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A Yorkshire Buddha

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Edited by Steven Oliver, Friday, 23 Jun 2023, 16:39


A Yorkshire Buddha - this one sits in meditation on a lotus flower in the grounds of the University of York. When I took the picture there were some offerings of fruit and flowers.

I couldn't find much information about the statue, it is dated as 19th century and was donated by the family of a key benefactor to the University and a major 20th century public figure in York, John Bowes Morrell. It apparently used to sit in his front garden! I've done my study day each week for A111 in the JB Morrell library and so there is one more link with OU study.

On my first visit to the statue I'd not noticed some of the discreetly positioned items that were tucked into the corners of the Buddha's covering. The only one that I've been able to find out much about is the collection of 'coin charms' - these are found in use in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam and can apparently also be part of Confucian and Taoist religions. Such items can be left for many different reasons, to commemorate particular events/people, as prayers for support/good fortune.

  

The university now has large numbers of students from countries where Buddhism plays a significant part in the culture. This statue is perhaps less 'exotic' now than when it was first donated - and looks to have an established functional value at least for some students.

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