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Seated Buddha in the Earth-touching Gesture (Bhumisparsa mudra)

Gilded wood (re-gilded in the 1970s)

Burma/Myanmar; 18th Century
DU 1968.322; Denison University
Gift of Col. and Mrs. L.B. Bixby

This image was found in an earth mound being excavated for the building of the Reverend Moses Bixby’s chapel in Toungoo, Burma in 1861. The locals protested against the construction of the church, but were over-ruled. The Buddha is seated upon a three-elephant throne in the gesture of calling the earth to witness his good deeds. He displays the simplicity of design characteristic of Buddha images from the eighteenth century.