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Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma)

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Myanmar (Burma)

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  1. Myanmar (Burma) Bagan (Pagan) 11th-13th centuries Fisher, pp.183-186

  2. Myanmar • Present capital is Yangon (Rangoon) • People: Mon, Burmese, Karen, and Shan • Old capitals: Pagan (11th-13th centuries) Amanrapura, Mandaley (18th-19th century) • Sources of history: The Great Chronicle composed in 1829 by a committee of scholars; the Glass Palace Chronicle (translated into English in 1923, covered largely Pagan period)

  3. Bagan period • King Aniruddha (Anawratha) (r. 1044-77) • King Kyanzittha (c. 1084-1111): legends had it said that he was boren as brahmin who worshipped Kassapa Buddha • Bagan was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in 1283

  4. Religion • Religion: Theravada Buddhism (from Sri Lanka), Mahayana Buddhism (from Pala region in India), and Hinduism • Animism calls Nats: Spirits of people who had died violent, unjust deaths; 37 nats; Mt. Popa is their abode • Nats revolve around land, sky, and water spirits and links to agriculture; • built small wooden enclosure containing images; offering of food and drinks (offering of the Taungbyon brothers are soft drink and liquor and fried chicken)

  5. Nat shrine

  6. Taungbyon brothers

  7. Taungbyon brothers and their mother

  8. Religious structures • Stupa: Bupaya dated to 9th century; decorated with stucco or ceramic tiles • Temple: Generally a single story in the early period. Later temples include large edifices of two stories or a series of pyramidal tiers surmounting the base; most constructed with bricks; decorated with stucco on the exterior and painting in the interior; • Ananda temple (early 12th century); continues today as a center of worship • Buddha images mainly made of brick, coated in stucco and painted; carved from sandstone, covered with lacquer and gilt; bronze • More than 13,000 stupas and temples may be dated to the Pagan period.

  9. Bupaya pagoda

  10. Ananda Temple • Built during the reign of King Kyanzittha (r. 1084-1111) • Greek Crossed (Cruciform) plan; square shape; topped with a tapering pagoda (172 feet from the base) • Four standing Buddhas; each enshrined in a nich • Interior has life scenes of the Buddha (389 scenes) and last ten jatakas

  11. Ananda temple, Bagan

  12. Colossal Buddha image, Ananda temple

  13. Andagu Tablet

  14. Shwedagon pagoda • Most important shrine in Myanmar (14th century; rebuilt several times) (344 feet high) • Legendary history dated it to the founding in the life of the Buddha • Encased within it is said to be a golden barge, studded with jewels, in the form of a mythical bird; the golden vessel encloses eight sacred hairs of the Buddha (gave to two merchants, Taphussa and Bhallika from Myanmar)

  15. Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon