Magazine article Geographical

Burma: Rediscovering the Past

Magazine article Geographical

Burma: Rediscovering the Past

Article excerpt

In 1937, the Royal Geographical Society photographic archive received a donation that included 450 glass-plate negatives of Burmese life in the late 19th century. Taken by the photographers Max and Bertha Ferrars, the images were published in a book, Burma, during the early 20th century, but subsequently put into storage. Sixty-nine years after their donation, and more than 100 since they were last made available to the public, Geographical presents some of the Ferrars' finest images

This page: a young girl prepares for a traditional Burmese ceremony in which she would have been named and had her ears bored. The Ferrars' explain that, in most cases, this took place when the child was a few months old. But, for the eldest daughter, or thami-u, the ritual was often delayed until the girl's early teens, when it was celebrated on a much grander scale. The girl pictured is wearing royal dress, including a queen's crown, or sibon; Right: stone statues of Buddha depicting the Four Noble Truths first taught by the Shakyamuni Buddha in India around, 2,500 years ago

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Right: an elderly shoemaker making a distinctive lacquered wooden sandal that remains popular in Myanmar today; Below: cartwrights at work. In Burma, different kinds of wheels were traditionally used for specific purposes. A cart owner would keep separate sets and fit the appropriate pair depending on whether he was riding to the pagoda or ploughing the fields. In is book Burmese Days, George Orwell suggests that the farmers deliberately avoided greasing their wheels because they believed the noise would keep evil spirits at bay

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Top: as part of their initiation into monastic life, boys were tattooed from the waist to the knee. Refusal to do so was seen as a sign of cowardice. The patterns were intricate and the process, called togwin, could take days, or sometimes weeks, to complete, depending on the pain threshold of the subject. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.