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Old 21st January 2014, 02:12 AM   #211
Prasanna Weerakkody
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Ibrahiim, Yes this flag is modern- but as you know it was copied and modified off the Banner of the Last Sinhala King. Also including an image of a Lion Flag inscribed among the murals of the Dambulla temple depicting the battles of King Dutugemunu and as his royal banner. The temple has a ancestry dating back to the 1st Century BC. - and underwent major renovation and re-painting in the 18th Century - which establishes the 'Lion with sword' as the Sinhala Royal Banner in the least to that period.

Any way my point in adding the flag was only to illustrate that the Lion motif is a primary national symbol of the Sinhalese. Its use on the Sword hilt etc. are as National symbols of the Sinhala race- not as purely religious or auspicious symbols.

Ariel, I shall try to get more information from Ajantha and get back to you on the “Ethuna Kadu” information.
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Old 21st January 2014, 09:56 AM   #212
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Many thanks!
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Old 21st January 2014, 12:58 PM   #213
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
Ibrahiim, Yes this flag is modern- but as you know it was copied and modified off the Banner of the Last Sinhala King. Also including an image of a Lion Flag inscribed among the murals of the Dambulla temple depicting the battles of King Dutugemunu and as his royal banner. The temple has a ancestry dating back to the 1st Century BC. - and underwent major renovation and re-painting in the 18th Century - which establishes the 'Lion with sword' as the Sinhala Royal Banner in the least to that period.

Any way my point in adding the flag was only to illustrate that the Lion motif is a primary national symbol of the Sinhalese. Its use on the Sword hilt etc. are as National symbols of the Sinhala race- not as purely religious or auspicious symbols.

Ariel, I shall try to get more information from Ajantha and get back to you on the “Ethuna Kadu” information.


Salaams Prasanna Weerakkody Yes interesting ..I enjoyed reading about the flags meaning on the reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Sri_Lanka and noted that it used to contain 4 spearheads instead of the leaves..and that the sword is not the Kastane as reported on many references.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:39 PM   #214
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Default The Japanese Museum presentation Kastane.

Japanese Museum Kastane.

Salaams All, Note to library. It would seem that the blade (and perhaps the hilt) on the Japanese museum Kastane may be of somewhat questionable provenance.

Is the blade in fact European possibly Spanish?
On the other hand could it be Chinese?

To view the possibilities of the latter I have placed below a couple of Forum references and finally to add spice to the discussion a potential Spanish weapon as yet not discussed on this thread from which the blade may have derived: The Terciado.

Illustrated below ~
The Terciado...shown singly vertically.
Storta shown singly with S guard.
Makara monster.
Japanese Museum blade.
Chinese Halibard with pattern to blade.
Group of 5 Storta.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes: In addition please see Forum references for possible influence on the Japanese Kastane blade presented in 1620 in the Philipines:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=chinese+blades Chinese halibard. With possible Makara to the blade similar to the Museum item?

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=chinese+blades blade of similar form?

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=chinese+blades perhaps reworked from a blade style shown?

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=chinese+blades as above reworked blade?

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=chinese+blades Terciado Sword. Spanish.
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Old 26th January 2014, 04:59 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by various

… Being from Sri Lanka does not give you ownership of the Kastane...moreover it gives you the opportunity to debate this very little known sword on the hot anvil of this Forum and not Sir, to attempt to slur the efforts of others.

… It is extremely bad form to suggest that I may have not the respect because I am not Sri Lankan and to suggest that by speaking to me in the 3rd person that everyone else is able to identify the lion except me is entirely without merit and very insulting

… Fortunately academic debates are not necessarily won based upon who writes the most about the subject during the debate just as in person arguments are not won by the person who argues the loudest.

… and marked by the high readership of now more than 13,000 hits...so somebody is reading the thread, no?

… If you do not wish to take part then it is entirely up to you...This is a Forum... you know what happens on Forums... ?

… It is at this point that I opt out of this discussion and perhaps I will come back n another 12 months.

… You continue to describe the ranks of forum members fleeing this thread (when in fact there is one only who has decided to call it a day for now. )

...


Hello Ibrahiim
I must say i am deeply impressed with your ability to make a (this) thread survive like a real siege around the same specific topic. I realize the common of mortals would have long given up this endless (not to say arid) discussion … which you bravely decided to maintain at all costs .
I am amazed that you claim that 13000 views are an evidence that this thread is a hit; you are smarter than that. Almost half of the posts are yours; this will potentially keep the thread alive. Perhaps you should consider that people visit the thread to check on something actually new ?; with all due respect, remember the thread wasn’t started by you and the theme is Sri Lankan swords in general … not only kastanes .
Also when you infer that no one has yet given up its follow up, you might be navigating on false waters; are you sure some of us haven't already abandoned the ship ?
You are also certainly aware that, when you consider addressing you by your last name is an insult, you are pulling the rope a bit too tight; that Prasanna Weerakkody was calling for your attention with a certain emphasis i believe so but, no more than that may be concluded. After all, what is wrong in calling you by your last name ? you have also addressed Prasanna as Weerakkody … and Gavin as SwordsAntiqueWeapons; not noticing that he signs his posts with his real name.
And speaking of addressing style, may i dare pointing out that you are the only one here who starts all posts with the same salutation expression; never minding that surely the majority of our fellow members do not practice such language; one could hardly call such attitude the best of diplomacy .
It is also noteworthy that, often mentioning the forum as a back up to our (unilateral) approaches doesn't make it obvious that such symbiosis pertains only to one of us.
I confess i am not surprised when you are told that, by now, with this kaskara topic, you are beating a dead gargoyle … or, in my native expression, raining on the wet ... if you allow me the joke .
I have a feeling that, if one makes a survey, asking out there if it needs such many hundreds of posts to confirm whether the figure on the kastane pommel is a lion or a makara, people would find it somehow implausible; even a draw would take an infinitely shorter discussion … unless one insists in bringing back the same (or questionably new) material again and again .
I know after all this time that you are a sportsman who doesn’t interiorize this type of observations and will consider my catharsis as a non valid episode; reason why i don’t hesitate to release it ... in any case with all due appologies for whatever might have affected you .
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Old 26th January 2014, 07:20 PM   #216
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Dear Prasanna Weerakkody:

Sorry to bug you, but have you had a chance to ask your friend about Ethuna Kadu?

