T H E N AT S O F M Y A N M AR – TAASA Review September 2012


This article was originally found in the September 2012 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 21, Issue 3, Page 4).

The full article is available for free to TAASA Members.


or Login

Sally Bamford A lthough it is estimated that around 90% of Myanmar (Burmese) people are Buddhist, many retain an ancient belief in the nats, guardian spirits that have evolved from ancestor worship and a belief in supernatural forces resident in features of the landscape.

In the complex spiritual framework of Myanmar life, which also has space for astrology, divination, alchemy and other spiritual practices, the nats are believed to have hegemony over humanised’ being, with props and costumes used to represent elements of their creation story, or to distinguish each Typical roadside nat shrine between Mt Popa and Bagan.

The sign at left warns people not to cut down the trees lest they offend the nats...