The Art of Champa
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278 pages
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Description

In the 5th century, the Champa kingdom held sway over a large area of today’s Vietnam. Several magnificent structures still testify to their former presence in the Nha Trang region. Cham sculpture was worked in a variety of materials, principally sandstone, but also gold, silver and bronze. It was primarily used to illustrate themes from Indian mythology. The kingdom was gradually eroded during the 15th century by the inexorable descent of the people towards the south (“Nam Tiên”) from their original base in the Red River region. The author explores, describes, and comments on the various styles of Cham sculpture, drawing on a rich and, as yet, largely unpublished iconographic vein.

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Date de parution 15 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781783107391
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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T ext : Jean-Françoi s Hube r t
T ranslation: Anna Allanet

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Acknowledgments

M y thank s g o firs t o f al l t o m y edito r , Jean-Pau l Manz o wh o enthusiasticall y accepte d my p r oject , an d t o Elian e d e Sérési n wh o ha d th e tas k o f seein g i t ge t done . Ma y the y fin d he r e the exp r essio n o f m y dee p gratitude.
Pa r ticula r mentio n i s du e t o Françoi s Devos , photographe r , wh o ag r ee d t o accompan y m e to place s tha t we r e ofte n pictu r esque , t o tak e magnificen t photos.

Thank s als o t o al l thos e withou t whom , fo r on e r easo n o r anothe r , thi s wor k woul d no t have com e int o existence:

Sophi e Alla r d-Latour
Philipp e Damas
Jean-Lu c Engueha r d
Miche l Inguimbe r ty
Jean-Pau l Morin
Can g Nguyen
Eri c Pouillot
Richa r d P r evost
Nichola s Schee r es
Ma r c V a r tabedian
Ann a Zweede.

Finall y , m y ve r y specia l thank s g o t o Joëll e Loi r et , whos e p r ofessiona l ey e an d sens e o f for m and conten t a r e onl y equalle d b y he r patienc e an d tenacit y .
Jean-François Hubert



The Art of Champa
Contents


Introduction
The History of Champa
Cham Architecture
Gods and their representation
Styles and the dating of sculptures
Cyclotron analysis of Champa metals a n d jewellery
Conclusion
Glossary
Brief Chronology of Champa
Chronology of the reigns of Cham sovereigns, the construction of temples and their schools of sculpture
Bibliography
List of Illustrations
1. Sandstone Garuda in the Thâp-Mam style (1 2 th Century) standing in f r ont of the V ietnam History Museum (Hanoi) (detail).
Introduction


2. Sandstone Garuda in the Thâp-Mam style (1 2 th Century), standing in f r ont of the V ietnam History Museum (Hanoi).


Evokin g Champ a mean s glorifyin g death , sanctifying r emnants , magnifyin g clues , singin g th e praise s of mourning , an d r econstructin g histo r y . Champ a onl y exists no w i n th e memorie s o f a diminishin g collectio n o f livin g people wh o desi r e eterna l life , i n a half-audibl e melod y – necessaril y exotic – tha t i s humme d b y a fe w disquiete d spirits.
Y et , i n defianc e o f time , hel d i n compassio n b y it , w r eaking r eveng e o n th e injustic e o f th e inevitable … Cha m statue s bear witnes s t o thi s civilisatio n tha t wa s swallowe d u p i n th e meanders o f histo r y , p r ofan e chil d o f th e divin e wor k o f destruction.
Civilisation s die , bu t al l a r e fecund . The y leav e i n ou r collective memory those fundamental notions, impossible to a r ticulate, which a r e ir r esolutel y infinit e an d unattainabl y absolute.
Pe r haps , howeve r , th e Cha m civilisatio n i s a littl e mo r e los t t o us tha n others : deat h i s no t a stat e o f bein g bu t a discourse , and Champ a ha s lon g lacke d orator s an d a n audience . Still , wha t a gestu r e ! A mysteriou s bi r th , a stateles s ideal , a gloriou s decadence, a deat h announce d i n th e nam e o f impossibl e otherness . Champ a is five hund r ed years of myster y , a thousand of destruction, and th r ee hund r e d o f bein g fo r gotten.
Th e mos t e f ficien t app r oac h t o it s r ediscove r y wa s t o captu r e its vestiges , it s abandone d towers , it s fo r gotte n sculptu r es , it s sublime site s whe r e th e divin e wanders ; a pleasan t tas k fo r th e willing travelle r , arme d wit h th e learne d indication s o f th e g r ea t ancients an d attentiv e t o th e unbiase d attractio n o f discove r y . Examinin g a statue, carrying out an authentication, is to inter r ogate condensed histor y . Al l the statue s illustrate d in thi s boo k we r e closely examined , measu r ed , inspected , an d authenticated . Al l f r o m private collections , ofte n he r etofo r e unpublished , the y brin g ne w bloo d to th e obse r vation : i n a r t , nothin g i s mo r e dange r ou s tha n inb r ed model s an d limite d field s o f vision.
Cham a r t in general and Cham sculptu r e in pa r ticular is p r ofoundl y original . I t wa s r ediscove r e d b y th e F r enc h an d ha s now bee n r epossesse d b y th e V ietnames e a t th e beginnin g o f th e twenty- first centur y .
P r ofoundl y origina l becaus e eve n i f a fe w stylisti c comparisons ca n b e made , origin s r efer r e d to , o r influence s noted , Cha m sculptu r e di f fer s f r o m al l othe r school s o f sculptu r e – pas t o r p r esent.
Rediscove r e d b y th e F r enc h durin g th e perio d o f F r ench administratio n i n Indochin a (whic h include d V ietnam ) i n the secon d hal f o f th e nineteent h centur y , it s scientist s an d explo r ers suppo r te d b y th e governmen t o f th e da y . Explo r ers , suppo r te d by a r chitects , epigraphist s an d a r chaeologist s no t onl y garne r e d a uniqu e fun d o f knowledge , combinin g documentatio n and commentar y , bu t als o carrie d ou t th e majo r wor k o f conse r ving Cha m sites . I n a worl d whe r e th e us e o f F r enc h i s declining , i t is no t insignifican t t o not e tha t F r enc h r emain s th e languag e of r efe r enc e fo r th e stud y o f Cha m a r t : n o p r ecis e r efe r ence , no seriou s stud y coul d – eve n toda y – escap e f r o m th e detailed examinatio n an d attentiv e r eadin g o f document s draw n f r o m the bes t sou r ces , al l writte n i n F r ench , ove r th e las t fiv e hund r ed years.
3. V o-Canh Inscription Standing in front of the V ietnam Histo r y Museum (Hanoi ) . Date d f r o m th e 3 rd and 4 th Centur y , it r emainins pivotal in much r esea r ch although its being of Cham origin is uncertain.


