Principality of Phuan
|Status||Autonomous principality (1480-1791) |
Principality under the Kingdom of Vientiane (1802-1828)
Nguyễn dynasty province (1828-1848)
Vassal to Siam (1848-1893)
Protectorate of France (1893-1899)
• Lan Xang divided
• French Protectorate of Laos
|Currency|| Pod Duang (until 1875)|
Piastre (from 1885)
|Today part of|| Laos |
|History of Laos|
|Muang city-stats Era|
|Lan Xang Era|
|Regional Kingdoms Era|
Muang Phuan or Xieng Khouang (Trấn Ninh (鎮寧) - 'Principality of Ninh', historical Vietnamese name) was a historical principality on the Xiangkhoang Plateau, which constitutes the modern territory of Xiangkhouang Province, Laos.
Among the Lao, Phuan, and Thai muang has a dual meaning: 'city' or more broadly 'country of'. Xieng means 'walled'. The two terms were often used together for major city states under the Southeast Asian mandala model, thus Muang Xieng Khouang would be transcribed as the 'Walled city/country of the Phuan' (Khouang is a French corruption of Phuan).
The Xiangkhouang Plateau is semi-arid but has important iron ore resources and has been inhabited since the Bronze Age (the Plain of Jars is an important UNESCO archeological site). The region is an important area for trade as it occupies the major passes along the Annamite Cordillera to access Vietnam and the coast.
The Tai Phuan or Phuan people are a Theravada Buddhist Tai-Lao ethnic group that migrated to the area which is now Laos during the 13th century. According to legend the Phuan people were led by Chet Chuong, the second son of Khun Borom who founded the city-state of Muang Phuan. In the mid-14th century Muang Phuan was incorporated into the Lan Xang Kingdom under King Fa Ngum. Under the Mandala model, cities or even kingdoms would enter into tributary relationships with their neighbors depending on regional power; in exchange the tribute would maintain local autonomy. It was not uncommon to pay tribute to more than one power even concurrently. In 1434, Muang Phuan entered into a tributary relationship with the Dai Viet. However, by 1478 the Dai Viet attempted to annex Muang Phuan as a prefecture, which contributed to war between Lan Xang and the Dai Viet. The Dai Viet army ultimately withdrew during that conflict, and Muang Phuan returned as a tributary to Lan Xang. However, the peace was short-lived and by 1531 Muang Phuan rebelled against King Photisarath who put down the rebellion after two years. Throughout the 16th and 17th century Muang Phuan remained part of Lan Xang.
During the 16th century, expressive Buddhist art and architecture flourished. The capital was dotted with temples in a distinct Xieng Khouang style, i.e., simple low roofs with a characteristic ‘waist’ at the foundation. In 1930, Le Boulanger described it as ‘a large and beautiful city protected by wide moats and forts occupying the surrounding hills and the opulence of the sixty-two pagodas and their stupas, of which the flanks concealed treasures, obtained the capital a fame that spread fear wide and far.” In 1707 when Lan Xang was divided between the Kingdoms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Muang Phuan entered into tributary relations with the Kingdom of Luang Prabang.
By the 1720s Muang Phuan was supporting the Kingdom of Luang Prabang in wars against the Burmese, and Siamese. Under Chao Kham Sattha again Muang Phuan went to war against the Governor of Thakhek, a tributary to the Kingdom of Vientiane. In 1751 Chao Ong Lo went so far as to directly attack the Kingdom of Vientiane and was totally defeated, retreating to Houa Phan (today Sam Neua) where he began to raise another army. The Kingdom of Vientiane named Chao Ong Lo's brother Ong Bun as regional governor of Muang Phuan. The armies of Muang Phuan split between the brothers in civil war, and ultimately Chao Ong Lo prevailed. However the conflict drained the region so much so that for the next 37 years Muang Phuan remained a tributary to Vientiane.
