Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia:
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Print | Back to Normal Layout

Kendi

  • Earthenware with red slip
  • 14.3 x 16.8 x 13.2 cm
  • Maenam Noi ware
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Maenam Noi kilns, Singburi province, Central Thailand
  • Provenance: Probably Ayutthaya, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.341

Description

Kendi with compressed globular body, tall neck with flanged mouth, mammiform spout, splayed foot and flat base.
Clay: red earthenware coated with red pigment.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 25, 2003) A kendi of this shape, but made in unglazed gray stoneware, was excavated from the kilnsite along the Maenam Noi river, a tributary of the Chao Phraya River, in Singburi province, Central Thailand during 1988–1989. This kiln site flourished in the Ayutthaya Period (1350–1767 A.D.). (Sāyan 1988, 16; Chārưk 1990, 80, 100).

Sāyan Phraichānčhit (Sayan Phraichanchit). 1988. Rāi ngān kānsamrūat lae khutkhon Tao Mǣnam Nǭi: Tambon Chœng Klat, Amphœ Bang Račhan, Čhangwat Singburī (Report on the survey and excavation of the Maenam Noi kilns, Bang Rachan town, Sing Buri province). Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

Chārưk Wilaikǣo (Charuk Wilaykaen). 1990. Tao Mǣnam Nǭi 2 [Maenam Noi Kilns, part 2]. Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

2. (Louise Cort, 4 September 2006) A brown-glazed kendi of this shape, seemingly from the Maenam Noi kilns in Singburi province, Thailand, was recovered from the unexcavated shipwreck known as the Koh Kong wreck, off the southwest coast of Cambodia, off Koh Sdeck island, Kiri Sakor district, Koh Kong province. The wreck was identified in February 2006, and the recovery is being tracked by the National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Images provided by Hab Touch, Deputy Director, show a red-slipped and burnished kendi and two black earthenware kendi with elongated spouts; brown-glazed jars of three sizes, also brown-glazed bottle, kendi, vat, and unglazed mortar, from the Maenam Noi kilns, Singburi province, Thailand; celadon bowls and a gourd-shaped bottle from the Si Satchanalai kilns; unglazed earthenware pots with complex paddle-impressed textures; an earthenware stove; an earthenware vessel coated with white slip, with painted red rings; and a Zhangzhou-ware dish with cobalt kylin design. Cumulatively these wares suggest a date in the 16th century, and they also suggest that the ship must have loaded at Ayutthaya and was heading along the coast to the east. According to Darryl Collins, the wood recovered is charred, suggesting that the ship sank after a fire. 

Changed date from 16th–mid 18th century to 16th–17th century.

3. (Louise Cort, 24 March 2007) Fragments of Maenam Noi ware jars with four lugs, basins, and small mortars, together with necks of underfired stoneware jars (identified as earthenware), were recovered from shallow water about 100 meters off the shore of Ojika island, at the northern end of the Goto island chain west of Kyushu. (The islands belong to Nagasaki prefecture.) The site, named Karamisaki, is a promontory protecting the harbor located just below the former castle site on the island. From 1152 through 1868, the island formed part of the domain of the Matsuura warrior house, based in Hirado. According to a map dated 1718 in the Matsuura History Museum in Hirado, Ojika island lay along the route of Chinese merchant ships bound for Nagasaki. Six Chinese-style stone anchors have been recovered on the island. The Maenam Noi jars correspond in mouth form to such jars recovered from other Japanese sites dating to the second half of the 16th century or early 17th century. Mixed with the Maenam Noi ceramics were Thai earthenware lids and portable stoves, a Chinese stoneware jar and Chinese blue-and-white porcelain (types dating to the second half of the 16th century), and 19th century Hizen porcelain from Hasami. The ceramics were recovered from a shallows made treacherous by swift tides and probably represent the remains of one or more shipwrecks.   

Hayashida Kenzo, and Tsukabara Hiroshi, eds. 2002. Yamamioki kaitei iseki (Yamamioki underwater site), Ojika-cho bunkazai chōsa hōkokusho 16. Fukuoka and Ojika-cho: Kyushu-Okinawa Suichū Kōkogaku Kyōkai [Kyushu-Okinawa Underwater Archaeology Association] and Ojika-cho Kyōiku Iinkai [Ojika Town Board of Education].   

4. (Louise Cort, 9 January 2008) According to information collected by Leedom Lefferts on 31 January 2007 at the National Museum in Ayutthaya, the Thai term for kendi is khon thoo.

According to Australian anthropologist Carol Warren, the Balinese word for this vessel shape is caratan (pronounced "charatan"). 

5. (Louise Cort, 4 February 2008) In the course of his analysis of black-glazed jars from the Sawankhalok and Maenam Noi kilns, Mukai also notes that the other types of Maenam Noi wares—black-glazed or unglazed bottles and bowls—first appear in early 16th century contexts.

Mukai Kou. 2003. "Tai kokkatsuyū shijiko no bunrui to nendai (The Study on Brown Glazed Storage Jars, exported from Thailand)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū (Trade Ceramics Studies) 23: 90–105 (Japanese), 161 (English summary).

6. (Louise Cort, 8 March 2008) "Perhaps the earthenware item most characteristic of medieval Buddhist sites in Myanmar is the sprinkler pot, or kendi….These are found across South and Southeast Asia, generally attributed to the first and early second millennia A.D., from Pakistan to Laos and down the Malay peninsula to Java, though it is only in the Buddhist countries that their function appears to focus on ritual libration. Buddhist cosmology and practice are bound up with the ritual pouring of water, reflecting the story of how Buddha, at the moment of his enlightenment, was able to call on the water he had poured in previous lives to witness his good deeds to come back and wash away the forces of evil" (Hudson et al 2001, 58 [references omitted]).

Hudson, Bob, Nyein Lwin, and Win Maung (Tanpawady). 2001. "The Origins of Bagan: New Dates and Old Inhabitants." Asian Perspectives 40(1): 48–74.

7. (Louise Cort, 24 October 2011) According to Pariwat Thammapreechakorn, Southeast Asia Ceramics Museum, Bangkok, a kendi of this shape, but black-fired, was found in a shipwreck. He thinks this type of kendi was made in Central Thailand, posisbly at the Maenam Noi kilns in Singburi province. He dates it circa 16th century.


field notes

Submit Comment 0 comments total
 

No field notes found.