Champa cultural imprints in northern Vietnam through historical and archaeological resources

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Champa is remembered today through a system of temple architecture and sculpture art as a brilliant civilization that once existed in Central Vietnam. Champa had always maintained political and economic ties with the Đại Việt dynasties throughout its history. The article focuses on Champa cultural imprints found in northern Vietnam, specifically sculptures from the Lý and Trần dynasties (1009-1400). The newly discovered artifacts in Northern Vietnam were compared to Champa sculptures of the same period (11th-14th centuries), demonstrating strong Champa cultural influences in North Vietnam. The article also uses written sources and records on the migration and settlement of the Champa people in North Vietnam to demonstrate the cultural imprints that have remained to this day.

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Geographic proximity, political relations, and trade were historically driving factors in the relationship between the Đại Việt and Champa. Cultural exchanges between the two kingdoms were formed as a result, and they had mutual effects in many areas: political, economic, military, social, and cultural. The influence of Champa culture on Đại Việt, in particular, created new cultural values. For more than a century, scholars have been interested in studying Champa cultural imprints in Northern Vietnam [Madrolle 1912; Phạm Quỳnh 1932; Trần Văn Giáp 1935; Dương Kỵ 1943; Cao Xuân Phổ 1970; Nguyễn Hồng Kiên 2000; Lê Đình Phụng 2015; Bùi Xuân Đính 2021, etc.]. Those studies, however, are disintegrated, detail heavy and have not been able to provide a complete and consistent set of research topic. This article, within the framework of the project at Hanoi National University (code: QG.18.49), aims to clarify the relationship between Đại Việt and Champa through archaeological sources from Northern Vietnam, in order to contribute better insights into the identification and re-evaluation of the Vietnamese nation's historical process.

The following research methods were used in the article: (i) the historical studies method, which included using written sources (official history), evaluating, analyzing, connecting, and describing the periods in relationship between Đại Việt and Champa; (ii) method of doing fieldwork, field survey to identify artifacts (circular statues, reliefs, decorative plaques), combined with in-depth interviews with local people, collection of relevant written documents such as: inscriptions, genealogies, ordinations, etc.; (iii) the iconographic analysis method, which was used to compare and analyze Champa sculptures in North Vietnam with archetypes in Champa in Central Vietnam. This comparison was made with specimens from the same epoch and sculptural style.

Reenactment through written history

After over 1000 years of Northern dominance, the Vietnamese in Giao Chau escaped Chinese dynastic power. After the fight on the Bach Dang River in 938, the Han people were compelled to retreat to the north. The state of Đại Việt was founded on the Chinese monarchy model and was heavily influenced by Han culture (East Asia). As a result, Đại Việt dynasties such as Đinh, Pre-Lê, Lý, and Trần have long sought a strategy to limit assimilation and reliance on China. In 1057, King Lý Thánh Tông built the Thiên Phúc and Thiên Thọ pagodas. Two golden sculptures of Brahma and Indra were cast for worship [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-1:272]. Trần Cảo and his companions named Phan At (a Champa person, also called Đồng Lợi) rebelled in Thuy Duong and Đông Triều in 1516 during the Lê sơ era (Hải Dương town). Trần Cảo claims to be Đế thích (Indra) and wears a black robe... [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-3: 75].

Many distinct ways and methods were used to bring Indian culture (South Asia) into Đại Việt: 1. directly from India by sea and imported into Đại Việt; 2. through China (Northern), from there into Dai Viet; and 3. through Champa (South), then spread into Đại Việt. The direct approach was only followed in the first centuries AD, when Indian Buddhist monks launched the mission and built the Luy Lau center (Bắc Ninh). Because the path through China was hampered by the powerful Sinicization process, Indian culture lost much of its individuality and distinctiveness. Although the path through Champa has been more or less localized, the Indian identity (South Asia) is still clearly apparent, and the originality on the political, ideological-religious model, architectural works, sculptures, rituals, and divine systems remains boldly present. As a result, Đại Việt adopted Indian culture through Champa, which has had a significant impact on Vietnamese culture (especially in the 11th-14th centuries). For several centuries, migrant movements brought Champa culture (which affected and absorbed Indian culture) to Đại Việt. Champa prisoners were brought to North Vietnam after the battles (from the 10th to the 15th centuries). They were dispersed throughout Đại Việt, forming villages and hamlets.

