The idealized figure of the “Burmese Sportswoman” as a narrative device in the development of Burmese nationalism is the subject of this essay. Burmese womanhood was an important vehicle in state reproduction in the mid-twentieth century, used by the state to communicate and define national identity. The Burmese Sportswoman was a subset of the larger archetype of the Burmese Woman, and the ways in which the state mobilized the Sportswoman to advance nationalism differed from its parent. Sport as a medium of delivery altered the ways in which the Burmese Sportswoman and female athletes carried out the state's agenda. Through an intertextual and visual analysis of the Burmese Sportswoman against the Burmese Woman, this article illuminates the significance of the Sportswoman figure and the role of sport in the matrix of power in postcolonial Burma.

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