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Old 2nd December 2012, 08:14 AM   #121
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by ariel
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.


Salaams Ariel, Ya precisely. Its true the Vajra wasn't an area I had expected to find a link but there it is on the ritual Buddhist tool/weapon with the supporting demons sliding down the projections... as they do on the Kastane. Insofar as other weapons pre Portuguese I suspect there are some older Kastane in that bracket and axes seen earlier in the thread as well as accoutrements as I mentioned.
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 12:03 PM   #122
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Well, you might be onto something:-)
I went to Wiki ( British Encyclopedia of the 21st century:-) and looked for Vajdrayana and Makara. Indeed, there is a connection between them. The Vajdrayana weaponry have a common motive of "emerging from the mouth of crocodile".
Not bad, man, not bad :-)
I am slowly inching toward your side. Now, an old example would definitely win me over.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 01:49 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Well, you might be onto something:-)
I went to Wiki ( British Encyclopedia of the 21st century:-) and looked for Vajdrayana and Makara. Indeed, there is a connection between them. The Vajdrayana weaponry have a common motive of "emerging from the mouth of crocodile".
Not bad, man, not bad :-)
I am slowly inching toward your side. Now, an old example would definitely win me over.



Salaams ariel~ Yes I needed to do a full in depth crash course into all of that !! The historical detail is immense. The interesting thing is I would never have twigged that this was indeed the case about the Buddhist linkage had I not stumbled onto the recent thread by Shimaal on a strange cutter device and the post by Jim; see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16451

What is further puzzling is displayed at #15 of this thread which is an axe from Sri Lanka with what appear to be quillons (similar to the Kastane quillons) turned the wrong way. This looks like an ancient form of weapon and supports somewhat my theory not only because of its probable age but because it interprets the quillon format simply as a design so perhaps the Kastane does that also?

I believe the Makara and supporting monsters shown having teamed from its mouth onto the Knuckleguard in the half human faced style and others onto the cross guard and apparent "Quillons" are the foundation of the hypothesis and are obvious when inspecting the many Kastane on this thread. Where I think the "game set and match" point is won is on linking the structure to the Buddhist artefact which therefor predates the Europeans in the Indian Ocean by hundreds of years.

The Lions share of this discovery, however, goes to Forum !!

Thanks for your kind support.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:35 AM   #124
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Default Heenayana vs Vajrayana Buddhist Icons

The assumption presented need to be qualified on a couple of aspects. there are three main sects of Buddhism. Sri Lankan Buddhism belongs primarily to the “Heenayana”sect Though “Mahayana” also existed for many centuries along with Heenayana it was in decline and almost extinct in Sri Lanka at the time in question. The “Vajrayana” Sect to which the ritual weapon illustrated belongs never made a foot hold in Sri Lanka.

While I confess I know not enough of Tibetan Vajrayana Tantric traditions and Iconography, the Vajra being the Thunderbolt or lightening weapon as far as I know always contain either 3 or more prongs. I have never seen a two pronged Vajra at which point it may lose its character as a Vajra.

Though the Vajra as a symbol is used by Hindu and rarely in Mahayana Buddhist figures and several proper Vajra relicts and depictions are found in Sri Lankan collections which again have their roots in Hindu and Mahayana traditions, the Vajra combined ritual objects or practices (for which the ritual knife in the image belongs to) are un-known here.

The ”axe” in # 15 is not Sinhalese.

There is no doubt that almost all early Sinhala arts were influenced by Buddhist and also Hindu cultural values and icons but I feel that the Vajra is a rather unlikely candidate as its general iconic use is very rare in Sinhala art.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:37 PM   #125
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Default THE SRI LANKAN KASTHANE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
The assumption presented need to be qualified on a couple of aspects. there are three main sects of Buddhism. Sri Lankan Buddhism belongs primarily to the “Heenayana”sect Though “Mahayana” also existed for many centuries along with Heenayana it was in decline and almost extinct in Sri Lanka at the time in question. The “Vajrayana” Sect to which the ritual weapon illustrated belongs never made a foot hold in Sri Lanka.

While I confess I know not enough of Tibetan Vajrayana Tantric traditions and Iconography, the Vajra being the Thunderbolt or lightening weapon as far as I know always contain either 3 or more prongs. I have never seen a two pronged Vajra at which point it may lose its character as a Vajra.

Though the Vajra as a symbol is used by Hindu and rarely in Mahayana Buddhist figures and several proper Vajra relicts and depictions are found in Sri Lankan collections which again have their roots in Hindu and Mahayana traditions, the Vajra combined ritual objects or practices (for which the ritual knife in the image belongs to) are un-known here.

