Adjuncts to Empire: The EFEO and the Conservation of Champa Antiquities

Image result for Chapman UH ManoaWilliam Chapman


This paper examines the pivotal role of the École française d’Extrême-Oriente in the excavation, delineation, and interpretation of Champa sites in Vietnam. It further suggests the significance of this work in laying the groundwork for further archaeological efforts by the EFEO in Cambodia, Laos, and Northeast Thailand. The paper examines in detail the range of Champa sites, their relation to French scholarship of the early 20th century and their importance as training for later interventions.

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Islam in Champa and the Making of Factitious History


Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Series 3, page 1 of 31

Image result for STEPHEN G. HAWAbstract

Since their first publication in 1922, two Islamic inscriptions formed an essential basis of the early history of Islam in Champa. Recently, however, they have been shown to have originated, not from Southeast Asia, but from Tunisia. It is clear that either there was an error regarding their provenance, or it was deliberately falsified. The implications of this are discussed, and the remaining evidence of early Islamic presence in Champa is reassessed. It is suggested that there is now no good evidence of any Islamic presence there until after the sixteenth century. In relation to this issue, the maritime links between China and the Islamic world are examined, as also are other examples of possible falsification of history.

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[News] Cham Studies in Vijaya

Members of the Cham Studies team were honored to participate in the first ever conference on “Binh Dinh Ancient Ceramics – Vijaya Kingdom and Its Relationship with Thang Long Citadel – Dai Viet (11th – 15th Centuries)”. This event in Quy Nhon city hosted international researchers coming from as far as Switzerland, France, Australia, The United States, Brunei, the Philippines, China, South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, among others. Attendees included some of the top experts in the world on topics such as Cham architecture, art history, ceramics, and archaeology. Not only was this an opportunity to share the latest research investigating these subjects, but it was also a chance to visit some of the most famous Cham sites in Vietnam. Included were Duong Long Temple, Banh It Temple, Doi Temple, as well as some archaeological sites such as Go Sanh and Go Cay Me–all of which help to broaden our understanding of Champa, Vietnam’s past, and important intercultural connections within Southeast Asia and elsewhere around the world. Most especially, this event helps us understand the central region of Vietnam more clearly, traditionally known as Vijaya, which was one of the most important historical and cultural centers of the kingdom of Champa from the 11th to the 15th century. Continue reading

Heritage and cultural tourism: the role of the aesthetic when visiting Mỹ Sơn and Cham Museum, Vietnam


Image result for Bao tang ChamThu Thi Trinha and Chris Ryanb*

Danang College of Econ

omics and Planning, Da Nang City, Vietnam;

University of Waikato Management School, Hamilton, New Zealand

(Received 22 October 2014; accepted 19 May 2015)

[Current Issues in Tourism]

Research on motivations and perceptions of tourists at a cultural heritage site is not rare but the personal and aesthetic context of visitors’ experiences have been neglected in much of the literature on cultural tourist attraction management. Using qualitative methods, this study explores the nature of demand for heritage tourism with particular attention to the appreciation gained by visitors of indigenous Cham culture, its arts of exotic sculptures, and its monuments and architecture. These dimensions describe an evolutionary experience of place that moves some tourists from a position of relatively shallow interest to an almost spiritual position due in some part to the role of the aesthetic that rises from landscape and dance. Continue reading

Phật giáo Champa: Từ tư liệu đến nhận thức

Thạc sĩ Quảng Văn Sơn

[Bài đăng trên tạp chí nghiên cứu Tôn giáo]

Tôn giáo là một vấn đề không thể không có trong một quốc gia. Phật giáo Đại thừa từng chiếm một vị trí rất quan trọng trong đời sống văn hóa xã hội vương quốc Champa. Bằng nhiều nguồn tư liệu khác nhau, bài viết làm rõ thêm về Phật giáo Champa từ thế kỷ III đến thế kỷ X. Thông qua sử liệu, bia ký, di tích, di vật mang dấu ấn Phật giáo Champa, bài viết phân tích nguyên nhân Phật giáo Champa không còn tồn tại trong đời sống văn hóa xã hội của vương quốc này. Continue reading

The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art


Edited by Bruce Lockhart and Tran Ky Phuong

The Cham people once inhabited and ruled over a large stretch of what is now the central Vietnamese coast. The Indianized civilization of this Austronesian-speaking group flourished between roughly the third and fifteenth centuries, and they competed with the Vietnamese and Khmers for influence in mainland Southeast Asia, but the Cham territories eventually became part of modern Vietnam. Written by specialists in history, archaeology, anthropology, art history, and linguistics, the essays in The Cham of Vietnam contribute to a revisionist overview of Cham history by re-assessing the ways the Cham have been studied by different generations of scholars of what “Champa” has represented over the centuries of its history. Several chapters focus on archaeological work in central Vietnam and position recent discoveries within the broader framework of Cham history, but there are also discussions of Cham economy, society and culture. Continue reading

ARI WPS 100 – The My Son and Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries: On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology

