Update: 2016-08-19 04:29 AM -0400

TIL

Grammatical notes & vocabulary
of the Peguan language to which are added a few pages of phrases, etc., 1874

has-intro.htm

-- by U Kyaw Tun (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, Yangon, MYANMAR. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

From:
1.  Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language, to which are added a few pages of phrases, etc., by Haswell, J.M., ABM Press (American Baptist Mission Press), Rangoon, 1874
- MonMyan-Haswell-gramm-notes-vocab<> (link chk 151013)
I can now check the downloaded text with text in my ink-on-paper book I bought in Canada on 130113 - Can$ 17.75.

index.htm | Top
  MonMyan-indx.htm / MV1874-indx.htm 

Contents of this page

CAUTION: I am learning the language without a human guide on hand, and you should not take my observations as wholly correct. I haven't found a suitable Mon-Myan speak-writer to join my research group in Yangon. -- UKT 130403, 151004

Introduction - Haswell
  Haswell's opinion of origin of Mon
  Religion 
  Doctors 
  Disposal of the dead
  Education
  Language
  Names of places

UKT 151024: Rev. Haswell just touches many aspects of the Mon culture. I wonder if there have been any major European work on the Mon culture comparable to the one on Burmese culture:
The Burman, his Life and Notions by Shwayyoe, Subject of the Great Queen [Victoria] , First ed. 1882, Macmillan and Co., 1896, 603 pp (615 pdf pages), in TIL SD-Library
- BurmanShweYo<> / bkp<> (link chk 160819)

Contents of this page

UKT notes :
Boat trip to Taungoo
Funeral of a high Mon monk

Contents of this page

Introduction

-- UKT 130317

With this little note I pay my respect to one of my mother's distant uncles who called himself "Mon Htaw" 'the Golden Mon'. He was Saya U Shwe Mhan, ATM, boarding master of St. Johns High School in Rangoon which was known at that time as "Saya MhatKyi kyaung" after Dr. Mark. My mother used to tell me how proud he was to be a pure Mon, probably chiding my mother for having Chinese blood. U Shwe Mhan passed away at the end of the Second World War in Thaton. I remember him very well from his photograph, which my mother hung at a place of honour in our family home until my mother, herself, passed away after which we sold the house. -- UKT 130317

To avoid getting mired in the controversy of the names Myanmar vs. Burma, we will call the present political unit as Myanmarpr which stands for the country where many ethnically different peoples live. The akshara used by the majority of the people, is the Myanmar akshara. The Bamas (Burmese), the Karens, the Mons, and the Shans, etc. who speak different languages (of different linguistic groups), and the Arakanese, the Danhu, the Inthas, the Tavoyans, etc. who speak different dialects (which may be called Burmese), all use the circularly rounded glyphs -- the Myanmar akshara.

Historically, the Mons were said to be responsible for the final destruction of the Pyu {pyu} state-kingdom of central Myanmarpr. However, this account is disputed, based on their history, by the present-day Mons, even by those who could neither speak nor read their own language-script. According to a newspaper report -- Mizzima News, 2012, Nov 30, Fri. -- an essay reading to be held in Yangon on the history of the Pyu Kingdom, had to be cancelled after objections from the ethnic Mon community.

My great-grandmother, Daw MMa, from MaYan village, Ancient Dala (who would have spoken the dialect of Pegu) was pure Mon. I am ashamed to claim myself as a Mon descendant because of my ignorance of the language and script! With my present effort of learning Mon-Myan, I hope to bring my Bur-Myan and Mon-Myan ancestors to peace and harmony among themselves and live in perfect harmony within this humble heart of mine. -- UKT130317

From: Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language - J. M. Haswell, Rangoon, 1874 . pdf 191 pages. See downloaded:
- Haswell-gramm-notes-vocab<> (link chk 151004) 

(roman03)/pdf 010
Preparatory Note: Both the Grammatical Notes and the Vocabulary would have been more extended, but the author, who has had the palsy for eight years, and for a long time has been unable to hold a pen, or turn over a leaf of a book, has for months been afflicted with such extreme nervous prostration, as to render mental effort almost impossible; and it has been with great difficulty that he has superintended the correction of the proofs.

UKT: the following page is blank.

Contents of this page

(roman05begin)/pdf 012
The Pe-gu-ans, so named from their old capital Pegu {p:hku:}, called by themselves Mon {mwun} , by the Burmans Talaings {ta.laing}, were the ruling nation in southern Burmah when first visited by Europeans. They seem at one time to have been divided into several petty kingdoms, as the Martaban {moat~ta.ma.}, Thatoong {a.hton}, Pegu {p:hku:}, etc. There were continued feuds among themselves as well as frequent wars with the Siamese {yo:da.ya:} on the one hand, and with the Burmans {ba.ma} on the other.

UKT 130328: Constant warfare seemed to be the lot of ordinary Mon village folks. They were ready to flee into the nearby jungle, or reed-bushes in a instant whenever they heard the incessant sounding of alarm drums made of hollow wood logs or bamboo. In my childhood days, I have seen them hanging  at the village monastery and headman house. These were known as {ka.la:tak}.

I have seen WWII passing through Myanmarpr twice -- once when the Japanese chased the British out, and the second time when the British chased out the Japanese. Each time for a few days, without law and order, it was free for all -- killing and looting. I have never heard of raping -- it is below our national dignity. Old scores were settled. It was man-against-man. Women and children were usually unharmed.

The ordinary folks, always have ready some sun-dried cooked rice in a bamboo-container {wa:ky-htauk} which could be eaten by soaking in cold water, and a packet of salt. These were necessities of life. The village folks were ready to hide -- neighbours shunned families with young children who might cry aloud and give them away.

My mother recalled her grandmother and grand aunts telling of times when they had to hide. Personally, my father and I had to hide for a few days at the end of WWII in 1945 and I know what it means to hide. It is not fighting that is frightening -- it is the settling of old scores, and atrocities carried out by what we call {tau:kraung} 'jungle-cats meaning bad hats'.