As I told already, I am tremendously interested to know whether this is an historically- known weapon or just a modern Kalari implement.

Many thanks,
Ariel
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Old 27th January 2014, 01:36 AM   #217
Prasanna Weerakkody
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Ariel,

Sorry about delay in checking up on your info. I checked with Ajantha and he says he was trained in the weapon by his grandfather. Beyond that it is somewhat difficult to trace “solid” evidence to the ancestry of the weapon at the moment. In a 14-15th Century text that includes arms carried to a battle include a reference to “Lelena Kadu” (= flexible sword) which may refer to a similar weapon.

I will keep checking and would let you know if something else comes up.

Even otherwise the Kalaripayath and Angam arts are generally considered sister arts that had close ties and aided in development of each other going back to the 16th Century. there are many records of warriors from each school training in the other and participating in gladiatorial contests.

On a general note there are significant cultural affinities between Kerala and Sri Lankan cultural elements in many other areas including dancing, food, language and even Surnames of people. this is attributed to the fact that the fisher-folk and traders used to travel with the monsoon currents which changed every 6 months and would spend part of the year resident in Kerala and in Southern Sri Lanka before returning every year.

Regards
Prasanna
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Old 27th January 2014, 04:30 AM   #218
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Prasanna I too have noticed close similarities between Kalaripayattu and Angampora (from what I've seen online), glad to have what I suspected to be cultural and historical ties confirmed!

You guys think it's possible to create, even a rough timeline of Sri Lankan sword forms? My guess is it'd end with the kastane and the D-guard cutlass as most recent, right? But I have no idea how that time line would begin... did they resemble old South Indian swords?? Hope some of ya'll can help shed some light
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Old 27th January 2014, 06:32 AM   #219
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Dear Prasanna,
Lot of thanks!
Ariel
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Old 27th January 2014, 01:28 PM   #220
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Old 27th January 2014, 01:45 PM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hello Ibrahiim
I must say i am deeply impressed with your ability to make a (this) thread survive like a real siege around the same specific topic. I realize the common of mortals would have long given up this endless (not to say arid) discussion … which you bravely decided to maintain at all costs .
I am amazed that you claim that 13000 views are an evidence that this thread is a hit; you are smarter than that. Almost half of the posts are yours; this will potentially keep the thread alive. Perhaps you should consider that people visit the thread to check on something actually new ?; with all due respect, remember the thread wasn’t started by you and the theme is Sri Lankan swords in general … not only kastanes .
Also when you infer that no one has yet given up its follow up, you might be navigating on false waters; are you sure some of us haven't already abandoned the ship ?
You are also certainly aware that, when you consider addressing you by your last name is an insult, you are pulling the rope a bit too tight; that Prasanna Weerakkody was calling for your attention with a certain emphasis i believe so but, no more than that may be concluded. After all, what is wrong in calling you by your last name ? you have also addressed Prasanna as Weerakkody … and Gavin as SwordsAntiqueWeapons; not noticing that he signs his posts with his real name.
And speaking of addressing style, may i dare pointing out that you are the only one here who starts all posts with the same salutation expression; never minding that surely the majority of our fellow members do not practice such language; one could hardly call such attitude the best of diplomacy .
It is also noteworthy that, often mentioning the forum as a back up to our (unilateral) approaches doesn't make it obvious that such symbiosis pertains only to one of us.
I confess i am not surprised when you are told that, by now, with this kaskara topic, you are beating a dead gargoyle … or, in my native expression, raining on the wet ... if you allow me the joke .
I have a feeling that, if one makes a survey, asking out there if it needs such many hundreds of posts to confirm whether the figure on the kastane pommel is a lion or a makara, people would find it somehow implausible; even a draw would take an infinitely shorter discussion … unless one insists in bringing back the same (or questionably new) material again and again .
I know after all this time that you are a sportsman who doesn’t interiorize this type of observations and will consider my catharsis as a non valid episode; reason why i don’t hesitate to release it ... in any case with all due apologies for whatever might have affected you .


Salaams Fernando, ~ How kind it is of you to write. I cannot however add anything of note to your topic since it contains not a drop of detail relevant to this discussion...or as you put it... non valid. Your joke about the gargoyle is so funny Fernando do you do comedy on television?

Joking apart however, I note your pathetic, apologetic final statement but trust that you may add finer detail in the quest to bolster this excellent thread...which is not only about the Kastane but other Sri Lankan weapons as well ...Everyone knows the Kastane formed a very large part of the discussion and that is not an unusual avenue for threads to take..and it took how long before someone jumped on that particular bandwagon?... suddenly after hundreds of posts to be referred back to its original #1 starter...

It is of sheer blinding amazement that you of all people would want to derail proceedings since after all the Kastane is more than likely of Portuguese collaborative origin and that surely the detail contained now far exceeded what went before...and that your letter forms such a personal attack upon my style of writing, etiquette and accepted formal expressions...

Sir, if you vehemently have something to say, off topic, then by all means send me a PM.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 27th January 2014, 02:59 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Fernando, ~ How kind it is of you to write. I cannot however add anything of note to your topic since it contains not a drop of detail relevant to this discussion...or as you put it... non valid. Your joke about the gargoyle is so funny Fernando do you do comedy on television?

Joking apart however, I note your pathetic, apologetic final statement but trust that you may add finer detail in the quest to bolster this excellent thread...which is not only about the Kastane but other Sri Lankan weapons as well ...Everyone knows the Kastane formed a very large part of the discussion and that is not an unusual avenue for threads to take..and it took how long before someone jumped on that particular bandwagon?... suddenly after hundreds of posts to be referred back to its original #1 starter...

It is of sheer blinding amazement that you of all people would want to derail proceedings since after all the Kastane is more than likely of Portuguese collaborative origin and that surely the detail contained now far exceeded what went before...and that your letter forms such a personal attack upon my style of writing, etiquette and accepted formal expressions...

Sir, if you vehemently have something to say, off topic, then by all means send me a PM.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Please take it down a notch, Ibrahiim. Try reading for content and intent rather than inferring insult where none may be intended. Like you, many forum members are not native English speakers.

