Pantamault (the art of sculpting with stone)

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Pantamault is the one stones curving. The artisans make Buddha images pole for Sima, pillar, leograph, elephants, deer, circular flat stone, pestle and mortar and table. Sculpture in stone is a significant feature of Myanmar fine arts, has to this day been the pride and honour of Myanmar people. There are sculpture studios or workshops in Yangon, Mandalay and other towns in the country, but the majority of studios are concentrated in Mandalay.

Very fine works of art in stone are to be seen at plaques depicting the life of the Buddha at Ananda, Bagan. Flower designs in the interior of the portal at Kyawkku-U min, Naung-U Nanhpaya, Myinkapa plaques portraying the 550 Buddhist birth-stories at Puhtotawkyi, Amarapura and the great image at Kyauktawkyi, at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Marble craftsmanship is an interesting topic. Before carving any marble images, an auspicious day and time to the minute must be chosen by an astrologer and the stones blessed with a sprinkling of holy water and homage offering. The master marks out the outline, and makes the first cut after the solemn rituals has been performed and prayers offered. The first cut must be in the exact instant of predicted auspiciousness. Then the experienced apprentices make the rough cuts. In the final carving stages the master takes over and under his tools the marble peels away as if it were soft wax. It is an amazing art to see how the craftsmen convert the stone into a life form image.



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