Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Ayutthaya Rooster


Rooster statues are found throughout Ayutthaya--sold in stores, at homes and wats, standing along the street. And if you know our family, you may know we like chickens, so naturally, Elder Sowards and I had to find out why Ayutthaya has so many rooster statues. So, here is the scoop.

Burma and Thailand had fought during the 16th century and the Thai Prince Naresuan "was taken to Burma after the capital 

ornate and gilded
city fell in defeat to Burmese King Bayin Naung in 1564 and 1569. Ayutthaya became a vassal state as a consequence, and the Burmese installed Prince Naresuan’s father - King Maha Thammaracha (1569-1590) - on the throne. Prince Naresuan was subsequently raised in the land of his enemies as a type of collateral against future 
uprisings. While still in Burma, Prince Naresuan proved himself as a skilled fighter with a 
Roosters offered by tourists line wall
keen sense of military strategy. With his complicated rise in power, a string of events
provoked Prince Naresuan to shift allegiances and declare Ayutthaya independent once 

The legend is that Thai Prince Naresuan wagered a bet with a 
a Burmese prince that Ayutthaya would be freed from Burmese rule if Naresuan's rooster emerged victorious in the cock fight. Prince Naresuan's rooster won the bet, humiliating the Burmese prince in the process. 

After the release of a popular movie about King Naresuan, these rooster statues began to appear mysterious at temples 
across Ayutthaya. They are most highly concentrated at temples associated with this 
royal warrior (Wat Worachet, Wat Worachetharam, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, etc.). 
However, the rooster statues around the King Naresuan Memorial in Ayutthaya (where these pictures are taken) can number in the 
hundreds, and Thai citizens bring them from all over the country as offerings.
Elder Sowards among the roosters

 So there you go. A tidbit on Thailand history. Cool.

We knew you'd like to know. And here is a website telling more of the story of this revered Prince/King.

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