CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
roofs. This main hall is divided into two parts by a high wall, pierced at the top with wooden lattice work forming a grille. In the eastern portion the principal shrine is found : this usually consists of a gilded glass-mosaic throne, in shape like two pyramids set apex to apex ; the base of the upper and inverted pyramid forms the floor of the throne, and on this the image of Gautama is placed. This is either made of brass or of wood gilded over. The main shrine is surrouded by smaller thrones of various kinds, on which are placed many images of Gautama, some standing, some sitting, some lying down. In front of these are placed offerings of flowers and food in lacquer, and glass inlaid receptacles. The western portion of the main hall forms the dwelling-room of the minor monks and novices, and is usually quite plain inside. At the western-most end, lying north and south, a smaller building with three roofs is usually found, in which novices and school boys live, and in which miscellaneous stores are kept. The finest old monasteries in Mandalay are richly carved, while some in addition are gilded internally and externally, and are covered with glass mosaic. The interiors are often found to contain beautiful panelling.
Manuscripts are kept in gilded and glass inlaid cabinets or boxes, which are very effective in design and appearance. Much of the glass was convex, and reflected the light better than the modern flat glass used. Both pagodas and monasteries are usually surrounded by a Tazaungs,a image houses, containing brass, marble, and wooden images of Gautama, and rest houses, often beautifully carved and ornamented. Here and there are placed tall masts called a Tagundaing,a surmounted with the sacred birds, the Brahminy duck or the crane, and from these are suspended long votive streamers. These ai'e guarded at the base by carved figures, often ornamented with glass mosaic. The principal woods used for carving are teak (tectona gratidis) and a yamane.a These are coarse-grained woods.
Wood-carving.aThe wood-carving in Burma ls usually in deep relief, representing figures combined with scroll work. The carvers are vcry clever at cutting figures so as to make them appear to be underlying the floral design.
Some of the carvers can produce beautiful drawn designs, but most of the work is spontaneous and not done from designs. The tools used are of the simplest. Figures can be very spirited, and the best work is of a very high order. The older carving was not in such high relief, and the designs were
MAKER OF BUDDHIST IMAGES,MAKER OF BUDDHIST IMAGES,