The ”axe” in # 15 is not Sinhalese.

There is no doubt that almost all early Sinhala arts were influenced by Buddhist and also Hindu cultural values and icons but I feel that the Vajra is a rather unlikely candidate as its general iconic use is very rare in Sinhala art.



Salaams Weerakkody ~ The highly respected ancient religions of Buddhism and Hinduism have spread and difused across the region of which Sri Lanka was and is part. We are observing several thousand years of impact on the socio-political and of course the religious theme. Influence has spread and modified and as the view of the Makara blurrs slightly around the edges so too do the associated symbols, accompanying demons and supporting design structures. Through the thousands of years of such blending there is, however, a main theme central to the Makara hilt concept which is, as I have illustrated, the hand-in-hand appearance of other deities both on the knuckleguard, guard and "so called" quillons. The supporting evidence of Buddhist influence indicates the link, thus, pushing the Kastane design beyond the Portuguese appearance.

The proof therefor emerges showing the Kastane as a purebred Sri Lankan weapon whilst not ruling out Portuguese or other nationalities co-operation in joint production in retrospect. i.e. They liked it ~ they made more in joint workshops later.

Worth noting is the likelihood that the highly decorative, Buddhist influenced "so called" Quillons whilst having confused the issue for us now, actually enhanced its use as a court sword then. The point about the quillons is there appearance as strikingly similar to the Tibetan item and association with the Makara. A broader, wider look at the timeframe is advised since, though, there may have been a declining influence in the 15/16th century, by viewing a more expanded timeline the situation fuses more suitably in line with the theory. The question as to when the weapon actually appeared may also be examined.

The opportunity does not avail me to consider the important role of the national fighting art of Sri Lanka (http://www.angampora.info/) since I am not there on the ground, however, I believe a parallel result may be possible from studying the pre European period and how Kastane was (or was not) employed in that fight form. Pointers indicate the weapons use earlier than 15thC from sources on the web but being on the ground facts would be easier to discover. It seems obvious to me that a martial system that was put in place to protect Buddhism would have within its deeply religious coding the evidence we are seeking. It would not surprise me to learn that the ancient system had adopted a certain weapon such as the Kastane as its primary defensive sword and when considering the Buddhist evidence now outlined perhaps someone in Sri Lanka can have a look at that..?

In conclusion; After relating the considerable evidence and the clear link with the ancient religious icons and deities, in particular; The Makara and its supporting structures and considering the hypothesis concerning the details at #115, I concluded that The Kasthane is a Sri Lankan weapon predating Portuguese and other European and Arab influence, thus, it is a purebred Sri Lankan weapon with a Makara hilt.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note; I threw in the axe as an example though I am happy to throw it out again becaause whilst it is an example of curious, opposite facing, decorated monster, quillon type structures it's not actually Sri Lankan but Malay / Indian of Buddhist influence.

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Old 7th December 2012, 05:18 PM   #126
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Default What's in a Word?

Salaams all~Note to Forum~Ground breaking detail.

Historical evidence now exists of the origin of the word Kastane from a foreign word introduced to the West from a structure common in Sri Lanka in the 16th Century. I shall address this in my next post.
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Old 8th December 2012, 05:36 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all~Note to Forum~Ground breaking detail.

Historical evidence now exists of the origin of the word Kastane from a foreign word introduced to the West from a structure common in Sri Lanka in the 16th Century. I shall address this in my next post.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Olá Ibrahiim,
How soon your next post will be?
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:00 PM   #128
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IF THE DESIGN FOR THE KASTANCE HILT AND QUILLIONS EVOLVED FROM THESE BUDHIST RITUAL OBJECTS THEN IT IS NOT JUST DECORATIVE IN NATURE. IT MAY BRING THE SAME SPIRITUAL PROTECTION AGAINS EVIL SPIRITS AND SUCH SO IT COULD BE A FUSION OF SPIRITUAL WEAPON AND ACTUAL SWORD. THIS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE IN COURT AS A INEFFECTIVE PHYSICAL WEAPON COULD BE ALLOWED BECAUSE MUCH SUPERIOR WEAPONS WERE PRESENT WITH THE GAURDS TO PROTECT THE RULERS. THE SYMBOLS ON THE HANDLE WOULD THEN PROTECT THE WEARER FROM EVIL SPIRITS AND SUCH ( THERE ARE ALWAYS PLENTY OF EVIL SPIRITS IN PLACES OF POWER ).
JUST MY THOUGHTS AND CONJECTURE BUT PERHAPS A LITTLE MORE INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND SEARCHING IN THAT DIRECTION.
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Old 9th December 2012, 07:37 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by VANDOO
IF THE DESIGN FOR THE KASTANCE HILT AND QUILLIONS EVOLVED FROM THESE BUDHIST RITUAL OBJECTS THEN IT IS NOT JUST DECORATIVE IN NATURE. IT MAY BRING THE SAME SPIRITUAL PROTECTION AGAINS EVIL SPIRITS AND SUCH SO IT COULD BE A FUSION OF SPIRITUAL WEAPON AND ACTUAL SWORD. THIS WOULD BE APPROPRIATE IN COURT AS A INEFFECTIVE PHYSICAL WEAPON COULD BE ALLOWED BECAUSE MUCH SUPERIOR WEAPONS WERE PRESENT WITH THE GAURDS TO PROTECT THE RULERS. THE SYMBOLS ON THE HANDLE WOULD THEN PROTECT THE WEARER FROM EVIL SPIRITS AND SUCH ( THERE ARE ALWAYS PLENTY OF EVIL SPIRITS IN PLACES OF POWER ).
JUST MY THOUGHTS AND CONJECTURE BUT PERHAPS A LITTLE MORE INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND SEARCHING IN THAT DIRECTION.


