Lacquerware business using horsetails on verge of extinction

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A traditional hand-made lacquerware workshop using bamboo-strip base mixed with horsehair.  Photo: Supplied

Lacquerware business using horsetails for some delicate pieces are on the brink of extinction in Bagan area, NyaungU District, Mandalay Region.
Lacquerware business has been passing from old generations in Bagan-NyaungU areas. Lacquerware businesses using bamboo have nothing to worry about but only one or two crafters survived in lacquerware business using horsetails. They are experiencing hardships due to high price of horsetails, lack of demand for lacquerware and different steps in processing.
In old days, lacquerware businesses flourished in Bagan area. Now, only one has survived in West Phwarsaw Village. There are three types of raw materials used in lacquerware: bamboo, horsetails and wood.
The process of making lacquerware takes around one and half hour for single lacquerware bowl. Those lacquerwares using horsetails are of high quality. A viss of horsetails is worth Ks50,000.
Daw San San Aye, lacquerware artist from West Phwarsaw Village, stressed her concerns that high input cost and different steps in making lacquerware might lead to its extinction gradually.


Ko Htein (Ngathayauk)

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