Also, perhaps you could step back and take an objective look at your posting habits and style. You do not "break" any specific rules, but if your intention is to disregard or dismiss other member's comments and criticism (whether valid or otherwise), you ought not expect a different response.
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Old 27th January 2014, 04:02 PM   #223
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Salaam Aleikum Ibrahiim,
I was sure you would take my lines with a rather open mind .
It is my pleasure that you made yourself a joke about me being a TV comedian; that pends to my favour in compensating my being rude in addressing you with previous my letter.
The gargoyle joke, you should have noticed, wasn't mine; i was just quoting it ... but i can't hide i found it funny, though .
What i had to be said about the Kastane is already said; i have nothing further to add.
And by the way, i am on the side of those who realize the pommel of the Kastane represents a lion but, i am absolutely ready to give it to you that it is a makara .
I don't think we need to exchange PMs as suggested; what i have said, well put or unfortunate, i consider it on topic, not off.
As also after having expressed my views on the eternization of the pommel thing, i have ran out of subjects.
I beg of you not to consider this as a personal matter, but more of an academical emphasis of a certain context, if i may arrogate myself such presumption; i don't have such familiarity with you to engage in personal reproaches.
A paz esteja contigo .

PS
Present post prepared before Andrew's input; only later released .
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Old 27th January 2014, 04:12 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by Andrew
Please take it down a notch, Ibrahiim. Try reading for content and intent rather than inferring insult where none may be intended. Like you, many forum members are not native English speakers.

Also, perhaps you could step back and take an objective look at your posting habits and style. You do not "break" any specific rules, but if your intention is to disregard or dismiss other member's comments and criticism (whether valid or otherwise), you ought not expect a different response.



Salaams Andrew ~ You know as well as I do that there is a duel of pens going on here... but that so far as I am concerned I have but one reason to add detail on Forum... That reason being forum learning and understanding of the facts. If some members are driven to sleep by my posts let them not open them...but present the truth and the facts I will always try to do... and unlike others at least to try to promote a modicum of research. I have not dismissed or disregarded any comments...In fact all comments are respected except in the case of blatant and unnecessary remarks... Would you be so insulted?

I have looked at my posts and in standing back as you suggest I see a few areas I can improve on...I could do with a decent library !! I start my posts in the same way because that is how I was taught to be respectful to all readers.
Often the two dimensional attributes of the written form don't fully express the intent being expressed by the author .. that must be taken into account by the reader.. Where a researcher has clearly spent ages ploughing up details and information it is bound to be irritating if "a one liner special" or farcical reply is presented in all seriousness as a response! Perhaps I should add to posts only serious players need comment!

Meanwhile and with great respect I withdraw from the thread on Sri Lankan Weapons in all respects but hope that it continues unabated. Should you prefer, I agree to have removed all of my posts from this thread. That way we shall see who is serious about research in this field.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 27th January 2014, 04:34 PM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Andrew ~ You know as well as I do that there is a duel of pens going on here... but that so far as I am concerned I have but one reason to add detail on Forum... That reason being forum learning and understanding of the facts. If some members are driven to sleep by my posts let them not open them...but present the truth and the facts I will always try to do... and unlike others at least to try to promote a modicum of research. I have not dismissed or disregarded any comments...In fact all comments are respected except in the case of blatant and unnecessary remarks... Would you be so insulted?

I have looked at my posts and in standing back as you suggest I see a few areas I can improve on...I could do with a decent library !! I start my posts in the same way because that is how I was taught to be respectful to all readers.
Often the two dimensional attributes of the written form don't fully express the intent being expressed by the author .. that must be taken into account by the reader.. Where a researcher has clearly spent ages ploughing up details and information it is bound to be irritating if "a one liner special" or farcical reply is presented in all seriousness as a response! Perhaps I should add to posts only serious players need comment!

Meanwhile and with great respect I withdraw from the thread on Sri Lankan Weapons in all respects but hope that it continues unabated. Should you prefer, I agree to have removed all of my posts from this thread. That way we shall see who is serious about research in this field.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Salaams Ibrahiim!

I understand your frustration, but for the sake of knowledge and research, I must admit that your posts in this thread are very important and essential indeed. Therefore, I request that you'd withdraw your offer for the moderator to stop or delete your precious postings in this thread. Frankly, I find them EXTREMELY useful and knowledgeable. Also DO NOT forget that Andrew has admitted that you didn't break any rules in your posts, so please do not be over-sensitive. Again, I understand your upset, and in fact, I sympathize with you greatly, but it would be very disappointing if you withdrew from this thread now.

Please think about what I've told you, buddy!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein
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Old 27th January 2014, 05:55 PM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Andrew ~ You know as well as I do that there is a duel of pens going on here... but that so far as I am concerned I have but one reason to add detail on Forum... That reason being forum learning and understanding of the facts. If some members are driven to sleep by my posts let them not open them...but present the truth and the facts I will always try to do... and unlike others at least to try to promote a modicum of research. I have not dismissed or disregarded any comments...In fact all comments are respected except in the case of blatant and unnecessary remarks... Would you be so insulted?

I have looked at my posts and in standing back as you suggest I see a few areas I can improve on...I could do with a decent library !! I start my posts in the same way because that is how I was taught to be respectful to all readers.
Often the two dimensional attributes of the written form don't fully express the intent being expressed by the author .. that must be taken into account by the reader.. Where a researcher has clearly spent ages ploughing up details and information it is bound to be irritating if "a one liner special" or farcical reply is presented in all seriousness as a response! Perhaps I should add to posts only serious players need comment!

Meanwhile and with great respect I withdraw from the thread on Sri Lankan Weapons in all respects but hope that it continues unabated. Should you prefer, I agree to have removed all of my posts from this thread. That way we shall see who is serious about research in this field.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Ibrahiim:

My role here is to keep order, not pick "sides." It is not my intent to stifle productive discussion--quite the opposite.

I believe you are well-intended with your postings.

However, I am uncertain if you appreciate that your posting style irritates (and, perhaps, alienates) some of your fellow forum members? Does that bother you at all or, perhaps, encourage you to consider making some changes? If so, you may well cut down on some of the responses that irritate you if you made an effort to understand and change what irritates others.

If not...you reap what you sow.

A
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Old 28th January 2014, 04:50 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by Andrew
Ibrahiim:

My role here is to keep order, not pick "sides." It is not my intent to stifle productive discussion--quite the opposite.

