Polychrome wood statuette of dancing Nat.
Nats (spirits) are spiritual beings derived from blending ancient superstitions and Buddhism. Initially associated with nature, mountains, rivers, etc. the divinities became progressively attached to villages. Officially numbering thirty-seven (Great Nats), they represent ancient kings, heros, legendary figures and divinities who influenced human destiny.
There exists, as well, close to one thousand lower Nats and local ones. They are often solicited by the general population to solve problems in their daily lives.
Burma, Early 19th Century.
Height: 70 cm (27-1/2 in.).