and, without asking for it directly, receive food from the charitable ; between midday and the next dawn he must fast ; he must study the scriptures and practise meditation ; and he must not travel unless invited, and not at all during Lent. Celibacy is essential. In the upper province there is a Tha-tha-na-bine (Archbishop), recognised by the Government, with a hierarchy of lesser prelates, who exercise control over the priesthood. The a Brothers a (po-thu-daw), and a Nuns a (me-thi-la), are merely devotees who shave, wear white, abjure marriage, and lead a retired life, but may own property. All (including monks) may retract at any time and return to the world.
The abstruse doctrines of Buddhism and
the ascetic practices of the monks have not been dealt with as they do not come within the scope of this article.
Social Life.aThe Burmese dress is, as suited to a tropical climate, both light and loose, and both men and women are fond of colour. A Burmese festival crowd is one of the most beautiful sights, a living kaleidoscope of all the colours of the rainbow against a background of green and waving palms. The men generally wear long hair knotted into a round chignon (yaung) at the top of the head, the whole covered by a coloured silk turban (gaung-baung), which is wrapped in various styles, the end of the cloth being hitched into the fold of the wrap and allowed to project outwards over the right or left ear. On
ceremonial occasions, the older men wear a simple fillet of muslin tied round the head, the two ends standing upright at the back, and the hair knot showing in the centre ; this is the head-dress prescribed for wear at Government durbars, and the new generation, which has taken to close-cropping (to save time and trouble) finds it impossible to comply. Boys do not wear any head-dress, and nearly all who are undergoing modern education have their hair cut according to English styles. The menas ordinary jacket is generally made of soft white cloth, with loose body (down to the waist) and loose sleeves, buttoned in front at the base of the neck and at the waist, and along the right side, where a flap (extending from a line between the two front buttons
to a line along the right side) covers an inner piece which carries a large pocket. This is really only a modification of the Chinese coat, the proper Burmese in-jee being a close-fitting jacket, cut to fit the exact shape of the body, and extending to the knee at the back and sides ; this is now worn only on important ceremonial occasions. The younger men have recently adopted new fashions, cut out of tweeds, flannels, and serges. English shirts and vests are found everywhere. The pSso (or menas skirt) is a large piece of silk, of various colours and designs, extending from the waist to the ankles, and the whole length of nine yards is draped in a manner which baffles the non-Burman ; one end is first placed round the body, and tied in front at the waist;
then the remaining portion is folded in two along its length and crumpled within the fist at a place about the middle ; the end is allowed to hang loose and the portion which has been crumpled is hitched on at the waist at the place where the cloth was first tied. The home dress (lone-jee), which is also the ordinary dress of boys, is much simpler, consisting of a similar piece of cloth between four and five yards long, stitched along the width into a loop, and tied in front. In the olden days the feet were left bare, except for wooden or leather sandals, but boots, shoes, and socks of European pattern are now in general use, except in the villages. At one time there was a strong prejudice against the Burman in boots, but it is now happily almost extinct. The women wear nothing on the head, the long black glossy hair being wrapped round a comb at the top of the head by grown-up persons, and tied in a round knot by girls, some of whom allow the end to hang loose at the side. There is no prejudice against false hair. Flowers and jewelled ornaments (such as combs and hairpins) are displayed on the head, except at funerals. The ordinary jacket is nearly the same as that of the men, but lace is now commonly used, and the buttons are jewelled. The ceremonial coat is somewhat similar to the menas, but it extends only just below the waist all round, and is open in front, the bust being protected by a close-fitting, sometimes low-cut, under jacket. A coloured silk scarf (pawa) is carried round the neck, the ends hanging loose in front. A divided silk or satin skirt (fet-mein) is now worn only in full-dress ; it has been much criticised adversely by foreigners, but, when worn by ladies of rank and held with one hand as it ought to be, there is nothing objectionable or improper; in the bazaars it perhaps used to be different. But what is now universally worn by women is the same as the menas lone-jee, though not tied in front ; an extra piece about ten inches wide is hemmed on all round at the top, and the whole loop is folded in a double flap at the front, the top corner of the fold being firmly hitched on at one side. The women have not taken to Western foot-wear, the old-time sandals and slippers of various kinds being still in use, but the up-to-date female has not been slow to develop a taste for the pretty and graceful lingerie to be had at the English shops. Powder and other toilet preparations are freely used and acknowledged; the national th^-nat-ka, prepared from the bark of a tree, is applied many times a day to make the skin soft and smooth. The Burmese are very fond of jewellery, chiefly gold and diamonds, and it is the heartas
A BURMESE FAMILY IN FESTIVAL DRESS.A BURMESE FAMILY IN FESTIVAL DRESS.