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Burmese Spirit Mask with Elephant Nat

This Burmese Nat Spirit Mask is one of a pair.  They may be bought separately, however: Burmese Spirit Mask with Bird Nat

Burmese Spirit Nat Masks are carved in the round, not to be worn. Their purpose in the Shan Tribe, was for protection often hung in the entrance of the village chief's hut. These masks typically have a Nat on top of a human or animal head.

The worshipping of Nats in Burma is part of a traditional heritage that is carried on from generation to generation.

The Nats of Burma make up a structured system of animistic spirits, predating the advent of Theravada Buddhism but coexisting with it and with other systems of divination and prediction such as astronomy and alchemy. The Nat Cult is oriented to handling immediate and personal crises and avoiding evil, whereas in Buddhism, the dominant higher religious ideology in Burma, is concerned chiefly with rebirth and eventually with salvation.

The worship of Nats predates Buddhism in Burma. With the arrival of Buddhism, however, the nats were merged into Buddhism. The Nats are an extraordinary mixed collection of deities, including spirits of trees, rivers, ancestors, animals, and the ghosts of people. They liked a peaceful life and it was believed that they could wreak havoc on people who annoyed them. Originally, they were numberless. But in time a canonical number of thirty-six was fixed for them, with the Buddha included as the thirty-seventh. Even today the Nats exert a powerful influence on the thought and experience of modern Burmese.

Here the Nat Spirit is an elephant.  He is missing a tusk after use over the years. There is inlaid glass on this piece as well.

15.5" High x 7" Wide x 6.5" Deep

Handcarved in teak wood in Burma

Burmese Spirit Mask with Elephant Nat

SKU: 0802
$325.00 Regular Price
$211.25Sale Price

Pre-Summer Grand Sale 35off

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