Marion Hume | April 6th, 2012
Photo Courtesy of www.clippertrading.com
Burmese lacquerware is the real, organic, deal. The resin comes from the Thit-si tree, drip-drained like rubber, by cutting notches in the trunk. Lacquer is refined from that sap, and lacquerware is flexible and resistant to water and insects. It is painted on to a base either of horsehair or split bamboo, both processes incredibly time-consuming. Straw-coloured to start with, lacquer dries to a rich black. Colours come from dyes derived from the Acacia tree.
Bagan (formerly Pagan) is the capital of lacquerware and, handily, also the legendary first capital of King Anawrahta, with vistas of thousands of red brick stupa temples and glistening golden pagodas. Beauty + truly beautiful souvenirs.