Burmese Nat Spirit Wood Carving Mei Wunna EUO122

This exceptional and rare antique Burmese Nat spirit teak wood carving is in the form of Mei Wunna, also spelled Me Wunna and known as Popa Medaw, Queen Mother of Popa or Lady of Popa. The statue is made of hand carved teak wood decorated with polychrome and is the most charming Burmese spirit wood carving we have uncovered to date. Expected loss of paint and cracks are present and consistent with age.

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In Burma, the popularity of spirit guardians called Nat date back to pre-Buddhist animist beliefs. Wood carvings of Nat are found in homes and on the platforms of Buddhist shrines.

Her story: Mai Wunna was a flower-eating ogress of Mount Popa, an extinct volcano 50 kilometres southeast of Bagan. The word Popa is derived from the Pali word for flower. According to legend, King Anawrahta of Bagan ordered Byatta, a mythical person of Indian descent endowed with supernatural powers, to fetch fresh flowers ten times daily from Mount Popa. According to legend, Byatta fell in love with Mei Wunna and conceived the two brothers, Shwe Hpyin Naungdaw and Shwe Hpyin Nyidaw. Upon the glorification of the two brothers into the 37 Nat Pantheon, the status of Mei Wunna was raised and she became the Queen Mother of Popa. As her title suggests, she has dominion over Mount Popa.

Characteristics
Height: 46cm, 18 in
Width at base: 15cm, 6 in
Period: Mid-late 19thC
Provenance: Yangon, Burma

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