Category Archives: Cambodia

When an angel meets a demon

Advice on love and relationships in a Thai divination manual

A new year – a new beginning. An easy (re)solution, one might think. But it may turn out later that things like love and relationships should not be taken too lightly, and it is always worth thinking twice. Or, at least, seeking advice. People in 19th century Siam would certainly have done so before getting serious in a relationship. They would have consulted a divination specialist (mor duu) who would have had the knowledge to interpret the texts and illustrations of divination manuals (phrommachaat) that had been handed down from generation to generation. Such manuals were part of the paraphernalia of divination masters who specialised in fortune telling, matching the horoscopes of prospective couples, and giving advice on love and marriage.

Find out more about one stunning 19th-century Thai divination manual held at the British Library from their Asian Manuscripts Homepage and enjoy amazing images from this fully digitised manuscript.

Thai divination manuscript BL Or.4830 (courtesy of the British Library)

Thai divination manuscript BL Or.4830 (courtesy of the British Library)

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Framing the Sacred – Cambodian Buddhist Painting

Exhibition: Institute of East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, 20 November 2013 – 20 March 2014

Buddhist paintings in Cambodia serve in rituals, for teaching, and as a means of making space sacred. The exhibit presents works on cloth and glass from the collection of Joel Montague that embody both the religious stories and doctrines of Cambodian Buddhism and the traditions of Cambodian culture.

A very detailed catalog of the exhibit compiled by Trent Walker, including images of the paintings, translations of painting inscriptions and accompanying Khmer liturgical material, and a short introductory essay, is freely available online.

cambodia temple

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Khmer manuscripts online

A very useful online resource for the study and research on manuscripts in Khmer and Pali languages is http://www.khmermanuscripts.org/.

This platform is the outcome of a long-term research, digitisation and preservation project carried out by the EFEO in collaboration with Buddhist temples in Cambodia and many Cambodian researchers and monks. The emphasis was on conservation of the manuscripts, preparation of a catalogue and digitisation. The digitisation and online publication of numerous manuscripts makes it possible to study the various facets of the Khmer manuscripts tradition as well as Buddhist and traditional literature in Cambodia.

g OR14068 folio 3

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Filed under Cambodia, Manuscripts, Research project