Volume 15.1, Abstracts
Special Section In Honor of F.K. Lehman
Where to Begin? A Brief Intellectual Biography of F.K. Lehman (F. K. L. U Chit Hlaing)
No Country for Middlemen: Three Sketches of Conflict on the Xiao Liangshan Frontier
Ann Maxwell Hill
Geneaologies of Nurture: Of Pots and Professors
Penny Van Esterik
The Legacy of F. K. Lehman (F.K. L. U Chit Hlaing) for the Study of Religion and the Secular in Burma
The Saint Who Did Not Want to Die: The Multiple Deaths of an Immortal Burmese Holy Man
Translated from French by Ward Keeler (University of Texas at Austin)
The events preceding, surrounding, and following the demise of the person considered the greatest Burmese holy man of the late twentieth century, the great monk of Thamanya (1912–2003), reveal much about how a community seeks to gain some control over death. In attempts to prevent the monk’s death, in efforts to preserve his presence despite his death, and in arguments about how to organize his funeral, we see that the body lies, as the French anthropologist Robert Hertz long pointed out, at the center of conceptions and activities related to death. Whether doubled, used as the subject of rites, preserved or burned, the body is an instrument that is manipulated when people confront death’s effects on their community.
Capitalism and the Development of Tin Industry in Burma
Although Burma played an important role in the Asian tin industry during the era of mercantile capital, it faded into insignificance during the nineteenth century, the era of finance capital, but recovered in the first part of the twentieth as its deposits were exploited by western industrial capital. The first phase rested on the strategic location of Tenasserim astride the trade routes across the isthmus of Kra and outside the control of Western mercantile trading companies. However, that same location made it a site of the Burmese- Siamese wars which brought this era to end in devastation. Although the East India Company promoted exploitation of the mineral resources of Tenasserim following the first Anglo-Burma war, it was unable to establish the institutional infrastructure that allowed Chinese capitalists to finance the tin industry elsewhere. As tin prices rose in the twentieth century, British, South African and Australian capital reinvigorated the industry not only in Tenasserim but also in the Shan States. One of these ventures proved to be so profitable that became the basis of the first tin conglomerate to operate on a global basis. The new role for Burma is explored during the depression of the 1930s, both in the negotiations with the International Tin Committee which regulated the global industry and in the continued expansion of production. Although western capital remained dominant it rested on an uneven financial base, but it provided the framework which allowed small scale primitive workings by both Chinese and Burmese to flourish.
A Royal Collection of Bronze Model Boats and Soldiers from Eighteenth-Century Burma