Forging Buddhist Credentials as a Tool of Legitimacy and Ethnic Identity: A Study of Arakan's Subjection in Nineteenth-Century Burma

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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Abstract

The kingdom of Arakan was conquered by the Burmese in 1785 and annexed by the British after the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824-6). Resistance to the occupation was followed by campaigns of pacification that entailed social disruption. Starting with an analysis of the religious motives for King Bodawphaya's quest to conquer Arakan, this article focuses on the use of local religious traditions to bolster ethnic self-identification and resist the process of integration. Based on little explored indigenous and Western primary sources, this essay attempts to make a contribution to the social history of Buddhism in Arakan. Le royaume d'Arakan fut conquis en 1785 par les Birmans. Après la première guerre anglobirmane (1824-6), il fut annexé par les Anglais. La résistance arakanaise aux occupants provoqua des campagnes d'oppression qui eurent un impact considérable sur la société. L'article que voici propose une analyse des motifs religieux qui sous-tendent la conquête par le roi Bodawphaya (1781-1819). L'attention se porte ensuite sur le recours aux traditions locales qui étayaient l'identité communautaire et permettaient de résister au processus d'intégration. Cette enquête fondée sur des sources primaires indigènes et occidentales offre ainsi une contribution à l'histoire sociale du bouddhisme en Arakan.

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Journal d'Histoire Economique et Sociale de l'Orient

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