Thes e document s hav e bee n r epossesse d toda y b y the V ietnames e becaus e the y hav e bee n able , afte r the demand s o f years o f wa r , to inte r es t themselve s in a n a r t that, fo r man y , r emains fo r eign . Afte r all , in the collectiv e conscienc e that cement s a nation, the Cham s we r e , consciousl y , the enem y to the south, thos e who pillage d the no r th, an d who , afte r Chines e occupatio n until the tenth centu r y , appea r e d a s the obstacl e to a n “ expansio n to the south ” (Na m T ien) that the no r th ’ s demographi c g r owt h r ende r ed inevitable . Subconsciousl y , the Cham s we r e als o a sou r c e o f guilt fo r the majorit y Kinh , havin g ir r eversibl y dest r oye d a loca l cultu r e tha t wa s ove r a thousan d year s old , r educin g a peopl e to assimilation . Roughl y 100,00 0 Cham s stil l liv e in V ietnam , liste d in the invento r y o f fifty-fou r minoritie s in the count r y , livin g mainly nea r Pha n Ran g an d Pha n Ri , o r nea r Cha u Doc , al l in the southern pa r t o f moder n V ietnam.
Th e r epossessio n o f Cha m cultu r e i s no w flourishing : th e ca r e give n t o ne w publications , th e valorisin g an d r estoratio n o f sites, an d th e e f ficien t a r chaeologica l digs , a r e al l indication s o f a national r ealisatio n an d o f a tru e wil l t o r eclai m Cha m heritag e which , toda y , i s incontestabl y V ietnamese.
Howeve r , i t woul d b e incor r ec t t o inscrib e Cha m a r t i n general an d Cha m sculptu r e i n pa r ticula r i n a n exclusivel y Franco- V ietnames e historica l r elationshi p o r i n a n isolate d national polic y . Cha m sculptu r e ha s lon g wo n ove r a n international audience . Ce r tainl y , th e firs t museum s t o exhibi t i t we r e founded i n V ietna m unde r F r enc h influence . I t i s essentiall y th e Ecole français e d’Ext r eme-Orien t (EFEO ) (F r enc h Schoo l o f th e Far East ) t o whic h th e missio n t o conse r v e histori c monument s in Indochin a wa s confer r ed , an d th e c r eatio n o f th e firs t museum s is due . Th e school ’ s building s firs t housed , a s earl y a s 189 9 in Saigon , a fe w stone s b r ough t bac k f r o m th e ruin s i n M y Son . Then a fe w sculptu r e s lef t fo r Hano i betwee n 190 0 an d 190 5 and , little b y little , th r oug h piece s gathe r e d fo r tuitousl y o r durin g o r ganised digs , tru e museu m collection s we r e constituted . Th e date s o f the actua l c r eatio n o f thes e museum s a r e earlie r bu t w e hav e chosen t o lis t he r e thei r definitiv e installation : th e Loui s Fino t Museum i n Hano i (inaugurate d i n 1933) , th e Henr i Parmentie r Museum (1936 ) i n T ourane-Danang , th e Kha i Din h Museu m i n Hue (1923) , th e Blancha r d d e l a B r oss e Museu m i n Saigo n (1929) . Bit b y bi t fo r eig n museum s foun d i t possibl e t o assembl e collections o f qualit y , fo r example , th e Clevelan d Museu m o f A r t , Cleveland, th e Met r opolita n Museu m i n Ne w Y or k an d B r ookly n i n th e USA, Museu m Rietbe r g i n Switzerland , Guime t i n Paris , an d Labi t in T oulouse.
4. V o-Canh Inscription , standing in f r ont of the V ietnam History Museum (Hanoi). (detail).
5. Cham a r cheological Thâp-Mam digs, 1933.
6. Portrait of Philippe Ste r n, 1953.


