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Malay Anceint Pack (Srivijaya) 2016-10-05

Malay Srivijaya Info:
Spoiler :

Little is known about the first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. It is usually thought that they were similar to the "negrito" peoples which still live in the highlands of the peninsula. These hunter gathering tribes began to merge and intermarry with a new wave of agriculturalist coming from Southern China via Cambodia sometime around 2000 BC. It is thought that these groups were probably similar to the modern Senoi ethnicity and may have lived in a similar way. Over the next thousand years various waves of people began to move down the Malay Peninsula from the mainland of South-East Asia and took to the islands around the straits, Sumatra and Borneo. While these waves are thought to have come from the Yunnan or Taiwan, their origin was probably diverse. A melding of a multitude of forgotten ethnicities and cultures moving into the islands and the peninsula, blending and mixing over the centuries. By 1000 BC there arose what we may call an Austronesian people. This was a sea-faring people and one of the most prolific of the ancient world, traveling afar afield as Madagascar by 350 BC- 500 AD. While often overlooked, this African connection is very important for the history of tropical agriculture in the old world, these seafaring peoples brought a variety of tropical crops such as the banana and a variety of tubers to the continent which were quickly adopted.

Beginning sometime around 100 BC- 100 AD, trade begun to increase in the Straits of Malacca and more complex polities begin to arise. While trade had existed in the local region of the archipelago and the mainland since at least around 1000 BC, global trade networks begin to form around the first century. It during this era that it is safest to begin to talk of a Malay ethnicity as separate from the surrounding Javanese, Mon-Khmer and other peoples. Trade routes begin to spread from China to the Roman Empire and Malay sailors and merchants begin to carry these goods far and wide. The Malay Peninsula appears in Ptolemy's 2nd century map as the "Golden Khersonese" and the land was known for it's gold deposits. We can be sure that at least some westerners (that is to say people from the west of India, the Romans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Egyptians .etc) probably made it to the peninsula.
Heavily influenced by Southern Indian culture, city states begin to arise in the region. Chinese accounts state that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries as many as 30 kingdoms are recorded to be on the eastern side of the peninsula. Over the next five centuries these cities would grow wealthy and give birth to the first great Malay state, Srivijaya.
Studying Srivijaya history is a minefield of propaganda and nationalism. I have tried only include information from peer-reviewed academic sources.
Around the 7th-8th century a city-state centered on Palembang (or possibly in the modern Jambi Regency) started to conquer and subject rival Malay polities in Sumatra. This powerful state is known as Srivijaya. It is the most likely candidate for a series of naval raids throughout South East Asia in the 8th and 9th century, which included Mon, Khmer and Champa kingdoms on the mainland. During the early 9th century Srivijaya's power grew through a marriage alliance with the Saliendra dynasty from the kingdom of Mataram. The Saliendra dynasty was one of the prominent noble families in Java and fellow Buddhists. Through this fruitful alliance, Srivijaya had a direct link to the fertile farmlands of Java and the Saliendras had a secure trade link with China and India. However, around 852 the Saliendras were defeated by a rival Javanese dynasty, the Hindu Sanjayas. This would lead to a long series of on and off conflicts between the Sanjayas and Srivijaya, usually centered around control of western Java. This prolonged conflict seems to have been the what Srivijaya spent most of it's military resources on for the next two hundred years or so, which probably led to an end to the long distant mainland raids. Even after invading Mataram and slaughtering its royal family in 1006 AD, Srivijaya was militarily exhausted.

Despite the military set backs, Srivijaya's economical power peaked during the 10th century and large quantity of Chinese ceramics have been unearthed around Palembang. Srivijaya sent numerous embassies to China and enjoyed a high rank, higher then most of the other kingdoms in South and South East Asia. Srivijaya had trade links with all of the major powers of the Indian Ocean, including the Islamic Caliphate, the Pala Empire in India, Sri Lanka and others.
Srivijaya's golden age and early period came to a crashing end after the invasion of the Cholas in the 1025 AD. Srivijaya had known that the Chola navy was planning an attack and had posted its navy to watch the Malacca Straits. The Chola navy, however, entered the archipelago by navigating through the lesser used Sunda Straits and launched a surprise attack on Srivijaya and many of its tributaries. The exact reason why the Chola invaded is not known. The invasion was unprecedented. However many believe that it was due to economical reasons. A common theory is that it was to break Srivijaya's monopoly on Chinese trade and their favored position at the Imperial court. One thing that is known for sure is that after the Chola invasion Southern Indian merchant guilds would infiltrate the region and enjoy a privileged position in many areas in the coming centuries. The invasion was devastating for Srivijaya and the city of Palembang was all but destroyed.
It is generally thought that Srivijaya survived the Chola invasion, at least in spirit but the focus shifted north, from Palembang to the Kingdom of Malayu (or Melayu) centered in Jambi. The Kingdom of Malayu had appeared in Chinese sources since the 7th century but it seems to have mostly been under the influence of Srivijaya, perhaps as a tributary. But after the Chola invasion the Jambi surged in importance throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. However, this would be the twilight of the Srivijaya. Even though the city of Jambi would remain important throughout this time as a commerce center, it's power aboard would began to decline. The Thai kingdom, Sukhothai, began to gain control over important areas in the Malay peninsula during the 13th century and contend with Malayu's control over the strait. However the final nail in Srivijaya's coffin would be rise of the East Javanese. King Kertanegara of Singasari (a pre-Majapahit Empire) would send an army to Malayu in 1263. In the archeological record Javanese statues have been found in Sumatra in the upper Batang Hari river, pointing to some form of political and cultural hegemony. Later Majapahit would bring most of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula under it's control in the 14th century, ending Srivijaya. But legends say that a Srivijayan royal line would escape from the Javanese assault and settle in the Malay Peninsula, giving rise to Singapura, and in time, the Sultanate of Melaka.