In 982 (Pre-Lê Dynasty: 980–1009), King Lê Hoàn captured many soldiers, hundreds of prostitutes in the Champa king's palace and a monk teacher Thiên Trúc/India monk brought back to Hoa Lư capital [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-1: 168]. During the Lý Dynasty (1009–1225), in 1044, King Lý Thái Tông attacked Champa and more than 5000 Cham people were in imprisonment. These Cham people were later brought by King Lý to settle in towns from Vĩnh Khang1to Châu Đăng2, establishing new villages but still named after the title of Champa [Ibid.: 222-223]. In 1069, the King of Lý Dynasty captured King Chế Củ (Rudravarman III) and 50,000 Cham people [Ibid.: 223].

Until the Trần Dynasty, (1226–1400), the post-war migrations continued, in which emerged the event in 1252 when King Trần Thái Tông attacked Champa, captured Champa’s mandarins, concubines and commoners to bring back to Thăng Long [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-2: 25]. Then, in the Lê sơ Dynasty (1428-1527), King Lê Nhân Tông organized large-scale battle in 1446, destroyed Vijaya citadel, captured King Bí Cai (Maha Vijaya), his concubines and subordinates [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-3: 36]. In particular, the battle of Lê Thánh Tông in Champa in 1471, capturing the Champa king Trà Toàn and many prisons [Ibid.: 237].

The Champa people moved to Dai Viet, where there was a significant process of acculturation and cultural influence in various areas. Dai Viet received a great amount of Indian culture thanks to the Champa people. Records in Đại Việt's official history show that Champa culture left its imprint on a new land. King Lý Thái Tông constructed a separate palace3 for Champa concubines in 1046 [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-1: 225]. He "released the music and beat of Champa's drums to make the musicians sing" in 1060 [Ibid.: 298]. In 1202, "Autumn, August, ordering the musician to compose the Zhancheng music episode which having clear voice, mournful and miserable, and the listeners are moved to tears" [Ibid.]. Aside from the artists (dancers, musicians) who influenced royal life, there were also Champa generals and intellectuals whose roles influenced the political situation as well as social life in Đại Việt. In 1229, Đại Việt history records events relating to Nguyễn Nộn employ a Champa military advisor: "The servant named Phạm Ma Lôi secretly rode away, not knowing where he was going. Ma Lôi is a Chiêm Thành citizen who went to trade in Ai Lao and Nộn received him as a slave. Ma Lôi anticipated the enemy's intention to defeat him and was a very talented combatant" [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-2: 10].

Another person is Bố Đông, who was linked to an event in 1396, and then was used as a military general by Hồ Quí Ly to defend the citadel against the Ming (Chinese) army's invasion of Đại Việt. The written source reveals: "Trần Tùng went to fight Champa, captured the general of that country, Bố Đông, brought him back, gave him the name Kim Trung Liệt, and took care of the Tiger army (Hổ Bôn). After the Year of the Dog, build Đa Bang citadel, ordering troops to the border to fight, preventing the enemy from entering the realm... But the generals did not follow. Bố Đông fell ill and died" [Ibid.: 213].

Additionally, social and cultural life has changed as a result of the presence of Champa people in Dai Viet. Showing the influence of Champa people and culture on Dai Viet through a number of formal court orders. During the Trần Dynasty, in 1374, King Trần Duệ Tông forbade people from wearing Northern clothes and imitating the voices of Cham and Laos people [Ibid.: 184]. In 1499, King Lê Hiến Tông issued a ban applied from the prince to the people, saying, "You are not allowed to take Champa's women and girls as wives, so that the customs are domesticated" [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-4: 17].