No t onl y epigraphists , a r chitects , a r chaeologists , an d translators bu t als o hobbyist s hav e p r ovide d knowledg e o f th e Cham civilisation , it s temple s and , i n pa r ticula r , it s sculptu r e . Belo w , category by categor y , these illustrious innovators a r e listed with a brie f ove r vie w o f thei r contributions.
Th e firs t g r ou p t o r ecal l i s tha t o f epigraphists : specialist s whose scienc e concern s th e stud y an d knowledg e o f inscriptions . Firstl y , it mus t b e note d th e followin g learne d me n al l contributed significantl y t o th e cur r en t understandin g o f thi s ancien t cultu r e. Howeve r , the r e a r e limitation s tha t thi s scienc e ha s i n the identificatio n an d datin g o f Cha m a r t:
August e Ba r t h (1834-1916) , traine d a s a n expe rt o n Indi a and w r ot e th e foundin g cha r te r o f th e FEE L i n 1901 ; Geo r ge s Maspe r o (1872-1942) , wa s a n administrato r i n Indochin a bu t i s often confuse d wit h hi s brillian t b r othe r , th e linguis t Henr i (1883- 1945) ; Loui s Fino t (1864-1935) , a r chivis t an d palaeographe r , Sanskri t expe r t , an d di r ecto r o f th e EFEO ; Pau l Pellio t (1878- 1945) ; Henr i Parmentie r (1871-1949) ; Geo r ge s Coede s (1886- 1969) , wh o publishe d hi s firs t a r ticl e o n epigraph y i n th e EFEO bulleti n a t th e ag e o f eightee n i n 1904 , an d wh o ha d pe r fect master y , i n additio n t o Cham , o f Sanskri t an d Khme r amon g other languages ; Pau l Mu s (1909-1960) , a n expe rt o n India , specialist o n th e sp r ea d o f Hinduis m th r oughou t Indi a an d South-Eas t Asia, an d wh o wa s inte r este d abov e al l i n th e natural , an d beneficial, conf r ontatio n o f Hind u an d indigenou s element s i n the elaboratio n o f th e Cha m r eligion.
Unfo r tunatel y , al l th e wor k o f collectin g an d translating inscription s i s o f littl e hel p i n th e stud y an d th e datin g o f Cham sculptu r es . I f the re a r e , toda y , abou t 23 0 o f ficiall y tallied inscription s f r o m th e fou r t h t o th e fifteent h centuries , i n Sanskrit, ancien t Cham , o r i n bot h languages , onl y abou t on e hund r e d of thes e inscription s hav e trul y bee n studied . Mainl y inscribe d on stelae , the y contai n informatio n concernin g boundarie s o r r eligious events , bu t a r e o f littl e us e i n datin g th e temples . Firstl y , stela e may hav e bee n move d f r o m on e templ e t o anothe r , and , secondl y , i t i s not alway s eas y t o kno w whethe r th e dat e o n th e stela e i s tha t o f the temple ’ s inauguratio n o r o f th e sta r t o f it s constructio n which , given th e lengt h o f tim e tha t buildin g coul d take , limit s th e p r ecisio n of possibl e dating.
A r chitec t Henr i Parmentie r , notabl y in thi s catego r y a s well , was a graduat e o f the Ecol e de s Beau x Art s in Pari s an d hi r e d b y the EFE O a t it s c r eation . Betwee n 190 2 an d 1908 , h e uncove r e d the mai n Cha m site s (though not all , a s i s to o ofte n believed), publishin g the r elate d finding s in hi s majesti c two-volum e book Descriptiv e Invento r y o f th e Cha m Monument s o f Anna m in 190 9 and 1918 .
7. Frieze of monkey s , Bas- r elief, Sandstone, length 64 cm , Thâp-Mam style, 1 1 th – 1 2 th Century (detail).


