Gold flowers

Article

May 17, 2022

Bunga mas (Jawi: بوڠا ; Thai: ) is a form of tribute sent every three years to the King of Siam from his vassal states in the Malay peninsula, particularly Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah, and Pattani. This tribute consists of a small tree carving of gold and silver whose gifts are usually followed by other gifts such as cloth, weapons and slaves. The origin of this form of tribute is less known with certainty. The 17th-century ruler of Kedah regarded gold flowers as a sign of friendship, and according to records in the Hikayat Mahawangsa, a gold flower was sent by the ruler of Kedah as a toy for the prince of Siam. However, in the view of the King of Siam, the gold flower was seen as a symbol of respect or tribute, possibly because of the high cost of the materials used or the quality of the craftsmanship of the gold flower itself. This custom ended in 1909 after the signing of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty, in which the British government took control of the land. most of the northern part of the Malay peninsula.

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