Human Nat Sitting on the Back of an Elephant, Burmese (Myanmar), 19th Century

Nats (deities of local and Hindu origin) and ancestors in Myanmar. The belief in Burmese folk religion is that Nat is a spirit or God who resembles a human in a shape that often maintains or guards objects. Nats also are believed to have the ability to possess animals. The majority of these Nats are viewed as troublesome and irritable.  They require calming, food and offerings.

This figurine of a human Nat sitting on the back of an elephant, is painted and skillfully carved, definitely rendered with care. Losses of paint shows wear and tear of age. Rare folk art. 19th Century.