Salaams VANDOO, Agreed. My point is that this weapon originated as a defender of the faith (Buddhism) and naturally with sword in hand surrounded about the Makara hilt by Makara and other supporting Buddhist Icons the weilding soldier is thus enhanced with all things religious and holy. It remains to be disclosed in my next missive where the missing piece of the jigsaw (or one of them) that of the terminology and the quandry of what's in a name...? Which I shall concoct in a few hours ~ I have to say however that running into the entire Hindu and Buddhist equation is no simple matter and from a cold start it has been all uphill.

Thanks for the idea for research along those lines... and for me one other idea was to research the Martial Arts angle for which it would be vital to be in Sri Lanka. I noted earlier that the Sri Lankan martial art Angopora is thousands of years old and it looks like they used Kastana. Interestingly it would need to be called something else prior to the European appearance since the word appears to be largely Portuguese.. more on that in a few hours.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:53 PM   #130
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Default Tilting at Palm Trees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Olá Ibrahiim,
How soon your next post will be?



Salaams fernando and all ~ My reference (as well as the Forum library) is Indian Art by Roy C Craven ~ World of Art Series~ Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-20146-3.

The time line is vast; Hinduism is more than 4000 years old whilst Buddhism started inbetween 566 and 486 BC. The arrival of the Portuguese and their influence upon Sri Lanka started in the 1500s. Therefor there is a quantum jump between the vast timescales but that is what makes this so interesting a roller coaster.

On page 29 of Reference Professor Craven points out that the Aryans in 1500 BC had settled in Northern India and thus began the culture amalgamation of the Vedic style with that of the vanquished dark skinned Dravidians. After gradually intermarrying and consolidation the Aryans spread South Eastwards from their initial conquests of the Indus Valley and the Punjab taking the Ganges and Jumna rivers plains ~ an area called the Doab....

They brought with them a concept of religion based on sacrifice to Deities which mirrored the forces of nature. Their social structure emanating from their religion was essentially heirarcical and is better known now as the caste system. The word itself (caste) comes from the Portuguese word castas but was first used in the 16th Century. The Aryans actually used a different word Varna; meaning colour.

I intend to show that the word for Caste "Castas" was the word root which inspired the term Castane but first a word on the Sri Lankan Caste System~

Whereas the Indian system was quite brutal the Sri Lankan version was not. It was mild by comparison but one thing is obvious in tracing the craftsmen of the island and their sects or castes which were quite strict; Goldsmiths, silversmiths swordsmiths, precious stone polishers, diamond cutters, rhino hilt makers, coppersmiths, engravers, furnace operators, bladesmiths, scabbard decorators, leatherworkers, woodworkers and labourers all belonged to different Castes and as such can be thought of as Guilds..

More than a dozen Castes were employed to make the Castane and I believe it is this that drew the name Castas as the original Portuguese word for this sword. In honour of the many guilds(Castes) of crafsmen employed in its making.

180 Degree Turn ! If this is in fact the case my entire hypothesis of the Castane being a purebred Sri Lankan sword pre the Portuguese appearance flies out the window now.

The problems with the pre Portuguese idea are:

1. No Castane, pre-Portuguese, exists in any museum or on any drawing, painting or sculpture in any medium; wood, metal or stone in itself very strange since stone freize panels depict so much historical content and an important sword like that would be sure to be included.

2. No Castane existed under that name before the Portuguese influence since it was a word given by them to the Sri Lankans.