(roman05cont)/pdf012
From whence did they originally come ? is a question I [Haswell] am unable to answer. On one occasion in questioning an old Peguan on the subject, he said he could obtain a history for me that would tell all about it. [UKT ]

He accordingly brought me an old palm leaf book which proved to be legends of a tour of Gaudama [Buddha] from Ceylon to Malacca, and thence through Tenasserim {ta.nn~a-ri} and Martaban {moat~ta.ma.}, to Pegu {p:hku:} or Hong-tha-wa-dee {hn-a-wa.ti} which is said, at that time, to have been covered with the waters of the ocean; but Gaudama prophesied, that it would become solid land, and that on a sand bank on which he alighted with 20,000 rahans who accompanied him, there should be a great city built, the kings of which for many generations would be zealous promoters of his religion. [UKT ]

It is said that Gaudama, after leaving Malacca, having stopped at two or three places, proceeded direct to Tavoy {hta:w} which at that time was the border of the Man (Peguan) {mwun}-country. [UKT ]

The book is abundantly interspersed with Pali ; but consists in great part of statements that Gaudama, passing through the air from one place to another, (names of places generally not given) having preached to those by whom he was met, would at their request for some memento or relic of him, pass his hand over his head, and give them one or more hairs which they would hasten to enshrine in some pagoda or (roman05end-roman06begin) cave. [UKT ]

There are a few pages in the book which may, with some propriety, be called history. The names are given of fifty-seven kings of Thatone {a.hton} of one dynasty, and five of another sixty-two in all. But little is said concerning any of them, except that they were owners of white elephants, or of horses that could pass through the air.

The names of the queens are also given, but there is nothing to throw light upon the question, from whence did the Peguans come.

Dr. Mason thinks they came from India, and that they are allied to the Kohls. He gives as his reason, the similarity of language, and the dark complexion of the Peguans.

See Wikipedia for
Kohl -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kol_people 130328, 140530
"The Kol people is a generic name for the Munda, Ho, and Oraon tri [Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Bangladesh, and Nepal."
Munda languages --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munda_languages 140530
" a branch of the Austroasiatic language family, which means they are distantly related to Vietnamese and Khmer (Cambodian). The origins of the Munda languages are not known,"

(roman06cont)/pdf013
I sent a list of over sixty Peguan words to missionaries among the Kohls, requesting them to examine it, and give me the corresponding words in Kohl. The Rev. Mr. Flex, of Ranshie kindly complied with my request by sending me the synonomous words of three dialects which prevail among the Kohls. The first three numerals, and the word for nose have a slight similarity to the Peguan ; but there are few languages that do not have some words of similar sound, and meaning. For instance the English word cot , for a small bedstead, is almost precisely the same in Peguan. [UKT ]

<cot> /kɒt/ (US) /kɑːt/ - DJPD16-124
cot n. , a bedstead -  Ste-C.htm

A few years since Dr. Dean from China was at my house, and hearing me ask a Peguan if he had eaten rice, (cheer ppong toey ra ha) Dr. Dean said, "cheer poong, that in Chinese means eat rice." I think this quite as strong proof, that the Peguans are related to the Chinese, as a slight similarity in the three numerals and one word out of sixty is, that they are related to the Kohls. The frequent occurrence of the final <ng> in Chinese Yuicl Peguan might also be thought an indication of relationship.

Another reason Dr. Mason gives, for thinking the Peguans are of Hindoo origin, is, that they are darker complexioned than the other inhabitants of Burmah. I think Dr. M. must have been so strongly impressed by his head boat man on his first journey to Toungoo {taung-gnu} as to (roman06end-roman07begin) think him a type of his nation. But his broad nose, wide nostrils, and high cheek bones ought to have saved him from any imputation of Hindoo origin. [UKT ]

UKT: You might be intrigued by an account of a boat trip from Rangoon to Taungoo taken by Dr. Mason. Read in my note on such a trip - Boat trip to Taungoo

The fact is, the Peguans, as a people, are quite as light complexioned as the Burmans. There are comparatively few full blooded Burmans in Maulmain  {mau-la.mren}. The great proportion of natives being full or half blooded Peguans. A gentleman resident in Rangoon told me, if he saw an uncommonly nice looking native woman, he was pretty sure on inquiry to find that she was from Maulmain. A gentleman and lady from Henthada on a visit to Maulnain, spoke of the fair complexion of the people.

When I had been in the country one or two years, I thought I could tell a Peguan by his looks ; but I found myself so often mistaken, that after more than 38 years residence among them, I have to acknowledge myself utterly unable to decide with reference to a stranger, simply by his looks, whether he be Peguan or Burman.

There are undoubtedly in the Pegu province many Peguans, who having entirely lost the use of" their own language, pass for Burmans and this probably increases the difficulty of distinguishing the two nations by their looks. Still it remains certain that they are very much alike in features and color, both of which are entirely against the theory of their Hindoo origin.

Contents of this page

Haswell's opinion of the origin of the Mons

UKT 140530: Below, Haswell gives his opinion that "the Peguans originally came from the east or north east, rather than from the west."

(roman07cont)/pdf014
My own opinion is, that the Peguans originally came from the east or north east, rather than from the west. The Rev. Mr. Carpenter, who went overland from Maulmain to Bankok two or three years since, met a large company of people fleeing from Siamese territory who called themselves k'wahs. [UKT ]

UKT 140531: Even if "people fleeing from Siamese (former name of Thai) who called themselves k'wahs" had been Mons (or Talings as referred below), it does not prove that Mons originated in the "east". Mons have been living not only in southern Myanmarpr, but also in southern Thailand for centuries.

A Karen, conversant with Peguan, who was of Mr. C's company, said, they are Talings!" Ill health has prevented me from visiting these people, (who have settled in British territory) to endeavour to learn something more about them.

From whatever part of the world the Peguans came, I think their words for north and south, s'maw-kia, under the wind or low wind for north, and Sm'loongkia, high wind , (roman07end-roman08begin) for south, may be taken as an evidence that they have long lived where the S. West and N. East moonsons prevail. [UKT ]

s'maw-kia , under the wind or low wind   for north, and
sm'loongkia, high wind ,

  - n. the wind - Haswell - con-ka1.htm

It is true, that they are now accustomed to say, kia taut, strong wind, kia don a soft or weak wind, instead of high and low wind, still, I think the origin was as above suggested. Their word for east, is p'mok to appear or cause to appear. Their word for west, is p'lat, to extinguish, haying reference of course, to the rising and setting sun.

Contents of this page

Religion

-- Haswell

( roman08cont)/pdf015
The Peguans like the Burmans are Buddhists. The Buddhist scriptures are said to have been translated into Peguan before they were into Burman. They have one book called the "Moola moolee" which the Burmans have not. It professes to give an account of things from the very beginning, before there was a god or any living being.