H e uncove r e d the monument s o f M y So n an d Don g Duon g in 190 2 an d 1903 , thos e o f P o Klaun g Gara i in 190 8 an d the P o Nagar in Nh a T ran g betwee n 190 6 an d 1909 . W e ow e the c r eation , in 1918 , o f the Cha m Museu m in D a Nan g (formerl y T ourane) to him; the museu m wa s give n hi s nam e afte r it s enla r gemen t in 1936. Jean- Y ve s Claey s (1896-1979) , wa s anothe r a r chitec t who graduate d f r o m the Ecol e de s Beaux-Art s in Pari s a s wel l a s the Ecole de s Art s Decoratif s in Nice . A n employe e o f the Publi c W orks administratio n in Indochina , h e becam e a membe r o f the EFE O in 1927 , then curato r o f the monument s o f Annam . H e dedicate d his wor k not onl y to Cha m a r chitectu r e but als o to a r chaeolog y , notabl y to uncoverin g the Thâp-Ma m sit e in 1934-3 5 afte r working on T r a Kie u in 1920.
Parmentie r an d Claey s no t onl y uncove r e d monument s burie d in vegetatio n bu t als o d r e w u p p r ecis e list s tha t catalogued , fo r the purpos e o f p r otection , statue s an d inscription s fo r th e museum s of th e EFE O an d carrie d ou t severa l dig s i n th e immediate sur r ounding s o f th e mai n monuments.
I t wa s commo n to amalgamat e the r esponsibilitie s o f the a r chaeologis t an d museu m curato r int o a singl e r ol e durin g th e first half of the twentieth century
Philipp e Ster n (1875-1979) , wa s th e di r ecto r o f th e Guimet Museu m i n Paris , an d cor r espondin g membe r o f th e EFE O a s of 1930 . Puttin g obse r vatio n befo r e theorisation , h e se t ou t a method o f datin g tha t becam e th e r efe r ence : H e “ based…hi s analyse s o n a rigo r ou s an d comparativ e stud y o f th e evolutio n o f specifi c motifs tha t decorate d a r catu r es , pilasters , friezes , smal l columns , pièces d’accen t an d othe r a r chitectura l elements. ”
I n 1936 , wit h hi s p r otég é Gilbe r t e d e Coral-Rémusat , i n th e course o f hi s singl e missio n t o Asia , h e visite d – i n additio n t o Cambodia , of cours e – th e mos t impo r tan t monument s o f Champa . Followin g his p r ovidentia l r e-datin g o f th e Bayo n i n Angko r , whic h h e made younge r b y takin g i t ou t o f th e nint h centu r y an d placin g i t i n the twelfth , agains t th e authorise d an d authoritaria n opinio n o f th e Finot- Parmentie r -Goloube w trio , h e p r oposed , firs t fo r Cha m a r chitectu r e an d the n fo r it s sculptu r e , datin g tha t c r eate d a soli d p r ecedent , even i f i t wa s t o b e subsequentl y complete d an d modified.
Jea n Boisselie r (1912-1996 ) too k u p th e tas k late r . Afte r his studie s a t th e Ecol e de s Beaux-Art s an d a t th e Ecol e d u Louv r e in Paris , h e joine d th e EFE O i n 1949 . Havin g bee n mad e scientific hea d a s o f 195 3 o f th e conse r vatio n wor k a t Angko r , thi s formidable erudit e analys t stimulate d r esea r c h fo r dozen s o f years , a s muc h for Thai or Cham a r t as for that of the Khme r . His work in the analysis, identificatio n an d datin g o f Cha m sculptu r e r emain s completely fundamental . Thi s i s tru e eve n i f th e maste r showe d a ce r tain r eticenc e a t th e en d o f hi s lif e towa r d ce r tai n discoverie s or r ediscoveries . Fo r example , h e denie d th e discoverie s a t A n M y in 1982 , despit e thei r impo r tanc e i n allowin g th e confirmatio n o f the existenc e o f a n earl y styl e o f sculptu r e.
The contemporary V ietnamese school has, in r ecent years, b r ough t a g r ea t dea l t o th e knowledg e o f a r t f r o m Champa . Ng o V an Doanh , T ra n K y Phuon g an d Pha m Thu y Ho p have , th r oug h their knowledg e o f th e field , thei r immediat e an d r enewe d acces s t o new a r chaeologica l discoveries , an d thei r familiarit y wit h V ietnamese sociolog y , als o contribute d t o th e r enaissanc e o f knowledg e o f Cham a r t . P o Dharm a an d Pier r e-Berna rd Lafont , i n France , also pa r ticipat e i n thi s p r ocess.
8. Frieze of monkey s , Bas- r elief, Sandstone, length 64 cm , Thâp-Mam style, 1 1 th – 1 2 th Centur y .


