Title: Negotiating Ceramics: The Roles of Central Vietnamese Ceramics in Champa, Central Vietnam between 14th to 15th Centuries AD
Speaker: Melody Tan Yan Zhen (Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Date: Friday, 23 April 2021
Time: 1-2:30 pm
Meeting ID: 926 7171 1169
This talk discusses the fundamental roles of Central Vietnamese ceramics and her relationship within broader Southeast Asia, a topic that is not equally developed as compared to the other long-standing thematical research questions on the origins, production and ownership of kilns in Vijaya Champa (14th – 15th Century AD, Central Vietnam). This can first be approached empirically through defining the type of craft specialization (Costin 1991) with newly excavated kilns and recently re-identified sites with Central Vietnamese ceramics, and contextualising them in the larger historical environment of Vijaya Champa’s political economy through text and the spatial distribution of Central Vietnamese ceramics. With an identified product hierarchy of various consumer goods in Vijaya, I argue that the sovereigns of Vijaya manipulated production and distribution of these consumer goods, and in turn, used them as negotiation tools for their political and economic gains within the polity. Zooming out, this talk will also focus on Central Vietnam’s ceramic as regional trade wares in broader Southeast Asia. Through contextualisation with the political environment, I suggest that the Central Vietnamese ceramic trade was initiated to replenish the exhausting Vijaya military funds.
Melody Tan is an MPhil student in the Department of Anthropology at CUHK. As an archaeology student, Tan is interested in the production and distribution of ceramics in Southeast Asia, and the economic relationship between Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics.