Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk at ISEAS next Wedneday
Why Was There No Singapore Before Raffles?
Date : Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Time : 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Venue : ISEAS Seminar Room 2
This seminar will examine issues in the writing about the history of Singapore before 1819. Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr John Crawfurd, the second Resident of Singapore, lead in reporting that Singapore was uninhabited before the British arrived. Generations of historians have concurred with this description of Singapore at 1819 and gone further to claim, as former Professors K G Tregonning and C M Turnbull have done, that whatever may have happened on Singapore before 1819 is irrelevant to the island’s historical development thereafter. This seminar explores the assumptions underlying this understanding of Singapore’s history and how the work at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre is challenging and revising these assumptions.
A lecture at the Siam Society, Bangkok on 12 July.
Boxer Codex: A plan to invade Siam
A Talk by John Silva
The sumptuously illustrated 16th century Boxer Codex, with close to 100 images on rice paper featuring the people of the Pacific, Asia and Southeast Asia is the first known illustrated manuscript of the region.
The Orientalist Charles Boxer had acquired the manuscript in 1947 at an auction in England, and despite Boxer’s naming it as “Manila Manuscript” (its printing attributed to the Chinese-Filipino printer Keng Yong or Juan de Vera) his colleagues would name the codex after him.
Ever since the acquisition, no complete and modern transcription, editing and annotation of the whole manuscript was done until this new book printed by the Vibal Foundation of the Philippines in 2016 to commemorate the coming 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Spanish on Philippine shores.
Philippine historian Carlos Quirino in the 1950’s worked on the Philippine section of the Codex and for Filipinos, accompanying images of Filipino tribes, richly adorned in gold changed local perceptions of pre-Spanish past and instead, instilled pride and identification.
But it is the complete transcription, Massachusetts. He is an author and contributor to various Philippine and international translation and annotation of this publication written in the modern understandable style, covering the chosen kingdoms, groupings and tribes of Asia, plus two very important end letters attached and addressed to the then Spanish King Philip II which draws our attention and is the subject of this talk.
The finery drawn showed native wealth, the treasures that abound, the descriptions of fortifications and sailing routes, the local conflicts, all lead up to the end letters (from the Portuguese Bishop of Malacca and the Spanish Governor General of Manila) urging King Philip to invade Siam and, from there complete the conquest of neighboring kingdoms including China and Japan. In addition, Manila would become the Vice-Royalty for Spain in the east to administer the conquered areas.
Several events scuttled the conquest plans and the Boxer Codex is appreciated today as a late 16th century pristine manuscript capturing a visual and literary slice of life of the peoples of Asia.
Mr. John L. Silva is the Executive Director of the Ortigas Library in the Philippines. The private Library has extensive rare books, maps, prints, and vintage photographs of the Philippines and is open to the general public. Mr. Silva received his M.A. in Philippine-American Studies from Goddard Cambridge in publications.
Source: The Siam Society
Just a reminder for the MOWCAP-Asia Culture Center Grants Program – the deadline is this week!
The MOWCAP-ACC grants program supports the efforts of the many groups and organisations that collect, and preserve and provide access to documentary heritage from the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to encourage collaboration and partnerships to undertake projects (e.g. preservation of materials, digitizing, exhibitions, publications etc) as well as to develop skills and resources (eg. workshops, training programs, expert assessments etc).
Grants of up to $US 10,000 are available for the preservation and sharing of the documentary heritage of the Asia-Pacific. Grants are required to be fully expended, and the project completed and acquitted, within a 6-month period (July-December 2018). The grants are administered through the MOWCAP Office, Asian Culture Center, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
Source: The MOWCAP-Asia Culture Center Grants Program
Exhibition of Rare Books at The Siam Society from the collections of Prince Prisdang and Mom Luang Manich Jumsai
27 June – 26 July 2018
The opening of the 3rd exhibition of old and rare books from Prince Prisdang and Mom Luang Manich Jumsai’s collection will take place on 27th June at 5.30 pm. These books are on permanent loan to the Siam Society by Dr. Sumet and his family.
