Cambodia, Kingdom of (Khmer Preah Reach Ana Pak Kampuchea)
- Sam-Ang Sam
(Khmer Preah Reach Ana Pak Kampuchea)
Country in South-east Asia. It is bordered by Laos in the north, Vietnam in the east, the Gulf of Thailand in the south and Thailand in the north and west. Its population is more than 90% Khmer but also includes small numbers of Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer Loeu (‘Highland Khmer’) and Cham. This entry mainly concerns the music of the Khmer majority.
During the 12th century, Mahayana Buddhism had strong royal support and consequently became the state religion; by the beginning of the 14th century the Khmers had converted to Therevada Buddhism, which has been practised up to the present.
By the beginning of the Christian era, Kaundinya (believed to have been a Brahman) had set to sea from India to conquer and defeat the indigenous queen Soma, whom he wedded. He was crowned as the first King of Funan (Founan), the centre of which was situated on the lower Mekong delta with its territory covering the southern part of present-day Vietnam, the middle Mekong and large parts of the Menam valley and the Malay peninsula....