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Mythical bird-woman
Place of Origin: Thailand
Date: approx. 1930-1950
Materials: Copper alloy with remnants of lacquer
Style or Ware: Bangkok
Dimensions: H. 34 1/2 in x W. 10 1/4 in x D. 16 1/2 in, H. 87.6 cm x W. 26 cm x D. 42 cm (sculpture only)
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B61B1+
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Mythical bird-men and -women are among the wondrous creatures that inhabit the Eden-like Himavanta Forest of Buddhist legend, and they are frequently depicted in Siamese sculptures, paintings, and other mediums. The most famous story involving a birdwoman in Siam, "Manora," was derived from a story of a previous life of the Buddha.

Metal statues of mythical bird-folk were sometimes placed high up on posts, including lampposts, along the main boulevards of Bangkok. This practice continues in many cities of Thailand.

This bird-woman is portrayed as a young woman wearing a crown and jewelry. The lower part of her body is similar to a bird's, with long toes and sharp claws. Her wings and tail enable her to fly between the human and heavenly realms. The lotus base and the upper part of the column indicate this figure's function as a decorative ornament for a post.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

Mythical bird-men and -women are among the wondrous creatures that inhabit the Eden-like Himavanta Forest of Buddhist legend, and they are frequently depicted in Siamese sculptures, paintings, and other mediums. The most famous story involving a birdwoman in Siam, "Manora," was derived from a story of a previous life of the Buddha.

Metal statues of mythical bird-folk were sometimes placed high up on posts, including lampposts, along the main boulevards of Bangkok. This practice continues in many cities of Thailand.

This bird-woman is portrayed as a young woman wearing a crown and jewelry. The lower part of her body is similar to a bird's, with long toes and sharp claws. Her wings and tail enable her to fly between the human and heavenly realms. The lotus base and the upper part of the column indicate this figure's function as a decorative ornament for a post.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010