The Khorat District:

The Muang Puann people seem to have had a refined taste in everything they did; they were aesthetics, and could not withstand the rule barbarian. It would appear the country was once ravaged by the Burmese under a king whose name was Phra Chao Ratcha, "the rat." and he ruled at Hongsawadi. His authority is said to have extended over the whole of Indo-China, including Annam Cambodia and Cochin-China. Nothing very much is known of the history of Chieng Kawng; they say it was formerly inhabited by powerful races; at the present the inhabitants are the ordinary Lao of Luang Phrabang, with precisely the same written and oral language.

The Siamese and Lao are of one race, with a common language and the same cast of countenance. It would be impossible in a mixed crowd to say which are Lao and which Siamese. Chao Nunn was the Governor of Wieng Chan and related to the Chief of Luang Phrabang, whom he attacked with the permission and probably the help of Bangkok. In the conflict that ensued he was successful, and claimed Puann as part of his province.

A story is told that at the time Chao Chom Pu was Governor of Chieng Kawng, he was taken as a prisoner to Wieng Chan. His captors were about to put him to death by spearing, but the executioners were struck by lightning before they could accomplish their task. The Governor's life was spared, and he was sent back to Chieng Kawng. Chao Nunn was succeeded in the government of Wieng Chan by his brother, Chao Anu, and he in his turn rebelled against Bangkok. The story

has it that when Chao Anu was Governor of Wieng Chan about A.D I823, His son was called down to Bangkok in charge of the men who were summoned to assist in digging the canal that was the connect Tachin with Bangkok. It would appear that the Phrayah in charge of the under taking, after kicking the young man, added a flogging. When he returned home, his father, Chao Anu, rebelled against Bangkok . The army from Bangkok totally destroyed Wieng Chan, while Chao Anu escaped to Annam. The King of Annam advised him to go Chieng Kawng. The Governor of that place acquainted the Bangkok general, who was then at Nawng Kai, with the fact of his presence, and he marched up with an army, seized his person, and sent him to Bangkok.

There he was exposed over the river in an iron cage till he died. Some say one of his followers succeeded in conveying to him poison, which he gladly swallowed. At this time Chao Nawi was the Governor of M. Puann. The King of Annam, hearing of the end of Chao Anu, sent up an army and seized Chao Nawi, to be Governor of Chieng Kawng, together with 3,000 men to support his authority. Chao San secretly wrote to the Siamese general at Nawng Kai, Phra-Pi-Ran-O-Trip, to bring up a force and drive out the Annamites. This was done. At midnight the Annamites were attacked, and slaughtered almost to a man. Chao San then went to Bangkok, and Puann was left pretty much to its own devices. When Te Duc ascended the throne of Annam, he liberated the five sons of Chao Nawi, Chao Po, Chao Top , Chao Po Ma, Chao Ung, and Chao Kumm. When Chao Po returned, Bangkok gave instructions to Luang Phrabang to invest him with the powers of Governor of Puann.

Chao Po was succeeded by his brother, Chao Ung, during whose governorship bands of Haw poured into Puann. He was killed by them, but his death was amply revenged by the Siamese general, Phya Mahamat, at Wieng Chan, and Phya Rat of Tung Chieng Kumm, where they had made their principal stockade. Pha Pinom Sararin, a nephew of Chao Nawi, was appointed by Phrayah Mahamat as temporary Governor, and the Chao Kunnti, the son of the unfortunate Chao Ung, was made Governor.


Copyright 1998 USMTA Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004 .