Burmese Buddha Statues Jambhupati Style – This style of Buddha statue, also referred to as the Royal King Buddha can be seen with varying degrees of embellishments, some have little decoration whilst others are highly ornate.
The Jambhupati style traditionally wears a crown with earrings and jewels around the arms, neck and waist. Large or small flanges flank both sides of the head, with large earrings touching the shoulders or sometimes hanging over the shoulders. Some statues of the wooden type are embellished with glass mosaics and glass beads with rings on one or all of the fingers. Bronze statues are sometimes seen with glass mosaics representing jewels.
In many wooden statues of the Jambhupati style, thayo lacquer, a resin derived from the tamarind tree is applied to the body to represent the outline of the robe. The robe of many Mandalay Buddha Statues dating from the 18th century into the 20th century are decorated with a fish scale pattern, also using thayo lacquer and when dry gilded with gold leaf.
A style unique to Myanmar is the wooden Buddha statue in the jambhupati style with detachable alabaster head, hands and feet with a tiered conical metal crown, flanges and earrings. The Burmese royal crowned Jambhupati Buddha images were and still are made from a variety of materials such as marble, alabaster, bronze, brass, wood, paper Mache, jade and hollow sculptures made from bamboo or lacquer.
The Burmese royal crowned Jambhupati Buddha image originated from the story of the Buddha’s encounter with King Jambhupati, whereupon the Buddha adorned royal attire in order to humble the arrogant and overbearing king Jambhupati, who threatened one of his followers. The King on seeing the Buddha dressed in such splendor was overawed and from that day onward he became a follower of the Buddhist teachings and he himself became a monk and realised enlightenment.
The Jambhupati style Buddha images originated in India during the Pala period 750 A.D. – 1150 A.D., they subsequently became popular in most other Buddhist countries such as China, Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.