Antique Khmer Style Bronze Yeay Mao or Lok Yeay Mao Statue - 84cm/34"
Measures (Height) 84cm/34"
An antique Khmer style bronze sculpture of Yeay Mao. Yeay Mao, Lok Yeay Mao or Grandma Mao) is an ancient mythical heroine and a divinity in the local popular form of Buddhism and Brahamism in Cambodia. She is venerated mainly in the coastal provinces of Cambodia, especially along the road from Phnom Penh to the sea port of Sihanoukville, as well as in Kampot and Kep.
At the Bokor Mountain in Kampot there is a 29 meters tall monument to Yeay Mao inaugurated in 2012, while there is a young version of Yeay Mao in the Kep Beach called Beautiful Lady or Sela waits for her husband, but that belongs to the legend of Mao looking to the west for her lost husband.
She is considered the protector of travellers and hunters. Drivers still stop at her shrine along National Road 4 near Phnom Pech Nil to pay their respects and wash their cars with water from the stream nearby, as well as the monument at Bokor. The history of Yeay Mao is unclear, being composed of several legends and interpretations.
There are many popular stories surrounding her. It is said that she was a beautiful lady married to a powerful warrior. When he died, she took control of the armies against the Thai and became a celebrity. The story is placed sometime before French Colonisation (1863-1953). Another version says that Yeay Mao was the wife of Ta Krohom-Koh - literally "Grandpa Red Neck". They lived in the forest near Pech Nil Mountain. Once they went around and they met a tiger. Ta Krohom-Koh abandoned his wife and the tiger devoured her. Since then, any traveller who passed by the place of the accident, paid respect to her spirit to avoid a similar fate.
When they built the highway between Phnom Penh and the sea in what is today Sihanoukville, a small temple was built at the spot. The road was finished by the French in 1876, a fact that increased the pilgrimage to the temple. It included Vietnamese and Chinese believers.
The sculpture is formed of two parts. The plinth of Yeay Mao being a completely separate piece. This is included with the sculpture. The casting is beautiful as you can see in the fine details of the face. Each detail is rendered perfectly. The distinctive brown patina of the piece is also particularly delightful. This traditional in appearance piece is sure to add serenity to your home, office or sacred space.
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