In 1779 the Kingdom of Vientiane was captured by the Siamese led by General Taksin, Muang Phuan as a tributary of Vientiane became a Siamese vassal state while maintaining tributary relations with Dai Viet. Siam was severely depopulated from the history of warfare with the Burmese in the 18th century, and the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767. To exert greater control of the lands and people of Muang Phuan, the Siamese launched the first of several forced migration campaigns to resettle large parts of the Phuan population to regions under firm Siamese control. Chao Somphou, the son of Chao Ong Lo, set about restoring and rebuilding the temples and defenses of Muang Phuan. According to some accounts his palace grew to rival that of the King of Vientiane. In 1789 or 1790 King Nanthasen of Vientiane believed rebellion was possible and sent an army to capture Muang Phuan. Chao Somphou fled to Hua Phan, King Nanthasen continued north to capture Luang Prabang in 1792. In 1793 Chao Somphou was captured by King Nanthasen and imprisoned in Vientiane. Muang Phuan appealed to the Dai Viet, and a combined force of 6,000 Phuan and Vietnamese crossed into Xiengkhouang and began to march toward Vientiane. King Nanthasen not wanting to create a wider conflict negotiated an arrangement where Muang Phuan would pay equal tribute to the Kingdoms of Vientiane and the Dai Viet in exchange for the release of Chao Somphou. Chao Somphou returned to Muang Phuan where he began another building campaign. By 1800 King Inthavong of Vientiane feared a resurgence of power in Muang Phuan, and sent his brother Chao Anouvong to capture Chao Somphou. Chao Somphou died as a prisoner in Vientiane around 1803.
Chao Somphou's nephew Chao Noy took control of Muang Phuan in 1803. He was an authoritarian ruler who increased taxes to augment his palace and the military. In 1814 he violently suppressed a Khmu rebellion. In 1823 he was accused by a half-brother of seeking independence, and was summoned to Vientiane under the guise of answering for his actions during 1814. King Inthavong imprisoned Chao Noy for three years. On the death of his brother King Anouvong of Vientiane, allowed Chao Noy to return to Muang Phuan where he sought a tributary relationship with the Dai Viet Emperor Minh Mang. Whether Anouvong's actions were part of a wider plot to rebel against the Siamese is controversial, what is clear is that ultimately Anouvong did rebel and sought to draw all the Lao lands together in opposition to Siam. The Lao rebellion of 1826–1828 ultimately failed, and Chao Noy handed over the fleeing King Anouvong to the Siamese. As King Anouvong was also a tributary to the Dai Viet, Emperor Minh Mang summoned Chao Noy in 1831 and had him executed for having acted without consultation.
In 1832 the Dai Viet annexed Muang Phuan and named the region Tran Ninh meaning “To Keep the Peace” and imposed Vietnamese taxes, culture and dress on the population. Under the guise of protecting the Tai peoples in Muang Phuan, a Siamese garrison of 1,000 invaded and killed the Vietnamese officials. The Thais then began a second population transfer, moving several thousand Muang Phuan. Several hundred tried to escape and return to Muang Phuan but were caught by the Vietnamese and committed suicide. Disease and harsh treatment killed a number of the families that stayed with the Siamese, and left only around a thousand to be resettled around Bangkok. In late 1831 Siam and Vietnam had a series of wars (Siamese-Vietnamese War 1831–1834, and Siamese-Vietnamese War 1841–1845) over control of Cambodia, and the Xieng Khouang region came under heavy Vietnamese presence. During the period Chao Po (son of Chao Noy) was allowed to return to Muang Phuan. In the 1850s Siam agitated a rebellion against the Vietnamese, and Muang Phuan came under Siamese suzerainty.
Beginning in the 1840s the Chinese sought to expand their military control and tax system over the hill peoples in southern China. Lao Sung people including the Hmong and Meo began to move into the mountainous uplands of Xieng khouang. The migration of these first peoples was relatively peaceful, as the peoples preferred to maintain their own communities in the upland territories which were not farmed by the Lao Theung or Lao Loum in the area. By the 1860s the failed Taiping Rebellion in China created a flood of new refugees along with marauders organized into gangs identified by the design of their flags including the Red, Yellow, Black and Striped. The gangs looted, burned and warred in the areas of northern Laos and Xieng Khouang. The capital of Muang Phuan was looted and destroyed repeatedly by warring bands of Haw or Ho pirates. Due to the instability the Siamese conducted a series of military campaigns known as the Haw Wars in the region. The Siamese were unsuccessful at restoring order, and used the opportunity for more forced population transfers in 1875–1876. These deportations were observed by a British observer in 1876.
The captives were hurried mercilessly along, many weighted by burdens strapped to their backs, the men, who had no wives or children with them and were therefore capable of attempting escape, were tied together by a rope pursed through a sort of wooden collar. Those men who had their families with them were allowed the free use of their limbs. Great numbers died from sickness, starvation and exhaustion on the road. The sick, when they became too weak to struggle on, were left behind. If a house happened to be near, the sick man or woman was left with the people in the house. If no house was at hand which must have been oftener the case in the wild country they were traversing, the sufferer was flung down to die miserably in the jungle. Any of his or her companions attempting to stop to assist the poor creatures were driven on with blows ... Fever and dysentery were still at work among them and many more will probably die. Already, I was told, more than half of the original 5,700 so treacherously seized are dead."
