September 28, 2020

Can you be part bird and still beautiful? Here's Nang Kinalee

Nang Kinalee

ນາງກິນນະລີ Nang Kinalee.  Artwork by:  LM/

She may be able to claw your eyes out with those talons but she'll do it while dancing and then fly away without even breaking a sweat - and still look beautiful and fierce.  We present to you one of the more well known celestial figures of the Himmapan Forest.  The half human female, half bird known as Nang Kinalee (alternate spelling: Kinnari).

In artistic works, Kinalee is often shown as a pair along with her male counterpart known, in Lao, as the Koot (alternate spelling: Kut) or more commonly to referred to in English and Sanskrit as Garuda. 

She's described as having strong feminine beauty, graceful hand gestures, an ability to fly and a penchant for music.

In Laos, in addition to finding this figure in Buddhist temple art, she has also been personified in costume and dance where female Lao dancers dress up in ornate costumes that include wings.

Here is our modern interpretation of the beautiful Nang Kinalee.

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