December 13, 2017

Lacquerware handicrafts facing extinction

A woman prepares lacquerware at her shop in Bagan. Photo: Aye Min Soe

Lacquerware manufacturing businesses in Bagan are on the verge of extinction, according to a report in the Myawady Daily yesterday.
Previously, the lacquerware handicrafts were made by many people from the Bagan area, but nowadays they are interested in other businesses which can earn them more money, such as restaurant and hotel businesses. Therefore, lacquerware handicraft businesses are facing the danger of extinction, said U Maung Muang, the chairman of the Myanmar Lacquerware Producers Association.
Before 2010, many Myanmar lacquerwares were made in abundance, and had a place in the international market. But in recent years, there has been a significant decline in the export volumes and a rise in lower-priced fake lacquerware is now entering Myanmar, which can have a negative impact upon the Myanmar lacquerware market.
“Currently, the lacquereware businessmen are persuading the local youth to prevent the lacquerware industry from the danger of becoming extinct in the Bagan area. Also, the lacquerware businessmen are cooperating with the government to produce lacquerware by artisans from the Lacquerware College in Bagan”, said U Ngwe Aung, a lacquerware manufacturers from Nyaung U Township.
In an effort to keep lacquerware from becoming extinct, lacquerware businessmen hold meetings and workshops annually with Asian countries. Currently, there are only seven commercial lacquerware businesses and a few manageable-scale businesses in the Bagan area.

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