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.
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.
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.
A fascinating part of Myanmar living history and culture.
I believe it is pounded so thin it is only a few molecules thick and that is one reason Gold is unique.