I believe you are well-intended with your postings.

However, I am uncertain if you appreciate that your posting style irritates (and, perhaps, alienates) some of your fellow forum members? Does that bother you at all or, perhaps, encourage you to consider making some changes? If so, you may well cut down on some of the responses that irritate you if you made an effort to understand and change what irritates others.

If not...you reap what you sow.

A



Salaams Andrew, Your role is highly respected. As you note ..my intentions are solid behind promoting the Forums knowledge. Your advice is sought on which way to manoeuvre this thread?

We have at our bidding a great opportunity to examine the Japanese variant as placed in my last post on the subject ...Personally I think the Storta appears as the winner in terms of influence. It does, however, somewhat rule out the comparison with the Popham item. I suspect that the blade stamps were, in fact, placed by the Japanese "owner-apparent" Hasekura Tsunenaga, and I have examples of his marks for comparison. Perhaps the Japanese so called Kastane is a huge red herring? It may well be that the thread will run dry, however, we will have placed a great deal of information so that in future another researcher can take on the challenge.

This thread remains as ever an open conduit for all manner of Sri Lankan weaponry though it has to be said that it evolved and developed around the Kastane and that is the main thrust of the work and only recently was attention diverted to other items..these are welcome provided their inclusion is not a device to derail ... and we have dealt with the flail device in addition.

Insofar as my own writing format ~ I hope people can handle the idiosyncrasies of that because if they don't like the beginning nor the end... and don't like the middle, they always have the option of not reading it...though of course if I can develop a less aggressive style maybe they would.

Thank you for your post.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th January 2014, 05:35 PM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
This thread remains as ever an open conduit for all manner of Sri Lankan weaponry though it has to be said that it evolved and developed around the Kastane and that is the main thrust of the work and only recently was attention diverted to other items..these are welcome provided their inclusion is not a device to derail … and we have dealt with the flail device in addition.

Hopefully Ibrahiim, you can see that this thread "evolved and developed around the Kastane" almost solely under YOUR will and directions after Jim raised some questions about the weapon. It was certainly fair game for discussion at that point as the OPs original questions was about ALL Sri Lankan weapons. It is now the "main thrust of the work" mostly due to your own efforts to make it so. Some might see this as your own "device to derail" this thread. But threads grow as they may, organically and it is not really your place to decide what is or is not welcome regarding what Sri Lankan weapons other members may choose to discuss here simply because YOU want this thread to be mostly about the kastane.
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Old 28th January 2014, 06:01 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by David
Hopefully Ibrahiim, you can see that this thread "evolved and developed around the Kastane" almost solely under YOUR will and directions after Jim raised some questions about the weapon. It was certainly fair game for discussion at that point as the OPs original questions was about ALL Sri Lankan weapons. It is now the "main thrust of the work" mostly due to your own efforts to make it so. Some might see this as your own "device to derail" this thread. But threads grow as they may, organically and it is not really your place to decide what is or is not welcome regarding what Sri Lankan weapons other members may choose to discuss here simply because YOU want this thread to be mostly about the kastane.



Salaams David, Perhaps I may ask you which direction you would like the thread to move in? The work presented at #214 could be one option? ..and that coupled with the ever present possibility that other weapons could be injected into the equation.

In that way we can accommodate your wishes and move the thread forward.

Threads as you note are organic and they go which way the wind is blowing..at this time some emphasis appears to be in the Kastane because it is the most interesting of Sri Lankan weapons and poses such a lot of questions because of its amazing history through three invading countries Portugal, Holland and Great Britain and tied to its own fabulous history and Buddhist/Hindu roots stretching back 4,000 years...Naturally other weapons may be presented and as they are.. then they can be examined.. as has been the flail sword device only a few posts back instigated by Ariel.

The martial arts weapon system in Sri Lanka, for example, contains dozens of blades but I reason that there is still much to do on the Kastane though I am ready as always to examine any weapon ...as always.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th January 2014, 08:29 PM   #230
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Default noted that title specifies swords not 'all weapon forms'

Well said Ibrahiim, an excellent description of threads on this and many forums, that they may move in many directions, and that aspect is probably one of the most intriguing aspects of studying ethnographic arms. It is often surprising how many things might be factored in with the study of one weapon.
As David has pointed out, it was my question regarding kastanes that led to the ensuing discourse focused on the kastane as opposed to a broad discussion on Sri Lankan weapons. Aside from the piha kaetta, which has its own esoterica, these other weapons are not nearly as well known or familiar as the kastane, which is often considered in much of the literature as the 'national weapon of Ceylon'.

It is with this rather premiere status that the kastane tends to become one of the most distinct and recognizable arms of Sri Lanka, and that in addition to previous discussions in recent times that brought that particular weapon to the forefront here. I was glad to see Ariel bring in the other rather obscure weapon, which illustrates the point on how little is really known on most of the other weapons here. Virtually the only known focused article on the arms of Sri Lanka is by Derinayagala (I believe 1942).

I think it has been well determined that any other weapons from Sri Lanka that have anyones interest are welcome on this thread, as seen with Ariels well placed query, despite the fact that the title refers to 'swords'

I remain intrigued by the development of the kastane, though admittedly undecided as far as any particular standard for the representations in the motif, which is of course one of the elements of discussion. I believe there is good reason to further examine the Hasekura sword, with regard to trying to determine more on the earliest examples of the zoomorphic head hilt (much in the manner we look into katars, tulwars, and many others) .

Perhaps someone might enter in a piha kaetta or possibly some of the polearms here and that might broaden the discussion. Possibly there might be iconographic associations between motif on these and the kastane? Possibly motif on polearms might reflect influences?

I just noticed and had forgotten, the title of this thread is Sinhala/Sri Lankan Swords.....I had entirely forgotten that!
When I think of a Sri Lankan sword, it seems almost quintessant to think of the kastane. Certainly there were others far earlier as seen in the magnificent artwork by Prasanna, but are these well known enough for an in depth discussion? are there enough examples in collections to support an illustrative discussion?

It would seem the focus on kastane here developed because it is virtually the only Sri Lankan sword that has wide recognition and a well established scope of examples and development? While KuKulz queried further amidst the discussion asking about earlier types of Sri Lankan swords, the focus on kastane was simply resultant as no other entries pertaining to the other earlier forms was forthcoming. The question never addressed Sri Lankan arms in general.