This paper is an attempt to detail the dualism observed in the cosmology of both the Cham monuments and contemporary Cham society. It first outlines the dualistic cults as represented in two royal sanctuaries, My Son in the north and Po Nagar Nha Trang in the south of the Champa kingdom. The My Son sanctuary was located in a deep valley surrounded by high mountain ranges and it was here that the god Bhadresvara/father/ mountain/areca were worshipped. On the other hand, the Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuary was located on a riverside hill near an estuary where the goddess Bhagavati/ Po Yang Inu Nagar/mother/sea/coconut were worshipped. Similar to the dualism observed in these two key sanctuaries of Champa, we can also observe cosmological dualism within contemporary Cham communities along the south central coast of Vietnam. The Cham people of this region are divided into two groups based on their religions. One group, called the Cham or Ba-la-mon (Brahmanists) are adherents of an indigenized form of Hinduism; the other group called Bani, are adherents of an indigenized form of Islam. The paper details the cosmological dualism within these communities. The study concludes by suggesting that cosmological dualism is a key concept for understanding Champa, elucidating both the structure of the kingdom in the past as well as the structure of contemporary Cham society.

Download this paper: ARI WPS 100 – The My Son and Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology

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Art in the Rotunda: The Cham Collection at the National Museum of Vietnamese History


the National Museum of Vietnamese History

National museums important role in representing national identities in complex and culturally diverse societies. The National Museum of Vietnamese History was established by the government in 1958 to preserve the country’s national heritage and present a discourse of nation-building from prehistory up to 1945 when the country gained independence from French colonialism. Among the museum’s permanent exhibits, a collection of Champa sculptures is presented in the rotunda, separately from the main historical displays. The Champa Kingdom, approximately from the second to the nineteenth centuries in the present day central Vietnam, is known for its outstanding artistic and architectural achievements. In 1832, Champa was absorbed by Ðai Viêt and Cham people became an ethnic minority group in present-day Vietnam. This paper analyses the representation of the museum’s Cham collection and explores how the politics of display of contested materials has changed through time and in forming national identity construction in the museum.  Continue reading

[Dissertation] The field of ancient Cham art in France: a 20th century creation: a study of museological and colonial contexts from the late 19th century to the present





This thesis takes a new look at the art of ancient Champa. Breaking away from traditional studies, it looks at the art not in its ancient Cham context, but rather through its present and recent past contexts.

pgtypnmzThe study asks “What exactly is Cham art?” To answer this, I examine not only the artworks, but also the museums and exhibitions, the display and classification. After an introduction explaining the background to the research, Chapter 2 contrasts two statues of Ganesh in French museums, tracing their biographies and questioning what constitutes Cham art. In Chapter 3, I examine the architectural line-drawings of Henri Parmentier, which have represented Ancient Champa visually for over a century, revealing the complex temporality within which they mediate between the present and multiple pasts. Chapter 4 looks at the history of the Danang Cham Sculpture Museum through the choices and decisions of the men who have shaped Cham art into what it is today.

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[Phản biện sách] Văn hoá Sa Huỳnh với Đông Nam Á (phần 2) xin trân trọng giới thiệu phần tiếp theo về phản biện văn hoá Sa Huỳnh với Đông Nam Á của một nhà nghiên cứu trẻ.

Đổng Thành Danh 

Trung tâm Nghiên Cứu Văn Hoá Chăm tỉnh Ninh Thuận



Sách Văn hóa Sa Huỳnh với Đông Nam Á của nhóm tác giả Nguyễn Văn Chừng, Dương Minh Chính, Lê Văn Công, Lê Sơn, Nguyễn Văn Thanh, Lê Quốc Ân, Nguyễn Quốc Chiến được ấn hành bởi nhà xuất bản Hồng Đức (Hà Nội) vào năm 2015. Cuốn sách có 283 trang, ngoài lời giới thiệu (của Pgs. Ts. Phan An thuộc Viện hàn lâm Khoa học Xã hội Việt Nam), lời nói đầu của Ts. Lê Sơn (thuộc nhóm tác giả), mục lục và phụ lục thì có 4 chương chính:

  • Chương 1: Những vương quốc hùng mạnh đã từng tồn tại trên dãi đất Việt Nam trong quá khứ.
  • Chương 2: Ba trung tâm văn hóa thời cổ Đông Sơn, Sa Huỳnh, Óc Eo.
  • Chương 3: Người Sa Huỳnh.
  • Chương 4: Nước Việt Thường Thị, nước Lâm Ấp.

Cuốn sách là một công trình chuyên khảo của nhóm tác giả về nền văn hóa Sa Huỳnh và lịch sử miền Trung Trung Bộ trong các thế kỷ đầu thiên niên kỷ I sau Công nguyên. Trong đó, các tác giả tổng hợp các nguồn tư liệu về khảo cổ học, sử học để chứng minh rằng văn hóa Sa Huỳnh nằm trong địa phận nước Việt (trang 9) và lãnh thổ của người Việt cho đến thế kỷ thứ III sau Công nguyên kéo dài đến tận đèo Cả (hoặc núi Thạch Bi) (trang 10 – 11). Tuy nhiên, công trình của nhóm tác giả chứa đựng nhiều hạn chế và sai lệch về mặt học thuật cần được chỉnh sửa và bổ sung, bài viết này sẽ trình bày một số những sai lầm và thiếu sót về khoa học của cuốn sách hầu cung cấp một cách nhìn chân xác về lịch sử. Continue reading