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Carved Temple Images of Protective Beasts
Item No. 3685

19th Century, Buddhist, Burma
31" x 27" x 12"
( 78.74 x 68.58 x 30.48 cm)
(H x W x D)

These carvings Pyin-sa-yu-pa, the animal of the five virtues, is a composite with wings of a bird, tail of a fish, body of a snake, antlers of a deer, and trunk and tusks of an elephant. Pyin-sa-yu-pa is the designated vehicle for the transporting Ka-te, the kind of the planets in Indian and Burmese astrology. Each carving had much original pigmentation and affixed genuine antlers from a local animal in the deer family, which were added later to the statue, but several decades ago. Carvings of this animal are still being made, but since it is prohibited to use real antlers, these are extremely rare. They were probably placed in a Burmese Temple. Since Ka-te is not an important Burmese deity, these would have been placed on the sides of the temple, rather than on a pagoda platform.

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