Further Notes about the Chaubun, Etc. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Major E. Seidenfaden.   

SEIDENFADEN,ERIK. FURTHER NOTES ABOUT THE CHAUBUN. JSS. VOL.13 (pt.3) 1919. p.47-53.

 

 

              FURTHER NOTES ABOUT THE CHAUBUN, Etc.

 

                                             BY

 

                             MAJOR E. SEIDENFADEN

 

                                         OF THE

 

                          PROVINCIAL GENDARMERIE.

 

 

In Volume  XII,  part 3, of  this  Journal  I  published  some
notes   concerning     the  Chaubun, or   Nia-kuol  people, living  in
Amphö   Paktungchai   ( ปัก ธง ไชย์ ), Changvad  Nakon  Rajasima,
Southern   Korat. I   was   not  at  the  time  aware  that  there  were
living   other  communities  belonging  to  this  people, at  any  rate
not   in   any   of   the   four  north-eastern  provinces  (Korat,  Ubon,
Udorn,  Roi-Ech) so  well   known   to   me.  But   in   the   mouth  of
March 1919,when on a tour of inspection to Changvad Chaiyapum

(ไชย์ภูมิ์), I   came   across  several   villages   peopled   entirely   or
partly   by   Chaubun. The   Chaubun   of   this  region  are  officially
called Lavā in the census and under this name I had known these
people for many years ; this time, being brought in personal  touch
with them, I discovered  soon  by  comparing  their  language  with
that   of   the   Chaubun   that   these   Lavā   are  identical  with  the
Chaubun   of   Southern  Korat. But  while  the  Southern  Chaubun
are recognized as and claim for themselves to  be  the  aborigines,
not so the  Northern  Chaubun, who  pretend  to  have  immigrated
from Petchabun, where, according  to  their  statements, there  still
live  a   grea   number  of   their   brethren.  If   the   Chaubun   really
are identical with  the  Lavā  I  must  of  course  give  up  any  claim
to  have  "discovered" a  hitherto  unknown  people  and  language;
but   the   fact  remains  interesting  in  showing  that  probably  the
whole of Western Korat formerly was  peopled  by  Lavā, a  people
belonging    to    the    same    ethnical    stock    as    the    Lavā   of
Lopburi,    Supan,     Nakon    Savan     and      Payab.   As    demon-
strated    in    the   list   of    Nia - kuol    words    and     expressions
published    with  my    first   pape   on  this  subject,  the  Chaubun

 

 

 

 

 

                                                          (48)

 

language shows many  likenesses to  Mōn  and  Cambodian, and  I
suggested  that the Chaubun language might represent  the  former
common  language out of which the later separate Mōn and Cambo-
dian were  shaped. Though, after  mature  reflection, I  do  not  more
dare to maintain that  hypothesis I  might  perhaps  be  permitted  to
suggest another thing : according  to the  few  and  scarce  data  we
possess concerning the Pre-Tai inhabitants   of  the  Mēnām  valley,
these were of Mon-Kmār stock and probably nearer Mōn than Kmēr.
In   support  of  this  it   may  be  mentioned  that  at  Lopburi  a  stèle
bearing  an  inscription  from  the  Vlth   century has been found ; the
language of this inscription has not yet been  translated  in  extenso
but, as far as the experts can see, it is  a  language  representing  a
link between Mōn and Cambodian. My suggestion is  now  that  this
language is Lavā. The primitive form of this language may differ from
that of the inscription, but that can be explained by the  influence  of
the Hindu or more correctly Indian  colonists  in  the  Menām  valley.
I   have   in   vain  tried  to  obtain  any  publications  concerning  the
Lavā language ; even in the National  Library  no  such  documents
are to be found. [ What an opportunity for a member of  the  Society
living in a region peopled by Lavā to examine  the  question  of  the
Chaubun and the Lavā language being identical or not ].The racial
type,dwellings and manners of life of the Chaiyapum Chaubun are
quite like those of the Southern Chaubun ; only the Northern Chau-
bun practise rai cultivation more than  their  brethren  in  the  South.
The villages peopled by the Chaubun in  North-Western  Korat  are
to    be    found    partly     in    Ampö    Chaturat   ( จตุรัศ )    partly    in
Kingampö  Bān Chūan ( ชวน ), formerly called Kingampö  Bamnet-
narong  ( บำเหนจนรงค์ )  Most  of   these   villages   are  built   in  the
forest stretching in a   big  half-circle  from  the  Petchabun  hills  in
the   West   and   the   Pukio   hills   in   the   North   down    towards
Hoeï Kanchu (a tributary of  Lam  Chi)  and  the  upper  reaches  of
the Lam Chi—a rather wild and  inhospitable  country  outside  the
fertile valley of the Lam Chi. Over the Petchabun  hills, here  called
Pu Kang Höi, lead several passes down to Ampö Vichien one pass
passing   the   old   Müang  Si   Tat. (Vide   the  archeological  map
made by Major Lunet de Lajonquière). The names of  the  villages

