Danus’ bamboo umbrellas, Shan paper sheets remain popular

Women making traditional Danu handmade parasols at the workplace.  Photo:Khin Myo Nwe (IPRD)
Women making traditional Danu handmade parasols at the workplace.  Photo:Khin Myo Nwe (IPRD)

The bamboo umbrellas made by the Danu ethnic people, and paper sheets made by the Shan, are selling well these days because people are visiting these industries in the Shan State and Danu areas.
The Danus’ umbrella manufacturing industries and the Shans’ paper sheet making industries are located in some wards of Pindaya Town in the Danu self-administered zone in the Shan State (South).
Shan paper is made from the bark of the Mulberry tree. Taken from the fiber of the mulberry tree, it is then dried for three or four days. Later, the fibers of mulberry trees are dipped into water for 12 hours and baked in wood fires for 24 hours with a mixture of wood ash. The paper dough is then beaten with a wooden mallet.
Following this, a bamboo frame covered with a fine cotton fabric is settled at the bottom of a tank filled with water. By hand, the pulp of the paper is diluted in the water and then distributed evenly on the canvas. After having removed lumps of paper, the frame is pulled out of the water tank, where the paper will dry for hours in the sun and, finally, the pulp will be transformed into a paper sheet.
Shan paper is mostly used in making ethnic Danu traditional bamboo umbrellas, home ceiling decorations, lanterns, fans, books and painted pictures. Fire balloons, which are displayed in TaunggyiTazaungdaing festival, are also made from Shan paper.
Shan paper is one of the needed raw materials for making bamboo umbrellas in Pindaya Town. Most of the umbrellas are made by hand, from the bamboo handle and the pawl.
Today, local entrepreneurs, tourists, pilgrims and students from universities are visiting the Danu and Shan industries to purchase umbrellas and paper sheets. A normal size Shan paper sheet is selling for K 500, while printed paper is selling for K 1,000 per sheet. Danu bamboo umbrellas are selling for K 1,500 to K 50,000, depending on the design and size.—Khin Myo Nwe (IPRD)  (Translated by Hay Mar)

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