Krǒ̀ṅ Pãli et rites de la maison (Krǒ̀ṅ Pãli and House Building Rituals) 1st Part

by Éveline Porée-Maspero

Publication: Anthropos, Bd. 56, H. 1./2, pp. 179-251 | Published by: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (1st Part)

Language : French

1961 - 45 pages

Orientation, position relatively to other houses, types of timber, measurements of stairs and roofing, flooring, every single detail in the edification of a Cambodian traditional house is here registered and commented by the author, an eminent ethnologist.

These specifications and rituals remain mostly in practice nowadays.

In the following chapters, the author deals with the origins of myths and rituals linked to the erection of houses and pagodas.

A village house at the gates of Angkor in the 1950s (author's photo).

About the Author

Éveline Porée-Maspero

Daughter of sinologist Georges Maspero (her mother was Cécile Sophie Maspero nee Seyrig), grand-daughter of archeologist and explorator Gaston Maspero (1872-1942), Éveline Porée-Maspero (1906, Cholon-1991, France) was an anthropologist and researcher with EFEO and in Cambodia for many years.

In 1938, she published, with her husband, Guy Porée, a comprehensive history of Khmer Customs with a foreword by Georges Coédès. The latter noted in his recension of the book that Eveline Porée-Maspero's emphasis on Chinese influences on Khmer culture, while opening new prospects for the theory that once existed a vast 'Mon" culture encompassing territories from South China down to South East Asia, was perhaps informed by her own academic background (she had studied Chinese civilization with Prof. Grenet) and the influence of her uncle Henri Maspero, another distinguished sinologist.

Her extensive research on folk and oral traditions remains an important source for contemporary researchers, in particular her doctorate thesis on "Les rites agraires du Cambodge" (Ceremonies in Cambodian agriculture).

See a biographical note about Guy Porée and Eveline Poree Maspero (in Khmer).

Note: In 1983, Cambodia's historian David Chandler visited Eveline Porée-Maspero at her village house in Mormoiron, Ventoux, France, to look through her personal journals regarding the period of Cambodia's Japanese occupation in 1945.

The house, known as 'Maison Porée', later became a Writer's Residence supervised by renowned publisher and translator François Maspero. It still hosts cultural and musical events, like in this photo from 2014: