**Originally Listed At $300**
Southeast Asia, Burma (Myanmar), Ava Period, ca. 19th century CE. A tall, beautifully-carved wooden figure of a nat, a spirit worshiped in Burma alongside Buddhism. The figure is seated, one knee up and one elbow resting upon it, the other down and folded close to the body, with the other hand pressed into it, giving a casual appearance. The figure has a stylized face, with large, curved eyebrows and stone eyes, and wears a tall, multi-tiered hat. The front and sides of the figure are painted black with gilding over much of the paint and some selective bright red paint on the lips and forehead. The back is unpainted, indicating that this piece was kept against a wall. Size: 7" W x 22.25" H (17.8 cm x 56.5 cm)
The 37 Nats continue to be worshiped in Burma to this day, with pilgrimage sites, temples, relic sites, and festivals. The Nats have human characteristics, wants and needs, often portrayed as flawed and having desires that are taboo or immoral in mainstream Buddhism. Statues like this one that venerate them hint at that characteristic with their faces, which often show a greater range of emotion than those of the Buddha.
Provenance: private Boulder, Colorado, USA collection, acquired at Indochine Gallery, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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