 UKT 130331, 151023: The early Christians (American Baptists) were more concerned with "god" and "demon" than the Anglicans (Church of England). They usually referred to the tutelary gods {ro:ra nt} as "demons".

Roman Catholics (Church of Rome) believe in Exorcism - expelling a demon from a sick person.
See Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcism_in_the_Catholic_Church 151023

The Christians, whether out of real religious belief, or out of commercial interest, did try to destroy the old beliefs of foreign countries and then took over the country militarily. Read what they did to the Kingdom of Hawaii in the closing years of the 19th century, the same time the British colonists were making the final assault on the Myanmarpr and the natives.

"The Kingdom of Hawaii was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American (and some European) businessmen. It was an independent republic from 1894 until 1898, when it was annexed by the United States as a territory, becoming a state in  1959." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii 130331

The Peguans are much more addicted to demon {nt} [equivalent to Roman Ma'nes] worship than the Burmans. If a person is taken suddenly ill, they at once make inquiry as to where he has been; and offerings of rice, plantains, etc are deposited near the places, especially, if he have been in the jungle, hoping to propitiate the demon {nt} he may have, unwittingly, offended. They build small houses near their own dwellings in which they place offerings to demons. [UKT ]

UKT 151024: {nt} worship is also prevalent among Thais in Thailand. On 140531, I saw a video of offering at the family's {nt} shrine in the home compound :
http://americanexpatchiangmai.com/spirit-house-blessings-thailand/ 140531
I saw how a banana-stem tray is made for offerings to the lower spirits near a crematorium. Unfortunately, I can no longer see the video today.

Soon after I came into the country, being in a village which had one of these little demon houses near almost every dwelling, supposing they were children's play houses, I looked into one to see what kind of toys the children were accustomed to amuse themselves with; the people who saw me came running, begging me not to go in, as the demon would be angry, and visit the family with sickness. [UKT ]

When a person has been long ill, they sometimes make feasts in which the women of the family dress fantastically, and dance one after another, until the demon who caused the illness is supposed to take possession of one of them, when she begins to shake like a person in an (roman08end-roman09begin) ague fit; and whatever she says, while in that state, is considered oracular, and any directions she may give with regard to food, or medicine, or offerings are strictly followed. [UKT ]

UKT 151023: Prophesy, whether it be made by the prophets in the Bible, or by those who professed to be possessed by a {nt} are of the same kind. When someone says he or she has been told by "God", the person did not hear the sound waves that came from the mouth of the god or "demon". He or she "hears" the "voice" during sleep, or during a trance. As a child going to an Anglican Christian school, I did believe in such "tales" without going into the physical process of "hearing".

It is pathetic to read what Rev. Haswell has written about mediums talking to Nats. Being a Christian preacher, he would have faith in the Christian Bible, where there are only three who had actually heard God spoke: Abraham, Job, and Moses. May be there are more but not many. So when the Reverend heard a faithful saying that Nat or God had spoken to him or her, he should have avoided writing mockingly of what others believe!

I once saw a woman dancing at a festival of this kind dressed in an English frock coat, and high crowned hat on her head. The sick often make vows that if they recover they will make a demon festival {nt ka.na:}. There are people among them who are supposed to understand the mind of the demons, or to have influence with them. Such persons are consulted by the friends of the sick. [UKT ]

Passing through the village of Amherst I saw a crowd of people gathered in front of a house the owner of which had long been ill. [UKT ]

UKT 130331: "The village of Amherst" was {kyaik hka.mi}, which was renamed "Amherst" after the British Governor of Bengal (India), William Amherst, who invaded Myanmarpr in the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824. His troops were those of the East India Company, made up largely of Indian soldiers officered by the British. The infamous British East India Company, under the pretence of trade, was an agent of colonialism. The governor was the grand-nephew of Lord Amherst who was supposed to have made a gift of "small-pox infected" blankets to the natives of North America, and afterwards defeating them. For such service he was made a Baron, and his grandnephew the Governor of Bengal. After annexing Arakan and Tenessarim regions at the end of the Anglo-Burmese War, a native flower of Burma was renamed Amherstia after the governor's wife.  See:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffery_Amherst,_1st_Baron_Amherst 130331
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Amherst,_1st_Earl_Amherst 130331
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amherstia 130331
Obviously unknown to the British, the name of the tree, {au-ka.kri:}, in Bur-Myan can mean "the tree of sorrow".

(roman09cont)/pdf016
I stopped to see what was going on, and saw a man kneeling with his clasped hands to his forehead. He was surrounded with plantains, sugar cane, cocoanuts, &c. Just as I arrived within hearing, he said, "Oh demon; lord of grace; have mercy on us, have mercy on us, and tell us what to do for this sick man." I learned that this man resided about twenty miles distant and had the reputation of being unusually skilled in demonology. [UKT ]

Some of these demon people are shrewd enough to give directions for things to be done which will be likely to prove beneficial. While passing through a street of Amherst on another occasion, I heard a man crying as if in great agony, and called at the door to see what was the matter. It was a case of severe colic. A demon woman was giving directions for a certain quantity of cayenne peppers to be steeped in arrack [alcohol -- distilled liquor] and a portion of the mixture to be given to the sick man, and the remainder to be poured upon the ground in a particular direction from the house, giving as a reason, that the demon who had seized the man was a very violent demon, and must have violent medicine. [UKT ]

They are afraid to keep the corpse of a nursing infant [UKT: more precisely, the one who had died soon after birth before completing a week or 10days] in the house over night. As soon as an infant dies, whatever the time of night may be, they start at once for the burying ground. Being in a Peguan village, I was asked, about nine o'clock in the evening, to visit a sick (roman09end-roman10begin) child ; I found it near death, but thought it might live several hours; soon after returning to my lodgings, I saw people passing with torches, and on inquiry, learned that the child had died and they were on their way to bury it. On another occasion, I was present when an infant died, about ten at night. As soon as the breath left the body, they rolled it up in a mat, lighted torches, and hastened away to the burial ground. Their superstitions with regard to demons are innumerable. [UKT ]

Demon [ {nt}] worship was undoubtedly their only religion previous to their reception of Buddhism; and though they are told in their books that if a man makes offerings to demons once, and afterwards performs works of merit a hundred times, it will be in vain, like pouring water upon the sand. [UKT ]

UKT 140531: Unfortunately, Haswell does not mention the names of "their books". From my understanding of Theravada Buddhism, there could be no such message in Buddhist books. Whatever the case may be such accusations by a Christian clergyman is a disservice to another religion.

