Myanmar Arts

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Myanmar is a country full of ancient traditions and culture. From time to time, the Myanmars have adapted different cultures and arts. To describe about the Arts of Myanmar, there are 10 Myanmar traditional arts which are metaphorically called "Ten Flowers".

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Theses arts have been passed on from one century to another until today. The 10 arts are as follows:

  • Panbe (the art of blacksmith)
  • Panbu (the art of sculpture)
  • Pantain (the art of gold and silver smith)
  • Pantin(the art of bronze casting)
  • Pantaut (the art of making floral designs using masonry)
  • Panyan (the art of bricklaying and masonry)
  • Pantamault (the art of sculpting with stone)
  • Panpoot (the art of turning designs on the lathe)
  • Panchi (the art of painting)
  • Panyun (the art of making lacquer ware)

 

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Zinmei Longyi Designs (for Women)

Zinmei longyi (ဇင်းမယ် လုံချည်) originated in Zinmei (Chiangmai, Thailand). Sharp edgy shapes are their unique designs in women wear.
 

Myanmar Silk Longyi Designs (for Women)

One textile design the Myanmar have lived for two hundred years is the lun yakyaw acheik (over-hundred-shuttle acheik) design. It is suitable for men and women. Both the weft and the warp are pure silk threads and from over a hundred to two hundred shuttles are used according to the design to be worked on. The weaving takes days and the fabric is thus expensive. Only the well-to-do can afford it. But in the villages cotton is used and the design modified to produce cheaper versions.
 

Banshay (Arts of the sword, staff and spear)

Banshay is a term for martial arts of Myanmar, focusing on weapon use. The sword, staff and spear are the major weapons. With the sword, the goal is to disarm the opponent. Sword fights are even conducted with the sword still sheathed, since only under extreme conditions will a Myanmar swordsman unsheathes his or her sword.
 

Traditional Longyi Designs (for Women)

 


 
 
 

Naban (Burmese wrestling)

Naban is a term for the various grappling martial arts of Myanmar. Techniques include joint locks, strikes to pressure points, and choke holds. Any part of the opponent's body is a legal target. Naban is a cousin of similar wrestling arts found in places like Cambodia and Tibet.
 

Dawei Longyi Designs (for Men)

(to be updated soon)
 

Bando yoga

Naban (Burmese wrestling)
Bando yoga
Yoga system practiced by ancient warriors of northern Myanmar was to maintain health and protect from illness and disease.
 

Kachin Longyi Designs (for Men)

Kachin longyi (ကချင် လုံချည်) designs have distict colors, with black background almost always. 
 

Pongyi Thaing

Pongyi Thaing or Bando Monk System is based on ancient Hindu and Buddhist principles of non-violence. It's a disciplined way of life. It is not a religion, a doctrine or a dogma. It is an integrated system of developing the body, mind and spirit to achieve harmony with oneself, with others, with nature.
 

Myanmar Silk Longyi Designs (for Men)

Silk longyi usually have different design patterns, different from cotton sarongs.
 

Panyun (the art of making lacquerware)

Panyun means a handicraft which produces materials made of bamboo, wood and thick black varnish (sis-se). Lacquerware artisans produce alms food bowl, bowl for monk, and bowl of pickle tea, lacquer vessel, drinking cup, betel box, and cheroot box. Myanmar traditional lacquerware emerged in the early part of Bagan period.
 

Yaw Longyi Designs (for Men)

Yaw longyi designs are orinigated from Yaw District, central Myanmar. Their designs are basically small white color patterns on various dark backgrounds.
 

Tapestry (gold / silver embroidery)

The art of tapestry or "Shwe Chi Hto" as we call it, is said to have originated in Myanmar about a thousand years ago. It is a form of needlework to create a variety of pictures and patterns so delicate and detailed that it requires skill, artistry and patience. It is a highly decorative embroidery that employs gold thread as its name indicates, but in fact silver and colored threads as well as other materials such as tinsel, sequins, semi-precious gems, colorful cut glass, seed pearls and beads go into the making.
 

Rakhine Longyi Designs (for Men)

Rakhine longyi have distinct designs, originated in the Rakhine State.
 

Pantain (Goldsmith)

Pantain is an enterprise of making items of gold or silver. Silversmith is the art of making drinking bowl, receptacle bowl, prize-cup, shield and belt. Goldsmith is the art of making ear-plug, ear-drops, ear-ring, with a screw-on back piece, finger-ring bracelet, Pendent and necklace. Myanmar’s traditional arts and crafts artistic creation of gold and silver wares come under the genre (ba-dain) art of making items in gold or silver.
 

Myanmar Longyi Design (for Men)

 
  
 
 
   
 
 

Myanmar Puppets

credit- www.semesteratsea.org
 
In old days, Myanmar artists made Myanmar style figures with movable limbs i.e. arms, legs, head etc. and tried to move these moving parts by playing/controlling strings connected to these movable parts so as the actions look like as human being. At that time, the people who played the puppet show made puppets themselves.
 

Thaing

credit-www.martialartblog.com
Myanmar Martial Arts
Myanmar possesses a rich martial arts heritage. The martial arts was introduced into Myanmar almost 2000 years ago. Ancient writings reveal that as far back as the time of King Anawrahta (1044 - 77 A.D.) Buddhist monks were teaching the secrets of breath-control and mediation practice in addition to the principle of yielding of force – a principle that is found in arts like tai chi, aikido, and even judo. Myanmar's Martial art was named as Thaing.
 

Myanmar Musical Instruments

Myanmar Harp (Saung)
A "harp" is called Saung in Myanmar. There basically was 2 types: Byat Saung and Saung Gauk (bent harp). There almost is nobody who can play byat saungs these days.
In 10th century AD, musicians used only 5 strings in Myanmar harp, which later increased to 7 strings in 18th century. During King Bodaw Phayar the art of playing harp was much promoted by the king and was improved to using up to 13 strings.
 

Bando (Animal system or free hands system)

Bando or animal system is the ancient art of self-defense from Myanmar. The earliest meanings of Bando were "self-discipline, self-development, and self-improvement". Later, it came to mean, "Self-protection, or self-defense".
 

9 Nawarat Ring

credit- www.landofjade.com
The nine gems are ruby, pearl, coral, sapphire, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz and zircon. The Nawarat Ringnawarat, a ring usually of gold with a ruby at its center and around it clock-wise from the twelve o'clock position, diamond, pearl, cat's eye, zircon or pyrope , emerald , topaz , sapphire, and coral.