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HOME : Asian Art : Art of Myanmar (Burma) : Shan Marble Head of the Buddha
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Shan Marble Head of the Buddha - PF.5152
Origin: Myanmar (Burma)
Circa: 17 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 5" (12.7cm) high
Collection: Asian
Medium: Marble

Location: United States
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The Shan people are a distinct ethnic group that today constitute Myanmar’s largest minority group. However, from the 13th until the 16th Century, they dominated most of the country. They are largely Buddhist, and their language and customs are closely related to the Thai and Laotians their neighbors to the south and east. In the 19th Century, long after their power had eroded, they were distributed among thirty petty states that paid tribute first to the Burman King, then to the British. This arrangement remained more or less in tact until 1922 when the Federated Shan States were joined together. In 1947, a unified Shan States was created under the Burmese Constitution. Although much of their autonomy has been relinquished to the central government, the Shan retain their unique cultural identity and ethnic heritage.

The face is framed by a slightly raised hairline and by the rather large ears. Pigment was used to highlight essential features, principally the black pupils and thin black lines to distinguish the eyelids. Arching eyebrows are also delineated in black, while the nose is small and 'fleshy' in appearance, and the red lips are depicted as very delicate with a hint of a smile. The serenity associated with Buddha is here beautifully depicted, offering the viewer an immediate sense of inner peace. - (PF.5152)


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