 

 

 

 

 

                                                        (49)

 

peopled   by  the  Chaubun  in  Kingampö B. Chuan  are : B.  Talok,

B.  Luark   B.  Nā   Yang   Grak, B.  Vangkōn,  B.  Pong Khun  Pet,  B.
Chōm  Kèo, B.  Vang  Kruk  and B.  Tarat  all  belonging  to  tambun
Chūan   and    lying    W. N. W.  of    this   village.   These    Chaubun
number 750 persons. In Amphö' Chaturat  the  Chaubun  are  living
in the three villages  of  B.  Lahān  Krai, B.  Nong  Boa  Ravē  and  B.
Hoeï Yē, but here they are mixed up with Lāo people ; hese villages
belong to tambun Nong Boa Bāl ; and  the  Chaubun  number  here
about 400 persons. Finally there are living 110 Chaubun in tambun
Panchanà  (พันชนะ)  Amphö  Dān   Khun  Tot  (ด่านขุนทศ),  changvad
Nakon Rajasima, in the village B. Boa Yai near the  foothills  of   the
Petchabun range. The number  of  Chaubun  or  Lavā   should  thus
amount   to  about   1,260; add   thereto  the  700  living  in  Amphos
Paktungchai   and   Kratok  (กระทอก)  and  we  get  1,960  or   nearly
2,000   persons   belonging   to    this   people  of    which    number
about   1,700   should    still    be    able    to    speak    their    proper
language. While   the   southern   branch   both   pays   the   poll-tax
and are liable  to  do  military  service, not  so  the  northern  branch,
which is exempt from conscription and the representatives of which
are much more simple  and  primitive  too  than  the  southern  one.

(II.) Some years ago when on tours of inspection in Udorn
I was told about a mysterious Pigmy people called Bang But
( บาง บุตร์ ) by the Lāo. According to the tales told me these
mysterious people lived in the jungle on the top of the mountains,
they hunted big game and cultivated rais and last but not least
were endowed with power to make themselves invisible ; as their
abode there was pointed out Pu Ho Pu Hūng, a big mountain looming
up most picturesquely on the French side of the Mékong to the north
of Ampho Ponpisai and Pu Kradūng a 6,000 feet high hill lying to
the North of the old crater-lake of Pu Vierng, changvad Konken.
At the time when I was told these stories I didn't take them
seriously (especially not the invisibility!), but in 1919 I met
several hunters from Amphö Pu Kio (now called Pak Bang— ผัก บัง )
who told me that a tribe called Khā Dong lüang ( the withered
leaves' savages ) or Khā Tam Bang ( the savages who can make
themselves invisible ) lived in the jungle on the slopes of the big

 

 

 

 

                                                        (50)

 

Pu Kio mountain, which   to  the  west  separates  Amphö  Pak  Bang
from  the  Petchabun changvad. These Khā are under middle  height,
well built, but very darkhued ; their hair  is  lank  and  straight  as  that
of mongoloid races, not curly as that of negroids ; both  sexes  go  en-
tirely naked; they do not construct houses but live under some hastily
erected leafshelters like the Semang ; and they leave these  shelters,
after some few days (hence the name  Khā  Dong  lüang). Their  only
weapon is a sort of wooden javelin  the  point  of  which  is  hardened
in fire; they  are  courageous  and  able  hunters  and  chase  and  kill
both   the   one-horned  and  the  two-horned  rhinoceros  (Kasō),  the
sladang  or  Kating  ox, deer  and  wild   pigs  and   that   rare   animal
Schomburgk's    deer    which   is   living   just   in   this   region.  They
do  not  cultivate  anything  but   gather  certain   wild   fruits   such  as
wild bananas, li-chis, yams and eatable fungi. These people  are  of
very unclean habits and as a result of their primitive   life  the  rate  of
child   mortality   is   very   high. The  Khā  Dong  Lüang  are  very  shy
and timid, afraid of meeting people not belonging  to  their  own  tribe,
but as  they  want  certain  articles  as  tobacco, salt   and  perhaps  a
piece  of  cotton  to swaddle a child  in they are forced to make  some
barter.  This  they  do  in  the  following  manner :  in  a  certain   place
well-known by the Lāo they place  different  things  which  they   know
are appreciated by the Lāo traders such as rhinoceros horns,antlers,
skins,  etc., ;  the   Lāo   traders   in   turn  give  the  Khā  those  things
wanted by them ; it is seldom that even  these  traders  see  anything
of the Khā themselves who hide in the jungle  close  to  the  place  of
the barter.

