Cahiers De L'Ecole Fran, Caise D'EXTRÊME-Orient. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Erik Seidenfaden.   

SEIDENFADEN,ERIK. CAHIERS DI I'ECOLE FRANCAISE D'EXTREME-ORIENT. JSS. VOL.33 (pt.1) 1941. p.23-48.

 

 

                                               CAHIERS DE L'ECOLE FRAN,CAISE D'EXTRÊME-ORIENT

An appreciation  by  Major  Erik  Seidenfaden, President  of  the
Thailand Research Society, m.r.a.s., m.s.a., f.r.a.i.,Correspond-
ant de l'Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient.

CAHIERS     DE    L'ECOLE     FRANÇAISE     D'EXTREME-ORIENT,
Nos. 1-22, 1934-40, published  for  the  members  of  the  Société  des
Amis de l'Ecole  Française  d'Extrême-Orient  by  the  Ecole  Française
d'Extrême-Orient and edited by Monsieur George Cœdès, Hanoi.

                          _________________________

 

  In the year 1934 friends  of  the  Ecole  Française  d'Extrême-Orient 
came together in Paris and founded the  above  society  with  two  sites,
one in Paris and one in Hanoi. This society has been growing  steadily
in membership, and increased interest has been shown in the work of
the   Ecole,which   is   popularized   for   members   in  the  columns  of
these intensely  interesting  and  instructive  Cahiers. The  contents  of
these are generally  divided  among  such  matters  as  reviews  of  the
Ecole's work during the preceding three  months (a trimestre), lectures
given during the same period, personalia and echos. 

  To  people, who  are  too  busy  or  think  themselves  too  layish  to
grapple with the  contents  of  the  bulky  Bulletins  of  the  Ecole, these
cahiers are just  the  thing  through  which  their  interest  can  be  kept
awake, while giving them a good insight into the multifarious activities
of this important seat of learning.

       In the following, an attempt is  made  to  give  a  summary  and  an
appreciation of the work of research and temple-restoration which has
been   carried   out   by   the   Ecole  during  the   last  six  years. As  the
cahiers under review come altogether to between 500 and 600  pages,

not everything can be mentioned, and only the  more  outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

24                             MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                     [VOL. XXXIII

 

features,and such as are of direct or indirect interest to the members
of the Thailand Research Society will be treated.

To facilitate the survey, the contents of the cahiers will  be  treated
in this article according to regions.

Cambodia ranks first in interest, and every  year  new  and  epoch-
making discoveries of archaeological, epigraphical or artistic importance
are made. It seems  that  this  country  is  an  inexhaustible  treasure-
chamber of good things.

To  the  newer  discoveries  belongs  Prasat  Ak Yom,1lying  to  the
west of the first Angkor,which attracted  the interest  of archaeologists
in  1934  when  the late M.  Trouvé  found  a  well  of  a  depth of  more
than 12  metres underneath the floor of the central cell of  the  temple
tower. Treasure-hunters,vile  creatures,had  alas! already  plundered
it   of   all  valuables  it   may  have  contained.  It  was   also  M.Trouvé,
a  born  archaeologist of note,who discovered, in  the same year, in a
cavity  under  the  principal sanctuary of the Bayon  that  fine  image of
the  Buddha  which is an idealized portrait of  the great temple-builder
King  Jayavarman  VII, now installed in  a  pavilion  to the   east  of  the
royal   palace  in  Angkor  Thom  for  the  worship   of    the   faithful.In
the  Mébon  occidental, i. e. the temple in the western  baray, or water
reservoir, has been found an enormous bronze statue of Vishnu resting
on   the   snake   Ananta. It  has  a  length  of  4  metres!  Perhaps  this
image   is   identical   with   the  reclining  Buddha  mentioned  by   the
Chinese ambassador Tchou Ta-Kwan.3Every year sees new finds of
beautiful   statuary, Vishnus, Krishnas, Hariharas, Sivas, the  Buddha,
and   others, besides  fine  ceramics, phra   fatimas  of  gold, etc.  Nor
should be  forgotten  important  inscriptions. A  unique  find  was  that
of  a  standing  Siva  being  embraced   by  his  wife and sister.4 Soon
the entire history of ancient Cambodia may be as clear, to us  as  day-
light.  And  on  goes  the   work  of  clearing   more  and  more   of   the
temples of the choking vegetation and restoring them to their original
shape or almost so, sometimes by the method called anastylose, so
admirably  employed  by   M. Marchal   for   his   reconstitution   of   the

______________________________________________________

Cahier No. 1, p. 7, and No. 4, p. 6.

2 Cahier No. 1, p. 7, and No.4, p. 5.

3 Cahier No. 9, p. 8.

4 Cahier No. 18, p. 7.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO               25

 

beautiful   Bantay   Srei   temple.  Other    temples   like    Bakong,  Bantay
Samre   and   Asram   Maha   Ro'sei  are  treated  in   the   same  manner.
It   is   also   interesting  to  be  told  that  in  the  Albert   Sarraut   Museum
in  Pnompenh  is  now  to  be  seen  a  statue  of a  king identical with the
Thao   Phromathat  from  Phimai (at present  in  our  National  Museum).5
The    great  and  useful  rôle  of  aerial  surveys  has  been  proved  by  M.
Goloubew's   discovery   of    the    enceintes   of    the   first   Angkor.  Also
M. Claeys, the present Chief of  the  Archaeological  Service, has  employ-
ed the aeroplane for important archaeological and ethnological research
work.

       One notes with interest  that  M.  Groslier,the  director of  the Musée
Albert Sarraut, is working on a monograph  on  the  great  and splendid
Bantay Chhmar,a sangatuçrama or Mahayanistic monastery dedicated
to the all merciful Bodhisattva Lokeçvara and  of  the  same  age as the
Bayon (1182-1202).6 We cannot enumerate here all  the lectures given
to the members of the Friends  of  the  French  School  of  the  Far East
in   Hanoi.  One  of   them  was  M. Goloubew's  on  Sambor  Prei  Kuk,7
the old capital of King Içanavarman (Vllth century), in which  he  speaks
of the tall brick towers resembling those of  the  Chām  with  sculptures
in sandstone  or  even  executed  in  the  bricks  themselves. In  one  of
these  towers  was  found  a statue with a crowned horse's  head. Sam-
bor Prei  Kuk  is  Içanapura,  and  the  god  adored  here  was   the  god
that  laughs  and  dances,  i. e.  Siva.  Madame  de   Coral-Rémusat,  in
another lecture,8showed on an austro-asiatic substratum the relations
between   the   Makara   of    the  Khmer  lintels  with  the  Kala   of  Java
and the  ancient  T'ao  T'ien  mask  of  China  of  the  Chous,  that   is  to
say,   the   motif   taken   from   the  conquered  enemy's  head   brought
home for protection  against  evil  spirits. In  the   temple  called  Prasat
Nang   Khmau  (the black virgin)  are  the  only  frescoes  so   far   found
in     Cambodia.9   It     would   have   been   well   if   Dr. Quaritch  Wales
could have studied these before giving as  his  opinion   that   the Bang-
kok  temple  mural  paintings   were  modelled   on  those  in  Ellora!  In
a   lecture   on   the   mystery   of   the   Bayon   of   Ankor   Thom10   Prof.

____________________________________________________________

 5 Cahier No. 1, p. 8.

6 Cahier No. 2, p. 4.

7 Cahier No. 2, p. 6.

8 Cahier No. 6, pp. 17-18.

9 Cahier No. 8, p. 8.

 

 

 

 

 

26                             MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                     [VOL. XXXIII

 

Cœdès discourses on this exceptional monument which seems to be
the product of  many  transformations, while  of  its  bas-reliefs   in  the
interior  galleries  there  are  still  many  that  have  so  far  baffled   any
explanation. Such   a   one   is  that  of  the  king  taken ill  after  a   fight
with  a snake. Is this bas-relief  the  source  of  the  myth  of  a  leprous
king who was cured  by  a  Brahmanic  ascetic ? Perhaps  so, as   this
myth  is  curiously  enough  confirmed  by  a  Telugu  manuscript  kept
in    the   library   of   Madras  University. According  to  this  manuscript
a certain  Khmer king  came  to  India  and  was  cured  of  his  leprosy
by   a   wise  Brahman. The  huge  faces  of  the  towers of   the  Bayon
and also of the gate towers of Angkor  Thom  are  those of   the  Bodhi-
sattva   Lokeçvara, and   the   Bayon  was  originally   also  a  Buddhist
sanctuary.  After   the   death  of  its  builder,  Jayavarman VII,  however,
Brahmanic reversal transformed it into a Brahmanic one(breaking the
beautiful image of the Buddha, since found and restored by  M.Trouvé,
referred   to  above). Finally,  when  Hinayanism  became  the  religion
of    the  country, it  returned  to  its  Buddhist  origin. Pierre  Loti  in  his
admirable book Pèlèrin d'Angkor guessed rightly when he  exclaimed
that the god of Angkor with his foue faces,half closed  eyes  and  pitying
smile was blessing with his royal power the entire  country,because it
is now proved that the  faces  of  this  Bodhisattva  are  really   portraits
of   King  Jayavarman  VII.  M. P. Mus  had  very  ingeniously  explained
that  each of the four-faced towers of the  Bayon  represented  either a
province   or  its  religious  or  temporal  centre  in  the  Khmer  empire.
Prof.  Przyluski adds  that  the  earliest  representation  of  the  cosmic
mountain  (Meru) was  the  Assyro-Babylonian  Ziggurat  and  this, like
that of  Meru, has a subterranean portion corresponding to that  above
the   ground.  The   bas-reliefs  of  the  interior  galleries  of  the  Bayon
represent  this subterranean portion.The same idea and composition
is found in Borobudur in Java.

