Last modified: 2005-08-19 by phil nelson
Keywords: sedang kingdom | cochinchina |
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by Jakub Grombir
by Oliver Touzeau
Born in Toulon 1842, Charles-Marie David, AKA de Mayréna had learned to know Cochinchina when he was a young soldier in the 186ies. After having had several activities, he left his wife his children and his job in a bank after a problem occurred in the bank where he worked (accused of fraud). He went to Java, but was expelled to Paris by the Netherlands authorities after he had exploited a Dutch family there.
Having tried to lead an expedition to Aceh (and failed), he went to Saigon, and, in 1886, he visited the lands of the Jarais, Rongaos, Bahnars and Sedangs.
Charles de Mayréna proposed to the French governor, Mr. Constans, to do an expedition in the "moi" lands (moi = savage in annam language). He went to Qui Nhon, where the French resident, Mr. Lemire, gave him support as well.
On April 21st 1888, he left Qui Nhon with a friend, Alphonse Mercurol, and with a translator, a cook, 4 Chinese people, 80 coolies, etc. “He bore then a strange flag, that he presented as his personal standard : blue with three daisies per bend.”
He arrived first at Kon Jari Tul, a bahnar village where there was a Catholic mission led by Father Jean-Baptiste Guerlach. He reached thanks to him Kon Touim, and then Kon Trang, where was the mission of Father Irigoyen. Thanks to them, he visited several villages, where he cured some people thanks to quinquina. The Bahnars and Rongaos tribes decided to make him their "tonul-om" (supreme chief).
In May 1888, he made an expedition to Sedang (in the Bla valley). On June 1st, he was crowned agna (king) and kedra-begueur sem (master) of the Sedangs, as "Marie the 1st". Two days later, he wrote a constitution, and chose “a flag : plain blue, with white cross bearing in its center a red star”. The motto of his state was "Jamais céder, toujours d'aidant." He named his capital "Maria Peleï", instituted customs, postal service, chivalry orders... Mercurol went to Qui Nhon to announce the foundation of the kingdom, and when he went back there in September 1888, Charles-Marie de Mayréna was warmly welcomed. He borrowed money from a Chinese tailor (A. Kong), asked him to make a thousand uniforms... and fled to Hong Kong, where he tried to sell his kingdom to the UK, and spent all his money. In Indochina, priests were accused to have wanted to recreate a new Paraguay, the resident LeMire lost his office, and was replaced by Guiomar, who went to the Sedang lands to take back the Sedang flags... Charles de Mayréna went back to Europe, and the Belgian magnate Somzie was naive enough to decide to help him reconquer his kingdom. But French authorities did not want him to come back. So, after a stop in Port-Said where he had converted to Islam, he went to Singapore where he married with a young Malay woman, settled in Siribua Island. His new wife left him there, and he went with two friends, Harold Scott and Horace Villeroi, to Tioman Island, where he died in unclear circumstances in sept. 1890.
The Sedang Kingdom was recreated in Montreal, Canada, in 1995 as a
micronation with Derwin J.K.W. Mak as regent prince, and an assembly whose
president was Mrs. Capucine Plourde. It was a micronation who edited stamps
and sold Sedang titles.
Olivier Touzeau, 10 April 2001
The story was reported by H. Calvarin and M. Corbic in 'Francia Vexillae' #14/60 (June 1999) on the basis of Fuligni's book. Additional information from other sources was given in the paper:
The writings on the seal mean: Kedra (should be Kodra): Lord; Deh (should
be De^k): Nation; Begueur (should be Pogor): who rules.
Ivan Sache, 11 April 2001
Inheritors of Sedang Kingdom (19. century) use strange flag: blue with
white cross (symethric, not Scandinavian) and five-pointed red star in the
Jakub Grombir, 26 July 2005