The Newsletter 61 Autumn 2012

Buddhist murals of northeast Thailand

William Noseworthy

Reviewed publication:
Brereton, Bonnie Pacala and Yencheuy, Somroay. 2010. Buddhist Murals of Northeast Thailand: Reflection of the Isan Heartland. Chiangmai, Thailand: Silkworm Books. xi+83 pages. ISBN 978-616-90053-1-5 (paperback)

From the classic Stanley Tambiah’s 1976 tome that blended cosmological and historical studies with a scientific mind in the application of the ‘galactic polity,’ through Professor Thongchai Winichakul’s widely celebrated Siam Mapped (1994), to Kenon Breazeles’ globalization of Thai history in From Japan to Arabia (1999), the field of Thai studies has remained innovative for at least the past three and a half decades of English language scholarship. This tradition continues with Bonnie Pacala Brereton and Somroay Yencheuy’s exploration of Buddhist murals of northeast Thailand. However, Brereton and Yencheuy’s contribution not only works within this tradition of Thai studies, it also creates a further bridge to the cultural flows between Lao and Thai through an articulation of the visual world of Isan.

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