Finall y , the r e a r e thos e who , thoug h strictl y amateurs , collected mo r e tha n the y studied , an d we r e ofte n th e sou r c e o f g r ea t rivers o f knowledge . Charle s Lemi r e (1839-1912) , F r enc h r esiden t of Quan g Nam , compile d a collectio n betwee n 188 6 an d 1892 , which h e kep t i n th e “ Cha m Ga r den ” i n D a Nan g ( T ourane ) unti l 1891- 1892 . Camill e Paris , posta l agen t i n Indochin a first , the n colonist, Fathe r Cadiè r e an d Fathe r Durand , P r ospe r d’Odend’hal , and Docto r Albe rt Salle t al l e f ficientl y contribute d t o th e composition o f a collectio n i n th e Cha m museu m i n D a Nan g ( T ourane) , no t to fo r ge t Docto r Morice , wh o i s discusse d i n mo r e detai l late r . The V ietnames e collecto r V u Ki m Lo c f r o m H o Ch i Min h Cit y i s pa rt of th e p r oces s toda y . Hi s collection , patientl y assemble d an d mainly devote d t o Cha m metals , primaril y jewelle r y an d r eligious a r tefacts , i s describe d i n a ver y inte r estin g boo k (se e bibliography) writte n i n collaboratio n wit h th e eminen t V ietnamese a r chaeologis t L e Xua n Diem . Th e stud y o f Cha m a rt i n genera l and Cha m sculptu r e i n pa r ticula r need s suc h r enewe d initiative s to mak e headwa y .
Th e abov e piec e come s f r o m th e collectio n o f Docto r Claude- Albe r t Moric e (1845-1877 ) who , afte r graduatin g f r o m th e Milita r y Schoo l o f Healt h i n L yons , becam e a docto r i n th e F r enc h Nav y and spen t hi s firs t perio d i n V ietna m f r o m 187 2 t o 187 4 durin g which he devoted himself to his passion, natural histor y .
He collected nume r ous specimens and samples of the country ’ s fauna and flora and sent them to the Museum of Natural History in L yons; he also made the history and languages of V ietnam his passion.
Durin g hi s secon d sojourn , tha t wa s cu t sho r t b y hi s untimely death , h e wa s a docto r attache d t o th e consulat e i n Th i Na y nea r the cit y o f Qu i Nhon , a r egio n that wa s Cha m an d whe r e the a r chitectura l trace s o f ancien t Champ a we r e abundant . Morice becam e pa r ticularl y inte r este d i n th e statua r y o f wha t wa s th e hea r t o f th e ancien t kingdo m o f V ijaya , finall y conque r e d i n 147 1 under th e rul e o f L e Than h T on g b y th e V iet s durin g th e Na m T ie n (‘Ma r ch t o th e South’).
H e gathe r e d – in the spiri t o f the time s whic h sa w mo r e a scientifi c desi r e to assembl e element s o f documentatio n than to constitut e a true a r t collectio n – a g r oup o f statues . Som e we r e complete , other s b r oken , havin g decorate d the Cha m temple s and falle n f r o m their bric k structu r e s a s the y graduall y san k into the g r ound. Habituall y , thes e stone s we r e lef t untouched b y the V iets, wh o fea r e d the vengefu l spirit s o f Cha m gods.
N o on e kne w wha t ha d happene d t o Docto r Morice ’ s collection unti l Robe r t Stenuit , foundin g di r ecto r i n 197 0 o f GRAS P ( G r oupe d e r eche r ch e a r cheologiqu e sous-marin e post-medievale ) (Resea r ch g r ou p fo r submarin e post-Medieva l a r chaeology ) an d th e discove r e r , notabl y , i n 197 6 o f th e W itt e Leeu w (1) , learned , thank s to documenta ry r esea r ch , tha t a F r enc h Messagerie s Maritime s boat , the Mekon g , san k o n 1 7 Jun e 187 7 clos e t o th e coas t o f Somalia . The boa t ha d lef t Saigo n fo r Marseill e an d appa r entl y containe d Doctor Morice ’ s Cha m collection.
Th e Illustration , i n it s 2 1 Jul y 187 7 issue , r elate d th e tragic incident : th e sinkin g steamboa t wa s depicte d wit h sixty-six passenger s an d 18 0 o f ficer s an d c r e w r eaching , thank s t o longboats, wit h mo r e o r les s di f ficult y , th e sho r e tha t wa s luckil y clos e b y .
T o locat e wit h p r ecisio n th e plac e whe r e th e boa t ha d sunk, Stenuit , fo r th r e e lon g years , consulte d nume r ou s a r chives, notabl y thos e o f th e Messagerie s Maritime s an d th e former P r otectorat e o f Aden ; h e studie d manuscript s an d map s and decide d t o se t u p a n expeditio n t o r ecove r th e statues . H e was finance d b y tw o American s f r o m Pennsylvania , M r . Edwa r d s and hi s son.
