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5 Main Theories on the Origin of the Tai


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#1 Guest_Sawa_*

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 12:33 PM

Some contributions... like if you wanna read it.. :P

Translated, summerised from a Thai book..."ประวัติศาสตร์ไทย: ยุคก่อนประวัติศาสตร์ถึงสิ้นอาณาจักรสุโขไทย" - รองศาสตราจารย์ดนัย ไชยโยธา 2004 p. 21 - 34

"Thai History: From Pre-histroy to the end of the SukhoThai Era" Danai Chaiyotha 2004 p. 21 -34

Goes by giving names of people who propose, what they propose, and the current topic on their proposal...

Apoligise for any miss translation of names...

1. The Tai originated from the Altai Mountains (central Asia)

Up in the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky…

Two scholars purpose this: Dr. William Clifton Dodd, and the Kun Vichit-Matra (Snga Kanja-napun)

Dodd, American Missionary that lived in Thailand for 32 years, propose that the Mung, which he believed to be the Tai’s ancestor, migrated from their home in the Altai Mountains into the western part of China. His theory did not have proofs. (The Tai Race: Elder Brother of the Chinese)

Kun Vichit-Matra, Thai Bureaucrat, propose that the Tai came from the Altai before migrating down into the Yellow river basin, before migrating down into Sichuan. (หลักไทย 1974)

Most scholars now doubt the first theory with the point that the Tai couldn’t have possibly survive across the Gobi. Another point was that the Tai would have need to adopt a nomadic lifestyle which would mean that their migration would also need to suit their lifestyle. The existence of Tai culture based upon agriculture have proved the first theory invalid.

2. The Tai originated from modern-day Sichuan Province

Downwards…

Major names: Terrien de la Couperie, Somdej Phrachao Bomrawong-ther Krom Phraya DumrongRaja Nuphap, Phraya Anuman Raja-Thon, Phra Boriharn-Thep Tani, Luang Vichit Watakarn.

La Couperie, French Linguist at the University of London, used Chinese records to theorized the linguistic similarity between Chinese minorities and Southeast Asia. He concluded (The Cradle of The Siam Race 1886) that the Tai originated from an ancient kingdom in China, around 1223 BC, with Xia Dynasty ‘record’ during the reign of King Yu. According to Couperie, the Xia called this people “Mung” or “Ta Mung,” which existed in modern day Sichuan.

Somdej Phrachao Bomrawong-ther Krom Phraya DumrongRaja Nuphap (the long name is courtesy to His Highness) states that the original Tai settled in the area between Tibet and China, around the year 44 BC, and was driven down by the Chinese into Southern China, before separating into different direction in Yunnan. In western Yunnan, the tribes were the “Ngiew” and “Shan” in Southern Yunnan, the “Twelve Tai Tribes” (สิบสองจุไทย, the Tai-related minorities in Vietnam today), and in the South of Yunnan, the kingdom of Lanna and Lan Chang. (ประวัติศาสตร์และการเมือง 1974) (History and Politics, 1974)

Phraya Anuman Raja-Thon in เรื่องของชนชาติไทย, 1941 (Tales of the Thai), that the Tai originated from central China, in the Yangtze basin, from Sichuan to the Eastern seashore.

Phra Boriharn-Thep Tani, in พงศาวดารชาติไทย 1954 , that the Tai originated from central China, migrated into Yunnan and into SEA.

Luang Vichit Watakarn (one of my favorite authors :D ), in สยามกับสุวรรณภูมิ 1924, ชนชาติไทย 1957, งานค้นคว้าเรื่องชนชาติไทย 1971 sums up that the Tai originated in Hubie, Anhui, Jiangxi, in central China, before migrating down to Yunnan and Indochina.

This theory was more accepted than the first one, but after anthropologists study the physical make up and cultural make up between the people in the area and the modern Tais, the theory was also ditched. No longer valid in Thailand. (My opinion is that if its valid at all, there is no proof because of cultural assimilation.)

3. The Tai originated from Yunnan, northern Vietnam, the Shan state of Burma, and modern Assam in India

It gets lower and lower….