3. It would be highly unlikely that a respected Buddhist sword would be re named by an incoming invader, raider, occupier especially one with an entirely different religious structure. A renamed sword of that style would surely be recorded but there is no trace.

I now conclude that the real reason is because pre the Portuguese period no such sword existed in Sri Lanka...we have been chasing shadows.

My second but fresh hypothesis thus reads ~

The Castane, named so by the Portuguese, was introduced designed and built with Portuguese collaboration in Royal workshops in Sri Lanka in the late 1500/early1600s... and variously afterwards for many centuries. The Portuguese part of the design may have introduced the basic hilt shape and cutlass fashion popular in Mediterranean forms whilst the main theme came from the Sri Lankan design taken from Buddhist structures in history encompassing Makara, supporting Deities and Buddhist ritual-item related Quillons (as at #115).

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 9th December 2012, 05:38 PM   #131
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Olá Ibrahiim,
Evidence of the origin of the term caste and the assumption that there aren't any recorded kastanes before Portuguese arrival is one thing ... and the appearing of the sword and its given name as a result of Portuguese influence, is another.
... A missing link that you now well call hypothesis... a fresh one.
But then, entering the field of hypotheses, why not give a chance to that of the down curved quillons being a remnant of Portuguese swords characteristics ? Not to speak of that of the term Kastane deriving from Katana, the Japanese sword that appeared in the XIV century and which name was incorporated in the Portuguese language in the XVI century, after their arrival in Japan. We know that, once the term became (also) portuguese, was widely used in other continents and applied in a general sense to various types of edged weapons. Why then not possible that this was the way the Kastane got its name ... either given by Portuguese or even Cingalese ?
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Old 10th December 2012, 05:51 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Olá Ibrahiim,
Evidence of the origin of the term caste and the assumption that there aren't any recorded kastanes before Portuguese arrival is one thing ... and the appearing of the sword and its given name as a result of Portuguese influence, is another.
... A missing link that you now well call hypothesis... a fresh one.
But then, entering the field of hypotheses, why not give a chance to that of the down curved quillons being a remnant of Portuguese swords characteristics ? Not to speak of that of the term Kastane deriving from Katana, the Japanese sword that appeared in the XIV century and which name was incorporated in the Portuguese language in the XVI century, after their arrival in Japan. We know that, once the term became (also) portuguese, was widely used in other continents and applied in a general sense to various types of edged weapons. Why then not possible that this was the way the Kastane got its name ... either given by Portuguese or even Cingalese ?



Salaams fernando ~ I agree entirely with your first paragraph and suggest that it is vital to the new hypothesis..Your paragraph 2 is also astute...I am indeed saying that the influence is from the Jinetta turned down quillon style but supplanted rather by the Buddhist emblems Nagas or minor Deities and a style taken directly from #115; The Tibettan connection.

The point about Japanese influence is one I have thought of only on passing..It's perhaps a bit of a stretch...and probably falls into the general area of "whats in a word"? Its a bit thin but at the same time thoroughly interesting; Kastane, Kattara, Katana, Kattar? Conversely I must say that the Jinnetta link now becomes stronger and that Portuguese-Sri Lankan cooperation in weapons manufacture may hold the key. When I mentioned Mediterranean influence I meant Portuguese as below...


The Castane, named so by the Portuguese, was introduced designed and built with Portuguese collaboration in Royal workshops in Sri Lanka in the late 1500/early1600s... and variously afterwards for many centuries. The Portuguese part of the design may have introduced the basic hilt shape and cutlass fashion popular in Portuguese/Spanish Jinetta forms whilst the main theme came from the Sri Lankan design taken from Buddhist structures in history encompassing Makara, supporting Deities and Buddhist ritual-item related Quillons (as at #115).

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:36 PM   #133
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Well, as I said earlier, finding of a pre-Portugese Kastane was the absolutely-required piece of evidence. If there is no such example in existence, we are back to the drawing board...

Another example of the great tragedy of science: a beautiful Hypothesis slain by an ugly Fact:-)


Ibrahim, keep searching: it is not always revealing, but it is a lot of fun!

Be well and prosper, my friend!
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Old 11th December 2012, 08:33 AM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Well, as I said earlier, finding of a pre-Portugese Kastane was the absolutely-required piece of evidence. If there is no such example in existence, we are back to the drawing board...

Another example of the great tragedy of science: a beautiful Hypothesis slain by an ugly Fact:-)


Ibrahim, keep searching: it is not always revealing, but it is a lot of fun!

Be well and prosper, my friend!



