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Language: Burmese
Source: Period accounts

Description

Mahagiri Nat or "Lord of the Great Mountain" is one of the most powerful of the 37 spirits, called Nat, that are worshipped in traditional Burmese folk religion. His given name is Maung Tin De means "Mr. Handsome".

Mahagiri NatIllustration of Maung Tin De, a.k.a. Mahagiri Nat.
From Sir Richard Carnac Temple; The thirty-seven natsWilliam Griggs, London, 1906.

 

 

Following the which has given to volcanoes a name derived from Vulcan, the old armourer god Maung Tin De, the legendary hero of the Popa myth, is represented as a blacksmith of prodigious strength. His date by the chronicles is the fourth century A.D.

The son of a blacksmith, Maung Tin De could wield in his right hand a twenty-five viss hammer, and a twenty-viss hammer in his left: and under his blows the anvil roared like thunder, and all the people round were struck with panic.

His great power was a source of fear to the King of Tagaung where he lived, who to secure himself married his beautiful sister Saw Me Va, and afterwards seized by treachery the smith, whose funeral pyre was shared by his sister: the pair of them thereafter became those most powerful Nats, the Mahagiri Maung Hnama Daw of Popa.

Maung Tin De may be called the patron saint of Burman smiths, and his career is illustrated m the dalwé (figures 2-9) made by Saya Pyo.1

-E. N. Bell. Rangoon, 1906

 

 

 

Work of Saya Pyo

Silver overlay work on a dha-lwe by Saya Pyo.
The blade shows the career of the patron saint of Burman smiths, Maung Tin De.

 

Dha by Saya Pyo

Composite illustration of the dha-lwe made by Saya Pyo.

Notes
1. E.N. Bell I.C.S.; A Monograph on Iron and Steel Work in Burma. Rangoon, Superintendent, Government Printing Burma, 1907. Page 21. One viss is about 1.63 kg.

 

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