Material Findings

One of the Champa sculptures is now on display at the Bạch Sam pagoda in Võng La village, Võng La commune, Đông Anh district, Hà Nội. The Bạch Sam pagoda, known as Chài pagoda, was designated a national relic by the Vietnamese government in 1996. The pagoda was built in the 17th century based on architectural traces and an inscription system and has undergone numerous restorations/repairs. However, in addition to the existing architecture, there is also a stone incense pedestal, carved with a lotus image, dating back to the 14th century, suggesting that the pagoda was built at that time. Across the Hồng/Red River from Bạch Sam pagoda is the area of Phú Thượng (Tây Hồ district), Nhật Tảo, and Chèm Vẽ (Bắc Từ Liêm district) where Champa prisoners were housed from the 11th century to the 15th century. The Shiva relief was a convincing physical evidence for the process of cultural interference between Đại Việt and Champa in the center of Hồng river delta when archaeologists discovered it in 2004 [Nguyễn Tiến Đông 2005: 807].

The Shiva statue is carved in the form of a relief on a sandstone slab with a height of 51 cm, a base of 25 cm, and a thickness of 7.5 cm (Fig. 1a). Scholars believe this Shiva statue dates from the 11th century to the 13th century based on its iconography features [Nguyễn Tiến Đông 2005: 807]. Shiva in Bạch Sam is in the Padmasana pose, holding a cylindrical instrument (linga?) in one hand, the other hand face down on the knee. The decorative patterns or textures of the costumes, as well as the facial structures on the statue, are similar to the Shiva reliefs in Phú Hưng and Mỹ Sơn (Quảng Nam province) which dated to the 11th century (Fig. 1b).


Fig. 1a. Image of Shiva, Bạch Sam Pagoda, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hoai Nam


Fig. 1b. Image of Shiva, pagoda Phú Hưng. Prov. Quảng Nam. Photo: Nguyen Huu Manh


Along with the Shiva statue, there is also a Poh Naga statue at Bạch Sam pagoda (Mother of the Land of Thiên Ya Na). This statue is adorned with many patterns and sculptures in the Champa style on a large tympan. The Poh Naga statue at Bạch Sam pagoda is 70 cm high, 46.5 cm wide, and 42 cm thick; it is divided into two parts: statue and decoration. Part of the statue sits cross-legged (Full lotus position), with 10 arms radiating around it. It is distinguished by the lowering of the two main arms, with the hands resting on the knees (left hand facing up; right hand raised in the Abhaya/Fearless posture) [Đạo Uyển 2006: 29]. The remaining hands are holding tools such as: a short sword, a ring, an arrow, and a mace (right); a bell, a plate, a bow, and a horn (left) (Fig. 2a). There are decorative patterns on the statue's neck, chest, and the body of the arms (like jewelry). The artifacts of Kala4 and Makara5 are depicted in the bas-relief. This statue was made between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The artifact details, costume texture, artifact pattern, number of hands, tools on hand, Kala face or head Makara, and sitting posture are all similar to the Poh Naga statue in Tháp Bà (Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa province)6 (Fig. 2b).


Fig. 2a. Poh Naga statue at Bạch Sam pagoda, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hoai Nam


