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Centralizing Historical Tradition in Precolonial Burma: The Abhiraja/Dhajaraja Myth in Early Kon-baung Historical Texts

Charney, Michael W. (2002) 'Centralizing Historical Tradition in Precolonial Burma: The Abhiraja/Dhajaraja Myth in Early Kon-baung Historical Texts.' South East Asia Research, 10 (2). pp. 185-215.

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Abstract

The Abhiraja/Dhajaraja story, the most important origin myth legitimizing Burmese kingship, is widely viewed as a central Burmese (Burman) tradition. Based on evidence from available pre-eighteenth century historical texts, many previously unexamined by scholars, this article finds that the Abhiraja/Dhajaraja origin myth developed in western Burma over three centuries before its appearance in central Burma in a 1781 court treatise. This analysis demonstrates that during a significant period of cultural borrowing, from the 1780s until the 1820s, central Burmese (Burman) literati inserted western Burmese (Arakanese) myths and historical traditions into an evolving central Burmese historical perspective with which most scholars are more familiar.

Item Type: Journal Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISSN: 0967828X
Depositing User: Michael Charney
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2008 08:58
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4171

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