Burmese Buddha Innwa Style Statues

Burmese Buddha Innwa Style Statues made during the Innwa period were inclined to have more prominent nose ridges and eye brows and becoming more ornate, compared to the Buddha statues of their Pagan predecessors.

After the decline of the Pagan kingdom in the mid 13th century, Innwa, located in the Mandalay region was to become the Imperial capital from the 14th to 19th century, during this period it was sacked many times by various Shan clans and rebuilt. After a series of earthquakes in 1839 it was abandoned, today, there is very little to show of its previous grandeur. The Innwa period is divided into early Innwa and late Innwa period.

Innwa’s (meaning “mouth of the lake”) art was largely influenced by the Tai a group of people thought to have originated in south western China, they established their own kingdom making Ava it’s capital. Tai iconography up until this period incorporated a mix of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan influences.

During the Innwa period Buddha statues were crafted in a variety of styles, some were made in the style of the Jambhupati Buddha, dressed in royal attire, with ornate crowns, large earrings and decorative robes, others were fairly plain with small rounded usnisha’s topped with a large decorative finial. The crafting of a Buddha statue during these few hundred years left little to the imagination. Many Ava style Buddha statues are seen with large flange style ears and carved flanges extending out from the crown. Thayo lacquer also became a popular medium in which to apply decorative floral touches to the robes around the edges of crowns and the attire worn by the Buddha.

The proximity of the Ava Kingdom to Sagyin mountains, a chain of mountains with abundant marble deposits approximately 21 miles north of Mandalay made the crafting of Buddha statues popular. Buddha statues and Nat statues made from fine alabaster was also popular during the Innwa period, by the latter half of the 19th century most statues were made from white marble.


Burmese Innwa Alabaster Maitreya Statue
Burmese Innwa Alabaster Maitreya Statue
Burmese Innwa style Hollow Lacquer Shan Buddha Statue
Burmese 18th Century Innwa Style Hollow Lacquer Buddha Statue