Fig. 2b. Poh Naga statue in Khánh Hòa province. Photo: Nguyen Huu Manh


Based on the origin and appearance of the two statues mentioned above, two hypotheses can be made: first, these two statues were brought directly by Champa "prisoners" after the wars with Đại Việt. The God statue is always carried by the Champa people, on the one hand, so that they do not fall into the hands of the invaders or are protected from destruction, and on the other hand, so that worship and beliefs are maintained in the new land. Secondly, these two statues are the rewards of war brought back by Vietnamese generals. However, unlike other trophies, the two statues are intrinsically linked to religion and belief, and thus cannot be brought home or considered ordinary objects by ordinary Viet peopledue to their fear of demons. Thus, the best solution is to send these statues to Vietnamese temples, particularly those located in Champa communities in northern Vietnam7. Because Champa's architectural works (citadel, palaces, houses, and even temples) were frequently destroyed during the war. Large statues are not a priority for them to carry, but small, lightweight statues or sacred objects, such as the two Shiva statues in Võng La, are feasible and easy to transport. However, it is a possibility that these two statues could have been chiseled by Champa artisans in Thăng Long, given the large number of workers sent to Đại Việt after the war. Nevertheless there is no evidence to support this claim, and sandstone for making statues is not as common in the North as it is in Central Vietnam.

Today, Bà Già village is known as Phú Gia, Phú Thượng, Tây Hồ district in Hà Nội. There are still two clans of Champa prisoners in the village of Phú Gia, Phú Thượng (in the Thiên Niên prefecture) namely Công and Hy. According to the Công family genealogy in Phú Gia village, the current two surnames Công and Hy are derived from the Champa's Ông and Bố surnames8. The historical records have recorded events that general Trần Nhật Duật in the 13th century often visited the Cham village here [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993-2: 127]

Furthermore, in the past, the areas of Phú Thượng (Tây Hồ district) and Hải Bối, Võng La (Đông Anh district) had the custom of "Kết chạ"9 forming close social relations, especially up to the present time. Furthermore, not only the Phú Thượng area, but also the areas of Xuân La, Xuân Đỉnh, and Nhật Tảo (Tây Hồ district, Hà Nội) and Chèm Vẽ (Bắc Từ Liêm district, Hà Nội), where King Lê Thánh Tông granted land to Phan Thị Ngọc Đô10 to establish the Thiên Niên prefecture (15th century). It was confirmed that the two statues of Shiva and Poh Naga in Bạch Sam were brought back based on the arrangement of prisoners and the establishment of hamlets and villages from the Lý, Trần, and Lê Sơ dynasties.

Other sources of material and artifacts have emerged as the research area was expanded to the Bắc Ninh province. The first are Champa-style sculptures in Bắc Ninh, a province located in the north of Hà Nội. Bắc Ninh was the first Buddhist center in Vietnam's north. According to research, Dâu Pagoda (Luy Lâu, Thuận Thành, Bắc Ninh) was Giao Châu's first Buddhist center11 [Nguyễn Lang 2000: 25-26]. There is still a black round cylindrical stone block with traces of artifact and carving in the square box at Dâu pagoda, known locally as Thạch Quang Phật. Thạch Quang Phật is a stone Linga (19cm high, 11.5cm bottom diameter, 10cm head engraving). Actually, Thạch Quang-Linga is not in the position mentioned above, but "he" used to have his own place, which is the lower palace directly behind the main upper hall of Dâu pagoda. Lord Thạch Quang (Linga) is a manifestation of Shiva, one of the powerful Hindu trinity in the post-Veda era. An important Skati of Shiva is the black "Lati", the master of time and death. This is where the dark skin on the Four Dharma statues comes from. So we can say that Hinduism, specifically Shaivism, exists at Dâu pagoda. As a result, we will go one step further and confirm that the "monk" Già La Đề Lê is a Shaivism disciple. Shaivism at Dâu pagoda, however, is no longer like in its original land, but has been Vietnamized in the names like Bà Dâu, Bà Đậu, Bà Tướng, Bà Dàn12. Thus, Hinduism was deeply ingrained in the Vietnamese people's ancient religious life [Trần Quốc Vượng 1994: 181-182].

It is still unknown where Thạch Quang Phật in Dâu Pagoda originated. The hypothesis that it can be brought directly from Champa after the wars (possibly from the time when the Chinese ruled Giao Châu to the periods of Đại Việt's autonomy) is still only speculation. Because, like the two statues in Bạch Sam and Võng La, the god statue is small, light, and prioritized for carrying for the purpose stated above. The Champa people who brought their god statue to the new land could have been the ordinary people, or the clergy, the monks13. It was also made on the spot by Champa residents living in Đại Việt.

