Accepted Paper:

The arts of Kogun Cave: origin and influence  

Author:

Anne-May Chew

Paper Short Abstract:

Kogun Cave is a natural grotto in an isolated limestone hill. The rock cliff and the cave are richly decorated with rows of votive tablets in terracotta, figures of Buddhas, architectural elements, mythical creatures and floral motifs. Many travelers visited Kogun Cave in the 19th and 20th century. It is mentioned that the arts of Kogun Cave can be dated to around the 7th century, however few studies have been made thus far. This paper will explain the origin and influence of the arts left in the Kogun cave.

Paper long abstract:

The site of Kogun is situated in southern Burma; about 40 km north of Moulmein, the capital of the state of Mon. Kogun Cave is a natural grotto in an isolated limestone hill, consisting of an entrance hall and the cave itself. The rock cliff of the entrance hall, as well as the ceiling of the cave, is richly decorated with symmetrical rows of votive tablets in terracotta, with figures of Buddha in several positions. Divinities, mythical creatures as well as architectural elements and floral motifs can also be found.

Many travelers visited Kogun Cave in the 19th century. John Crawfurd was the first European to visit the cave in 1826, followed by Howard Malcom and Father Judson in 1835. Then Taw Sein Ko made a trip to the site in 1892, followed by Major R.C. Temple and F. O. Oertel in the same year. Other travelers were G.W. Birds in 1897 and Scott O’Conor in 1902. It is mentioned that the arts of Kogun Cave can be dated to around the 7th century, however few studies have been made thus far.

The region of Lower Burma was a under Mon-Khmer rule (6th-10th century) then under the Burmese (11th century) followed by the Siamese rule (14th century) and again in late 17th and 18th century when the Burmese established their suzerainty. Traditions say that because of the numerous wars, palm-leaf records were lost. This paper will explain the origin and influence of the arts left in the Kogun cave.

Panel P06
Myanmar: its past and its regional and inter-regional interactions