       Under recent discoveries11 Prof. Cœdès  says  that  epigraphical
studies have now convinced him  that  Tchen-la de  terre  (Cambodia
of the dry land)  corresponds  with  middle  and   lower  Laos  with  its
capital  in  Cammon.12 As regards  Tchen-la de  l'eau  (Cambodia  of
the  water) this corresponds to  the present kingdom of Cambodia. In
the   VIIIth   century   a. d.   anarchy  broke  out,  but  the  two  principali-

___________________________________________________________

10 Cahier No. 10, p. 25-30.

11 Cahier No. 14 pp. 40-48.

12 See my remarks on the location of this capital in my review of M.
Marchal's book in the issue of this Journal p. 78,

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO               27

 

ties were reunited by the marriage of a princess of Sambor with  a
prince of Aninditapura, to which house Jayavarman II pretended  to
belong.  The   VIIIth  century  was  a  period  of  fermentation  in  the
southern seas, and one sees the rise of new empires and new dynasties.
In south-east Sumatra it  was  Srivijaya  which  expanded  over  the
Malay peninsula — right up to Randon bay—and founded  this thal-
assocraty which for a long time ruled over the Straits of Malacca.In
Java a new dynasty revived the imperial title of Kings of  the  moun-
tain(Çailendra),formerly used by the kings of Funan.The Javanese
raided the coasts of Indochina, and  in  the VIIIth century  were  pro-
bably the overlords of Cambodia.Jayavarman II came from  Java—
whereto he had either fled or been taken away as prisoner—and began
to   reign   in   Indrapura   (Bantay  Prei  Nokor)  about  A. d. 800. He
changed his capital several times,to Hariharalaya(S.E.of Siemrap),
to   Amarendrapura (West  of  the  baray  occidental), and  again  to
Mahendraparvata (on the Kulen Chang mountain  plateau, N. E. of
Angkor). Here  his  court-brahman  made  a  new  ritual  worthy  an
independent (of Java) King. From this time we have   the  Devaraja
or God-King represented by the linga. Jayavarman II  finally moved
back to Hariharalaya where  he died in 854. One can  trace  the  in-
fluence of Java and Champā in the art  of  Jayavarman   II's  period.

       One of the most important discoveries made recently is that of
King Jayavarman VII's stela, which was found when repairs to  the
enormous Phra Khan temple, near to Angkor, were proceeding,—they
are still far from finished.13 The inscription is in Sanscrit and runs
to 179 lines. It commences with   praise  of  the  Buddha, the  Law
and the Community of monks, and goes on with an invocation   of
Lokeçvara and Prajñāparamitā, the mystic mother of  the  Buddha.
Next follows Jayavarman's genealogy. It  seems  from  the  further
contents that Jayavarman VII won  a  great  battle  over  the  Chām
here in the neighbourhood of Phra Khan. The Chām had attacked
and sacked the first Angkor in 1177. The king built a new city  here
which he called Nagara Jayasri, which was sanctified by the proximity
of three sacred waters consecrated to  Siva, Vishnu and  the  Buddha.

Thanks to  Prof.  Cœdès'  extraordinary  skill  and  sagacity  as  an
epigraphist and historian,he can identify this town with the temple
of Phra Khan, and the three  holy  waters  with  the  eastern  baray,
consecrated to Siva, the western baray to Vishnu, and the pond,in

______________________________________________________

13 Cahiers 20-21, pp. 10-22,

 

 

 

 

 

28                             MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                    [VOL. XXXIII

 

whose centre rises the small Nak Pan temple, dedicated to Lokeҫvara,
to the Buddha.

Among the royal regalia of both Cambodia and Thailand is a sacred
sword   called   Phra   Khan. In  the  case  of  Cambodia  it  is  the  palla-
dium of the kingdom, but in older days this sword was  named  Jayaçri.
It also appears that the temple, the  real  name  of  which was   Nagara
Jayaçri, was a funerary temple, dedicated to King   Dharanindravarman
II,  Jayavarman's  father, whose   portrait, in  the  form  of  an   image  of
Lokecvara, was the chief idol of  that  temple. The   temple  now   called
Tâ Phrom was dedicated to  Jayavarman's  mother  whose   portrait,  in
the form of an image  of  Prajñāparamita, was  worshipped  there.  The
Buddhist triad was Buddha, whose image stood in the Bayon but is now
placed in a pavilion to  the  east  of  the  royal   palace, Lokeçvara  (Phra
Khan), and Tārā or Prajnâparamita (Ta Phrom). The  two latter temples
were inhabited by a host  of  gods. Phra  Khan  had  thus  515  and   Ta
Phrom 260 images of stone representing princes,princesses and high
nobles  who  had  been deified. Though the images have disappeared,
destroyed   by   vandals, we  know  most  of   the  names  of  them  from
inscriptions on the doorframes of the cellas wherein they  were  placed.

This enormous temple of Phra Khan, or Nagara Jayaçri, possessed
97,840 servants and serfs, besides elephants, horses  and  oxen, and
eighteen annual and ten monthly feasts  were   celebrated. The  inscrip-
tion .furthermore  tells  us  about  the  grand  chaussées  the  king   had
built  with  stone  bridges  spanning  the  watercourses  to  be  crossed.
Along    the   chaussées   with  certain  intervals  were  built  resthouses
(dharmaçalas).

According to the archaeological map there were two roads  running
north-westwards from Angkor, one  to  Phimai  and  the  other  to  Svai
Chek—( and   probably  further  on  to  Lopburi?); one  chaussée  went
north-eastwards to Wat Phu, Champasak,  and, we  take  it, continued
to   the   capital   of   Champā;  finally   one   went   south-eastwards  to
Kompong   Thom   and   Sambor   Prei  Kuk. The  road  mentioned  as
going to Pnom Chisor is not  on  the  map. Our  inscription  concludes
by  stating  the  number  of  religious buildings  in  the  realm  and  the
cost  of  their  upkeep. There  were  in  the whole kingdom 514 temple
towers  and  20,400  images served  by  8,516  villages  with  208,530
servants or serfs, of which 1,622 were dancing  girls. The  number  of
priests, 2,989, seems low.

The King's daily bath was made  up  of  water  sent  by  the  king  of
Java, the Emperor of Annam (Yavana) and the two  kings  of  Champā.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                    APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO              29

 

The allusion to the first two monarchs must have been an empty
boast however.

        M. P. Lèvy  has  studied   thoroughly    the   Kui  of   Melu   Prei (N. E.
Cambodia),14and the result of his researches should be of  interest  to
us   in  Thailand, where  there  must  be  living  more  than  100,000 Kui
people divided into  many  clans  in  the  Changwats  of  Ubon, Srisaket,
Surin and Roi Ett.

        Mlle. Colani has  studied  the  prehistory  of  Cambodia  and  found
that the cult of the sun was formerly  widely  spread  both  in  Cambodia
and Laos.15 The proofs are the many solar symbols on jewels,tatooing,
and sun pictures on the bronze drums and on the discs of schist found
in   Hua   Pan  and  Chiang   Kwang.  Already   the  late   Prof.  Sir   Elliot
Smith   included   Indochina   in   his map within the sun cult circle.  The
late Leo Frobenius, it should be added, stressed the importance of  the
sun cult  as a  common  human  connecting  link16 All   this  contributes
to the belief that almost the whole of  Indochina  at  one  time  practised
sun worship. We agree  and  would  add   that  the  Karens  seem  also
once to have been sun-worshippers, judging  from   the  embroidery  of
a   rising   sun  on  the  blouses  of   the  married  women.  Mlle.  Colani
also finds  the IIcat  decoration  common   in  Cambodia.This  is  a  link
with the Sunda islands. She  has  also  studied  the   kjokkenmoddlngs
at Samrong Sen and other places where finds were made of pottery and
parts of skeletons, which help to verify the connection  with   the  Sunda
Islands too. At Kampot also, near the coast, in limestone  caves,  these
traces of primitive man's habitat have been found.

