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Catalog number:
Yao (Mien)
Northern Thailand/Golden Triangle
Religious painting
Rice paper, pigments, bamboo and cording
17.5 in. x 48 in.
Very good
The Mien of northern Thailand follow Taoism as it was practiced in the 13th and 14th Centuries, which is very different from 20th Taoism practiced in China today. They believe in a celestial hierarchy made up of many supreme functionaries. Paintings such as this one are displayed during the most important rituals of life. This charming painting is called Cia Fin and represents the personal ancestors of the family clan that commissioned it. It is one of the 17 paintings that complete the set used by a priest that has been ordained as a full master of the Tao. Most of these paintings were painted in the late 19th century in China and brought to Thailand and Laos as the Mien fled. The production of these images is very rigidly controlled by ritual for both the painter and the person/persons who commissioned them.