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    Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 12:31
What kind of weapons and shields and armor did the ancient Thai use? I heard they used war elephants. Oh and BTW who were their enemies?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 12:44

 

  Wellcome on board Hwarang !

 

  I found some info while surfing on the net:

  http://www.usmta.com/thai-weapons.htm

  Regards

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2004 at 21:50
They fought Burma ALOT, sometimes Cambodia, they did use elephants and later adopted European matchlocks speedily.  They also made use of Japanese mercenaries whos reputations were so good they used them at the head of their armies to scare the enemies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hwarang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2004 at 00:04
Like what kind of armor and what units was their army composed of? I'm more interested in the weapons they used before they adopted firearms.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2004 at 01:46
I dont know where to get pictures but I think it was very Indian influenced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hwarang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2004 at 11:51
How? They both had elephants...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnakAjaib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Sep-2004 at 06:32

AFAIK, the Thais had a great rivalry with the Malay kingdom of Melaka. The Thais used to control the northern states of present-day Malaysia.

Also before the Melakan empire, the Thais were also fighting with the Majapahit empire of Java.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Sep-2004 at 18:15
In addition to Myanmar/Burma and Malacca, the Thais fought regularly with the Vietnamese, for control of the countries between them (Cambodia and Laos).  In fact, the Thais pride themselves on their diplomatic skills, because (1.) it kept them independent when every other part of Southeast Asia fell to the colonial powers, and (2.) because nowadays they can get along with everybody but the Vietnamese.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2004 at 09:06

Hi!

They mostly fought with themselves, they were deivided into several kingdoms. On top of the other foriegn foe mentioned there's the Mon, the original occupants of the country who they pushed out into Burma.

Check out "Suriyothai" on google. It's an epic movie about their war with Burma, with all forms of arms and costumes depicted. If you can't afford the DVD try a picture search the stills are awesome.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ..... Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2004 at 11:18

This is what I found when I searched "Suriyothai" on Yahoo Search engine, I don't know if the armours and weapons are accurate or not:

 

 

 

General Taksin rides ahead of his troops as they battle the Burmese that finally pushed their invading forces out of Siam



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Doe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2004 at 16:53
nice
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 06:57
Paul, thanks for reminding us about Lan Na/Chiangmai and the Mons.  I forgot to mention them myself.

To my untrained eye those Thai soldiers look like a cross between Mongols and Samurai, minus the horses that both of the other armies normally used.  Apparently some of the above pictures are from a Thai historical epic; we'll have to assume the costumes are accurate until we hear otherwise.  Knowing the track record on movies about historical events, there will be an error somewhere; you all heard about the epic film that showed a Roman soldier wearing a watch, right?  I believe (but am not sure) that it was the Hollywood classic "Spartacus."

The bit about Taksin is correct, though.  He did save Siam after the worst Burmese invasion, the one that destroyed Ayutthaya, the Siamese capital before Bangkok, in 1767.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 10:56
The Thai people originally came from most South-Western part of Modern PRC that is just below Tibet, right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 14:38

Hi, Berosus

So there's another person in this world interested in Thai history too. I lived there for 6 years and never met one. Not sure how accurate the stuff is either but the movie was not your normal movie. It was funded by the royal family and many of the actors and actresses who plays royals are members of the royal family not pros, which is why some of the acting is so poor, (including both the actresses who play Suriyothai young/old). They made a lot of fuss about getting it right and it does look at least similar to the stuff in the museum. One innacuracy though is they let the women wear clothes (sob!)

 

Hi, Evildoer

There are three theories as to where te Thais came from. One is Southern China as you say. The second is India and the third they are  Malay and came from Indonesian or the Philipinnes. So in other words everybody's clueless.

However over the years there has been so much migration refering to them as an ethnic group rather than a mixed race would be a mistake. 

The largest ethnic group in Thailand is Lao when a region of Lao was annexed by Thailand last century, there are 4 times as many Lao people in Thailand as in Lao living in the northeast. Most of southern Thailand is Malay except for Chinese in the cities. Bangkok is 95% Chinese and Chinese/Thai from 20th century migration, in fact today Thailand has the most Chinese living outside China of any country in the world. The whole of the North is older Chinese/Thai from centuries of migration. The central plains, is where the Thais live. In the west they speak Burmese and the east Khmere.

The population of the country is today 10 times what it was 100 years ago. Asking where the Thais come from is kind of redundant, the Thais are coming into being as we speak.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 16:27
Evildoer:  Yes, the original Thai kingdom was named Nanzhao, and it existed in China's Yunnan province until the Mongols destroyed it in 1253.  The largest ethnic minority in the PRC, the Zhuang of Guangxi province, are closely related to the Thais.  However, the Thais started migrating south long before Nanzhao fell.  They were a pretty restless lot, always looking for new land for their sons.  When they found good land, they didn't always drive away the previous tenants, so the ethnic population was mixed wherever they settled down.

