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It is rare to find a man who cannot read and write. Higher education is backward, though of late substantial advance has been made.
The great majority of Burmans live in villages. A Burmese village normally consists of a single irregular street of houses, thatched buildings of wood, matting, or bamboo, raised from the ground on posts. Except where the houses are widely scattered, every village is surrounded by a fence, generally of split bamboo, sometimes of cactus. At each end of the street is a gate closed at night and supposed to be guarded by a watchman.
The dress of a man consists of a large piece of silk or cotton worn as a skirt.
The more voluminous garment is a paso, the less ample a longyi. He wears also a jacket and wound round his head a kerchief pig. 52. Tattooing,
called a gaungbaung. The
women wear skirts called tamein and white jackets. They wear no head covering but a flower in the hair is often a pleasing adornment. Burmese males are tattooed on their thighs and frequently on other parts of the body. Often tattoo marks are traced as charms against lethal weapons. Professional thieves frequently have a cat tattoed on each thigh. One cat they pat on entering the house they are about to burgle, the other on emerging with their booty.