One of the gold covered statues of a Kinnaree at Wat Phra Kheo, Bangkok.
A Kinara in the Thai tradition was a being who combined the upper part of a human and the lower part of a bird. The Kinaree (Thai) is the female version, whilst the male version is the Kinnon (Thai). They are not exclusive to Thai culture but the aspects which are most emphasized there are their feminine nature and prowess in the performing arts. They are supreme in the art of love and symbolic of female beauty and grace. The representation of the female part is highly realistic, unlike many creatures in Thai myth, many of which are hidden by a mask. You can easily imagine an original Thai girl providing the model for the sculpture, in contrast to the highly stylized and non-gendered, non-specified form of Buddha statues. This grounding in realism is trying to claim for humanity those desired aspects, love, beauty, grace e.t.c that were so appealing to Thai culture despite the obvious absurdity of the creature as a whole. (Somchai)
From the collection – ‘Siam 7: Echo’