Archaeologists discovered three kinara/ri statues holding a drum in front of the chest at Phật Tích Pagoda, a Champa originated artifacts14. Kinara/ri is the embodiment of music gods who produce clear melodies that captivate people. Kinara/ri is incarnated as a god who specializes in singing in Hinduism, with a drum on chest. All three are made of sandstone in various sizes. The Vietnam National Museum of History currently has two statues on display, the first of which is 26 cm high, 19cm wide, and 22 cm long. The second statue measures 23 cm tall, 17cm wide, and 21 cm long. The crest of the bird's tail is broken, the bird's wings are chipped, and the front is broken, exposing the abdomen and legs (Fig. 3). The book Annam Chí lược summarizes a type of drum known as phạn sĩ (drum), which is a Champa musical instrument15 with a long round shape, grinding rice, covering both ends, and producing a clear sound when clapping in the middle of the face. It is only used for King and royal ceremonies, along with trumpet pipes, bamboo towers, sapar, and big drums (formerly known as Đại Nhạc) [Lê Tắc 2009: 69]. Other musical instruments, such as the lute and the flute, are depicted alongside the image of the kinnara/ri holding the drum. In Phật Tích, the image of the god Kinnara/ri has been Vietnamized, particularly the feminine face, which has many pure Vietnamese features.


Fig. 3. Kinara statue from Phật Tích Pagoda, Prov. Bắc Ninh. State Historical Museum. Photo from open sources


Despite its Indian origins, Kinara/ri influenced not only Champa but also China. Champa and China's cultures then have influenced Đại Việt. This is also why there have been discussions among researchers about these sculptural objects. However, I believe that Kinnara/ri in Phật Tích were made by Champa artisans, or at least under their supervision and instruction, and that artifacts were made directly at the pagoda during construction. However, because this process was overseen by Vietnamese mandarins, the image of Kinnara/ri was heavily Vietnamized or influenced by Chinese culture, which was deeply ingrained in Đại Việt’s court life. As a result, it is difficult to find Kinnara/ri in Đại Việt that is identical to Kinnara/ri in Champa and China. The style, artifact lines, and some instruments on Kinnara/ri in Đại Việt show that they absorbed more strongly from Champa than from China.

Furthermore, the Phật Tích pagoda still has a stone base decorating with lotus flower16 dating from the 11th to the 12th centuries, height: 30 cm, side length: 55 cm. Carved decorative strips of dancers, musicians, and angels in dancing postures and playing musical instruments such as drums, erhu (like Kanhi)17, flute, trumpet (like saranai)18, 4 chord lute, and zither. Another relic is the Chương Sơn pagoda in Ý Yên district, Nam Định province, which bears the Champa sculpture mark. It's a door step railing19 that's 60 cm tall and 250 cm long. King Lý Nhân Tông (1066-1127) began construction on Chương Sơn pagoda in 1108 and finished it in 1117. According to Đại Việt history, in 1117, "the king came to Chương Sơn mountain in March to inaugurate the Vạn Phong Hành Thiện stupa." [Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 vol 1: 287]. The decorative content on the balustrade of Chương Sơn pagoda's door step is carved with Apsara and Ghandava figures dancing and offering flowers. The Apsara and Ghandava decoration project at the foot of Phật Tích pagoda and the door railing of Chương Sơn pagoda has a layout and features similar to the sculpture strip of 10 dancers (Apsara) on the Trà Kiệu altar (Fig. 4) in terms of iconography, Bình Định dancers in the Twin Towers (Tháp Đôi). The Trà Kiệu altar is made of sandstone and dates from the 7th - 8th centuries, while the dancers in Bình Định date from the 11th - 12th centuries and are both on display at Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham sculpture.