        M. V. Goloubew has lectured twice on Surya,17 the sun god  of   the
Hindus.  Speaking   of   a  bas-relief  in  the  temple  of  Bhājā   in   India,
dating back  to  the  2nd  century  a. d., this  distinguished .savant   says,
when describing the figures represented on above relief :

        "Under the wheels of the chariot conducted by the solar god one sees an
antelope or gazelle  which  seems  to  emerge  from  a  cloud..... In  certam
Indian  myths  apparently  formed  by  contact  with  Scythian  beliefs, it is a
mysterious deer or capride which,while advancing through the air,spreads
a radiant light around itself.We know that the  skin  of   the  black   antelope
is the proper receptacle for conserving and condensing   the warmth of the

___________________________________________________________ 

14 Cahier No. 15, p. 10, and No. 16, p. 9.

15 Cahiers 20-21, p. 13, and Cahier 22, pp. 13-14.

16 Cf. his Childhood of Man.

17 Cahiers 20-21, pp. 23-29, and Cahier 22, pp. 38-42.

 

 

 

 

 

30                               MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                      [VOL. XXXIII

 

sun,the principle of life,and that it plays an important rôle in certain Vedic
sacrifices. It is therefore not excluded that we here  have  a  supernatural
animal whose luminous course not so long ago preceded the apparition of the
solar   chariot. We  believe  that  the  animal  in  question  is   the  golden
deer  or   the  sarabha, itself  a  solar  symbol, and  would   here  refer  to
Prof. J. Przyluski's   paper, Un   ancien   peuple   au   Penjab, in   Journal
Asiatique, Vol. CCXIV—2, 1929.

       On page 25 M. Goloubew says : Surya.............................  at  times  his

image is associated with that of a moon god. In  Wat  Pho   in   Bangkok,
high up under the  roof  of  the  bot  (uposatha)   at  its  eastern  end,  are
seen confronting one another a  red  and  a white disc inside which   are
representations of  Surya  and  Chandra, the  sun  and  the  moon  gods.
In  this  case  the  gods are  here  simply  present  as  attendants  to  the
Buddha.18 M. Goloubew  does not  mention  among   Khmer  sculptures
of Surya the beautiful frontal in the Pnom Rung temple.19

       In his second lecture on Surya M.Goloubew also says that it seems
that the kings  of  Murunda  (of Indo-Scyth origin)  who  had  established
themselves   in   Northern   India,  were,  according   to   Sylvain  Levi,  in
friendly    relations    with    the   kings  of    Funan. The   Murunda   kings
were  a  branch  of   the  Kushan dynasty, and as such  they  also  came
from   Central   Asia.  The   Chinese    chroniclers   say    that   King  Fan-
Tchen of  Funan sent an embassy  in  240  a.d.  to   the   Murunda   king.
This  embassy   returned  with  four   horses   from   Yue-tche.  Possibly
the   Funan  dynasty  was  related  to the Murundas and were  thus  emi-
grants   from  India. This is  in   some   way   confirmed  by  Sylvain  Lèvi
who  states  as  not  impossible that after the victory of Emperor Samud-
ragupta  in  357 a. d., fugitive  Kushan  princes   fled   to   Suvarnabhumi,
i. e.,  Further   India   or   Indochina. The   Funan   kings   may    therefore
have  left Indo-Scythian  blood  in  the  veins  of  their  descendants.This
is  confirmed  by  the  Chinese  texts saying  that  the Funan kings  were
tchan-t'an, i. e. from India.

       CoChinchina was formerly  a  part  of  Cambodia,and Saigon was a
Khmer   town. It   was  colonized   by   Annamites  who  have  driven  out
the original  Khmer  population  and  even changed all the names of the
rivers, the hills, the  villages   and   the   towns  into  Annamite  ones,  be-

___________________________________________________________

18 See Major Seidenfaden's Guide to Bangkok, p. 172.

19 See Major   Lunet  de  Lajonquière's  Inventaire  dèscriptif des  monuments
du Cambodge, p. 206 and my paper A Siamese account of the construction of
the temple on Khao Pnom Rung, JSS., Vol. XXV, Part 1, p. 101—1932

 

 

 

 



PT. I]                    APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO              31

 

sides having systematically destroyed all the splendid Khmer temples
with their images  and  inscriptions.20 The  population  of Cochinchina,
which in 1872 numbered 900,000 souls,had grown to three millions in
1937.  The  Annamites  are  pouring  into  Cambodia  and  into  French
Laos,  where  the  king  of   Luang  Prabang  has  asked  for  protection
against   them. Here  in  Thailand  there  are  big s ettlements  of Anna-
mites  in  many places  in the north-east, such as at Khonkaen, Udorn,
Nongkhai,  Sakon  Nakhon,  Nakhon  Phanom  and   Mukdahan. There
is a fine museum  in   Saigon, Blanchard  de  la  Brosse, which  has  a
large   and   interesting  collection  of  Khmer  sculptures. Yearly   there
are made numerous finds of images, many of them  still  in  a   perfect
state of  preservation, such as a lying  Vishnu  on  the  serpent  Ananta ;
standing  Vishnus,Ganeças,Lokeçvaras and images of the Buddha as
well   as   lingas   and    bronzes, are    also   found.  This   sculpture  is
mostly   pre-Khmer  (VIth century) and  as  such, very  valuable  indeed.
Traces of  former  sanctuaries are  met  with  everywhere  and, also  on
the  plains of the junks. Polished stone  implements  are  found  in  Co-
chinchina too.

       During an  aerial  survey  carried  out  recently  two  huge  water  re-
servoirs (dry)  like  the  barays  of  Angkor  were  discovered, and  even
inside the municipal borders of Saigon traces of two Khmer sanctuaries
have been found.

       Annam has  a  threefold  claim  to  our  interest: firstly  because  of
its prehistoric remains, secondly because of the ancient Chām civiliza-
tions, and thirdly because it now forms  the  nucleus  of  the  Annamite
Empire with an Emperor residing in Huë, which has become a replica
of   ancient   China. Here  the Son  of  Heaven  still  performs  the  trien-
nial sacrifice to Heaven with  all  the  courtly  splendour  of  old  Peking.
M. Goloubew's lecture on the Dong-so'nian people21 calls for  special
interest as people with that particular culture may also have  inhabited
Thailand   formerly.  At   the   small   Annamite   village   of    Dong-so'n
has been found a  number  of  ancient  brick  vaulted  Chinese   tombs
dating back to  the  early  centuries  of  the  Christian  era, but, what   is
more interesting, is the find of  bronze objects  related  to  that   bronze
culture which produced the famous bronze drums, in Thailand  known
as Karen drums. Diggings in the soil showed that  here  had   been  a

_______________________________________________________

20 Cahier 12, pp. 21-23.

21 Cahier 10, pp. 19-23, and Cahier 14, pp. 12-16.

 

 

 

 



32                      MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                        [VOL. XXXIII

 

village consisting  of  pile dwellings and near by a vast cemetery where
the  corpses were  buried  without  coffins. Besides  their   bones  there
were gathered a rich harvest of bronze  objects,  pottery, beads  of  clay,
bracelets, ear-pendants of  jade and strange implements  of  polished
schist.  Thanks   to  the  find  of  a  sword  from  the  period  of  the  Occi-
dental Hans and some pieces of money,M.Goloubew assigns the date
of the objects found to the  first  century   of   the   Christian   era, i. e.  at
the   time  when  Marshal  Ma-Yuan's  famous  expedition  to  Tongking
took place.

The culture of these "Dong-so'nians" was  influenced  by  China   but
they themselves seem,to judge from bronzes found,to have resembled
the Oceanians (Pacific) or some of the so-called backward tribes of An-
nam's   hinterland.  This  impression  is  strengthened  when  studying
the  bronze  drums, the  scenes  depicted  on  which  recall  the funeral
ceremonies performed by the Dayaks of Borneo to-day.

