Malay kingship in Kedah: Religion, trade, and society
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Extract: This book proposes a new understanding of historic Southeast Asia, particularly the Malay and the Islamic world that form an important part of it (refer to Maps 1 and 2). Its focus is on the north-western Malaysian kingdom of Kedah, the oldest unbroken independent kingship line in the "Malay and Islamic world" with over 1,000 years of history. The volume highlights the impact of the Siamese invasion of 1821-1842 which devastated the state and forced the Kedah Sultan to flee to the neighboring British territory of Penang. Taking these events as a pivotal point, it examines the institution of kingship in Kedah and probes the foundations and endurance of traditional sources of power and its historical persistence in the Malay Peninsula. Thus the book examines the physical and spiritual attributes of Malay kingship together with forms of power that cemented the ruler, the peoples, and the environment.
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