“Lady of Inle Lake”
Inle Lake, Myanmar. November 2019 (12 photos)
I spent a couple of days touring Inle Lake and nearby Samkar Lake on a longtail boat. Inle lake ranges from about a 2 metre depth in the dry season to a 5 metre depth in the wet season and a feature of the lake is that many villages are built on stilts over the water. One of my stops was at a fabric weaving complex. Initially the idea didn’t thrill me but to be honest I was anticipating it would only be a quick visit to the shop, to keep my guide happy, and then off to see something more interesting. But I’m happy to admit the visit to Mya Setkyar Pure Silk Fabrics was a highlight of my day. After a brief introductory tour, I had the freedom to wander around, meeting the lovely ladies of Inle Lake. They were very friendly and had no problem with me wandering around taking their photos for an hour or so.
“Mya Setkyar Pure Silk Fabrics”
One of the buildings of the complex. Getting around involves walking on wooden bridges connecting the various buildings. There is no dry land at all near the complex. The workers commute via boat. Several bring their children to work.
Lotus is found in abundance in the area, and as demonstrated above the locals extract fibres from the lotus flower stems, and spin it to make a luxury fibre, similar to silk. Of course, they also have other fabrics at the complex to make their various designs.
“Fanning the fire”
All day long, this lady fans an open fire, boiling raw materials in various coloured dyes.
“Colours of Myanmar”
“Let the spinning wheel spin”
I doubt I could sit like that working all day, not even a chair to sit on.
“A room of looms”
“The token male”
Well, my visit was just after lunch.
“Ladies of Inle Lake”
These ladies were enjoying a tea break. I took several photos of this group, including some whilst lying on the floor. There was a lot of smiling and laughing that afternoon.
“Perhaps nothing is so fraught with significance as the human hand.” …Jane Addams.