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Individual Documents

Title: Pottery in the Chin Hills
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: During my research on contemporary pottery villages in Burma, I was given the name of one such village, Lente, by a native now living in the United States. Lente is located in the Chin Hills, a remote area of western Burma difficult to access, inhabited by many tribes speaking a large number of languages. Foreigners are rarely given permission to visit the Chin Hills, and although I obtained permission to travel to Lente, I was ultimately prevented by the authorities from going further than nearby Falam. I was nevertheless able to collect data from Lente in three ways: first, my guide Daw Moe Moe was able to visit Lente and take photographs of the potters there; secondly, Daw Moe Moe was able to return to Falam with a potter from Lente village and with enough of the proper kind of clay to facilitate a demonstration which I photographed and documented; and thirdly, I was given a copy of a videotape showing the potters working in Lente village. This tape was taken by a young man from Falam who is interested in recording local crafts processes. The tape allowed me to observe a process of making pots with which I was totally unacquainted, and which has otherwise escaped recent photographic or video documentation. This was a true "discovery" concerning the ways in which pots can be made, and still another indication of the imagination and ingenuity of humankind.
Author/creator: Charlotte Reith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 4 (1999)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2009

Title: Comparison of Three Pottery Villages: Shan State Burma
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: During my visit from 1991-1994 to three pottery-producing villages in Shan State, I was struck by the differences in technology and product. Contrary to my assumption that this small area would evidence a shared technology and similar products, I found three distinctly differing pottery traditions. In some places in the world, membership in the same ethnic group seems to be an important factor in determining the techniques and products of the potters belonging to that group. However, two of these villages, Compani and Awe Yaw, are both populated by Danu and have distinctly different ways of making pots. While it is primarily concerned with the pottery-making processes in the three villages, this article is also interested in the lives of the potters and how they face the challenges inherent in their craft.
Author/creator: Charlotte Reith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 1 (1997)
Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2009