The Arts of Thailand
Steve Van Beek
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occasions, though it is more likely the voice was that of a man hidden in the stairway concealed in the wall behind the image. The crystal Phra Sak Tang Khamani carved in late Chiengsaen style is said to bring rain and is carried in a procession in Chiang Mai each April 1. The Phra Buddha Jinnarat in Phitsanulok was said to have wept tears of blood when the town was captured by Ayutthaya early in the 14th century. Similarly, the Phra Chao Phananchoeng image in the wat of the same name in
seeds and plant husks whose structures suggested that these early cave dwellers had planted and harvested crops rather than gathered food from the wild. About the same time, Thai and American archeologists at the small northeastern Thailand village of Non Nok Tha began finding bronze Previous pages: Pai11ti11gs 011 the walls of a limesto11e cave 011 Koh Khia11 lslmrd i11 Pha11g11ga Bay are tho11ght to date fro11r prehistoric times. They are devoted to figrrres, a11i11rals mrd abstract pattmrs.
covered in large curls and is topped by a low ushnisha ending in a smooth conical ornament. Some of the best work is seen in the standing Buddhas which occupy the niches of the octagonal chedi at Wat Chamatewi. The striking heads are nearly triangular in shape, similar to the 12th century Lop Buri style. The head even features the small curls of a Lop Buri image. The smooth knob crowning the ushnisha, however, is a precursor of the ushnisha treatment found in U Thong Type A images. The robe
which restoration has failed to mute. Wat Na Prathat in Pak Thong Chai near Korat is typical of a northeastern proclivity for painting the outside as well as the inside walls. The area over the door features a painting of the Adoration of the Chulamani Chedi reliquary. Inside is the Nemi Chadok and the Four Great Kings who protect the world of man from harm. Their appeal lies in their naivete and the inclusion of overt eroticism, an element rare in classical art but found in provincial painting,
said to have arisen and moved toward him to pay him honor. Buddha, however, held up his hand, commanding the image to remain where and as it was in order to serve as a model for future devotees and sculptors. A more likely explanation is that sculptors relied on ancient texts which outlined the lakshanas or characteristics by which sages would be able to recognize future Buddhas. One set of these comprised cliches from Sanskrit poetry used to describe deities and heroes. These highly evocative