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Arts

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Myanmar is a country full of ancient traditions and culture. From time to time, the Myanmars have adapted different cultures and arts. To describe about the Arts of Myanmar, there are 10 Myanmar traditional arts which are metaphorically called "Ten Flowers".

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Theses arts have been passed on from one century to another until today. The 10 arts are as follows:

  • Panbe (the art of blacksmith)
  • Panbu (the art of sculpture)
  • Pantain (the art of gold and silver smith)
  • Pantin(the art of bronze casting)
  • Pantaut (the art of making floral designs using masonry)
  • Panyan (the art of bricklaying and masonry)
  • Pantamault (the art of sculpting with stone)
  • Panpoot (the art of turning designs on the lathe)
  • Panchi (the art of painting)
  • Panyun (the art of making lacquer ware)

 

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Nawarat

The nine gems are ruby, pearl, coral, sapphire, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz and zircon. The Nawarat Ringnawarat, a ring usually of gold with a ruby at its center and around it clock-wise from the twelve o'clock position, diamond, pearl, cat's eye, zircon or pyrope , emerald , topaz , sapphire, and coral.
 
  Panbe (the art of blacksmith)
Panbe is the tempering of iron in the furnace to make necessary items. The artisans make ox cart axle, ox cart iron, tyre, scissors, hammer, adze, pickaxe, knife, hatchet, axe, digging hoe and mattock.

Panbu (the art of sculpture)
Panbu means the one which produces figures and floral designs made of wood or ivory. The artisans make the figure of human beings and animals and floral designs.
 
The meanings
In Myanmar, zat means story and pwe means show, so finally zat-pwe means Myanmar musical play. It can be understood as the opera or ballet of the western countries.
 
Other than the 10 Traditional Arts of Myanmar, there are some more arts to know from Myanmar. Theses arts are described as follows.
 

Anyeint

Anyeint is a dance form closely resembling popular theatre. The name of this form is drawn from a Myanmar word meaning “gentle,” which is a fitting description. Although its origins are somewhat unclear, Anyeint is popular in Myanmar today, and is frequently encountered as one of the entertainments provided in connection with the numerous festivals which are an important part in Myanmar life.
 

The 18 Noble Arts

For thousands of years, all noblemen of Myanmar royal families are required to learn all 18 Essential Arts of Myanmar Noble Men.
It was known as "Ahtar Ratha 18 subjects" of arts. They are considered as compulsory.
These 18 subjects are:
 
Myanmar Harp (Saung)
A "harp" is called Saung in Myanmar. There basically was 2 types: Byat Saung and Saung Gauk (bent harp). There almost is nobody who can play byat saungs these days.
In 10th century AD, musicians used only 5 strings in Myanmar harp, which later increased to 7 strings in 18th century. During King Bodaw Phayar the art of playing harp was much promoted by the king and was improved to using up to 13 strings.
 
Myanmar traditional music are based from the sounds made from instruments grouped in the following five categories.
1) Kyee
Kyee or Bronze made instruments such as gongs.
 

Myanmar Orchestra

The musical ensemble called "Saing Waing" in Myanmar is the sense of an Orchestra from the western countries. The entire fencing is made of teak or lacquer ware and is gilded. This is considered as more professional, formal and mostly played indoors.
 

Myanmar Dances

The Myanmar dance moves from ancient times were known by carefully analyzing and rediscovering the murals on the temple ruins in Myanmar. This is especially true for Bagan Dances. For other dances, historic books and literature showed accounts, while our links to Ayuthdaya (Thai) and India suggested similarities in our dances. Of course, the inherited dance moves from generation to generation in dance troupes also taught us how the Myanmar dances were like in the days before British colonialism.
 

Maha Gita

The complete body of Myanmar classical songs is usually referred to as, the "Maha Gita," meaning great or royal song. The repertoire is also sometimes referred to as "Thachin Gyi," or great songs. These were the songs of the royal Myanmar courts and form the basis of Myanmar classical music. The Maha Gita repertoire is pervasive in the performance of Myanmar music.
 

Myanmar Movies

Hollywood-class movies related to Myanmar (1890-2000)
 

Pongyi Thaing

Pongyi Thaing or Bando Monk System is based on ancient Hindu and Buddhist principles of non-violence. It's a disciplined way of life. It is not a religion, a doctrine or a dogma. It is an integrated system of developing the body, mind and spirit to achieve harmony with oneself, with others, with nature.
 

Myanmar Puppets

In old days, Myanmar artists made Myanmar style figures with movable limbs i.e. arms, legs, head etc. and tried to move these moving parts by playing/controlling strings connected to these movable parts so as the actions look like as human being. At that time, the people who played the puppet show made puppets themselves. When they carved the boy parts, the body part of male and female is carved as it is in the real appearance. The puppets were well dressed as the people were used to wear.
 

Min Zin

Min Zin is a system of internal exercise similar to Chinese Chi Gong. There are several systems of generating internal energy. These systems are still taught by Indian yogis, Tibetan lamas and Chinese monks. It is highly probable that Min Zin was influenced by the systems of ancient India, Tibet and China. 
 
Myanmar mosaic art was off to a good start by the time of the Bagan period, as scholars and researchers, now testify. Historians also agree. This noble art is seen mainly on royal and religious items and buildings. But sometimes mosaic is also used in artifacts and household objects of the common lay people to achieve a new sense of beauty and splendor. In this art there are four main disciplines on which the workmanship is based.
 

Bando yoga

Naban (Burmese wrestling)
Bando yoga
Yoga system practiced by ancient warriors of northern Myanmar was to maintain health and protect from illness and disease.
 

Mystic Ball

Mystic Ball is a documentary about the traditional Chinlone sport of Myanmar. The film is a thrilling sports movie, an insightful journey to a new world, and a lyrical personal story.
 
Naban is a term for the various grappling martial arts of Myanmar. Techniques include joint locks, strikes to pressure points, and choke holds. Any part of the opponent's body is a legal target. Naban is a cousin of similar wrestling arts found in places like Cambodia and Tibet.
 

Folk Dances

Myanmar has seven states and seven divisions with over 130 ethnic groups. Depending on their own culture, there are a lot of folk dances in the country. Myanmar folk dances developed together with folk music and songs. So they are inseparably linked with folk music and songs.
 
Myanmar Traditional Boxing is a form of kickboxing which originated in Myanmar. Lethwei is in many ways similar to its siblings from neighboring South-East Asian countries such as Tomoi from Malaysia, Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Muay Thai from Thailand. If Thai Boxing is the science of 8 limbs, then Lethwei can be called the science of 9 limbs, due to the allowance of head butts. In comparison, Lethwei can be interpreted as being bolder and more extreme.
 
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