- Museum number
A painting of the seven house nat spirits standing under a canopy with two inset scenes related to their life stories. Painted on glass. The outline appears to be printed, while the colours are probably applied by hand. Reverse printed (perhaps with a stencil) and painted. Inscribed.
- Production date
- 1991 (about)
Height: 23.90 centimetres
Width: 33.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is a representation of the seven nat spirits that are believed to occupy houses in Burma. The central figure is Min Mahagiri, Lord of the Great Mountain, also known as the Eindwin Nat (nat within the house) who guards homes from theft and enemies. If he is insulted then he will cause illness, poverty, and strife. Min Mahagiri was the blacksmith, U Tin De, famous as the strongest person in the country, and as a result was teacherously killed by the king of Tagaung. U Tin De married a naga (serpent) princess, Shwe Nabe by whom he had two sons. Shin Nyo (Lord Brown, so called because of the colour of his clothing) was also known as Taung Ma Gyi, Lord of the South, and Shin Hpyu (Lord White, who wore white clothes) was also called Maung Min Shin, Lord of the North. Both sons were killed in a boxing match arranged by the Burmese king, Duttabaung. All four of the family became nat spirits upon their deaths. Min Mahagiri is propitiated with a coconut placed in the southeast corner of the house.
Here, Min Mahagiri is represented in the centre. Shwe Nabe is at the far left and next to her is her son, Lord Brown. The figure standing second from the right is her other son Lord White. The littlest figure on the far right is Shin Nemi Nat (here called Ma Ma Neh), who is usually represented as a stout girl. The woman to the left of Min Mahagiri is Htwe Hpyu, also known as Queen Okkalaba or Thonbanhla (Three Times Beautiful). The woman to the right of Min Mahagiri is U Tin De's sister, Ma Sawme, also known as Hnamadawgyi, Lady Golden Face, or Queen Thiriwunda. She was married to the King of Tagaung who promised to make U Tin De a high official, but instead seized him and had him burned alive. When the queen saw this, she threw herself into the flames. The king tried to rescue her, but was left with only her head, and as a result, she is commonly called Lady Golden Face.
All of these nats are part of the pantheon of thirty-seven called the Thirty-Seven Lords.
See 2004,0618.05 for a similar image.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased at the bazaar leading into the Mahamuni temple.
- Registration number