Maria Guyomar de Pinha

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Maria Guyomar de Pinha, also Maria Guiomar de Pina, Dona Maria del Pifia, Marie Guimar or Madame Constance in French or Thao Thong Kip Ma (Thai: ท้าวทองกีบม้า) (Born in Ayutthaya in 1664), was a Siamese woman of the 17th century who lived in Ayutthaya, Siam (modern Thailand). She was the wife of the Greek adventurer Constantine Phaulkon.[1]

Maria Guyomar was a Catholic woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry.[2] Her mother was a Japanese, named Ursula Yamada, whose family had emigrated to Thailand following the repression of Christianity in Japan.[3] Her father Fanik Guyomar (also Phanik Guimar), from the Portuguese colony of Goa, was a Christian of mixed Japanese and Bengali descent.[3]

The residence of Constantine Phaulkon and Maria Guyomar de Pinha (Baan Vichayen), in Lopburi, Thailand.

In 1682, Maria married Phaulkon, soon after he abandoned Anglicanism for Catholicism.[4] They lived a life of affluence as Phaulkon rose to become highly influential at the Siamese court of king Narai.

During the period of rapprochement between France and the Siamese court Maria Guyomar de Pinha, together with her husband Phaulkon, was promised French protection by being ennobled a countess of France. During the 1688 Siamese revolution, after the assassination of her husband, Maria took refuge with the French troops in Bangkok, but the Commander of the French fort General Desfarges returned her to the Siamese under pressure from the new ruler Petracha on October 18.[5] Despite the promises that had been made regarding her safety, she was condemned to perpetual slavery in the kitchens of Petracha.[6] Maria remained prisoner until the death of Petracha in 1703, but became the head of the royal kitchen staff.[7]

One of her sons, George became a minor official at the Siamese court. Her second son, Constantin, is known to have been put in charge by king Borommakot (1733–1758) of building a German organ for the king.[8] According to French missionary sources he was called Racha Mantri and was at the same time a supervisor of the Christians in Ayutthaya and the official in charge of the royal storehouses.[9]

In her later life, Maria, together with her daughter-in-law Louisa Passagna (widow of Constantin), continued to sue the French East India Company to recoup money which her husband Phaulkon had lent to the company. She was vindicated in 1717 through a decree from the Council of State in France, which provided her with a maintenance allowance.[8]

Maria Guyomar is famous for introducing new dessert recipes in Thai food at the Ayutthaya court, based on Portuguese culinary influence, especially egg yolk-based sweets such as foi thong ("golden threads")[10] and sangkhaya.

Maria Guyomar’s Thai dessert[edit]

Maria Guyomar took the position of cook in the palace in the period of King Narai and created many desserts such as curry puff, KhanomMohkang, Thongmuan, Thongyod, Thongyip, FoithongSangkaya and KhanomPhing.[11] Desserts were presented to King Narai and his daughter Princess Sudavadee,[12] who is daughter of King Narai,[11] and King Narai. These desserts were served to the king. KhunLuang Ha Wat or King Uthumphon said that the desserts were distributed and sold in the market in area of Pa-Khanom.[13] After desserts was served in palace, some nobles requested to be taught the recipes. Her desserts were yellow like gold that was auspicious and good meaning colour. Thus, her desserts became popular dessert.[14] There is, however, some disagreement over Maria’s role in popularizing the desserts, Pridi Phitphumwithi. He claimed that these kinds of dessert were called “Convent sweet” because the dessert was cooked by the nuns in Portuguese convents and were very well known in that period.[15] Moreover, the book “Maitri Thai-Portuguese” mentions that Marie had created only two kinds of dessert which are Foithong and Thongyip. The designs of dessert were created by Thai people.[16]

