U Shin Gyi

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U Shin Gyi statue at the Kyauktan Yay-Le Pagoda, seated next to a tiger.

U Shin Gyi (Burmese: ဦးရှင်ကြီး, IPA: [ú ʃɪ̀ɴ dʑí] or ရေငံပိုင်ဦးရှင်းကြီး, IPA: [jèŋàɴ pàiɴ ú ʃɪ̀ɴ dʑí]; also Lord of the Sea or Conqueror of the Seas) is a Burmese nat commonly venerated in the Ayeyarwady delta region, as he is widely believed to be a benevolent guardian spirit of waterways.[1] He is commonly depicted next to a tiger and crocodile, and is often holding a Burmese harp, as he was originally a harpist from Kasin village in Bago. According to a version of the story, while on an expedition to find food, he and fellow lumberjacks landed on Meinmahla Island, and his harp-playing enticed two female nat sisters, who did not allow the boat to depart the island until they were appeased. After sacrificing his life by drowning to propitiate the spirits, he became a nat.[2][3] A nat festival is held in his honor every March.[4]


  1. ^ Sadan, Mandy (2005). Monique Skidmore, ed. Burma at the turn of the twenty-first century. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 90–111. ISBN 9780824828974. 
  2. ^ http://www.sstmyanmar.com/myanmar_NAT_Festival.html
  3. ^ http://www.waiyanphone.net/2010/04/37-nats-of-myanmar.html
  4. ^ http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/myanmartimes/no52/timeout_4-1.htm