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Wales, H. G. Quaritch (1931) Siamese State Ceremonies: Their History and Function. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This Thesis is a study of the State Ceremonies of Siam, which are mainly Brahmanical, with later Buddhist additions and modifications. The popular Buddhist festivals are not included. An attempt is made in this Thesis to combine two methods of work: (1) the historical or archaeological, and (2) the functional method of social anthropology. Little or nothing of scientific value has been written in any European language on most of the Siamese State Ceremonies. This Thesis therefore in the main combines the results obtained from personal observation and the study of Siamese historical texts and ceremonial treatises. It is believed that a large number of new facts have been brought to light, while original theories are advanced to explain many little-known Siamese customs. The First Part of the Thesis is Introductory, and includes chapters on the Scope and Sources of the Thesis; an Outline of the History of Siamese Culture; and the Social Organization of the Siamese. The Second Part deals with the Chief Factors in Siamese State Ceremonial: the Kingship and the Court Brahmans. The Third Part is devoted to Ceremonies of Installation and includes chapters on the Coronation; The Regalia and State Progresses; the Installation of the Queen and the Assumption of the Royal Residence; Higher Grades in Royal Consecration; the Tonsure Ceremony; Cremation; and the Worship of Dead Kings. The Fourth Part deals with Ceremonies Closely Connected with the Kingship, and includes chapters devoted to Royal Audiences; the Oath of Allegiance; the Royal Bounty (Tulabhara and Kathin); and Royal Coronation and Birthday Anniversaries. The Fifth Part is devoted to Ceremonies Relating to Agriculture ,with chapters on Ceremonies for the Control of Wind and Rain; the Speeding of the Outflow; Festivals of First Fruits; the Swinging Ceremony; the First Ploughing; and the institution known as Temporary Kings. The Sixth Part concerns certain Miscellaneous State Ceremonies, with chapters on Feasts of lamps; the White Elephant; the Propitiation of Spirits; the Expulsion of Evil; and a number of Monor Ceremonies;- Top-spinning, Siva's Night, Visnu's Sleep, Worship of the Sacred Bull, Festival of Elephants, and New Year. Finally, though every Ceremony is made the subject of a separate and self-contained study, a short Conclusion draws together the main historical and sociological lines of thought which run throughout the Thesis.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:26

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