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A small shrine originally constructed in 1742 and subsequently renovated in 1762, in the village of Ma U, was the meritorious deed of two members of one family, a wealthy widow, and later her son. Both donors left relatively extensive statements explicating the significance of their merit making. The two inscriptions reveal generational differences, and how shifting historical circumstances informed their sense of self and the world around them. The shrine testifying to their piety also includes in its programmatic décor a jataka of unknown provenance inscribed with the intriguing tag “ Theravada zat.” The article reads the inscriptions in light of the wider world that was beginning to impinge upon royal subjects’ lives in the first years of the new Konbaung dynasty. The article also examines the significance of recourse to a term that at the time had yet to become the label for a major religion.