1. [slides] Mahamuni Buddha & MapThe removal of the Mahamuni to Upper Burma has symbolized the subjugation of Arakan, from its annexation in 1784 until the present. If the seizure of the Mahamuni represented a tragedy for some, for others it came to represent the jewel in an eversparkling but tottering crown. How this image from outside Burma's traditional borders attained its immediate and lasting prominence reveals much about how Burma has incorporated religious myths and sacred objects from outside its traditional borders.
Stephan van Galen
When during the first half of the fifteenth century the Venetian merchant Nicolo di Conti travelled from Bengal to Burma he most probably passed through the Arakanese capital Mrauk-U. At that time Mrauk-U apparently did not stand out amongst the many cities and countries he visited. Nicolo di Conti at least did not have much to report about Arakan. The most that he found could be said of the Arakanese capital that it lay on the bank of a river and that it was surrounded by a tract of uninhabited mountains. For Nicolo di Conti the city of Arakan was just another harbour en route to his next destination, the magnificent city of Ava.1
During the XVIIth century, a Bengali poetical tradition emerged in the kingdom of Arakan. The main figure of this tradition is the court poet Ãlãol(?1607-1680) who composed adaptations into Bengali of texts originally written in medieval Hindi (Avadhi) or Persian. As far as now, six poems are known to be his compositions.
Department of Art History and Theory, The University of Sydney
This paper seeks to examine the nature of power and religion in the early urban centres of Arakan, Dhanyawadi and Vesali, in the light of the Anandacandra inscription, the early coins and the sculptural remains.
Michael W. Charney
School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS], University of London
Interest in Rakhaing (Arakan), has resurged after a considerable period in which few studies appeared outside ofMyanmar (Burma).1 This newly found interest, at least newly found in terms of foreign scholars, is indicated in the numerous studies which have appeared since the early 1990s and in the holding of the present workshop. One frequently discussed topic that has not yet yielded a satisfactory conclusion, is the association between religious identity and local ethnonyms, which is the subject of the present paper.