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Panyun (Lacquerware)


Myanmar is famous for its fine lacquer ware. This craftsmanship can be traced back to China's Shan dynasty of the 18th to 11th century BC, and reached the present-day Myanmar area in the 1st century AD through the Nan Chao Empire. When Anawrahta conquered Thaton in 1057 the artisans were brought to Bagan, and the craft flourished during Bagan era.

Lacquer ware is one of Myanmar's most intricate crafts. Most of the traditional Myanmar lacquer ware is of a unique terracotta colour, and scenes from the Jatakas (the Buddha's former existence) are etched on the surface and filled in with green pigment.

Modern designs are of deep black background incised with genuine gold leaf. Decorative patterns are based on time-honoured designs, although their composition is left to the artist's imagination.

Myanmar lacquer wares such as boxes, vases, trays, bowls and even coffee tables are now very popular and readily available in the markets.