Photo Essay

Photo Essay: Guardian of Drunkards and Gamblers

© Aung Zaw Myo, Bo Gyi, Moe Myint San, & Thar Nge

Most people in Myanmar say there is nothing to believe and worship to, except Buddha, but there are some people who believe in Nats, spirits. According to those believers, Nats can bring good fortune and good health to them if they make Nats satisfied with paying deep respect and offerings, however, Nats still can make believer’s fate worsen if they are ignored and being irrespected.

There are officially 37 Nats in the culture of Myanmar. Ko Gyi Kyaw is one of the Nat in those 37 Nats and most famous one among believers.

Ku Ni village, located between Ayeyarwady river and Chindwin river, is a place where Ko Gyi Kyaw was believed to be killed and became Nats. There is a Nat Nann, a palace for Nat, for Ko Gyi Kyaw, in this village and it is full with his Devotee during Ko Gyi Kyaw Nat Festival, held from 3rd to 15 of Tha Paung Month, last month of Myanmar calendar.

Despite the hot sun and dusty roads, Devotee from all over the country flowing to Ku Ni village during this festival to pay respect, offerings flowers, food and even alcohol to Ko Gyi Kyaw Nat and praying for good wealth and health in return. The mediums, called Nat Kadaw in Myanmar, are performing a series of dance in front of Ko Gyi Kyaw statue during this festival. Music from Myanmar traditional drum set makes the participants happy and excited. 

During this festive event, Ku Ni village is also transformed into a market place with the shops for flower, food, tools for peasants, local products and crowded with buyers.

Location: Shwe Kuni,

Yesagyo,

Magway, Myanmar.
Year: 2019


Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Aung Zaw Myo

Photo courtesy of Aung Zaw Myo

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Thar Nge

Photo courtesy of Aung Zaw Myo

Photo courtesy of Thar Nge

Photo courtesy of Moe Myint San

Photo courtesy of Aung Zaw Myo

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Thar Nge

Photo courtesy of Moe Myint San

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Moe Myint San

Photo courtesy of Thar Nge

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Moe Myint San

Photo courtesy of Bo Gyi

Photo courtesy of Aung Zaw Myo