By far the most remarkable of all the Old World domesticated breeds is, however, the royal Siamese cat, which almost certainly has an origin quite distinct from that of the ordinary European breeds; this being rendered evident not only by the peculiar type of colouring, but likewise by the cry, which is quite unmistakable.
Siamese cats may have the tail either straight or kinked, but whether the latter feature belongs of right to the breed, or has been acquired by crossing with the ordinary black and tabby kink-tailed cats of the country, is not known.
In the royal Siamese breed the head is rather long and pointed, the body also elongated with relatively slender limbs, the coat glossy and close, the eyes blue, and the general colour some shade of cream or pink, with the face, ears, feet, under-parts, and tail chocolate or seal-brown.
The blue eyes -and the white coat of the kitten indicate that the Siamese breed is a semi-albino, which when adult tends towards melanism, such a combination of characters being apparently unknown in any other animal.
Should this be so, then if the ordinary Malay cats are the descendants of the jungle-cat, we shall have to assign the same ancestry to the Siamese breed.
- Excluding the Tai, or Siamese, who are undoubtedly recent intruders from the north, there are three races which for an extended period of time have had their home in the Malay Peninsula.
Siamese Malay States ...........i;: State Capitals Capitals of Provinces in Siam e Capital ring [?
By a treaty made between Great Britain and Siam in 1902 the northern Malay states of the peninsula were admitted to lie within the Siamese sphere of influence, but by a treaty of 1909 Siam ceded her suzerain rights over the states of Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis to Britain.
The Ahoms, together with the Shans of Burma and Eastern China and the Siamese, were members of the Tai race.
The Ahom language is the oldest member of the Tai branch of the Siamese-Chinese linguistic family of which we have any record.
It bears much the same relationship to Siamese and Shan that Latin does to Italian.
It is more nearly related to modern Siamese than to modern Shan, but possesses many groups of consonants which have become simplified in both.
In altitude, and lowlands of the Arabian, Indian, Siamese and Chinese peninsulas, with an ocean outlet for its drainage; we find that there is only one direct connexion between northern and southern sections which involves no mountain passes, and no formidable barrier of altitudes.
This distribution seems to indicate that they once spread over the whole region, and were divided by the later advance of the Siamese and others.
(iii.) The Khmers or Cambodians, whose languages appear to belong to the Man-Annam group, form a relatively ancient kingdom, much reduced in the last few centuries by the advance of the Siamese and now a French protectorate.
(iv.) The Siamese or Thai, who speak a monosyllabic language of the Chinese type, but written in an Indian alphabet, represent a late invasion from southern China, whence they descended about the 13th century.
R.G.S., 1895; " Siamese East Coast," vol xi.
Another peculiarity of Malay (and likewise of Chinese, Shan, Talaing, Burmese and Siamese) is the use of certain classwords or coefficients with numerals, such as orang (man),when speaking of persons, ekor (tail) of animals, keping (piece) of flat things, biji (seed) of roundish things; e.g.
The Cambodians have a far more marked affinity with their Siamese than with their Annamese neighbours.
The men are taller and more muscular than the Siamese and Annamese, while the women are small and inclined to stoutness.
In 1863, in order to counteract Siamese influence there, Doudart de Lagree was sent by Admiral la Grandiere to the court of King Norodom, the successor of Ang-Duong, and as a result of his efforts Cambodia placed itself under the protectorate of France.
In 1904 the territory of Cambodia was increased by the addition to it of the Siamese provinces of Melupre and Bassac, and the maritime district of Krat, the latter of which, together with the province of Dansai, was in 1907 exchanged for the provinces of Battambang, Siem-reap and Sisophon.
It is also the frontier between French Indo-China and Siam, and a zone extended 25 kilometres inland from the right bank, within which the Siamese government agreed not to construct any fortified port or maintain any armed force.
This 25 kilometre neutral zone was abolished in 1905 when France surrendered Chantabun to the Siamese, who in their turn ceded the port of Krat and the provinces of Melupre and Bassac, together with various trading concessions to France on the right bank of the Mekong.