Major names: Achibald Ross Colquhoun, E.H Parker, Wolfram Eberhard, Ferderick Mote, Phraya Pracha-kijkorn-juk, Kachorn Suka-Panich, Jit Phumsak, William J. Gedney, Wang Wei Kun (?? – supposed to be, or was, vice president of Yunnan International Institute)

Colquhoun, English explorer, after his exploration starting from Kwangtung to Matalay in Burma and Assam in India, concluded in 1886 that the Tai minorities have similar language and standard of living in these areas. In ‘Across Chryse’ he concluded that the Tai existed all in these parts.

Parker, former vice-consul of England in Hainan, in ‘The Old Tai Empire’ 1895, used Chinese mythologies to support historical evidence that the Tai created the Nanchao Kingdom in Yunnan.

Eberhard, German Sociologist and Anthropologist, publish his “A History of China” in 1977, where he suggested that the Tai originated from Kwangtung, then migrated into Yunnan, to Northern Vietnam, and founded the Tien (or Tan) Kingdom in Yunnan, at the time of the Han Dynasty. By the time of the Tang Dynasty, the Tai had established Nanchao.

Mote, American Historian, studied records about Nanchao and in 1965 wrote an article called ‘Problems of Thai Prehistory’ with the conclusion that the rulers of Nanchao were the Pai or/and the Yi, the Tais in Nanchao were a minority. This claim support modern Chinese historian claims.

Phraya Pracha-kijkorn-juk, famed Thai Historian-Academic, propose that the Tai origin spread out across southern China and in Assam. His investigation goes into examining ancient records of the Mon/Raman people, the Tai Yai, LanChang, Chinese, Khmere, and Siamese, which all pointed out that the Tai migrated from the southern part of China.

Kachorn Suka-Panich, Thai Historian, used Chinese, Western, and Thai records to conclude that the Tai originated from Kwangtung and Kwangxi. In 85 BC, the Tai migrated across Sichuan, Chengdu, into Yunnan, into northern Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

Jit Phumsak, Thai writer, propose the Tai were spread out in southern China, northern Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, and Assam.

Gedney, American Linguist, who studied Tai language in northern Vietnam, Laos, and southern China, wrote “Review of J. Marvin Brown, From Ancient to Modern Thai Dialects” 1966, with the conclusion that the Tai language did not exist in Yunnan, but exist in the southwestern part of China, perhaps between Kwanxi and Dien Bien Fu in northern Vietnam. He used a linguistic theory that said basically, where the language was born, the more frequent it appears in that area.

Wang Wei Kun, vice president of Yunnan International Institute, in 1984, using Chinese ancient records, stated that the Tai exist in majority in southern Yunnan, however, there were no Chinese records of the Tai in central or northern China.

This theory is still in debate.

4. The Tai originated from Indochina and modern Thailand

Nearer to the equator…

Names: Paul Benedict, Quaritch Wales, Sud Sang-Vichien, Shin U-Dee.

Benedict, American Linguist and Anthropologist, proposed in ‘Thai Kadai and Indonesian,’ 1943, with the hypothesis that the Tai’s origin should be in Indochina. The Tai language should be considered to be in the same group as the Kadai language, which still exist in southern China and also the same group as the Indonesian language. He used linguistic theory to support a language family called ‘Austronesian’ (I actually saw this word in the forum a lot :g: ), which would be Tai, Java – Malaya, Tibet – Burma.

Tai, Kadia, and Indonesian languages have the same order of words, have the same roots, have vowels, etc, that point out the origin of the Tai speaking people originated from southern China.

Benedict also propose that the Tai should have existed in Thailand at first. Then, about 4000 to 3500 years ago, a race that spoke Mon – Khmer language migrated from India into Indochina and push the Tai to migrate upward to southern China. Then the Tai also got pushed down again, and migrate southward into Assam, the Shan state in Burma, northern Thailand, Lao, and northern Vietnam. Therefore, the Tai speaking people existed throughout the area, unfortunately, Benedict did not provide solid evidence in this proposal. (We are such a peace loving people… :lol: )

Wales, the first Western academic to provide evidence that the Tais existed in Thailand at first, used skulls found in Kanchanaburi Province, dating back to 58 AD, and compared it with modern Thai (ethic-Tai) skulls. This leads to the hypothesis that the Tai might have been in Thailand for the past 2000 years, and that the Tai might have originated in Thailand from the beginning.

