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Matrimonial Practices of Konbaung Kings
- The Myanmar kings contracted marriages for consolidating their hold on power and administration and for the prevalence of peace and prosperity in the kingdom. Similarly, those who presented their daughters, sisters or relatives to the kings as if women were chattels, did so because they wanted to gain special privileges from the kings, because they were indebted to the kings, or because they wanted to express their loyalty to the kings. Marriages arranged for political gains can be divided into five categories. By offering their daughters, sisters and relatives to the reigning king, tributary rulers and royal officials tried to become members of the royal family. Thus, women became pawns in political movements. Moreover, women were installed as queens or removed from their positions as queens for political reasons. Due to such marriages of convenience, the number of queens increased, and palace intrigues ensued. Women tried to gain influence in the court. Therefore, although there were some women in Myanmar society who played a part in politics and administration, their number compared to that of the queens was too low, and women were mostly exploited for political gains. It seems that the kings used women mainly for securing their positions rather than for maintaining peace and stability. It can therefore be concluded that women had too little chance to become involved in politics.
Tin Moe Latt
- Mandalay University Research Journal