By Leslie Ann Woodhouse
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Additional resources for A ''Foreign'' Princess in the Siamese Court: Princess Dara Rasami, the Politics of Gender and Ethnic Difference in Nineteenth-Century Siam
Vol. 1, Chiang Mai: Suriwong Printing, 1963, 97. 44 Ratanaporn Sethakul. ” Doctoral dissertation, Northern Illinois University, 1989, 17. 43 Page 42 Woodhouse Chapter 2 As such, the chao luang was the chief spokesman for his state in its dealing with other states. He acted as a broker between his local elites and the Bangkok suzerain, exercising decisive power in nominating the chao khan ha bai and other important offices to Bangkok for approval – though it appears that the Siamese court almost always deferred to him.
This ruling group, like that of the earlier Mangrai dynasty of Lan Na, was ethnically Yuan, though they could not – after so many generations of deportation and warfare – claim a lineage link to Mangrai. Kawila and his brothers claimed lineage of a much more recent king of common origins. Thipchang (or Thipchak), sometimes called “the Vagabond” in the Chiang Mai Chronicle, was originally a hunter “…wise and clever at firing guns and arrows”41 who came to power in Lampang after ousting the corrupt ruler there, and subsequently helping the city successfully fight off attacks from Lamphun in 1732.
12 Page 30 Woodhouse Chapter 2 over the remaining polities in the Ping River valley, expanding into Lampang and commanding tribute from the neighboring Thai Lue, eastern Shans, and the Lao at Luang Prabang. Thus emerged the first iteration of Lan Na empire. Mangrai could not have established – much less expanded – the new kingdom without an alliance with two nearby rulers: Ramkhamhaeng, the king of Sukothai, and Ngam Muang, king of Phayao. With their help, Mangrai was able to repel the Mongol invaders that had laid waste to southern China on their way to upper Burma.