Sud Sang-Vichien, expert Thai Physiologist, compared New Stone Age bones (that a Thai – Denmark archeology joint venture dug up in Kanchanaburi and Rajaburi Provinces, between the year 1961 to 1963, resulting in 37 projects) with modern Tai bones. The result was that the New Stone Age bones were almost totally the same as the modern Tai bones. He concluded that present day Thailand could actually be the origin of the Tais.

Shin U-Dee, expert Thai archeologist from the Ministry of Arts, publish his book about pre-history Thailand in 1968, with the conclusion that modern Thailand have proofs of inhabitants since the Old Stone Age, New Stone Age, Metal Age, and into the Historical era. Between each ages, there is also continuity in culture and civilization.

This theory is still in debate.

5. The Tai originated from the Malay Peninsular and the Indonesian islands

Right by the equator…

Names: Somsak Punta-Sombun, Pravej Vasi

These two person are in the Thai Medical field. This theory was proposed since 1958.

Somsak Punta-Sombun did a research relating to blood types and genes. The results were that the Tai people were close to the people in Java. He also reported that the genes between the Tai and the Chinese are not similar, and therefore, the Tai and Javanese should have a closer relationship, and that the Tai might have once lived in Java. (OMG: maybe we were the Pigmies… :blink: )

Pravej Vasi, a sage in Thailand other than a Doctor (just my admiration) did a research regarding Hemoglobin E, with Khonkhaen University, and the result was that Hemoglobin E was found more in the people of SEA, in the Tais, Khmer, Mons, etc, but is not found in Chinese.

Therefore, both advocate the possibility of the Tais existing in the Malay Peninsular and Indonesia.

Still in Debate.

Typing up a translation... kills you...but i'm willing to die!! :angry:

Upcomming Projects: Sukhothai History!!! Or do you want a listing and brief description of Kingdoms found in Thailand??

#2 wuTao

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 12:49 PM

Upcomming Projects: Sukhothai History!!! Or do you want a listing and brief description of Kingdoms found in Thailand??

View Post


How about both? :)

Also, do you think you can search Thai histories for any more information relating to this topic: http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=670 ? It's about the war between the Ming and the Thai state of Lanna...

#3 Yun

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 08:22 PM

Parker, former vice-consul of England in Hainan, in ‘The Old Tai Empire’ 1895, used Chinese mythologies to support historical evidence that the Tai created the Nanchao Kingdom in Yunnan.

Eberhard, German Sociologist and Anthropologist, publish his “A History of China” in 1977, where he suggested that the Tai originated from Kwangtung, then migrated into Yunnan, to Northern Vietnam, and founded the Tien (or Tan) Kingdom in Yunnan, at the time of the Han Dynasty. By the time of the Tang Dynasty, the Tai had established Nanchao.

Mote, American Historian, studied records about Nanchao and in 1965 wrote an article called ‘Problems of Thai Prehistory’ with the conclusion that the rulers of Nanchao were the Pai or/and the Yi, the Tais in Nanchao were a minority. This claim support modern Chinese historian claims.

Tien is known as Dian in Hanyu Pinyin - it's an ancient kingdom in Yunnan, and we certainly do not know enough of it to know what ethnicity was ruling it. The Nanzhao theory was very popular in Thailand (and I think is still held by many historians there), but it has been essentially discredited. The ruling ethnicity of Nanzhao were either Bai or Yi, while the ruling ethnicity of Dali was Bai. The Tai probably came from the southern Yunnan-Guangxi border, and were migrating southwards since the early period of the Dali kingdom and the Northern Song dynasty.

He used linguistic theory to support a language family called ‘Austronesian’ (I actually saw this word in the forum a lot  ), which would be Tai, Java – Malaya, Tibet – Burma.


