Golden Umbrellas, Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the two golden umbrellas at the Shwe Dagon Paya (Pagoda), Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. The umbrella or hti is an honorific architectural element used to adorn Burmese royal and religious architecture and usually forms the pinnacle of a stupa. They are often made of gold decorated with precious stones and were traditionally donated by kings and queens. The umbrellas in this view stand on the platform of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Burma’s most revered Buddhist shrine. It is thought that they are of Shan manufacture or origin. The Shan States formed most of north-eastern Burma and the Shan people (who originally came here from the south-west of China) are known for their silverware.