The original Thai desserts have flour, sugar or palm sugar and coconut as the main ingredients,[13][17] while, the main ingredients of Maria’s desserts are egg or yolk, sugar and soybean starch or cassava starch.[18] The Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok explain that her dessert were based on Portuguese desserts and replaced some ingredients for convenience. For example, angel hair or Fios de ovos, also known in Thai as Foi Thong, is egg threads. Yolks were drawn into thin strands and boiled in sugar syrup. Next, Thong Yip, which is a sweet made from egg, was developed from Trouxa de ovos. They have a different external look, Thong Yip is pleated but Trouxa de ovos are rolled. Also, KhanomMohkang or KanomKumpamah is a sweet made from flour egg and coconut milk, is similar with Tigelada. Tigelada is a sweet that has rolled almond as main ingredient.[19] During King Narai’s period, KhanomKumpamah was served to the king in a pot which was made from precious metal.[16]


  1. ^ Keat Gin Ooi, Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, page 1070.
  2. ^ Smithies 2002, p.100
  3. ^ a b Sitsayamkan, The Greek Favourite of the King of Siam, p. 17, Her mother was a Japanese woman named Ursula Yamada, who came from a noted family which had emigrated from Japan. Her father was a Mr. Fanique. He was a dusky half-breed of Bengal and Japan. 
  4. ^ Smithies, p.183
  5. ^ Smithies 2002, p.11/p.184
  6. ^ Smithies 2002, p.51
  7. ^ William D. Wray, The 17th-Century Japanese Diaspora: Questions of Boundary and Policy, History Department University of British Columbia, page 26.
  8. ^ a b Smithies 2002, p.180
  9. ^ Dhivarat na Prombeja, in Reid, p.258
  10. ^ Joe Cummings, Thailand: World Food, Page 87.
  11. ^ a b Wikipedia, 2013
  12. ^ ท้าวทองกีบม้า, 2002
  13. ^ a b blogspot, 2011
  14. ^ Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok,2013
  15. ^ matichon online, 2011
  16. ^ a b MThai, 2013
  17. ^ myfirstbrain, 2013
  18. ^ Maneger Online, 2011
  19. ^ Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok , 2013


  • Reid, Anthony (Editor), Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Era, Cornell University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8014-8093-0
  • Smithies, Michael (2002), Three military accounts of the 1688 "Revolution" in Siam, Itineria Asiatica, Orchid Press, Bangkok, ISBN 974-524-005-2
  • Wikipedia: The free Encyclopedia "ท้าวทองกีบม้า"(March 9, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • คึกเดช, ก. (2002).ท้าวทองกีบม้า. Bangkok Thailand: สำนักพิมพ์แห่งจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย
  • Wikipedia: The free Encyclopedia "สมเด็จเจ้าฟ้าสุดาวดี กรมหลวงโยธาเทพ" (July 7, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • พิทยะ ศ.,blogspot"สยาม-โปรตุเกสศึกษา:บทบาทในการเผยแพร่วัฒนธรรมการกินอยู่ของชุมชนชาวโปรตุเกสในประวัติศาสตร์ไทย"(February 5, 2011) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok "แรกทองหยิบ ฝอยทอง...มา สยาม" Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • matichon online""ฝอยทอง"ไม่ใช่คำตอบ"ไทย-โปรตุเกส"เปิดลึกสายสัมพันธ์ 500ปี และงานสัมมนาที่ว่างเปล่า..." (September 21, 2011) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • MThai"ประวัติความเป็นมาของขนมไทย ที่ไม่ใช่ของคนไทย!!" (May 30, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • พิทยะ ศ.,blogspot"สยาม-โปรตุเกสศึกษา:เบื่อเหนื่อย: ประวัติขนม..... การแกะรอยการตอบรับวิทยานิพนธ์ทางประวัติศาสตร์"(Feb 5th 2011) Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • myfirstbrain"ต้นตำรับขนมไทย" Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • Maneger Online"เซเลบร่วมรำลึกประวัติศาสตร์ผ่านขนมไทยตำรับโปรตุเกส" (August 2, 2011)

  • Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok "แรกทองหยิบ ฝอยทอง...มา สยาม" Retrieved October 22, 2013

  • MThai"ประวัติความเป็นมาของขนมไทย ที่ไม่ใช่ของคนไทย!!" (May 30, 2013) Retrieved October 22, 2013