The Pearl of the Far East – THE FOSSILIZED FOOTSTEPS (Part 2)

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… continue Part 1:

       We’re going to provide more information after our research as follows:


         Among the Southward people, there were the “ the Three-bagged Ogre” family. – The “Three-Bagged Ogre, with nine ears, lwclve eyes”. Who was this man? Was he a ghost or devil? Or was he a “worldly man with earthly eyes”. He was Mr. Pham Dang Hung – the father of the queen – mother Tu Du, (the wife of king Thieu Tri) – the mother queen. Wherever he went, he always carried with him “several bags”, containing all kinds of seeds so as to distribute to poor people so that they can settle their stable life. The three bags were the three “mobile-grain ware-houses”, which stemmed from the idea of building “communal business” at villages and communes in order to subside the poor in case their crops were destroyed; however, the king showed his disapproval. With his tall and big appearance of an arms man, it was thought he looked quite strange like a wooden carving. Mr. “Three bagged Ogre” was not only well-known in the Mekong Delta, (P.10) he was also well-known back to the northern plain.

Classical music band of South
Picture 10: Classical music band of South

His “three bags” was no more meaning as bags containing grains through the picture , but they also meant the bags to catch children. This legendary man has become a treasure of folklore literature presented by Henry Oger‘s4 work – the Oriental French researcher who lived in Hanoi during the years 1908-1909. The picture of this extraordinary man was presented in his woodwork with three demotic scripts: “ONG BA BI”.

The three-bagged ogre
Picture 11: The three-bagged ogre

Oger’s work was presented in the work entitled “Sketches of Vietnam in the early 20th century5. Especially , this theme had become the Ph.D thesis “The History of Culture6. The work “The Techniques of the An Nam People” include 4.577 wood-carving sketches foot noted with Chinese-Demotic script by Henry Oger, an Oriental French researcher in the late 19th century. This was known as the Monographic Method. All aimed at building a file on the material and spiritual and mental life of the Vietnamese people.


4. Henri Oger – Technique du Peuple Annamite (Kỹ thuật của người An Nam) – Henri Oger- Techniques du peuple Anamite.

5.   Nguyen Manh Hung- Sketches of the early 20th century.

6.  Nguyen Manh Hung – Viet Nam’s society late 19th century and early 20 century – Ph.D Thesis on History of Culture – presented at the Faculty of History – Hanoi Comprehensive University – Now known as The Social Science University.


◊  The Pearl of the Far East – THE FOSSILIZED FOOTSTEPS (Part 1)



◊ Bold, italic, and colored letters are set by Ban Tu Thu.

◊  Figure 1, 2 – Source: Saigon – The Pearl of the Far East – HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Associated Professor Doctor of History – TRUC NGUYEN PHAN SON.

◊  Featured image – Source: A. F. Decoly – Alexandre Francis Decoly –

Mr. Decoly collects cartes of postales and publishes images – in black and white and color – in Saigon from 1905 to 1924 but he is not a photographer but only a businessman. Photo of Mr. Decoly’s cartes postales with the symbol of a small pagoda in the corner is Mr. Decoly’s company, then the symbol of the temple tower becomes the trademark of “Edition La Pagode Saigon”. According to the 1910 Indochina Yearbook, Decoly resided at 36 Legrand de la Liraye, “Decoly, employé de commerce” (now Dien Bien Phu street) – Source: – Nguyen Duc Hiep, Atmospheric Scientist, Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW, Australia.

10 /2019

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