Fig. 4. Apsaras and Gandavas on the Trà Kiệu's altar. Museum of Cham culture in Da Nang. Author's photo


The images of Apsara and Ghandava on the lotus stone pedestal at Phật Tích pagoda (Bắc Ninh) or the door railing at Chương Sơn pagoda (Nam Định) were made on site during construction, similar to Kinnara/ri in Phật Tích pagoda. Both temples were constructed during the Lý Dynasty (11th-12th centuries). Knowledge of Champa artisans were used to carry out or direct the process of creating these artistic details, but they were managed and supervised by Vietnamese mandarins. When compared to Champa artifacts, there are many similarities, but there are also some differences. Especially when compared to the decorative apsaras on Trà Kiệu's altar or the Tháp Đôi dancers (Bình Định). The distinction can be seen in the following details: 1. The sculptural motif on the sides of the Trà Kiệu altar recreates a scene from the epic Ramayana; however, the image on the Stone base of the Phật Tích pagoda and the handrail of Chương Sơn do not. 2. When compared to female dancers of Trà Kiệu and Tháp Đôi, Đại Việt's Apsara and Ghandava poses have many variations: hand movements, foot shrunken, head rotation, and face. 3. The difference in Apsara and Ghandava's costume structure and facial structure in Phật Tích, Chương Sơn has been Vietnameseized. Despite these differences, Apsara and Ghandava in Phật Tích, Chưong Sơn were heavily influenced by the imprints, styles, decorative motifs, and charisma of Champa sculpture.


Champa material culture imprints can still be found in the rich and diverse in North Vietnam. However, there are few remaining Champa artifacts; so far, only two statues of Shiva and Poh Naga have been discovered at Bạch Sam pagoda, Võng La, Đông Anh, Hà Nội. These two sculptures could be trophies obtained by Đại Việt generals or brought out by Champa "prisoners" after the wars that lasted from the 11th to the 15th centuries. Aside from Champa sculptures, there are also sculptures or archaeological artifacts that have been hybridized with other artifact styles or stripped of Champa lines (Vietnamization) to suit contemporary Đại Việt consciousness, viewpoints, and ideas. The Thạch Quang Phật painting at Dâu pagoda (Luy Lâu, Thuận Thành, Bắc Ninh) is a Linga or a variation of a Linga, for example. Many sculptures or artifacts only have Champa's direction and style, such as the image of Kinnara/ri holding musical instruments (rice drum, flute, lute) in front of her chest with a face bearing the structure of a Vietnamese woman: small eyes, thin eyebrows, small nose wings, thin lips. The details of this statue are different from Champa, usually face structure as following: big round eyes, thick eyebrows, wide nose wings, thick lips. Or the image of Apsara dancer, Ghandava musician in Đại Việt also has many changes in artifact compared to Champa. Specifically, Apsara's breasts are not rounded as in the art of Champa sculpture. What we rarely see in statues or reliefs of the same type in the ruins of Champa temples.

Archaeological artifacts or sculptures (round statues, reliefs) of Champa or Champa imprints in North Vietnam have been important evidence for the centuries-long relationship between the two Đại Việt and Champa kingdoms. On the one hand, it supplements the gaps in written records. On the other hand, the cultural and material cultural imprints of Champa in North Vietnam are also the result of the migration process that followed the two countries' relationship in terms of diplomacy and battlefield clashes. It is the process of migration (both voluntary and forced), from Champa to Đại Việt that has formed the process of cultural interference between two groups of Cham - Vietnamese residents in a space other than central Vietnam.