I believe that Elgood noted that the 'gauntlet sword' or pata had some presence in Sri Lanka (this is also noted in Deraniyagala) . Does anyone have an example or reference to illustrate one of these?

Meanwhile I am trying to think of what other sword forms beyond those in the more ancient and historic period were used in Ceylon.

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Old 29th January 2014, 04:21 PM   #231
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AS JIM STATED THE PHIA AND THE KASTANE ARE THE TWO MOST WELL KNOWN WEAPONS FROM SIRI LANKA/CEYLON. EVEN THEN THERE ARE MANY UNKNOWNS ABOUT BOTH ITEMS IS IT A LION OR A MAKARA FOR INSTANCE I THINK WE HAVE SETTLED THAT QUESTION AS TO IT BEING A LION ON THE POMMEL, BUT WHY WAS THE LION CHOSEN?
BUT STILL WE WONDER WHEN AND WHY DID THE KASTANE BECOME THE NATIONAL SWORD AND IF ITS PRESENT FORM IS NOT A WEAPON THEN WHAT DID ITS PREDECESOR THAT WAS USED IN WAR LOOK LIKE.?
THE PHIA IS STILL A BIT VAGUE AS TO ITS USE WAS IT CEREMONIAL AND A PRESTIEGE ITEM AND WHAT WAS IT USED FOR? WAS IT USED AND CARRIED FOR EVERY DAY USE OR ONLY USED FOR CERTIAN THINGS. WERE THE ONES THAT INCLUDED A STYLUS A TOOL CARRIED ONLY BY HIGH CLASS OFFICIALS OR SCRIBES?
THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE TWO ITEMS AND WE DID BECOME BOGGED DOWN AS IS SO OFTEN THE CASE WHEN TRYING TO EXPLAIN WHAT WE MEAN AND WHY TO OTHERS WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW AND DON'T SEEM TO GET THE POINT OR JUST DENY YOUR REASONING AND OBSERVATIONS.
I HAVE FOUND MY SELF IN THAT POSITION SEVERAL TIMES WHEN I SAY I HAVE MADE SUCH AND SUCH OBSERVATIONS AND HAVE COME TO THESE CONCLUSIONS AND SOMEONE SAYS THEY DISAGREE EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NOT EXAMEND THE OBJECT IN PERSON OR HAVE GOOD SOLID INFORMATION TO SUPPORT THEIR VIEW. THIS MAKES ONE WISH TO TRY AND EXPLAIN BETTER SO THE OTHER ONE MAY UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HAVE COME TO THESE CONCLUSIONS. IT NEVER WORKS NO MATTER HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS YOU TRY TO EXPLAIN SO I HAVE LEARNED IT IS BEST JUST TO MAKE YOUR STATEMENT AND MOVE ON NOT TO TRY TO EXPLAIN OR DEFEND IT AGASINST AN OPPOSING VIEW.
ITS HUMAN NATURE TO TRY AND DEFEND YOUR VIEWS BUT THE REPETITION OF YOUR VIEW AND THEN THE OPPOSITE VIEW BEING REPEATED OVER AND OVER ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING. ITS LIKE THE OLD NEVER ENDING ARGUMENT ( IT IS TOO! , NO ITS NOT, IT IS TOO, NO ITS NOT!) I HAVE LEARNED TO RESIST JOINING THIS BATTLE AND LETTING THREADS DIE WITH QUESTIONS UNANSWERED WHEN THIS OCCURS AS IT BECOMES TEDIOUS AND POINTLESS AND NO FUN AT THAT STAGE. I ENJOY THE FORUM AND TRY TO ADD KNOWLEGE OR GET ANSWERS AND TO HAVE FUN, AT MY AGE WHEN IT IS NO LONGER FUN I FIND A NEW FUN THING TO DO.
I DO HOPE THE THREAD CONTINUES AS I THINK NEW INFORMATION HAS COME TO LIGHT AND THERE ARE MANY MORE AVENUES TO BE EXPLORED IN THE KASTANE AND PHIA NOT TO MENTION THE MANY OTHER WEAPONS FOUND IN CEYLON'S LONG HISTORY.
A FEW PICTURES #1, C. P. DIAS SINHALESE CHRISTIAN INTERPRETER
#2 THRU #5 A NEWER VERSION OF THE KASTANCE WITH A MAKARA POMEL
#6 THRU #11, VARIOUS PATISTHANAYA SPEARS
# 12 ANOTHER MODERN FORM OF SWORD SAID TO BE FROM SIRI LANKA WITH ELETHANT HEAD.
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Old 29th January 2014, 04:31 PM   #232
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In order to better respond to the original query in this thread, I spent some time reviewing resources at hand to learn more about what types of swords were actually used in Sri Lanka from ancient times into more modern.
Turning to "Sinhala Weapons and Armour" (P.E.P. Deraniyagala, 1942, p.115) where he notes , "..it is interesting to note that among the 26 kinds of swords used by early Sinhalayans are those of Pandi, Vaduga, Malaya Telugu, Ayodhya and Java".

In his article Deraniyagala illustrates with line drawings a range of sword forms as seen primarily from iconographic sources such as friezes and frescoes with some as early as 6th ranging into the 12th, then again 16th and 17th. The earliest forms are described as leaf shaped, straight and double edged noted as being 'offensive' weapons.
Other types of blades including long straight single edged as well as wavy, saw edged and choppers are described, which of course would reflect the forms of many of the above listed regions.

With its importance in the export of fine steel in the trade networks of so many cultures and foreign powers it is not surprising that such diversity would be reflected in the armouries of then Sinhala in their swords .

Viewing many of the line drawings as well as examining some of the profiles of swords in "The Indian Sword" (P.Rawson, 1967) it is clear that there are distinct similarities in many of the forms to those of the Indian mainland.
Many of those with angular and lozenge shaped points resemble some of the Nair forms of India, as well as others from Andhra from Telugu speaking regions I believe . There are others which resemble forms seen in the iconography at Ajanta and Ellora from as early as 5th century, which profoundly reflects the connection via the Buddhist Faith in Sri Lanka and India.

