Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Pair of Bronze Burmese Flying Hermit Figures

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Sculpture: Pre 1960: Item # 820664

Please refer to our stock # 10-58 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
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Long, low Burmese hermit figures with their distinctive hats and monk robes represent heroes from ancient Buddhist legends and folk stories. According to legend, the hermits spend most of their lives in self deprivation striving to perfect themselves morally, and if they achieve that perfection are reborn as zaw-gyi (zagwi), supernatural beings who fly through water, land and air doing good deeds. Some stories say zaw-gyi live forever, others say they live a mere 80,000 years. They are venerated in Burma along with other important supernatural beings, the nats, and reside with the nats on Mount Popa, near Pagan, a pilgrimage site. One of the hermits in this pair holds an oil lamp, the other holds his hands with fingertips pressed together. The faces are quite different, the hats have different designs and the robes have different edging. The low sleek forms with toes pointed and robes spread behind like wings may signify the hermit’s magical abilities to fly after reaching zaw-gyi status. Cast mid-20th century, the two figures are in very good condition. Dimensions: length 21” (53 cm), width 5” (13 cm), height 7” (18 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM