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Recent Cham Studies

The State of Knowledge of Cam Studies in Thailand.
Bangkok, 22 - 23 May 2013:


Bangkok, on 22 and 23 May 2013: “The State of Knowledge in Cam Studies in Thailand”.
This study is available for consultation at the William Warren Library of the Jim Thompson Foundation.


The study was compiled by Professor Plubplung Kongehana and Professor Chainarong Sripong and presented at the 6th Annual Muslim Conference, which took place at the Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Both researchers have noted the importance of the maritime trade between the South China, in the region of Hangzhou (Canton), and one “Kingdom of the South”, which they named Lin Yi. This Kingdom was prosperous and twice, in 446 and 605, it was attacked by the Chinese army who took back to China “quantities“ of gold”.

The research includes three main subjects: 1/ a presentation of the three Cham communities established in Thailand; 2/ a summary of documentary sources available in order to bring a better knowledge of Cham studies in Thailand; 3/ the state of knowledge in Cham studies in Thailand.

The three Cham communities established in Thailand are:
1/ The Pa Tu Ku Cham community, on the Chao Phaya River, south-west of Ku Cham canal in Ayutthaya province; they are descended from the Cham people who settled in Ayutthaya in the 14th century;
2/ The Ban Krua community, along the klong San Saeb in central Bangkok; the King Rama I (1782-1809) granted them the land for their service on the side of Siam against the Khmer;
3/ The Ban Namchieo community, a coastal village in Trat province. These three communities are Muslim.

During the Ayutthaya period, the Cham population was about 2,000. The Cham regiment, along with Mon, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Europeans, were one the six volunteer foreign regiment. Cham civil servants were granted land by the King according to the sakdina system. The Cham benefited from their seamanship and part of the maritime vocabulary is from Cham origin. The Cham community was also well known for its weaving skills and their textiles were sold on local markets.

The documentary sources listed in the last section are, in their great majority, documents written in Thai: six books, starting from the work of Prince Diskul (1979) to one compilation dated 1996, and twenty one articles, including one made in 2010 by the co-author of this study. Mention is made of twelve references available on Internet. Are also mentioned two thesis written in 2011: one at ahasaraham University by Piyapan Saentaweesuk (“Music in the livelihood of the Cham in Southeast Asia”), and one by Huynh Van Phuc (“Cham Muslims in Vietnam after Doi-Moi Policy: the adaptation of economic life, religious practice and ethnic relations.”)

The study concludes with a bibliography of 32 titles, books or articles, in their majority written in Thai.

© 2008 Sacha Champa. All rights reserved.
This website is made possible by the James H.W. Thompson Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand.