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Champa

Champa (chämˈpä) [key], the kingdom of the Chams, which flourished in Vietnam from the 2d cent. A.D. until the 17th cent. At its greatest extent it occupied Annam as far north as central Vietnam. Its culture was strongly affected by Hindu influences. In its early period, Champa mainly warred with China and was forced to change its capital several times; late in the 9th cent. its capital was established in the neighborhood of Hué, and the later capital was Vijaya, farther south. Champa repeatedly made war on its stronger neighbor, Annam; it was sometimes allied and sometimes opposed to the Khmer Empire. In the 12th cent. the Chams invaded Cambodia and sacked Angkor; subsequently they fell for a time under Khmer rule. Decisively defeated by the Annamese in 1472, the Chams were forced to yield most of their territory N of Tourane (Da Nang). In the 17th cent. the rest of the Cham kingdom fell to the Annamese, and the remnants of the people were scattered. Chams still form small, impoverished minorities in South Vietnam, but in Cambodia a large colony prospers. Although most of those in Annam are Hindus, those of Cambodia are Muslim. Ruins of Cham temples, adorned with bas-reliefs and with statues, are found along the coast of Vietnam.

See G. Maspéro, The Kingdom of Champa (tr., 1949); G. Coedès, The Indianized States of Southeast Asia (1968).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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