Deraiyagala includes in the scope of his panoply of sword forms, the recognizable kasthane, which he feels begins in the 18th century with the influence of Arab sabres and he claims the lionhead comes into fashion.
Naturally it appears that this assessment is quite conservative, and it seems remarkable that the influence of Arab 'scimitars' as he calls them, would have taken this long to take hold.

Returning to the subject of the previously discussed kasthane alleged to provenance from the Hasekura mission which returned to Japan in 1620, in the article of November 15,1998, "Unique Kastane Sword in Japan" by Dr. P.H.D.H.DE Silva, there are interesting notes to another example .
It is claimed that two other examples of two other carved ivory 'simha head' hilts exist, one in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, is believed to be a gift to the Chief of the Weerasinghe family by King Parakrama Bahu VI (1415-1467).

While this is tempting to accept this period as the earliest date for the noted lionhead hilt, as well as the example from the Hasekura mission c.1620, we must consider even these respected museum provenances as probabilities rather than conclusive evidence .

Returning to the spectrum of Sri Lankan swords from earlier periods and outside the prevalent kasthane analysis, we look to another article, "Two Old Sinhalese Swords", (by C.M.Fernando, 'Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Ceylon Branch, Vol.XVIII , 1905, p388-91).
There are two old swords said to have inscriptions from the Kotte period c.1374 AD These swords and the translations on the inscriptions were examined by authority P.E.Pieris who commended the translations, but felt the swords were much more recent, and 'European' about 300 years old.
Incredibly these are clearly Indian swords with dish pommel and knuckleguard resembling tulwars of probably 17th c.

This is what I mean about museum descriptions often optimistic if not in many cases, almost fanciful .

In the earlier part of this thread, we listed a number of references which pertain to the swords of Sinhala, and I hope this rather incomplete overview might give a least some perspective on the type of swords probably used in Sinhalese history. As indicated most of this can only be surmised as even iconographic sources may be imbued with a degree of artistic license, as well as our pervasive focus on the kasthane which carries a great deal of speculative analysis.

However these are the things which comprise discussion, and I fully believe that suggestions, observations and material presented must be regarded as evidence to be considered, and respectfully analyzed objectively.

For me, the subject of the esoterica of Sinhalese arms, particularly the swords, have long been a fascinating topic and often visited over the past 15-20 years. I very much admire the tenacity and knowledge of all who have participated in this thread, and sincerely hope we can all continue looking into these arms. There are so many questions yet.
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Old 30th January 2014, 12:32 AM   #233
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Vandoo,
Regarding the images; The mudellier ( SINHALESE CHRISTIAN INTERPRETER) never saw battle and the kasthane was only a rank symbol and often was of little value as weapon within that context. The images of Kasthana I included in my posts #25 #62 #89 illustrate Kasthana swords known to have a warrior past and most probably seen battle (fighting Kasthana types) More over the image of a Kasthana wielding Sinhala warrior would be more like the #139 “Nilame” painting I added rather than the long coated mudelliers working for the Dutch and British companies.

Post #87 include a reference to a historic text that confirms the use of Kasthana in the battlefields as early as mid 16th Century to the Mulleriyawela battle(1559).

I believe that it is important to identify what truly define a Kasthana sword- the makara headed and the Elephant headed arms shown in my mind do not qualify as Kasthana as they lack many of the features (including the typical arrangement of quillons, ricasso, “langet”, presentation of beast forms on guards and pommel, scabbard form etc.) that are particular to and define Kasthana apart from many other types of swords.

It is also important to identify the “type” weapons and deviants properly to avoid confusions.

Regards
Prasanna
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Old 30th January 2014, 12:59 AM   #234
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I AGREE THE TWO SWORDS ARE NOT KASTANE AND MIGHT EVEN BE MADE IN SOUTHERN INDIA BUT BOTH WERE SOLD AS FROM SIRI LANKA AND THE ONE DOES AT LEAST HAVE WHAT CERTIANLY APPEARS TO BE A MAKARA POMMEL SO I INCLUDED IT FOR DISCUSSION. THE BRASS HANDLE WITH ELEPHANT HEAD IS LIKELY THE MOST RECENT AND POORLY MADE AND MAY HAVE ONLY BEEN MADE AS A SOUVINEER. THE ONE WITH THE MAKARA HANDLE LOOKS LIKE A REAL DRESS, CEREMONIAL OR PERHAPS PRESENTATION ITEM. IT REMINDS ME OF SOME DUTCH PRESENTATION SWORD FOR SOME REASON. AT LEAST WE HAVE SOMETHING WITH A MAKARA POMMEL. THE SPEARS WERE LISTED AS FROM CEYLON BUT NO DOUBT WERE PRESENT IN SOUTHERN INDIA AS WELL.
THE ANCIENT RULERS OF CEYLON WERE NOT STRANGERS TO WAR SO I AM SURE THERE WAS AT LEAST AS WIDE A RANGE OF WEAPONS AS THERE WAS IN SOUTHERN INDIA. LOOKING AT THE GLOBE THERE IS THE LIKELYHOOD OF INFLUENCE FROM MANY COUNTRYS WHERE TRADE BY SEA WAS THE NORM.
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Old 30th January 2014, 04:17 AM   #235
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Salaams All~ In my next post as indicated a while ago I shall compare the Popham Armour sword with the Japanese Museum sword since they are two of the oldest existing records available. I will also introduce fresh evidence as to the Japanese blades ownership and a probable provenance. I hope readers may be patient whilst I organize my notes around this particular puzzle.

Kind regards to Vandoo for the interesting picture of the Makara hilt which I shall also comment upon based on the comparison and hopefully I shall illustrate the more complete reason for there being two hilts; The Lion and The Makara.

Of course this is only a hypothesis based upon 400 year old samples (one which is artwork and the other a museum exhibit) but it beams a light... so to speak.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th January 2014, 04:21 AM   #236
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Vandoo, very interesting perspective as always, and thank you for adding these images which show some interesting variations of swords with somewhat similar theme to kastane. As Prasanna well notes, it is important to remember that these kinds of swords are quite apart from the kastane 'proper' which have the distinct elements in that particular classification.
Still, it is fascinating to see the cross diffusion of these swords which utilize the monster or 'grotesgue' (in European parlance) theme.

