- Part of the canon of sacred Buddhist literature, stories of Gotama Buddha's previous incarnations, in human or animal form, numbering 550 and composed between the third century BCE and the fifth century CE. Their setting is commonly northern India, especially Varanasi (Benares), and each tale has a moral message (e.g., "associate with the wise and good"). In Burma, the Jataka tales have been a major inspiration for the traditional performing and visual arts and form an important part in education at village monastery-schools. Holy sites, such as pagodas, are often decorated with illustrations of the Jataka Tales, and traditional marionette performances during pwe reenact them.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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