In the 5th century, the Champa kingdom held sway over a large area of today’s Vietnam. Several magnificent structures still testify to their former presence in the Nha Trang region. Cham sculpture was worked in a variety of materials, principally sandstone, but also gold, silver and bronze. It was primarily used to illustrate themes from Indian mythology. The kingdom was gradually eroded during the 15th century by the inexorable descent of the people towards the south (“Nam Tiên”) from their original base in the Red River region. The author explores, describes, and comments on the various styles of Cham sculpture, drawing on a rich and, as yet, largely unpublished iconographic vein.
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