It seems well established that many sword and weapon forms were represented in Sri Lanka just as described by Deriniyagala, and suggested by Vandoo. As earlier mentioned, this extremely broad subject in most cases is of course speculated in considering the arms of other cultures and colonial and trade powers.
It would seem that in this quite international climate that there might be a degree of variation in the motif of the kastane in certain instances, but most references I have encountered have been described as sinha (lion) head and with makara heads on the quillons.
The instances where examples of traditionally configured kastane carry an unusual form in the creature on the pommel it is fascinating to consider that these may reflect origin in circumstances in region or ethnicity outside the typically seen sinha head examples.

Deraniyagala does note that the traditional form kasthane was a fighting sword, but the much more profusely embellished royal swords were of course outside such use , and Prasanna thank you for recalling those entries of yours where these battle related examples are described .

In threads which have reached this volume it is often the case that material presented some time ago is either not revisited, forgotten or simply out of reach as the discourse has developed for so long. It is much appreciated to bring some of these details back to the fore.

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 30th January 2014, 07:19 AM   #237
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Default Comparison between the Japanese Museum and Popham artwork.

Salaams All. The thread moves apace and new detail continues to squeeze out of this conundrum.. The Kastane, its history and the variable hilt styles commonly referred to as Lion or Makara hilt.

Great care is advised in focussing upon the correct time frame as little may be gleaned in examining the Dutch or English period in this respect. The weapon clearly tumbled through drastic changes and even became a badge of rank marker reportedly in about 1804.

To examine its potential origins, if the supposition is right about the Portuguese joint design, the earlier period is vastly more significant..thus any weapons or drawings of such examples from that time should perhaps be fully scrutinized.

Therefor, I have chosen the Popham Kastane and The Japanese Museum Kastane for comparison since they are the two known extant examples and whereas the other noted pieces are perhaps wrongly placed in the timeline of this weapon for now they may be set aside until a more positive proof is made of their accuracy in dating.

Forum is advised that though these are early examples that one is artwork and the other is a sword of as yet "uncertain provenance" and that it has been moved in and out of Japanese official ownership several times (private collection/museum) thus placing some doubt as to its authenticity.

I hope to show that the weapon was not only presented "as is"... to Hasekura Tsunenaga but that the owner and his stamp can be named even though the pictures at thread are a little grainy...

It may be known that the sword was presented on behalf of the King of Spain(actually according to Gustavs #187
Quote "Sasaki Kazuhiro has the oppinion, both keris and kastane are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga by Philip III.) whilst the Japanese delegation was in the Philippines prior to their final return leg of their journey to Japan".Unquote.

See below the blade stamp and the coat of arms of the Japanese ambassador...(Hasekura Tsunenaga) Originally he was Buddhist but converted to Christianity during his trip...and before arriving at the Philippines. This was no mean feat since Christians in Japan were being persecuted at the time...Also shown below are the blade stamps/engravings. It may be noted also that silver and gold and presumably exotic and rich weapons etc were forbidden to be imported to Japan thus if the sword could be presented to an individual rather than a country it perhaps skirted around that order?

Thus I suggest that the blade mark belongs to Hasekura Tsunenaga and was altered before being struck onto his sword.. and therefor the Museum weapon was actually presented and is real, genuine and actual for that timescale.

There is a powerful lobby to indicate Chinese blade provenance and that is well received, however, it is my view that the blade having been presented from the Spanish Royal Household at embassy level that it must have been a genuine piece of steel and more likely to be Spanish than anything else...It is certainly not a Kastane blade... and has the deep multiple grooves of the Spanish blade (see below)...and the shape, apparent balance and visual feel of "The Storta". Readers may be quick to realise that since the Popham is art... I cannot anyway compare blades. My point is that the time line is accurate on this style of hilt; The Lionhead style. I show for ease of viewing the Lionhead type below.

The Popham is intriguing but illustrates a remarkable fact... That at the same time as the Japanese weapon another was being carried on the armour shown. This is not any old armour but the highly respected and very elaborate private armour of a VIP; not an artists prop thus the Kastane must have been an original ...but vitally in the same time period as the Japanese variant. The hilt can perhaps be seen to be serpent/ makara/ gargoyle in fashion and with accompanying deities quite unlike the very recognizable Lion type.

It is thus respectfully proposed that possibly...two different hilts were in fashion; Lion and Makara and at the same time ... early in proceedings thus perhaps it may be possible to accommodate both designs exuding even from the same Royal Workshops or different schools of designers favouring one style or the other or a specific style being commissioned by different clients. It is envisaged that an artisans workshop working in such materials would have various designs and drawings and could offer clients a number of fine embelishments.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes and attachments;

For interest I illustrate below;
1. A Karava flag with Makara design.
2. A triple picture showing the original style swastika Buddhist design on the Hasekura Tsunenaga coat of arms..and Ships pennant.. to compare with the blade stamp/ engraving on the Japanese Museum blade.
3. A Malaya/Javanese hilt with Makara design.
4. The Popham Armour picture.
5. Hasekura Tsunenaga with ship detail...and in a sketch with his coat of Arms..easily seen with a crossed arrow form which would perhaps be simple to make into the letter N..and inscribe above it a cross...
6. Various other examples for ease of viewing..
7. The lions head design on the Japanese variant.
8. The more Lizardly, Serpent like, Gargoyle or Makara on a blue background of the Popham Armour type.
9. The Japanese Museum Blade from the work by Gustav on this thread #187.
10. Old "Taprobana" Sri Lanka Map... From the Ptolomy.
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Old 30th January 2014, 03:00 PM   #238
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Default CEILÃO AND THE TAPROBANA

The Island ...
Let me show here, with number # 884, the map titled INSULA ZEILAN OLIM TAPOBRANA NUNE INCOLIS TENARISIM, made in 1676, by Casparus & Lootsman, including various cartouches, five naus (carraks) and the compass rose.
Luis de Camões in his epic Lusiadas (1556) in his first verse, has mentioned the men that passed beyond the Taprobana. The name of this island has been a symbol of mistery, of "the end of the world", a untrespassable wall. Already Ptolomeus (II century AD) has established the Taprobana as "the end of all navigation".
In image #886 we can see a map of Ceilão made by Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) a cosmograph from Bale, contemporary of Camões.

