Tomb of King Thibaw's mother, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Medawgyi’s Tomb at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar) from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. The photograph was taken in 1903 under the direction of Taw Sein Ko, the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Burma at the time. The tomb contains the grave of the mother (medaw) of Thibaw (reigned 1878-1885), the last king of the Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1885) and the last Burmese monarch. It stood in a group of mausoleums inside the square citadel of the Royal Palace (Nandaw), to the north of the East Gate. In his ‘Guide to the Mandalay Palace’ (Rangoon, 1925), a later Superintendent of the Burma Archaeological Survey, Charles Duroiselle, names the grave's occupant as “the Laungshé Queen; she was the daughter of the Monai-bô-hmū Prince; she was a queen of inferior rank, but the mother of Thibaw, the last king of the dynasty; she died in 1870.” The tomb takes the form of a tiered spire known as a pyatthat, enclosed with lattice panels around its base. The pyatthat is a characteristic symbolic feature of Burmese royal and religious architecture which
demarcates sacred space. Its eaves are decorated with ornate and flamboyant wood carving, a traditional form of applied decoration in which Burmese artisans were highly skilled.