History

The Introduction of African Rice in Suriname

Genetic research into rice from the inlands of Suriname draws attention to the history of West Africans who were deported as slaves to this former Dutch colony. While there are many grains of Asian rice, Surinamese black rice, ‘Blaka aleisi’, turned out to be almost identical to rice farmed by Mande-speaking farmers in West Ivory Coast according to research by Tinde van Andel. This rice was rarely eaten but instead was sacrificed to ancestors and used in spiritual herbal baths.

The History of Tea Leaf

Image depicts a statue erected on Mt. Loi Saing (Paddamyar Taung in Burmese), near Taung Pė Village, situated within Namsam Township, northern Shan State. The statue goes that when the Burmese king Alaungsithu travelled across his new kingdom around the 5th -6th century, he found Palaung people at Loi San Mountain in Southern Shan State. When he found them to be poor and struggling, he gave them laphet seeds believing it would help them find money for their family.

Konbaung Dynasty and Luntaya Acheik

Luntaya acheik originated in Konbaung dynasty (1752-1885) and could be worn only by kings and queens. If this new fabric was presented respectfully to the king and queen, a prize would be awarded to the giver. Commoners were not allowed to wear a new one but it could worn the king’s hand-me-downs which is awarded to the outstanding person in the service of the king.

Luntaya acheik: Then and Now

The weaving of luntaya acheik  or the wavy rope pattern created through the use of hundred shuttles loom and silk thread, is mainly based on seven elementary designs and thirty-three ropes. In the Konbaung period (1752 to 1885), it was a royal fabric that only the kings, queens and high officials were allowed to wear. Now everyone can wear luntaya acheik. People wear this luntaya acheik for special ceremonies like novitiation, wedding, state level events, and convocation. It is a valuable fabric.

U Pein Bridge (2): Learning History Through Childhood Poem

This oral narrative was collected by the students exploring the word concept - belief. 

The seventy-two year old father of the fried-fish seller told us the following story related with the establishment of the U Pein bridge:

"I left the monastery long time ago but I remember what I learnt about the history of the U Pein bridge"

 

အင်းကအော်ညီး ဆောက်လုပ်ပြီး၊ ဉီးပိန် တံတားကြီး

အင်း၀ရေငံ တွင်းဂျီးစော်နံ၊ တောင်သမန် ရေချိုတွင်း သောက်ပါလေ့ ကို ရန်ကင်း ဘေးရန်က ရှင်း

ဘရူရာဇာ (ထန်းပင်) မည်သော ထန်းပဒေသာပင်များ ခြံရံလျက်ရှိသောနေရာများကို ရွေးချယ်ခဲ့သည်။

Photographs as Memory Triggers

Photographs have proven to be interesting tools to get people to open up about themselves and share memories of their past. For instance, the photo of Anwar posing at Phasi Ghar (execution point) not only got him talking about the monument that no longer stands, but also reminded him of his childhood spent dressing up and posing for photographs at various locations in Mehrauli, Delhi.

Mesha Murali: Bus stand se aage. Kahan?  

Re-seizing the Naga Narrative

Dr. Akum Longchari is the editor of The Morung Express and has been involved with the people's movements in the areas of human rights, justice, peace, and reconciliation. He also engages actively with the Forum for Naga Reconciliation and is associated with the online community journal, the Naga Republic. 

The following is an excerpt from a conversation with Dr Rakhee Kalita Moral.

Lunyakyaw-kyo-gyi acheik: Snippets From the Book

This photo is from a book, Lunyakyaw-kyo-gyi acheik / လွန်းရာကျော်ကြိုးကြီးချိတ်, written by U Shwe Htun about the textile industry and textile design. It is a good source to understand the history of acheik, its evolution, the process and preservation till 2005. One of the interesting part of the history, as mentioned in the book, is the different attitudes of the reigning regime towards this weaving practice. For example, while acheik  was not allowed to be woven in the Bagan period, but in the Innwa period  (1346-1526 C.E.) only a lower quality was woven.

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