'Austronesian' is today used to refer to the Malayo-Polynesian languages that supposedly spread out from Taiwan from around 4000 BC to 1000 BC. Here is some material from my old university notes:

The Austronesians

• Today, Austronesian peoples comprise the majority of the indigenous populations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Madagascar. Some in Burma, some on Hainan, along the coast of Papua and through Melanesia, to all of the Pacific islands.
• The debate continues as to whether there are any biological links between all these people who are linked by the same language family, but generally accepted that the spread of the language was by migration, by colonizing speakers not by borrowing.
• The general consensus is that Austronesian peoples and societies are all linked by branching, but not sealed lines of common ancestry going back 6,000 years.
• So why does such a family exist??
• Two aspects of studying the past of Austronesians: Linguistic and archaeological. No texts extend back that far.

Austronesian Linguistics

• The Austronesian languages form a single and close-knit family, similar in terms of internal diversity with language families such as Indo-European. It is possibly the largest language in the world, comprising some 1200 languages.

• The discovery of the language family goes back to the 17th century. Today, after having recorded the majority of the languages, they have reconstructed a proto-Austronesian through systematic comparison of sound correspondences between the various languages, to give some idea of the lexicon of the earliest ancestor of these languages.

• Linguistics claims that the Austronesian languages derive from a single parent language spoken on Taiwan 5,000 years ago. There are four subgroups of Austronesian. Three of these are only spoken on Taiwan and the fourth is those Austronesian languages spoken in all areas outside Taiwan. Spread of languages shown on map.

• Based on the linguistic evidence, the first Austronesians are believed to have originated somewhere in what is today Southern China before moving to Taiwan 5000-6000 years ago. They remained there for some time before some moved southwards into the northern Philippines

• Based on linguistic analysis, claims about the early societies have been made. It is suggested that, after the first seafarers moved from Taiwan to the Philippines, major developments in their culture occurred. We are only able to reconstruct a few words relating to sailing technology at the highest levels of the Austronesian family tree. But at the next level down, the level ancestral to all those people who left their Taiwan homeland, we find terms for outriggers, sails, paddles, rudders, and a whole range of new developments in seafaring. New kinds of plants became available, and new species of fauna were encountered.

• The claims that the Austronesian maritime expansion moved in a northerly direction as well as southwards derives from both archaeological correlations and linguistic claims of an Austronesian substratum in the Japanese languages. One of the proponents of this idea was Murayama Shichiro (1908-1995), who claimed links between Austronesian and Ainu languages. The claim remains contested.

Austronesian Archaeology

• The other aspect is archaeological. And one of the key figures in this is Peter Bellwood of the ANU. He argues that the Neolithic revolutions in China—new polished stone technologies and introduction of agriculture -- sparked population growth and that the food supply provided by the new technology allowed a “continuous generation-by-generation ‘budding off’ of new families into new terrain”, which was supported by “the inherent transportability and reproducibility of the agricultural economy” and “a developing tradition of sailing-canoe construction and navigation”.
• Their technologies were marked by polished stone tools and by agriculture. Jared Diamond notes that they did not settle on islands which did not support their agricultural 'package' (e.g., New Guinea and Australia) because they had no advantage. These people maintained links with the islands from whence they came and thereby created a wide-ranging trade network.

• As people moved south from Taiwan, into the Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Moluccas, their vocabulary changed with new terms relating to breadfruit, banana, yam, sago and coconut. Reflects a movement away from rice to greater dependence on tubers and fruits in the tropics.

• Spread associated with pottery. 3000-4000 BC, the appearance of pottery on Taiwan

• Between 2500 and 1500 BC, the pottery assemblages appear through coastal Indonesia and by 1500 BC, they extended from Taiwan to western Melanesia.

• Reasons for spread:

1. Continuous population growth as a result of food provided by agriculture, allowing generation-by-generation “budding-off”
2. Inherent transportability and reproducibility of the agricultural economy.
3. Presence of a deep and absorbent “frontier zone” adjacent to the early areas of agricultural development. Populations sparse
4. A developing tradition of sailing canoe construction and navigation
5. A preference for rapid coastal movement, initially for fishing but followed later by the agriculturalists.

• Neolithic populations covered the whole of Mainland Southeast Asia by 2000 BC. However, these were likely Austroasiatic speakers, not the sea-faring Austronesians, who settled on the peninsula much later.

