Gold Leaf Workshop (my back aches just watching) – Mandalay, Myanmar

Unique to Mandalay in Myanmar is Gold Leaf production.  We were given the chance to briefly visit a Gold Leaf Workshop.  Creation of the gold leaf  is very much a manual process, going back to ancient times.  These men, shown in the photos & video, spend presumably all day pounding small amounts of gold into gold leaf.  This made my back ache just watching.  I can’t imagine spending all day pounding a heavy mallet onto a block to flatten it.

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The women in the business seem to be primarily working to package small squares of gold leaf or to form the gold leaf into leaf shapes which are then sold.

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The gold leaf is then purchased at temples and pagodas to stick to the Buddha images as an offering.  It is also used to decorate various religious buildings including Buddha images which in some places no longer look like Buddha due to the amount of gold leaf stuck to it.

These men are applying gold leaf offerings to the Mahamuni Buddha in Mandalay
These men are applying gold leaf offerings to the Mahamuni Buddha in Mandalay
Painting over the freshly applied gold leaf at Mahamuni Buddha Temple
Painting over the freshly applied gold leaf at Mahamuni Buddha Temple

 

A fascinating part of Myanmar living history and culture.

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