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XV] OCCUPATIONS OF THE PEOPLE
as might be expected, are assembled most of the silver workers but many a smaller town has artists of local repute. Bowls, betel and lime boxes, ornamented with figures of men and animals, flowers, foliage, and scroll work of bold yet delicate design, in high relief, are typical specimens of Burmese silver ware. There is a risk that this rare and beautiful art may be debased by western teaching and by
Fig. 60. Wood-carving.
misguided efforts at encouragement and improvement. Silver tea-pots and cigar cases, with Burmese ornamentation, can give no joy to cultured taste. Charming niello work is done, chiefly at Prome. Gold work is less common; but ear-tubes, ear-rings, bracelets and necklaces, golden chains of honour (shwe salwe) are made by native artists. Sometimes the gold of ornaments is dyed red with tamarind juice.
Wood-carving. As famous and as beautiful as silver-work