Spoiler :

It is generally thought that Srivijaya rose to prominence due to it's ability to organize the Orang Laut, the tribes living near the sea coast, as a military and naval force. Before the rise of Srivijaya, the waters and coasts around Malay Peninsula and Sumatra were feared. Not only did the area had strong wild currents and hidden rocks and shoals, the Orang Laut tribes preyed on any vessels that they could find. Srivijaya organized these wild sea nomads. Instead of chaotically looting vessels and chasing merchants away, the nomads patrolled the waters and guided ships to Srivijaya and allied ports where they had to pay tolls in order to pass through their territory. Chao Ju-kua, in 1225, commented that San-fo-ch'i (Srivijayan):
"is master of the straits through which foreign traffic must pass, by sea or by land, in either direction... If a merchant ship passes by without putting in ships come out to attack it, in a pre-arranged fashion. People there are ready to die [to achieve this]. Thus this land has become an important maritime centre." (Trade and Industry In the Middle Ages, pg. 446)
The ships used by the allied chiefs and straits were known to include large three-masted cruisers as well as other smaller types. While there is no known picture of a Malay ship from this time period, they ships were probably very similar to either the Borobudur ship (2), or the three-masted ship shown in Ajanta caves in India (1). According to chronicles, a prestige and power of a region could be measured in how many of these ships were controlled. One region had four hundred three-masted ships. (Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures, pg. 34) The tribes and cities probably also controlled numerous smaller vessels as well, including possibly something like the quick light river vessels found on the reliefs of Angkor Wat to help control the river trade in Sumatra.

Unit Sources:
Spoiler :
Not many primary sources exist for Srivijaya that can tell use about how Malay people dressed during this time. Unlike the early Javanese temples like Borobudur, the red stone Malay candis in Sumatra are not known for their ornament murals. However, we know from statues and Chinese accounts that the Sarong was worn by the people in Sumatra and the Peninsula, and, it can be inferred by cross referencing with other texts and Javanese temples like Borobudur that garments, like shirts and pants, probably were not in widespread use during this period.
There are numerous popular historical images about ancient Malay people from museums in Malayasia. Some of these images were used though sparingly and critically.
Given Srivijaya's ability to organize the Orang Laut as a military force, most of the units draw heavily on anthropological sources and are mostly based on the Dayak and the Batak tribes in Borneo and Sumatra. While not perfect, until more primary sources are discovered, Dayak, Batak, and Dasun, arms and armor is a good approximate for the dress of the ancient Sea Peoples. But, it must be emphasized, these ancient units are generic approximates

Spoiler :
Malay Warrior,

Malay Scout,

Both warrior and scout are based off of Senoi tribesmans. The Senoi are a group of orang asli (aborigine) people living in the Malay peninsula. They are general thought to be a branch of the original Austronesian peoples who first moved into the Malay peninsula and intermarried with the "negrito" hunter-gathering tribes already living there. Traditional these people had a low-scale subsistence agricultural economy. We have no idea about the culture of the early Neolithic agriculturalists of the peninsula but it is generally thought that they lived in a similar manner to the Senoi. The units are based off of the following images, (1), (2).

Malay Archer

Malay Javelinman

The Archer unit is based off of two images, the head cloth is based off of a popular image of Srivijaya trade, (1), while the image has some historical oddities, Malay people have been known to wear head wraps for centuries. The loincloth style is based off of a Srivijaya statue, (2).
The Malay Javelinman is based off of the same popular image as the Archer. For his tattoos I based them off of some common Dayak designs. Many people believe that early Malay people may have engaged in tattooing, as many surrounding Austronesian people in Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines do.

