The Naga Serpent in Malay Divination

The naga is a deified serpent that is a major part of the belief system of many South and Southeast Asian cultures. It is a chthonic creature, and is very strongly associated with rain and water. In Southeast Asia it plays an important role in divinatory practices for activities such as house-building, travelling and marriage. This seminar will explore the variety of texts and images relating to the naga as found in Malay divination manuscripts from the late 18th – early 20th century.