Below the Siamese Shan town of Chieng Sen the river takes its first great easterly bend to Luang Prabang, being joined by some important tributaries.
The name Lao, which appears to mean simply "man," is the collective Siamese term for all the Thai peoples subject to Siam, while Shan, said to be of Chinese origin, is the collective Burmese term for those subject to Burma.
The Lao Pong Dam now form the western branch of the Lao family, inhabiting the Siamese Lao states of Chieng Mai Lapaun, 'Tern Pre and Nan, and reaching as far south as 17° N.
In contradistinction to the Lao Pong Dam, who have derived their written language from the Burmese character, the eastern race has retained what appears to be the early form of the present Siamese writing, from which it differs little.
It was destroyed by the Siamese in 1828.
By the Chinese Shan States, portions of the province of Yunnan, the French province of Indo-China, and the Siamese Shan, or Lao States and Siam; on the S.
By the Siamese Malay States and the Bay of Bengal; and on the W.
Indo-Chinese (1) Tibet-Burman family sub-family (2) Siamese-Chinese sub-family (3) Mon-Annam sub-family Railways Divisional Headquarters O District Headquarters .....
Here they enjoyed a brief repose, Alompra being called away to quell an insurrection of his own subjects, and to repel an invasion of the Siamese; but returning victorious, he laid siege to the fortress of Syriam and took it by surprise.
The new king was intent, like his predecessors, on the conquest of the adjacent states, and accordingly made war in 1765 on the Manipur kingdom, and also on the Siamese, with partial success.
In the following year he defeated the Siamese, and, after a long blockade, obtained possession of their capital.
In the meantime the Siamese revolted, and while the Burman army was marching against them, the Peguan soldiers who had been incorporated in it rose against their companions, and commencing an indiscriminate massacre, pursued the Burman army to the gates of Rangoon, which they besieged, but were unable to capture.
The Siamese who had revolted in 1771 were never afterwards subdued by the Burmans; but the latter retained their dominion over the sea-coast as far as Mergui.
In 1793 peace was concluded between these two powers, the Siamese yielding to the Burmans the entire possession of the coast of Tenasserim on the Indian Ocean, and the two important seaports of Mergui and Tavoy.
Mingling with Siamese and Chinese, who form the major part, may be seen persons of almost every race to be found between Bombay and Japan, while Europeans of different nationalities number over 1000.
From the notices of early travellers it appears that Mergui, when under Siamese rule, before it passed to the Burmese, was a rich and densely peopled country.
Nearly two million people, mixed Siamese, Lao and Cambodian,.
Most of the so-called Burma teak exported from Moulmein is floated down from Siamese territory.
Of this total about 3,000,000 are Siamese, about 2,000,000 Laos, about 400,000 Chinese, 115,000 Malay, 80,000 Cambodian and the rest Burmese, Indian, Mohn, Karen, Annamite, Kache, Lawa and others.
The Siamese inhabit central Siam principally, but extend into the nearer districts of all the other sections.
The Laos predominate in northern and eastern Siam, Malays mingle with the Siamese in southern Siam, and the Chinese are found scattered all over, but keeping mostly to the towns.
Of the tribes which occupy the mountains of Siam some are the remnants of the very ancient inhabitants of the country, probably of the Mohn-Khmer family, who were supplanted by a later influx of more civilized Khmers from the south-east, the forerunners and part-ancestors of the Siamese, and were still farther thrust into the remoter hills when the Lao-Tai descended from the north.
Of these the principal are the Lawa, Lamet, Ka Hok, Ka Yuen and Kamoo, the last four collectively known to the Siamese as Ka.
The typical Siamese is of medium height, well formed, with olive complexion, darker than the Chinese, but fairer than the Malays, eyes well shaped though slightly inclined to the oblique, nose broad and flat, lips prominent, the face wide across the cheek-bones and the chin short.
In disposition the Siamese are mild-mannered, patient, submissive to authority, kindly and hospitable to strangers.
£4,3 00, 000 The unit of Siamese currency is the tical, a silver coin about equal in weight and fineness to the Indian rupee.