Following the wildly popular dance-drama of 1909, Sao Khrua Fa migrated into cinematic form, where it has been made and re-made for new audiences over the past several decades—most recently for television. However, after four months, the Levite, referred to as her husband, decided to travel to her father's house to persuade his concubine to return. European men took enslaved or free women of color as mistresses after making arrangements to give them a dowry, house or other transfer of property, and sometimes, if they were enslaved, offering freedom and education for their children. Some contend that concubinage was a pre-Islamic custom that was allowed to be practiced under Islam with Jews and non-Muslim people to marry concubine after teaching her and instructing her well and then giving them freedom. In the interstices between the move away from marital alliance towards the complete implementation of local, bureaucratic administration, the shift taking place within the Inner Palace becomes visible through the photography of the era—especially that of royal consorts themselves. Firstly, it evidences the photographic activities of a handful of female elites in Siam around the turn of the twentieth century, and their role in representing royal women, who had heretofore been hidden behind palace walls, visually to a Siamese viewing public. Figure 16. Posed photographic portraits had been utilized by the king, his high queens, and children since the 1880s for use in representing the royalty both within Siam and beyond.  Erb’s fortunes took an upward turn in the later 1890s, a period which coincided with the suburbanization of the court. 80. Khantathip (2005), ibid. The last time a ruler had enthroned a concubine in Thailand dates back to 1921, when the country was still called the Kingdom of Siam.  Researchers have suggested that Vikings may have originally started sailing and raiding due to a need to seek out women from foreign lands. When, in this story, the ill-fated lovers are forced to part, Ma Mia “washes” her lover’s feet with her tear-soaked hair. FREE Delivery by Amazon. As Dara Rasami was the daughter of the sitting king in Lan Na at the time, it may have been more important for her to continue representing her difference within the Siamese court than for her (relatively unknown) cousin. The Provincial Administration of Siam, 1892–1915: The Ministry of the Interior Under Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Erb may have seen such images on display at photo studios in Java and Singapore during one of the King’s journeys abroad, since the royal party frequently visited the studios of European photographers while traveling. As the contest approached, palace folk residents would have been particularly on the lookout for novel and aesthetically pleasing subjects to capture with their cameras. Evidence indicates that the king saw this adoption as his own personal experiment in civilizing a savage: “That year , King Chulalongkorn had the desire to raise the [tribal] child that had lived in the jungle, in order to try and see whether this training could make a [jungle person] progress into a [regular person] or not.” Chulalongkorn himself wrote a play about the boy’s imagined tribal life, describing the Semang’s physical appearance, way of life, religious beliefs, eating habits, merry-making, dressing, hunting, and courting. Children of concubines had lower rights in account to inheritance, which was regulated by the Dishu system. Power Dressing: Lanna Shan Siam 19th Century Court Dress, The Royal Family of Thailand: The Descendants of King Chulalongkorn. จงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล.] As for concubines I dont know. He was the son of King Mongkut and Queen Debsirindra. Published with the bonus book, Our Lady of Silk.  ... and descending the scale finally to the sons of concubines. At the same time all things ‘foreign’ became all the rage amongst Siamese elites, stories from the West such as Cinderella and the Arabian Nights became fodder for creators of Siamese dance-dramas. by my concubines, and everything will be fine. There was a confrontation with Vietnam, now becoming a major power in the region, over control of Cambodia in 1813, ending with the status quo ante restored. The world will begin anew, and all will return, endlessly. The English Governess At the Siamese Court: Being Recollections of Six Years in the Royal Palace At Bangkok. Figure 10. slavery). ", "Viking raiders were only trying to win their future wives' hearts", "New Viking Study Points to "Love and Marriage" as the Main Reason for their Raids", "Top 10 Chinese entertainment events in 2012 (7) - People's Daily Online", "PILEGESH (Hebrew, ; comp. As a Bunnag, Erb was a member of a clan which had had been closely linked to the Siamese crown in various official capacities since the early sixteenth century. Mongkut, King of Siam, was looking for a proper English education for his, at the time, 60 children, as well his wives and concubines, without an attempt to convert them to Christianity.  