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Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary Chau, Mya 2020-07-08

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Poll: Religious Place (v1.2) Published on: 08 July 2020Date Range: 500 CE - 1400 CERegion: Mỹ Sơn, VietnamRegion tags: Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Mỹ SơnAttached maps include Champa in 4th - 13thcentury. The polygon is the approximate location ofthe Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary itself.Mỹ Sơn SanctuaryBy Mya Chau, Loyola Marymount UniversityEntry tags: indic religion, Shrine, Monument, Religious Place, Hinduism, Śaiva traditions, Southeast AsianReligions, Religious Group, Indic Religious TraditionsThe Mỹ Sơn sanctuary (4th- 13th centuries CE) is a sacred archaeological site in Champa, where the Chamsonce built more than seventy sacred Hindu temples. The Chams, who once dominated the region ofSouthern Vietnam are an ethnic group with historical records dating from the 4th century and theycreated some of the most exquisite Hindu art and architecture found in Southeast Asia.Status of Participants:✓ Elite ✓ Religious SpecialistsGeneral VariablesSources and ExcavationsPrint SourcesPrint sources used for understanding this subject:Online SourcesOnline sources used for understanding this subject:Source 1: Trâ ̀n Ky ̀ Phu ̛ơng. Vestiges of Champa Civilization. Ha ̀ Nôị : The ̂́ Giơí Publishers, 2012.—Source 2: Trần Kỳ Phương & Rie Nakamura, “My Son and Po Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries: in regard tothe cosmological dualist cult of Champa kingdom (Central Vietnam).” Old Myths and New Approaches—Interpreting Ancient Religious Sites in Southeast Asia. Ed. Alexandre Haende, Monash Asia Institute,Monash University, 2012, 267-280—Source 3: Trâ ̀n Ky ̀ Phu ̛ơng. My ̃ Sơn Trong Lịch Sử Nghệ Thuật Cha ̆m. Đa ̀ Na ̃̆ng: Nha ̀ xua ́̂t ba ̉n Đa ̀ Na ̃̆ng,1988.—Source 1 URL: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/949/—Source 1 Description: UNESCO website for My ̃ Sơn Santuary—Source 2 URL: https://asia.si.edu/mountains-museums-and-the-mekong-delta-travels-in-vietnam-july-2019/—Source 2 Description: Mountains, Museums, and the Mekong Delta: Travels in Vietnam By Emma—DOI: URL: https://religiondatabase.org/browse/831This work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 4.0 International license.Please see our Terms of Use here:https://religiondatabase.org/about/creditsPage 1 of 29© 2020 Database of Religious History.The University of British Columbia.For any questions contactproject.manager@religiondatabase.orgHas this place been the focus of excavation (pre-modern, illicit, or scientific):Answer 'Yes' for each period or type of excavation.Topographical ContextIs the place associated with a feature in the landscapeDoes the place involve human-made features besides structure:Other features might be ground clearing, terracing, other modifications of the local environment.Natalya SteinSource 3 URL: https://isaw.nyu.edu/publications/inscriptions/campa/—Source 3 Description: Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campa ̄—Yes—Type of excavation:Scientific—Years of excavation:Year range: 1889—Name of excavationOfficial or descriptive name: French survey of the Mỹ Sơn Santuary beginning in 1889—Elevation—Type of elevationHill—Mountain—Yes—Type of featureMound—Leveling of ground—Terracing—Clearing—Trackway or road-surface—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 2 of 29Is the place situated in an urban or significantly urbanized area:Is the place situated in a rural setting:Is the place situated far removed from non-religious places of habitation:Structures PresentAre there structures or features present:Instructions: Answer once for each structure/feature or group that can be differentiated.Water feature—Plantings—No—Yes—Are there settlements in close proximity to the place:Yes—Are there routes of travel in close proximity to the place:Yes—Yes—Is there an established route of travel connecting it to a wider transportation network:Yes—Yes—A single structureYes—The structure has a definite shapeRectangular—One single featureClearing—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 3 of 29A group of structures:Yes—Are they part of a single design/construction stage:Yes—A group of features:Yes—Are they part of a single design/construction stage:No—Is it part of a larger place/sanctuary:Notes: Ten monumental structures of the