Myanmar or Burmese Handicraft of good quality

Myanmar or Burmese Handicraft of good quality

Distinctive woodcarving is one of the traditional works, others are arts and crafts in gold, silver and iron; bronze, brass and copper casting; relief work in stucco; turnery; drawing and painting; lacquer ware; sculpting in stone or marble and lapidary work. Traditional skills are carefully preserved in families and passed down from generation to generation.

Carved wooden figures found in the stupas and shrines of the Bagan period, 1057-1287, suggest local carvers raised the standards of the woodcarving skills introduced from India in the 9th and 10th Century.Traditional designs include the kanoke pan depicting intricate lotus buds, blossoms and stems; scrollwork with a floral arabesque; chu or stylized figures resembling lions with flowing manes; keinnaya and keinnayi, mythical male and female birds with human heads and torso; beloo or ogre; and galon or garuda, the mythical king of birds.

Carved wooden figures and bas-relief works are usually found on the covered stairways or zaungdans of pagodas, in monasteries in highly embellished teak panels and in many religious buildings and residences.

Even household furniture, fixtures and utensils are decorated with wood carvings.


Today there is a tremendous diversity in Myanmar handicraft.

There are Buddha images, altars and other religious figures, nats or spirits; elephant, oxen, buffalo, tiger, bullock  cart and peacocks as souvenirs for tourists; chinthes and other objects of legends. Orders can be placed also for custom made items.This andicrafts are really beautiful made from marble, creating woodcarvings,  jewelries with all kind of local gemstones plus other arts and crafts, there are many variants.

Bogyoke Market
Myanmar handicraft at Bogyoke Market

Jade Carving
Jade Carving

Lacquer works at Bagan

Especially the Bogyoke market in Yangon carry a wide range including ethnic and regional crafts with usually excellent quality. Cottage industries such as lacquer workshops at Bagan produce useful handicrafts, marble and jade carver at Mandalay and Yangon create beautiful objects.This items in general are very affordable, there are quite sophisticated creations and other very amateurish because not having the money to invest in good tools. Lots of exotic items are available in particular jewelry using ruby, jade and other precious and semi precious stones, be very vigilant when buying any jewelry or gemstones, in particular ruby gemstones and imperial jade because you don’t have the qualification to look through, means hire a consultant for some hours. In any case the positive surprise is, very consumer friendly prices.Aside of the usual ruby gemstones and jade items are plenty of goods from China with a very low price tag. There are other shopping items such as beautiful ceramics, very attractive are silk and lacquer items.

Myanmar Wood Carving
Woodcarvings at a showroom

One of the major design is made using teak wood by hand and basic carving tools. This are true pieces of art, it wont matter if it is a Buddha statue, a mirror frame or just a beautiful elephant.Since ages, this was considered as a traditional art which as passed on within the families.

Even daily used items such as rolling pins, ladles, walking sticks and combs are made from this material.

Craftsmen also produce other items such as furniture, toys, book stands, jewel boxes, decorative panels, wooden screens, window frames, spoons, bowls, trays, vases, masks, idols, photo frames, key hangers, beads from teak wood carvers carefully select wood with the right degree of hardness, grain and hue for each object. Myanmar carvers prefer to work with rosewood, ironwood, teak, tamalan (Dalbergia oliveri), hpaw (Adina cordifolia) and yamanay (Gmelina arborea).

Myanmar Mirror Frame Carved from Wood  Rectangle
Mirror Frame Carved from Wood Rectangle

Myanmar Mirror Frame Carved from Wood  Round
Mirror Frame Carved from Wood Round

Myanmar Wood Figures

Wood is cheaper – in Myanmar- and softer than other materials but can be difficult to handle.

Myanmar Gems
Gem Painting Detail

Other varieties of handicrafts are marionettes, gold, silver, iron, bronze, brass casting, copper casting, tapestry, relief, stucco, turnery, drawing, painting jewelry, gemstone paintings.

Gemstone Painting
Gemstone Painting
A very special Myanmar Art and handicraft is gemstone painting, which means all “painting” is done by a mosaic of different gemstones. This are usually pieces of jade, ruby and ruby dust plus other semi precious stones. As you can see at the artwork above it looks like a painting but the elements are as you see at the left pictures. This is somehow in the tradition of French impressionist and expressionist paintings but in a very traditional technique. Anyway it shows very good the creativity of local handicraft and art creators.

buddhist painting
Buddhist painting of monks

Buddhist painting Monks
Monks walking with the bowl

Brass Sculpture
Casted brass sculpture

Myanmar Jade Bangles

Jade Bangles in different colors,

Jade Bracelet
bracelet and rough stones and

Jade Elephant
small jade elephant

lacquer elephant
Lacquer elephant with gold paints

lacquer ware shop
and a shop in Yangon

Myanmar lacquer platelacquer table and plate

lacquer plate round
Lacquer plate round


Paintings, jade ware, antiques and reproduction, Ivory, pearls, marble carvings, gem painting, puppets, other souvenir items, souvenirsThis group of smiling artisans is located close to theShwedagon pagoda.

Traditional handicraft skills are carefully preserved in families and passed down from generation to generation. Most of the artisans are simultaneously at
home and at work in their lacquer ware; silver ware, sculpting, stone, marble, lapidary work, lacquer ware, tapestries, wood carving, sandal wood, textile,mother of pearl, tribal art.

artisans woodcarving
Handicraft artisans and woodcarving and

silver ware

silver ware.