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A Hundred Harvests: The History of Asian Studies at Berkeley: Southeast Asian Collections



Exhibit Coordinators  |  Suzanna McMahon

Exhibit Catalog Coordinators  |  Yu-lan Cou; Jean Han; Suzanne McMahon

Photography  |  Dan Johnson; Suzanne McMahon

Catalog and Virtual Exhibit Text 

Asia  |  Richard M. Buxbaum

South Asia  |  Suzanne McMahon; Vanessa Tait

Southeast Asia  |  Virginia Jing-Yi Shih; Rebecca Williams

East Asia  |  Joan Kask; Tom Havens

China  |  Jean Han; Alison Altstatt

Japan  |  Hisayuki Ishimatsu

Korea  |  Yong Kyu Choo​

Printed Catalog Design  |  Catherine Dinnean

Web Catalog Design  |  Vanessa Tait

Southeast Asia Collections


Bark Book. Sumatra, Indonesia.
This concertina-form manuscript made from the folded bark of what is believed to be the alim tree is a type of book from the Batak peoples of Sumatra. Such books, known in Sumatra as "pustaka" were often written in an archaic Southern Batak dialect mixed with local dialect. These books are often used in matters of magic, divination and medicine as practiced by the Batak datu who functions as magician, soothsayer, and doctor.

Seri Rama: Wayang Siam. Shadow Puppet from Kelantan, Malaysia.
Seri Rama is the hero and principal character in the Hindu epic, Ramayana, which literally means "The Wanderings of Rama." This epic Indian tale has principal Hindu elements, as in the reincarnation of Vishnu in Rama. As this tale migrates to Southeast Asian countries, the epic underwent many transformations absorbing local coloring. In Malaysia, the Rama story did not become completely Islamicized; however, the reincarnation of Vishnu in Rama is de-emphasized. In Thailand as well as Laos to conform with Buddhism, Rama is considered as a future Buddha.



Arjuna Pandawa: Wayang Purwa. Shadow Puppet from Java, Indonesia.
Arjuna, represented here, is the middle of five Pandawa brothers in the Wayang Purwa versions of Mahabharata. He is physically delicate and good-looking, tender-hearted and yet iron-willed. A refined hero, he is capable of the severest discipline and has a deep sense of family loyalty. Arjuna is thought by many in Javanese culture to be the epitome of the ideal man. 


Photograph of Professor Mary Rosamond Haas (1910-1996)
Professor Haas taught Thai and linguistics in the Department of Linguistics from 1943 to 1977 at the University of California, Berkeley. She published extensively in Thai linguistics.

Mary R. Haas' Thai-English Student's Dictionary.
First published in 1964, it is still the definitive Thai-English dictionary. 



Map of Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia includes ten countries: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Southeast Asia has a combined population of nearly 500 million and an annual Gross Domestic Product of over 400 million.


Photograph of Professor Robert A. Scalapino.
Professor Scalapino, a prominent political scientist, was one of the committee members to establish the Southeast Asian studies program at Cal in 1954. He also played a major role in establishing the Center for Southeast Asia Studies on July 1, 1960. He taught political science at Cal from 1950's to 1980's. He is also a prolific author, publishing many books on Asian Studies.



Photograph of Professor David Prescott Barrows (1873-1954).
Professor Barrows was the 9th President of the University of California from 1919 to 1923. 



Palm-Leaf Manuscript in Laos Pali Text of the Tipitaka Suttapitaka Majjhimanikaya.
Before paper was introduced, the most popular and most important material used in its place in almost all of Southeast Asia was the "Palm-leaf". This example of Laos Pali text has been decorated with outlines of flowers on a gold background.



David Prescott Barrows. Notebook
Professor Barrows lived in the Philippines from March 1900 until 1906. During part of this time he served as Secretary of Education for the Philippines government. While in the Philippines he studied the country's history and did anthropological field work as can be seen in this field studies notebook. He taught Philippine History at Cal. Among his many fine books is the History of the Philippines. Barrows Hall was named after him when the building was opened on campus in 1963. 



David Prescott Barrows. Notebook
Professor Barrows' notebook from research and field studies in the Philippines. This page in particular with a sketch of indigenous Philippine architecture. 




Photograph of Librarian Peter Ananda (1926-1993)
Born in Rantau, a rural town in South Kalimantan in Indonesia, Mr. Ananda was the first Southeast Asia Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley from 1968 to 1990. He was the chief architect of establishing the Southeast Asian collections at Cal and made numerous contributions to the Southeast Asia Microform Project (SEAM) of the Center for Research Libraries and to the Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) of the Association for Asian Studies. After his retirement from Cal, he devoted his time to the California-Indonesia Educational Foundation (CALINDEF) which he founded to provide free publications for universities in Indonesia.


Copies of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies Newsletter
The Center for Southeast Asia Studies was founded on July 1, 1960 to assist the academic community of the university in Southeast Asian Studies and foster discussion and intellectual exchange in the broad area of research


To East Asian Studies

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