the khmer empire

Neak Pean - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Neak Pean is an artificial island featuring a Buddhist temple, in Angkor park, near to Preah Khan temple. It was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, who ruled the Khmer Empire between the years 1181 and 1218. Historians believe the island was built as a “hospital”, with the design taking inspiration from the mythical Himalayan lake Anavatapta, that was believed to cure illness. 

The design features a main pond, connected by four smaller ponds, representing earth, wind, fire and water. It was believed that bathing in these ponds that represent the elements would balance an ill person, and cure their ailment.

Nāga, female-  nāgiṇī.  In a Cambodian legend, the nāga were a reptilian race of beings under the King Kaliya who possessed a large empire or kingdom in the Pacific Ocean region until they were chased away by the Garuda and sought refuge in India. It was here Kaliya’s daughter married an Indian Brahman named Kaundinya, and from their union sprang the Cambodian people. Therefore, Cambodians possess a slogan “Born from the naga”. As a dowry, Kaliya drank up the water that covered the country and exposed the land for his daughter and son-in-law to inhabit and thus, Cambodia was created.

The seven-headed nagas depicted as statues on Cambodian temples such as Angkor Wat, apparently represent the seven races within naga society, which has a mythological, or symbolic, association with “the seven colors of the rainbow”. Furthermore, Cambodian naga possess numerological symbolism in the number of their heads. Odd-headed naga symbolise the Male Energy, Infinity, Timelessness, and Immortality. This is because, numerologically, all odd numbers come from One. Even-headed naga are said to be Female, representing Physicality, Mortality, Temporality, and the Earth. (x)

anonymous asked:

The thing is, I never read Legends, so I always saw the warrior mandalorians as imperialist. Both of the houses we see (Kryze and Viszla) are headed by white, blonde families and Clan Wren are the descendants of a people who were conquered, converted to Mandalorian ideals, and placed in a subordinate position under Viszla. Bo Katan, a traditionalist, rejects Maul as unfit to rule because he's an alien. And this was all decided before the reboot with Legends so....I'm confused.

Confusion is totally understandable! 

For the record, because this got so long, it has to go under a cut. I apologize for the length, and if my tone is off it’s not intentional. I’m, essentially, info-dumping, because there’s a lot of extraneous information that applies to the arcs I’m gonna try to address under the cut. I’m also reading your ask as if you didn’t see Satine’s New Mandalorians as imperialist, bc that seems to be what you’re implying in the ask? If I’m off, I apologize in advance.

Also even though I say “you” in this reply, I don’t mean you specifically, I’m meaning to address a general “you,” not you you.


The short answer is that even if you are not familiar with Legends material, reading only one of the two houses as imperialist kind of misses all of the subtext conveyed purely by the information presented in the arcs themselves, and oversimplifies imperialism. It is easy to miss, though, and imperialism itself is a complex subject that isn’t discussed as well as it should be.

But, ultimately, even if we were to ignore Legends and only look at canon material, we still have what boils down to this:

The New Mandalorians, an all white faction of mandalorians:

  • exiled people of a differing cultural philosophy
  • has a society not achievable through means that don’t involve steps towards ethnic cleansing 
  • declared pre-established nonwhite mandalorians as not mandalorian, thereby stripping any claim to that cultural identity, in the same vein as calling them the equivalent of savage
  • were part of a regime change backed by an outside stronger, larger military force invested in that regime change

All of these things, together, paint House Kryze and the New Mandalorians as Imperialist. Regardless of Legends material, regardless of how anyone feels about Death Watch.

And even though the writing does not really carry the kind of awareness that definitely points to a lesson on imperialism, if we entertain that as the conclusion to all of the arcs … it would have been more effective to make Sundari diverse in comparison to Death Watch, and have that diversity leverage Death Watch’s war crimes directly, rather than make Sundari the accidental genocidal Imperialist power by poor design decision.

Furthermore, as much as I would rather not bring it up as it’s always used as a straw man argument against the existence of racism, the fact is that Imperialism is not the sole purview of white people. Chinese Imperialism exists. Japanese Imperialism exists. Both are as effective analogues for Imperialism, and both are closer to actual Mandalorian history than the space!Nazi aesthetic the writers went with—not just for obvious reasons, but because the space!Nazi aesthetic implicates an altogether different type of imperialism

And it’s a type that completely distracts from and undermines the ultimate goals of their storytelling in those arcs. 

Moving on to that last point, though … that scene where Bo-Katan rejected Maul, can be read differently—as in, she did not reject him because he was an alien so much as she rejected Maul because he wasn’t mandalorian. Or it could be both of those things, but it’s an important distinction to make—it’s important to not forget all of the things Bo-Katan, specifically, was fighting for.

