Archives for posts with tag: burmese


W120xD100xH480, Burma

This is a figurine of the Buddha with an alms bowl standing on a lotus flower.

In Theravada Buddhism, “pindacara” a daily alms collection of food “pindapata” is practiced by the monks (and nuns).  The word for monk “bhikkhu” means one who lives on alms, while “pindapata” means dropping a lump.  The monks would leave their monastery, in a group they walk barefooted in single file according to seniority, their robe formally arranged covering both shoulders.  The route will go through the village house by house, accepting but never requesting food that is dropped into the bowls.  This figurine, the Buddha, is leading figurine of a group which consists of monks of different heights which unfortunately is not with us.

Monks in Burma

the second film has a more in depth view of a monk’ life.



W200xL310xH20mm, Myanmar

According to Burmese astrology, there are eight days in a week. They are Sunday, Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday (till noon), Rahu (Wednesday afternoon till the next morning), Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Burmese people believe that the astrological day a person was born is a great determinant in his or her personality and life. For example, a person born on Monday would be jealous; on Tuesday. Honest; on Wednesday, short tempered but soon calm again; the trait being intensified on the so called eighth day of Rahu; on Thursday, mild; on Friday, talkative; on Saturday, hot tempered and quarrelsome; and on Sunday, miserly.

Burmese also believe that interpersonal relation between people is also determined by the day they were born. For example, Monday born and Friday born would not get along well while Monday born and Wednesday or Rahu (Wednesday evening) born would get along very well. At the pagodas in Myanmar, there are always eight planetary posts build into the pagoda structure, with the representative animal symbols, where the believers could donate offerings at their respective planets to influence the appropriate powers.

These astrological symbols are often depicted on traditional Burmese lacquerware. The lacquered tray shown here is decorated with brass wire and the symbols are delicately made by palm skin.

This is one of the many Burmese lacquer ware from the SOIL collection, come check it out at the Asian Folkcraft event on at Mountain Folkcraft!

burmese owl

W45D30H60mm, Mynmar

The Zee Kwet (or) the Myanmar Owls are believed to bring luck and prosperity to a family.  The owls usually comes in pairs, a male owl and a female owl.  But there is something more. At the base of the female owl, a tiny owl is also painted on it, to make it looks like a family.


Burmese Note Book

L200xW130mm, Myanmar

This note book is made entirely by hand in Shan State, eastern sector of  Burma.  About 11 miles from Hsipaw in Shan State South lies Kyinthi Village beside Mandalay-Lashio Union Highway.  Farming and orange is the economic mainstay of the village.  Besides, there is a traditional cottage industry there which is production of Shan paper or Mongkai paper in which every house in the village is engaged for extra income.

Shan paper is made from the bark of tree called “Sar”.  Such trees grow wild naturally.  Shan paper or Mongkai paper is manufactured over one million sheets per month.  Some Shan villages make the paper to be thick enough to use as bed sheets whereas some use it as waterproof wear after coating with lacquer.


Green lacquerware

DIA200xH150mm, Myanmar


It is almost certain that Burma acquired the technique of lacquer production from China where it has a three-thousand year history. However, the use of lacquerware was not confined to royalty and the monkhood in Burma. Lacquer objects were used daily by commoners. Food, refreshments, clothing, cosmetics and flowers are all put in lacquer receptacles.

The importance of lacquer to the Burmese is probably equivalent to the modern uses of porcelain, glass and plastic combined. Indeed, lacquer has many of the characteristics of modern plastic. It is light, waterproof, easily moulded and dries to a hard state.  It can be applied to virtually any surface: plain or carved wood, bamboo, paper, fabric, even metal and stone.

This fruit bowl is made by coiled bamboo, covered by over 20 layers of lacquer and decorated with the Burmese astrological symbols. Process of producing green lacquer ware is rather time consuming: One part indigo was added to ten parts of orpiment to produce a traditional green color. With age, many such green lacquer wares have come to assume appeasing opaque turquoise hue.

paper mache cow

W90xL200xH230mm, Myanmar

Burmese paper mache is usually made by applying layers of thin, tough, paper and rice paste to a clay model of an elephant.  After drying for a day or two, the object is then given a coat of white paint. The body is painted with brightly coloured enamel paints.

These paper maches are not only toys.  A donor may commission objects in different shapes for presentation to a pagoda or monastery on special occasions.    They are usually made by craftsmen or their families in the vicinity of the pagodas.

This animal paper mache collection from SOIL is avaible at Mountain Folkcraft during the ASIAN FOLKCRAFT event.



Display all set up!  Crafts from all over asia; China,  India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.

We are open 10:00-18:30, close Sunday and Public Holdiay


W80xL250xH400mm, Thailand

The most famous rooster in Thailand is perhaps the one which belonged to King Naresuan.  King Naresuan was the King of Ayutthaya between 1555 – 1605, he was most famous for freeing the Siam of Ayutthaya from Burmese rule and subsequently the expansion of his empire.  Now how does the roost come into the picture?  It is believed in popular legend that the young Prince Naresuan wagered a bet with the Burmese Prince of Ayutthaya that if Naresuan’s rooster would won the cock fight, Ayutthaya would be freed from Burmese rule and of course the rooster being as couragous as his master won fiercelessly.  Ceramic rooster statues can be seen as offering to King Naresuan in a few temples in Ayutthaya.

%d bloggers like this: