Friday, April 27, 2007

PIRES ON SIAM (1515)

Translated from the Portuguese
MS in the Bibliotheque de la Chambre des Députes,
Paris, and edited by ARMANDO CORTESAO
THE SUMA ORIENTAL
OF TOME PIRES
AN ACCOUNT OF THE EAST, FROM THE RED SEA
TO JAPAN, WRITTEN IN MALACCA AND INDIA IN
1512-1515

... As, in accordance with the arrangement of this book, we shall pass through Siam on the way to Malacca, it is right that we should speak of it, although we shall come upon it again on the China side at the river of Odia (Ayuthia).

Kingdom of Siam and its ports.

There are three ports in the kingdom of Siam on the Pegu side, and on the Pahang and Champa side there are many. They all belong to the said kingdom and are subject to the king of Siam. The land of Siam is large and very plenteous, with many people and cities, with many lords and many foreign merchants, and most of these foreigners are Chinese, because Siam does a great deal of trade with China. The land of Malacca is called a land of Siam, and the whole of Siam, Champa and thereabouts is called China.

The kingdom of Siam is heathen. The people, and almost the language, are like those of Pegu. They are considered to be prudent folk of good counsel. The merchants know a great deal about merchandise. They are tall, swarthy men, shorn like those of Pegu. The kingdom is justly ruled. The king is always in residence in the city of Odia. He is a hunter. He is very ceremonious with strangers; he is more free and easy with the natives. He has many wives, upwards of five hundred (betul ke?). On the death [of the king] it has as king a person of the blood [royal], usually a nephew, the son of a sister, if he is suitable, and if not there are sometimes agreements and assemblies [to decide] who will be the best. Secrets are closely kept among them. They are very reserved. They speak with well-taught modesty. The important men are very obedient to the king. Their ambassadors carry out their instructions thoroughly.

Through the cunning [of the Siamese] the foreign merchants who go to their land and kingdom leave their merchandise in the land and are ill paid; and this happens to them all--but less to the Chinese, on account of their friendship with the king of China. And for this reason less people go to their port than would otherwise] go. However, as the land is rich in good merchandise, they bear some things on account of the profit, as often happens to merchants, because otherwise there would be no trading.

There are very few Moors in Siam (Moors ialah Portugis islam). The Siamese do not like them. There are, however, Arabs, Persians, Bengalees, many Kling, Chinese and other nationalities. And all the Siamese trade is on the China side, and in Pase, Pedir and Bengal. The Moors are in the seaports. They are obedient to their own lords, and constantly make war on the Siamese, now inland and now in Pahang. They are not very warlike fighting men. The said Siamese wear bells like the men of Pegu, and no less but just as many. The lords wear pointed diamonds and other precious stones in their privy parts in addition to the bells--a precious stone worn is according to the person or his estate.

Duties and coinage in Siam.

The foreign merchants in Siam pay two on every nine, and the Chinese pay two on every twelve. The bahar weighs the same as it does in China, neither more nor less. The Siamese gold and silver cate is equivalent to a Malacca cate and a half. Cowries (kupang), like those current in Pegu, are current throughout the country for small money, and gold and silver for the larger coins. This money is worth the same as we have said for Pegu. And there seems to be no doubt that they pay one in fifteen on the goods going out, because the truth is that they pay duties of two in ten on everything in Siam.

Ports in Siam going towards Malacca on the Pegu side.

The nearest to the land of Pegu, to Martaban, is Tenasserim (Tenaçarj) and then Junkseylon (Juncalom) and then Trang (Terrãm) and Kedah (Quedua), and it is a port of the kingdom of Kedah which is tributary to it. And from Kedah to Malacca they are all tin places, as we have already said in the kingdom and district of Malacca. This had to be [mentioned] before we speak of Kedah, so that it should be in order.

Ports in the kingdom of Siam on the China side.

Beginning from Pahang (Pahãao) and Trengganu (Talimgano), Kelantam (Clamtam), Say, Patani (Patane), Lakon (Lugor), Martarã, Callnansey, Bamcha, Cotinuo, Peperim, Pamgoray, are all ports belonging to lords of the land of Siam, and some of these are kings. They all have junks; these do not belong to the king of Siam, but to the merchants and the lords of the places; and after these ports there is the river of Odia, where they go up to the city--a river where boats and ships can go, wide and beautiful.

River of Kedah (Quedaa).

Kedah is a very small kingdom, with few people and few houses. It is up a river. There is pepper there, a matter of four hundred bahars a year. This pepper goes by way of Siam to China, with that which they bring from Pase and Pedir also. When any ship comes to Tenasserim and to the ports of Siam it comes to Kedah to sell its merchandise also, and the people from the tin districts buy and take gold, because Kedah is a trading country; and they get to the land of Siam in three or four days by land, and they take the merchandise from Kedah to Siam

The kingdom of Kedah is almost bounded on one side by Trang (Terrão), and on the other by the end of the kingdom of Malacca and by Bruas (Baruaz)[4]. (kalau begitu luaslah kawasan Kedah. Kedah pula dikatakan berada dibawah kuasa Siam). Kedah trades with Pase and Pedir, and the people of Pase and Pedir come to Kedah every year. One ship comes from Gujarat to the ports of Siam, and comes to Kedah and takes in a cargo of the pepper there is in the country, and from there it sometimes goes back to Pase and Pedir to finish taking in its cargo, and it takes the tin from Bruas, Selangor (Çalamgor) and Mjmjam.