In fact, with the exception of the Negritos, just about every group in Southeast Asia lived in southern China originally, and they moved south when the Chinese expanded and pushed them out.  The Tibeto-Burmans appear to have come from the same neighborhood as the Thais, or possibly Sichuan.  The Vietnamese lived at the mouth of the Yangtze; the kingdom of Yue, in Zhejiang province during the "Age of Warring States," was mainly populated by them.  In fact, the Min, an ethnic group in Fujian province, are Vietnamese in origin, and still dress very much like their cousins in Hanoi.  The Malayo-Polynesians probably came from Taiwan; there is a non-Chinese community of "Formosans" still living on the east coast of that island.  The main group whose path of migration I cannot trace is the Mon-Khmer group; the Mons and Khmers once lived north of their present-day locations, but I don't know exactly where.

===========================

Paul:  Yes, my wife is from the Philippines, so I have long been interested in that part of the world.  On my main website I posted what I know about Southeast Asian history, at http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/seasia/index.html .  Over the years I have gotten a few nice e-mails from people who say they can't find this material anywhere else on the Internet, so I guess I succeeded in creating something special.

In Chapter 2 of that series, I wrote that the Thais were a minority in their own country when the Ayutthaya kingdom got started, around 1350.  I did know about the Chinese influence and the close relationship between the Thais and Laotians, but I didn't know they were still a minority in Thailand today.

Regarding the costumes, I have seen relief sculptures from Angkor of Khmer women going topless; are you saying the Thais did that, too?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 18:45

Who are negritos? I know negro means black in Spanish... Are you talking about Melanisians? I didn't think they existed in South Asian peninsular...

Burmans, Malays, Filipinos, Chams, Mon and Khmer were natives to South Asia, were they not?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 18:46

I have seen several photos of Thai women from Mongut's time (Yul Brynner). There's a good group shot of his queens (about 30) and lots of individual shots of some of them including Chulalongkorn's mother in a book about Anna Leonowens all wearing only loinclothes. But this level of research is unnecessary there'snot a person in the whole country that doesn't know this fact and point it out to you first historic soap on tv.

Thais a minority in their own country hmmm. Lets see, there's about 80 million nowadays and most below 30 years old. About 20 million Laos, 5 Million Malays and 12 Million Chinese. Add 8 Million for all others and the rest goes to Central Thais and Northern Thais about 40 million. I'd say they were slightly a majority.

But the remarkable thing about Thailand is all these groups would never consider themselves anything but Thai, they've melted to a degree we can't comprehend in the west. The only exceptions would be the super rich Chinese who regard themselves more akin to Singapore and Taiwan. And the Hill Tribes who are not regarded Thai by the Thais. It's always a remarkable sight to see a 2nd generation Chinese/Thai complaining about the hill tribes being foreigners with no right to live there.

Your webpage on Thai history is very interesting. One incident in Thai history I'm especially interested in is the Thai/Lao border wars of 1987/88 and 1991, both of which Lao won. It unknown by anybody in Thailand, covered up and not spoken of. If you tell a local about them they simply won't believe you and even if you convince them with facts will 'forget' whithin 5 seconds. In Lao there's a whole museum commemorating them.

Do you know anything about them.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 05:31
I believe the term "Negrito" was coined by the Spaniards when they ruled the Philippines.

The Negritos are Southeast Asia's oldest inhabitants, a dark-skinned Australoid race, very similar to the Aborigines of Australia, the Andaman islanders, and the Veddoids/Dravidians of south India.  I believe that they produced the amazing pottery and bronze work found at Ban Chiang, Thailand, in the 1970s.

The other ethnic groups you mentioned all lived in southern China until some time between 1000 and 200 B.C., when Chinese expansion under the Zhou and Qin dynasties forced them to migrate south to their present-day locations.  Thus, at the beginning of history I would draw Southeast Asia's northern frontier at the Yangtze River, rather than where modern China meets Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar/Burma.

In the process of migrating, the newcomers displaced the Negritos, so that today you can only find them in the most isolated parts of the region (usually remote islands in the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagoes).  However, I believed they remained a majority on parts of the mainland as late as 500 A.D., because the first Chinese ambassador to the kingdom of Funan described the commoners (not the Malay elite) as "ugly and black," with frizzy hair.

I didn't know about the border wars, so I'll have to look them up; it's hard to get information on Laos since the Indochina wars (and US involvement) ended over there.  However, it does explain where they got the name "Friendship Bridge" for the bridge they built over the Mekong River in 1994; it probably represents the end of bad relations between the two countries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2004 at 22:24

Very interesting. I heard of Dravians but I never immagined Melanesians could have lived in India!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 14:04
Do you guys have any pics of Portuguese mercenaries? I understand they fought alot in Thailand (for and against the Thais)
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