In early 20th century Cambodia, George Groslier established the School of Cambodian Arts, teaching students the crafts of modelling, wood-carving, sculpture, bronze-casting, furniture-making, the art of the goldsmith or silversmith, and (for girls) weaving. In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published “Cambodian Glory,” including a detailed chapter about this unique school titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” This is the second of a four-part series of articles excerpted from her work.
In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published Cambodian Glory, including a detailed chapter about George Groslier and the School of Cambodian Arts titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” Excerpts from her article are featured on Devata.org as a four part series detailing Groslier’s work reviving the classic crafts of the Khmer people by founding the School of Cambodian Arts. This is the first article in a four part series.
In a tale that traces royal love, divine wisdom, treachery and betrayal, “Angkor – The Untold Story” depicts the passion of a woman so pure that the temple she helped build nearly a millennium ago still stands as a testament to her passion. In this production by the Apsaras Arts dance troupe of Singapore, Indian apsaras reveal the untold story of Angkor Wat in a spectacular performance that is a breathtaking homage to the art and heritage of Cambodia and India. The November 2013 Indian Festival of Esplanade showcases their presentation as its opening performance.
Cambodian imagination knows no bounds! This new collection of Cambodian folktales in English and French takes readers through imaginative twists and turns to meet simple villagers living deep in the jungle, kings and princesses in fabulous palaces, angels and gods of the Hindu heavens…you’ll even confront (and outwit) fierce pirates hiding in island lairs! Originally collected by French writer G. H. Monod in the early 20th century, Cambodian scholar Solang Uk adds new perspectives and cultural information to this new edition to make these timeless tales even more entertaining. The rare cover painting of Cambodian village life was done by artist George Groslier in 1912.
A mystery. How is it that in 1927, a 23-year-old woman understood more about the diversity of the 1,800 devata goddesses at the Khmer temple of Angkor Wat than mainstream scholars would see for the 80 years?
Equipped with nothing but a pad of paper and a pencil, Sappho Marchal was the first person to begin a quantitative analysis of the symbolism encoded in the royal female portraits immortalized in Angkor Wat. Who are these women? What hierarchy do they represent? Chances are the answers to these questions are portrayed in Sappho’s clear drawings.
In 1927, American artist Lucille Douglass wrote the lines below…who would suspect that she would remain at Angkor Wat for all eternity?
“Angkor is one of the really great experiences of my life-a more intellectual than emotional experience — not that it left me cold, quite the contrary — but it was more of an uplift — an inspiration.
“Our stay — longer than most tourists — was all too short — Angkor Wat alone requires years of study — living with understanding — a few days seems but a mockery.
“I have never had a place affect me so peculiarly. . . . I shall go back for a time as long as I can stand it and do further study on the spot.
“You see the ruins are set in the midst of the jungle — which held them in its clutches for so many centuries that it still seems jealous of them.”
“Koh Ker site and the reign of Jayavarman IV, art history and archaeology” by Dr. C. Chanratana, gives the history of Cambodia’s King Jayavarman IV.
Cambodian dancers from the Conservatoire NKFC Preah Ream Buppha Devi re-sanctify Bayon temple in Angkor with a sacred dance ritual.
The Khmer civilization that grew to unify most of Southeast Asia between the 8th-14th centuries respected women. Today, we still see their temples filled with images of sacred women –termed devata, apsara or Khmer goddesses – who embody the feminine forces of the universe. While women and goddesses appear as icons in many ancient and modern societies, the Khmers gave sanctified women dominance over their state temples more consistently and more visibly than any other group.
Hidden in the ancient jungle temple of Preah Khan at Angkor, images carved on a door may be proof of a Khmer legends like Aesop’s fables.