This exhibition will include books on Siam published between 1900 and 1950 (Rama V – IX). Altogether over sixty titles have been selected for this exhibition. The books are in English, French, German and Dutch. Exciting and classic titles like “The Land of the White elephant”, “Mission Pavie Indo-Chine” and “A Half Century Among the Siamese and the Laos”, will be of great interest to book lovers of Asia-Pacific history and travel. We owe much to the adventurous travelers and writers who took a keen interest in the far away land so that we can understand what Siam used to be like at the turn of the last century.
The Rare Books Exhibition will be on view from 28 June – 26 July (except Sunday and Monday) from 10 am – 5 pm.
Source: The Siam Society
via Khmer Times, 2 July 2018:
The Apsara Authority renews its warning that it will remove unauthorised constructions.
Source: Authority lays down law on unpermited Angkor buildings – Khmer Times
via Channel NewsAsia, 30 June 2018: I hope a ban on plastics takes place. Earlier this year I organised a Workshop on Sustainability and Tourism for Archaeological and Heritage Sites and waste management was one of the topics that came up as a pressing issue.
A future ban on plastic in Cambodia’s world renowned Angkor Archaeological Park will be considered by authorities, in what could be symbolic step in the country’s struggle to deal with a waste crisis.
About 30 tonnes of waste is collected from within the 400 square-kilometre complex on a daily basis, according to VGREEN, the company contracted to cleaning the popular tourist site.
Much of that garbage is discarded plastic, which is contributing to an ever-worsening situation in Cambodia, which lacks proper infrastructure and the social awareness to deal with the problem.
Cambodia, per capita, is one of the highest users of consumer plastic in the world. According to the European Union, ten million plastic bags are used in the capital city Phnom Penh every day. The average Cambodian uses 2,000 plastic bags every year, ten times that of Europeans.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/with-cambodia-drowning-in-a-wave-of-waste-plastic-could-be-10388780
Source: With Cambodia ‘drowning in a wave’ of waste, plastic could be banned at Angkor Wat
via Bangkok Post, 28 June 2018
It was a fine sunny day when more than 70 culture vultures strolled the old Front Palace (Wang Na), the palace of viceroys in the early Rattanakosin period, near Sanam Luang, to learn about its history, importance and changes. Anyone wanting to know the old palace as more than just the National Museum Bangkok can follow the footsteps of the recent “Walk With The Cloud: The Hidden Palace”, led by Khun Sirikitiya Jensen, an official of the Fine Arts Department and the youngest daughter of Princess Ubolratana.
Source: An almost forgotten glory
Cockatoo drawings in a 13th century Vatican manuscript reveal the extent of the global trade network of the period: cockatoos are native to eastern Island Southeast Asia and Australia, and the manuscript refers to a gift of a yellow-crested cockatoo to Frederick II from the Sultan of Egypt al-Malik Muhammad al-Kamil.
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian cockatoo: Symbol of detente between East and West and evidence of the Ayyubids’ global reach
Frederick II of Sicily made contact with the Kurdish al-Malik Muhammad al-Kamil in 1217 – a year before al-Malik became sultan of Egypt. The two rulers communicated regularly over the following twenty years, exchanging letters, books and rare and exotic animals. The focus of this article is the Sulphur-crested or Yellow-crested Cockatoo the sultan sent Frederick. A written description and four sketches of this parrot survive in a mid thirteenth-century manuscript in the Vatican Library. This article reviews these images, revealing that Australasian cockatoos were present in the Middle East in the medieval period and exploring how and why one reached Europe in the mid thirteenth century.
Source: Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian cockatoo: Symbol of detente between East and West and evidence of the Ayyubids’ global reach | Parergon
via Vietnam Net, 27 June 2018
VietNamNet Bridge – Authorities in the central province of Thanh Hoa have approved a plan to excavate an ancient citadel with unique architecture in Southeast Asia.
Source: Thanh Hoa Province approves excavation of Ho Dynasty citadel