Buddha footprint

The world of the Buddha footprint
by Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer




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Lai Hong - swan

Lai Hong - Swan
Size: 51 x 86.5 cm

This legendary hong (Pali: hamsa) is extremely common in Lan Na where there is a considerable Mon influence whose culture is said to be closely related to this particular bird. It may also represent the vehicle of Brahma, one of three deities, thus it may be connected to Myanmar. In Pali and Sanskrit Myanmar is known as Brahma desa, the country of Brahma. 

In Burmese culture the bird is known as hintha. It is a migratory duck that lives paired in the winter months in the Bagan area. These ducks choose mates and stay with them throughout their life and if one dies the other mate dies of loneliness.  

English translations this bird is named as a swan or goose and in Brahma's mythology the hong is the vehicle of the god Brahma. 

The tail of the bird is very ornate in South East Asia which provides the identification. 

It was extremely fortunate that the original drawing used for the carving was located.  The carving is owned by the Chao-Mae Duang Duen.

2001 Dr. Waldemar C. Sailer. All rights reserved.