O n 9 Octobe r 199 5 a boa t sailin g f r o m Djibout i r eache d the site no r th o f Somalia . O f course , the c r e w kne w that the shipmen t had bee n pillage d a t the tim e o f the w r ec k b y the Somalian s in exchange fo r sparin g the live s o f the su r vivor s an d camel s to carr y the m to the no r th coast . Howeve r , Stenui t wa s practicall y su r e that the Cha m ston e pieces , du e to their weigh t an d their minima l inte r est fo r loca l inhabitants , ha d r emaine d in the sunken ship . Fo r the submarin e a r chaeologists , the p r oble m appea r e d simpl e to r esolve: he r e wa s a sunken shi p whos e structu r e cor r espond s to that o f the Mekon g an d it s orientatio n on the se a floo r a s describe d in the Illustratio n (stern to the south, p r o w to the no r th). Th e sea r ch, carrie d out wit h the hel p o f a magnetomete r place d in a longboat christene d Docteu r Moric e in homag e to the F r enchman , r esulte d in the identificatio n o f a w r ec k amon g eigh t potentia l ships , the a r ea bein g somewha t o f a marin e graveya r d . Th e inscriptio n Messageries imperial s (Imperia l T ranspo r t) on plate s b r ough t up to the su r face confirme d the successfu l identification . I n thi s wa y , statu e after statue , eightee n piece s in all , we r e b r ough t up. Howeve r , Robe r t Stenui t wa s dissatisfied ; the numbe r wa s insu f ficient , a s hi s initial estimatio n base d on hi s knowledg e o f the lis t o f piece s expedited fo r esa w a t leas t ten other pieces . I n fact , bette r exploitatio n of a r chive s allowe d him , upon hi s r eturn to France , to lear n that a first shipment , sen t befo r e the shipw r eck , ha d r eache d Marseill e and then L yons . Afte r som e di f ficultie s an d thanks to a n astonishing intuition, Stenui t locate d the ten missin g statue s a t the Museu m of Natura l Histo r y in L yons , whe r e the y ha d joine d the zoologica l and botanica l sample s sen t bac k to hi s hom e tow n year s earlie r b y the docto r f r o m L yon.
T o quot e a lovel y r emar k o f Stenuit ’ s , thes e piece s h e found stacke d i n a hallwa y a t th e museum , ha d bee n “ burie d rathe r than swallowe d b y sea ” . A plai n labe l mentione d fo r on e o f them : “ Head o f monste r . Sandstone . Origi n unknown . Cha m a r t , 13 t h – 14 th centuries . Receive d i n 1933 . MG L 2415 ” .
Th e piece s collecte d durin g Robe r t Stenuit ’ s expedition, includin g these , we r e separate d i n a sal e a t Christie ’ s i n Amste r dam (2) . Th e catalogu e list s fou r tee n number s fo r thi r tee n complete piece s an d seve n fragments.
Th e twofol d inte r es t o f Stenuit ’ s sea r c h is , first , i t facilitated datin g ce r tai n Cha m piece s mo r e p r ecisel y (3) and , second , it challenge d ce r tai n commonl y accepte d pedig r ee s a s a r esul t o f its other lesson . Steinuit ’ s “ expedition ” show s that the sea r c h fo r the origin s o f piece s i s alway s trick y , pa r ticularl y concernin g Cha m a r t; the Natura l Histo r y Museu m labe l bear s witness : date d 1933 , the arriva l o f the piec e wa s muc h earlie r (1877) . Luckil y , ce r tai n public document s permitte d the truth to b e established . Wha t woul d it hav e mean t i f the fact s ha d bee n lef t to fault y individua l memories, addin g confusio n a s generation s wen t b y , betwee n Khme r and Cha m o r India n a r t, al l see n under the banne r o f a n abusively generi c “ Fa r East ” ?
(1) Th e W itt e Leeu w ( “ Whit e Lion ” ) , r eturnin g f r o m th e Dutch Eas t Indies , wa s sen t t o th e botto m b y tw o Po r tuguese caraque s o n 2 Jun e 1613 , o f f th e coas t o f today ’ s Jamestown (Sain t Helena).
(2) Indian , Himalaya n an d Southeas t Asia n Art , Christie ’ s Amste r dam , 3 1 Octobe r 2000 , pp.96-103.
(3) Fo r example , No . 19 7 i n th e catalogu e o f Christie ’ s sale databl e f r o m th e Thâp-Ma m style , 12 th centur y , allow s a happ y compariso n wit h No . 17 5 r ep r oduce d i n L e muse e de sculptu r e Ca m d e D à Nan g (Th e D a Nan g Museu m o f Cham Sculptu r e ) (Edition s d e l’A F AO , Pari s 1997 , p. 168 ) . The compariso n o f th e tw o head s o f Kala , th e firs t suppo r tin g a divinit y , th e secon d alone , r emove s al l doub t concernin g the piec e i n th e D a Nan g Museum , ver y p r obabl y foun d i n T ra Kie u an d pu t i n th e museu m i n 1918 . I f stylisti c di f fe r ences r emain , th e overal l econom y commo n t o th e tw o piece s and th e ver y sligh t p r obabilit y o f fo r gerie s a t Morice ’ s time , a r e s o man y a r gument s i n favou r o f th e authenticit y o f th e Da Nan g piece.
9. And r e Mai r e (1898-1984), The T ra-Kieu Buddha , 1956. Cha r coal and chalk on pape r , 65 cm x 50 cm , Signed and dated at bottom left.

