Lacquer ware in Myanmar, is valued for its artistic beauty and other credits – it is light, watertight – in the usage. It has many other applications for the users. You can see lacquer ware in different items such as bowl, ash tray, jar, vase, jewellery box with intricate design, betel box, plate, storage chest, table, chairs, etc. Still widely produced and used nowadays, lacquer ware has the most cultural distinction and traditional value to all Myanmar.
It has served for a long time as a favorite among the royal community for storing documents and precious jewels. Commoner employed it in everyday use in keeping the betel nuts, pickled leaves, desert, soup bowls, etc. Today-monks are still using the lacquer ware bowl called “thabeik” in collecting alms. So, lacquer ware is not only the cultural and royal but religious item of Myanmar. Highly treasured, Myanmar kings in the past & leaders today usually present lacquer object as a gift to foreign emissaries.
Lacquer, in fact, is the sap extracted from a tree called “Rhus Vernicifera”. Presume that Chinese are the first to discover over 2000 years ago. Some believe that lacquer may have been introduced form China’s Yunan province to Myanmar though little is known.
The preparation is quite difficult and time-consuming. It takes for a couple of weeks to finish even a smallest item. Lacquer is applied layer after layer until one can’t trace its foundation/frame. Every time after the coating of lacquer the item is kept in the underground for a week protecting it from the direct sun-ray. Ten to thirty layers are applied to a lacquer item!!! Lacquer ware will make a wonderful and prestigious souvenir for a memento of visit Myanmar.
ity among the tourists and locals alike.