sculpture sculpture sculpture sculpture
sculpture sculpture sculpture sculpture
sculpture sculpture sculpture
sculpture

BILU
Burma/Myanmar
Mandalay Period
Carved wood, lacquered, with mirror inlay
h. 19 5/8 in., w. 13 1/2 in., d. 7 7/8 in.

Gift of Konrad and Sarah Bekker, 1987
BC87.01.04.00

The large figure is in human form with the face of an ogre. With legs tucked underneath, he sits leaning forward, head tilted slightly upward. Hands are brought together in front of the chest in an attitude of reverence. There is an indentation, perhaps for inserting something, between the thumbs. This figure is one of a pair of Bi1u, see BC 87.1.3. It appears that this image is of lower rank than BC 87.1.3. This is apparent in the different headdresses, the less elaborate and less heavily inlayed costume, the stance and the height of the figures. While the majority of the surface area on BC 87.1.3 is decorated with inlay and decoration, much of this image has plain surfaces, which are merely gilded. Other than these differences the figures are very much alike. The figure wears a long sleeve jacket, which is plain with three flares on each shoulder and five flares around the bottom hem. A band crossing over the chest and in back is worn over the jacket and is carved and decorated with ~ and inlay, both in front and in back" with a four petal floral motif in front center and back center at the point where the bands cross, however only the back one is in1ayed. The raised collar also is carved in wood and de coated by two bands of inlay, each row enclosed by a beaded line of thayo. The band near the neck is in green inlay and the band at the edge of the collar is in red inlay. Originally had decorative band on the front of the upper arm close to the elbows, however only the upper part closest to the body remains. A sash-like strip is carved across the lower back from behind each elbow. A carved band one and a half inches wide approximately, runs under the bands and sash like a belt. On the front of the belt a three-tiered in1ayed panel runs down in front, between the legs, touching the base. This panel is less elaborately inlayed than figure BC 87.1.3. At the wrists modeled forms either bracelets or elaborate cuffs. The headdress is fairly flat close to the head with a waisted column rising out of the center. The column has bands of inlay and beaded lines or bands. The area, which is flat above the head, is left in red lacquer. The top of the headdress which is stupa-shaped is gilded. In back of this stupa-shaped piece is an indentation shaped in the following manner: carved features accentuate The face of the ogre without inlay as in BC 87.1.3. The eyes are painted in black lacquer over a carved indentation. A line runs from the eye across the side of the face, curling down in a small loop, each eye having the same design. Above the eyes, carved floral or fur-like extensions make the eyes more menacing. The top of the naturalistic nose is wrinkled in a snarl-like attitude. Two fangs extending over the upper lip emphasize the grimacing mouth, which are inlayed as are the single row of teeth and the fur-like extensions around the mouth. Along the side of the face, behind each naturalistic ear, phalanges or fur like extensions are carved. These are larger than BC 87.1.3 but are not in1ayed. The Adam’s apple on the neck is defined. On the back of the head, black lacquer indicates hair. The sinister leg is carved and the entire bottom side of sinister foot is carved including details of toes. The drapery extends beyond the jacket in back and the foot rests on the drapery. The base is red lacquered. It was hollow originally as it appears that the sides of the base have been cut away. Thus the knees rest on a strip of wood in front and the drapery and foot rests on an arched strip of wood in back. The base is simply red lacquered. The mirror inlay consists of small circular silver, red and green pieces; drop shaped small pieces which are only slightly larger than the circular pieces, a few diamond shaped green pieces on the back, two cone shaped silver pieces on bands crossing on the front of the chest. All pieces are small and finely cut. They are mainly layed onto the surface often with bands of beaded beside the row of inlay on either side.