T wo years befo r e his final r etu r n to France, the F r ench artist, who was a teacher at the School of A r chitectu r e of Dalat at the time, went on with his work based on an imaginative and poetic r einterp r etation of r ealit y . He r e, a Cham elephant f r o m th e 1 0 th Centur y , p r obably drawn at the museum in T ourane, is inca r nated in a temple, itself inhabited by a large Buddha (seen f r om the back), possibly a r eminiscence of Dong Duong...
10. The Cham T emple of Po Klaung Garai , c . 1920.
The History of Champa


11. Collection in the main room of the Cham Museum in T ouran e , 1922.


Someon e visitin g V ietna m toda y , explorin g Pha n Thiet , Phan R i an d Pha n Ran g o r eve n Cha u Doc , comin g ac r os s people wh o a r e sometime s curiousl y d r essed , woul d fin d it di f ficul t t o believ e tha t the y , th e Chams , occupie d practicall y two thi r ds – in length – of modern V ietnam. In the tenth centur y , the Khme r Empi r e an d Champ a we r e th e mai n power s o f continental South-eas t Asia , while , t o th e no r th , Da i V ie t wa s nothin g bu t a ve r y young kingdom after having been a p r ovince of the Chinese Empi r e fo r ove r a thousan d years.
Ou r sou r ce s fo r knowledg e o f th e histo ry o f Champ a a r e both textua l an d a r chaeological.
Fo r one , the r e a r e Chines e an d V ietnames e text s (th e Annals), th e account s o f traveller s (f r o m Chines e an d Ara b t o Occidental missionarie s an d Ma r c o Polo) , Cha m manuscript s (notabl y those kept at the Inventory of A r chives at the Asiatic Society of Paris), epigraph y (abou t 21 0 inscribe d stone s – writte n betwee n th e fou r th an d fifteent h centurie s a t time s i n Sanskrit , a t time s i n ol d Cham, sometime s i n bot h language s – hav e bee n r eco r ded) . Man y o f them a r e stil l waitin g t o b e translated , a complicate d task , a s i t r equi r e s a r eal knowledge of the general history of the country that pu r e linguist s d o no t have.
The r e a r e als o a r chaeologica l vestiges , th e origina l Cha m towers, f r o m Ho a La i t o Chie n Dan , f r o m M y So n t o P o Klaun g Gara i an d so man y others , stil l wit h u s despit e th e ravage s o f tim e an d th e terrible destructio n du e principall y t o th e secon d V ietna m wa r .
The n on e coul d ad d t o thes e sou r ce s th e memor y o f the V ietnames e Chams , eight y thousan d i n th e p r ovince s o f Binh Thua n an d Nin h Thua n i n centra l V ietnam , fiftee n thousan d i n Ho Ch i Min h Cit y (Saigon ) an d Cha u Do c (A n Gian g p r ovince ) close t o th e Cambodia n bo r de r , a s wel l a s thei r hund r e d an d fifty thousan d “ fello w citizens ” i n Cambodi a wh o su r vive d th e barbaric Khme r Rouge . Th e Cham s o f centra l V ietna m a r e o f Brahmanical heritag e (Ahirs , o r Kaphi a o r Chuh , Chams) , th e other s follo w a pa r ticula r Musli m cul t (Ban i Chams) . T o thes e tw o g r oup s mus t be adde d th e th r e e hund r e d thousan d inhabitant s o f th e High Plateau s wh o belon g t o th e Aust r o-Asia n languag e g r oup (Mnongs , Naa s an d Stiengs ) o r th e Aust r onesia n languag e g r oup (Jarais , Rhades , Churus , Ra-glais ) wh o pa r ticipate d wholl y in Champa ’ s histor y , th e inhabitant s o f th e plain s – thos e calle d the Cham s – evidentl y no t havin g bee n th e onl y inhabitant s o f the Cha m countr y .
Champa appears in Chinese texts as of the second centur y . It sp r ea d ove r territorie s tha t st r etche d f r o m no r t h t o south , f r o m the Gat e o f Anna m (Hoan h So’n ) practicall y t o H o Ch i Min h City (Baigau r i n Cham ) betwee n th e eight h an d tent h centuries , an d it r eache d wes t a s fa r a s th e Mekong , a s witnesse d b y th e Khme r site i n Laos , V a t Phu , th e stel e o f V a t Luan g Ka u o r th e Prasa t Dam r ei Kra p o f Moun t Kule n i n Cambodia , o r th e expeditio n le d by Douda r t d e Lagré e that , goin g th r oug h Bassa c i n 188 3 note d tha t the people s the r e stil l r emembe r e d th e Chams.
I f writte n p r oo f o f th e earl y p r esenc e o f Cham s o n th e High Plateau s we r e needed , on e coul d r efe r t o th e inscription s o f the Ko n Klo r templ e i n th e valle y o f Bl a nea r Kontu m tha t hav e been date d t o 914 , tha t mentio n th e constructio n b y a loca l chie f b y the nam e o f Mahindravarma n o f a sanctuar y dedicate d t o th e god Mahindra-Lokesvara , o r t o othe r inscription s suc h a s thos e o f the Y an g P r on g templ e (lat e thi r teenth-earl y fou r teent h centuries) , or t o th e templ e o f Y an g Mu m (lat e fou r teenth-earl y fifteenth centuries)…
Th e histor y o f th e Champa , it s beginning s r emaining incompletel y understood , i s mad e o f victorie s an d defeat s bu t also o f a n inexorabl e destin y that , o f a brillian t an d comple x civilisation, lef t onl y crumblin g temple s – structu r e s o f g r ea t originalit y tha t a r e di f ficul t t o app r ehen d – an d a decimate d an d disperse d people . The Chines e Annal s r epo r t a n uprisin g i n 19 2 A D o f peopl e livin g south o f th e Chines e comman d pos t i n Rena n (Nha t Na m i n V ietnamese), today ’ s Hue , wh o founde d a stat e calle d Li n Y i tha t bega n by enla r gin g towa r d th e no r t h t o th e Gat e o f Anna m an d later encompasse d Hind u principalitie s towa r d th e south . F r o m 19 2 to 75 8 th e text s alway s use d th e ter m Li n Y i ; onl y i n 75 8 di d th e name “ Hua n W ang ” com e int o use . I n 875 , th e entit y wa s designate d as “ Chie m Thanh ” , th e Sino- V ietnames e transcriptio n o f Champapura o r “ Cit y o f th e Chams ” .
12. Dancer , High- r elief, Sandstone, Height 84 cm , Thâp-Mam style, 12 th – 1 3 th Centur y .


