9 / 2009

Myanmar (Burma) - Royal Hintha bird coronation shoes - late 19th C

The Royal Hintha Bird is called Hongsa in Thai and Hamsa in Hindi, were it is also seen as the vehicle of Lord Brahma. It symbolizes, loyalty, respect for traditional values, stability, good luck and prosperity, it also closely linked to burmese Royalty. Golden shoes resembling the taloned feet of the Hintha Bird were made for the Buddhist Kings of what is now Myanmar. They were an important part of the five royal garments. The one shown here belonged te King Mindon who reigned from 1853 to 1878. It features Shwe Chi Doe embroidery on velvet covered leather. This typical style of embroidery incorporates metallic threads, sequins, beads and cut glass into its lavish designs

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland