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Title Between the Bay of Bengal and the Java Sea  
ISBN 9789814779272
Imprint Marshall Cavendish Editions
Mariana Isa & Maganjeet Kaur
Specifications 152 x 227mm / 256pp / Paperback
Publication Date Mar-2020
Target Audience General
Price (SGD) SGD 26.00
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About the Book

Trade routes, ancient ports and cultural commonalities —
a voyage into Southeast Asia's surprising past

The people of Southeast Asia have a long history of shared culture. From Myanmar to Papua, the inhabitants built wooden houses on poles, whether they lived in flooded   coastal plains or in the highlands. Their diet consisted mainly of rice and fish. They engaged in pastimes such as cockfighting and sat enthralled at wayang kulit performances. Offering betel to guests was the cornerstone of hospitality.

How did such features come to spread across an area of 4.5 million square kilometres? For all its diversity of ethnicity, language and religion, Southeast Asia can best be understood as a region knit together by a network of trade routes over land and sea.

This revelatory new book traces the diffusion of cultures between the Bay of Bengal and the Java Sea, beginning from the last few centuries BCE, by looking at trade goods such as Indian textiles, Vietnamese Dong Son drums, Chinese ceramics, and spices from the Indonesian archipelago. The authors take us through a host of ancient port-cities and kingdoms, such as Srivijaya, whose fortunes were intimately tied to these trade routes, pointing out striking similarities in architecture, writing systems and everyday customs.

Richly illustrated with maps, drawings and photographs, Between the Bay of Bengal and the Java Sea takes you on a fascinating voyage into the region's colourful past.

About the Authors

Founders of Heritage Output Lab, Mariana Isa and Maganjeet Kaur are independent researchers of Malaysian and Southeast Asian history. Through their company, they provide research-based services to organisations and individuals requiring further background for print, audio and film projects. Kuala Lumpur Street Names (2015) and Towns of Malaya (2017, with Dr Neil Khor) are two of their notable publications. They were the heritage consultants for Kuala Lumpur's Heritage Trail Interpretive Panels, a project dubbed "KL Dulu", commissioned by the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL).

Maganjeet Kaur holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia and an MSc in Information Technology (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology).

Mariana Isa received her Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and an MSc in Conservation of Historic Buildings from the University of Bath.

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