Epigraph y o f fer s tw o inscription s i n Sanskrit , on e date d t o 658 tha t wa s foun d i n centra l V ietna m i n Quan g Na m (C96 , stele foun d nea r M y So n E6) , th e othe r date d t o 66 8 tha t wa s foun d in Cambodi a (th e Kde i An g inscription) , tha t us e th e term “ Champa ” fo r th e firs t time . A descriptio n o f primitiv e Li n Y i , its r eligion , it s languag e o r languages , it s inhabitant s – thi s all r emain s unde r stud y .
What is better known is the history of the country f r om the eight h centu ry to , o n on e hand , th e en d o f Hind u Champ a i n 1471 whe n V ijay a fell , and , o n th e othe r hand , th e perio d f r o m 147 1 to 1832 : a slo w ir r egula r declin e that , f r o m th e los s o f Kauthar a t o the annihilatio n o f Panduranga , le d t o th e historicall y exac t conclusion tha t Champa , a s a state , n o longe r existed . F r o m 183 2 on , i t was thu s pa r t o f th e conquering , structu r ed , V ietnames e nation, inscribe d i n f r ontier s tha t ba r el y change d unti l ou r time s wit h the integratio n o f th e Mekon g delta.
I n the eight h centur y , then, Champ a st r etche d f r o m the Gat e of Anna m in the no r th to the Donna i basi n in the south. P r obably o r ganise d a s a confederat e state , i t wa s divide d into wha t see m to b e principalities , consistin g o f alluvia l plain s sco r e d b y mountain chain s plungin g int o th e sea , called , f r o m no r t h t o south, Indrapura , Amaravati , V ijaya , Kauthar a an d Panduranga . The histor y o f Champ a i s not onl y that o f the V iet-Cha m couple : The count r y ha d r elation s wit h Chin a o f whic h i t wa s a vassal , to which i t pai d a tribute an d to whic h i t sen t ambassadors ; wit h Cambodia, whic h rapidl y (a s o f the ninth century ) becam e warlik e a s the y did wit h the Mala y world , principall y Java , o r wit h the Da i V iet . All thes e r elation s we r e multiple : bellige r ent , comme r cia l but also matrimonia l and , abov e all , unstable . F r o m the eight h to the fifteent h centuries , Cha m civilisatio n wa s mainl y Hind u (without fo r gettin g Buddhis m – essentiall y in sculptu r e – f r o m the en d of the ninth an d the beginnin g o f the tenth centuries) , whic h i s to say that i t bor r owe d f r o m Indi a it s cults , principall y that o f Shiva , its language , Sanskrit , it s socia l structu r e (fou r classes ) an d its concep t o f r oyalt y . A n aristocrati c elit e guarantee d the political, economi c an d socia l systems . A s fo r the population , i t was compose d o f farmers , pioneer s in aquati c ric e cultivatio n (the variet y o f ric e wit h a sho r t g r owt h cycl e – 10 0 day s – that wa s born in Champ a acte d a s a n impo r tant facto r in agricultura l p r og r ess onc e int r oduce d to southern Chin a in the thi r teenth century); me r chant s wh o expo r te d sandalwood , cinnamon , r hinoce r os horns, elephan t tusks ; cerami c a r tisans , specialist s in glazing especiall y f r o m the twelft h to the fifteent h centurie s a s witnessed b y the p r oduction s o f G o San h whos e sit e i s nea r A n Nhon , but als o sailor s who , f r o m the tw o g r ea t po r t s T a i Chie m (Ho i An r egion ) an d Tha i Na i (in Bin h Dinh ) trade d o r pirate d them dependin g on the perio d an d the demand…
I t goe s withou t sayin g tha t thi s socia l framewor k was continuousl y weakene d f r o m to p t o botto m b y th e various o f fensiv e o r defensiv e combat s that the Cham s ha d to wage . The firs t we r e agains t the Chines e wh o trie d severa l time s to enla r ge their empi r e towa r d the south f r o m conque r e d Anna m ( “ the pacifie d south ” wa s the highl y condescendin g Chines e nam e for the V ietna m o f thos e times ) an d who , to d o this , unde r too k battles that we r e ofte n victorious . Fo r example , w e kno w that abou t 446, T r a Kieu , the Cha m capital , wa s devastate d b y the Chines e general T a n Hezh i wh o pillage d statue s o f gol d wo r th a tota l o f 100,000 tael s o f pu r e gold , o r abou t 3. 6 ton s o f metal … Th e secon d we r e agains t the Javanes e wh o dest r oye d the P o Naga r templ e in Nha T ran g in 77 4 an d anothe r templ e nea r V ir a Pur a (the “ he r oi c city ” ), meanin g p r obabl y nea r Pha n Ran g in the south in 787 . Bu t what we r e onl y attempt s became , a s o f the tenth centu r y du e to the unendurabl e populatio n inc r eas e o f the no r th, a slo w but steady devastatin g southerl y push, whic h culminate d in the annihilation o f Hind u Champ a a s witnesse d b y the destructio n o f V ijay a b y the Da i V ie t in 1471.
13. Brahman , High- r elief, Sandstone, Height 72 cm , My Son E1 style, 7 th – 8 th Centur y .

A Brahman is a member of the highest of the four classes ( “ va r na ” , meaning “ colour ” in Sanskrit) of Brahmanical India. Priests r esponsible for sacrifices a r e chosen f r om this class. Granted nume r ous privileges, they devoted themselves to the study of the V edas and other sac r ed texts as well as to r eligious ce r emonies. This sculptu r e is one of the elements of a pedestal that, given the size of the blocks, must have been the support for either a monumental linga (such as the one in the cent r e of the My Son E1 temple) or a no less monumental divinit y . The niche occupied by the Brahman has a th r eshold decorated with a r osette and garlands. Notice the wide, lowe r ed a r catu r e topped by a r osette and completed by mouldings. The Brahman is in anjali and wearing a sampot that hangs very low (almost to his ankles) and held by two belts. The mukhuta is shaped like a hood with a diadem bearing th r ee large r osettes. The long ears a r e enhanced with jeweller y .
14. Map of Champa indicating archeological sites.

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