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Lokanat, guardian of the four directions

Black lacquered wood with gilding and glass inlays

Burma, 19th Century
BC 87.01.07.00, BC 87.01.08.00; Northern Illinois University
Konrad and Sarah Bekker Collection

The Lokanat, usually found as a male-gendered pair, are also called Kaba Saung Nat. These were typically positioned at the foot of the throne, regardless of whether a particular throne was occupied by the Buddha or by a Burmese king. The sounds emanating from the footbells clasped between the toes of these figures dispel anger and assure harmony within the throne room and kingdom beyond, be it spiritual or temporal.