Singu village, Toungoo Dynasty
|Known for||Compiling the Maha Yazawin|
|Parent(s)||Deva Setha (father)|
Mani Ogha (mother)
U Kala (Burmese : ဦးကုလား) is a Burmese historian and chronicler best known for compiling the Maha Yazawin (lit. 'Great Royal Chronicle'), the first extensive national chronicle of Burma. U Kala single-handedly revolutionized secular Burmese historiography and ushered in a new generation of private chroniclers, including Buddhist monks and laymen.
The Burmese language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Myanmar where it is an official language and the language of the Bamar people, the country's principal ethnic group. Although the Constitution of Myanmar officially recognizes the English name of the language as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese, after Burma, the older name for Myanmar. In 2007, it was spoken as a first language by 33 million, primarily the Bamar (Burman) people and related ethnic groups, and as a second language by 10 million, particularly ethnic minorities in Myanmar and neighboring countries.
A chronicle is a historical account of facts and events arranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the chronicler. This is in contrast to a narrative or history, which sets selected events in a meaningful interpretive context and excludes those the author does not see as important.
The Maha Yazawin, fully the Maha Yazawindawgyi and formerly romanized as the Maha-Radza Weng, is the first national chronicle of Burma/Myanmar. Completed in 1724 by U Kala, a historian at the Toungoo court, it was the first chronicle to synthesize all the ancient, regional, foreign and biographic histories related to Burmese history. Prior to the chronicle, the only known Burmese histories were biographies and comparatively brief local chronicles. The chronicle has formed the basis for all subsequent histories of the country, including the earliest English language histories of Burma written in the late 19th century.
U Kala was a wealthy descendant of court and regional administrative officers from both sides of his family. His father, Dewa Setha, was a banker from Singaing, a village south of Inwa, and descended from regional administrative officers (myosas) of the crown.His mother, Mani Awga, of mixed Shan and Burman noble descent, came from a prominent family of courtier-administrators who served the Taungoo Dynasty since the mid-1500s.
Inwa or Ava, located in Mandalay Region, Burma (Myanmar), is an ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Throughout history, it was sacked and rebuilt numerous times. The capital city was finally abandoned after it was completely destroyed by a series of major earthquakes in March 1839. Though only a few traces of its former grandeur remain today, the former capital is a popular day-trip tourist destination from Mandalay.
The Shan are a Tai ethnic group of Southeast Asia. The Shan live primarily in the Shan State of Burma (Myanmar), but also inhabit parts of Mandalay Region, Kachin State, and Kayin State, and in adjacent regions of China, Laos, Assam and Thailand. Though no reliable census has been taken in Burma since 1935, the Shan are estimated to number 4–6 million, with CIA Factbook giving an estimate of five million spread throughout Myanmar.
In compiling the Maha Yazawin, U Kala likely had access to Toungoo court documents, including royal correspondence, parabaik, notebooks of daily court schedules prepared by astrologers and scribes, official records of military affairs, and royal genealogies.He supplemented his sources with private local chronicles, inscriptions, biographies, and religious histories held in monastic or royal collections at the royal capital.
Parabaik is a type of paper, made of thick sheets of paper that are blackened, glued and folded together. Along with paper made from bamboo and palm leaves, parabaiks were the main medium for writing and drawing in early modern Burma/Myanmar.
Nyaung-u Sawrahan was king of the Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from c. 956 to 1001. Although he is remembered as the Cucumber King in the Burmese chronicles based on a legend, Sawrahan is the earliest king of Pagan whose existence has been verified by inscriptional evidence. According to scholarship, it was during Sawrahan reign that Pagan, then one of several competing city-states in Upper Burma, "grew in authority and grandeur". The creation of Burmese alphabet as well as the fortification of Pagan may have begun in his reign.
Arimaddana Pura is a classical name of the city of Bagan (Pagan), Myanmar. It means the "City that Tramples on Enemies."
Narapati Sithu was king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1174 to 1211. He is considered the last important king of Pagan. His peaceful and prosperous reign gave rise to Burmese culture which finally emerged from the shadows of Mon and Pyu cultures. The Burman leadership of the kingdom was now unquestioned. The Pagan Empire reached its peak during his reign, and would decline gradually after his death.