seventy-one temples are extant at the Mỹ Sơncomplex.Yes—What is the function of the structure/feature or group:Answer "Yes" once for each distinct functionNotes: Worship of deity, ShivaWorship—Worship:Communal—Is the structure/feature finished:Yes—Was the structure/feature intended to last beyond a generation:Yes—Was the structure/feature modified through time:Yes—Was the structure/feature destroyed:No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 4 of 29Reasons for Creation/Construction/ConsecrationIs the place used for the worship of/communication with non-human supernatural beings:Is the place used for the worship of a semi-divine human being:Is the place used for the worship of non-divine ancestors:Has the structure/feature been reconstructed:Yes—In antiquityPeriodically—In modernityPost-Renaissance—Yes—Dedicated to a supernatural being:Yes [specify]: Shiva—Dedicated to more than one supernatural being:Yes [specify]: Hindu gods—Yes—Is it a cenotaph:No—Does it commemorate a family/clan/group:No—Yes—Is it a cenotaph:No—Does it commemorate a family/clan/group:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 5 of 29Was the place commissioned/built by an official political entity:A political entity is a local power structure that leverages a workforce.Were the Structures built by specific groups of people:Was the place thought to have originated as the result of divine intervention:Was the place created to mark or commemorate the birthplace of a supernatural or humanbeing:Was the place created as the result of an event:Was the creation of the place sponsored by an external financial/material donation:No—Yes—SpecifyKing or emperor—Religious specialists affiliated with political entity—Yes—Groups:Priests—Specialized labourers/craftspeople—Yes—SpecifyRevealed by high god—No—No—Yes—Is this sponsor of the same religious group/tradition as the main usage of the place:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 6 of 29Was the establishment of the place motivated by:Was the place built specifically for housing scriptures/sacred texts:Design and Material RemainsOverall StructureIs the place made up of multiple built structures:Is monumental architecture present:Monumental architecture is defined here as a built structure that surpasses average human proportionsand in general is larger and more complex than is necessary to fulfill the structure's utilitarian function(s).Examples of monumental architecture include Mesopotamian Ziggurats, Egyptian Pyramids, Greek andRoman temples, Mesoamerican Pyramids, North American and Aegean burial mounds, etc.Thanksgiving to a god/gods for favor received—No—Yes—Are any of the structures attached to or associated with a landscape feature:Yes—Are any of the structures attached to other structures:Yes—Is there a hierarchy among the structures:Yes—Yes—In the average place, what percentage of area is taken up by built monuments:Percentage: 80—Footprint of largest single religious monument, square meters:Please add dimensions in the comments, if known.Notes: The Mỹ Sờn E 1 pedestal is 2.7 meters. The area is 142 hectares.Square meters: 2.7—Height of largest single religious monument, meters:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 7 of 29Is the structure/feature made out of natural materials:Answer [Yes] for each material typeHeight, meters: 3.5—Size of average monument, square meters:Square meters: 2.7—Height of average monument, meters:Height, meters: 3.5—Yes—EarthYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—SandYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—ClayYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 8 of 29Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—PlasterYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—WoodYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—GrassYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—StoneYes—Is this material sourced locally:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 9 of 29Is the structure/feature made out of human-made materialsDecorationIs decoration present:Is this material lacking in the local natural environment:No—OtherNotes: The temples of the Mỹ Sơn sanctuary are constructed of fired brick and sandstone.There are few scientific studies on the specific types of brick and sandstone, and havesimilarities to construction materials from neighboring Cambodia.Other [specify]: Brick—No—Yes—Is decoration part of the building (permanent):Yes—On