examples now includes cannon and gun barrel mouths, gun locks, powder flasks, axes, swords, (short and long) daggers and the spike head and axe cutter below.

In conclusion I submit that the Kastane is an original Sri Lankan pre European design inspired by an ancient Buddhist form rooted in history and with its foundations built from the Makara and supporting demons as illustrated by the Tibettan object below. My hypothesis includes the fact that the Kastane has "apparent quillons" but which are actually not quillons but designs from the ancient Buddhist religion which simply go hand in hand with the Makara and supporting demons. When shown with a rainguard extending down the throat the design there-on is often reminiscent of peacock feathering for which the Makara is famous.

Whilst the Portuguese and or others may have been involved in workshops production of the Kastane jointly with some Sri Lankan cooperation they were not the designers neither were the Moors. This is a thoroughbred Sri Lankan sword.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note: Item is 2 feet long, heavy, of brass coated in either tin or low silver compound.
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Old 1st December 2012, 10:51 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Bailooshi
..... ancient Buddhist religion which simply go hand in hand with the Makara and supporting demons. When shown with a rainguard extending down the throat the design there-on is often reminiscent of peacock feathering for which the Makara is famous.

Whilst the Portuguese and or others may have been involved in workshops production of the Kastane jointly with some Sri Lankan cooperation they were not the designers neither were the Moors. This is a thoroughbred Sri Lankan sword...


As.Wr.Wb. Ibrahiim al Bailooshi,

May I simply applaud you for formulating and making your submission. May I also make the following addendum:
The Makara is an ancient Indian symbol of power, adopted by early Buddhism.
It is a composite creature which conveys the attributes of a crocodile; the jaw of a crocodile, the trunk of an elephant, the upper tusks and ears of a wild boar, the eyes of a monkey, the body and scales of a fish and the tail feathers of a peacock. To date, it has undergone evolutionary change in appearance, especially in areas where it has been adopted and adapted, acquiring such things as lion's head,fish gills, dragon talons etc.

Wass.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 12:55 AM   #117
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CONGRADULATIONS IT IS THE BEST THEORY I HAVE HEARD UP UNTIL NOW AND MAKES IT LIKELY THE DESIGN PREDATES THE ARRIVAL OF THE PORTUGESE. THE ORIGINAL WEAPON MAY HAVE LITTLE RESEMBLENCE TO TODAYS HIGHLY DECORATIVE SWORDS BUT THE BUDHIST INFLUENCE WAS SURLEY ITS DECORATIVE START.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 08:30 AM   #118
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Very clever and very original!
So, in fact, your hypothesis postulates that the "quillons" on Kastane are a modification of the Buddhist Vajra, no? My hesitation is that Vajra conveyed a very different religious message from Makara, and Makara, as you said, is so ubiquitous in South Indian weapon decoration that its mere presence is not unexpected.
Are there any similar Sri Lankan weapons pre-dating the arrival of the Portugese?

I love your hypothesis and a finding of such an example would be a strong argument in favor of it.

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Old 2nd December 2012, 09:05 AM   #119
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amuk Murugul
As.Wr.Wb. Ibrahiim al Bailooshi,

May I simply applaud you for formulating and making your submission. May I also make the following addendum:
The Makara is an ancient Indian symbol of power, adopted by early Buddhism.
It is a composite creature which conveys the attributes of a crocodile; the jaw of a crocodile, the trunk of an elephant, the upper tusks and ears of a wild boar, the eyes of a monkey, the body and scales of a fish and the tail feathers of a peacock. To date, it has undergone evolutionary change in appearance, especially in areas where it has been adopted and adapted, acquiring such things as lion's head,fish gills, dragon talons etc.

Wass.



Salaams Amuk Murugul ~ Thank you for that note of confidence and support along with the Indian provenance...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 09:09 AM   #120
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
CONGRADULATIONS IT IS THE BEST THEORY I HAVE HEARD UP UNTIL NOW AND MAKES IT LIKELY THE DESIGN PREDATES THE ARRIVAL OF THE PORTUGESE. THE ORIGINAL WEAPON MAY HAVE LITTLE RESEMBLENCE TO TODAYS HIGHLY DECORATIVE SWORDS BUT THE BUDHIST INFLUENCE WAS SURLEY ITS DECORATIVE START.



Salaams VANDOO ~ Thank you for the very encouraging words.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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