BURMESE ARTS AND HANDICRAFTS.
By CAPTAIN Arthur Browne Roberts, Indian Army, Burma Commission, Deputy-Commissioner, Maubin,
HESE may be divided into two main classes, namely those which are devoted to the erection, adornment, and embellishment of sacred fanes and edifices, and those which serve the needs of the lay-world.
Pagodas. a Commencing with the former class, we find that pagodas are scattered in large numbers in various stages of preservation and decay all over the province. Many of these are most beautiful in shape and contour. The older type of pagoda, which is undoubtedly Indian in origin, is found principally at the old deserted capital cities of Burma, and most notably at Pagan. This
is made of brick, square in shape, and is formed of diminishing terraces carried up to near the top, where a spire and a hti a complete the edifice. The modern pagoda is in shape more like a bell, and the base may be likened to an inverted alms bowl, surmounted with a tapering spire with an in-
ward curve, the whole outline being very graceful. Some are more slender than others, but the effect of the more solid pagodas is very imposing and stately. These are all surmounted with pinnacles formed of concentric rings of iron, lessening towards the summit, and capped with a vane richly gilt. This pinnacle or a hti,a as it is called, is hung with little bells, which tinkle melo-
diously in the slightest breeze. Pagodas are built of brick covered with plaster, and are often white-washed. The effect of a brilliant white tapering pagoda, surmounted with its gilded spire, against a back-ground of dark-foliaged trees, or silhouetted against the gorgeous sunset and afterglow of the East, forms a picture which never fails to entrance. Many of the more pretentious pagodas are gilded partially or completely, and some have glass-mosaic in-let in addition. These pagodas give much work to masons, gilders, and iron workers.
Monasteries are to be found in large numbers all over the province, the older ones being built of timber very effectively carved, and adorned in some cases with glass-mosaic and gilding. Many of the modern monasteries are built of masonry, and are neither artistic nor in keeping with their beautiful surroundings. They are usually found in large enclosures surrounded by dark-foliaged shady tamarind, mango, and peeple trees, together with numbers of cocoanut and palmyra palms. The finest examples are to be found in Mandalay, Amarapura, and the old towns of Burma. The typical Burmese monastery is raised high off the ground on teak pillars, and the main building is surrounded with a broad verandah enclosed by a carved balustrade. This is approached by brick steps covered with plaster and guarded by leogryphs. The building usually lies east and west. The eastern-most extremity is occupied by a a Tazaung a or open pavilion with seven or nine diminishing roofs surmounted by a a hti a similar to those placed on pagodas, the whole forming a graceful spire. This is connected with the main building by a three-roofed low hall, in which the principal monk lives, and opens 011 to a lofty main hall, which has three or five
BURMESE WOMAN WEAVING COTTON.BURMESE WOMAN WEAVING COTTON.