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Raven Crown: The Origins of Buddhist Monarchy in Bhutan [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Michael Aris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
The hereditary monarchy of the Wangchuk dynasty was established in 1907. The new order replaced a theocracy founded in the 17th century by the first of the Dharma Rajas, a lineage of reincarnating lamas known by the title of Shabdrung. The first king of the new dynasty, Ugyen Wangchuk (1862-1926), was a charismatic figure who came to power against a turbulent background of incessant and complex feuding. The unique symbol of his authority is a crown surmounted by the head of a raven, representing a form of Mahakala, Bhutan s guardian deity. The prototype had been devised as a battle helmet for his father, Jigme Namgyel (1825-81). Known as the Black Regent, he had worn it in bloody struggles against his many rivals within the country and against the British, who failed to subdue him. The story of the dynasty s rise and triumph moves from a picture of turmoil and chaos to one of relative peace and stability. The book is copiously illustrated with rare historical photographs that have come to light in private and public collections in the United Kingdom. Most of these vivid images have never previously been published. They provide a lively depth and focus to the unfolding narrative.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Serindia Publications, Inc; 2nd edition (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932476210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932476217
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 21.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,092,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Willow
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Literature about Bhutan is scarce. This lovely book gives not only the history of the Bhutanese Royal family, but good insight into the people, traditions & lands as well. The only drawback is that it ends with the reign of the 3rd King, it would have been far more complete to include the reign of the 4th too. Having said that, well worth reading for anyone with an interest in this small Himalayan kingdom.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bhutan Raven Crown 28 Jun 2009
By P. nagi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bhutan has a special place in our Family. What a pristine place .Having lived there and witnessed the country's social structure and then reading more about the King and his rising to power, a power endowed by his people, who loved him most, in The Ravne Crown is unstoppable. DR PSNagi
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