Islam introduced legal restrictions and discipline to the concubinage and encouraged manumission.  Female slave-servants or slave-performers could be elevated to the rank of concubine (called khavas, pavas) if a ruler found them attractive. , An examination of concubinage features in one of the Four Great Classical Novels, Dream of the Red Chamber (believed to be a semi-autobiographical account of author Cao Xueqin's family life). With grand ideas and expectations, she accepts the position and is soon on her way. Prime. The setup, which includes a chair positioned before a European-style dressing-table laden with crystal perfume bottles, and two separate mirrors, shares many elements in common with studio photography of its day.  A number of their photographs of domestic palace life have become familiar to the Thai viewing public at large over the intervening decades.  A concubine's treatment and situation was variable and was influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was attached, as well as the attitude of his wife. Among the Bunnag sisters who served as royal consorts to King Chulalongkorn, the best-known photographers were Erb and her sister Uen, as well as Ohn’s daughters Oraprapun Ramphai and Adisai Suriyapha. The actors were dressed in costumes appropriate to contemporary characters, with the heroine dressed like Dara Rasami herself: long hair worn pulled up in a bun, a lace blouse on top, phasin skirt below, worn with stockings and shoes. Judge Turpin: I think not.  Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi explains that "two categories of women have been excluded from the general command of guarding the private parts: (a) wives, (b) women who are legally in one's possession".. Yanagihara Naruko, a high-ranking concubine of Emperor Meiji, gave birth to Emperor Taishō, who was later legally adopted by Empress Haruko, Emperor Meiji's formal wife. Such relationships were common in pre-Islamic Arabia and other pre-existing cultures of the wider region. Even among merchant families, concubinage was occasionally used to ensure heirs. Princess of Nan. Next, during the 1800s, King Mongkut of Siam housed his 9,000 women in a totally contained city with its own government, recreational facilities, and a theater. Figure 22. [ดารารัศมี:สายใยรักสองเผ่นดิน [Dara Rasami: Tie of Love between Two Kingdoms]. by Anna Harriette Leonowens | 11 Jul 2011. Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Concubine of Siam is a collection … This happens only to the plays which have been performed in the palace and are later performed outside. And what better vehicle for expressing and transmitting crypto-colonial notions than photography: that technology which obscures the conditions of its production, though appearing transparently obvious all the while? According to one study, this was the case in about one-third of slave-holding societies, the most prominent being case of the Muslim world. Photographic images of Western modernity—particularly of fashionably dressed elites, more clearly gendered clothing and hairstyles, sexualized women and “inferior” ethnic peoples—traveled easily once untethered from the bounds of their original contexts, circulating globally via ‘print-capitalist’ flows of newspapers, magazines and postcards. Second-youngest Bunnag sister Aab’s culinary talents in the kitchens at the king’s Ruen Ton residence were documented in a number of photographs. Interestingly, there is also evidence that Dara Rasami disapproved of the drama’s message. , A concubinatus (Latin for "concubinage" – see also concubina, "concubine", considered milder than paelex, and concubinus, "bridegroom") was an institution of quasi-marriage between Roman citizens who for various reasons did not want to enter into a full marriage. This arrangement would allow the pharaoh to enter into diplomatic marriages with the daughters of allies, as was the custom of ancient kings. Easily move forward or backward to get to the perfect spot. A man could have many wives and concubines. Dara Rasami’s presence at Dusit palace provided Erb with easy access to a rare and exotic ‘foreign’ subject: a “Lao” woman, rarely seen in Bangkok. With Queen Saovabha he had five sons: Princes Vajiravudh (Rama VI) and Prajadhipok (Rama VII), and Prince Chakrabongse, who was the Heir Presumptive during Rama VI reign (1910-1925). Such concubinage was practiced in patriarchal cultures throughout history.. Note that Erb and her camera are visible in the reflection of the tabletop mirror (right). Traditionally in Siam polygamy and concubinage were allowed. Language: English . 