Kedah is under the jurisdiction of the king of Siam, and they go to Siam by the Kedah river. Kedah has rice in quantities, and pepper. A great deal of merchandise from China is used in Kedah; and Kedah does not have junks, it has lancharas. It is a country. It does good trade. Because of their proximity, cloth in Kedah is worth the same as in Malacca.

Now we will go on to Siam on the China side, and after having finished talking about Siam, and about some of its ports, we will enter into the kingdom of Cambodia.
Merchandise in Siam which used to come to Malacca at the time when they traded with it.

Foodstuffs.

There is a great abundance of rice in Siam, and much salt, dried salt fish, oraquas, vegetables; and up to thirty junks a year used to come to Malacca with these.

Merchandise.

From Siam comes lac, benzoin, brazil, lead, tin, silver, gold, ivory, cassia fistula; they bring vessels of cast copper and gold, ruby and diamond rings; they bring a large quantity of cheap, coarse Siamese cloth for the poor people.
They say that the chief merchandise they take from Malacca to Siam are the male and female slaves, which they take in quantities, white sandalwood, pepper, quicksilver, vermilion, opium, azernefe, cloves, mace, nutmeg, wide and narrow muslins, and Kling cloths in the fashion of Siam, camlets, rosewater, carpets brocades from Cambay, white cowries, wax, Borneo camphor pachak which are roots like dry rampion, gall-nuts (gualhas), and the merchandise they bring from China every year is also of value there.

How long it is that the Siamese have not been coming to Malacca. The Siamese have not traded in Malacca for twenty-two years. They had a difference because the kings of Malacca owed allegiance to the kings of Siam, because they say that Malacca belongs to the land of Siam. They say that it is theirs and that twenty-two years ago this king lost Malacca, which rose up against this subjection. They also say that Pahang rose against Siam in the same way, and that, on account of the relationship between them, the kings of Malacca favoured the people of Pahang against the Siamese, and that this was also a reason for their disagreement.(ini membawa serangan Siam ke atas melaka kerana terdahulu Melaka telah merampas kawasan bijih di beruas dan bertindak mengadap Maharaja China untuk mendapatkan pengiktirafan)

They also say that it was about the tin districts which are on the Kedah side, and which were originally under Kedah, and were taken over by Malacca; and they quarreled for all these reasons, and they say that the chief reason was the revolt against subjection. After this the Siamese sailed against Malacca, and the Siamese were routed by the Malays, and [they say] that the Lasamane was the captain--who has therefore been held in great honour ever since. What the Siamese trade now. The Siamese trade in China--six or seven junks a year. They trade with Sunda and Palembang (Palimbaão) and other islands They trade with Cambodia and Champa and Cochin China (Cauçhy), and with Burma (Brema) and Jangoma on the main land, when they are at peace.

On the Tenasserim side Siam also trades with Pase, Pedir, with Kedah, with Pegu, with Bengal; and the Gujaratees come to its port every year! They trade richly outside and liberally inside the country, but they are great tyrants.
King and lords of the kingdom of Siam. King Prechayoa (Tunku mohammad Yusuf, Raja Pasai) means lord of all, and after the king the Aja King and Capetit is the viceroy on the Pegu and Cambodia side, and makes war on Burma (Bremao) and Jangoma. This Aja Capetit has many fighting men. Inside his own territory he is like the king of this land. The second is the viceroy of Lakon (Loguor). He is called Poyohya (?) He is governor from Pahang to Odia; Pahang (Pahãm), Trengganu (Talimgano), Chantansay, Patani, Lakon (Lugou), Maitaram, Calnãsey, Banqa, Chotomuj, Pepory, Pamgoray and other ports all have lords like kings, some of them Moors, some of them heathen.

And in each port there are many junks and these navigate to Cambodia, Champa, Cochin China (Cauchij), and to Java and Sunda, and to Malacca, Pase, Pedir and to those of Indragiri (Andarguerij), Palembang (Palimbão), and from these places to Patani. They have up to seven or eight hundred bahars of pepper every year, and every one of these ports is a chief port, and they have a great deal of trade, and many of them rebel against Siam; and thus viceroy very rich and a very important person--almost as important as the other, [of] Kampengpet (Capemtit).

The other is Vya Chacotay. He is viceroy on the Tenasserim, Trang and Kedah side. He is the chief person. He has jurisdiction over them all. He is perpetual captain of Tenasserim. He is the lord of many people and of a land plenteous in foodstuffs.
Another is Oparaa. He is secretary to the king ( Uparat ialah raja muda, bukan setiausaha). Everything passes through his hands and through the Concusa who is treasurer; and they say that both this Oparaa and the Concusa now have, I great authority with the king of Siam, although the Concusa is a man of low birth. It is customary in the kingdom of Siam for everything to go through these two people Oparaa and Concusa, and these two wrote to Malacca with the king of Siam.

Nota : Gelaran Boromoraja (di Thailand) di panggil Parameswara di Myanmar.

1 comment:

Kamarunnizam said...

Saya anak Langgar dari Kg Pokok Asam. Arwah ayah asal dari Kbg Siam Alor Janggus. Kalau tak silap Nyang mak saya di simpan sebelah sebelah Sultan Abdul Hamid. Entah-entah saya ada kena mengena dgn sejarah versi baru ni. Mula-mula cari pasai makam lama Sheikh Abd Qadir di Tg Inggeris, tok-tok jumpa blog ni. Syok juga. Saya dah lama curiga dengan orang putih walaupun penah belajar di negeri dia. Dah 3 malam dok becekang mata. Soalan saya: 1. Portugis di Melaka tu puak Islam Moor ka? 2.Kerajaan Islam Siam Kedah dulu tu firqah Syiah Ja'fari ka?