Cambodian Cham Identities in a Global Age

IconeK7_DSC0077-550x300William B. Noseworthy

The Cambodian Genocide: most scholars have heard of it. It is a critical case in ongoing studies of Genocide Studies, International Law as well as Memory and Social Trauma that many teachers will have to address. From forensic anthropologists to criminal investigators, journalists to historiansand even experts in literature—the case of a series of mass killings that emerged out of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 under the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime, most frequently referred to as the “Khmer Rouge”(Kh.: Khmer Kraham), will be an important study for college students and scholars for generations to come. The genocidal policies enacted against the Cham Muslim minority during this period are increasingly well known. In this context, the decade of work by Kok-Thay Eng as Director of Research at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-CAM) is enough to produce several dissertations. In fact, one of the individuals who contributed much of the work to Kok-Thay Eng’s dissertationFrom the Khmer Rouge to Hambali: Cham Identities in a Global Age, Farina So, is now working on her own dissertation based in Lowell, MA. Several other individual researchers, working with DC-CAM critically contributed to this work. The sheer number of interviews conducted by the DC-CAM research center, as well as the number that are cited in this dissertation alone, is impressive. Finally, the lucid presentation of the dissertation’s argument is testament to the author’s success in tackling, by his own admission, his own greatest challenge: writing in a second language. Continue reading

Lowland Participation in the Irredentist ‘Highlands Liberation Movement’ in Vietnam, 1955-1975

William B. Noseworthy

10367813_561656520782_4030845662262032609_nIn the field of mainland South-East Asian history, particular attention has been granted to highlandlowland relations following the central argument James Scott presented in The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland South-East Asia. Scott’s analytical perspective echoes a long-term trend of scholarly examinations in the region. In a similar fashion, historical examinations of the Vietnam War period view the so-called ‘highlands liberation movement’ or the Unifi ed Front for the Struggle of the Oppressed Races (FULRO) through the lens of a highland-lowland dichotomy. However, based on an examination of the biography of the Cham Muslim leader Les Kosem and various FULRO documents, this article challenges dominant assumptions based on Scott’s argument and argues that a focus on minority-majority relations is essential for understanding the origins of irredentist claims of indigenous peoples in the region.

Keywords: FULRO; Highland-Lowland Relations; Irredentism; Mainland South-East Asia; Vietnam War Continue reading

Palm Leaf Manuscripts of the Cham People in Vietnam

Palm Leaf Manuscripts of the Cham People in Vietnam

Van Mon, Truong. Studies on AsiaSeries V, 1.1 (Spring 2016): 122-137,156.

cropped-cropped-eap531_1_1-eap531_cccd_1_3_l11.jpgThe records of the Champa civilization, which was located in central Vietnam, go as far back as the second century (192). The Cham were profoundly influenced by Indian civilization and Islam. Although Champa culture remained vibrant until around 1832, much was lost throughout periods of assimilation of ethnic minority communities into Vietnamese society. In particular, warfare with the Vietnamese and the Khmer from the tenth to the nineteenth century left Champa polities on the brink of collapse.1 Currently, there are only an estimated 161,700 Cham people remaining in various provinces and cities in Vietnam. The largest population centers are concentrated in Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, An Giang, and Tay Ninh provinces, as well as Ho Chi Minh City.2 The contemporary Cham retain some aspects of Champa culture. They still venerate Champa temples, create Champa styled statues, and study Champa inscriptions. In particular they still value palm leaf manuscripts (agal bac) which are kept and used by Hindu influenced Cham priests (Ahiér) for their religious rituals. Continue reading



 51QJRr9+YgL 昨年(1999年)11月に、めこん社から『チャンパー歴史・末裔・建築』と題した本が、チャンパやチャム族にはまりこんだ3人の著者の手によって発行された。その一人である写真家の樋口英夫氏が、チャム族を中心とするチャンパの末裔の現在の生活・暮らし・表情を追いかけた記録が、本書である。著者が1992年から1994年にかけ、カンボジア、ベトナム、日本、中国・海南島、マレーシアの地でチャンパの末裔たちと交わった記録が、60ページ以上にわたってのフルページカラー写真とともに綴られている。まず末裔たちがこれほど広い地域に暮していることに驚かされるが、加えてアメリカ、カナダ、フランス、オーストラリアなどにも多くのチャム人が暮しているといわれる。

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Mandala Champa in the “Early Age of Commerce” (900-1300CE)

Bài đã đăng trên tạp chí Nghiên cứu Đông Nam Á, số tiếng Anh, năm 2011


An “Early Age of Commerce” in Southeast Asia (900-1300 CE)

Scholars are relatively familiar with the idea of the “Age of Commerce” proposed by Prof.Anthony Reid that examines the history of Southeast Asia during the period from 1400 to 1680 CE.[2] According to A.Reid, around the year 1400 the economic growth in Southeast Asia was stimulated by the demand for spices, pepper and other products in archipelagic region. He argues that, during this period, individuals and states in Southeast Asia “could profit greatly from international trade by adapting to its changing demands”.[3]Dr.Geoff Wade has recently argued in his paper proposing the idea of an “Early Age of Commerce” that implies the history of Southeast Asia from the Tenth to the Fourteenth century. He argues that, during this period, various changes in China, South Asia and the Middle East as well as within the Southeast Asian region did offer a fertile environment to promote maritime commercial activities, and consequently induced the appearance of novel coastal ports and a number of political, social changing in Southeast Asian polities.[4] Previously, J.W.Christies also defines the period from the Tenth to Thirteenth century as the age of “Boom of Asian Maritime trade”.[5] Following G.Wade’s idea[6], I will demonstrate briefly in this paper the change in major maritime Asian states, including (1) the commercial-supported policies and its impacts in China; (2) the development of Arab trader network throughout maritime Asia; and (3) the expansion of Tamil merchants/communities in South, East and Southeast Asia. Continue reading

Chiêm Thành lược khảo

3Chiêm Thành lược khảo xuất bản năm 1936 với lời đề Tựa của chủ bút Tạp chí Nam Phong Phạm Quỳnh là cuốn sách đầu tiên bằng quốc ngữ viết về dân tộc và đất nước Champa.

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