Taninganway Min was king of Toungoo dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1714 to 1733. The long and slow descent of the dynasty finally came to the forefront during his reign in the form of internal and external instabilities. He faced a rebellion by his uncle Governor of Pagan at his accession. In the northwest, the Manipuri horsemen raided Burmese territory in early 1724. The retaliatory expedition to Manipur in November 1724 failed. In the east, southern Lan Na, under Burmese rule since 1558, successfully revolted in 1727. Taninganway tried to recapture the breakaway region twice but both tries failed. By 1732, southern Lan Na was independent although a strong Burmese garrison in Chiang Saen in northern Lan Na confined the rebellion to the Ping valley around Chiang Mai.
Htilominlo was king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1211 to 1235. His 24-year reign marked the beginning of the gradual decline of Pagan dynasty. It was the first to see the impact of over a century of continuous growth of tax-free religious wealth, which had greatly reduced the potential tax base. Htilominlo was the last of the temple builders although most of his temples were in remote lands not in the Pagan region, reflecting the deteriorating state of royal treasury.
Uzana was king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1251 to 1256. He assumed the regnal name "Śrī Tribhuvanāditya Dhammarājajayasūra" (ၐြီတြိဘုဝနာဒိတျဓမ္မရာဇဇယသူရ).
Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu was king of Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1001 to 1021. He was the father of Anawrahta, the founder of Pagan Empire. The principality of Pagan continued to gain strength during his reign. Pagan's surviving walls were most likely constructed during his reign.
Pyinbya was the king of Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) who founded the city of Pagan (Bagan) in 849 CE. Though the Burmese chronicles describe him as the 33rd king of the dynasty founded in early 2nd century CE, modern historians consider Pyinbya one of the first kings of Pagan, which would gradually take over present-day central Burma in the next two hundred years. He was the paternal great-grandfather of King Anawrahta, the founder of Pagan Empire.
Kanyaza Nge was a legendary king of Tagaung, who reportedly reigned in the 9th century BCE.
The royal chronicles of Myanmar are detailed and continuous chronicles of the monarchy of Myanmar (Burma). The chronicles were written on different media such as parabaik paper, palm leaf, and stone; they were composed in different literary styles such as prose, verse, and chronograms. Palm-leaf manuscripts written in prose are those that are commonly referred to as the chronicles. Other royal records include administrative treatises and precedents, legal treatises and precedents, and censuses.
Hmannan Maha Yazawindawgyi is the first official chronicle of Konbaung Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). It was compiled by the Royal Historical Commission between 1829 and 1832. The compilation was based on several existing chronicles and local histories, and the inscriptions collected on the orders of King Bodawpaya, as well as several types of poetry describing epics of kings. Although the compilers disputed some of the earlier accounts, they by and large retained the accounts given Maha Yazawin, the standard chronicle of Toungoo Dynasty.
Maha Yazawin Thit is a national chronicle of Burma (Myanmar). Completed in 1798, the chronicle was the first attempt by the Konbaung court to update and check the accuracy of Maha Yazawin, the standard chronicle of the previous Toungoo Dynasty. Its author Twinthin Taikwun Maha Sithu consulted several existing written sources, and over 600 stone inscriptions collected from around the kingdom between 1783 and 1793. It is the first historical document in Southeast Asia compiled in consultation with epigraphic evidence.
Pagan Yazawin is a 16th-century Burmese chronicle that covers the history of the Pagan Dynasty. One palm-leaf manuscript copy of the chronicle is stored at the Universities Historical Research Center in Yangon.
Inwa Yazawin is a lost Burmese chronicle that covers the history of the Ava Kingdom. The chronicle's existence was first mentioned in an early 15th-century chronicle called Yazawin Kyaw that did survive. At least some portions survived down to the 1720s as they were referenced in Maha Yazawin, the official chronicle of Toungoo Dynasty.
These are the lists related to the Family of King Bayinnaung of the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma. The king had over 50 wives and nearly 100 children. All the Toungoo monarchs after him were descended from him.
The Mani Yadanabon is an 18th-century court treatise on Burmese statecraft and court organization. The text is a compilation of exemplary "advice offered by various ministers to Burmese sovereigns from the late 14th to the early 18th century." It is "a repository of historical examples illustrating pragmatic political principles worthy of Machiavelli".