The Dong-so'nian houses with their roofs shaped like upturned boats
are   found   with   certain  tribes  in  Sumatra  and  Celebes. The  Donc--
so'nians had  real  bows and wore short cuirasses like the Khmer war-
riors of  the  Bayon  reliefs, and   finally   they  seem  to  have  practised
athletic plays  like  the  awolishesha of  the  Sema Nāgas (Assam).The
Dong-so'nians must  therefore  have  been closely related  to  the  Indo-
nesians  where  Indochina   plays  the  rôle of  the elder sister. Hitherto
we  have accepted  the  theory that the Annamites came  en  bloc  from
South China (as  the  late  Reverend  Father Calenge tried  to  prove  in
his  still  unpublished  manuscript Les  origines  de l'histoire  ancienne
de l'Indochine), 
but  present-day  linguists  detach the Annamites from
from  the  Thai  group  (to  which   Henri  Maspéro had  attached  them)
and    classify   them   now   with  the  Austro-Asiatics.  Ethnologists  as
well as sociologists also incline to include them among the Indonesians.
One day we shall see the  Dong-so'nians accepted  as  Pre-Annamites
and  ancestors of these.The  Mu'ong  say  that  they  are  the  ancestors
of   the   Annamites  and  the  latter  consider  them  as  their  backward
cousins. The word Mu'ong is an   insult   as   it   means   provincial   (or
rustic). The    Mu'ong    live    on   both   sides  of   the  Black   River.  The
province  of   Hoa-binh  is   exclusively Mu'ong, but   there  are  many  in
Thanhhoa    and    other   provinces   still.  They    like    to   live   at    low
altitudes  where   it   is  hot,  while   the  Thai   people  prefer  to  live   at
heights  of  400  metres  or  more. The  language of  the  Mu'ong  is  an

                              archaic   Annamite  (i.e.  less   mixed  with  Chinese)  with   many   Mȏn-

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                    APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO              33

 

Khmer words. Prof. Cœdès  has  proved   that  anterior  to  the  Vth  and
VIth  centuries  a. d.  the  frontiers  of   their  linguistic  territory  marched
with   that   of   the   Khmer. Feudalism   and   patriarchal  customs  rule,
and there is a class of nobles (as among the Thai).The  bronze  drums
are still used at ceremonies and  such  drums, or  miniatures  of  them,
are   buried   with   the   dead. It    is  noticed  that  while  the  Annamites
living     to    the   north   of   Vinh  bear   the   stamp  of  mixture  with  the
Chinese,  those   living  to  the south  have  Khā  (Indonesian)  features.
Would this not be due to their being Annamitized Chām ?

       The Mu'ong possess certain rites where the officiating persons are
magically disguised as birds wearing a  curious  head-dress  identical
with the avikisapha of the Nāgas of Assam. It  seems  that  the  Mu'ong
have also inherited from  the  Dong-so'nians  the  passion  for  hunting
deer  with   trained   dogs. The   calendar  of  the  Mu'ong  is  written  on
12 strips of bamboo.

       Mlle. Colani, the distinguished savant and expert in the pre-history
of   Indochina, is   one  of  the  most  indefatigable  of  workers  and  is
always exploring  and  making  new  discoveries  and  thus  enriching
continuously our knowledge  about  the  dim  past  of  this  part  of  the
world.

       In a lecture on the necropolis  of  Sa-huynh  at  Quang-ngai,22  she
says that here in the sand dunes on the  sea  coast  were  found  three
fields where were  encountered  a  great  number  of  jars  and  human
bones, besides earthen and cornelian, blue and green beads.The jars
are tall, from   77  to  83  centimetres, and  are  met  with  in  groups  of
four   to   ten. They    have   no   lids. Other   pottery    with    geometrical
decorations, incised by hand or a stamp  or  a  marine  shell, are  also
common. Polished stone implements, but only few  bronzes  and  iron
implements are found. The burnt  human  bones  and   the  jars might
point to these people using the same kind of interment as  the  people
of   the   jars  in   Chiang  Kwang.23 What  did  these  people do?  They
were  probably  seafaring  and  agriculturists  too. The manufacture  of
their   pottery  proves  them  to  have  been  highly  cultured. They   may
belong to the same age as the Megalith   people  (of   Chiang  Kwang),
i. e. about the time of the birth of Christ.

       Mlle. Colani has also lectured on her discovery of ancient irrigation
works and superposed water reservoirs situated  at  Gia-binh,  Do-linh

_________________________________________________________

22 Cahier 13, pp. 8-12.

23 See under Chiang Kwang.

 

 

 

 

 

34                          MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                      [VOL. XXXIII

 

( Quang-tri )  and  at  Cap  Lay.24 These  are  surely  of  pre-Annamite
origin and resemble, as regards their construction, certain reservoirs
in  Assam. Three  ancient  routes  cross  the Do-linh mountain. Along
these routes are found ceremonial terraces,spirit stones and sacred
trees. Such terraces and reservoirs are also found  in  Insulinde, Bali
and Nias, and, we would add, on Doi  Suthep25. The  terraces  at  the
latter place were no doubt built by Lawā, who come  within  the  circle
of   Austro-Asiatic   cultures   too.  The   question  is   now: did    these
ancient people of  Indochina  emigrate  to  the  Sunda  islands?  This
seems more than probable.

       Almost  the  entire t erritory  now  known  as  Annam  was  formerly
within  the  borders of   a   hinduized  Malay  kingdom  called  Champā.
This   highly  civilized  country  must   have  come   into   existence   not
many  hundred  of  years after the beginning of the  Christian era,  and
its  last  remnants  were finally conquered  by the  Annamites  towards
the  end  of  the  XVth  century. The  Chām  were  great  architects  and
fine artists, and  in  religion  both  Brahmanist  and  Buddhist. Most  of
their temples have been  destroyed by  the  vandalistic  Annamites. Of
250 places only 150 have been found worthy of protection and classifi-
cation  and  only  twenty of these  are still  erect.26 The  newly  created
museum, the Musée Henri Parmentier, so called after Indochina's master
archaeologist, now  in  retirement  after  many years  of   distinguished
and  indefatigable  work  in  the field over all French Indochina, is   fully
stocked  with  beautiful  Chām  sculptures, many  of them  true master-
pieces. As a matter of fact, M. Parmentier is still working, for  he simply
cannot desist from it, and we are continuously receiving proofs of  that
in the forms of papers or books from his hands, especially  on  his  be-
loved Khmer architecture. Chām art though akin  to Khmer art  was  an
independent  and  virile  art  in  itself.27  M Claeys28 says that to  begin
with  Chaim art  was  only  an Indian colonial  art but that afterwards  it
developed  according  to  local conceptions  of   beauty. M. Claeys con-
tinues  by  saying  that  one  of  the  chefs  d'œuvre  of  Indochinese art

_______________________________________________________

24 Cahier 4, pp. 8-9, and Cahier 10, pp. 18-19.

25 See my paper Antiquities on Doi Suthep JSS. Vol. XXI, Part I, p. 39,

26 Cahier 18, pp. 34-44.

27 Readers who wish to get fuller information about the Chām are referred
to Madame Jeanne Leuba's Les Chāms et  leu rart, a  very  excellent  book.

28 Cahier 10, pp. 35-37.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                 APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                  35

 

comes from the Nām Sak valley, which  was  the  most  internal  point
reached by Indian penetration  prior  to  the  expansion  of  the  Khmer
empire. The natural route  of  dissemination  of  the  Indian  art   forms
would have been  from  Mu'ang  Si  Thep  via   the  Mun-Chi  valleys  to
Mekhong  and  then  to  Champā. M. Claeys says  that finds  of  Chām
sculpture are made every year,and some of them  are very fine pieces.
The  Henri  Parmentier  Museum  is  now  full, but  many  pieces  have
found their way to the Khai Dinh Museum in Huë.

       M. Claeys has  lectured on the capitals of Champaā29 There were
several of  them, and they came into existence by and by as the Chām
were  forced southwards by the Annamites. At  first  the  Chām  fought
the Chinese, who  were  then  the  masters  of  Tongking, and  later, in-
cessantly, the Annamites, and for a time, the Khmer. One  of   the  first
capitals was Simhapura or Indrapura,which flourished as such till the
Xth   century. Near  to   that   capital  the   Chām   kings  built, inside   a
natural  circle  of hills, the group of temples now  called  Mi-so'n. Each
sovereign  added  a  group  to  the  original  temples, until  there  were
altogether  seventy  such  groups, and they form  one  of  the  greatest
attractions of Annam.

       The sculptures at Mi-so'n recall to us the people of those distant
days; kings,priests, actors,musicians and peasants,their  costumes
and their customs. Polo playing is also a subject of  some of   these
sculptures. Vijaya or Chabān  was  another  Chām capital  from   the
XIth   to   the   XVth   century — destroyed in 1471  by  the  Annamites.
The Chām were great engineers, building irrigation works and canals.
They were excellent artists, musicians and  sculptors, besides  being
brave warriors and  also redoubtable  sea  pirates. Piracy  and   their
complete lack  of  diplomatic sense  made  them  hated  by  all  their
neighbours, and  ruin followed. Now only a  few  tens  of   thousands
of sadly  degenerated descendants are left,   whose   final  extinction
seems  near. But their  beautifu l temple towers, Po Nagar, the  gold-
en, the silver, the  copper and the  ivory  towers, the  stately   temples
of   Mi-so'n  and  Dong Du'ong, their fine images of the Buddha, Siva,
Ganeca, Lokeçvara and the graceful apsaras — heavenly dancing girls
— are left to  remind  us  of  a  great  people  that  has now, alas, dis-
appeared.

