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Preah Thong and Neang Neak

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Title: Preah Thong and Neang Neak  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: National personification, Malta, Kaundinya (disambiguation), Wanjiku, Kartvlis Deda
Collection: Cambodian Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Preah Thong and Neang Neak

Preah Thong (Kaundinya I) and Neang Neak (Soma) are symbolic personas in Khmer culture. They are thought to have founded the pre-Angkorian state of Funan. Much of Khmer wedding customs can be traced back to the marriage of Preah Thong and Neang Neak.

According to reports by two Chinese envoys, Kang Tai and Chu Ying, the state of Funan was established by an Indian Brahmin named Kaundinya. In the 1st century CE (source?), Kaundinya was given instruction in a dream to take a magic bow from a temple and defeat a Naga princess named Soma (Chinese: Liu Ye, “Willow Leaf”), the daughter of the king of the Naga. She later married Kaundinya (chin. Hun Tien) and their lineage became the royal dynasty of Funan. Kaundinya later built a capital, and changed the name of the country to 'Kambuja'. [1] In reality, the myth has Indian origins: the Pallavas of South India had adopted this genealogy to explain their dynastic origins, for the first Pallava ruler of Kanchipuram was supposed to be the son of a Chola king and a naga princess. The legend somehow reached Cambodia, where it was adopted by the Funan kings to explain their dynastic origins, and a legendary first King Kaundinya came into being.


  1. ^ The Asia-Pacific World [2]. Retrieved March 5, 2013.

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