A portable figure such as this fine example would have served an important purpose in the diffusion of Buddhism throughout Southeast Asia during the time of its creation. The stupa lodged in the hair and the water pot held in the left hand identify the figure as Maitreya, Buddha of the future. The lustrous blue-green patina and the delicate articulation of the limbs, including large hands and feet with upturned toes, endow the figure with a sense of animation restrained by yogic practice.
For a related example with similarly bold features in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, see N. Chutiwongs and D. Patry Leidy, Buddha of the Future: An Early Maitreya from Thailand, 1994, p. 69, cat. no. 37.