BURMESE ANDAGU STONE STELE
Rare Burmese Art Pieces
Rare Burmese Buddhist Art Pieces such as the beautiful and finely carved Andagu Stone plaques with the Buddha as the central image surrounded by smaller images with the lying down Buddha in Parinirvana seen at the top of the plaque. These scenes depicts the main great events in the life of the Buddha leading up to his enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Some of these andagu stone plaques also show scenes of the seven weeks following the enlightenment of the Buddha.
This soft beige stone with intricately carved detail of these important events in the life of the Buddha is considered to be unique to Burma. A group of Buddhist stelae in varying colours which include the andagu stone is sometimes referred to as mudstone.
Other Buddhist iconography such as the small black stone icon shown here with the male and female figures may have been carried by Brahman pilgrims or holy man Burma to bestow fertility and good weather conditions for growing crops. They were more than likely transported from India or Sri Lanka to Burma during the Pyu period, dating from the 7th Century. During this early period in Burma a Brahmanistic influence is seen in some Burmese iconography unearthed around the main Pyu sites in Sri Ksetra and Beikthano.
The Andagu Stone plaques (see below, second picture) are rare. In the book “Myanmar Buddha” written by Somkiart Lopetcharat, there are examples of this type of Andagu stone stele (plaque) dating back to the 10th century, and in the “New Documents of Burmese Sculpture”, written by Claudine Bautze-Picron on Andagu images there are similar examples of these andagu stone plaques.
other rare Burmese art pieces depicting the eight main events in the life of the Buddha found in Burma are made from bronze. Whether these bronze stelae were crafted in Myanmar is also inconclusive.
Many of these small stelae and icons were placed in relic chambers which contributed to their preservation.