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The Buddha in LannaArt, Lineage, Power, and Place in Northern Thailand$
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Angela S. Chiu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858742

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858742.001.0001

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Buddha Images and Devotees

Buddha Images and Devotees

Lineages of People and Places

(p.19) Chapter Two Buddha Images and Devotees
The Buddha in Lanna

Angela S. Chiu

University of Hawai'i Press

The fifteenth to early sixteenth centuries have been remembered as the “golden age” of Lanna. Royal support for Buddhism expanded on an unprecedented scale. Buddha statues such as the Emerald, Sihing, Sikhi, Sandalwood and Setangkhamani became famous at this time. Monastic chronicles were written narrating the ‘biography’ of each of these ‘travelling images,’ which journeyed around Asia over many hundreds of years. These chronicles, not without humor and entertainment, drew lineages of revered persons, mainly kings, who honored each statue through time. Lanna’s kings were positioned as the heirs to great Buddhist leaders of the past. The histories of the Lanna monarchy and a wider world of Buddhism were thus intertwined and materialized by a Buddha image. These accounts were probably not merely political messages but efforts by the monkhood to educate and encourage ambitious rulers to economically support the monasteries.

Keywords:   Emerald, Sihing, Sikhi, sandalwood, Setangkhamani, Tilok, Chiang Mai, patronage

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