Bo-Katan fought to save the culture Satine was trying to eradicate — and in terms of cultural genocide, if Maul was to take up his position as leader of mandalorians, that is just trading one type of cultural genocide for another.

It is, under no circumstance, the same as framing it as a simple rejection of Maul because he’s an alien. Him being an alien literally does not matter in that moment, tradition or not, because Maul had no stake in it—because it’s not his culture on the precipice of extinction. To treat that scene like it was … well, was to miss the point.

The very long longer answer goes under the cut.

To warn you about what’s under the cut, as it’s, again, very, very long. I’m basically going into a detailed explanation about: 

  • Legends & why/how Legends applies to the Mandalore arcs
  • a longer diatribe on imperialism:
    To Legends or Not to Legends
    Why does Legends help the New Mandalorians?
  • how & why the New Mandalorians are Imperialist:
    A Diatribe on Imperialism
  • and their platform is transparent and hypocritical w/o the additional context of Legends to soften the edges: 
    Satine Kryze and the New Mandalorian’s Transparently Hypocritical Political Platform, and more on Jango Fett
  • a longer explanation on Bo-Katan and Maul: 
    Xenophobia versus Continued Cultural Genocide
  • the actual events that are contextually relevant to the Mandalore arcs:
    Legends: The Aftermath of the Mandalorian Wars
    Legends: The Mandalorian Excision
  • what I mean by the Fetts were established as mandalorian before the Mandalore arcs aired: 
    Why the decanonization of the Fetts matters, in the context of the story and canon
    An aside: Separating “Boba Fett” from “Mandalorian” after 30+ years

As I’ve said, it’s a lot. Mostly meant to be used as a reference, I guess. I apologize if I repeat myself too much. I wrote this in chunks and threw it together, so if it’s messy or even more confusing, that’s 100% on me.

[[ EDIT:: it has since come to my attention that George Lucas was the mind behind the retcon, stated once in a special featurette for TCW DVD set for Season 2. Him being known and expected to be (hopefuly for obvious reasons) incredibly racist makes it all a little less surprising, but no less fucked up. That the writers still stick with it now, after he’s out, is disappointing, and I maintain that that tweet by Hidalgo was unnecessary. Nothing else about the argument changes except on who to blame and criticize more than the others. ]]

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kickstarter.com
7th Sea: Khitai
John Wick expands the award-winning world of 7th Sea into the Pacific Rim with a brand new 300-page, full color core rulebook!

Dungeon Elementary has started a new season for the fall. We’re playing Blades in the Dark, and yes I’m actually going to post this year. The kids are losing patience with the dearth of Internet ridicule they have received. But if you’re wondering why I’ve been distracted, here’s your answer.

I’m one of the lead developers for Khitai, 7th Sea’s Asian/Pacific setting. In addition to paying for my continued survival, Khitai takes Asian, Oceanian, and Pacific Islander representation to new places. It’s got samurai and horse-lords and Buddhist monks, yeah, but you can also play as in-setting equivalents of Moro pirates in the Sultanate of Sulu,  revolting slaves in Joseon Korea, and god-kings mounted on three-headed elephants in the former Khmer Empire, to name but a few. Some of the times and places we spotlight have never appeared in tabletop gaming before. Others are more familiar, but have never had an Asian developing them at this scale before. So identity-wise, this game means a great deal to me. It’s the game I wish I’d found as a lonely Pinoy middle schooler rooting around in the bookstore’s RPG section.

I’m really excited about this project, and the level of creative control John Wick has granted me here. I’m more than happy to answer questions about the game, although I caution anyone asking that my answers are on the “musings at the bar” level and are not to be taken as binding. If it’s financially viable for you to do so, backing this project would mean a lot to me—and even if not, I’d be grateful for your support and interest. Also, please re-share this post if you can! Maybe it’ll mean something to someone you know, the way it means something to me.

i remember reading this article that touched on warfare between city-states of Champa and the Khmer Empire and Vietnamese states and how the Cham used forces that are described in hostile sources as “black-skinned sea-demons” which people take as probably being a reference to Malay pirates being hired as mercenaries and there was apparently some tension within the Cham confederation bc one of the cities was really keen on the pirates and let them stay in on their land and use it as a base and the other cities were like “Hey uh.. we’re mercantile states too you know.. maybe cool down on this whole like, giving pirates lots of money and weapons thing.. like… it could have unintended effects after the war like.. theyre fucking pirates… we’re maritime merchant cities youre a fucking maritime merchant city stop trusting the fucking pirates”

doing the math retcon thing

Okay, let me just put this out there: the VLD writers suck at telling time. They suck at showing its passage, they suck at considering how things change over time, and they suck at even just simple clues like “two days later” or “a month has passed”. 

