Saw Mon Hla

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Saw Mon Hla
စောမွန်လှ
Queen Saw Mon Hla.jpg
Statue of Saw Mon Hla
Queen of the Northern Palace of Pagan
Tenurec. 1058–1071
Predecessor Myauk Pyinthe
Successor Manisanda
Born1040s
Sae Lant village, Northern Maw Shan State
Died Hsipaw
Spouse Anawrahta
House Maw
Father Saopha of Maw
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Saw Mon Hla (Burmese : စောမွန်လှ [sɔ́ mʊ̀ɴ l̥a̰] ) was a principal queen of King Anawrahta of Pagan. She is known in Burmese history for her beauty and her eventual exile instigated by other rival queens. Her story is still part of popular Burmese theater, and she is portrayed as a sad romantic figure.

Burmese royal titles

Burmese royal titles are the royal styles that were in use by the Burmese monarchy until the disintegration of the last Burmese monarchy, the Konbaung dynasty, in 1885. These titles were exclusively used by those of royal lineage, or more formally, Maha Zi Maha Thwei (မဟာဆီမဟာသွေး).

Burmese language language spoken in Myanmar

The Burmese language is the Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Myanmar where it is an official language and the language of the Bamar people, the country's principal ethnic group. Although the Constitution of Myanmar officially recognizes the English name of the language as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese, after Burma, the older name for Myanmar. In 2007, it was spoken as a first language by 33 million, primarily the Bamar (Burman) people and related ethnic groups, and as a second language by 10 million, particularly ethnic minorities in Myanmar and neighboring countries.

Anawrahta founder of the Pagan Empire

Anawrahta Minsaw was the founder of the Pagan Empire. Considered the father of the Burmese nation, Anawrahta turned a small principality in the dry zone of Upper Burma into the first Burmese Empire that formed the basis of modern-day Burma (Myanmar). Historically verifiable Burmese history begins with his accession to the Pagan throne in 1044.

Contents

The queen was daughter of the saopha (chief) of Maw Shan State, located between Pagan and Nanzhao Kingdom (present day Yunnan). The native stories of Hsipaw (Thibaw) and Hsenwi (Theinni) claim Saw Mon Hla as their princess. [1]

Saopha

Saopha, Sao Pha, Chaopha, Jaopha, sawbwa, or saw-bwa was a royal title used by the hereditary rulers of the semi-independent Shan States in what today is Eastern Myanmar (Burma). It may also be used for rulers of similar Tai/Dai states in neighbouring countries, notably including China's Yunnan Province.

Shan States historic (1885-1948) name for Minor Kingdoms (analogous to Princely state of British India) ruled by Saopha (similar to Thai royal title Chao Fa Prince/Princess) in areas of todays Burma, China, Laos and Northern Thailand from c.1215 to c.1959

The Shan States (1885–1948) were a collection of minor Shan kingdoms called mueang whose rulers bore the title saopha in British Burma. They were analogous to the princely states of British India.

Yunnan Province

Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China. Located in Southwest China, the province spans approximately 394,000 square kilometres (152,000 sq mi) and has a population of 45.7 million. The capital of the province is Kunming, formerly also known as Yunnan. The province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as the countries Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.

Circa 1058, Anawrahta led an expedition to Nanzhao. After his return from Nanzhao expedition, the king was presented with Saw Mon Hla by the chief of Maw Shan State presented his daughter. At Pagan, Saw Mon Hla quickly became the king's favorite queen.

Built a Shwesayan Pagoda

According to the Burmese chronicles, the beautiful young queen was driven out by her rival queens who were jealous of her status as Anawrahta's favorite. Her rivals accused her as a witch. [2] Therefore, Saw Min Hla inconvenience Anawrahta, and return to her homeland Maw.

On her return to her birthplace, Sae Lant village in Northern Maw Shan State, One of her earrings, which enshrined a relic of the Buddha, dropped into the stream and dozens of golden sparrows appeared and encircled the spot where the earring fell. The stream is called Na Daung Kya, which translates to “the earring fell into”. She built a pagoda near the riverbank (located in the present day Patheingyi, Mandalay), preserving her earrings and the Buddha relic, with its façade facing east toward her birthplace in Shan State.

Patheingyi Township Township of Mandalay in Burma

Patheingyi Township is located in the eastern part of Mandalay, Myanmar. The township is bounded by Aungmyethazan Township and Chanayethazan Township in the west. Incorporated into the Mandalay city's limits, Patheingyi represents the eastward march of Mandalay's urban sprawl. Patheingyi is still largely made up of rice paddy fields but in the past two decades has become home to a number of universities.

Mandalay Cultural City in Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Mandalay is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar (Burma). Located 716 km (445 mi) north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, the city has a population of 1,225,553.

Spiritual life

Saw Mon Hla statue in the shrine Saw Mon Hla.jpg
Saw Mon Hla statue in the shrine

Some people believe Sao Mon Hla, who died at her home near Hsipaw, along with her brother, became an guardian Nat (spirit) who protect the Pagan-style pagoda to present day. There is a Nat shrine near the Shwesayan Pagoda, which has a statue of Sao Mon Hla and her brother. Some people believe it is a shrine for the spirits and that if they make offerings, the spirits will bless them. Paying respect to the spirits of Sao Mon Hla and her brother at Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda has drawn more visitors than other pagoda festivals.

Hsipaw Town in Shan State, Myanmar

Hsipaw, is the principal town of Hsipaw Township in Shan State, Myanmar on the banks of the Duthawadi River. It is 200 km (124 mi) north-east of Mandalay.

Nat (spirit) spirits worshipped in Myanmar

The nats are spirits worshipped in Myanmar in conjunction with Buddhism. They are divided between the 37 Great Nats and all the rest. Almost all of the 37 Great Nats were human beings who met violent deaths. They may thus also be called nat sein. The word 'sein', while meaning 'green', is being used to mean 'raw' in this context. There are however two types of nats in Burmese Buddhist belief.

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Htibyuhsaung Medaw

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Sawlumin inscription

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Pwa Saw of Thitmahti was the chief queen consort of King Kyawswa, and of King Saw Hnit of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). The royal chronicles identify Saw Soe as the chief queen of Kyawswa but historians identify her as the chief queen. She was the mother of Crown Prince Theingapati and Kumara Kassapa.

Myauk Pyinthe was a queen consort of three kings of Pagan, Saw Rahan II, Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu and Sokkate, and the mother of King Anawrahta, the founder of the Pagan Empire.

Anawrahta of Launggyet

Anawrahta Minsaw was king of the Kingdom of Arakan from 1406 to 1408.

References

  1. Takatani, Michio. "On Narrative Formation of Spirit Legends in Burma (Myanmar)". Hiroshima University.
  2. "King Anawrahta". Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese). 1 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar. 1829. pp. 254–256.
Saw Mon Hla
Royal titles
Preceded by
Myauk Pyinthe
Queen of the Northern Palace
c. 1058–c. 1071
Succeeded by
Manisanda