Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia. Formerly know as Burma, its name changed to Myanmar in 1989. China borders it on the north and northeast while on the east and southeast, it is bordered by Laos and Thailand. This is a country which is composed of 135 main races, of which some of the prime ones are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The main language spoken in the country is Myanmar although English is also widely spoken and understood
Capital: Nay Pyi Taw
Independence Day: January 4, 1948
Panyun (the art of making lacquer ware)
Panyun is a highly respected handicraft. Panyun, lacquerware, are produced from knitted bamboo, wood and thick varnish. Very common finished products are bowl for monk, and container of pickle tea, lacquer vessel, drinking cup, betel box, and cheroot box. Myanmar traditional lacquerware are adorned with very interesting drawing styles derived from many stories of Buddha’s life.
Panyan (the art of bricklaying and masonry)
Panyan refers to troupe who constructs the buildings using bricks, stones and cement. The masons erect brick dwellings, stupas, bridges. Ancient pagodas and other religious structures from Bagan era are the biggest examples of Myanmar’s traditional masonry works. The Myanmar’s traditional masonry of Bagan period are of amazing strength, unbeatable grandeur beauty, immensity of volume, unbelievable detailed and appropriate decorations which in turn possesses the highest admiration of all the historical periods.
Panbu (the art of sculpture)
Panbu is the art of making sculptures of people, religious figures, animals and floral designs made of wood or ivory. Myanmar traditional sculpture emerged before the Bagan period. It based on the religion of Budhism which arrived from Southern India in the 11th century A.D. One outstanding wood sculpture of the Bagan period is the one at the old portal of Shwesigone pagoda at Nyaung U.
Lotus fibre weaving
Yellow Robes have been offered to the Lord Buddha in different seasons for many hundreds of years in Myanmar, where Theravada Buddhism flourishes, some of which are woven with yarn from the lotus. Weaving a lotus robe by extracting the yarn from Padonma lotus stalks demands great creativity, imagination and artistic skill. Kyaing Khan Village in Inle district is the place where this is done. Inle Lake, 2900 feet above sea level, is located in the southern part of Shan State. Many varieties of lotus flourish there but the yarn for the robe is taken from the Padonma Kyar (The Red Lotus). The stems are plucked in the months of May and June when they are abundant in the Lake. The fibres from 120,000 lotus' are needed to weave a set of robes. Nowadays, scarves are also woven.
Tapestries or Shwe-gyi-do
Myanmar traditional tapestries are velvet wall hangings embroidered with gold thread, silk and sequins. The hand-made materials are used and designs are based on traditional motif. The tapestries were solely for the use of royalty, nobility and monks in ancient times. The tapestries were used as screens, curtains, ceilings or wall hangings. Nowadays, the tapestries are used for clothes, shoes, flip-flops and other home decor items. Mandalay is famous for producing the Myanmar traditional tapestries (Shwe-gyi-do).