       Besides their blood still running  in  the veins of the so-called An-
namites south of Vinh, the Chāms  have  also   left  certain  customs.

_______________________________________________________

29 Cahier 2, p. 7.

 

 

 

 

36                      MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                      [VOL. XXXIII

 

One is probably the feast of floating lamps, which recalls the Indian
Loi Kratong, formerly celebrated  every  year  in  Thailand. M. Claeys
speaks of other marine festivals with sacrifices to the whale. At one
it was formerly the custom to burn a Moi alive. At such  feasts  there
would also be possessions by the spirit  produced  by  and  incited
through dance and rhythmical movements. There  is  at  present   a
tendency in the Mahāyanistic church  of  Annam  to  purify  their   reli-
gion of such superstitions.

       It is curious that the round basket-woven kind of boat,still in use
in   Mesopotamia  and  in  Wales  (and Ireland?), is  also  known  in
Annam.

       Tongking has lately been much in the press because of the finds made
there by the  Swedish  archaeologist, Dr.  Olof  Jansé, of  ancient  brick
vaulted Chinese tombs from the periods of the Han,Tang and Sung dy-
nasties.30 Many of these tombs contained rich funerary f urniture such
as miniature  buildings, models  of  citadels  and  fortified   farmsteads
which give us a good idea of the style  and  kind  of  architecture  used
by the Chinese during their  occupation  of  Tongking  in  the  IIIrd  and
IVth  centuries  a. d.  The   tombs   span  a  long  period, from  the  IIIrd
down  to  the  IXth  century, but   towards  the  end  of  this  period   they
become very poor both  in construction  and   contents. Other  contents
of these tombs are ceramics, fine porcelain,   cups,  bowls, iron  imple-
ments, lamps, bells, halbards, besides bronzes and the t'ao t'ien mask ;
and in one  tomb was  found   four  bronze   statuettes (III-IVth  century)
of winged  persons  kneeling in  the position called  that of  Chām cap-
tives. Statuettes  of  peacocks and  cranes  have  also  been  found; al-
together a  very   rich  harvest  was  made  from  these  ancient  tombs
giving us  a  deep  insight  into  the  material  and  spiritual   culture  of
those  far  away times. The study  of  Chinese  bronzes  is  more  than
an art, for  it  is a very difficult  and many-sided  science. M.  Goloubew
says in  this  connection that a true expert must be at the same time a
Sinologist, an  art  historian, a pre-historian, an ethnologist,a chemist
and  an  archaeologist,a superman among the savants, and must  be-
sides  possess  an artist's sensibility.31 We wonder how  many  such
experts  exist! The  Ecole has done much valuable  work  in  Tongking.
too, by   the restoration of fine old Annamite or Chinese temples,while

 _______________________________________________________

30 Cahier 2, p. 1 1 ; Cahier 10, pp. 7-8; and Cahier 11, pp. 2-3.

                             31 Cahier 4, pp. 12-13.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                 APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                  37

 

aerial surveys have disclosed the existence of ancient  fortified   places.
Finds of beautiful bronze  drums  are  continually  being   made   during
excavations; some of these drums  show  a  sun  or   star   with  sixteen
rays, others with only fourteen  rays, besides  a  representation   of   the
ships which carry away the souls of the dead warriors.32

       Mile. Colani, whose excavations and explorations in  the  limestone
caves, alone  or in  company  with  the  late  M. Mansui, are  well  known,
has    recently    explored   the  island  caves  in  Along  Bay, and  on  the
coast  at  Hongay.33  It  seems   that   the  neolithic  culture  in  evidence
there belongs to the same Bacso'nian culture as   found   by  M. Mansui
and Mile. Colani  and  that  the  population  was of  the same  stock  too.
Large  KjØkkenmØddings  are encountered on these  islands, and  the
caves seem  to have been  the dwellings of the population. Mlle. Colani
says  that   the   stone  axes  of  Along  Bay  are  related  to  these  found
in  South Manchuria  and  East Mongolia, while the snake  motif  on  the
pottery  is  of  Chinese origin. The  find  of  the curious  pierres  à   sillon,
or  furrowed  stones, opens  the  question  of  their  purpose. Were  they
whet-or  polishing   stones?  The  existence  of  1,000  such  stones  for
each 100 axes  seems  to  exclude  such  an explanation. Perhaps they
were amulets. Or, as  these  ancient  folk  were traders, they  may  have
been   used   for   counting   purposes, a   rudimentary   ideography.  Or
were  they  messages? And  the  people,—did   they   come  down from
South   Manchuria   and   East   Mongolia   by   raft   or   boat?  What  did
they    sell?   Pottery    probably.   These    mariners   settled    for   doing
trade  on  the  sand  dunes  of   Annam,  and  on  these   isles   too. Mlle.
Colani draws the following  conclusions  from her  explorations. Accord-
ing to the finds of human bones in the limestone caves at  Dong-Thu'oc
and   Lang   Cuom  i n  Lang-so'n   the   people  were  of   Papuan-Proto-
Melanesians stock, and  their  culture  was a palaeolithic one with a  bit
of polishing ; so  was  it  in Bac-so'n too. Others  of  these  people  were
settled   on  an   island   near   Hongkong.  Later,  several   hundreds  of
years  after, followed  the  people of  the furrowed stones, who  perhaps
had   trading   stations  here. Finally  we  have  the  cave  culture   of   the
islands  with  large  kjokkenmoddings, where we find the  shells  of  the
Melania, the fresh-water snail so beloved by all palaeolithic people. The
presence of these shells shows that they were brought to these islands.

__________________________________________________________ 

32 Cahier 17, pp. 12-19

33 Cahier 10, pp. 5-6.

 

 

 

 

 

38                            MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                         [VOL. XXXIII

 

But   why?   Probably   as   an  article  of  trade  or  barter. These  island
cave-dwellers  seem  to  have  been  peaceful  folk. It  might  be  added
here that  the  sequence  of  types  of  skulls  found  by  M.  Mansui  and
Mlle. Colani, is being more and more  confirmed  by  consecutive  finds.
This sequence indicates: (1)a race of dwarfs with Melanesian affinities,
(2) a   race   of   tall   structure   with   Australoid   features, (3)  one  of  a
Malayo-Polynesian  type;  and  finally  (4)  one  of   an  Indonesian   type.
Mlle. Colani   also   says   that  M. Madrolle's  dearly  beloved  dream  of
finding the inroad (into Indochina) of the Bacso'nians34 has here come
true. We do not,  however,  quite  understand  this  passage. Did  these
people come from the  north, from  China, and  where  exactly  was  the
point or pass through which they entered into  Indochina? The  present
population  of  the province of Langso'n (census 1939) counts 150,000
souls, of  which  138,000  are  Tho  or  Nung  (Thai), and  only 6,500 An-
namites, the remainder being Yao.35 The  Tongkinese  Annamites   are
different   from   the   Cochinchinese.  They   are   brothers  linguistically
but  ethnologically  only  cousins, and  there  is  little  love  lost  between
them. Dancing   is   not  unknown  among  the  Annamite  girls,  who   in
Thanh-hoa  dance  the  Xuan-pha36   This   is    interesting, as  such   a
custom is utterly un-Chinese.

       There  are  many   queer   marriage  customs   in    Upper  Tongking.37
Among the Tho, who are  Thai, the  bridegroom  must  undergo  several
trials before he gets the bride. The same  is  the  case  with  the  Yao (in
Tongking, called Man), but here the bridegroom must serve his parents-
in-law   for  a  period  up  to  six  years!  Declarations  of  love  to  the  girl
are  allowed, and  among  the Tho  this  often takes a charming poetical
form. Games at spring time, in order to give  the young  unmarried  lads
and  lasses  an  opportunity  of  meeting  each  other, are  the rule. Here
are played games like the len sabā of the  Mȏn, and  alternative singing
takes  place. The  Maeo, in   the   Tuyen   Quang   district,   do,   however,
still carry off their brides.

