The Naga Serpent in Malay Divination

The Naga Serpent in Malay Divination

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Venue: 
Deakin Room, Founder’s Building, St Antony's College
Speaker(s): 
Farouk Yahya (Ashmolean)
Convenor: 
Matthew J Walton (St Antony's)
Series: 
Southeast Asia Seminar

The naga is a deified serpent that is a major part of the belief system of many South and Southeast Asian cultures. It is a chthonic creature, and is very strongly associated with rain and water. In Southeast Asia it plays an important role in divinatory practices for activities such as house-building, travelling and marriage. This seminar will explore the variety of texts and images relating to the naga as found in Malay divination manuscripts from the late 18th - early 20th century.

Farouk Yahya is Leverhulme Research Assistant in Islamic Art and Culture at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He is the author of Magic and Divination in Malay Illustrated Manuscripts (Leiden: Brill, 2016) and editor of The Arts of Southeast Asia from the SOAS Collections (Penang: Areca Books, 2017).