While researching Sinxay, we talked to a number of people in Laos and Isan who believe the events in Sinxay actually occurred in certain geographical locations. We noted in Chapter 4 how Lao government officials, in a PowerPoint presentation given on Sinxay Day (February 27, 2010) in Vientiane, showed photographs of locations in Muang Fuang district where they believe events in the story took place. We documented each of these sites in Chapter 4. During our research, we also talked to a woman who believes that in a previous life she was Soumountha, and we met with a monk who believes he was Nyak Koumphan in a previous life. Clearly Sinxay has had a profound impact on many people, past and present.
We decided that for this book it made sense for us, as the authors, to create a map of the world of Sinxay as we imagine might have existed. We want to make it clear though, there is nothing in this map that connects it to any specific location in Laos or Isan. It is imaginary.
It was a powerful experience for us to create this map. While it wasn’t always easy to translate cartographically all the descriptions of landforms, towns, cities, and kingdoms, both earthly and heavenly that exist in the story of Sinxay, it was great fun seeing the world of Sinxay slowly emerge in graphic form.
We worked with one of the best fantasy map cartographers, Robert Altbauer from Salzburg, Austria.
During the process of creating the map, we came to the realization that the map provided us with the opportunity to clearly delineate all the paths taken by the characters in the story on their many journeys and quests. While we know the story forward and backward, we realize that our readers, who are reading Sinxay for the first time and trying to make sense of all the different routes taken, could become confused. This map should be an immense help to clarify the various journeys.
With the original map, found in the main text of the book, we provided a brief key to each of the paths. The key is placed at the bottom of the map. We used color rectangles to mark the paths and inserted brightly contrasting arrows, marking the direction the path was taken. Some journeys began with a certain number of characters, and along the way characters were either added or dropped. We indicated this by changing the fill color for the rectangle and/or the arrow. If a path was used coming and going, we inserted opposing arrows.
For this website we’ve created a cropped version of the map that shows only the area that encompasses all the paths that were taken. In the book we have a Reader’s Guide section at the end of the book where we expand on the description of all the different paths taken.
One of the leading proponents of Sinxay in Southeast Asia is Songwit Pimpakun, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Khon Kaen University. It is clear that he not only looks at Sinxay from an keen academic perspective, but is passionate about...read more