Salaams Ariel ~ Well yes and no. My first hypothesis is outweighed by the fact that, as you say, there is no evidence to support a pre Portuguese Kastane ... but there is a load of it supporting their involvement in naming the weapon and being involved in weapons production with the Sri Lankan masters after they set foot on the Island. I therefor supplant my first effort with a more proven logical and sound re appraisal as;

The Castane, named so by the Portuguese, was introduced designed and built with Portuguese collaboration in Royal workshops in Sri Lanka in the late 1500/early1600s... and variously afterwards for many centuries. The Portuguese part of the design may have introduced the basic hilt shape and *cutlass fashion popular in Portuguese/Spanish Jinetta forms whilst the main theme came from the Sri Lankan design taken from Buddhist structures in history encompassing Makara, supporting Deities and Buddhist ritual-item related Quillons (as at #115).

*I will stick with that for now and add that the reason for the inclusion of the words cutlass fashion is to net in the similar curved short Nimcha style (and assuming a cutlass action of a short ships sword).

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 11th December 2012, 02:29 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...The point about Japanese influence is one I have thought of only on passing..It's perhaps a bit of a stretch... The Portuguese part of the design may have introduced the basic hilt shape and cutlass fashion popular in Portuguese/Spanish Jinetta forms whilst the main theme came from the Sri Lankan design taken from Buddhist structures in history encompassing Makara, supporting Deities and Buddhist ritual-item related Quillons (as at #115). ...

Talking of (quoting you) a bit of stretch; i would consider such fusion thesis also a long shot. Would rather bet in one "one or another" influence.
And by the way, i wouldn’t include the jineta in this championship. This wouldn’t be the origin for the (false) quillons on the Kastane. Such sword already had its characteristic form when the Nasrid brought it to Al Andaluz by the XIII century; their fallen “arriaces” were born like that and would be nothing but a decor, or in the least with no practical use . Neither could we call it Portuguese or Spanish, although it became later christianized, with its production ceasing in Toledo by the XV century. Whether its consequent variants were the reason for the appearing of the actual (finger) defense quillons is another issue; but the sword that was brought by (Portuguese) navigators to Ceylon had actual functional ample curved quillons, those to protect fingers holding the ricasso which, according to some opinion sources, were ‘shrunk’ by Cingalese smiths in their sword (Kastane) models, as not intended for their fencing (handling) techniques.
But don't take my perspective in such worthwhile position; i am just trying to help maintaining the (hypo)thesis contradictory .


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Old 12th December 2012, 08:46 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Talking of (quoting you) a bit of stretch; i would consider such fusion thesis also a long shot. Would rather bet in one "one or another" influence.
And by the way, i wouldn’t include the jineta in this championship. This wouldn’t be the origin for the (false) quillons on the Kastane. Such sword already had its characteristic form when the Nasrid brought it to Al Andaluz by the XIII century; their fallen “arriaces” were born like that and would be nothing but a decor, or in the least with no practical use . Neither could we call it Portuguese or Spanish, although it became later christianized, with its production ceasing in Toledo by the XV century. Whether its consequent variants were the reason for the appearing of the actual (finger) defense quillons is another issue; but the sword that was brought by (Portuguese) navigators to Ceylon had actual functional ample curved quillons, those to protect fingers holding the ricasso which, according to some opinion sources, were ‘shrunk’ by Cingalese smiths in their sword (Kastane) models, as not intended for their fencing (handling) techniques.
But don't take my perspective in such worthwhile position; i am just trying to help maintaining the (hypo)thesis contradictory .


.


Salaams Fernando. Your picture is an excellent illustration of what I feel is, in part, the origin of species concerning the design of the Kastane. The Quillons however on the Kastane are more a take off from the ritual Tibettan item. The hilt is purely Buddhist. Thus the blended style.

I don't believe they are actually Quillons but in the likeness of Quillons, though, actually from the Vajra item; #115.

There is simply no evidence of a pre Portuguese Kastane in Sri Lanka..What appears as highly probable is Portuguese battleships rolling up with artisans and weapon masters on board and a liaison between the Sri Lankan Royal Households combining both weapons into the Kastane; fusing two styles viz;

The Buddhist influenced Makara hilt, Knuckle Guard, Guard and "Quillons" (so called) and the Portuguese sword style thus became blended.

We know that liaison took place in weapons workshops because your own picture earlier of the Makara or Naga on the locks of the long guns; #66 second photo.

In terms of other Eastern influence; No evidence presents itself in terms of Japanese/Portuguese influence. The weapons are completely different.

In terms of wording; The two closest words relating to Kastane are Castao and Castas. Castao meaning stick is surely a non starter since how can a precious stone encrusted, hugely rare, gilded and silver engraved masterpiece be simply called a stick? Logic seems to point to the richer more understandable conclusion that Castas (master crafted) is more likely. I have illustrated the link between Caste and Guilds of Master craftsmen previously.

