Get to know Mandalay Period
Mandalay was considered the center of the Buddhist universe in Myanmar. King Mindon moved the capital from Amarapura to this new site and called it the city of Mandalay. Tradition maintains that Gautama Buddha visited the sacred peak of Mandalay Hill with his disciple Ananda, and proclaimed that on the 2400th anniversary of his death, a metropolis of Buddhist learning would be founded on the plain below the hill. The political center of this new city had the perfect geometrical form of a Buddhist Mandala, for which the city was named, Mandalay.
The Mandalay period ends at the time when the Burmese gained their independence from the British.
Mandalay was considered the most beautiful and popular art in Burma and thus Burmese Art prospered and developed in this era. The styles of Mandalay Buddha Images and Buddha statues were many since King Mandon. A devout Buddhist, had filled Mandalay with them and through the years Mandalay art became established as the pure art of Myanmar.
- No halo above the head. (Arakan style influenced)
- An Oval-shaped face with a thick rim.
- Human-like facial features, except the ears which were elongated to the shoulders.
- A slender body (Ramayana influenced)
- An image seated in the crossed-legged position with a wide lap and the upper parts of the legs and knees touching the pedestal base.
- Adorned images were decorated with a full range of accessories but the crown was optional. (This style only be found in Mandalay style).
- Most images were lacquered, painted with Chad (red colour), gilded and finally decorated with inlaid glass. The borders of the face and the robe were embossed with inlaid glass decorations.
- Crowned images in royal attire wore a conical crown similar in shape to the crown of the Mahamuni Buddha Image.
The art of marble carving in Burma
In Burma, marble is called Sagyin, which derives from Sagyin hill. Originally Sagyin is the name of the village in Madaya Township, 21 miles to the north of Mandalay.
A mountain range consists of 7 hills – four to the north and three to the south of village. Because of the mountain range lies near Sagyin Village, it acquired the nameSagyin Hill and the marble stone produced are called Sagyin stone. As the Sagyin Hill range is an offshoot of the mountains of Mogok, the world’s best ruby land, there are some ruby mines in Sagyin Hills. But the hills are more well-known for their marble which varies in colour from pure white to bluish grey.
Marble Buddha Statue
Marble blocks are carefully carved into Buddha images of different styles and sent to Buddhist monasteries all around Burma.Nowadays more work is done by machines, but in the past everything was done by hand.
Have you heard about ‘Calling the Earth to Witness’ or ‘Subduing Mara’ posture?
The posture “ the attitude of subduing mara “ or “Calling the Earth to Witness” is describing the buddha posture: The palm of the left hand is facing up in the lap. Right hand bent over right knee, fingers softly brushing the ground.
A short story about this posture
During the meditation, before Buddha at that time called Siddhartha success in his enlightenment. He was assaulted by a demon called Mara who attempted to lure the meditating Buddha way from the path of enlightenment. Mara has been trying many ways to make the Buddha out of his meditation, Buddha still silenced. He kept trying, then The Buddha extended the fingers of his right hand towards the ground and summoned the earth goddess Toranee to bear witness and help defend him from the attack. The goddess sent a torrent of water from her long hair, washing away Mara and his army. That’s how this posture comes from.
Yaowarat Antique : The Antique shop
“Yaowarat Antique” located in Yaowarat Street known as the old town of Bangkok has been open for over 30 years. Started by the family of “Danvirunhavanich”. By converting little antique artifacts such as old stamps and antique toys into Benjarong or Porcelain plates. Then Mr.Danvirunhavanich began to open his own antique shop which was at first named “Chiva sart” meaning “The lesson of life”. After the retirement of Mr.Danvirunhavanich, “Tee” known as “Tee Yaowarat” : son of Mr.Danvirunhavanich took over to take care of this antique shop. Yaowarat Antique Shop is a popular-oriented antique store among Bangkokian people. Many of their antiques have a unique southeast Asian and Thai style. For those who love Asian antiques, once you come to Bangkok, it’s a must to visit this place!