Nanmadaw Me Nu

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Nanmadaw Me Nu
နန်းမတော် မယ်နု
Nanmadaw Me Nu.jpg
Chief queen consort of Burma
Tenure5 June 1819 – 15 April 1837
PredecessorShin Paik Thaung
SuccessorThiri Pawara Ti Lawka Maha Yadana Padomma Dewi
Born(1783-06-18)18 June 1783
Pha Lan Gon
Died12 May 1840(1840-05-12) (aged 56)
Amarapura
Spouse
Bagyidaw (m. 1801)
IssuePrince of Palaing
Hsinbyumashin
Full name
Siripavaratiloka Mahāratanadevī[1]
(သီရိပဝရတိလောက မဟာရတနာဒေဝီ)
HouseKonbaung
FatherPrince Thiha Kyawswa of Shwedaung
ReligionTheravada Buddhism

Nanmadaw Me Nu (Burmese: နန်းမတော် မယ်နု, pronounced [náɴmədɔ̀ mɛ̀ nṵ]; 18 June 1783 – 12 May 1840) was the chief queen of King Bagyidaw of Konbaung dynasty of Burma from 1819 to 1837. Married to Bagyidaw (then, Prince of Sagaing) in 1801, Me Nu became queen when Bagyidaw ascended the throne on 5 June 1819 as the chief queen consort, with the title Namadaw Mibaya Khaunggyi (lit. Queen of the Main Palace").[1]

Background[edit]

Me Nu was born on 18 June 1783 at Phalangon village, 5 miles northwest of present day town of Khin-U. She was named Shin Min Nu and she was great-grand daughter of the hero Bala Thaman who was posted to the Phalangon village fort during the reign of king Mahadhammaraza Dipadi of Nyaungyan dynasty to guard against the danger of Manipuris.

Bala Thaman's third daughter was Thakhin Mun. Her son was Htaung Thinn Hmu Thiha Kyawswar U Hlote. Shin Min Nu was born of Thiha Kyawswar U Hlote and his wife Daw Nge. She was not of royal birth but became chief queen of the Bagyidaw.

Rise to power and terminate[edit]

Me Nu was part of the war party along with Gen. Maha Bandula and her brother Maung O, the Lord of Salin, in Bagyidaw's court that advocated war with the British.[2] After the disastrous First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826) that left the country crippled, Bagyidaw became increasingly reclusive. Me Nu and her brother became de facto rulers of the country, and they were much feared for their tyrannical rule.[1]

Queen Me Nu had a son and a daughter with Bagyidaw. The son, Prince of Palaing, died young at 10 in April 1804. The daughter Princess Supayagale was a queen (Queen Hsinbyumashin) of King Mindon and mother of Burma's last queen Supayalat. The female lineage of Nanmadaw Me Nu, Hsinphyumashin and Supayalat in the male dominnated Burmese monarchy is a very intersting one regarding the end of Independence and the monarchy.

In February 1837, Crown Prince Tharrawaddy, brother of Bagyidaw, raised a rebellion against Bagyidaw, successfully forcing Bagyidaw to abdicate in April. Tharrawaddy put his brother under house arrest but executed Me Nu and her brother.[1]

Established a brick monastery[edit]

The Queen's Brick Monastery

She established the Me Nu Oak-kyaung (Brick Monastery) was built in 1822 for the royal abbot Nyaunggan Sayardaw U Po. Then offered to the 2nd Nyaunggan Sayardaw U Bok. The monastery was damaged by the earthquake of 1838 but was repaired in 1873 by his daughter Hsinbyumashin. This monastery is one of the finest specimens of Myanmar architecture during the Konbaung Period (19th century). Its architecture is in simulation of wooden monasteries with multiple roofs and a prayer hall of seven-tiered superstructure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Buyers 11
  2. ^ Myint-U 2006: 112

Bibliography[edit]

  • Buyers, Christopher. "The Konbaung Dynasty Genealogy". royalark.net. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  • Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.
Nanmadaw Me Nu
Born: 18 June 1783 Died: 12 May 1840
Royal titles
Preceded by
Shin Paik Thaung
Chief queen consort of Burma
5 June 1819 – 15 April 1837
Succeeded by
Thiri Pawara Ti Lawka Maha Yadana Padomma Dewi