Sculptors in Myanmar village carve marble statues of Buddha for a living - GulfToday

Sculptors in Myanmar village carve marble statues of Buddha for a living


A marble carver makes measurements of a piece of marble as he carves a Buddhist statue.

The fine white dust that shrouds much of his northern Myanmar village also covers sculptor Chin Win as he leans over a half-finished Buddha statue.


"We are blessed to carve Buddha," he said at his stone workshop surrounded by the seven white hills that give Sagyin village its name, which means "marble" in Burmese.


For generations, artisans in this part of Buddhist-majority Myanmar have carved out a living from the marble, fashioning mostly colossal Buddha statues to be sold in the nearby city of Mandalay or exported to neighbouring China and Thailand.


buddy3 A worker polishes a Buddhist statue made of marble at a workshop in Sagyin.


Many of the several thousand villagers here earn a modest living from the marble mines, hauling the slabs down the hill, carving them into statues, or exporting them overseas.


Burmese marble, which ranges from pure white to bluish grey, is prized for its hardness and texture.


A 45-tonne slab can sell for $40,000. In Sagyin, specks of the stone are used for everything from brushing teeth to washing clothes.


buddy4 Marble carvers carve a statue of a Buddha in Sagyin, Mandalay, Myanmar.


"We grew up breathing the dust," said Chin Win, 35, who has been carving statues since he was 11 years old.




Japan's ice sculpture festival faces a serious problem lack of snow


Modern sculpture meets ancient Greece in unique island exhibition


Scrap to sculpture: Kenyan artist uses scrap metal to make meaningful art


"We use it as toothpaste, for soap powder, lipstick."

Related articles