Benedict also propose that the Tai should have existed in Thailand at first. Then, about 4000 to 3500 years ago, a race that spoke Mon – Khmer language migrated from India into Indochina and push the Tai to migrate upward to southern China. Then the Tai also got pushed down again, and migrate southward into Assam, the Shan state in Burma, northern Thailand, Lao, and northern Vietnam. Therefore, the Tai speaking people existed throughout the area, unfortunately, Benedict did not provide solid evidence in this proposal. (We are such a peace loving people…  )


Is there evidence of a Mon-Khmer origin in India? Anyway, I find your "peace-loving" sentence ironic (I hope it was intended to be so) because the Tai are well-known for displacing Mon-Khmer populations when they moved in. Many had to shift into the hills and let the Tai have the plains. They were really quite an aggressive people.
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#4 Guest_Sawa_*

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:35 PM

Also, do you think you can search Thai histories for any more information relating to this topic: http://www.chinahist...p?showtopic=670 ? It's about the war between the Ming and the Thai state of Lanna...


I'm limited on that topic, but i'll continue to search.

According to my source (the same book really) the Kingdom of Lanna was actually splited into three kingdoms at different times.. Lanna itself, then Yonok Chiengsaen โยนกเชียงแสน, and then Ngun Yang Chiengsaen เงินยางเชียงแสน

The Lanna that was reffered to was the last one, ruled by the Mangrai Dynasty.

Interestingly, my source did not mention any Chinese intervention. Hmm.. guess I'll need to look into it.

Yun info looks cool, that PDF's something I wonder if Chieng Mai U. had ever seen..

Also thanks for the 'Austronesian' part, really informative.

Is there evidence of a Mon-Khmer origin in India?

I'm not sure.. the Funnan kingdom was recorded to be highly Indianized, and after its 'dissaperance' into several ambiguous kingdoms recorded by the Chinese, its rightful 'heir' (culturally) appears in terms of Mon/Khmer Kingdoms... the Mon one is Theravadee and Khmer is Angkor.

So maybe Benedict thought they were from India..

Anyway, I find your "peace-loving" sentence ironic (I hope it was intended to be so) because the Tai are well-known for displacing Mon-Khmer populations when they moved in. Many had to shift into the hills and let the Tai have the plains. They were really quite an aggressive people.


:) we Thais always think of ourselves as peace loving... yep, some actually kill off each other because one acidentally step on another's foot... the ancient Tais were the same... so yea.. i was *trying* to be ironic..

On the part about displacing Mon-Khmer population, (as I understand to be moving out the entire population from one place to another) I believed they did it because Ayutthaya lacked manpower, always the primary reason why she can't sustain herself.. not enough Tais to go around with..

so the populations were moved to strengthen the state either by slavery or to destroy any threats from that area once and for all, so you can concentrate on another threat... actually still an aggressive way of thinking...

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:40 PM

oops.. double pasted the quote.. just part of learning how to quote correctly...

#6 Yun

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 11:01 PM

It's ok, I've fixed it up.

On the part about displacing Mon-Khmer population, (as I understand to be moving out the entire population from one place to another) I believed they did it because Ayutthaya lacked manpower, always the primary reason why she can't sustain herself.. not enough Tais to go around with..

What I mean by 'displacing' is 'pushing them out and taking their land'. Those areas that the Tai settled in were previously populated by Mon-Khmer communities, and were loosely under the control of Pagan and Angkor. Most of these communities are now living in the hill areas, and were called "kha" (slave) by the Tai.

I'm not sure.. the Funnan kingdom was recorded to be highly Indianized, and after its 'dissaperance' into several ambiguous kingdoms recorded by the Chinese, its rightful 'heir' (culturally) appears in terms of Mon/Khmer Kingdoms... the Mon one is Theravadee and Khmer is Angkor.

So maybe Benedict thought they were from India..


What's Theravadee? I've never heard of that kingdom.

Indianisation is usually regarded as a form of Indian cultural influence spread through trade and religious adaptation. Funan is said in legend to have been founded by an Indian prince. But only Indian nationalists still think that the Indianised kingdoms of Southeast Asia were all just Indian colonies.
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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:47 AM

What's Theravadee? I've never heard of that kingdom.

