By Leslie Ann Woodhouse
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Extra resources for A ''Foreign'' Princess in the Siamese Court: Princess Dara Rasami, the Politics of Gender and Ethnic Difference in Nineteenth-Century Siam
To the south there were tigers; to the north were elephants. The land was unstable, as there was no lord or ruler to take charge; there were but few leaders and few followers. The sovereign king of the great and glorious capital of Ayutthiya Dvaravati [Bangkok]… issued a royal order granting full authority to a king to come and rule over Chiang Mai. Thenceforth, the king was endowed with great majesty. He was an expert in warfare, fearless…a veritable lion, valorous. He thought, “My country is truly newly founded, and has few people.
According to contemporary chronicles: At that time Chiang Mai was depopulated and had become a jungle overgrown by climbing plants, it turned into a place where rhinoceroses, elephants, tigers and bears were living. There were few people [left], only enough for building houses to live in and roads to facilitate communication with each other. 32 Kawila’s first step to re-populate the city was to persuade several groups who had fled the Burmese to return: some residents who had fled from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son in the 1760s, and some people who had fled from Tak and Lampang to Siam some twenty years before.
28 However, such a characterization elides the traditional constellation of relations in which such states had operated for centuries, anachronistically positing Siam’s strength as a nation, and ignoring the relative vulnerability of Bangkok as a fledgling mandala at that historical moment. Perhaps the telescope can be turned around, so to speak, to change our view to Chiang Mai’s perspective. , 155. Ibid. Page 36 Woodhouse Chapter 2 of his Lan Na ancestor, King Mangrai, with the legendary kings of Sukhothai and Phayao in the thirteenth century: a joining of mutual political interests against a common enemy in which reciprocity was strength.
A ''Foreign'' Princess in the Siamese Court: Princess Dara Rasami, the Politics of Gender and Ethnic Difference in Nineteenth-Century Siam by Leslie Ann Woodhouse