Pyu period: 3rd - 11th century
The Pyu came originally from Tibet and settled in Upper-Burma. Chinese historical sources state that the Pyu controlled 18 kingdoms and describe them as a humane and peaceful people, and note the elegance and grace of Pyu life. War was virtually unknown amongst the Pyu. The empire came to an end by the Thai when they took the entire population into slavery.
Buddha images from the Pyu period
Buddha statues / images from this period are the oldest images of Burma. Mostly they are seated in the crossed-legged position, some with an outer robe (Sanghati) over both shoulders and some with only a civara (Jivorn) across the left shoulder. The foreheads of most Buddha images were marked with the Urna and at the top of the head a clear ushnisha. Most images at this time were made from thin cast bronze with a high silver and tin content. Mostly their faces do not look very friendly.
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The image and its history
Art, Architecture and Design of Burma
Burmese Buddhist Sculpture
The Johan Möger Collection