Yet their fear of demons is so strong, that they are continually doing something to appease, or shunning something for fear of offending them.

In Maulmain demon feasts {nt ka.na:} have become rare; but offerings to demons are sometimes seen by the sides of the street. They are usually placed in square baskets the sides of which are made of strips of plantain stalk, the bottom of bamboo splints.

Contents of this page

Doctors

-- Haswell

(roman10cont)/pdf017
Any one who chooses takes up the profession of doctor, of which there are two classes, the one giving medicine, the other feeding the patient with all kinds of food {Daat-sa}.

The theory of this latter class is, that the body being formed of various elements, illness is caused by the excess or deficiency of one or another of these, and that some kinds of food go to replenish one element, and some another. [UKT]

UKT 140531, 151023: The "elements" of Haswell are not the 92+ chemical elements. They are the four elements on which Aryuvedic medicine is based: Earth (pruṭhavī-dhātu), Water (āpa-dhātu), Fire (teja-dhātu), Air (vāyu-dhātu).  Two more are needed to make up the living and animated human being: "Space" (ākāsa-dhātu) and Consciousness (viā ṇa-dhātu).

If you were "to build a human being" with just the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire & Air, it would just be a manikin - a lifeless human doll. It would be just "Mass" or "material" of modern Science. Turn your manikin into a robot by adding motors and pinions, and supply it with electricity the "Energy" of modern Science. It still needs a human operator, or a programmed computer to perform specific tasks like walking, speaking, doing manual work.

To turn it into a human being it still needs consciousness. If it were to break down you need an engineer to fix it. It still needs an ability to fix itself. You have only one human, and if you want another you have a build a second one. Your human must have the ability to procreate. But be careful, what you have build might turn out to be a destroyer, bent on destroying other life forms similar to itself. The Ayurvedic doctor, or any other is just an engineer to fix the material part. See:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda 151023
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabhuta  151023

They therefore feed the patient with every imaginable thing in hopes of hitting the right one, and thus restoring the equilibrium. I was once called to see a child about two years old, that was ill of dysentery. I found it in a dying state. [UKT]

UKT 130331: There are two kinds of dysentery, one caused by bacteria and the other by amoeba. The killer is the amoebic dysentery and there was no cure for it until the discovery of treatment with metronidazole. Up to about 1950, the treatment was emetine injection. Emetine is produced from ipecac root. The injection is administered in a hospital environment and sometimes the cure is more deadly than the disease. Personal note: my only sister, Ma Mya Shwe (Baby) died from dysentery when she was 1 yr and 6 months old. She got the best medical treatment. She died 12 days after I was born -- from personal experience and Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emetine 130331

On ( roman10end-roman11begin) inquiring what medicine had been given it, they replied, no medicine had been given it, they had "fed the elements." I asked what they had fed it, they replied "a great many things," but what have you given it today? "Fowls flesh cooked with assafoetida. {rhain:hko}" Thinking I had misunderstood I asked them to show it to me. They brought some and I saw there was no mistake, it was "fowls flesh cooked with assafoetida," and the poor child who died while I was there had been forced to swallow that horrible mess.

Contents of this page

Disposal of the dead

-- Haswell

( roman11cont)/pdf018
When a person dies the body is washed and laid out decently, excepting those who die in early infancy, or of some contagious or epidemic disease like small-pox or cholera, when the body is rolled up in a mat and buried with little delay or ceremony. [UKT ]

With these exceptions, they burn their dead. Their coffins like the Burman's are very showy, covered with colored paper, the ends of pea-cock's tails, and tinsel. They make a great parade at their funerals, especially those of elderly people.

UKT 140419: See my note with excerpts from The Burmese Empire a hundred years ago - by Father Sangermano, 1833 on Funeral of a High Mon Monk

 

Contents of this page

Education

-- Haswell

( roman11cont)/pdf018
Among the Peguans as among the Burmans, the priests monks are the school masters. [UKT ]

UKT 130331: It is a common mistake for the Europeans to call the Myanmar Theravada Buddhist monks priests. There is no priestly class among the Buddhists, and the monks do not conduct any ceremonies such as baptism and marriage.

Almost all the boys are put into the monasteries for a longer or shorter period, but the great proportion of them leave before they can read fluently, and seldom looking at a book afterwards, many of them forget all they have learned. There are no schools for girls. It is a very rare thing to find a Peguan woman who can read excepting those that have been taught in mission schools. [UKT ]

UKT 130331: Myanmar Buddhist nuns are all educated like the monks and they teach girls, but the proportion of girls getting educated is less than that of boys.

One reason for this, is, the exclusion of women from their monasteries; but the principal reason is the perfect indifference of the people to their education. When urged to put their daughters into school, they often (roman12) ask, of what use will it be, they cannot become clerks, or hold government appointments. They can take care of children and cook rice just as well, if they cannot read, as if they could."

Contents of this page

Language

-- Haswell

UKT 130331: In the following the sounds are given by the Reverend in common English letters - monographs & digraphs, and I have put them within <...>.

( roman12cont)/pdf019
The Peguan language abounds in words ending with h [UKT: glottal - not aspiration, known as Visarga denoted by {:}], the pronunciation of which requires a sudden exhaustion of the air from the lungs. [UKT ]

It also abounds in the letter r  {ra.} which always has more or less of the rolling sound. It is never softened into y  {ya.} as in Burman. [UKT ]

Words ending in ng  /ŋ/ {ng}-killed are also frequent hence the language is rough and gutteral, compared with the Burman. [UKT ]

UKT 140418: The above shows that to Haswell, Mon-Myan is more rhotic than Bur-Myan. It is one of the reasons why I hold that Mon-Myan is more akin to Skt-Dev.

There are many Pali words in use, for some of which they have no corresponding words of their own. [UKT ]

UKT 130331: Many observers, including myself at one time, think all the words which sound Pali are Magadhi-Pali: many failed to note the presence of Sanskrit.

