Burma’s Botataung Pagoda

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

Over 2000 years ago we have been told that the Buddha gave eight hairs to a traveler in India and he brought them to Burma. I think he may have cut a few in two as there are so many temples that boast having a hair of the Buddha. Botataung temple is one of those places where they have a relic of the hair of the Buddha. The hair is held in a jewel encrusted case in the center of the stupa. The temple pilgrims enter and have the chance to look through a window onto the case with the sacred hair anf surrounding the case are other statues and religious objects but also there is a lot of cash.

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

Worshipers push their contributions thru a small window onto a stairway with mounds of cash. The temple is unique because the inside is dived into sections like an orange or grapefuit, with memebrains of gold walls and a rind of glass and plexiglass cases holding religious objects of all kinds. The cases can hardly be seen through the gates of steel and big locks. The dust on the objects make it hard to see but the beauty shines through in spite of the lack of cleaning and care. There is a Buddha there that was created in 1851 in Mindon and in 1898 when the British invaded and took over the Kingdom.

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri PickettMyanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

The Buddha rested at the Victoria and Albert Museum, along with the other plunders of colonialism, and was returned to Burma following independence. Perhaps the Greeks need to take lessons from the Burmese on how to get your heritage returned.

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

 

Keri Pickett

Keri Pickett is an author, photographer and filmmaker telling the stories of life, family and community with intimacy, honesty and impact. Pickett is Producer, Director and Camera for the award-winning feature documentary film ‘The Fabulous Ice Age’, about the rise and fall of the great American touring ice shows and one man’s quest to save the history, available on Netflix and Amazon. Her short film, 'Steel // Spirit' premiered at MSPIFF and won certificate of excellence in India. Her award-winning books include Love in the 90s; BB and Jo, The Story of a Lifelong Love, A Granddaughter’s Portrait (Warner Books, 1995); Faeries; Visions, Voices & Pretty Dresses (Aperture, 2000); Saving Body & Soul, The Mission of Mary Jo Copeland (WaterBrook, 2004). The recipient of a Jerome and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, three McKnight Foundation Photography fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Bush Foundation Fellow, Pickett’s work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.