The Cham Brahmanical and Buddhist Sites in Vietnam Central Highland: Considering the Economic and Cultural Links Between the Inlands and Coasts in the Peninsular Indochina During the Medieval Period

Vietnam Association for Archaeologists, Vietnam

Archaeological sites possessing sacred architecture and sculpture related to the Khmer and Cham cultures are found along major river courses, and following the trading networks across peninsular Indochina from northeast Thailand, southern Laos and Cambodia, and from the highlands to the coast of central Vietnam. Not only were commodities exchanged, but also religious practices and art concepts between the minor states located in this large region, along the east-west cultural corridor of Mainland Southeast Asia. Although the main beliefs of the native, ungoverned societies such as the Jarai, Ede, Bahnar were animism, Brahmanical and Buddhist sites were constructed bearing Champa and Khmer symbolism. This suggests complex ideologies between local communities and the broader geographic region. In this presentation I discuss the complex and diverse socio-cultural and ideological relationships that potentially existed between local societies and the Khmer and Champa kingdoms during the early historic periods.