There are also words in common use, which are the same in Burman. Some of these are undoubtedly Burman words, and have been adopted into Peguan since their subjection to the Burmans. Others I think were taken by the Burmans from the Peguan. The construction of the language is quite different from the Burman, the location of words being almost always the reverse. One peculiarity is the different power of vowels when combined with different classes of consonants. [UKT ]

There is some difference of pronunciation among the people which may properly be called provincialisms. Those from the vicinity of Rangoon and Pegu pronouncing words with final <k> like final <t>; but the Martaban people with few exceptions give the <k> sound, thus dik water, is pronounced by the Rangoon Peguans, diit precisely like the word for sweet. [UKT ]

There are also words in common use in one district which are very seldom heard in another, for instance, <dan> [as in Magyidan {ma.ky:t}} 'the Tamarind Street' ?] is the common word for road in the Laming district, while kting is the word invariably used in the vicinity of Maulmain. [UKT ]

The language is gradually going out of use, and the sooner it is supplanted by the Burman the better, yet I (roman13) think it will be a long time before it ceases to be the Ianguage in common use in country villages in the Amherst district, and near the sea coast of the Martaban {moat~ta.ma.} district . [UKT ]

Many thousands of Peguans migrated to Siam previous to the occupation of the Tenasserim {ta.nn~a-ri}  provinces by the British. They and their descendants continue the use of their own language. The Pwo Karens in the Siamese territory, bordering on Tavoy {hta:w} province, have Buddhist monasteries in which the Peguan language is taught, but how extensively, I have been unable to learn. A Karen robber under sentence of death, a few months ago in Tavoy, wrote a letter in Peguan to his wife in Siam. [UKT ]

Pwo Karens are called Peguan Karens both by Burmans and *Peguans. Both tribes of Karens in the Tenasserim province and I suppose throughout Burmah, have adopted many words such as the word for book, ship, to row, (a boat,) to tread out grain with cattle, &c. &c. Whether there are real Karen words which are common with the Peguan, I have not been able to learn. [UKT ]

----------
* In Burman Talign Karen {ta.len:ka.rn}, in Peguan K'raung Mon.

UKT 130401: {ta.len:ka.rn} aka {po:ka.rn} from Moulmein side are mostly Buddhists, whereas {ba.ma-ka.rn} aka {sa.kau:ka.rn} from Bassein side are mostly Baptist Christians. The {pa.ow.} based in southern Shan State with their capital in {ho-poaun:} township, near Taunggyi (note: I retired as Assoc. Prof. & Head of Chemistry Dept., Taunggyi Degree College -- now University) are related to the Karen {ka.ring}, and {ho-poaung:} town is known as {a.hton-l:} 'second Thaton'. The {pa.ow.} are mostly Buddhists.

I have come across another group of Karen known as {taung-pau-ka.rn} from the Dawna Mountain side in the Karen State. They are mostly Buddhist. At one time a family of {taung-pau-ka.rn} (husband: U Hla Ky {U:lha.ky:} - wife: Ma Chit Mya.) had lived in my parents' house (I was still unmarried and was living with my parents in Kyaukkoan, Yangon).

With this little note of mine, I remember my {ka.rn} & {pa.ow.} friends.
----------

 

Contents of this page

Names of places

-- Haswell

UKT 130331 : Substitute the word 'pagoda', 'image' or 'icon' for 'god' in the place-names. The word 'pagoda' in Bur-Myan is {Bu.ra:}, and Buddha's 'image' is {hsing:tu.}.

Do not use the word 'idol' for 'image' or 'icon', because we do not "worship idols" but pay the humblest form of respect to the historical person of Gautama Buddha which it represents. The word 'idolatry' is a slur on the Buddhist religion which the Christians, Jews, and Moslems (in alphabetical order) fail to understand. Gautama Buddha, unlike Allah, God, or JHWH (Tetragrammaton) - the Abrahamic god, was a historical person born and died in northern India about 2500 years ago. His parents, unlike those of Jesus Christ were humans who died human deaths. His mother, Maya, died while giving birth to a human baby who would later become the Gautama Buddha. Mtaw Maya, unlike Virgin Mary, was cremated. The Virgin on the other hand was supposed to be bodily 'assumed' into the Christian Heaven.

The Theravada Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion because we reject the idea of 'God' or 'Creator'. I go further by claiming that the earliest sermons, 'The Principle of Suffering, Attachment, Cessation, & Mode', and, 'The Principle of Inability to find the immutable Soul', were derived scientifically by the wisest of humans -- Prince Siddhartha. Thus, I maintain that Buddhism is a science and that Prince Siddhartha who was called the Gautama Buddha after his discoveries of the above two Principles to be a scientist.

Names abound in the southern part of Burmah in which <keik> god {keik} 'pagoda', forms one syllable, as, Keik-k'mee {kyeik-hka.mi}, Keik-p'rang, Keik-to {kyeik-hto}, &c. All these places have some tradition, or something in their location accounting for their names. [UKT ]

Listen downloaded song with names of pagodas - MonMyan-Pagoda-cut1<)) (link chk 160818)
It is an excerpt from a video in TIL SD-Library - MonMyan-Pagoda-complete<> / bkp<> (link chk 160818)

Keik-k'mee the native name for Amherst, means "behold the gods 'Buddha images'." One tradition with regard to it is, that three images seated upon a log, floated over from Ceylon and lodged on the rock near Amherst point, on which an idol temple 'pagoda' now stands. [UKT ]

UKT 130331: My mother used to tell the following story which she said was a favorite of her uncle U Shw Mhan. I have added my granduncle's version within [...].

The large pagoda in Maulmain is called by the Burmans Keik-thon-lon {kyeik-n-ln} a corruption of the Peguan words (roman14) Keik-Sam-lum. Sām being the Peguan name for Shan {hym:} [Romabama: {shm:}] or Siamese, and lam {ln} ['repulsed'], to be destroyed. [UKT ]

UKT 130401: Bur-Myan pronounces {a.} as /θ/, whereas Mon-Myan as /s/. In this respect Bur-Myan is thibilant and is similar to other Tib-Bur languages. Mon-Myan, on the other hand, is sibilant and is similar to Skt-Dev and not to Pal-Myan.