The instability caused by the Haw engulfed the territories of Tonkin and Annam, which were possessed by the French in the 1880s. The French were aware that Siamese control of territory was weak. In 1889, Auguste Pavie produced letters from King Mantha Tourath of Luang Prabang seeking vassalage with Emperor Minh Mang from the period of the 1830s, and presented them to Bangkok as evidence for the French right to extend a protectorate to Xieng Khouang and Luang Prabang. Under the terms of the Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1893 Muang Phuan came under French colonial protection. In 1899 the Phuan regions lost autonomy and became part of the French Protectorate of Laos in French Indochina.
Evidence for modern human presence in the northern and central highlands of Indochina, that constitute the territories of the modern Laotian nation-state dates back to the Lower Paleolithic. These earliest human migrants are Australo-Melanesians — associated with the Hoabinhian culture and have populated the highlands and the interior, less accessible regions of Laos and all of South-east Asia to this day. The subsequent Austroasiatic and Austronesian marine migration waves affected landlocked Laos only marginally and direct Chinese and Indian cultural contact had a greater impact on the country.
The Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao existed as a unified kingdom from 1353 to 1707.
Luang Phabang, or Louangphabang, commonly transliterated into Western languages from the pre-1975 Lao spelling ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ as Luang Prabang, literally meaning "Royal Buddha Image", is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. It was listed in 1995 for unique and "remarkably" well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Chao Anouvong, or regnal name Xaiya Setthathirath V, , led the Lao rebellion (1826–28) as the last monarch of the Kingdom of Vientiane. Anouvong succeeded to the throne in 1805 upon the death of his brother, Chao Inthavong, Xaiya Setthathirath IV, who had succeeded their father, Ong Bun or Phrachao Siribounyasan Xaiya Setthathirath III. Anou was known by his father's regal number until recently discovered records disclosed that his father and brother had the same regal name.
Somdetch Brhat-Anya Fa Ladhuraniya Sri Sadhana Kanayudha Maharaja Brhat Rajadharana Sri Chudhana Negara ລາວ: ສົມເດັດ ພຣະບາດ ອັນຍາ ຟ້າ ລັດທຸຣັນຍາ ສຣີ ສັດຕະນາ ຄະນະຍຸດທາ ມະຫາຣາຊ໌ ພຣະບາດ ຣາຊະທໍຣະນາ ສຣີ ສັດຕະນະ ນະຄອນ, better known as Fa Ngum, established the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang in 1353.
Phonsavan, population 37,507, is the capital of Xiangkhouang Province. Phonsavan was built in the late-1970s and replaced the old Xiangkhouang which was destroyed during the Second Indochina War.
The Siamese-Vietnamese War of 1831–1834, also known as the Siamese-Cambodian War of 1831–1834, was sparked by a Siamese invasion force under General Bodindecha that was attempting to conquer Cambodia and southern Vietnam. After initial success and the defeat of the Khmer Army at the Battle of Kompong Cham in 1832, the Siamese advance was repelled in southern Vietnam in 1833 by the forces of the Nguyen Dynasty. Upon the outbreak of a general uprising in Cambodia and Laos, the Siamese withdrew, and Vietnam was left in control of Cambodia.
The Lao rebellion, also known as Anouvong's Rebellion or Lao–Siamese War, was an attempt by King Anouvong of the Kingdom of Vientiane to end the suzerainty of Siam and recreate the former kingdom of Lan Xang. In January 1827 the Lao armies of the kingdoms of Vientiane and Champasak moved south and west across the Khorat Plateau, advancing as far as Saraburi. The Siamese quickly mounted a counterattack, forcing the Lao forces to retreat. The Siamese continued north to defeat Anouvong's army. His rebellion had failed, which led to his capture, the destruction of his city of Vientiane in retaliation, a massive resettlement of Lao people to the west bank of the Mekong River, and direct Siamese administration of the former territories of the Kingdom of Vientiane. The legacy of the Lao rebellion is controversial. It is viewed in Thailand as a ruthless and daring rebellion that had to be suppressed, and has given rise to the folk heroes such as Thao Suranari. In Laos, King Anouvong is now revered as a national hero who died in pursuit of complete independence, even though he both lost his life in an ill-advised revolt against heavy odds and virtually guaranteed that the Lao-speaking provinces across the Mekong River would remain as part of Siam.
Setthathirath II, also called Ong Lo and Sai Ong Hue, grandson of the great ruler Suliyavongsa, was the king of the Lao Kingdom of Lān Xāng. In Vietnamese records, he was called Triều Phúc (朝福).
