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Recently at the tourist hotspot of Inle Lake in Myanmar, I hired a private boat to take me out onto the lake on my final day.  At $20 for a 4 hour tour and being told that I wouldn’t be able to go to the couple points of interest I was keen on seeing, I probably should have asked around a little more.  But, time was running short and I had a bus to Yangon to catch that afternoon, so I agreed to this tour, which I think ended as me being shipped around to the shops of the boat owner’s friends.

One of the shops we went to on the Lake’s stilt village was a silversmithing shop.  A small operation producing some interesting pieces, but nothing the significantly stood out to me, it was still interesting to see them work and watch the steps to make a single small piece of silver jewelry.

Everything seemed to be done in-house and all steps performed right next to each other:

 

1.) Melting the silver down.

1.) Melting the silver down.

2.) Hammering the malleable metal into a long, square rod.

2.) Hammering the malleable metal into a long, square rod.

 

 2.) Hammering the malleable metal into a long, square rod.

2.) Hammering the malleable metal into a long, square rod.

3.) Being the metal around until smooth and at the correct size

3.) Bending the metal around until smooth and at the correct size

 

Upon trying to leave the store, I was stopped by the woman who owned it, insisting, and very nearly demanding that I buy something from her store.

Tip for Inle Lake boat trips: Double check to make sure they go where you want to go.

Benjamin

Benjamin

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 9 years, I’ve been living and travelling in Asia, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at PathsUnwritten.com.

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