Nat shrine


Nat Worship

Mount Popa, Burma

Mount Popa's Nat shrine contains statues of the 37 "royal nats" of Burma. Their names and histories were formalized by King Kyanzittha (1084-1113), who integrated them via usurpation into the Buddhist system. Some of the 37 nats are Hindu gods – Ganesh, for example – while others derive from local Burmese legends about human beings who met violent deaths and subsequently became protectors.

There are two Nat festivals on Mt. Popa each year, one in the summer and one in the winter. They feature various animist practices, including trance mediumship and spirit possession.