Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 1-8

Contents

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pp. 9-12

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Preface

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pp. 13-18

In planning this account of the development of the village of Bang Chan , which had its beginnings over a century ago outside the capital city of Thailand , we sought to provide for the interests of both general readers and specialized scholars . The former, we hope...

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1. Departure

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pp. 19-34

Go any day in Bangkok to that great intersection of streets and canals cal led the Water Gate (Pratii Nam) . There the locks hold the fresh water of a vast network of up-country canals and prevent it from pouring out into the tidal canals of Bangkok . Buildings stand...

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2. The Dispensable Ones

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pp. 35-59

We may think of Thailand's central plain as a rectangle measuring some 235 by 120 miles with its long axis running north and south.1 Down the middle of this flat surface cuts the mother of waters, the Mae Nam, running from the northern hills to the mudbanks of the...

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3. Newcomers

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pp. 60-73

Chaem's small household survived in the wilderness along the middle reaches of the rivulet that was to be Bang Chan canal, the first known settlers on that site. If others had preceded them in the days before the Fourth Reign , like sterile seeds underneath a spreading...

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4. Migration

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pp. 74-91

Between 1885 and 1910 a new migration from Bangkok to Bang Chan ended the temporary triumph of the wilderness. This migration covered the countryside as the entire central plains filled with cultivators, but we are constrained to observe it mainly from the...

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5. The New Life

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pp. 92-120

Were it possible today to locate a follower of Achilles who happened to have a retentive memory and could tell us about the fall of Troy, we would probably find him an unsatisfactory witness for our present interest. He might have helped his hero strap on the breastplate...

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6. Patrons and Their Work

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pp. 121-142

As Buddhists the Thai assume a cosmos of nearly perfect justice. Those who break its moral laws are punished; those who contribute toward its scheme of justice are rewarded. The legal process moves steadily without benefit of published grievance, rules of evidence, or...

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7. Years of Austerity

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pp. 143-163

In one of the more popular Jataka tales it is related that King Wessantara gave away his wealth, his kingdom, and finally his children (Alabaster 1871:184). Thereby he gained such merit that in his next existence he became the Lord Buddha . Similarly parents, bye, or...

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8. Transformation Scene

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pp. 164-207

In Thai the word ngiin means both festival and work. It is also a measure of land area equal to one-fourth of a rai, and in this context it represents the amount a man harvests in half a day. In the Bang Chan scene, having a ngan also implies the summoning of strength...

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9. Five Perspectives

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pp. 208-238

In this chapter we shall survey our account of Bang Chan from five perspectives. All but one of them grow from familiar ground. The exception is Bang Chan's own view of its past, an ahistorical one. From each of these five perspectives we shall see new shapes and...

Appendix A. Schooling of Bang Chan population by age and sex, 1953

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p. 239

Appendix B. Bang Chan school enrollment, fourth-grade enrollment, number graduating from fourth grade, and number entering middle school, 1937–1960

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p. 240

Appendix C. Responses of 363 fourth-grade rural and urban schoolchildren aged 11–14 in 1954 to question: "When you are 25 years old, what kind of work would you like to be doing?"

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p. 241

Appendix D. Religious affiliation and experience of Bang Chan males, by age group, 1949

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p. 242

Appendix E. Price range of padi, land, and land rent in Bang Chan, 1880–1953

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pp. 243-244

Glossary

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pp. 245-252

Notes

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pp. 253-296

Bibliography

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pp. 297-306

Index

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pp. 307-314