I am presenting on the right my comparison of the Asoka and Myanmar scripts based on the number of circles of involved. The first line, the Asoka script, is represented with IAST transliteration , and the second line, the Bur-Myan script is represented with Romabama transcription . Mon-Myan pronunciation is very similar to IAST and not to Romabama. -- UKT 130401

The tradition is, that a Siamese general encamped with his army in Maulmain, and sent word to the Governor of Martaban [across the river -- under Burmese rule] that he was about to attack him, and inquired, what day he would be ready for battle. The [wily Burmese] Martaban governor replied, if there is a battle, there will be many killed and much misery; let us try the strength of our forces by seeing which can build the biggest pagoda in a single night [in a week], and the one that succeeds be considered the conqueror." [UKT ]

The Siamese agreed to the proposition, and set to work gathering bricks and building a pagoda on the hill where the large pagoda now stands. [UKT ]

UKT: My mother usually emphasized that her uncle, at this point, gleefully added that the Burmese were very lazy and loafed away for almost a whole week. The Siamese were diligent and they built their pagoda, circular layer by layer with brick and mortar, and by the sixth day were about to crown the pagoda with an umbrella. On the last night, the Burmese set to work. They wove an immense basket of bamboo in the shape of a pagoda, covered it with mats overlaid with  with white cloth. They white-washed it with lime, and crowned their pagoda with a golden umbrella. In the morning, it stood as a complete pagoda crown and all, while the Siamese still had to top theirs. And, marveling at the supernatural powers of the Burmese, the Siamese simply ran away. The Burmese pagoda on the Mataban side is known as {kyaik-hpn-ku} 'pagoda enshrined in cloth'.

The Martaban people [were too lazy and only on the last night] set to work and built an immense pagoda of bamboo wicker work and covered it with mats [topping with white cloth], and before daylight had it finished, and white washed [with a golden umbrella at the top], so that it appeared to be a veritable solid pagoda. The Siamese were amazed and said, if the governor of Martaban has force sufficient to build such an immense pagoda in one night, there is no use in attacking him, and retreated. Hence the name of the pagoda Keik-sam lfim. [UKT ]

Keik-to {kyeik hto}, is the name of a large village in the Martaban district. "To" in Peguan is a species of hornet. . It is said that a swarm of hornets built their nest in the iron net work on the top of the pagoda and it was called Keik-to The hornet god pagoda hence the name of the village. [UKT ]

A few miles from Keik-to is a pagoda called Keik-esee-yuh. Esee {I.i.} is a hermit , or devotee, yuh means to carry on the head- It is said that a hermit received three hairs of Gaudama; having disposed of two of them, he resolved to carry the third on his head, until he should find a rock shaped like his head on which to deposit it. He found the rock and enshrined the hair upon it. The pagoda built upon the place is therefore called Keik-esee-yuh. [UKT ]

UKT 130401: The Pal-Myan word {I.i.} and its equivalent Skt-Dev ऋषिः ṛṣi were eye-openers in my study of BEPS:
Pal: {I.i.} - UHS-PMD0195
   
     UKT from UHS: m. hermit, a highly moral person such as Buddha
 Pal:  इसि  isi  m.  a sage, anchorite  -- UPMT-PED043
Bur: {ra..}  n.  a hermit, recluse; rishi  -- MED390
Skt: ऋषिः ṛṣi - the sage  - SpkSkt

Of all the BEMPS languages, Skt-Dev is the most rhotic, and the most sibilant, and the word ऋषिः ṛṣi is spelled with Dev rhotic-vowel which is absent in Pali. This "letter" is called the "vocalic R" which is the cause for it to be mistaken to be a consonant. It is a regular vowel -- not even a semi-vowel. See:
  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-colored_vowel 130401
  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotacism 130401
Bur-Myan is non-rhotic, and non-hissing thibilant.

There is a mountain in the Martaban district called by the Burmans Zin-gyike {zing:hkyeing.} (sp?). This is a corruption of the Peguan Chung-Keik -foot of God. I have not been able to learn of any legend connected with this mountain. There are many other such names as, Keik-kaw, broken god, Keik p'taing, white god; Keik-pee, three gods, Keik- p'rang, bank-god. (roman15) [UKT ]

Some places are named from legends connected with their history and some from other circumstances. The Peguan name of Maulmain is Mot-mooa-lum. One eye destroyed. The legend is, that an ancient king had three eyes, two in the usual places, and one in the centre of the fore head. With this third eye he could see what was going on in the surrounding kingdoms. The king of Siam was at war with him, and finding his plans continually thwarted, suspected there were traitors in his camp, and called a council to find out who gave information concerning his plans to the enemy. His officers told him there was no traitor; but the king of Maulmain was able with his third eye to see all that was going on in the Siamese Camp. It was suggested that the king of Siam should give his daughter to the king of Maulmain, and that when she had succeeded in gaining the confidence of the king, she could manage to put out his third eye. This counsel was followed and proved successful, and the third eye was destroyed, hence the name of the city. It is often called Mot-lum- lum, Eye destroyed destroyed. [UKT ]

UKT 130401: The above Mon-Myan story should be compared to two Sanskrit (Hindu) stories:
#1. Daksha and Siva : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daksha#Story_of_Sati_and_Shiva 130401
#2. Himavat and Siva : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himavat 130401
The Sanskrit stories tell the enmity between Daksha/Himavat and Siva who has three eyes. The former finally became the father-in-law of the latter. The abode of Siva is Keilash Mountain.
See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kailash 130401
A mountain in the Mon territory is call {k-la-a.}.

There is a mountain in sight of Maulmain, sometimes called "Duke of York's face." The Peguan name is Kuak-K'bong. Kuiik means to hang up, k'bong means a ship. It is said that the sea at one time came up to the mountain, and that ships were made fast to it. It is also called Kroii-K'bong which is much the same meaning. The village at the foot of the mountain is called in Peguan Doong-yam or Doong-mee-yam, city of the weeping mother. It is said that the only son of a widow was compelled to go into the army, and was killed in battle. The mother could not be comforted, but continued to weep and lament for her son, hence the name of the place. [UKT ]

The Peguan name of Beling is Bee-lam {Bi:ln:}, Destroyed river. It is said, that formerly the river was navigable for boats, but sand banks formed in it, and ruined it for navigation. The Peguan name for Martaban is Moo-t'maw {moat~ta.ma.} , Stony point. Moo being nose or point, t'maw being rock or stone. (roman16)

I had always supposed that the native name of Tavoy {hta:w} was Burman and meant 'to buy a knife'; but in the book referred to, giving an account of Gaudama's tours through the country, it is said that when he arrived at Tavoy, he sat down cross legged, as represented in most of his images, which in Peguan is {hta.wa} twai , and that from this circumstance the place was called T'wai. (end of roman16)
UKT: End of Haswell's Introduction.

