AGE: – 19th Century
CONSTRUCTION: -Teak Wood
DESCRIPTION: – Burmese Teak Wood MeWunna Nat Spirit
HEIGHT: – 76cm
WIDTH: – 24cm
DEPTH: – 16.5cm
WEIGHT: – 8.2 kg.
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Burmese Teak Wood MeWunna Nat Spirit is connected to the myth of a flower-eating ogress from Mount Popa. Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano 1518 metres above sea level, located in central Myanmar and is in the region of Mandalay. A large temple sits on top of the hill and is dedicated to the 37 Nats and is a pilgrimage site revered by the Myanmar peoples and is greatly influenced by animist beliefs in which Nat spirits are believed to inhabit the water and the trees in the forest.
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Me Wunna’s story goes back to the time of King Anawrahta, ruling between 1044 – 1077 AD., when he commanded that Byatta, a Muslim, who became a senior commander in the army of King Anawrahta after being shipwrecked at Thaton, go and fetch fresh flowers ten times daily from Mt Popa.
Byatta, fell in love with Me Wunna and eventually she conceived two sons Min Lay and Min Gyi also known as Shwe Hpyin Nyinaung, meaning brothers, who became two of the 37 official Burmese nats. Me Wunna died of a broken heart after her husband Byatta was killed and her sons were taken away on the orders of the king.
Burmese teak wood Me Wunna Nat spirit also referred to as Popa Me Daw nat is not one of the 37 official nats, nevertheless she is an important Nat and is referred to as Popa medaw meaning mother of Popa.