The diplomatic imprints of Champa left in North Vietnam are not as profound as the military clashes between the two countries. Because of the missions sent by the King of Champa to Đại Việt, the number of members was small, the length of stay was short, and the scope of activities was limited to the scribe/national capital. As a result, the Champa factors primarily influenced political life, the court, and the upper classes in society, with little impact on the lives of ordinary people. Meanwhile, following each war, tens of thousands of Champa "prisoners" were brought to Đại Việt and placed in various regions, where they established villages and became a part of this land. They not only participated in construction and contributed wisdom and effort to the various works of the Đại Việt dynasties in the new land20, but they were also the "mixed blood" between the two races of Cham Viet, contributing to the transmission of Champa

Although not extensive and in-depth, the written documents included in the official history of Đại Việt provide significant and convincing evidence of the process of cultural encroachment between Champa and Đại Việt. Written records also support physical records, as well. From there, the cultural remnants of the Champa were preserved by amicable blending and assimilated into Đại Việt culture. Vietnamese residents of Vietnam's north also absorb Champa culture voluntarily and with an open mind. As a result, the Champa culture, which was affected by Indian culture, not only adds to the diversity of Đại Việt culture (in the North of Vietnam), but also helps to establish new ideals, enabling Đại Việt to distinguish their culture from that of China by being autonomous and self-sufficient.

The Champa cultural imprint in North Vietnam is another open research direction for scholars to pursue, particularly archaeological artifacts or sculptures. Northern Vietnam was naturally penetrated by many centuries (particularly during the Lý and Trần dynasties) and became part of Đại Việt culture. The appearance of Champa culture in North Vietnam demonstrated that Đại Việt did not only receive purely Chinese cultural elements, but also other cultural elements such as Champa culture (which had suffered influence of Indian culture). There are also physical cultural imprints bearing the mark of Champa in northern Vietnam that have yet to be discovered; this is also a gap that requires more specific research in the future.


1Vĩnh Khang is located in present-day Nghe An province.

2Châu Dăng [Dang district] is located in the northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam, including the provinces of Tuyên Quang, Yên Bái, and Lào Cai.

3 This palace is named Ngân Hán.

4 Kala is the god of time and death, a reincarnation of Shiva, the god of destruction.

5Makara is the ocean's sea monster and the mount of the sea god Varuna.

6According to research sources, the Poh Naga statue (Poh Inu Naga) in Tháp Bà/Po Nagar Temple in Nha Trang city, Khánh Hòa province, is a: Statue of goddess Po Nagar dating back to the 11th century, made of stone material in the full lotus position, with 5 pairs of hands holding different tools, the body is slim, the chest is wide, the neck is 3 lines high, and the face is benevolent. Along with that, there is the Kala face decoration project in the center, and the Makara face on both sides. [Đào Thái Hanh 1997: 177-180], [Nguyễn Minh San 2001: 253-270].

7Đại Việt's capture of treasures after each war with Champa included not only prisoners, weapons, elephants and horses, gold and silver, and so on, but also temple-related god sets (statues, metal kosa). "In 982, the king (Lê Hoàn, the first king of the Pre-Lê dynasty, Đại Cồ Việt kingdom) attacked Champa, captured the soldiers and concubines, reclaimed the precious things, collecting thousands of thousands of gold and silver treasures; leveled the citadel, destroyed the royal temples..." [Ngô Sĩ Liên, 1993-1: 168–169]. Madrolle also described how temple materials brought from Champa in the 10th-15th centuries were reused to build a Chinese temple. "When the temple was demolished in 1886-1888, the carved stones in the palm-leaf door ledges were also recovered," the traces revealed. Unfortunately, the inscription stele was destroyed or converted into a doorway, and finally, two luth-playing female statues with human heads and bird bodies (kinara/kinari) were discovered. [Madrolle, 1912: 14].

8 According to elders in Phu Gia village, during the reign of King Minh Mạng (1820-1841), a local official saw such a thing and added two commas to the character Bố (布) to form the character Hy (希) and omitted the Vũ character (羽) in Ông (翁) to form Công (公). Since then, people from the Ông and Bố families have switched to Công and Hy and have been using them until now.