the outside:Yes—On the inside:Yes—Is decoration attached to the building, i.e. movable reliefs or tapestriesNo—Is the decoration figural:A figural representation is defined here as one that contains the depiction of discernible human,anthropomorphic, animal, or zoomorphic forms. In general, it differentiates between animateand inanimate beings, as well as between narrative compositions and still life, landscapes,abstraction, etc. Answer [Yes] for each type of figure depictedYes—Are there gods depicted:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 10 of 29Are there other supernatural beings depicted:Yes—Are there humans depicted:Yes—Are there animals depicted:Yes—Are there animal-human hybrids depicted:Yes—Is the decoration non-figural:Yes—Is it geometric/abstractYes—Floral motifsYes—Is it writing/caligraphyNo—Other [Specify]Other [specify]: Animals—Is the decoration hidden or restricted from view:Yes—Can the decoration be revealed:Yes—Are there statues present:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 11 of 29Cult statues:Yes—Statues of gods/supernatural beings:Yes—Statues of humans:Yes—Other [Specify]Other [specify]: Each tower-temple forms a rectangular cell, with an altar-pedestal atthe center of the sacred architecture. There also statues of vehicles (animals).—Are there reliefs present:A relief as opposed to sculpture carved on the round is a work of sculpture in which the figuresproject from a background support, generally a flat surface. Reliefs can be carved out of stone,clay, or a similar material.Yes—Reliefs representing the god(s) worshipped at the place:Yes—Reliefs representing mythological narratives:Yes—Reliefs representing human/historical narratives:Yes—Other [Specify]Other [specify]: Reliefs representing animals—Are there paintings present:No—Are there mosaics present:No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 12 of 29IconographyAre there distinct features in the places iconography:Are there inscriptions as part of the decoration:Yes—Are the inscriptions ornamental:No—Are the inscriptions informative/declarative[e.g. historical narratives, calendars, donor lists etc...Yes—Are the inscription a formal dedication:Yes—Other [Specify]Other [specify]: Free standing steles of inscriptions—Other type of decoration:Yes [specify]: Cham inscriptions—Yes—Eyes (stylized or not)Yes—Supernatural beings (zoomorphic)Notes: Supernatural beings are sometimes riding on vehicles (animals). The zoomorphicvehicles also represent the deity.Yes—Supernatural beings (geomorphic)Yes—Supernatural beings (anthropomorphic)Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 13 of 29Beliefs and PracticesFunerary AssociationsIs this place a tomb/burial:Is this a place for the worship of the dead:Is this a place for treatment of the corpse:Notes: Mỹ Sơn is dedicated to the deity Shiva, represented in the human form. Other Hindudeities such as Brahma, Ganesha, and Vishnu are also represented at the site.Supernatural beings (abstract)Notes: Shiva is also represented in the form of a linga.Yes—Portrayals of afterlifeNo—Aspects of doctrine (e.g. cross, trinity, Mithraic symbols)No—HumansNotes: Brahmins, ascetic, and worshippers.Yes—Supernatural narrativesYes—Human narrativesYes—Other [Specify]Other [specify]: Animals—No—No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 14 of 29Are co-sacrifices present in tomb/burial:Co-sacrifices are animal/human sacrifices prompted by the death of the primary occupant of thetomb/burial.Are grave goods present:Are formal burials present:Supernatural BeingsIs a supreme high god is present:No—No—No—No—Yes—Are they anthropomorphic:Yes—Are they sky deity:Yes—Are they chthonic (underworld)Yes—Are they fused with king/kingship role (king = high god)Yes—Are they the monarch is seen as a manifestation or emanation of the high god:Yes—Are they kin relation to elites:Yes—Are they other type of loyalty or connection to elites:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 15 of 29Does the supreme high god communicate with the living at this place:Are previously human spirits present:Yes—Are they unquestionably good:Yes—Are they other:Other [specify]: Gender specific. In the north, Mỳ Sơn temples honor the deity, Shiva and themale realm.