Chapter 7

Palembang Sumatra (San Fotsi)

January 28, 2022
Activity Method
Trade Silver bullion

Sumatra is between Cambodia and Java. Its territory is over 15 chou provinces.

It is far south of Fujian, China and is reached in the winter by going with the monsoon for over a month, then come to Linga island (Lingyamon) where 1/3 of the passing merchants go before entering Palembang, Sumatra.

Many of the people here surnamed Pu. The capital’s walls are built of bricks and measures several li around.

When the king goes out, he sits in a boat. His body has a manpu wrapped around it.

He is sheltered by a silk umbrella and is guarded by by men with golden lances.

The people either live scattered about outside the city, or on the water of boards covered over with reeds. These are exempt from taxation.

They are skilled at fighting on land or water.

When they are about to make war on another state, they assemble and send forth such a force as the occasion demands. They (then) appoint chiefs and leaders, and all provide their own military equipment and the necessary provisions. enemy and braving death they have not

They use chopped-of lumps of silver in their business transactions instead of stringed copper cash.

their equal weather.

Their domestic animals are very They have wine silver 25 all is hot, much and there is but little cold like those of China. of flowers, ^. In writing documents on and the king’s signet characters, lumps of wine of cocoanuts, and wine of areca nuts fermented, though without yeast of any kind, but they are intoxicating to drink acters^, nations. in their business transactions. During most of the year the climate and honey,

In facing the among other cash, but use chopped off 20 which they use official is affairs used as a they use foreign seal. They also (^) char- know Chinese in sending memorials to (our) court.

The laws of Sumatra are very severe. Adultery exposes man and woman to death.

When the king dies, the common people mourn by shaving their heads. His personal followers choose voluntary death by leaping into the blazing pyre; this is called diving and dying together.

They have a kind of image called Hill of Gold and Silver and it is cast in gold. Each succeeding king before ascending the throne has cast a golden image to represent Ms person lo, and they are most particular to make offerings, of golden vessels ao to these images, and the golden images and golden vessels all bear inscriptions to caution future generations not to melt

When anyone is dangerously ill, the king distributes his weight in silver among the poor. This is thought to delay death.

They call their king Lungtsing. He cannot eat grain, but is fed on shahu. Should he do otherwise, the year would be a dry one and grain dear.

He also bathes in rose-water; should nary water, there would be a great he use ordi- flood.

The king has a high hat of gold, set with hundreds of jewels and very heavy. At great court ceremonies no one but the king is able to wear it; other people are unable. all When the throne becomes vacant the king’s sons are assembled, the cap is handed them and he (to bear its There 25 who is all able weight) succeeds to the throne. is an old tradition that the ground in this country once suddenly gaped open and out of the cavern came many myriads of cattle, which rushed off in herds into the mountains, though the people food. Afterwards the crevice got stopped up with bamboo and trees and all tried to get them for disappeared “.

Exclusive of the native products, which include tortoise-shell, camphor, so the chon, su and chan (varieties of gharu-wood), a coarse sMu (§^) (variety of gharu-wood), laka-wood, cloves, sandal-wood and cardamoms, there are also pearls, frankincense, rose-water, gardenia flowers, wu-na-tsH{’>), myrrh, aloes, asa-foetida, putchuk, liquid amber, foreign cotton stuffs 35 of the Arab The storax, and sword blades. All these (^ ^ {^ ^) who (Ta-shi) foreigners foreign traders in exchange gold, silver, elephants’ tusks, coral-trees, cat’s-eyes, ^ ^) (latter) are products “. gather together in this country give porcelain-ware, silk brocades, skeins of silk, gauzes, sugar, iron, samshu, rice, dried galangal, rhubarb and camphor. silk

Malaysia is in the ocean controlling the straits through which the foreigners’ sea and land traffic in either direction must pass. Anciently, they used an iron chain as a barrier to keep the pirates of other countries in check.

It could be raised or lowered by a cunning device.

If a merchant ship arrived, it was lowered. After many years of peace, there was no use for it so it was removed and now lies coiled up on the shore.

The natives revere it like a god. Vessels coming there sacrifice to it. When rubbed with oil, it shines like new.

If a After a it, sacrifice to it. has it When rubbed with it oil

If a merchant ship passes by without entering, their boats go forth to make a combined suicidal attack. This is why it is a great shipping centre

Its dependencies are=

  • Thailand:

    • Tanmaling

    • Jiloting

    • Tsienmai

    • Pata

    • Kialohi

    • Palinfong

  • Malaysia:

    • Kedah (Lingyassikia)
    • Patalung (Foloan)
    • Pahang (Pongfong)
    • Trengganu (Tongyanong)
    • Kelantan
  • Sunda

  • Kienpi

  • Lanwuli

  • Sri lanka

Sumatra had relations with China since the Tang empire from 904-907. It sent tribute 3 times from 960-963.

It was invaded by Java in 992 and asked for an Imperial manifesto authorizing it to render obedience.

In 1003, a Buddhist temple was built in Malaysia to pray for the Emperor’s life. They asked for a name and a bell be given to it. The Chinese emperor approved and ordered that Chong-fien-wan-shou should be the name of the temple, and also gave it a bell.

From 1004-1022 and 1078-1094, it sent tribute missions.

To its east is the Jung-ya-lu (Chung-kia-lu).


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