The U-sa Barot Chronicle (Wat Phra Phutthabat Buabok Version): Development of the Text and Explanation of the Geographical Area

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Cherdchai Buddee

Abstract

This research aimed at analyzing the Wat Phra Phutthabat Buabok version of the U-sa Barot Chronicle in Ban Phue district, Udon Thani province in terms of its development before it appeared in its present form. This research also aimed at studying how this version of the chronicle differs from other versions and the reasons why people in the Phu Phrabat area believe that U-sa Barot is a true story. The study and analysis of these issues help to understand the existence of this version of the chronicle. Methods used for the study were historical evidence, folklore surrounding the story, analysis and interpretation of primary documents and secondary evidence, fieldwork, and individual interviews.  The results show that U-sa Barot is a chronicle that, like other chronicles both in Thailand and Laos, was influenced by an ancient Indian epic. The Wat Phra Phuthabat Buabok version was influenced by Lan Xang which received it from Lan Na. Importantly, what made this version different from others was that the people living around Phu Phrabat had connected the belief and the myth of U-sa Barot with the rocks in the Phu Phrabat area. These rocks had been considered as a sacred place from the pre-historical period to the time of the Lan Xang Kingdom. Because of their unique characteristics, the names of the rocks in Phu Phrabat were the mechanism which helped maintain the existence of the U-sa Barot Chronicle among people living around Phu Phrabat.

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How to Cite
Buddee, C. (1). The U-sa Barot Chronicle (Wat Phra Phutthabat Buabok Version): Development of the Text and Explanation of the Geographical Area. Journal of Mekong Societies, 8(3), 167-190. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/6045
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