—Yes—In waking, everyday life:Yes—In dreams:Yes—In trance possession:Yes—Through divination practices:Yes—Only through religious specialists:Yes—Only through monarch:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: medicinal herbs—Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 16 of 29Do human spirits communicate with the living at this place:Are nonhuman supernatural beings present:Human spirits can be seen:Yes—Human spirits can be physically felt:Yes—Yes—In waking, everyday life:Yes—In dreams:Yes—In trance possession:Yes—Through divination practices:Yes—Only through religious specialists:Yes—Only through monarch:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: medicinal herbs—Yes—Human spirits can be seen:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 17 of 29Do nonhuman spirits communicate with the living at this place:Are mixed human-divine beings present:Human spirits can be physically felt:Yes—Yes—In waking, everyday life:Yes—In dreams:Yes—In trance possession:Yes—Through divination practices:Yes—Only through religious specialists:Yes—Only through monarch:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: medicinal herbs—Yes—Mixed human-divine spirits can be seen:Yes—Mixed human-divine spirits can be physically felt:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 18 of 29Do mixed human-divine beings communicate with the living at this place:Is the supernatural being/high god present in the form of a cult statue(s):Supernatural InteractionsIs supernatural monitoring present:Yes—In waking, everyday life:Yes—In dreams:Yes—In trance possession:Yes—Through divination practices:Yes—Only through religious specialists:Yes—Only through monarch:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: medicinal herbs—Yes—Is the cult statue visible:Yes—Is the cult statue hidden:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 19 of 29Yes—Supernatural monitoring of norm adherence:Yes—Supernatural beings care about or expect offerings:Yes—Libations:Yes [specify]: water, puja—Offerings of food:Yes [specify]: fruits, flowers, incense—Animal sacrifice:No—Human sacrifice:No—Sacred objects:Yes [specify]: gold plaques, statues, and other images—Daily life objects:Yes [specify]: pottery—Other:Other [specify]: incense, perfume, sacred water—Supernatural beings care about sex:Yes—Does the worship include sex acts/references:Yes—Supernatural beings care about or expect proper ritual observance:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 20 of 29Do visitors communicate with the gods or supernatural beings:Ritual and PerformanceSacrifices, Offerings, and MaintenanceAre sacrifices performed at this place:Are there self-sacrifices present:Are material offerings present:Yes—Supernatural beings care about or expect performance of rituals:Yes—Supernatural beings care about or expect maintenance of the place:Yes—Supernatural beings care about or expect personal hygiene:Yes—Supernatural beings care about honoring oaths:Yes—Other:Other [specify]: image and inscription donations—Yes—Do visitors communicate with gods:Yes—Do visitors communicate with other supernatural beings:Yes—No—No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 21 of 29Is attendance to worship/sacrifice mandatory:Is maintenance of the place performed:Yes—Are material offerings mandatory:Yes—Are material offerings composed of valuable objects:Yes—Are material offerings composed of daily-life objects:Yes—Are material offerings interred at this place (in caches):Yes—OtherOther [specify]: Gold plaques were placed underneath the temple as consecration objects.—Yes—By all the communityYes—By specific individualsYes [specify]: king, priests, brahmins, ascetics—Yes—Is it required:Yes—Is there cleansing (for the maintenance):Yes—Are there periodic repairs/reconstructions:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 22 of 29Pilgrimage and FestivalsAre pilgrimages present:Is this place a venue for feasting:Are festivals present:Divination and HealingIs divination present:Yes—Is the maintenance performed by permanent staff:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: The Mỹ Sơn sanctuary is a UNESCO heritage site since 1999.