Khoune District, formerly called Muang Khoun (Khoune) or Old Xiang Khouang is a district (muang) of Xiangkhouang Province in north-central Laos. It is a ghost of its former self, 35 km southeast of Phonsavan, was once the royal seat of the minor kingdom of Muang Phuan, renowned in the sixteenth century for its 62 opulent stupas, whose sides were said to be covered in treasure. Years of bloody invasions by Thai and Vietnamese soldiers, pillaging by Chinese bandits in the nineteenth century and a monsoon of bombs that lasted nearly a decade during the Second Indochina War taxed this town so heavily that, by the time the air raids stopped, next to nothing was left of the kingdom's exquisite temples. The town is partly abandoned, and centuries of history were drawn to a close. All that remains of the kingdom's former glory is an elegant Buddha image towering over ruined columns of brick at Wat Phia Wat, and That Dam, both of which bear the scars of the events that ended Xieng Khuang's centuries of rich history. Although the town has been rebuilt and renamed, it has been supplanted by Phonsavan. In 1707, when the Kingdom of Lan Xang split into three separate kingdoms. Muang Phuan became a tributary state of the Kingdom of Luang Prabang.
Kingdom of Vientiane was formed in 1707 as a result of the split of the Kingdom of Lan Xang. The kingdom was a Burmese vassal from 1765 to 1824. It then became a Siamese vassal until 1828 when it was annexed by Siam.
Xiangkhouang is a province of Laos on the Xiangkhoang Plateau, in the nation's northeast. The province has the distinction of being the most heavily bombed place on Earth.
Luang Prabang is a province in northern Laos. Its capital of the same name, Luang Prabang, was the capital of Lane Xang Kingdom during the 13th to 16th centuries. It is listed since 1995 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for unique architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. The province has 12 districts. The Royal Palace, the national museum in the capital city, and the Phou Loei Protected Reserve are important sites. Notable temples in the province are the Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Wisunarat, Wat Sen, Wat Xieng Muan, and Wat Manorom. The Lao New Year is celebrated in April as The Bun Pi Mai.
Chakkaphat Phaen Phaeo (1415–1481) reigned as King of Lan Xang from 1442 to 1480, succeeding the Maha Devi after an interregnum of several years. He was born in 1415 as Prince Vong Buri, the youngest son of King Samsenthai by Queen Nan Keo Yot Fa daughter of King Intharacha of Ayutthaya. When he came of age he was appointed as Governor of Vientiane. He was invited to ascend the throne several times during the succession dispute orchestrated by the Maha Devi, but refused. The Council of Ministers finally persuaded him to become king in 1441, after they had failed to find any other candidate. He still refused to be crowned and avoided the ceremony for many years. Finally bowing to custom in 1456, he was formally coroneted and assumed the reign name and title of Samdach Brhat-Anya Chao Sanaka Chakrapati Raja Phen-Phaeo Bhaya Jayadiya Kabuddha. The regnal name is significant because it translates in Pali to cakkavattin, meaning "Universal Buddhist Monarch." Vong Buri, and the court, were claiming enough political and religious power to unify the kingdom, and warn surrounding kingdoms, despite the upheaval caused by the Maha Devi and interregnum in Lan Xang from 1428-1442.
Souvanna Banlang (1455-1486) was king of Lan Xang from 1479-1486 taking the regnal name Samdach Brhat-Anya Chao Suvarna Panya Lankara Raja Sri Sadhana Kanayudha. His reign was marked as a period of peace and reconstruction, following a massive invasion by the Đại Việt forces of Emperor Lê Thánh Tông. He became king in 1479 after the abdication of his father Chakkaphat Phaen Phaeo, who had fled the capital of Muang Sua ahead of the Đại Việt armies. Prior to his accession he served as Governor of Muang Dansai, according to the Lao chronicles he commanded Lao forces at the Battle of Pakphun where the invading forces were halted and forced to retreat to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese-Laotian War of 1479–84, also known as the White Elephant War, was a relatively short conflict between the Laotian mandala of Lan Xang and the Vietnamese kingdom of Đại Việt. The war and its aftermath contributed significantly to the formation of Laos.
Nanthasen, also known as Chao Nan, was the 6th king of the Kingdom of Vientiane. He ruled from 1781 to 1795.
Chao Nôy, also known as Chao Southaka Souvanna Koumar, was the prince ruler of Muang Phuan from 1803 to 1831. In Vietnamese record, he was called Chiêu Nội (昭內).