History of Southeast Asia

History of Southeast Asia

Episode 18, Arakan and All That

April 01, 2017

Today's episode wraps up coverage of seventeenth-century events in Burma, Siam and Laos, with some really obscure stories about two kingdoms that no longer exist: Arakan and Lan Xang. We will cover the peak years and decline of both kingdoms. And that's not all; we will also see another European try to gain control over a Southeast Asian state, this time Siam.

map showing Arakan

Here is the map that was originally posted in Episode 5, showing where Arakan/Rakhine is, in relation to the rest of Burma/Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Thai painting of Dutchman.

This picture is from the March 1971 issue of National Geographic Magazine, and it shows a lacquer panel painting, made in Siam during the eighteenth century. Here is a scene from a Buddhist legend, which shows the enemies of the Buddha attacking. Note the European in the middle of the crowd, taking aim with a musket. Listen to the episode to get an idea on why the artist thought Europeans were the bad guys.

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