The Khā Dong Lüang are to be met with  in Tambun  Kūt
Lō at Bān Nong Boa and B, Būng Sipsi, also at  B.  Gēng, B.  Gūk
Püng B. Pak Sāng and B.Geng Dat Sai,all the last named lying at
Lam Prom at the foot of Pu Kio itself ; they are  also  found  some-
times in Tambun Nong Boa Deng,which tambun is lying close to
Pu Kio too. So far the information given me by those hunters,  but
Pra Yotsunthorn, at that time Governor of  Changvad   Chaiyapum
(now Governor of Changvad Nakorn Chaisri), has kindly  corrobo-
rated  all  the  information  given  above  as quite reliable. M. Petit-
huguenin tells me that some years ago when in Müang  Prae  he

               heard about the same people living in the hills to the East of Prae.

 

 

 

 

                                                      (51)

 

In such a wild and thinly populated  country  as  Petchabun  it  is  of
course quite conceivable that a savage tribe might roam along  the
slopes of that far-stretching mountain range,the Petchabun Range,
from   the  extreme  North  down  to  Dung  Praia  Fai.  According  to
the information given above these Khā  must  represent  a  very  pri-
mitive stage of humanity ; the Semang in Patalung and  Patani  can
hardly be more savage and  among  their  Khā  brethren  in  French
Indo-China they rank only with the Khā  Harēm, a  branch  of  which
is living on the big Annamite  Cordillera  in  the  district  of  Tā-Khêk.
These Khā Hārem are, according to descriptions  given  by  French
authors, quite   savage,  go  naked,  have  no  houses  and  live  by
hunting and on the wild fruits in the big forest.

 

III.  In    my   first    paper    written   about    the   Chaubun
I    mentioned   some    other  Khā  living  in  a  village  in   Amphö
Paktungchai, and I said that these  Khā  probably  were prisoners
of war brought here from Attapö, and I hoped  later  on  to  write  a
paper  about   them. I   have   since   vainly   tried  to  gather  some
more  information  about  them ; the  only  people  knowing  a little
about  their  history  and   language  was  an  ancient  pair, a  man
and woman, whom I met in 1916 under a halt in the village  called
Bān    Tungchān   ( ทุ่ง จาน ),   six    kilometers   south   of     Müang
Paktungchai. These old folk were at that time between 80  and  90
years old, very deaf and rather senile and could scarcely remember
thirty  words  of  their  mother-tongue. As  far  I  could gather, these
Khā  are  called   Khā   Tang-Ong   and   had   their  homes  in  the
Attapö district of French  Laos  from  which they  were  taken  away
under  a  slave  raid  by  some  Ubon  Lāo  and  brought   to  Korat
80  years  ago. Most  of  them  were  settled  in  B. Tungchān   and
some   few   in  B.  Sok (โซก), a  small  village  bying  close  to  the
southern city wall of Korat The descendants, a 100  or  150  in  all,
speak Tai and live like  the  Korat  Tai  whom  they  resemble  very
much (the reason for this being that the Tai in Korat really are  Tai-
ised Kmērs and rather dark of colour).I give below a list of the few
words of the Khā Tang-Ong language which I was able  to  gather :-

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                               (52)

 

 

English.

 

Father

Mother

child

son, boy

daughter, girl

man, husband

woman, wife

to eat

to go

to lie

to sleep

rice

paddy

water

fire

firewood

house

buffalo

bullock

horse

dog

elephant

tiger

field

forest

river

 

Khâ Tang-Ong.

 

Bök

Mē

koan

koan klo

koan drir

klo

drir

dong

dok

kūij

hnān

kcha

chē

dak

ūn

long ūn

sröm

kabö

pakmē

sē

chō

rūij

klüa

müan

kja

charā

 

          Only five of the above cited words resemble Mōn-Kmēr, viz.,
the words for child, mother, water, horse and tiger,but according
to information given me in 1916, when I was in Paksē in French
Laos the Khā Tang Ong speak a language  very  much  like  the
Khā Brao, a big tribe living in  the  Attapö  district  and  a  clan  of
which tribe is living in  the  old  Müang  Kam  Küan  Kèo  in  King
Amphö Chanumân (ชานุมาณ) in Monthon Ubon; the language of

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       (53)

 

the Brao was studied and compiled by M. Taupin and published in
"Bulletin de la Société  des  ètudes  indochinoises", Saigon, 1888,
2' semestre.—

 

 

 

                                                                                             E. Seidenfaden.

 

 

Bangkok, in March 1920.

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