Ameegalay. Taline Lady. Daughter of the Native Magistrate of Prome
Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Watercolour with pen and ink of a portrait of Ameegalay from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant and dated 7 August 1855. This album consists of 106 landscapes and portraits documenting the British embassy to the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r.1853-1878). The mission started from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to the royal capital of Amarapura, founded in 1782. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as official artist of the mission.
Grant wrote that Ameegalay and her elder sister, who is also portrayed in the album, were: 'daughters of the Tseekay, or native Magistrate, of Prome, and are believed to be very characteristic of the gentler looking and prettier race of the Talines, or Peguers. They were exceedingly fair, and rendered to appearance more so by a delicate dusting of sandal wood, with which they both powder the skin, and scent the person...Their manners were pleasing and natural…combining the utmost modesty and propriety, and the absence of affectation and shyness, with that open and fearless confidence...The women of Burmah, generally, appeared to be quick, intelligent, and communicative...and [Ameegalay] with several other sisters... visited the steamers under no other guide or protectorship than that of their intelligent and loquacious mother, and a troop of female attendants.'