VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Asana - Ceremonial Bed
0091
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This Asana--a bed with a canopy—is in excellent condition. The people of Lanna believe that, although the Lord Buddha has already attained nirvana, his form exists in the temple and that, after being consecrated, his image contains life. Sitting during the day, he may lie down on the asana during the night. Red and gold are the colors of heaven and therefore are present on objects related to royalty who are presumed Devaraja (God King). The Asana is used also during the consecration ceremony: every sculpture of the Lord Buddha should be ordained in order to reside inside the temple sanctuary. The ordination ceremony is similar to that for monks. The Buddha image is enthroned on the Asana for the ritual. This practice is unique to Lanna temples and at present rarely performed. The Lanna Kingdom was founded in the 13th century. Its strength rested upontrading networks developed between areas of southern China, northern Laos, northern Burma and northern Thailand. It was annexed by Siam in 1892.

History of the Object
Used in ceremony to inaugurate the Jade Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai. Currently on exhibit in the Haw Kham. Haw Kham is a northern Thai term for royal residence. It was a gift from the people of Chiang Rai as a residence for HRH The Princess Mother. HRH consented to allow the Haw Kham to become the first museum of Lanna art in Chiang Rai. It houses the collection of sacred artifacts.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Teak, cinnabar, gold leaf, ivory 
Measurements
Width 88 cm. Height 224 cm Length 184 cm.  
Creator name
Lanna 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Thailand; Lamphun or Lampang 
Geography
Thailand 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; late 
Function
Religious paraphernalia accompanying Buddha image 
Acquisition
The collection was created in the 1980s. At that time, many artifacts moved out of northern Thailand. The Mae Fah Luang Foundation, wishing to make it possible for northern people to continue a relationship with their material heritage, collected different types of artifacts. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Mae Fah Luang Foundation 
Museum
Rai Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park 
Credit line
Mae Fah Luang Foundation 

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