My hypothesis stands, though, broadly enhanced with your superb photo.


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note; For excellent pictures of Kastane see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...34&page=1&pp=30

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Old 12th December 2012, 02:20 PM   #137
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Olá Ibrahiim,
You will pardon my imaturity in these things, as i am not sure if i understand the way you wish to put things.
... even though i dare dropping a couple notes:

Castão is not a crude stick but the knob/handle of a stick when its ornamentation is implicit. One used to see them "encastoados" with ivory, gems and rare metals out there. The word is not portuguese (latin), but of German originated, later transited to old french, from where it was adopted to portuguese language.

I am a bit puzzled in that you seem to rapidly put in the same basket the Islamic concept of the Gineta with the Budhist pattern that you pretend to be the provenance of the Kastane false quillons.
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Old 12th December 2012, 03:22 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by fernando
Olá Ibrahiim,
You will pardon my imaturity in these things, as i am not sure if i understand the way you wish to put things.
... even though i dare dropping a couple notes:

Castão is not a crude stick but the knob/handle of a stick when its ornamentation is implicit. One used to see them "encastoados" with ivory, gems and rare metals out there. The word is not portuguese (latin), but of German originated, later transited to old french, from where it was adopted to portuguese language.

I am a bit puzzled in that you seem to rapidly put in the same basket the Islamic concept of the Gineta with the Budhist pattern that you pretend to be the provenance of the Kastane false quillons.



Salaams Fernando~ Very interesting. Thank you for your clarification on the stick word Castão which I thought just meant "stick" Now with that information it certainly poses the question was the original word from that and not Castas? What we do know is that the Portuguese word Castas was the word applied to the Indian Caste system and that was the line up I applied etc etc... however, looking for the word root is as you well know a hazard worth avoiding...What is important is the fact that no evidence appears pre Portuguese involvement in Sri Lanka of the Kastane.

Your second point about Islamic and Buddhist mixed style of hilt is equally evasive of a straight answer since an equally styled type of sword coming down from the Indian style line could also be responsible for the essence of the decorative layout... take for example the Tulvar with quillons and knuckleguard...A clever designer using the Buddhist style could come up with a Kastane design from that...Equally a re-hash of the Zanzibari Nimcha with Buddhist decorated hilt would produce a Kastane just as easily.

However, that is not the point. Focus is upon the Portuguese/Sri Lankan form and the time of the Portuguese. It was they who named the weapon and since no Kastane is evidenced prior to their arrival logic points to their involvement and because of the Buddhist influence the inclusion of the Buddhist Iconic hilt is a clear indicator of Sri Lankan cooperation.

Naturally there is another supposition that the Sri Lankans designed it with no cooperation with anyone but coincidentally at the same time as the arrival of the Portuguese... and that the word Kastane is in fact a Sri Lankan word or concoction that we have no evidence of... lost in time...or that once it was produced it suddenly adopted a Portuguese name. Hardly a researchable topic.

Eyesight also tells us that the hilt and scabbard design are Sri Lankan although the timeline indicates cooperation in weapons design with the Portuguese since they were also making guns together..

Of course you may be quite right about the "Quillon" situation being perhaps totally nothing to do with the Ginetta. In fact, my previous thoughts were that they weren't quillons but simply a reflection of the deities on the Vajra item, therefor, I don't disagree but it alters not my hypothesis neither does the too-and-fro with the "whats in a word conundrum" ~ though it is interesting.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note~ Reproduced here is my carefully worded Hypothesis for perusal.

"The Kastane, named so by the Portuguese, was introduced designed and built with Portuguese collaboration in Royal workshops in Sri Lanka in the late 1500/early1600s... and variously afterwards for many centuries. The Portuguese part of the design may have introduced the basic hilt shape and *cutlass fashion popular in Portuguese/Spanish Jinetta forms whilst the main theme came from the Sri Lankan design taken from Buddhist structures in history encompassing Makara, supporting Deities and Buddhist ritual-item related Quillons" (as at #115).

*I will stick with that for now and add that the reason for the inclusion of the words cutlass fashion is to net in the similar curved short Nimcha style (and assuming a cutlass action of a short ships sword).

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Old 17th December 2012, 01:50 AM   #139
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Default Kasthana -The Prince of Swords

Been pursuing a more sound foundation for the origin of the name Kasthana based on a term used in old Sinhala; that may provide a far more solid basis than any that had been pursued so far and rule out Portuguese origins to the word.

