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State-Society relations - Kingship

Individual Documents

Title: The Coming of the 'Future King" -- Burmese Minlaung Expectations Before and During the Second World War
Date of publication: 2003
Description/subject: Throughout the history of Burma we come across rebellions often led by so-called 'future kings,' minlaungs. In western historiography, minlaung-movements are usually attributed to the pre-colonial past, whereas rebellions and movements occurring during the British colonial period are conceived of as proto-nationalist in character and thus an indication of the westernizing process. In this article, the notion of minlaung and concomitant ideas about rebellion and the magical-spiritual forces involved are explained against the backdrop of Burmese-Buddhist culture. It is further shown how these ideas persisted and gained momentum before and during World War II and how they affected the western educated nationalists, especially Aung San whose political actions fit into the cultural pattern of the career of a minlaung.
Author/creator: Susanne Prager
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Studies" Vol. 8, 2003
Format/size: pdf (601K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol8/Abstract2_ClymerOpt.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2009

Title: "Kingship in Pagan Wundauk U Tin's Myan-Ma-Mwn-Ok-Cjok-Pon-Sa-Dnn"
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: This paper analyzes the attitudes toward kingship expressed in the Myan-ma-Mn Ok-cjok-pon Sa-dnn'["The Royal Administration of Burma"], written by Pagan U Tin (1861-1933) and first published shortly after the author's death. Following a brief biographical account of Pagan U Tin, the discussion considers four perspectives on Burmese kingship appearing in the work: 1) the king as judge; 2) the king as guarantor of regularity; 3) the king as descendant of the Sun (and of Mahasammata, originator of civil society); and 4) the king as Buddha-to-be. The Burmese monarch was predominantly a symbolic figure who affirmed the kingdom's past and guaranteed its future. Although U Tin reports on the questionable morality of Kings Mindon and Thibaw, he nevertheless addresses both as "Excellent King" and admonishes his readers against offending the dignity of the throne.
Author/creator: L.E. Bagshawe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 3 (1998)
Format/size: pdf (1.09MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2009