The Age of King Rama I of The Chakri Dynasty. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Erik Seidenfaden.   






               In my article entitled, The Reconstruction of Rama I of .the Chahri dynasty, in JSS. XLIII, 1, 1955, it was

 stated that that King died at the age of 74. My statement was based on the History ofthe First Reign by, Chaophyà

Dibâkaravons,published in R.S. 120(1901) and again by the Fine Arts Department in 1935 (p. 312).


         In my article entitled, The Reconstruction of Rama I of .the

Chahri dynasty, in JSS. XLIII, 1, 1955, it was stated that that King
died at the age of 74. My statement was based on the History of
the First Reign by, Chaophy? Dib?karavons, published in R.S. 120
(1901) and again by the Fine Arts Department in 1935 (p. 312).
        Prince Prididebyabongs has now drawn my attention to the
fact that this was a miscalculation, for the King was born on the
20th March 1737, and died on the 7th September 1809, thus leaving
his span of life only 72 years, 5 months and 17 days, or, roughly
speaking, 72 years and 6 months.

      The miscalculation apparently arose from the prevalent
method of reckoning age at that time when the King, having been
born towards the end of the lunar year, would be considered as
being 2 years old with the dawn of the new year. He was then
regarded as being 2 years old when he was really only 11 days old.
     In thanking Prince Prididebyabongs for the information,
I naturally accept his correction,

       11November 1957                                                     Dhani



                            THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAMESE.

             This problem has been subjected to various opinions. Some
research workers believe that the Vietnamese people were a Mongo-
loid tribe that emigrated from Southeastern China to North Vietnam
( Tongking ); others, such as Colonel Henri Roux, thought that they
were originally Siamese. The noted philologist, Professer A.G. Haud-
ricourt, thinks, however, that the Vietnamese shoud be placed in the
Austro-asiatic family, between the Wa-Palaung and the M?n-Khmer

group, because many of the basic roots of the Vietnamese language
are M?n-Khmer.1 It has also been thought that the tones in the
Vietnamese language are due to a former Thai influence. To
this, Prof. Haudricourt says that the introduction of tones in the
Vietnamese language is not due to Thai influence. He states
that it is probable that at the begining of our era neither the
ancestor of the Siamese language, nor of the archaic Chinese, nor of
the common Miao-Yao language had any tones; that the appearance
of tones was begotten by the modification of the final and initial
consonants, and that this took place in a parallel manner in all four
languages because of Chinese influence. This Chinese influence
is testified by the existence of many Chinese loan words2 (in the
three other languages). In this matter of tones, Prof. Haudri-
court agrees with Dr. Paul Benedict.3
        It seems that Prof. Haudricourt's placing of the Vietna-
mese language and the Vietnamese people in the Austro-asiatic
family is based solely on linguistic grounds. Ethnology and the
Study of blood groups do not, however, agree with this view. Some
fifteen years ago Dr. Maneffe and M. B?zocier carried out a series
of blood group studies of the Vietnamese and other ethnic groups
in North Vietnam, such as the Muong (rustic cousins of the Vietna-
mese ), the Th? who are Thai, the Nung, also Thai, and the Man
(Yao). The result of this investigation was that all these ethnic groups
come nearer (biologically) to the Indonesian element than to the
Mongol. In stating that the Thai are more closely related to the
Indonesian ( than to the Chinese ), Dr. Maneffe and M. B?zacier
are in agreement with Dr. Benedict ( and also the noted German
anthropologist, Prof.   Egon Baronvon Eickstedt ).   The first two
1.George Condominas, Panorama de la culture Vietnamienne, p. 22.
3.Paul Benedict, "Thai,Kadai and Indonesian, A New Alignment in Southeas-
tern Asia," The American Anthropologist, 1942.

authors say that the Indonesians are members of "the great Euro-
poid family." 4,5
      It seems that the Indonesian, like the other groups of the
Thai, Kadai and Indonesian alignment, originated somewhere in
Yunnan, and when the M?n-Khmer wave, coming from the south
(southwest?), and intruding like a wedge,6 separated the Thai and
the Kadai from the Indonesian group; the Thai were pushed north-
wards and the Kadai eastwards. The Indonesians were driven south-
wards, invading the whole of the farther Indian peninsula. A
wave of these Indonesians, who were people of a highly developed
neolithic culture, invaded and conquered the lands of what was until
recently French Indochina (and the remainder of farther India) where
they met a primitive population of Papua-Melanesian and Negrito
Stock which they conquered, drove away, or absorbed. Next, a wave of
M?n-Khmer, following in the steps of the Indonesian, overran and
conquered Tongking (but not Champa or certain territories in the
Indochinese backlands, and Chieng Khwang). The result of the
last invasion was that the Vietnamese (Indonesian) of that day
adopted more or less the language of their conquerers, a process in
which history shows many similar examples. In spite of all this,
we think we are justified in maintaining that the Vietnamese are
au fond Indonesians. That this assertion is correct is borne out by
Dr. Maneffe's and M. B?zacier's investigations of the blood groups
of the people of North Vietnam as well as by several cultural
traits which link up the Vietnamese with the Indonesian of
Insulinde. As regards the culture and language of the present-day
Vietnamese, they were heavily influenced at first by the Chinese
conquest during the Han period (cir. 200 B.C. to cir. 200 A.D.), and
afterwards during the long Chinese occupation that lasted for many
4.Bulletin de l'Institut pour l'?tude de l'homme, Vol. IV, pt. 2.
5.See the author's "Notes on the B.I.E.H.," JSS, vol, XXXVI, Pt.I.
6.George Coedes, "Les langues de l'Indochine," Conferences de l'Institut de  
Linguistique de  l'Universit? de Paris, 1949.


hundreds of years. It is well known that the population of Central
Vietnam (Annam) consists mainly of former Cham people from the
once flourishing hinduized and highly civilized Kingdom of Champa,
which was utterly destroyed by the ruthless and iconoclastic Viet-
namese to such a degree that only a few tens of thousand very poor
descendants of this formerly proud people are now left. The Cham
are of course Indonesians, both by blood and language.

Sorgenfri per Virun, Denmark                              Erik Seidenfaden
July 1957

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