       Laos is a lesser district of archaeology as it is  not  rich  in  old  mon-
uments.  The   School   has,   however,   repaired and  consolidated  the
tall and imposing stupa, That Luang, as  well  as the exquisite Wat Phra

 _________________________________________________________

34 Pre-Melanesians, Papuans and Indonesians?

35 Cahier 22, pp. 36-38.

36 Cahier 14, p. 9.

37 Cahier 10, pp. 23-25.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                  APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                  39

 

Kaeo — which formerly housed the Phra Kaeo Morakot", now the palla-
dium  of  Thailand — both  in  Viengchan, ancient  capital  of  the  north-
eastern Thai, at present the seat of the Résident  Supérieur of  French
Laos.38  The   interest  attached  to  Laos  Français  is  more  of  a  pre-
historic   art.  At   Luang   Phrabang   bronze  drums  have  been  found
which are of the same  pattern  as  those  from  Tongking  and  Annam.
Mlle.  Dr.  Madeleine  Colani, who  is,  first  of  all,  a  pre-historian,  has
done great work in Laos, especially in the province  of  Chiang  Kwang
—we object to the Annamite  name  of  Tran-Ninh, as  this  province  is
peopled  by  Thai  and  constituted the old kingdom of Mu'ang Phuan—
where she has studied  the  famous  stone  jars.39  The  fruit  of  these
patient and profound studies is published in her admirable and  monu-
mental work, Mégalithes du Haut Laos.

       The learned lady says that these enormous and innumerable jars
are found on small eminences  spread  over  a  vast  plain  called  the
plain  of  jars. She  has  especially  studied  the field of Bang Āng,40 in
the  middle  of  which  is  situated  a  small  limestone hill. In a cave in
this hill, which is pierced above  by  two funnel shaped apertures, Mlle.
Colani excavated hundreds of small ash urns containing bits of charred
human  bones. She  also  found  stone  axes, bronze ornaments, iron
implements, and  a  zebu  ox-head  of  terra  cotta. This  cave  was  no
doubt used for cremation of the dead belonging to  the  people  of  the
jars. Later researches revealed that human  bones  were  also  found
round the jars and even inside them. Some of the dead  at  least  had
their remains deposited in the jars after cremation in the  cave. These
jars must therefore be considered as funerary  receptacles. The  Thai
call them  Thuai  Thevada  or   Cups  of  the  Angels! They  are  mostly
hewn out of quartz. The largest   are  over  two  metres  in  height  and
weigh    fifteen   tons!  The   smallest   are  only  one  metre  in  height.
The jars  affect various shapes; they are barrel-formed or  like conical
trunks,  etc.,  and   are   provided  with  "lids."  Mlle.  Colani  concludes,
from the great  number of jars, that there must  formerly  have existed
a large town  in  their neighbourhood. In her  lecture on  the  jars  she
has also  told  about the so-called pointed  stones  in  the  territory  of
the  kingdom  of   Luang  Prabang, which  some  think  are  a  kind  of

_______________________________________________________

38 Cahier 1, p. 6, and Cahier 8, p. 3.

39 Cahier 2, p. 92, and Cahier 7, pp. 1-2.

40 Āng in the Thai language means a water receptacle.

 

 

 

 

 

40                         MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                         [VOL. XXXIII

 

milestone   for  guiding  the  travelling  traders  of  yore. Others  believe
them  to  be  border  stones.  Unfortunately, in  the  construction  of  the
new road from Luang Prabang to Hanoi  many  of  these  stones  were
broken up.

There is also a vast field of standing stones resembling a Christian
cemetery, minus  the   crosses. On  the  above  road  is seen  a  stone
statue of a feline animal that has lost  its  head. In  the  soil  are  found
many curious discs, some of them shaped like minute  tables  with   a
single  stand  or  foot. Were  these  discs, like the so-called lids of  the
jars, destined  for  the  placing of  sacrifices to the departed? As far  as
my memory serves, similar stone jars are found in the Celebes,where
they   also   serve   for   funerary   purposes.  This   would   confirm  the
theory  of   an   Indonesian   emigration   from   Indochina.   In   another
lecture Mlle. Colani spoke on the menhirs in Hua Pan (formerly  called
Hua  Pan  Hā  Tang  Hok)  in  the   land  of  the  Khā  Phong.41 Menhirs
are  found  all  over  this  planet   with  the  exception  of   Australia. The
oldest date back to the neolithic age, while the newest  are  still  being
erected to-day (in Assam).

In Hua Pan  the  menhirs  are  small  and  narrow  pieces  of  schist
stuck in the ground and arranged in rather disorderly  rows  or  groups
at   the   foot  of  the  cliffs  into  which  are  dug  large  trenches  whose
floors  are  about  two  metres under the surface of the ground. Access
to  these  trenches is  by  a  narrow  vertical passage. The openings of
these crypts  were  closed  by  discs  of  schists with a diameter of two
metres . In  the  crypts  were  found cups of baked earth and pieces of
human   bones  and   teeth. The  crypts  were  thus  funeral  ones. The
industry of the builders of the menhirs left us  is  seen  in  the  form  of
rough clay vessels and, rarely, some bronze bracelets, as well as small
discs   of   schist,  only  four  millimeters  in  diameter, perforated  and
having on both sides designs of five or six-branched stars. The  latter
seem worth a closer study. In our days the  Thai  in  Upper  Than-hoa
erect on the tombs of their dead  cromlechs  or  circles of stones. These
cromlechs are perhaps  descendants  of  the  Hua  Pan  menhirs. As
regards the discs with  the  branched  stars, it  is  of  interest  to  note
that the Maeo women of Tongking like to  wear  ear  pendants, in  the
form of big hooks, decorated with a point or a circle  from which  rays
issue. This kind of amulet  is  a  survival  of  the  very  ancient  cult  of
the Sun.

_______________________________________________________

41 Cahier 6, pp. 18-20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                  APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                  41

 

       M. P. Lévy has in  a  valley  of  Nām  Chin  in  Hua  Pan  explored  a
number  of  caves,  where  he  collected  a  number  of  neolithic  imple-
ments  and  other  cultural  objects  right  down  to the iron age, and he
was  able  to  fix    a   stratigraphy   of   the   archaeological   layers. The
present population in this part  of  Hua  Pan  is  Thai  Daeng  and  Thai
Nu'a.42

       Dr.  Izikowitz, a  Swedish  anthropologist, who  has  been  studying
the  Kha  Lemet  in  Haut Mekong, has  encountered  certain groups of
peoples whose houses are grouped in the same manner as the houses
seen in the petroglyphs of  Chapa.43 This  is  a  discovery of  no  mean
importance  as  it  shows  the  links between the ancient inhabitants of
Indochina and the present ones.

       The Moi  or  Khā  people, an  important  and  interesting  people   or
group of peoples, who  live  in  the  hinterlands of Annam and Laos,  on
both  sides  of    the   Annamite  cordillera,  and    who   number    round
700,000 souls, have  lately  been  studied  by  Messrs. Ner and  Claeys.
A comprehensive work or a hand-book on this conglomerate  of   races
and peoples,called Khā or Moi by the Thai and Annamites  respectively,
is  sorely  needed. Most  probably  a  thorough  study  of   them    would
solve  many  riddles  as  to  the origin and migrations of  the  Oceanian,
Indonesian, Australian and the so-called Mongolian peoples. The   late
M. Henri  Maitre's  monumental  work, Les  jungles Moi, is   now   some-
what out of date, besides far from embracing all the Khā, and  we    are
therefore  in  real  need  of  a  new  and  comprehensive  work.   M . Ner
has been studying the elephant-hunting tribes   of  South  Annam,  and
also the custom of ordeal among the savage Mois at which immersion
of the hand in melting lead to  prove  one's  innocence  of  sorcery  was
formerly practised — now strictly forbidden.44 The same kind of ordeal
was   used   in  case  of  accusations  of  adultery.  Some  people  think
that these ordeals were for good , as  they   had  a  deterrent   influence
on    would-be   sinners!   By   the  Khā   Jarai, or Djiarai, most murders
were due to fear of sorcery. The  same  was  the  case  among  the  Sō
of Changvat  Sakon  Nakhon, who  up  till  not  many  years  ago  would
murder  mercilessly  any  person accused  of having the evil eye — phi
pob. The   belief   in  sorcery  is  the  source  of  all  trouble  in  Khāland.

_______________________________________________________

42 Cahier 17, pp. 7-8.

43 Cahier 10, p. 12. See my review of P. Levy's paper on these petro-
glyphs in this number of the journal, p. 103.

44 Cahier 4, pp. 13-14,

 

 

 

 

42                        MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                       [VOL. XXXIII

 

New sites of archaeological interest have been found  in  the  wild
country of South Annam, in the lands of the Churu and Koho,formerly
inhabited by the civilized Chām—in the hinterlands of Phanrang  and
Phanthiet—who  are  cousins  of  the  Moi  in  this  part  of  Indochina.