UKT 130402: {hta.wa} twai  is Mon-Myan. Romabama is still not quite able to come up with transliterations, and bookmarks. Please remember, Romabama was originally designed to write emails in Burmese. When I included Sanskrit, it was put under stress which has been largely resolved. Now I am putting it to Mon. Until I have become quite conversant with Mon, Romabama spellings for Mon-Myan are tentative.

 

Contents of this page

UKT notes

Boat trip to Taungoo 

- UKT 140529

I could never imagine taking a boat trip to Taungoo from Yangon. I have put the question to many of my Myanmar friends "If you had lived in Yangon before the British Annexation of the whole country, how would you travel to Taungoo?" None of them suggested taking a boat !

The place where the present-day is Taungoo was situated on the old or Proto-Irrawaddy that flowed down from the Myanmar side of the Himalayas to empty into the Gulf of Martaban. The Proto-Irrawaddy was broken up around 442 BC when Mount Popa raised from the ground and erupted. With the rising of the ground the northern portion now flows from south to north and rejoins the present-day Irrawaddy near Mandalay. It is now known as Samoan river {sa.moan-hkyaung:}. The lower portion still flows south to empty into the Gulf of Martaban. At the northern portion, the stream becomes navigable in the vicinity of Taungoo and is known as {hka.paung:hkyaung:} and lower down it is known as the Sittang {sic-taung:mric}. And so today Taungoo is "land-locked".

I remember the few days I spent with my father in the house on the bank of {hka.paung:hkyaung:}. My father and his mobile epidemic team were camped out in Taungoo after most of the country was peaceful for a while in the early 1950s. Please note I have gathered my info from many sources and need to be checked. See my work on: An Elementary Geography of India, Burma & Ceylon , - H.F. Blanford, 1890
- Geography, Geology, Fossils -- geo-indx.htm > ele-geo.htm (link chk 160819)

Excerpt from: Journey from Rangoon to Toungoo, and Six weeks in the Toungoo mountains of Burma , by John Trew, From Mission Life, Vol. V (1874), pages 563-578,  http://anglicanhistory.org/asia/burma/trew_six1874.html 130328

Dr. and Mrs. Mason, with other agents of the American Baptist Mission, have for long been at work among the Karens. Unhappily for them a quarrel arose, which led to Mrs. Mason asking me to receive six thousand Baptist Christians into the Church. ... ...

... ... we will embark at Rangoon in a Burmese boat, a craft made out of one huge tree, round bottomed, and thatched fore and aft. When the wind is fair we shall put up a mast, and hoist a large, square sail. At other times we shall be propelled by means of long oars or sweeps.

The date is September 1st, so we are in the depth of the rainy season, ... ... Our way will be for five miles down the Irrawaddy, then for about twenty up the Pegu river, which [565/566] flows into the Irrawaddy below Rangoon. At a point twenty miles up the Pegu river a tidal canal has been cut, joining the Pegu river with the Sittang, which is to form our road up to Toungoo. ... ... the length of it is about twelve miles. Then we shall have 300 miles to row and sail against a current running like a mill-stream. Now we are off with a crew of five Burmans, one the captain, who sits on a high perch and steers with a long oar, generally singing some wild Burmese legend. ... ...

The tide is with us down the Irrawaddy, and we soon accomplish the first five miles of our journey; [566/567] then turning into the Pegu river we have a strong ebb tide against us, and at dark, which follows close upon sunset in these tropical regions, we pull up for the night, which is the invariable practice of Burmese boatmen. We are now ten miles up the Pegu river. Next morning we waited for the tide to turn and flow with us before starting; ... ... Doves being plentiful and good, they form a useful wholesome article of food.

We did not get very far when we had again to pull up for the night. At 8 a.m. the next day (Sunday) we entered the creek or canal, and were in it the whole day. ... ... In the evening we arrived at Kyassoo, the village at the end of the canal where it enters the Sittang river; here we had to pull in to the bank, and all stand ready with long bamboos to hold the boat off the shore on the approach of the "bore," or tidal wave.

It is very wonderful to see this huge wave rushing up the river, bringing the whole of the returning tide in at once, and raising the river several feet in a few seconds. This would upset any boat if it remained out in the stream. Not uncommonly one is overtaken and upset.

On Monday morning, after the tidal wave had passed, we again set out into the Sittang river. The canal enters this river about five miles from its mouth, so that we saw the open sea. The tide here was tremendous, and the wind strong, the river at this point being about three miles wide. We had all to take to the oars, two on each, to try to get out of the strong rush of tide. It took us four hours to get to the other side of the river.

We all worked hard the entire day; but had made little progress when the sun bid us good night, and obliged us to pull up at a small village; here I went ashore for a few hours, finding the people most willing to receive me. I had a good many who came together to the house I was sitting in, who asked questions and listened well. ... ...

At eight next morning we started again, but had soon to stop to wait for the tide, for as yet we were not out of the reach of it. Here we were beside a large sandbank, no village near us, so I hailed a passing canoe, and getting into it, paddled up the river before my boat. ... ...

... ... An occasional roar of a tiger in the jungle by which we are lying reminds one of the presence of unpleasant neighbours, but a shot or two in the direction of the sound always seemed to have the desired effect of increasing the distance between us.

On September 6th I arrived at Sittang, a very pretty Burmese town, rising from the river of the same name up a hill, the "High Street" being beautifully lined with cocoa-nut and tamarind trees. Overlooking the town is a strong native stockade, built of the material composing the hills round, a sort of porous ironstone called saterite. I went up to this stockade, in the centre of which is a good-sized pagoda, built of the same stone. This is of a peculiar shape, the lower portion rising from the level space; if continued and tapered off, as most of these structures are, it gives you the idea that a very lofty sacred monument was intended.

At Sittang during the Burmese wars the native troops entrenched in their stockade resisted the attack of our soldiers, and on one occasion repulsed them. This is now British territory, and our troops were in this stockade up to 1856. Now the barracks and magazine are left to take care of themselves, and are rapidly decaying. ... ...