Plus, they even suck at being consistent. Characters will go from vargas to hours to seconds to ticks to whatever, with no allowance for who, what, or why. From what I can tell, just about anyone will use earth-time categories unless the writers want to leave it open just how much time has elapsed (or will elapse), or they want a character to ‘calculate’ to impress us. Or confuse us. Finger-counting is more of an art, my ass.

But time matters, and the only way I can forgive some of the more egregious fails (or, being kind, confusion) on the writers’ parts is to treat that “we’ve been asleep for 10,000 years!” as only working if an Altean ‘year’ lasts two weeks. Ergo, those 10,000 years are more like ~350 earth years.

Behind the cut: a few examples of time-references that don’t add up.

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The Sings As Lost Cultures

The Mycenaean Civilization, Greece - Aries

The Mycenae didn’t flourish by trade alone – they set out to conquer, and expanded into an empire that overtook much of Greece. The Mycenaean civilization enjoyed five centuries of domination before vanishing sometime around 1100 BCE. Hellenic legend holds that the Mycenae defeated the possibly mythological Troy, and the empire’s artifacts have been found as far away as Ireland. In fact, this culturally and economically wealthy civilization has left behind a wealth of art, architecture and artifacts.

Cahokia, Illinois, United States - Taurus

Cahokia was once the largest urban center north of the great Mesoamerican cities of Mexico and may have once been home to as many as 40,000 people – greater, in the year 1250 CE, than the population of London, England, or that of any American city that was to come until Philadelphia around the year 1800.

The Anasazi, New Mexico, United States - Gemini

Remains best known for stone and adobe structures built along cliff walls, which evolved into amazing multi-story dwellings that were often only accessible by rope or ladder.

Clovis Culture, North America - Cancer

Very little is known about the Clovis culture, a prehistoric Paleo-Indian people that were thought to have been the first human inhabitants of North America. The artifacts, bone and stone blades known as Clovis points, are among the only clues we have that this group – technically not a civilization – ever existed.

The Aksumite Empire, Ethiopia - Leo

Theorized to be the home of the Queen of Sheba, the Aksumite Empire had its own alphabet and erected enormous obelisks including the Obelisk of Axum, which still stands. It was the first major empire to convert to Christianity.

The Indus Valley Civilization, Pakistan - Virgo

Sophisticated and technologically advanced, this civilization featured the world’s first urban sanitation systems as well as evidence of surprising proficiency in mathematics, engineering and even proto-dentistry.

The Minoans, Crete - Libra

Centers of commerce appeared around 2700 BCE, and as the civilization advanced, palaces of greater and greater complexity were built and rebuilt following series of disasters – likely earthquakes and eruptions of the Thera volcano. One of these palaces was Knossos, the ‘labyrinth’ associated with the legend of Minos, which is now a major archaeological site and tourist attraction.

Moche Civilization, Peru - Scorpio

The Moche civilization developed an agriculturally-based society complete with palaces, pyramids and complex irrigation canals on the north coast of Peru. In 2006, a Moche chamber was discovered that was apparently used for human sacrifice, containing the remains of human offerings.


The Khmer Empire, Cambodia - Sagittarius

Once one of the most powerful empires of Southeast Asia, the Khmer civilization spread from modern-day Cambodia out into Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia and is best known today for Angkor, its capital city.

The Olmec Civilization, Mexico - Capricorn

Once a grand Pre-Columbian civilization that constructed incredible ‘colossal heads’, practiced bloodletting and human sacrifice, invented the concept of the number zero, possibly invented the compass, and essentially laid the foundation for every Mesoamerican culture that was to follow.

The Cucuteni-Trypillians, Ukraine & Romania - Aquarius

This mysterious civilization is characterized by its uniquely patterned pottery and by its bizarre habit of burning its own villages to the ground every 60 to 80 years. The villages were rebuilt again and again, on top of the ashes of the old ones.

The Nabateans, Jordan - Pisces

Their legacy is epitomized by the breathtaking city of Petra, carved into the solid sandstone rock of Jordan’s mountains, and they are remembered for their skill in water engineering, managing a complex system of dams, canals and reservoirs which helped them expand and thrive in an arid desert region.

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Temples of Siem Reap

The Khmer Empire, which is situated in Cambodia, undoubtedly built the world’s most important archaeological sites. Today, in the region of Angkor, which is now called Siem Reap, lies the largest monument in the world, the Angkor Wat. But surrounding it is hundreds of temples. Here are some of my snaps during our temple hopping in Siem Reap Cambodia.