—No—No—No—Yes—Divination by examination of the exta:Animals remains, internal organs, answer this question and subsequent question once for eachspeciesNo—Divination through human communication:Yes—Is a human being the vehicle for the oracle:Yes—Is a human being the interpreter of the oracle:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 23 of 29Is healing present/practiced at this place:Are the oracle interpreters of a specified sex/gender:Yes—Are the oracle interpreters of a specified ethnicity:Yes—Are the oracle interpreters of a specified class:Yes—Is sex-deprivation required:Yes—Are intoxicants required:Yes—Physical ordeal required:Yes—Divination through animal-behavior:No—Divination through non-living material:Oil—Smoke—Bones—Flame—OtherOther [specify]: Divination through living materials—Yes—IncubationNo—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 24 of 29Do rituals occur at this place:Rituals are visibly enacted behaviors by one or more people for the purposes of religious observance.Healing magicYes—CleansingYes—Offerings of models of body parts:No—ExpiationNo—OtherOther [specify]: Divination through living materials. Statues were though to be "alive" andpossess sacred spirits of the divine.—Yes—Do large-scale rituals take place:Yes—Do small-scale rituals take place:Yes—On average how many participants are present in large-scale rituals:specify: 1000—How often do these rituals take place:specify: Based on ritual calendar—Are there orthodoxy checks:No—Are there orthopraxy checks:No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 25 of 29Institutions and ScripturesReligious SpecialistsAre religious specialists present/in charge of this place:Religious specialists are individuals who's primary duties within a population group are not concernedwith subsistence or craft production but the maintenance of the religious landscape and culture of thegroup.Are there synchronic practices:Yes—Are there intoxicants used during the ritual:Yes—Yes—Present full timeYes—Present part timeNo—Are the religious specialists of specific sex/gender:Yes—Are the religious specialists of specific ethnicity:Yes—Are the religious specialists of specific class/cast:Yes—Are religious specialists dedicated to the place for life:Yes—Are the religious specialists stratified in a hierarchical system:Yes—Is access within the space segregated by this hierarchy:Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 26 of 29Does this place incorporate a living space for religious specialists:Is this place used for the training of religious specialists:Are there formal institutions for the maintenance of the place:Institutions that are authorized by the religious community or political leadersBureaucracyIs there a formal bureaucracy present at this place:A bureaucracy consists of a hierarchical system of accounting and rule maintenance primarily concernedwith material wealth.Does this place control economic resources (land, goods, tools):Yes—Yes—Yes—Yes—Yes—Is a bureaucracy present permanently:Yes—Is a bureaucracy present on a temporary or seasonal basis:No—Yes—Is this control the primary supporting income of this place:Yes—Does this place lease out land:No—Does this place lease out tools:No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 27 of 29Public WorksDoes this place serve as a location for services to the community:Writing/ScripturesIs non-religious writing stored at this place:Economic documents, records etc.Are there scriptures associated with this place:Yes—Public food distribution and/or storage:No—Place for civic functions (census, elections, others):No—Place for the practice of justice (trials, executions, etc.):No—Function for water management:Yes—Part of the transportation network:Yes—OtherOther [specify]: House of the gods—Yes—Yes—Are they written:Yes—Are they written at this place:Yes—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 28 of 29BibliographyGeneral ReferencesReference: Peter Sharrock D., Võ Văn Thắng, Trần Kỳ Phương. Vibrancy in Stone: Masterpieces of theDanang Museum of Cham Sculpture. River Books, 2018. isbn: 9786167339993.Reference: Arlo Grifffins , Andrew Hardy , Geoff Wade. Champa : territories and networks of a southeastAsian kingdom. Ecole Française d'Extre ̂me-Orient, 2019. isbn: 9782855392691.Reference: Trần Kỳ Phương, Bruce Lockhart. The Cham of Vietnam. NUS Press, 2011. isbn:9789971694593.Reference: Andrew David Hardy, Mauro Cucarzi, Patrizia Zolese. Champa and the Archaeology of Mỹ Sơn(Vietnam). NUS Press. isbn: 9789971694517.Reference: Anne-Valerie Schweyer. Ancient Vietnam : history and archaeology. Riverbooks, 2011.Are they oral:Yes—Is there a story associated with the origin and/or construction of this place:Yes—Are there religious specialists in charge of interpreting the scriptures:Yes—Are the scriptures part of the building/place:No—Chau, Database of Religious History, 2020 Page 29 of 29

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