We made good runs for the next few days. The river winds tremendously, and is very monotonous, except here and there where the ground is higher and the hills capped with pagodas. The banks are generally low, and the river being very high during the rains, the jungles on either side are under water to a considerable depth. The elephant grass is high, varying from 10 to 20 feet. We hug the shore to keep out of the strong stream, and row and pole and pull by the long grass. At times the water is very deep even close to the bank, and if the boatmen lose hold of the grass, the boat is hurled down the stream, and you find yourself at the other side of the river, but a considerable distance lower down.

One day we made a very bad run, the stream was so exceedingly rapid, and we lost some time in a whirlpool at a bend of the river. These are sometimes dangerous, but always most tedious to get out from if once in the dead water in the middle. On this particular day we did not reach a village, but had to pull up in a very bad part of the jungle. The whole of this part of the country is densely wooded, and but very sparsely peopled. Oh, the mosquitoes were fearful!--as thick as bees. A net over one's mat at night of no use. Nothing but a constant slap, slap, slap all night from all on board ...

On Saturday, September 9th, we arrived at Shevaygheen {shw-kyn} *, a large Burmese town and small military and civil European station. ... ... Shevaygheen is a beautiful place; high hills, indeed mountains, rise just behind the native town and the cantonments on the hill. There are a few Sepoys, and one European officer, a deputy and assistant commissioners, two European police officers, one of the Forest Department, a Government schoolmaster, two American Baptist Missionaries, make up the entire white population. Several Eurasians, however, reside here. ... ...

* UKT 140529: MLC rendering of the sound /ʃwe/ as {rhw} 'gold' is very un-phonetic because it uses {ra.} /ɹ/ from which {rha.} is derived. The MLC has dropped the older spelling {hya.} for most of the Bur-Myan words. Because of this, I have to "invent" a new grapheme:

{sa.} (palatal plosive-stop) /c/ (well-known in Bur-Myan}
-->  {Sa.} (dental hissing fricative) /s/ (absent in Bur-Myan}
--> {Sha.} /ʃ/ which would commonly be written in Romabama as {sha.}

 Romabama has to make 2 concessions:
#1.  /ʃ/ is actually {Sha.} but would be written as {sha.}
#2. the common and familiar as {shw}
The word {shw-kyn} means 'a place for gold panning'. Indeed in the creek nearby gold was panned in old days.

On Sunday evening I had service again in the school-room, there being no church. All the resident Christians except the Baptists were present, and I baptized the schoolmaster's baby. ... ...

At last, after a long weary, wet, and hot journey, I began to near Toungoo. On the 27th September we arrived in the evening at the village of Tautabyn, a village about nine miles from Toungoo, but which is more by water. ... ...

Go back Boat-to-Taungoo-note-b

Contents of this page

Funeral of a high Mon monk 

-- UKT 140419

In Bur-Myan we call it {Boan:kri:pyn} which as a young child took it as the occasion when a monk flies. The following is on {ag~gi. Za-pa.na.} 'Cremation ceremony'.

Since a monk on passing away would be going into a new and better world, there is nothing sad about it. The monk in the pix was 98 years old. You can see young people dancing a traditional ethnic dance. The ceremony was more like a festival rather than a funeral. The remains were cremated at 1 a.m. that night. The pix is from Google image with some scant text.

Excerpt from The Burmese Empire a hundred years ago - by Father Sangermano, 1833
-- sang-s-indx.htm
I have taken this excerpt from online source because, I haven't come to this section in my above mentioned work. I have cut up the original para into suitable smaller ones for easy reading.
Pix from: From: http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~jade/photos/funeral.htm 140419

"As soon as a great Talapoin [Mon monk] has expired, his corpse is opened in order to extract the viscera,, which are buried in some decent place, and then it is embalmed after the fashion of the country. This done, it is swathed with bands of white linen, wrapped many times round it in. every part, and upon these is laid a thick coat of varnish. To this succeeds a covering of gold [gold leaf - a very film of solid gold], which adheres to the varnish, and in this manner the body is gilt from head to foot. [the body is then robed in regular monk's robes.] It is now put into a large chest, and exposed to the veneration of the people.

"It is this chest or coffin on which the greatest care and expense is bestowed. Indeed the great Talapoins are accustomed to have it made several years before their death, whence its beauty is frequently such as to excite the curiosity not only of the natives of the country but also of foreigners. It is usually gilt all over, .and adorned besides with flowers made of polished substances, sometimes even of precious stones. In this superb receptacle the body is exposed in public for many days, nay often for entire months, during which time a continual festival is celebrated about it ; bands of music are always playing, and the people flock in crowds to offer their presents of money, rice, fruits or other things necessary for the ceremony, by which the expenses of the funeral are defrayed.

"When at length the day arrives for burning the body, it is placed upon a large car with four wheels, to which are fixed a number of great ropes, so that the people may drag it to the place of sepulture. It is pleasing to see the ardour with which the whole population men and women engage in this labour. They believe it to be a work of the greatest merit ; and hence, having divided themselves into two bodies, strive with the greatest earnestness who shall have the honour of conveying the body to its destination. The vehicle is pulled first to one side, then to the other for some time, till one party gaining the advantage bears it off in triumph.

"At the place where the burning is to take place, the people are amused for some time with fireworks, which consist entirely of a species of large rockets. Beams of teak-wood, of the length of six, seven, or even of nine cubits, and from a palm to a cubit in diameter, are bored to receive a mixture of saltpetre and pounded charcoal. To some of them are fixed long strips of bamboo to guide them in their ascent, and thus they are carried up into the air as soon as fire is applied to them. Others are placed upon carriages and made to run round the spot where the body is to be burnt.

"In the meantime great quantities of wood, gunpowder, and other combustible materials are heaped about the coffin, and the ceremonies are concluded by setting fire to this pile. This is done by means of an immense rocket, which is guided to it by a cord. Immediately that it touches it the pile takes fire and the whole is soon consumed.

"But these funerals seldom end in this joyful manner; they are almost always signalised by numerous accidents,; for the enormous pieces of wood, which are carried into the air by the rockets, and particularly the carriages to which others are attached, and which run up and down without any one to guide them, never fail, besides innumerable bruises and fractures of limbs, to cause the death of several of the spectators.

"Yet so infatuated are the people with these fireworks, that they do not consider that as a festival which goes by without them ; and hence, in the dedication of a Pagoda or a Bao, or on any other occasion of rejoicing, these always form a principal part of the festivities."

Go back funeral-monk-note-b

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