Typing mistake: it should be something like "Thar-vara-Vardee," official spelling is Dvaravati, I think you've heard of it.

http://www.britannic...e?tocId=9031641

If you have access with Britannica... also tell me what's in there..

What I mean by 'displacing' is 'pushing them out and taking their land'. Those areas that the Tai settled in were previously populated by Mon-Khmer communities, and were loosely under the control of Pagan and Angkor. Most of these communities are now living in the hill areas, and were called "kha" (slave) by the Tai.


Just something related...

The Dvaravati Kingdom was supposedly ruled by the Mons, according to ruins that have Mon-style architecture dating to that era, its power was 'officially' around from around 500 - 900 AD, residing over the would be states of Sukhothai, Lavoe, and later Ayutthaya. On its border was states such as Chen-la, Yonok Chiengsaen, Pegu, Kotra-Putra (pre-Angkor state in Cambodia???), and eventually Angkor..

Interestingly, later records shows that the state of La-voe, once part of Dvaravati, became Tai, (and was the base to evolve into Ayodhya, and into Ayutthaya after merging with Sukhothai...) This state takes the southern portion of former Dvarati, while Sukhothai took the upper portion.

Assuming the Mons were invaded, they were actually 're-located' or assimilated by the Tais in Lavoe. Their relocation would explain their majority in modernday Kanchanaburi province (border Burma) and in the areas along the Martaban's coastline in Burma, ruled by Lavoe at that time...

Interesting thing was that Sukhothai came after Lavoe. The logic goes that if the Tai push downward, Sukhothai should have been established first... Dvarati's sudden disappearance is puzzling people...

So, the Tai in Lavoe could have actually learned from the Mons and co-existed, and evolve into Lavoe... for the fact that centralized goverment-state (as in Angkor) did not existed at that time (more or less a patron-client relationship between the city-states), the Tais could have been accepted by the ruling class and settled down..(According to the Northern Chornicle (the same one you see in Yun's PDF) Lavoe was founded in 460 AD...)

It is also noted that Lavoe and Ayodhya became part of Sukhothai during its peak. Sukhothai later got itself into political/military mess because weaker kings were unable to hold the patron-client relationship.

Another note was the confusing Ayutthaya's record that stated the Mons were first moved or migrated into Ayutthaya's territory during the reign of King MahaDhrama Raja, 1570 - 1591... I believe it was here that the mons were first given 'Kha' status.

So Mons relocations/ dispatch...could be:

1. It was that the Mons were invaded and relocated during Lavoe, due to fall of Dvaravati.
2. It could be during Sukhothai and its effort to hold the city-states together that relocated the Mons to its present location...
3. Ayutthaya's conflict with Burma was characterized by shifting allegence of the Mons.. may be because of shifting political situations the Mons were moved like chess pieces.

so.. to conclude: the Tais were still agressive :P

Indianisation is usually regarded as a form of Indian cultural influence spread through trade and religious adaptation. Funan is said in legend to have been founded by an Indian prince. But only Indian nationalists still think that the Indianised kingdoms of Southeast Asia were all just Indian colonies.


Example given:

"Fu-nan was the earier Chinese name of the kingdom of Kambuja, where a Hindu Kingdom was found by an Indian Brahman named Kaundinya or Kondanya probly in the first century of the Chritian Era. From the sixth century onwards, Fu-nan became completly merged in Bambujadesa." (p. 351)

"Kaundinya or Kondanya was, according to tradition as preserved in Cambodia, an Indian Brahman who established the kingdom of Kambuja Desha" (p. 515)

From: Sachchidananda Bhattacharya. "A Dictionary of Indian History." India: University of Calcutta, 1967.

Which I also got from my book on this thread... the author put it as a side note...

#8 Yun

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:21 AM

The Kandinya story is actually first recorded in the Chinese dynastic history Liang Shu, and the account is based on the reports of an expedition sent to Funan by the Wu state (in the Three Kingdoms) in the 240s-250s. Kaundinya was an Indian brahmin who was passing by on a ship, and he was attacked with a bow and arrows by the local queen, who was a Naga (water-serpent) princess named Soma ('willow', 'ye-liu' in Chinese). He defeated her and then took her as his wife, and they founded a port kingdom called Funan. This kingdom eventually expanded all the way from the Mekong delta to the isthmus of Kra.

