Lacquerware business using horsetails on the verge of extinction

Lacquerware business with the use of horsetails for some delicate pieces are on the brink of extinction in Bagan area, NyaungU District, Mandalay Region, said U Win Min Tun, a lacquerware maker.
Lacquerware business has been passing from old generations in Bagan-NyaungU areas. Those lacquerware businesses with the use of bamboo have no concern but, only one or two crafters survived in the lacquerware business using horsetails. They are experiencing hardships due to the high price of horsetails, lack of demand for lacquerware, and different steps in processing.
In old days, lacquerware businesses boomed in the Bagan area. Now, only one survives in West Phwasaw village.  There are three types of raw materials used in lacquerware – bamboo, horsetails, and wood.
The process of making lacquerware takes around one and a half hours for a single lacquerware bowl. Those lacquerwares used horsetails are of high quality. A viss of horsetails is worth K70,000.
Daw San San Aye, a lacquerware artist from West Phwasaw village stressed her concerns that high input cost and different steps in making lacquerware might lead to extinction gradually. — Ko Htein/KPD/GNLM

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