The term “Asthana” has been documented used on many occasions during the 16th and 17th century texts as a “suffix” to refer to princes. (Example: Princes of King Vimaladharmasuriya I- Rajasuriya Asthana, Udumale Asthana, Kumarasinghe Asthana and Vijayapala Asthana in addition it is also used with Dharmapala Asthana, Dev-Rajasinghe Asthana and Jayaweera Asthana etc.)


There are two Sinhala weapons with the suffix “Asthana” -the Kasthana and the Patisthana; both of these weapons differ from the mainstream arms in the prolific ornamentation that accompany them. While the Kasthana was a weapon of honor presented and used by chiefs and warriors who excelled in battle, the Patisthana was a spear used primarily as a palace guard arm. The records indicate presentations of both as honorifics to individuals by the King.

In Sinhala a sword is referred to as a Asi, Asipath, Kaduwa, Kagga or Kaga. hence a “Princely sword” could become a “Kaga-Asthana” > “Ka-asthana” > “Kasthana”, equally spears known as Ati or Pati could become a “Princely spear” by terming “Pati-Asthana” > “Patisthana”

Accordingly I think it is very likely that the Kasthana was so termed with the meaning of “Prince of Swords” or “Royal Sword”

This will confirm the origin of the Kasthana as a purely Sinhala arm and with a far more solid basis for the origin of the name than any that had been discussed previously. and also provide a strong counter to any Portuguese origin claims.


Attaching an image in celebration- A Kandyan chief with a Kasthana Sword
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Old 17th December 2012, 06:39 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
Been pursuing a more sound foundation for the origin of the name Kasthana based on a term used in old Sinhala; that may provide a far more solid basis than any that had been pursued so far and rule out Portuguese origins to the word.

The term “Asthana” has been documented used on many occasions during the 16th and 17th century texts as a “suffix” to refer to princes. (Example: Princes of King Vimaladharmasuriya I- Rajasuriya Asthana, Udumale Asthana, Kumarasinghe Asthana and Vijayapala Asthana in addition it is also used with Dharmapala Asthana, Dev-Rajasinghe Asthana and Jayaweera Asthana etc.)


There are two Sinhala weapons with the suffix “Asthana” -the Kasthana and the Patisthana; both of these weapons differ from the mainstream arms in the prolific ornamentation that accompany them. While the Kasthana was a weapon of honor presented and used by chiefs and warriors who excelled in battle, the Patisthana was a spear used primarily as a palace guard arm. The records indicate presentations of both as honorifics to individuals by the King.

In Sinhala a sword is referred to as a Asi, Asipath, Kaduwa, Kagga or Kaga. hence a “Princely sword” could become a “Kaga-Asthana” > “Ka-asthana” > “Kasthana”, equally spears known as Ati or Pati could become a “Princely spear” by terming “Pati-Asthana” > “Patisthana”

Accordingly I think it is very likely that the Kasthana was so termed with the meaning of “Prince of Swords” or “Royal Sword”

This will confirm the origin of the Kasthana as a purely Sinhala arm and with a far more solid basis for the origin of the name than any that had been discussed previously. and also provide a strong counter to any Portuguese origin claims.


Attaching an image in celebration- A Kandyan chief with a Kasthana Sword


Salaams Weerakkody.

Your painting is recent and not taken from an historic reference dating before the Portuguese involvement.. Am I correct in assuming this?

Without wishing to get into a discussion long and difficult (impossible) about "whats in a word" I would caution that there is little evidence either way. I cannot see much of a tie up with your word association except that it is interesting.

Where I suggest a potential area of research which you may be better placed to identify is in the Martial Arts pre Portuguese weaponry style of swords used. The fact is that we are unable to identify an early enough Kastane (Kasthane) which would prove beyond doubt its earlier position.

The 16/17th century is too late....because;

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. The rest as we say is history.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 17th December 2012, 03:43 PM   #141
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Prasanna, I just have to give you my compliments for the Kandyan chief! One of the best faces you've done IMO and those eyes are just so intense that he almost scares me through the screen.

...btw. if Sinhala chicks are as hot today as they are in your paintings, I hope to get an invitation from you sometime.


Sorry to interrupt guys, I'll go back to my seat now and keep learning. Please keep the discussion going!


All the best, - Thor
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:06 AM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Weerakkody.

Your painting is recent and not taken from an historic reference dating before the Portuguese involvement.. Am I correct in assuming this?

Without wishing to get into a discussion long and difficult (impossible) about "whats in a word" I would caution that there is little evidence either way. I cannot see much of a tie up with your word association except that it is interesting.

