Kamawa-sa - 2014.55.10_3



Maker: Unknown
Medium:cloth, wood, lacquer, gold leaf
Geography: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 19th Century
Object number: 2014.55.10.2
Credit Line: Gift of Goss Family, in memory of Chris and Eleanor Goss
Not on view
DescriptionThis piece is a wooden box that contains 15 leaves of lacquered gold with black letters. It is an example of a Kamawa-sa, the most sacred of the Burmese religious books, usually commissioned as works of merit to be presented to the monkhood. The pages are usually made from cloth of a respected monk's robes and thickly lacquered. This piece is associated with Louis Allan Goss (29 October 1846 –  10 July 1933). He arrived in Mandalay, Upper Burma, in April 1866 to join his maternal uncle, Clement Williams (1834-1879), in business. While there, he studied the Burmese language and published a transliteration of the Thimbongyi, the Burmese spelling book, with the Royal Press. He moved to Rangoon in 1873 and become the editor and manager of the Educational Gazette, a vernacular-language newspaper. From 1878-1902, he was the Inspector of Schools and then Acting Director of Public Instruction. In 1886, he produced an English version from Pali of We-than-da-ya (Vessantara-Jātaka), illustrated by an unidentified Burmese artist. Upon retiring from government service in 1901, Goss taught the Burmese language at the University of Cambridge. L. Allan Goss donated a large collection of photographs and maps to the Cambridge University Library, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) in Cambridge, and the British Library. Another collection of photos and artifacts was given to the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, by his descendants in Canada.
Southeast Asia
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