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Arakan’s Place in the Civilization of the Bay: A Study of Coinage and Foreign Relations

 Category: History  Publisher: M.S. Collis; San Swe Bu  Published: 1 January 2000  Tags: ArakanArakan KingdomIslamRohingya |  Download

Coins Found In Arakan

Mr. Htoon Aung Gyaw, Barrister – at – Law and certain other private collectors of Akyab have in their possession over a hundred coins found in Arakan. When recently arranged by Mr. San Shwe Bu, many of them were seen to be duplicates, but sixteen belonging to the Mrauk-U dynasty (1430 to 1784 A.D.) were distinct specimens, bearing the dates and titles of fifteen different kings of that line. Moreover there were a few coins belonging to the Wesali dynasty (788 to 951 AD). I propose in this paper to show the relationship of these coins to Indian coinage as a whole and to use them as a document from which to draw certain general conclusions on the history of Arakan. As that history has never been written and as the data for the early centuries are scanty and controversial, I trust that the inevitable shortcomings of this summary will be understood and excused.

Coins of Arakan

The coins found in Arakan belong to both the groups described above; those of Wesali are Hindu and those of Mrauk-U are Mahomedan. In order to understand the Wesali coins it will be necessary to set down here in outline what is known of that Kingdom and how it stood in relation to adjoining states.