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Burman

Individual Documents

Title: The Cult of the 'Thirty-Seven Lords'
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "The cult of the 'Thirty-Seven Lords', known in Burma as the thirty-seven 'naq' is commonly viewed as being a remnant of practices prevalent before Buddhicization, that is to say, as superstitions having their origins in the obscure period predating the establishment of Burmese civilization. This article will argue against this assumption and will assert that this cult cannot be properly understood if it is not considered as a part of the Burmese religious system still evolving with Buddhist society. The socio-religious structure of the 'naq' cult shows that it is neither a pre-Buddhist remnant, nor is it borrowed from India. Close analysis of the actual cult, of its legends of foundation, and of the historical evidence, clearly shows that it is a construct of Burmese Buddhist kings or, in other words, a produce of the localization of Buddhism in Burma..."
Author/creator: Benedicte Brac de la Perriere
Language: English
Source/publisher: Newsletter, Issue 25, International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003