9Kết chạ is a traditional Vietnamese village custom in the north of Vietnam in which two villages become close/associated in all aspects of social life, such as: supporting each other in difficult times, protecting each other in times of trouble, marital relations, sharing resources in agricultural, forestry, and fishery production.

10Phan Thị Ngọc Đô is said to be King Trà Toàn's (1460-1471) concubine, who was captured and secured by King Lê Thánh Tông (1442-1497) after the battle in 1471. King Lê Thánh Tông planned to bring her to the Forbidden City as a concubine, but the great mandarins intervened because she was the concubine of the king of Champa, and therefore no longer pure according to Confucianism's moral standards. The king gave her and her 24 maids land to build the Thiên Niên Village. She learned to weave linen and then taught it to her maids. Later, these maids married and spread the profession to the people of Bưởi village, which is located on the outskirts of Thăng Long citadel. Following her death, the people of the Bưởi area (Tây Hồ, Hà Nội) crowned her the queen of linen weaving. [Bùi Văn Nguyên, Vũ Tuấn Sán, 1975:42–43].

11During the Northern domination, the northern Vietnam called Giao Châu by Chinese

12Bà Dâu (Pháp Vân, God of Clouds); Bà Đậu (Pháp Vũ, God of Rain); Bà Tướng (Pháp Lôi, God of Thunder); and Bà Dàn (Pháp Điện, God of Lightning) are other ways Vietnamese people worship natural phenomena.

13The capture of Indian monks or Zen masters such as Ma Ha, Master of Đàm Khí, was recorded in ancient annals such as Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư and Thiền Uyển Tập Anh. Đàm Khí from Champa were brought to Đại Việt following the wars [Đinh Đức Tiến, Nguyễn Duy Hùng 2013:16–20].

14Kinnara/ri, which originated from India, is associated with Brahmanism and Buddhism; The process of importing this animal image to China was Sinicized with the name Kalavinca or Cà Lăng Tần Già.

15Chiêm Thành is a way of writing in Chinese and Đại Việt historical documents when referring to Champa.

16Currently, this lotus flower stone base is being kept in the gallery of Phật Tích Pagoda.

17A type of lute (string set) in the traditional musical instrument of Champa

18The type of instrument (wind kit) in the traditional musical instrument set of Champa

19This artifact is being placed at the Nam Định Provincial Museum

20 Ancient historical texts read: "Báo Thiên Tower: in the past, Lý Thánh Vương fought against Champa, captured a skilled craftsman to build a tower thirteen stories high, named Thiên Tư Vạn Thọ Tower, and then cast bronze the Đao Lợi Thiên" [Lê Tắc 2009: 65]. General Bố Đông was from Champa, and was sent by Hồ Quí Li to build Đa Bang citadel to protect the west of Nhị Hà River (Red River). He proposed coming to the border to fight rather than allowing the enemy to go to the plain but was rejected by the other Vietnamese generals. The country failed and regretted not following Bố Đông's strategy [Lê Quý Đôn 1977: 34-35].


About the authors

Duc Tien Dinh

Vietnam National University

Author for correspondence.

PhD (History), Lecturer, University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Viet Nam, 336 Nguyen Trai Str., Thanh Xuan, Hanoi


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1a. Image of Shiva, Bạch Sam Pagoda, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hoai Nam

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2. Fig. 1b. Image of Shiva, pagoda Phú Hưng. Prov. Quảng Nam. Photo: Nguyen Huu Manh

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3. Fig. 2a. Poh Naga statue at Bạch Sam pagoda, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Hoai Nam

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4. Fig. 2b. Poh Naga statue in Khánh Hòa province. Photo: Nguyen Huu Manh

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5. Fig. 3. Kinara statue from Phật Tích Pagoda, Prov. Bắc Ninh. State Historical Museum. Photo from open sources

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6. Fig. 4. Apsaras and Gandavas on the Trà Kiệu's altar. Museum of Cham culture in Da Nang. Author's photo

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