Professor Ner, who has studied  the  Moi  of  South  Annam  for  a
long time, has lectured on their art,45 and he says that one finds  art
forms here analogous to those in Africa, Madagascar,and Polynesia.
The Moi admires beautiful landscapes and tall slender graceful women
with clear skins, and expresses this admiration in his myths. Beauty
of scenery also plays a rôle when the Mois select  a  place  for   their
village, and altogether their sense of  beauty  and  harmony  is   well
developed. Utilitarian art is expressed  in  the  construction  of   their
houses, furniture, tools and arms. In their  houses  prejudices   and
artistic sense are combined. Their decorative art is also  expressed
in the details—carvings—of their houses, tools, arms, and especially
in their tombs. Finally, art  for  art's  sake  exists, though  it   is  rarely
exercised. Their decorative art  may  find  expression  in   figures  or
images. There is both a realistic  and a  symbolic  art.  Realistic  art
has a psychological interest as it enables us to grasp, under its form,
the temperament of the artist. The  themes  of  art  may   be  natural
or supernatural. Art is used for the group in  the  communal   house
where it is apparent in ritual objects, and for the individual in  his or
her clothing, arms, pipes, etc. But  it  is for  the  dead   that  their  art
reaches its highest expression. M. Ner  shows how  certain  art  ele-
ments approach Sumerian art, while  others  approach  Hindu  and
Chām art,though it is really most akin  to Indonesian and Oceanian
art.

M. Ner's studies of the archaic mentality of the Mois of South Annam
are also very interesting.46 The  so-called  Kings  of  Fire, of   Water
and of Wind would travel from village to village  in  order  to   assure

themselves that the sun, the rain and the winds were favourable  to
the crops. As possessors of mystic powers they were   feared  and
honoured but when it came to clearing a piece of jungle one would
see them with knife in hand  taking  part  in  the  work!  The  manda-
rins sent by the Emperor  of  Annam  to  inquire  into  the  power  of
these far-famed kings were not a little astounded to see them taking
part   in  ordinary  agricultural  work  like  common  people. But  this

_______________________________________________________

45 Cahier 9, pp. 20-24.

46 Cahier 9, pp. 9-12.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                  APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                  43

 

archaic mentality seems to be more advanced than ours as it indicates
a more exact appreciation of the values of life.

       As said above, the Moi are   divided  into  a  large  number  of  tribes
and   sub-tribes,  which   is  illustrated  by  the  fact   that  the  Ecole  has
received an ethno-linguistic map with a list of 137 tribes and sub-tribes
in South Annam alone !47

       M. Claeys has lectured on the Moi hunters of blood.48 According to
M. Claeys there is a very great difference, anthropologically as  well  as
culturally, between the various groups of Moi or  Khā  and, because  of
much reciprocative  infiltration, an  exact  classification  is  difficult. The
groups south of  Kontum, the  great  Roman  Catholic  mission  centre
where  are  grouped  about  20,000  Moi  converts, have  nearly  all  the
matriarchate; i.e. the  right  of  property  of  the  woman is superior and
she may  even  annex   that   of   her  husband. On  the  contrary, to  the
north, among the Sedang and  Katu. the  patriarchate  is  predominant.
Among  the  southern  Moi  the  influence  of  the  Châm  is  felt. I might
add that the Malays and other Indonesians  of  the  Insulinde  are  well
known for the existence  of  the  matriarchate  among  them. While  the
southern  Mois  have  accepted  the  administrative methods of France,
such is not the case with their northern germane cousins, who remain
independent and often savage. It  is  even  said  that human  sacrifices
still   occur   among  the  Katu.  However, with  progressive  institutions
such as schools, military service, roads and tourism, it   may  soon  be
necessary to create reservations for the remnants of the  real  savages,
a sort of ethnological park, as already done in  north-eastern  Australia.
The Khā living on  the  Mekhong  side  of  the  cordillera  have  become
laocized  and  mild-mannered. The  Khā  Tallieng  in  the  Saravân  dis-
trict, formerly wild head hunters, are  now only  wig  hunters, not  scalp
hunters. Their fights are now about wigs, large wigs made  of  human
hair, and they are quite unbloody. The village possessing  the  largest
number of conquered wigs, hung up in their communal  house, is  the
proudest !

       By the Katu, or Ka-ntu, a buffalo must  be  sacrificed  for  each  war-
rior    taken   prisoner.  Formerly   he   was   sacrificed. Civilization  and
milder  customs  seem  to  have  made  the  Moi  degenerate and  dull-
witted.  Only   fighting   keeps  them  virile  ( like   the   Redskins? )  Our
Indochinese earth has been a kind of departing point for many peoples

___________________________________________________________

47 Cahier 22, p. 4.

48 Cahier 18, pp. 16-19.

 

 

 

 

 

44                         MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                       [VOL. XXXIII

 

who from here have migrated to Oceania's islands, to Japan and even
to America !

M. Claeys  gives  the  sequence of  peoples  as  follows:—Negritos,
Melanesians, Indonesians, and finally the Mongols. Serious  students
of the Moi do   not  consider  them  real  primitives. The  negroid blood
is often very evident, and as much so as the mongoloid. The  reviewer
remembers having seen gangs of road coolies in Dalat who with their
black skins, Jewish noses and thick hair resembled Papuans.

The Khā of Laos are becoming so thaiized that the Khā Tahoi now
erect the spirit houses outside their villages,though the sacrifices are
made in the communal  house—inside  the  village. On  this  side  of
the cordillera — the Mekhong side — one meets Khā people with white
teeth  but  addicted  to the palm toddy; on the other side we  have  the
Katu,sober,betel-chewing,more intelligent but also more bloodthirsty.

The Katu are not numerous and are probably related to the Ka-ntu
in Laos. Not a few French officials  have  lost  their  lives  in  trying   to
pacify the independent  Moi, who  are   redoubtable  adversaries. The
Sedang used to eat the  lungs  and   liver  of  killed enemies,—as the
Shans did during the rebellion in  North Thailand in 1902, when  they
ate the heart and liver of the fallen  hero,  Captain  Marquard  Jensen,
of the Provincial Gendarmerie, with the  idea, by doing  so, of  getting
his    courage   and  military  ability   transferred  to  them! The  Katu's
clothing is a cache sexe and a picturesque  long cloak; in his hair he
wears a large boar's tusk,like the Melanesians of  the New Hebrides.
On his forehead is tatooed a design of a dancing woman;the parallel
to   this   is   found   in  Borneo  and  on  the  Megaliths  in  Laos!  The
dancing woman raises her forearms vertically and  keeps  her  body
rigid while her feet move  in  small  half  circles. This  is  the  symbol
of the  bird,  that  thousand-year-old  totem. Certain  of  the  Moi  girls
are not without beauty and charm. The communal  houses  or  gu'at
of the Moi are the residence of  the  ancestral  spirits. They  are  oval
shaped with a huge central pillar supporting  the  ridge.  Formerly  a
living  man  was  interred under the pole49. The Katu  is  an  animist
with violent passions, who believes firmly  in  sorcery. The  outcome
of such passions and superstitions is  murder  and  cruelty. In 1937
a revolt broke out due to superstition. This time it  was  about  some
miraculous water obtained from  a  python  god. It  made  people  in-

                       _____________________________________________________

49 Compare with the former custom in Thailand and Cambodia of interring
an enceinte woman under the gate pillars of a new town.

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                    APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO                 45

 

vulnerable and protected  the  world  against  the  cataclysm  of  the
three flaming suns, etc.! This reminds one of the Phu-mi-bun move-
ment in N. E. Thailand  in  1902, where  like  superstitions  were  in-
dulged in. The Khā or Moi  killed  all  white  animals, and  left  every-
thing in order to obtain this miraculous water.

       Sacrifices of the first-born are rare among the Katu, but common
of all first products whether of animals or plants.50 This  custom  is
also known in  the  South  Pacific.  When  M.  Claeys  says  that  the
Moi loses sight of the causality, for  instance, between  the  sex  act
and conception, we believe he is wrong. The same was postulated
for the much lower standing Australian natives, but has since been
proved wrong. Vendetta is also common among the Katu, and  this
as well as the sacrifices to the spirits is responsible for the loss of
many a human life.

       Thailand   does   not   ordinarily   come   within   the  scope  of  the  activi-
ties   of    the   Ecole   Française  d'  Extrême  -  Orient,   though    the   young
archaeologist    M. P.   Dupont   has   been    on   several  missions   to   this
country in connection with the study of Dvaravati art.

