Photo gallery: Practicing an ancient art

The art of bronze casting - called Pantin in Burmese - is the creation of objects in copper, bronze or brass and is one of the 10 ancient Burmese arts known as the “Ten Flowers.” Today the Pantin business is relatively small, with about 20 stores in Kyimyindaing Township of Yangon Region. Due to the pandemic and the economic disruption following the military coup, these small businesses are struggling to survive.
2021.06.08
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Craftsmen ply their trade at a casting workshop in Kyimyindaing, Yangon Region. Bronze handicrafts such as Buddha images, finials, crowning ornaments, bells, gongs and other figures are most often used in pagodas and temples. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
Craftsmen ply their trade at a casting workshop in Kyimyindaing, Yangon Region. Bronze handicrafts such as Buddha images, finials, crowning ornaments, bells, gongs and other figures are most often used in pagodas and temples. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

Gold-colored steel pieces are cut into the proper shapes. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
Gold-colored steel pieces are cut into the proper shapes. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

A shop worker carefully trims the pieces. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
A shop worker carefully trims the pieces. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

A young worker removes unwanted paint from a marble plate engraved with the names of donors and a dedication. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
A young worker removes unwanted paint from a marble plate engraved with the names of donors and a dedication. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

A worker does some touchup on a project. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
A worker does some touchup on a project. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

A craftsman inscribes names, donations and wishes on a marble slab for a pagoda. Inscriptions used to take a week but now can be done in a day using digitized fonts on a computer. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
A craftsman inscribes names, donations and wishes on a marble slab for a pagoda. Inscriptions used to take a week but now can be done in a day using digitized fonts on a computer. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

A worker puts the final touches on a small holy umbrella for a pagoda’s finial, which can take from one to two weeks to make, depending on the size. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
A worker puts the final touches on a small holy umbrella for a pagoda’s finial, which can take from one to two weeks to make, depending on the size. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

Pieces designed for pagodas hang in a shop waiting for a buyer. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
Pieces designed for pagodas hang in a shop waiting for a buyer. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

Mythological Hintha birds flank a pillar finial at a workshop. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
Mythological Hintha birds flank a pillar finial at a workshop. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

The finished products gleam at temples and pagodas in Myanmar. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)
The finished products gleam at temples and pagodas in Myanmar. (Myo Min Soe/RFA)

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