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Pandain (Gold/Silversmith)


Precious metalwork is one of the oldest Myanmar crafts, dating back to pre-Bagan times. Artistic Pyu silver ware was discovered in the mounds of the old shrines of Srikshetra. When King Anawrahta of Bagan brought the relics of Buddha and Buddhist scriptures to Bagan from the Mon capital Suvunna Boumi, various gold and silver artifacts were included.

In antiquity, royals, nobles and the wealthy used gold and silver utensils as status symbols. Silver items such as vases, trays, silver Buddha statuettes were also used for religious purposes. The art of making gold leaf is a renowned Myanmar craft. Gold leaf is popularly used by Buddhist devotees and is pasted on Buddha images as part of their offerings. The process of pounding gold nuggets between layers of leather to get paper-thin gold foils is an intricate art, which is mos prevalent in Mandalay.