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0422 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 422 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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406   179. CONDUR

of Chinese transcriptions of the 8th cent.; in spite of FERRAND (Fe, 14-17), I still believe that * Kundurung is the old name of Pub Condor, not of Cape Saint-Jacques. Polo's Condur simply shows that the modern Malay form was already current at the end of the 13th cent.

So much for Polo's Condur, but what of Sondur ? It occurred already to YULE that Sondur

must be the same name which appears as c.Ay ;   Sundur-fûlat in the early Arabic narratives,
and I think he is right, but the case is complex and requires some explanation.

FERRAND considers that Sundur-fulat, which for a long time he transcribed Cundur-falât, is Pub Condor, and, although he never said so, I think that is what prevented him from admitting that Kundurung was Pub Condor. The fact is that the Arabic relations first speak of Kundurung, then of Champa, and afterwards of Sundur-fulat, so that Sundur-fulat cannot be for them the same as Kundurung. As to Sundur-fnlât, FERRAND has explained it as a Persian plural of an arabized Sundur-pûlau, Sundur itself being the outcome of Kundur > Kuundur > Cundur Sundur (Fe, ix, 2; JA, 1919, I, 328). But he did not explain why k became a in Kundur, but remained k, at the same time, in Kundurung.

In JRAS, 1914, 496, BLAGDEN raised several objections to FERRAND'S solution. 1. That in Malay k- does not change to c in the initial position; 2. that in Malay and in Indonesian languages generally, pulau ought precede the name of the island, and not to follow it; 3. that, if Sundur-fûiat is Pub Condor, there is no reason why the Arabic travellers, on their way to China, should go to Sundur-fulat after leaving Champa.

On the first point raised by BLAGDEN, I am not in a position to make any definite statement. To the second, some answer can be given. It is true that the usual Malay, and generally Indonesian, construction requires Pulau Kundur, but we know of other cases when pulau has been transferred to the end of the compound. The name of the island off the coast of Annam called Culao Cham on our maps means « Cham island », culao being Cham pulau, kalâu, kulau, « island » (Annamese cù lao is borrowed from the Cham), identical with Mal. pulau; but the name is Chan-pu-lao (= Cam-pulau) in Chinese texts of the 8th cent., Chan-pi-lo (* Cam-pilo) in the Ming period (cf. BEFEO, iv, 198-201; JA, 1919, I, 323); I may add « Champiloo » in F. M. Pinto (cf. COLIN-PASTELLS, Labor Evangelica, I, 364s). Another example is provided by Polo's « *Gaumispola », the « Gomispola » of other travellers, and the Jamis-fuiah (= Gâmis-pula) of Arabic texts, which is «Puio Gommes » etc. of ancient maps. So the order of the words is not an obstacle to the explanation of fûlàt in Sundur-fiiiat with the Mal. pulau.

The geographical objection is of much greater weight. All Arabic texts place Sundur-fûlat

after Champa on the way to China, while Pub Condor is passed before reaching Champa. FERRAND himself seems to have later yielded tacitly to this argument since in his Instructions nautiques, III, 166-167, speaking again of the same Arabic texts, he gives the island of Hainan as the equivalent of Sundur-fûiat. I also think that Sundur-fûlat is not Pub Condor, so that nothing more stands in our way to identify with Pub Condor the Kundurung of the 8th-10th cents.

But that does not mean, in my opinion at least, that Sundur-fûlàt is Hainan. Without being dogmatic about it, I think that Kundurung is Pub Condor, that the early Arab travellers mean by Champa the coast of Binh-dinh with Quinhon harbour, that their Sundur-fûlàt is Culao