In order to soothe a Nat to be pleased or to shun its angers, more or less people used to hold a Nat-Pwe just for getting a favor, thereby mentioning gratitude for prosperity. In Myanmar the grandest Nat festival was being hold annually at Taung Byone, in Mandalay Division ever since Bagan era.
The negotiations beteeen the Nat Kadaws’ and the donors of a Nat Pwe is merely a mixture of bergaining and rituals. So the amount of down payment varies, however it is regulated by magic and numerologyi that leads to some unlikely figures as round figures are reluctant to accept as much as even number.
Throughout a Nat-Pwe the circulation of money is rarely left to fate. There are points in which the denor is, by ritual, required to make as offering. At such moments the Nat-Kadaw, will remind him with a vivid gesture. Afterwards, the proceeds are redistributed by the master to the orchestra, the singers, the attandant Nat-kadaw and even to the actual guests, which requires skill and experience. Such money handed out to the devotees bring luck and it is kept especially to be wagered at cock fights.
The money collected in a silver bowl by U Min Kyaw traditionally goes first to the Myanma Saing Waing (orchestra). Money slipped into the blouses of the Nat-Kadaw women or stuck into the men’s turbans remains the two hundred kyats have to be given in exchange for a pair of duck eggs offered by Shin Ne’ Lay, the little girl Nat. The notes then must be placed on the crossed sabres of Koe Myo Shin ( The Lord of Nine Towns). The official donors must set the example and display their generosity, spurred on by the ecstatic music and the hot and frantic atmosphere.
The Nat-Kadaw must obtain permission from the town council who usually demand that the Nat-Pwe take place at a time during the day that would not bother the neighbours. They also ensure that nomore than two or three each month is held in the same area. Then there is a rush to erect the bamboo shelter, and to collect the provisions, especially the cocoanuts which should be green and undamaged. Massive bunches of bananas are equally essential for a Nat-Pwe.
The statues may be provided by the donor or by the Nat-Kadaw, and are displayed on a table or shelf in a convenient order. At one end, closest the donor’s house, are Min Mahagiri and his family of seven in full dress. Behind them are Poppa Mother Royal, Mei Wunna, the four Queen mothers, or if there is lack of room on the necessary statues, only the Queen of the west who will represent the three others, the shan Nat Koe Myo Shin (Lord of the Nine Towns), Myin Phyu Shin, the lord of the White Horse, Bago Mother Royal, Nan Krine and the Nats of her entourage, and finally Shin Nyo, the Brown Lord fourteen Nats, all of the first rank and the minimun that a Nat-Kadaw must own in order to rank as a professional. Others might be added, especially the parental Nats for whom the Pwe may be intended.