Base of Sacred Pole S.D. [Shwe Dagon] Pagoda, Rangoon
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a prayer post at the Shwe Dagon Paya (Pagoda), Rangoon (Yangon), in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. Tall prayer posts, known as tagondaings or dagun-daings, are found at Burmese shrines and used in Buddhist temple ritual. They are usually ornamented at the top with a mythical hintha bird and a long streamer. This view shows a stepped plinth at the base of the pole with vividly-realised sculptures of figures from the Burmese pantheon of territorial spirits known as nats, guardians of Burmese temples such as the Shwe Dagon. The prayer-post is situated on the platform surrounding the main shrine, a stupa. A smaller stupa and a pavilion decorated with ornate woodcarving can be seen in the background.