Thailand’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha

What is this figurine and why was it so important to King Rama I (r. 1782-1809 CE)? Introduction A small carved figurine sits high on a grand multi-tiered pedestal in a magnificent wat (temple) in Bangkok, Thailand. It has been sitting there since 1784 CE and was originally thought to be made of emerald. Hundreds of[…]

Animals in Thai Manuscript Art

Examining the role of animals in Thai manuscript art. Illustrations of real and mythical animals play an important role in Thai manuscript art, especially in Buddhist folding books and in animal treatises, but also in manuscripts related to astrology, divination and fortune telling. The belief that certain animals have super-natural powers is well reflected through[…]