Rare Burmese Bronze Pyu Buddha Statue
AGE: – 8th – 9th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Bronze
HEIGHT: – 26cm
WIDTH: – 17cm
DEPTH: – 7.5cm (excluding protruding arms and hands)
#19 – PRICE: CONTACT
Rare Burmese Bronze Pyu Buddha Statue seated with lower leg limbs parallel to one another, with soles of the feet turned upwards with incised motifs. The right hand in Karana Mudra expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. The left hand with the palm facing upwards shows the Buddha’s robe draped around his wrist and across the palm, extending and draping over and between the index finger and thumb.
The Pyu Ancient Cities marked the emergence of the first historically documented Buddhist urban civilization in Southeast Asia and flourished between 200 BC and 900 AD. The Pyu Kingdom consisted of a group of smaller city-states in the upper regions of Burma which encompasses Sri Ksetra, Halin, and Beikthano.
This group of small city-states was founded when the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu people migrated southwards from present-day Yunnan. To date, five major walled cities and smaller towns have been partly excavated. Apart from some ancient walls, citadels, and a few Buddhist stupas there is very little left standing today to show how vibrant and active the Pyu people were.
Excavations have shown that the Pyu had sophisticated burial practices and waterways that were utilized for crop growing as well as manufacturing sites. Excavated artifacts include glass and beautiful gold beads, coins, a very rare gold Buddhist manuscript found at Sri Ksetra with teachings from Pali Cannon inscribed on their pages, small bronze items, and utilitarian items used for storage and cooking.
The Pyu were greatly influenced by their interaction with India through trade and adopted Buddhism along with other cultural, political, and architectural influences from India.
The Pyu calendar, based on the Buddhist calendar was to later become the Burmese calendar. Some scholars believe that the Pyu script is based on the Brahmi script and is considered to be the source of the Burmese script used to write in the Burmese language. Around the 12th century, the Pyu language gradually ceased to be spoken.
During the Pagan dynasty, the Burmese Buddha statue changed in both dress and in their facial features, during the Pinya and Ava periods they became more ornate, most new statues made in Myanmar today are made in the Mandalay style.
Pyu, Mon, and Dvravati are terms used in the west to describe cultural groups that developed city-states in Upper and Lower Burma, and in central Thailand during the first millennium CE. The Pyu, also known in historical records as the P‘iao, Pru, Chu-po, T‘u-lo-chu, and Tircel (Luce 1960:309) were the dominant people in Upper Burma. Pyu settlements were centered around the tributaries of Burma‘s great rivers – the Irrawaddy, Sittang, Chindwin, Salween, and Mu – with major city sites at Beikthano, Halin, Maingmaw, and Sriksetra.
The earliest Buddhist artifacts found in Burma have been discovered around the Pyu site in Sri Ksetra. Their artistic repertoire was varied and included stone sculpture in relief as well as in the round, terracotta sculptures, votives, relief tiles, and metalwork. (Guy 1999:14-28).
During the ninth century for reasons still unclear the Pyu ceased being a significant regional polity. The last contemporaneous mention of the Pyu is found at Pagan in the Rajakumar inscription of 1113 CE after which time the Pyu script and the Pyu disappear from the records (Luce 1969:73-75, 96). Read more on what may have happened to the Pyu