Khun Borom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Khun Borom (Thai: ขุนบรมราชาธิราช, Khun Borom Rachathirath, Thai pronunciation: [kʰǔn bɔːrom]) or Khun Bulom (Lao: ຂຸນບູຮົມ or ຂຸນບູລົມ, Lao pronunciation: [kʰǔn bǔːlóm]) is a legendary progenitor of the Tai-speaking peoples, considered by the Lao[citation needed] to be the father of their race.

Mythology[edit]

According to the myth of Khun Borom,[citation needed] commonly related among Tai-speaking peoples,[citation needed] people in ancient times were wicked and crude. A great deity destroyed them with a flood, leaving only three worthy chiefs who were preserved in heaven to be the founders and guides for a new race of people. The deity sent the three chiefs back to the earth with a buffalo to help them till the land.

The chiefs and the buffalo arrived in the land of Muang Then (there was a real Tai principality of that name, located at today's Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam). Once the land had been prepared for rice cultivation, the buffalo died and a gourd vine grew from his nostril. From the gourds on the vine, the new human race emerged—relatively dark-skinned aboriginal peoples emerging from gourds cut open with a hot poker, and the lighter skinned Lao emerging from cuts made with a chisel.

The gods then taught the Tai peoples how to build houses and cultivate rice. They were instructed in proper rituals and behaviour, and grew prosperous. As their population grew, they needed aid in governing their relations and resolving disputes. Indra, the king of gods, sent his son, Khun Borom, to be the ruler of the Tai people. Khun Borom ruled the Tai people for 25 years, teaching them to use new tools and other arts.

After this quarter-century span, Khun Borom divided the Tai kingdom among his seven sons, giving each one of them a portion of the kingdom to rule. The eldest son, Khun Lo, was given the Dian Kingdom- modern-day Kunming. Other sons were assigned to conquer the Jiuli tribes.

Scholarship[edit]

Some interpreters[who?] of the story of Khun Borom believe that it describes Tai-speaking peoples arriving in Southeast Asia from China (mythically identified with heaven, from which the Tai chiefs emerge after the flood). The system of dividing and expanding a kingdom in order to provide for the sons of a ruler agrees in general with the apparent organization and succession practices of ancient Tai village groups was called mueang.

Khun Bourom Maharasa dynasty - The great King of the Nanzhao (Ai Lao) Empire.[citation needed] Khun Borom had nine sons, and seven of them became kings in different kingdoms in "Lamthong":

  1. "Khun Lor" ruled Moung Sawa (Sua), (Luang Phrabang, Laos)
  2. "Khun Palanh" ruled Sipsong Panna, (Yunnan, China)
  3. "Khun Chusong" ruled Tung Kea, (Muang Huao-Phanh to Tonkin, Vietnam)
  4. "Khun Saiphong" ruled Lanna, (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
  5. "Khun Ngua In" ruled Ayuthaya, (Thailand)
  6. "Khun Lok-Khom" ruled Moung Hongsa (Inthaputh), (Shan state, Burma)
  7. "Khun Chet-Cheang" ruled Moung Phuan, (Xieng Khouang, Laos).

There were 19 kings after Khun Lor who ruled Muang Sawa (Sua). The last one was Khun Vaang.

After his death, his son who was named "Lang", took the throne and was then named "King Langthirath". After King Langthirath died, his son (Thao Khamphong) was crowned as "King Souvanna Khamphong." After King Souvanna Khamphong died, his son "Chao Fifah" or "Khamhiao" took the throne. Chao Fifah (Khamhiao) had six sons and one of them was "Chao Fa-Ngum". King Fa Ngum was the creator of the Lan Xang Kingdom during his reign in the 13th century.

Both King Mangrai of Chiang Mai and Uthong of Ayutthaya are said to have been descendants of Khum Borom's younger sons.

Scholar David K. Wyatt believes that the Khun Borom myth may provide insight into the early history of the Tai people in Southeast Asia. Versions of the Khun Borom myth occur as early as 698 CE in Siang Khwang, and identify Tai-speaking kingdoms that would be formally established years later. This may indicate the early geographical spread of Tai-speaking peoples, and provides a mythological explanation for why modern Tai-speaking peoples are found in such widespread pockets.

Linguistic analysis[citation needed] indicates that the division of the early Tai speakers into the language groups that gave rise to modern Thai, Lao and other languages occurred sometime between the 7th and 11th centuries CE. This split proceeded along geographic lines very similar[citation needed] to the division given in the Khun Borom legend.

Hypothetical identification in China[edit]

In the framework of Chinese historiography Khun Borom is identified[why?] by some[who?] as Piluoge (皮羅閣) who unified the kingdom of Nanzhao's six parts and ruled it in 728—748.[citation needed] Note that this theory is heavily disputed or discounted in mainstream academia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]