The problem is that there is no archaeological evidence of 'Funan' being as large or significant as the Liang Shu claims. Some scholars like Kenneth Hall argue that the legend is not literally true, and is just an analogy told by the Khmer people of their absorption of Indian culture and religion.

As for Dvaravati, I have indeed heard of it and am taking a course on the early kingdoms of Southeast Asia in the university this semester. But Dvaravati is known from archaeology and some inscriptions, but no written records. The Mons who live there have essentially been assimilated into Tai culture, unlike the Mons in Burma.

BTW, Lavoe is now known as Lopburi. It was under the overlordship of Angkor in the reigns of Suryvarman I (1006-1050) and Suryavarman II (1113-c. 1150), and seems to have become a Tai area only around the 1250s (later to evolve into Ayuthayya in around 1350). So I think it's mistaken to see Lavoe as having previously been under Dvaravati.
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#9 Guest_Sawa_*

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 06:17 AM

Keep me inform with what you're learning...pls.... :)

Actually you were right, it seems that Dvarati was also invaded by Angkor.

Lopburi turned Tai and revolted..

Now I wonder if I'm suited to write other stuffs... guess I'll just translate what's around in Thailand..

#10 Yun

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:03 AM

Now I wonder if I'm suited to write other stuffs...


It's ok, we all have to start somewhere. You've been very helpful so far - some of those theories about the origins of the Tai were only vaguely known to myself.
The dead have passed beyond our power to honour or dishonour them, but not beyond our ability to try and understand.

#11 AhMan

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 12:00 PM

Thai is an ambitious colonialist country in SEA now. They took land from Malays, Khmer and Burmese and turn these into economic exploitation bases.
Thai people do not care about their history at all because most educated Thai are of Chinese origin.
Thai people can be very polite but at the same time can be very irritation. They sometimes show as if they are being victimized by foreigners. I met an ichthiologist called Tyson who is an American but has lived in Thai for 10 years and he told me that.
Thai people are more polite than Chinese in dealing with foreigners.
Thai is also one of the two SEA countries (the other is Indonensia) who disparities between rich and poor are largest.
I am not sure much about Thai history traced back to Dali but based on the appearance of Thai today to judge history is totally illogical. Thai today are mixed between Thai and Chinese so they do not look even a little like ancient Thai.
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#12 ckyeah

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:23 PM

what is the history of thai people? they seems very much like chinese. that same goes to korea and japan.

#13 Karakhan

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 10:02 PM

what is the history of thai people? they seems very much like chinese. that same goes to korea and japan.

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Well the Thai, like the Vietnamese, can range from Southern Mongoloids (i.e similar to Southern Chinese) to Malay.

First thing is that there's a large Chinese population, the CIA world factbook puts it at 14%
http://www.cia.gov/c.../th.html#People
This Chinese population has assimilated very well into Thai society, quite a contrast to other Chinese diaspora.

Also the "Thai's" are not one homogeneous group, but a union of several different related groups.

Keep in mind that Thailand was one called Siam.. the King renamed it Thailand, Land of the Thais, in order to unite and justify the acquisition of land that belonged to other Thai ethnic groups. the Lao are also a Thai group, but do not consider themselves the same as the Siamese. There are also more Lao in Thailand than in Laos.

I had a sheet somewhere, but off the top of my head,
the Thai Tue(?) meaning, True Thai, only constitute 23-25% of Thailand's population. The rest of Thailand are made up of other Thai groups including Lao, and the Chinese.

Alot of the northern Thai groups, along with the Daizu of Yunnan, tend to look very similar to Southern Chinese and have fair skin.. in comparison to say a Thai of Phuket or some region in the south where they could easily pass as Filipino

#14 Gubook Janggoon

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 10:26 PM

Ahman, let's try to stay on topic.

There's no need to infuse politics or hatred into this thread.
"Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." -Malcolm X

#15 Gubook Janggoon

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 10:31 PM

Here's an existing thread that talks about the origins of the Thai.

http://www.chinahist...=0#entry4716682
"Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." -Malcolm X




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