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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 as Objects of Donation

Buddha Images as Objects of Donation

Intention, Wishes, and Economic Value in Inscriptions on the Bases of Images

(p.130) Chapter Six Buddha Images as Objects of Donation
The Buddha in Lanna

Angela S. Chiu

University of Hawai'i Press

In 1976, Hans Penth, pioneering scholar of Lanna, published a catalogue of over three hundred Buddha statues bearing inscriptions and dating from the fifteenth through twentieth centuries found in central Chiang Mai monasteries. This invaluable record is here analyzed in depth as a whole for the first time. It provides further insight into the relationship between Buddha images and donors. Statues were often sponsored through collaboration, reflecting the image’s role in materializing sociokarmic groupings seen as extending through the future. Donor resolutions reflect the significance of producing Buddha statues for Buddhism’s future prosperity as well as for donors’ individual spiritual and material aspirations. Images are often described by material and size, reflecting the relation between financial donation and merit generated. Also, refurbishments to statues indicate how they were never seen as finished, nor their appearance seen as sacrosanct; a statue is a palimpsest of its interactions with devotees through time.

Keywords:   Hans Penth, inscription, Chiang Mai, merit, sociokarma, iconography

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