« Angkor Wat Apsara and Devata : Khmer women in divine context» by Jana Igunma, 05/07/2017, Southeast Asia Library Group (SEALG)
Angkor Wat Apsara and Devata : Khmer women in divine context is a rich and well researched online resource dedicated to the women of the Khmer Empire (9th-15th century). Being great builders, the Khmer filled the landscape with monumental temples, huge reservoirs and canals, and laid an extensive network of roads with bridges. Angkor Wat is the best known and most stunning temple. It is, in fact, a microcosm of the Hindu universe. Covering 200 hectares it is the world’s largest religious complex. Its construction was started by the Khmer king Suryavarman II around 1122 CE and took some 30 years to complete. The walls of Angkor Wat house a royal portrait gallery with 1,795 women realistically rendered in stone. Although the temple complex has been researched extensively in terms of architecture, art and archaeology, not much is known about these women.
Devata.org aims to provide answers to questions like:
- Who were the women of Angkor Wat?
- Why are images of women immortalized with the most prominent placement in the largest temples the Khmer civilization ever built?
- What did these women mean to the Khmer rulers, priests and people?
- How does the Cambodian dance tradition relate to the women of Angkor Wat?
- Do the women of Angkor Wat embody information important to us in modern times?
This online resource gives access to articles about books and authors relating to Khmer history, Cambodian dance, children of Angkor, women’s history and heritage preservation. The focus, however, is on the women of Angkor Wat and other Khmer temples. Features like an Angkor Wat Devata Inventory, the Devata Database Project, Facial Pattern Recognition of the Angkor Wat portraits, photo galleries and a range of research articles provide insight into the rich culture of the Khmer people.
Voir : https://southeastasianlibrarygroup.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/khmer-women-in-divine-context/
Sher Banu A.L. Khan, Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641−1699, NUS Press, 2017
The Islamic kingdom of Aceh was ruled by queens for half of the 17th century. Was female rule an aberration? Unnatural? A violation of nature, comparable to hens instead of roosters crowing at dawn? Indigenous texts and European sources offer different evaluations. Drawing on both sets of sources, this book shows that female rule was legitimised both by Islam and adat (indigenous customary laws), and provides original insights on the Sultanah’s leadership, their relations with male elites, and their encounters with European envoys who visited their court. The book challenges received views on kingship in the Malay world and the response of indigenous polities to east-west encounters in Southeast Asia’s Age of Commerce.
« We have waited too long for a book such as this. It explores the extraordinary phenomenon of a preference for queens in the golden age of Islamic Aceh. Countering the dominant nationalist, feminist and Islamic scholarship, all of which find uncongenial the striking phenomenon of a preference for queens in early modern Asian Islam, Banu has utilized rich primary sources to reveal a queenship that was truly Islamic, effective and benign. This book is a revelation. Read it. »
Anthony Reid, The Australian National University
« Sher Banu’s superb study based on a host of newly discovered contemporary source materials throws new light on a hotly discussed topic among historians of Southeast Asian statecraft in Early Modern time. »
Leonard Blusse, Leiden University
« The author is to be congratulated on a book that makes a significant contribution both to the history of Southeast Asia and to comparative studies on women in early modern Asia. »
Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, University of Hawai‘i
Voir : https://nuspress.nus.edu.sg/products/sovereign-women-in-a-muslim-kingdom-the-sultanahs-of-aceh-1641-1699