12 results in English
Massage Treatise
Traditional Thai medicine is a holistic discipline involving extensive use of indigenous herbal and massage-pressure treatments combined with aspects of spirituality and mental wellbeing. Having been influenced by Indian and Chinese concepts of healing, traditional Thai medicine understands disease not as a physical matter alone, but also as an imbalance of the patient with his or her social and spiritual world. Thai medical manuscripts written during the 19th century give a broad overview of different methods of treatment and prevention, of the understanding and knowledge of the human body, of ...
Contributed by The British Library
Malay Annals
Sometime around the year 1400, a prince from Sumatra named Parameswara founded a settlement at the mouth of the Melaka River on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. One of his successors embraced Islam, and Melaka soon grew to become the greatest Islamic kingdom in Southeast Asia. A center of the spice trade that was known as the “Venice of the East,” it attracted merchants from as far away as Arabia, India, China, and Japan. The wealth of Melaka proved irresistible to the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans ...
Contributed by The British Library
Qu'ran
This exquisite illuminated Qur’an (Or 15227) dating from the 19th century originates from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. On the basis of various codicological features, the manuscript can be attributed to the cultural zone encompassing Kelantan, on the northeast coast of Malaysia, and Patani, in southern Thailand. In many ways, the Qur’an is typical of manuscript production in Patani, with black endpapers of Thai manufacture, a cloth cover with elaborate stitched headbands, and illuminated frames with typical Patani features, such as the interlocking-wave motif. And yet ...
Contributed by The British Library
Buddhist Texts, Including the Legend of Phra Malai, with Illustrations of The Ten Birth Tales
The legend of Phra Malai, a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition said to have attained supernatural powers through his accumulated merit and meditation, is the main text in this 19th-century Thai samut khoi (folding book) held in the Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Collections of the British Library. Phra Malai figures prominently in Thai art, religious treatises, and rituals associated with the afterlife, and the story is one of the most popular subjects of 19th-century illustrated Thai manuscripts. The earliest surviving examples of Phra Malai manuscripts date back to the ...
Contributed by The British Library
Treatise on Cats
This manuscript containing fine paintings of cats is in the format of a samut khoi (Thai folding book) with 12 folios, which open from top to bottom. It was produced in the 19th century in central Thailand. Folding books were usually made from the bark of mulberry trees; minerals, plant liquids, and occasionally materials imported from China and Europe were used as paints. Sometimes the paper was blackened with lampblack or lacquer to make the paper stronger and more resistant to damage by insects or humidity. Such books were mainly ...
Contributed by The British Library
Khmer Alphabet
On April 27, 1858, Alexandre Henri Mouhot, aged 31, sailed from London to Bangkok with the aim of exploring the remote interior regions of mainland Southeast Asia. He was particularly interested in ornithology and conchology, but he also had a passion for philology, photography, and foreign languages. Born in 1826 in Montbeliard, France, Mouhot became a Greek scholar, and at the age of 18 went to teach Greek and French at the Military Academy in Saint Petersburg, where he quickly picked up Russian and Polish. At the same time he ...
Contributed by The British Library
A Voyage Round the World, Including an Embassy to Muscat and Siam in 1835, 1836, and 1837
In 1832, U.S. president Andrew Jackson, acting on the advice of Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, dispatched Edmund Roberts as a “special agent of the government,” empowered to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with countries in Asia. The objective was to expand trade between these countries and the United States. Between early 1832 and May 1834, Roberts circumnavigated the globe. In the course of his journey, he negotiated treaties with the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) and the King of Siam (Thailand). Following his return to the United ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Indochina
This brochure, in English and French, was intended for tourists to French Indo-China. It extols the virtues of the region and its people, and includes a brief history and description of the country, followed by detailed maps and photographs of famous sites. Also included are a proposed itinerary and information about transportation, lodging, and prices. The brochure was produced by the Touring Club de France (Touring Club of France), a civic organization established in 1890 to promote tourism in France and later, in its colonies. The club published hotel and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Kingdoms of Siam, Tunquin, Pegu, Ava Aracan
Jacques Bellin (1703-72) was a prolific cartographer attached to the French Marine Office. His sea atlases reflected the careful mapping of bays, seas, and harbors that characterized 18th-century French naval cartography. In 1764, he published Le Petit Atlas Maritime (Small maritime atlas), a work in five volumes, containing 581 maps. This map, from the third volume of the atlas, shows the kingdoms of southeast Asia as they appeared in the mid-18th century, including Ava and Pegu (present-day Burma), Siam (Thailand), Cambodia, and Tonkin (part of present-day Vietnam). Also shown are ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of Eastern Indochina
This 1881 map of eastern Indochina is by Jules Léon Dutreuil de Rhins (1846-94), a French naval officer, explorer, and geographer. Dutreuil de Rhins led an adventurous life that took him to Mexico, the Congo, Indochina, and Central Asia. In 1876-77, he commanded a ship in the navy of the King of Annam, and in 1879 published a book entitled Le royaume d’Annam et les Annamites (The kingdom of Annam and the Annamites). Dutreuil de Rhins is best known for his expeditions to Central Asia and Tibet, where he ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat
In 1832 U.S. president Andrew Jackson, acting on the advice of Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, dispatched Edmund Roberts as a “special agent of the government,” empowered to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with countries in Asia. The objective was to expand trade between these countries and the United States. Between early 1832 and May 1834, Roberts circumnavigated the globe in the U.S. Navy sloop Peacock. In the course of his journey, he negotiated agreements with the sultan of Muscat (Oman) and the king of Siam ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Illustrated Book of Thai Poetry
The poems collected in this remarkable Thai manuscript from the second half of the 19th century are by an unknown poet. They all share the same theme: the loss of a beloved woman. Drawing upon all the possible degrees of refinement that the Thai language, poetry, and art can master, each poem is a work of art in itself, praising the beauty of the beloved woman and mourning her passing. Preceding the poems are 13 illustrations connected to the overall theme. They show mythological creatures and motifs from Thai legends ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library