Where I suggest a potential area of research which you may be better placed to identify is in the Martial Arts pre Portuguese weaponry style of swords used. The fact is that we are unable to identify an early enough Kastane (Kasthane) which would prove beyond doubt its earlier position.

The 16/17th century is too late....because;

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. The rest as we say is history.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Salaams Weerakkody ~ I have looked again at your explanation of the Kasthane word origins and I have to say it is a well thought out proposition ...what you indicate could be fact .. but unfortunately it doesn't change the equation based ion the first appearance of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka.(1505AD) The point is that even if the word Kasthane is pure Sri Lankan they(the Portuguese ) were already there ... and in the case of the word being Sri Lankan the design and manufacture may not have been, moreover, cooperation in both were likely carried out in Royal workshops, thus, the weapon itself may be a hybrid with aspects of both designers (Sri Lankan and Portuguese) including Buddhist influence etc.

Thank you for the hard work and insight on the linguistic angles.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:20 PM   #143
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Thanks Thor for Complement, About the girls; sadly they don’t dress the same way now…

Balooshi, I have run the concept of Kasthana origin being the word Asthana with a few Sri Lankan historians and linguists and there is agreement to the high probability of the root of the word.

The design origin of Kasthana is also indigenous; and very likely pre-dated Portuguese arrival; though some elements of the Kasthana in its final form may have had possible Portuguese influence. I am still working on this- need more work…
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Old 19th December 2012, 03:28 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody

Balooshi, I have run the concept of Kasthana origin being the word Asthana with a few Sri Lankan historians and linguists and there is agreement to the high probability of the root of the word.

The design origin of Kasthana is also indigenous; and very likely pre-dated Portuguese arrival; though some elements of the Kasthana in its final form may have had possible Portuguese influence. I am still working on this- need more work…


Salaams Weerakkody ~ All good. It is entirely feasible that the Kastane is Portuguese assisted or even a pre Portuguese then later modified weapon... perhaps jointly worked and produced. It still remains possible, however, that this is a weapon developed by Portuguese / Sri Lankan co-operation post 1505. Perhaps there is some evidence at Museum level or in the archives?

My earlier suggestion of the link in Martial Arts weaponry may be another source.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 31st July 2013, 07:26 PM   #145
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Salaams all ~ Note to Forum...

This thread was very interesting and a huge amount of detail was logged for Forum library ~ Meanwhile, it stalled as threads so often do with the promise that we would get back to it soon...

I have seen various Kastane and some extremely nice items though with written detail tending to muddle the two terminologies of Lion Hilt with Makara. Auction houses in particular are reluctant to come down on one side of the fence as they percieve that potential clients could be put off with one of the descriptions so they put both

I hope that by resurecting this thread we can get a little closer to the truth.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 4th October 2013, 06:54 PM   #146
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Salaams All ~Note to Forum.

Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ted=1#post16117 .. I use this reference to illustrate the identity of the Kastane Hilt as Makara based.

The Malay peninsula weapon with a clear design based upon the Makara. See below the water spout design from the same monster form.

It has always intrigued me as to which way the Makara design spread ...

My theory on the Sri Lankan Kastane offers a design formulated by a joint Portuguese Sri Lankan workshops situation using The Makara combined onto a hilt with Vijra (Buddhist influence) elements(false quillons) onto which other Deities(Nagas) and the human faced crocodile on the hand guard are spilled and including a rain guard formed of the Makara (peacock form) tail.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th January 2014, 10:27 AM   #147
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Salaams All. Note to Library.

Here are a few new pictures and some maybe already pictured but I just wanted to bring on a group of shots of this sword style ... perhaps I can inspire some input from other Forum members and since this thread came to an abrupt halt a while ago it is time to breathe new life into it.. So lets go!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th January 2014, 10:52 AM   #148
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Salaams all ...I seek the link between Kastane and Javanese/Indonesian/Malay weapons through the accepted religious/traditional aspect of the mythical Makara Hilts designs, thus, I show Javanese Pedang Lurus Sword with Pamor Blade, Padang Sesak from Indonesia, Makara on Malay Hilt (picture on a black background) below.

I am not only drawing conclusions about cross style transmission but also that what we are looking at in the Sri Lankan Kastane Hilt form is from the same source... The Makara.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th January 2014, 04:10 PM   #149
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iI would like to park here some Makara designs in Jewellery... It may be of note that the majority of designs refer to a snake or serpent like creature since the main them is upon bangle design...which naturally lends itself to a curled snake bangle style...as opposed to say... a lion.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th January 2014, 04:20 PM   #150
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Salaams All ~ An example of Makara on Indian weapons and Tibetan chopping devices...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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