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MEETINGS 2013-2017

426th Meeting : "The Bronze Drums of Southeast Asia”.

Tuesday, 12 December, 2017.

A Talk by Jacques de Guerny.

The Talk:

The Bronze Age produced revolutionary innovations. Among them, bronze drums, stronger and more sonorous than their wooden and skin predecessors, bestowing on their owners a prestige even in their tombs, and creating new rites. On the drumhead and the cylindrical base, the drums were engraved with decorations, open to interpretation but always admirable, such as iconic frogs to control the rain. In so doing, man gave a new mission to drums, not only to emit sounds, but also to evoke everyday life or values, considered crucial, from the steppes to the tropics of South East Asia.

The odyssey of bronze drums spans two thousand five hundred years to the present day. Their rituals have affected vast number of peoples and territories, from China and Vietnam to Indonesia, including all Indochina, and Thailand, particularly. From simple pots to marvelous masterpieces, the bronze drums testify to animist cultures thanks to a perennial metal at the crossroad of spiritual and commercial values. Bronze drums are part of the treasures of humanity, housed within the biggest museums. After travelling three years
throughout the area himself, Jacques de Guerny presents them with images taken from his recent book, Les tambours de bronze de l’Asie du sud-est - ed. Maisonneuve et Larose / Hémisphères– Paris 2017.

The Speaker:

Jacques de Guerny is, by training, an economist. Before his retirement he was the Executive Director of a large French group and was, simultaneously, an Associate Professor at H.E.C. (Paris) for 25 years. Author of several books on economics, he has more recently taught at various universities in Asia. Having developed a deep interest in Asian culture, Jacques de Guerny is a member of the Asian Society [Institut de France - Paris]. In a previous book, he dealt with the history of the Buddhapada, footprints of the Buddha, works of art from India to Japan.

Want to read more? ....click "HERE"(PDF File for downloading or reading online - 16 pages).


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