Malay Axeman (Orang Laut Raider)

This Malay Axeman is based off of several pictures of Dayak tribesman. The hat would have been made from either wood, monkey fur, or some combination. Several different types of armor were used by the Dayaks, Dasun and other tribes people living in Borneo. One type is a type of scale armor. It's usually vest or jacket like, opening from the front, made of leather, rattan or bark, with leather, shell, bone or fish scales attached to it as the scales. Here is a old photo of a Dayak wearing an armored vest (1),, a vest from Sulawesi (2), and here is a modern Dasun tribesman wearing one during a festival (3). I only added the last one because it shows an alternate way of closing the jacket, with a string wrapped around the body. The Sulawesi model on the other hand seems to have the strings built into it. It is impossible to tell how the Dayak warrior in the first photo would have closed his however.
The cloth worn across his shoulders is supposed to represent Chinese silk and is from a Tang dynasty statue. Numerous tribes today wear fine cloths around their shoulders and I wanted to emphasize Srivijaya's connection with Chinese trade.
A possible UU for a Malay or Srivijaya civilization.

Spoiler :
The Orang Laut or Sea Peoples, were a group of feared Malay tribes living in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. Engaging in piracy and inland raids, they made the straits of Melaka so dangerous that most merchants during the ancient era and antiquity preferred to travel overland through the Fu-Nan kingdom (modern Cambodia and Thailand) rather then pass through the traits. This all changed after Srivijaya rose to prominence and, through a sequence of alliances, managed to control and organize the Orang Laut into a effective force military force. For most of Srivijaya's history the Orang Laut patrolled the waters around the Straits of Melaka and gathered tribute from passing vessels and tributary cities, only raiding those who refused to pay.

Malay Spearman,

This Malay Spearman is a composite of different anthropological sources from Sumatra and the surrounding islands. There is little evidence for armor from early Malay history and, even if it was probably used, we do not know how it looked. Nonetheless, I like including one armored spearman in the ancient era pack. Thus a generic ancient Sumatra combo. This unit's armor is based off of rattan or fiber vest "battle tube" from Nias island, (1). The Spearman's turban is a type of turban style found amongst the Batak people, a type with a tail trailing from the top of the turban wrap. The two standing tribesmen in this picture are wearing a similar type, (2). The shield is from the Mentawai Islands, (3).

Malay Light Spearman,

The Light Spearman is wearing a barkcloth vest and a sarong. It is well known that many cloths were once made out of bark cloth and some vests have survived to the modern era. Some remote tribes still make cloths out of this material, (1). It is probable that for the poorer Malay warriors it could have been in use as well. A very generic unit.

Malay Short Swordsman (Proto-Kris),

The Kris is the most legendary blade in the South East Asian archipelago. As defining a weapon for the region's warriors as the katana is for the samurai and the rapier for the musketeer, in later times no man of standing would be caught in public without one. Nonetheless, the blade has evolved through the centuries and the basic idea of the dagger style probably has a Indian genesis. The early kris is called the Keris Buda. This knife had a broad blade and a T shaped hilt and can be commonly seen on Borobudur and Prambanan reliefs, (1). It seems to have been commonly pared with a buckler, (2).
While most of the evidence of this blade is at Borobudur, it isn't that far fetched to think that similar blades were probably also used by the Malay during this time as well. The Malay warrior is loosely based off of these old drawings, (3), (4).

Malay Swordsman,

Historically the most popular form of armor in the Malay straits and the surrounding islands was the padded vest. Though no known reference to armor in the Srivijaya period exists, it was probably in use. This armor is based off of two Dayak examples, (1), (2).This swordsman's crown helmet is based off of a Srivijaya era sculpture, (3). His sarong wrap is based off of a later statue of 14th century statue of Adityawarman found in Sumatra, (4). The statue is from the Majapahit era, but as primary sources from Sumatra or the Peninsula are so rare, it had to be used for the sake of variety.

Malay Chariot,

It is doubtful that the early Malay people ever fielded chariots. But the civ4 roster has to be completed, and so here it is. The charioteer's long sarong appearance is based off of this Srivijaya statue (1), but with only a simple tiara.

Malay Horseman,

This horseman is based off of Batak sources. The Batak are well known for their equestrian figures and this unit's turban comes from one, (1). The carrying bag/extra sarong around his shoulder comes from this picture of Batak warriors, (2).

Animations directions are in the zip.

Please leave comments in the thread.


Other Malay Unit Packs:
Malay Medieval Unit Pack (Sultanate of Melaka)
Malay Renaissance Pack (Post-Melaka)
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