Inspired by the beauty of the Burmese cats, I decided to pay an art tribute to the cat and to the area. Please read below to find out more about this interesting location and the importance of the cats and how they have been revered there.
Description: Pagan (also known as Bagan) is a small town of perhaps 2,000 inhabitants in Myanamar (formerly known as Burma). Pagan was the capital of the first Burmese kingdom for about 250 years between the mid-eleventh and the end of the thirteenth centuries. During this period, more than 2,500 religious monuments, mostly Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries, were constructed in and around the city. At the end of the thirteenth century, the city ceased to be a political center, having fallen victim to demographic disruptions, economic exhaustion, and military pressure from the Mongols, though it kept its status as a sacred center and a place of learning until the end of the last Burmese kingdom.
The Legend of the Sacred Cat of Burma
The Birman is an ancient breed of cat that originated in Burma. A legend of their origin claims that long ago, when a Burmese temple was raided by enemies, one of the cats placed its paws on its human companion as he died and the cat’s paws immediately turned white.
“Did they not know that the souls of their masters inhabited the harmonious forms of the sacred animals ?”…”When a sacred cat dies in the temple of Lao-Tsun, the soul of a kittah”…(priest)…”re-enters—to quit no more—the mysterious paradise of Song-Hio, the god of gold. Unhappy are those who even involuntarily hasten the end of these formidable and venerable cats : the most dreadful torments are reserved for them, that the soul in pain may be appeased.” (From the French of Marcelle Adam.)