Selections, April 2007

Here are the new additions to the catalogue of Select Books, a specialised publisher and retailer of books pertaining to Southeast Asia. For ordering info, please visit the Select Books website.

039778
Different Paths Of Buddhism, The: A Narrative-Historical Introduction (Reprinted 2006). Olson, Carl. Us. 2005. 291pp. pb $49.00 (Planned primarily for undergraduate study, this is a rich journey through the main forms of Buddhism. Part one looks at the context of the founder and his message, the life of the Buddha Siddhartha (c. 463-386 BCE) and the early spread of Buddhism outside India. Part two is on the teachings and practices of various forms of Theravada Buddhism now widely followed, particularly at village level in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Part three explores many forms of Mahayana Buddhism including: the gradual identification of a pantheon of celestial figures or bodhisattvas; early Tibetan shamanistic Buddhism; Tibetan Buddhism’s later tantric forms; Zen; Theosophy and 19th-20th century developments in the West; and the 20th and 21st-century acceptance of Buddhism by Dalits. With references, chronology and index.)

028710
Encyclopedia Of Malaysia Vol.12, The: Peoples And Traditions. Hood Salleh (ed.). Sg. 2006. 148pp. hc $52.50 (Volume 12 of the projected 16-volume Encyclopaedia of Malaysia is devoted to the peoples and traditions of the country, which is of course home to scores of distinct ethnic groups. A team of scholars describe the traditions of the most significant ethnic groups in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. There is also a section on demographic history and official policies, and one on cross-cultural and global influences. As one has come to expect of this series, the text is complemented by high quality maps and graphics, inset archival photographs and commentaries, tabulated data and unexpected windows onto the country’s ethnic diversity. With glossary and index.)

040524
Sarawak Museum, The: A Living Centre In A Far Country (Le mus̩e du Sarawak : un centre actif dans un pays lointain). Harrisson, Tom. My. 1963. 246pp. pb $9.00 (This is a reprint of a 1963 journal article on the development of the Sarawak Museum since its 1888 foundation by its notable Рand controversial РDirector, Tom Harrison (1911-1976). The policies that have made the Sarawak Museum both a repository for artefacts and a living demonstration of human diversity are discussed. With black-and-white illustrations and translation into French.)

040757
Trade And Society In The Straits Of Melaka: Dutch Melaka And English Penang, 1780–1830. Nordin Hussin. Sg. 2007. 388pp. pb $47.25 (This is a pioneering work is about two very different cities: Melaka, the one with a trading heritage dating back centuries, and Penang, the other a new creation spawned by the declining fortunes of the once mighty Dutch East India Company. Drawing on archival records, many of them not used by earlier historians, this book compares Melaka and Penang during the early period of British control, looking at the significance of the geographical location of British settlements, the nature and direction of trade, the structure of local and colonial society and government policies. The author examines where and how Melaka and Penang fit into the urban traditions of Southeast Asia and the significance of the fact that the period under study coincided with the shift from the “Age of Commerce” towards a period of heightened imperialist activity involving the British and the Dutch in insular Southeast Asia. By documenting the impact of imperialist ambitions on the economy and society of two major trading centres, this book breaks new ground and will provide a point of reference for all future research concerning the period.)

039346
List Of Inscriptions Found In Burma Part 1 (Archaeological Survey Of Burma). Duroiselle, Chas (comp.). Myn. 1921. 216pp. hc $58.00 (Facsimile of the List of Inscriptions found in Burma originally published in 1921 by the official Archaeological Survey of Burma. Information about the dating and state of each of the 1500 inscriptions is tabulated. There is no indication of the present condition of any of these artefacts.)

038123
Five Thousand Years Of Chinese Ceramics From The Robin And R. Randolph Richmond, Jr. Collection. Rotondo-Mccord, Lisa. Us. 2005. 144pp. pb $61.00 (This catalogue of ceramic artefacts created in China over the last 5000 years was published to complement the donation to the New Orleans Art Museum in 2000 of the notable Richmond Collection. A chronology and illustrated introductory essay on the history and development of Chinese ceramics is followed by 100 full-page colour photographs of selected ceramic objects of many kinds. Full descriptions and provenance details are appended. With bibliography and sketch map.)

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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