1905. Sineenat was trained as an Air Force pilot and rose through the ranks to become major general in May, according to the biography released by the palace. The tablecloth and backdrop also appear to be different, suggesting that the two portraits may not have been taken at the same time (though Dara Rasami’s dress and jewelry appear identical in every respect).  According to Orlando Peterson, slaves taken as concubines would have had a higher level of material comfort than the slaves used in agriculture or in mining. As I will discuss in the next section, this depiction of difference illuminates the Siamese elite concern with a “hierarchy of civilizations,” and its deployment as a part of Siamese crypto-colonialist discourse. The furniture utilized here also emulates tableaux created in European photographers’ studios of the day: A pair of Oriental carpets underfoot; a straight-backed wooden chair with woven rush seat positioned before a full-length standing mirror with a vase of cut flowers; and a dressing table laden with an assortment of cosmetic or perhaps perfume bottles, as well as a smaller tabletop mirror. , In colonial Brazil, men were expected to marry women who were equal to them in status and wealth. As a Bunnag, Erb was a member of a clan which had had been closely linked to the Siamese crown in various official capacities since the early sixteenth century. In conjunction with the exhibition and contest, a newspaper was published listing the names of the event’s “supporters.” From this listing we find that both Erb Bunnag and Dara Rasami served together on the “Division of Photography” along with one of the king’s elder brothers, who was well-known for his photographic experience. Bangkok: Bamrung Banthit, 1986, p. 132. The Siamese cultural proscription against touching the feet, much less with the hair on one’s head, goes only part of the way towards explaining the emotional and cultural import of this gesture. Erb’s experiments in shooting portraits; this series features her sister, Uen. But few know that photography was practiced by a number of the king’s concubines and female children as well. Dance, Drama, and Theatre in Thailand. A concubinage relationship could be entered into without the ceremonies used in marriages, and neither remarriage nor a return to her natal home in widowhood were allowed to a concubine. As Figure 16 shows, the backdrop also obscures the actual location of the photo shoot (which is outdoors in front of Vimanmek Palace), convincing the viewer that they are looking at an interior view (until one notices the trees visible in the mirrors’ reflections). “[Princess] Dara Rasami was pleased to have Mom Luang Tuan visit her often for instruction in Lao musical intonation. , In Mesopotamia, it was customary for a sterile wife to give her husband a slave as a concubine to bear children. Figures 18 & 19. In Thailand October 23 rd is celebrated as ‘The Day of the Beloved and Great King’ Chulalongkorn (1853-1910) who reigned as King Rama V of Siam. Bunnag sisters and children sharing a meal on the veranda of the king’s residence, Figure 6. Certainly, to witness Dara Rasami in such an act would additionally allow the viewer to share in a moment of intimacy with a royal consort until then reserved for the king himself. Maimonides was not the first Jewish thinker to criticise concubinage. The fifth monarch of the Chakri dynasty, the king was credited with modernising Siam while protecting his country’s borders from the colonial ambitions of the Western powers. Prince Consort of Jira. The Princess looks back at the viewer via the tabletop mirror, her hair unwound from its customary bun. See La-ongsri, Chawali Na Thalang, Charnvit Kasetsiri; Kanchani. Thanks also to Professor Penny Edwards of the University of California, Berkeley, without whose funding resources this research could not have been completed. In the Prince’s adaptation, the roles of the American soldier and Japanese woman are transposed in a uniquely Siamese way: the American soldier becomes a Siamese man, while his Japanese lover becomes a maiden from—where else?—Chiang Mai.  Khanung’s depiction in a number of royal photographs functions similarly. I have them all here, drawings of them.  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