       M.  Dupont  has  undertaken  successful  excavations  of  a  large  stupa,
Phra   Sumeru, not   far   from   the.  great   chedi  of  Phrapatom, as  well  as
at    Phra   Pafôn.   Professor   Cœdès,  who   served   this  country  for  more
than   twelve   years  as  Chief  Librarian  of  the  National  Library  and  partly
during   that   term   as   curator  of  the  National  Museum  too, has  lectured
on   the   first   Kings  of   Thailand   (Sukhothai)  and  his  capitals.52  During
this    lecture    Prof.  Cœdès   quotes    the    very   apt     words   of    his   late
master,   Prof.   Finot,  who   said:— The   word   inundation — used   for   the
Thai migrations — is perhaps the best expression for this extraordinary race
which, supple and fluid as  water, penetrates  with  the  same  force  over  all.
Taking on the colour of all the different skies and the shape of all the various
shores but withal keeping, under the different aspects, the essential  identity
of its character and language, it has expanded like an immense sheet   over
Southern China, Tongking, Laos, Siam, and as  far  as  Burma   and  Assam.
The    Thai   called    Syam   are   depicted   on   the  reliefs   of   Angkor    Wat.
They  were not  savages, says  Prof.  Cœdès, as   they  possessed  a  social
organization   of   which   the   feudal   system   of    the   Mu'ang   gives  us  a
good   idea. This   is  rather  interesting, as  some  Thai   historians  are  not

 ____________________________________________________________

50 Vide the Holy Bible, Numbers XXVIII.

51 Cahier 12, p. 9 ; and Cahier 18, pp. 8-9.

52 Cahier 2, pp. 12-15.

 

 

 

 

 

46                         MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                   [VOL. XXXIII

 

agreed  on  whether  the  Thai  ever  had  a  feudal  system.  Perhaps  a
deeper study of the old  Nan-Chao  state  might  clear  this  point  up. In
his   lecture   Prof. Cœdès  showed  how  the  exaggerated  piety  of  the
later  Sukhothai  Kings  led  their  state  to  ruin  and  absorption  by   the
more   virile   Ayuthya. The   Thai   assimilated   quickly   the   centralized
political organization, the material  civilization  and  a  number  of  words
from the Khmer. The Thai artists were at first  the  pupils  of  the  Khmer
but   soon   transformed  Khmer  art  into  one  of  their  own, strongly  in-
fluenced, however, by their western neighbours, from   whom  they  also
received their form of  the Buddhist  religion, i.e.  under  the  Singhalese
form. Cambodians, Thai  and  Laos, though  different  in  language and
race, are conscious  of  belonging  to the same civilization. Prof. Cœdès
also   gives   a   good   picture  of  a  Thai  wat  with  its  heaven-aspiring
cho - fas   (carved  rafters  on  the  gables). With  regard  to  the  religion
of   the   Thai   prior   to  their  entry  into  Thailand, we  believe  this  was
also Buddhism. According to Chinese manuscripts now in possession
of   Dr.  Rock   there  existed  shortly  after  Asoka's  death   (237 B.C.)  a
Thai   state   in   Western  Yünnan  which  was  governed  by  an  Indian
dynasty   of   Asoka's  family. This  makes  it  probable  that  the Thai  of
Yünnan were converted to  Buddhism  long  before  settling  in  the  pre-
sent Shan States and Thailand.

       Of general  interest  is  a  lecture  by  M.  Goloubew  on  pre-historic
China,53in which he says that the discoveries of homo pekinensis,and
the researches and finds made by Professor Gunnar Anderson54 of  a
neolithic  culture  in  North  China, is  perhaps  of  decisive  importance
for   the   history   of  China  and  that  of  entire  humanity. In  the  moun-
tains of Honan  and  Kansu, Prof. Anderson  has  found  remains  of  a
five-thousand-year-old   civilization  whose  representatives  were  little
different from our  present  day  North  Chinese. These  proto-Chinese
were agriculturists and lived in villages using tools  of  polished  stone
and   bone. They   also   had   painted  ceramics. We  wonder  whether
this  will  narrow down' the field  of  search  for  the  cradle  of  the Thai.
The Thai are said to have been in China before the Chinese. But were
they   really   anterior   to    them  both  in  South  and  North  China? Or
only in South China ? On the other hand the true Thai type,  especially

_____________________________________________________________ 

   53 Cahier 5, pp. 10-12 (see also Prof. Gunnar Anderson's lecture, Cahier 5,
pp. 10-12).

54 Cahier 14, pp. 26-33.



 

 

 

 

 

 

PT. I]                APPRECIATION OF THE CAHIER OF EFEO               47

 

of woman with her beautifully developed bust, is quite  un — Ch'inese.
A cradle of the Thai further westwards, therefore, still seems possible.

 

       Mlle. Colani gave an excellent  lecture in  February  1938  on  Pithe-
canthropus, Sinanthropus   and  hunting  for  the  ape55  (Pithecanthro-
pe, Sinanthropus et la  chasse  au  singe). The  lecture  given  by   this
distinguished prehistorian who has herself excavated dozens of caves
and handled multitudes  of  ancient  and  petrified  remains  of   extinct
races is both deeply interesting and instructive, besides very amusing.
We shall not go into details as this question has  been  treated  in  our
review of the Compte rendu  du  Congrès  international  des  sciences
anthropologiques  et  ethnologiques  held  in  Copenhagen  in August
1938. Mlle. Colani calls man an august  parvenu  among  the animals,
who  has  no ground  for  boasting,though he alone of  all  the animals
had   that   wonderful   brain  which  conquered   brute   force. Was  the
Peking-man a head hunter like  the  Wā, the  Dayaks, etc.? Or was  he
a cannibal ? And in this connection she  mentions  having  seen  in  a
Kha - lo'  house  in   Quangtri, in  the  men's  room, 42  monkey  skulls.
What   was   the    explanation?  A    cultural   hunt   of   monkeys?   We
would  add  that  in  the  changvat  of  Buriram  on  the road to Amphoe
Prakhonchai  (formerly  Talung) one sees, in  several  Khmer  villages,
stuck on the top of fences enclosing the houses, a number of monkey
skulls,  which   are   said   to   be  an  effective  protection  against  evil
spirits.56 Would the explanation be the same as  regards  the  Khā-lo'
house?  Mlle.  Colani  concludes   her   lecture   with  these very  wise
words:—Never   say  that   man  descends  from  the  apes.  Say,  my
cousins,  the  anthropoids.  That   is   conforming   to   truth.  Truth   to-
day—to-morrow perhaps false !

       After  having   thoroughly   studied   the  contents  of   the   cahiers
reviewed here we are  convinced  that,if  similar  research  work  was
undertaken in Thailand, the  results  would  be  equally  rich.  Explora-
tion of the innumerable limestone caves in the Tenasserim chain  or
middle cordillera would, we  are sure, prove of  the  greatest  interest
to prehistory. From  personal  experience  we  know  of  a  great  num-
ber  of   unexplored   temple  ruins  and  old  deserted   walled  towns

____________________________________________________

   55 Cahier 14, pp. 26-33.

   56 JSS, Vol. XXV, Part 1, p. 93 in my A Siamese account of the cons-
truction of the temple of Khao Panom Rung.

 

 

 

 

 

48                      MAJOR ERIK SEIDENFADEN                      [VOL. XXXIII

 

in  N. E. Thailand. Others  in  South  Thailand   too   would   repay  a
closer  study. Finally, the  hill  tribes  of  Thailand   have  so  far  only
been scantily studied. There is thus a vast field of  labour  ready  for
the workers. We lack the workers, but it  is our  hope  that  they  may
come in a not altogether too distant future, or else too much will  be
lost for ever. We can certainly learn much from the  methods  of  the
famous Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, such as  archaeological
surveys from the air. Such a one was undertaken once about fifteen
years ago when a Thai army aeroplane discovered a couple  of  old
eggshaped fortified places, now deserted, lying in  the  heart  of  the
great forest, Khok Luang, to  the  south  and  south-east  of  Nakhon
Ratchasima. A similar reconnaissance would, no doubt, bear good
fruit. The  making  of   ethno-linguistic   maps  of   all   changvats  of
Thailand should also be undertaken as soon as possible. The excel-
lent  co-operation  between  the  E.F.E.O. and  all  military  and   civil
officials is also worth our imitation.  Finally  the  idea  of   creating  a
special ethnographical museum should be realized. This museum
would contain, first of all, every   kind  of  national, regional  or  tribal
dress, male and female, in this country, preferably shown on life-sized
models wearing the traits of  the  particular  folk  group — an  excellent
opportunity  for  young  Thai  sculptors. Next, a  collection  might  be
made of all kinds of implements and arms, as well  as  models  of
houses, boats, etc. With an inspiring lead from above,all this could
be carried out before it became  too  late, and  would  make  of  our
National Museum an institution unique in this world.

 

ERIK SEIDENFADEN.

Bangkok, the 28th August, 1940.

 

 


 


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