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Old 10th March 2006, 01:11 AM   #15
BluErf
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Location: Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
How different was the old cultural traditions in the neighbouring states of Songkhla/Singora and Pattani?



Now, this sounds like a PhD thesis topic. I'm afraid this is very much beyond me.

Pattani was an old Malay kingdom that was the successor to the legendary Langkasuka kingdom of which not much is known. The Langkasuka kingdom came to being in the early part of the first millennium, and was constantly subject to invasions from other powers such as the Sri Vijaya empire from Sumatra, the Chola empire from India, and later on, Siam. Singora is the old name for Songkhla, I believe, and it exists on the northern boundaries of the Pattani empire. It probably was not under direct rule of Pattani, but like many other smaller states then, sweared allegiance and fealty under the Mandala system of rule. The people living in the areas of Singora and Pattani thus have very close cultural ties.

If we look at the kerises from the 2 regions, those coming from the Pattani "heartlands" would seem to be more 'homogenous', of a readily identifiable class and type, with very high quality works available. The kerises from Songkhla/Singora tend to be more of a hodge-podge mix, possibly imported from various regions. the number of finer kerises from this region would seem to be a lot harder to find. This could of course be due to the relative rarity of the kerises from that region in the first place. But I would hazard that the Pattani "heartland" would be some sort of a 'technological and cultural centre' which creates the finest kerises, and the technology and styles are 'exported' to the fringe areas such as Songkhla/Singora. What applies to the kerises could have applied to other cultural traditions, I think.
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