The weapons ...
Among the Cingalese weapons, the so called Pia-Kaeta, according to certain sources, descends from an arm of Indo-European Arian race, of the second millenium BC, which also happened to be used in today's Portuguese territory, the famous Falcata Lusitana. The farthest regions reached by the Arian race were precisely the Lusitânea and Ceilão. As life in the isolation of an island maintains the same standards during long time periods, the use of these falcata type knives was kept until recent centuries. Example #892 has handle with the typical breaking waves, which are also found in Cingalo-Portuguese sculptures, as shown in the ivory baby Jesus (XVI-XVII century), image #899.
Example #893 should be regarded as a 1500's specimen, with its 46 cms length (incl. scabbard), the grip in style of XVI century Portuguese processional crosses; a ritual weapon illustrating Luso-Cingalese history.

Curious ...
Also interesting is the XVI-XVII century ivory lace bilro shown in image #897, a craft introduced in Ceilão by Portuguese, contrary to the concept that this fashion was implemented there by the British.

-
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Old 31st January 2014, 01:41 AM   #239
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Interesting recap on the Hasekura example Ibrahiim! and nice layout on the elements which need to be considered in analysis of this kastane held in the Sendai Museum in Tokyo. Actually I had not realized that this mission was in the Phllippines for two years before return to Japan in 1620 .

The nature of the blade profile does seem to have storta characteristics, at least in certain examples of those North Italian swords which of course had varying forms. Then there is the case of the creatures head on the peak of the blade at the back nearing the point, which resembles various 'oriental style mythical beasts.

The presence of that creature on the blade of course defines this blade as not North Italian made, yet as discussed there seems some semblance between the markings on the blade to markings actually used in Italy.
It seems they are made 'in the style of', which leads us back to, 'where was this blade made?.

As I was looking at the piha kaetta (#894) in Fernandos most interesting post in the illustration groupings, look at the channeled double fullers on the blade. For some reason there seems a similarity to those on the 'Hasekura' blade, at least it would seem so.

The suggestion by Ibrahiim that these markings were fashioned for alignment to Hasekura and the mission is interesting, and in looking at them the one which is a curious configuration of lines resembling an oriental ideograph in fashion, in one perspective (Rohrschach view) may be a ship of carrack form with a pennant atop ??

Both remain open to interpretation, but as I noted I have found nothing corresponding in European makers marks. The cross above on the N is of course well known in merchant marks, particularly the East India Company balemark , a quartered heart with cross atop. Many other marks used this cross above in similar manner of the familiar cross and orb.

The scope of this discussion is notably complex, particularly with the analysis of the notably well established identity of the zoomorphic pommel head on the true kasthane. It seems quite the bane of all analysis of mythical and heraldic beasts to properly identify exactly what they are, especially as many are artistic interpretations of myth, allegorical descriptions and often totemic symbolism.

It would seem that focus on what creature is represented on the true kasthane pommel is quite well established as the sinha or lionhead, and that corresponds to long venerated history of Sinhala and its people. It does seem possible however that some alteration of the dominant figure on some examples might be adjusted if in certain circumstances. These would be variants, and historically interesting as they may represent particular groups or regions.

These grotesgue creature heads seem to have been most appealing to Europeans artistically and a brass hilt hanger recalling kasthane design is seen described as English c1700 (A North, 1989, p.85) and "...the pommel is in the form of an exotic lion remarkably similar to the beast found on some carved wood and ivory Sinhalese hilts imported into Europe by the Dutch in the 1700s. There seem to have been a number of forms outside the kasthane configuration but still with mythical beasts carved in ivory by Sinhalese craftsmen for the VOC in the 1660s and earller .

There would appear to have been profound parallels between European heraldic beasts and East Indies mythological creatures, and sometimes it seems there have been disagreements even on the identity of the heads on pommels of European swords of 17th into 18th c and even later whether eagle or griffin head etc.

Although the identity issue on the pommel head creature on kasthane has certain interest and importance, so too remain the other questions:

What is the earliest corroborating evidence for the use of the zoomorphic heads and motif on the kasthane sword , and about what period would transition have occurred?

I know I have always been curious about the kasthanes which exist having VOC blades. Most I have seen seem to have large dates stamped from 1730s to 1760s. Would these have been used by Dutch forces using their hanger blades, or supplied blades to Sinhalese? Obviously colonial conflicts were in place, but would those allied to Dutch have used these?

When did the distinct multi quillon system arrive in Sinhala . It seems apparent on European swords from 16th century. Again, earliest use of these kinds on hilts.

All these questions and more, even extending to the piha kaetta and its development as well as any other Sri Lankan arms with specific questions toward their history of use there are open to discussion.
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Old 31st January 2014, 06:50 AM   #240
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1. When did the distinct multi quillon system arrive in Sinhala? It seems apparent on European swords from 16th century.
2. Earliest date of manufacture?


Hello Jim, Your post is very interesting and poses a series of questions so if I may isolate a few at a time please; inked in red and numbered above if I may? What is also amazing is your reference to the fullers which look very similar to the Piha Kheata (and also to the Chinese pole arm blade...) Well spotted!!

The quillons appear to mimic the Vajra claw form seen on religious axes from the region. I am not sure if they were meant to act as quillons but rather as a decorative and religious design feature.The job of quillons ...to trap a sliding blade and twist from the opponents hand is not a feature on these weapons. The beautiful lavish design however feeds the notion that the court or dress sword function is more apparent and of course compliant in the religious affiliation with the Vajra.

The finials end with a creature or minor deity some of which exude cloud patterns and the same heads appear all over the hilt. The rainguard also appears decorative though is practical in securing the weapon in the scabbard. This Vee shaped structure mimics a sort of tail and is often decorated in fans perhaps indicating the tail of a peacock?

In reply to the second question..If the Portuguese Sri Lankan joint design or construction in Royal Workshops is true then the early manufacture must have been not before their arrival...Lourenço de Almeida arrived in 1505.

Please view the Quillons below and for interest I add a strange pipe from the region...showing a gargoyle like monster ...

It may be noted that the Vajra is often associated with the Makara and Quillon like devices with exuding other Deities occuring in the general theme; similar to the overall concept of the Kastane hilt.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 31st January 2014 at 08:50 AM.
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