Mandalay Period, 19th Century
Carved wood, lacquered gilded with mirror inlay
h. 97 cm., w. 36 cm.
Gift of Konrad and Sarah Bekker, 1987
Kinnari and Kinnara are mythical creatures who are thought to live in the Himalayas and who came to Burma with the spread of Buddhism. They are half-human, half-bird dancers, musicians, and choristers. Benevolent spirits, the Kinnara as well as their female consorts, the Kinnari, are known to watch over humans in time of danger. A particularly fine pair of monumental Kinnari and Kinnara figures in the Burma Collection are covered with a mosaic of colored glass, a technique typical of the Mandalay style.