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Like the Shisa or Fu, the Chinthe is a guardian lion that is often seen at the entrances of pagodas and temples in Burma and other Southeast Asian countries.


Description

Chinthes almost always in pairs, and serve to protect the pagoda. They typically appear as animals, but are sometimes found with human faces.


Story

A princess had a son through her marriage to a lion, but later abandoned the lion who then became enraged and set out on a road of terror throughout the lands. The son then went out to slay this terrorizing lion. The son came back home to his mother stating he slew the lion, and then found out that he killed his own father. The son later constructed a statue of the lion as a guardian of a temple to atone for his sin.[citation needed]


Symbol

The Chinthe is revered and loved by the Burmese people, and it is used symbolically on the royal thrones of Burma and featured on the kyat, the currency of Burma.