AGE: – 18th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Alabaster
DESCRIPTION: – 17th C. Burmese Alabaster Ava Buddha Statue -Lacquer mostly worn, still traces (see pictures)
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A genuine 17th C. Burmese Alabaster Ava Buddha Statue seated on a single lotus pedestal in the Vajrasana position with right leg crossed over the left and hand gesture in Bhumisparsa Mudra, dressed in simple monks robe with a large finial typical of the Ava style.
The Kingdom of Ava was established in 1364, but was not officially considered a capital until 1636, although it had almost total control over Burma from 1597. Up until more recent times Burma was often referred to by the outside world as Ava. Its official Pali name is Ratanapura, meaning “City of Gems”. The Kingdom of Ava experienced a succession of upheavals due mainly to internal rebellions.
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17th C. Burmese Alabaster Ava Buddha Statue
After the fall of Pagan, Ava viewed itself as the rightful successors of the Pagan Empire, and to this end they were constantly at war with the Mon and the Shan. In the first quarter of the 16th century, Ava was raided and sacked by Shan raiders, who formed a confederation, only to be conquered in 1555 by King Bayinnaung of Taungoo which held one of the last remaining strongholds of independent Bamars.
In 1838 the Kingdom of Ava was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, and was consequentially abandoned in 1841 when King Shwebo Min moved the capitol a short distance east to Amarapura, located just a few kilometers south of Mandalay. Mandalay today is the capital of Burma and the major centre for Buddhist teachings.
Innwa/Ava is a popular tourist destination in Burma, it is a peaceful, tranquil area and difficult to imagine that so much disruption existed for hundreds of years. There is little left to signify the grandeur of this once magnificent kingdom other than a few ruins, with just a couple of fine examples of what once existed.