The Social Sciences

Year: 2016
Volume: 11
Issue: 5
Page No. 562 - 568

Seawsawat Literature: Mekong Riverbank Reflections on Societies and Cultures

Authors : Supisara Kongkiatsakda, Homhuan Buarapha and Panya Napaengmuen

Abstract: Seawsawat is a literature originated in Lan Xang Kingdom and had been widely popular. It is proverbial tales integrated with Dharma puzzle to educate and entertain the audiences. Mainly, the monks would give a sermon of this type of literature in order to teach the people and villagers. It is common to preach in the funeral, or called “NganHuan Dee.” Originally, Seawsawat was the folktales that villagers had been orally telling through generations. When they were able to inscribe the stories onto the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts, Seawsawat literature was then engraved as it had been a popular tale. Latterly, the literature became broadly well-known. It is assumed that Seawsawat is a tale developed from the folktale into the Jataka stories. In the beginning of each aphorism, there were mentions about the Lord Buddha who came down to the earth to preach and teach Ananda. When Lan Xang people received the influence and concept of Buddhism, hence they then adjusted the folktales into the stories of Jataka by inserting the concept of Bodhisattva about the transmigration of soul circle of life in the cycle of birth and death. This, Seawsawat then became the Jataka stories. In the study of Seawsawat literature in original Lao language, it was found that the literature was assumed to be written by Lao philosopher in between 1642-1643 during the period of King Suriyavongsatammiggaraj which was transliterated by MahasilaVeeravong in 1973. Currently, the literature has been used as one of Lao language textbooks for secondary school students by the Department of Secondary Education. Seawsawat was recorded onto the palm-leaf manuscripts or inscribed using Tham characters in total 10 sets each contained 21 leafs. The content would explain about what the Lord Buddha had taught and preached Ananda.

How to cite this article:

Supisara Kongkiatsakda, Homhuan Buarapha and Panya Napaengmuen, 2016. Seawsawat Literature: Mekong Riverbank Reflections on Societies and Cultures. The Social Sciences, 11: 562-568.

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