The Land and Its Folks (Thailand) Part 2

A all-natural, self-contained geopolitical unit, this river basin was destined to play a central function in Thailand’s improvement becoming historically and agriculturally as essential to the Thais as the Nile is to the Egyptians. Later, it would grow to be the Thai heartland and contain future Thai capitals and for centuries, stay the significant means of transport and communications. Ultimately, it would be transformed into an intricately terraced, irrigated rice bowl figuring amongst the most fertile areas on earth.

The influx of immigrants into the area took hundreds of years. They came in successive waves, each and every moving gradually along paradisical river valleys content to settle rather than move on. Those following moved previous them to hew out houses and fields from virgin forest. Travelling in compact groups, under separate chieftains, escaping famine, despotism or misfortune, all sought a degree of autonomy and shared a frequent need for a better, independent life.

The earliest immigrants were a proto-Malay folks from southern China who settled in the mountainous, heavily-jungled Kanchanaburi area one hundred kilometres due west of Bangkok. Archaeological proof suggests that there was a Neolithic culture of some advancement, dating from about two,500 B.C.

Subsequent came the bearers of the Lung-shan culture with its sophisticated methods of rice cultivation. At its height is stretched from the Lopburi location north of Bangkok down to the Malay peninsula. Immigrants are believed to have arrived it Thailand about 1770  140 B.C., either by south-ward overland migration from southern Yunnan or by sea from China to the south of Thailand, and thence by northward land migration to Lopburi, where they settled and farmed.

Two of the most essential immigrant groups were Khmers and Mons who arrived around the 1st century B.C., also from southern China. Their culture. The Khmers came over the rugged, mist-shrouded Burmese mountains, crossed the Menam Chao Phya valley and settled an area south of the northeast plateau deep into present-day Cambodia where their culture culminated in the magnificent 11th and 12th century Angkorian civilization.

The Mons settled the westem half of the lush Chao Phya river valley and founded the Dvaravati kingdom which, besides becoming a major producer of rice, became an crucial religious centre. The Mon seat of power was at Lopburi and, like the Khmers, Mon rulers modeled palace life on India’s complicated Brahmanic courts. Lopburi would remain a religious centre following Thai kingdoms became Buddhist throughout the 13th century. One more migration wave during the Dvaravati period brought Tibeto-Burmese individuals into the region exactly where, right now, they form the itinerant hilltribes inhabiting the northern Thai mountains.

In the 11th and 12th centuries the folks who would ultimately generate the Thai nation began arriving in northern Thailand. The actual background of the Thai individuals themselves is a topic of academic dispute. 1 theory holds that the Thais originated in China and moved south-wards. According to this theory, the Thais, had for centuries engaged principally in rice farming and silk textile manufacture. In 651 A.D. they united their tribes and lived with each other in the independent kingdom of Nanchao in the southernmost Chinese province of Yunnan. Mostly an agrarian kingdom, Nanchao’s partnership with China lurched from crisis to crisis, from intense amity to equally intense enmity.
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