David Griffiths Sox

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David Griffiths Sox earned a Master of Arts in geography at University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 1972, with a lengthy thesis titled “Resource Use System of Ancient Champa”.  The thesis reconstructed the economy of Champa, with chapters on prehistory and history, trade systems, agriculture and maritime technology, and hypothesized the central role of the temple in the Champa’s economy.  

He later collected a large amount of information from U.S. and French libraries about Cham culture and the cultural landscape of Champa for a geography Ph.D. dissertation that was never completed.  Since 1973, and especially after the advent of the internet, Sox has accumulted over 25 linear feet of Champa and related Vietnamese and Southeast Asian files.

Prior to graduate school, David took French as an undergraduate and intensive Vietnamese at the Army Language School in Monterey, after which he served in Vietnam for 30 months between 1965 and 1967.  At UHM, he also was exposed to one semester of intensive Mandarin Chinese. Unfortunately, he does not understand Cham. Continue reading

The Mother Goddess of Champa: Po Inâ Nâgar

William B Noseworthy

[ Abstract ]

po inaThis article utilizes interdisciplinary methods in order to critically review the existing research on the Mother Goddess of Champa: Po Inâ Nâgar. In the past, Po Inâ Nâgar has too often been portrayed as simply a “local adaptation of Uma, the wife of Śiva, who was abandoned by the Cham adapted by the Vietnamese in conjunction with their conquest of Champa.” This reading of the Po Ina Nagar narrative can be derived from even the best scholarly works on the subject of the goddess, as well as a grand majority of the works produced during the period of French colonial scholarship. In this article, I argue that the adaption of the literary studies strategies of “close reading”, “surface reading as materiality”, and the “hermeneutics of suspicion”, applied to Cham manuscripts and epigraphic evidence—in addition to mixed anthropological and historical methods—demonstrates that Po Inâ Nâgar is, rather, a Champa (or ‘Cham’) mother goddess, who has become known by many names, even as the Cham continue to re-assert that she is an indigenous Cham goddess in the context of a majority culture of Thánh Mẫu worship.

Keywords: Hinduism, Localization, Goddess worship, Champa civilization, Vietnam, Cham

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Professor Arlo Griffiths

Arlo Griffiths

New York, 1976

member of EFEO since 2008griffiths_2

Having been trained in Indology (with a focus on Sanskrit) at the University of Leiden and at Harvard, Arlo Griffiths began his academic career with a doctoral fellowship from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research that allowed him to pursue research in Vedic philology. His research focused on the Paippalāda tradition of the Atharvaveda, still alive in Orissa (India) to this day. In the field, he learned the (Indo-Aryan) Oriya language, and started being interested in non-brahmanicak traditions. In the margin of his doctoral research, he was able to do some work in the domain of descriptive linguistics of the tribal languages of the region, particularly those belonging to the so-called ‘Munda’ branch of the Austroasiatic family. While still remaining active as Indologist with a specialty in Vedic studies, the focus of his recherch gradually shifted to Southeast Asia, first and foremost the epigraphical documents in Sanskrit and in vernacular languages, both Austroasiatic and Austronesian (Old Khmer, Old Cham, Old Javanese). His research priority is the publication of so far unstudied manuscripts and epigraphical documents, in the form of critical editions, and their exploitation from the historical point of view. Continue reading