U Kala (Burmese: ဦးကုလား) is a Burmese historian and chronicler best known for compiling the Maha Yazawin (lit. 'Great Royal Chronicle'), the first extensive national chronicle of Burma.[2] U Kala single-handedly revolutionized secular Burmese historiography and ushered in a new generation of private chroniclers, including Buddhist monks and laymen.[3]

U Kala
Singu village, Toungoo Dynasty
Died1738 (1739) (aged 60)[1]
Known forCompiling the Maha Yazawin
Parent(s)Deva Setha (father)
Mani Ogha (mother)

U Kala was a wealthy descendant of court and regional administrative officers from both sides of his family. His father, Dewa Setha, was a banker from Singaing, a village south of Inwa, and descended from regional administrative officers (myosas) of the crown.[4] His mother, Mani Awga, of mixed Shan and Burman noble descent, came from a prominent family of courtier-administrators who served the Taungoo Dynasty since the mid-1500s.[4][5]

In compiling the Maha Yazawin, U Kala likely had access to Toungoo court documents, including royal correspondence, parabaik, notebooks of daily court schedules prepared by astrologers and scribes, official records of military affairs, and royal genealogies.[5] He supplemented his sources with private local chronicles, inscriptions, biographies, and religious histories held in monastic or royal collections at the royal capital.[5]

References Edit

  1. ^ Seekins, Donald M. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Scarecrow Press. p. 270. ISBN 9780810854765.
  2. ^ Hla Pe (1985). Burma: Literature, Historiography, Scholarship, Language, Life, and Buddhism. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 38–40. ISBN 9789971988005.
  3. ^ Lieberman, Victor (2003). Strange Parallels: Volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780521800860.
  4. ^ a b Myint-U, Thant (2001). The Making of Modern Burma. Cambridge University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780521799140.
  5. ^ a b c Lieberman, Victor (1986-01-01). "How Reliable Is U Kala's Burmese Chronicle? Some New Comparisons". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 17 (2): 236–255. doi:10.1017/s002246340000103x. JSTOR 20070918.