History of Isan

History Of Isan

The history of Isan (Thai: อีสาน) has been determined by its geography, situated as it is on the Korat Plateau between Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The term "Isan" originally meant "invisible power", and is derived from Isanapura, the ancient capital of the northern Chenla Kingdom, established in 613 AD near modern-day Sambor Prey Kuk near Kompong Thom in central Cambodia. The name of the capital was conferred in 628 by its ancient Khmer-speaking king Isana Varman I (616-635AD), in dedication to the Hindu god Shiva, to whom he erected a statue following his victory over the kingdom of Funan, to which the kingdom of Chenla had been vassals.

Siam's King Rama VI reinvoked the ancient name, designating the northeast sector of the Kingdom of Siam as Isan. Previously, in the reign of Rama V in early 20th century, the sector was generally called Hua Muang Lao (หัวเมืองลาว Lao Townships) for the area north of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat,) and Khamen Pa Dong (เขมรป่าดง Wilderness Khmer) for the townships to the east. Later the term Isan came into wide. if unofficial, use as a term for the Northeastern Region, and Khon Isan (คนอีสาน Isan People) as a general term for the peoples of Isan.

Isan has been dominated by each of its neighbors in turn, although its relative infertility meant it was more often a battleground than a prize. Rather than being incorporated into the respective empires of each power, the area was divided into meuang (เมือง city-states) or statelets, each paying tribute to one or more powers under the mandala system.

Throughout the 20th century, the Thai government took steps to cement Isan's status as a part of Thailand and to de-emphasize the Lao, Khmer. and Kuy origins of its population: a process known as "Thaification" by some scholars. The majority of people in present-day Isan are Lao-speaking; many Khmer-speakers live in the southern part; and substantial minorities of Katuic (i.e. Kuy, Bru, and So) speakers also exist. Most Isan people are both conversant and to some degree literate in Thai.

History of Thailand
Prehistory
Early history
Initial states Legendary
Suvarnabhumi
Central Thailand
Dvaravati
Lavo
Supannabhum
Northern Thailand
Singhanavati
Ngoenyang
Hariphunchai
Southern Thailand
Pan Pan
Raktamaritika
Langkasuka
Srivijaya
Tambralinga
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Sultanate of Pattani
Kedah Sultanate
History
Sukhothai Kingdom
Ayutthaya Kingdom
Thonburi Kingdom
Rattanakosin Kingdom
Military period
Democratic period
Regional history Isan
Lanna
Phitsanulok
Bangkok
Related topics Peopling of Thailand
Constitutional history
Military history
Economic history

Read more about History Of Isan:  Prehistory, Early History, Khmer Domination, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, Lan Xang, Siam, Communism, US Bases, Development, Recent History

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    The history of any nation follows an undulatory course. In the trough of the wave we find more or less complete anarchy; but the crest is not more or less complete Utopia, but only, at best, a tolerably humane, partially free and fairly just society that invariably carries within itself the seeds of its own decadence.
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    The history of any nation follows an undulatory course. In the trough of the wave we find more or less complete anarchy; but the crest is not more or less complete Utopia, but only, at best, a tolerably humane, partially free and fairly just society that invariably carries within itself the seeds of its own decadence.
    Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)