Ref. Number: SOLD

Country: Burma / Thailand

Period: 18/19th Cent.

Material: bronze

Dimension: 31 x 20.5 cm

Tai yai Buddha (Front)

Tai yai Buddha (Front)

The history of Tais/Dais dates back to a very remote period of 850 BC. According to many Christian missionaries and researchers the Tais were found in vast areas along the river valleys of China. After 2,000 years they were chased out by the Chinese and the majority fled along the Yangtse Kiang River into Yunnan, where, after having conquered the country from the aborigines, founded the Kingdom of Nanchao, in theregion of Kosamphi, with Talifu as its capital. Being constantly disturbed by the Chinese, many migrated to other countries. After eight hundred years the Tais lost their independence to the Chinese but they have not been absorbed , and in particular their language and way of life persist and hold their own against the Chinese.

Tai Yai (side)

Most Tai/Dais are also Buddhists, but it is their language, that binds all the Tais of South-east Asia;although their accents have changed due to the passing of time and the distance that separated each group’s settlement; many words with the same meaning are still the same or very similar in pronunciation. This, suggests that all the Tais/Dais came from the same ancestral stock that once lived in several parts of China who then migrated to Yunnan, and from Yunnan to other parts of Asia. (This seems to be the accepted theory by most scholars although there are others. ) With the passage of time the pronunciation of the Tais in Yunnan became “Dai”, in Thailand “Thai” and in the Shan State “Tai”. This is the variant of the same word.┬áThe word “Yai” after the Tai (Tai Yai) actually means elder or bigger.

Tai Yai Buddha (side)

Most Shan are staunch Theravada Buddhists, and the Shan constitutes one of the four main Buddhist ethnic groups in Burma; the others are the Bamar, the Mon and the Rakhine. Most Shan speak the Shan language and are bilingual in Burmese. The Shan language, spoken by about 5 or 6 million, is closely related to Thai and Lao, and is part of the family of Tai languages. It is spoken in Shan State, some parts of Kachin State, some parts of Sagaing Division in Myanmar, parts of Yunnan, and in parts of northwestern Thailand, including Mae Hong Son Province and Chiang Mai Province.

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