desire of every girl to possess a diamond nagat or nadaung (ear ornaments), diamond buttons, diamond studded or plain gold let-kauk (bracelets), diamond or ruby let-soot (finger-rings), pearl and diamond necklaces, and, if possible, a diamond studded comb and hairpins. The craze has become so great that many people now condemn the vulgar display of over-ornamented people who have suddenly acquired riches. The men generally confine their jewellery to a gold watch-guard and a small ring, though formerly some used to wear ear ornaments like women.
Non-Burmese see little or nothing of the home life of the people. It is a very simple and happy life. The Burman cares nothing for politics and newspapers, and the discovery of the North Pole or the deposition of the Shah leaves him quite unconcerned. He rises early, and his ablutions and devotions over, he goes to his work in the fields or the shop or the office to perform what is necessary for his livelihood. His wife'and daughter administer to his wants, cook the early meal, and, that partaken of, settle down to other domestic matters, sewing, knitting, washing, repairing, or weaving ; or perhaps there is a stall in front of the house or at the bazaar, which must be attended to because women are better at buying and selling. Then there is the evening meal to be made ready against the masteras return, and after that there is a brief period of rest during the cool of the evening, when the good man talks of what he has seen, heard, or done during the day ; or a neighbour drops in and there is a chat or discussion. Next follow the eveningas devotions, and then bed-time. The family intercourse is marked by affection, though this is not apparent, for the Burman is not demonstrative ; there is no kissing or embracing, and on his return from a journey a Burman scarcely addresses his wife except to ask, aAre all well ? a The house-wife is mother, sister, friend, and servant, all in one, and she, in her turn, gives all her thoughts to her husband and children. These latter are the parentsa yft-da-nah 01* jewels, and the childless are deemed unfortunate. Adoption is general, even by those who have issue, and the adopted child occupies exactly the same footing, both socially and legally as the children of the house.
The staple food is cooked (properly, steamed) rice, which is eaten with the hand from plates or lacquer trays, each handful being mixed with some kind or other of curried flesh, or boiled fish and vegetables. NgSpee, an anchovy-like preparation, but
possessing a very strong odour, is indispensable and always appears in some form or other ; when properly prepared, mixed with lime-juice and dried prawns, or when fried in oil with other ingredients (forming bala-chong), it is far less objectionable than a high a game or cheese. The Buddhist ideal is against taking the life of any being, but man is frail, and vegetables alone do not satisfy the palate ; though it must be said that very few people, comparatively, indulge to any large extent in the flesh of the larger animals, such as oxen, sheep, goats, and swine. Beef, especially, is ^very rarely eaten. As a rule, the Burman differs in taste from his celestial brother, and draws the line at a great many things which are considered delicacies in the Flowery Land. There are
only two meals a dayamorning and afternoon ; but alighta refreshments are indulged in at all times of the day, and very often at night. The national tit-bit is le-pet (pickled tea leaves), which is frequently eaten in small quantities mixed with dried prawns, slices of garlic fried in oil, fried bits of cocoanut, and c.
The use of alcohol and opium is an innovation. Formerly, fermented liquor, made from the toddy-palm or from a species of rice, was manufactured and used by a few, but both religious and social feeling have always been strongly against indulgence in liquor and drugs. With the advent of Western civilisation, beer and spirits have become common, and many have taken to them ; but drinking is not general, and probably no
Burmese Buddhist household contains a stock, however small, of liquor. Those who do indulge do so in private or at the licensed shops ; and liquor is never allowed at the family or the festive board. Smoking, however, and betel-chewing are universal. Men, women, and even children are freely addicted to them, though nowadays the latter are brought up in a stricter manner.
Except in the modern towns, where Western furniture has come into general use, it takes very little to furnish a Burmanas dwelling. The house itself is built of rough boards or plaited strips of bamboo, with a similar raised floor, nailed or tied to piles or bamboos driven into the ground, the whole being surmounted by a roof of thatch, or, nowadays, corrugated zinc sheets. For the use of the family there
are mats of various kinds, or a woven carpet if it can be had, and, for the bedroom, cotton mattresses and pillows laid on the floor. A stout wooden box to hold clothing and valuables, and the earthenware cooking utensils, complete the necessary outfit. Lamps are now plentiful and cheap, but the small tin kerosene-oil holder, with a rag immersed in it, is still found everywhere. A convenient hole in the flooring affords an outlet for rubbish and sweepings. Every house* however small, has a front room for guests, and here the greater part of the day is spent. This apartment also contains the household altar at one endaa raised ledge on which is placed the nyaung-yay-oh (an earthenware vase containing flowers and evergreens), and where
SACRIFICE OF A MYTHUN (BOS FRONTALIS) BY CHINS.SACRIFICE OF A MYTHUN (BOS FRONTALIS) BY CHINS.