TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS
made in Bassein, while a considerable number ate also manufactured in Mandalay. These are not so good as the umbrellas made by the Chinese. Gold umbrellas used to be made for the use of certain high officials in the times of the Burmese kings, and some are still produced for religious purposes. The Burmese umbrella is made of a bamboo frame, with a cover of bast paper. Plain yellow ones are made for the use of monks, while those used by Burmese
ladies are artistically ornamented with coloured designs. They are made waterproof with an oily varnish. European black umbrellas are being imported in large quantities, and are rapidly ousting the indigenous article.
Painting.aThe best paintings used to be seen in the mural decorations in big pagodas. This kind of painting is now a lost art. Most towns have painters who do family groups
without any attempt to obtain likenesses. Several modern painters, however, have taken up portrait painting, and with the aid of a photograph they can get excellent results. Some of them are able to copy landscapes by European artists with great success. Most painters are wanting in a knowledge of perspective, and the colouring is apt to be crude.
Embroidery.aThe principal articles made by embroiderers are akalagasa; these are curtains with figures, and c., sewn on to a dark
background, and the work is what is known as applique. Spangles, to improve the effect, are also sewn on. New pieces of embroidery look crude, but when old and faded the colours blend very well, and the general effect is quite pleasing. Embroidered silk a tameins a (open skirts) of great beauty are made in Amarapura. Cloth saddles are also embroidered very effectively.
Minor Industries.aGold leaf is made in large quantities and commands a large sale. It is made from pure gold.
Tinsmiths, especially in Mandalay, turn out a variety of well-made articles.
Cigars are made in many parts of Burma, and most girls are capable of rolling them. The best are made in Maubin District, Prome, and Moulmein, but except for the outer leaf most of the tobacco comes from Trichi nopoly, India.
Musical instruments are also made in most towns. These consist of drums of various kinds, pipes, clarionets, harps, cymbals, and peals of drums and gongs.
Silk.aThe large importation of European and Japanese silks has seriously affected the silk-weaving industry in Burma. The cheap gaudy silks with their bright colours and large checks appeal to the people. Silkworm breeding is dying out in Burma, and most of the silk woven in the country is made from imported silk from Europe or China. The best silk now usually obtainable in Burma comes from Amarapura, and is woven from imported Chinese silk. It is very strong and the colours do not run. It can be obtained plain, with stripes, checked, or a shot.a Pure Burmese silk is very durable and of excellent texture. It can still be obtained in Taungdwingyi, Magwe District. The old-fashioned a tamein,a or open skirt, is beautifully woven, and can be obtained in Mandalay, whence many are exported to other parts of the province.
Cotton is now imported into Burma very largely, and consequently the out-turn of homemade cotton is much less than formerly. At one time everything was woven at home, and, except in rural tracts, this is no longer the case, as the majority of the people buy the cheap imported cotton obtainable in every bazaar. The cotton fabric woven in Burma was, like the silk, of excellent texture, and very durable.
STERN OF BURMESE PADDY BOAT SHOWING CARVING.STERN OF BURMESE PADDY BOAT SHOWING CARVING.