IT is known from Bagan lacquerware sellers that interest of foreigners in lacquerware handicrafts made with horsehair has exponentiated sales of the product.
“In the past, we would have to do quite a bit of explaining about how horsehair was used after coating the product with lacquer. This designhas now become very trendy, foreigners really like when the horsehair is left in its original state on the outside of the lacquerware product.” said U Ko Ko Maung, a horsehair lacquerware craftsman.
Myanmar lacquerware is a handicraft product of much interest to foreign travellers, with the unique horsehair lacquerware style specific to Bagan, drawing much attention and interest, it is known.
Horsehair lacquerware products are made by attaching horsehair to bamboo. While a total of twenty bamboo lacquerware items can be made in a single day, the use of horse hair is more time consuming, with only four being able to be created a day, according to lacquerware craftsmen.
“Lacquerware made with horsehair is unique to this region. It was in this region small bamboo lacquer cups and figures started to be made with the incorporation of horsehair. Horsehair is had to come by. It’s also a very time consuming, difficult trade. More time needs to be given [to the producing of this style of lacquerware] than to acquiring horsehair.” said U Aung Kyaw Htun of U Ba Nyeing lacquerware enterprise.
It is known that lacquerware products made with horsehair such as cups, cigarette holders and betel nut boxes range in price between K3,000-25,000.
The months between October to February is when the lacquerware market it at its peak, while it is known that developments to the tourism industry are having positive knock-on effects upon the selling of lacquerware.