|The region known as Southeast Asia is composed of eight countries: Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. For many of these countries, a good deal of their art, culture, and religion as well as their conceptions of law and kingship were originally based on Indian ideals. For almost a thousand years, beginning about the 5th century, the predominant organized religions practiced in Southeast Asia were Buddhism and Hinduism. However, these Indian modes were, in most cases, simply platforms from which the local artistic and cultural genius sprang to create new forms. Southeast Asian art in the Asia Society collection consists mainly of Hindu and Buddhist sculpture from Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, although the museum's holdings range from a stunning bronze ceremonial axehead dating from 500-200 B.C.E. to 15th- and 16th-century Thai and Vietnamese ceramics.