A la poursuite de l’inscription chame – Episode I

Always enjoyed to see how history is played… Chams have all kind of myths to justify their ancestrality in Cambodia. One illustration of this ‘anteriority to khmers’ in the country is the idea that Chams would be the ones who indeed built Angkor Wat. Proof : the inscription in cham which is supposed to be found on the temple walls. Except… I never found it. Maybe it didn’t even exist I thought. So I forgot about it. But recently the EFEO (Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient) in Paris contacts a few people and luckily I am in the list: “we have a problem Phnom Penh”, “It is a weird, weird inscription found on the Angkor site not really readable since it is in cham from cambodia”. “Emiko, you are going to like it!”… and did I liked it… MIRACLE !!!! Here comes the inscription that I have always been hearing so much from, and that I have been so much searching for : the mythical cham inscription from Angkor Wat. So, today, I went to one of my ‘offices’: a village where elders are often able to read the script and complete the very light transcription I am able to make on my own… It was amazing (yet not so surprising) to see the enthusiasm of everyone after the Friday prayer: it was as heavy as the air around us. It was a real event and the discutions were endless. “This is too big, we have to work on it again, more… And this year, 2425 buddhist era (=1881), what does this mean since Angkor is … much more older ???”. Want to know more ? Follow me next week as I will be in Siem Reap for another episode of ”A la poursuite de l’inscription chame”!

To be continued… Episode II

Phnom Penh, February 11, 2013, Emiko Stock.

* Originally very informally shared with a couple of friends over my personal FB page, 08/08/09.

Those little field-notes are reminiscences of the past blogs and shares. While they are not proud of their flaws, I thought they shouldn’t be punished for it. Hopefully you will forgive them to be just as they come, just as they will remain.


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