Archives for posts with tag: myanmar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfigurine

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.

tray

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!

Green lacquerware

DIA200xH150mm, Myanmar

ASIAN FOLKCRAFT COLLECTION
SOIL X MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT

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.

horse hair bowlDIA130xH90mm, Myanmar

Veronica Gritsenko is a British-Ukrainian artist and scholar. In 2000 she set up the Black Elephant studio in Bagan, Burma and eventually developed her own unique technique and designs based on ancient methods and materials.  Black Elephant Lacquer is collected by private connoisseurs and was acquired by the British Museum and The Royal Botanic Gardens Museum.

These bowls are made with horsehair woven in between very thin bamboo splints, with further application of lacquer mixed with rice husk ashes.  Burma is famous for a special type of incised lacquerware called “yun” – It’s engraved with a sharp iron stylus and the incisions are filled with colouring matter to create a design.

Item from SOIL for the ASIAN FOLKCRAFT COLLECTION

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.

burmese betel boxDIA60xH50mm, Myanmar

For the first item of the Asian Folkcraft Collection, we have a miniature of Burmese’s traditional lacquer betel box from SOIL.

 Betel, tobacco and pickled tea is an expression in Burmese language that speaks of hospitality and welcomes a visitor to one’s home.

 The circular betel box at first glance, looks solid, but is in reality nicely fitted with a lid over a small container for holding betel nut. The top of the bowl is fitted with two shallow trays, one on top of the other. The upper tray has four little cups to hold ingredients for making betel nuts: cloves, cutch, and seeds, shredded wild Licorice or sweet creeper.

 In the second tray is a layer of dried tobacco leaves. Only when the tray is taken out of the main bowl are green fresh betel leaves revealed.

asian-folkcraft-small

ASIAN FOLKCRAFT

SOIL x MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT

Come to see a collection of folkcraft from all over asia; China,  India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.