Burma to Myanmar

Alexandra Green


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British Museum Press
2 November 2023
ISBN: 9780714124957
272 pages

From the publisher

Reveals the rich and complex histories and cultures of Burma/Myanmar from their early development and powerful imperial expansions to their positions as colonial subjects and then as a war-torn nation.

From influential superpower to repressive regime, Myanmar - also known as Burma - has seen dramatic fluctuations in fortune over the past 1,500 years.

Interconnected yet isolated, rich in natural resources such as jade, rubies and teak but with many of its peoples living below the poverty line, Myanmar is a country that defies categorisation. Its cultures have been shaped by their engagements with religious networks, expansionist empires and global trade routes from India and China to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. It was once home to different kingdoms, principalities and chiefdoms that interacted with one another and further afield. The colonial period under British rule saw dramatic changes and upon independence in 1948, the various parts of the country were brought together, many for the first time, into a single nation state. Since then Myanmar has been engulfed by long running civil wars.

This beautiful book explores Myanmar's complexities, focusing on the extraordinary and innovative arts of its diverse peoples to create a long history of the region. Featuring objects such as sparkling gems, sumptuous court dress, intricately carved furniture, elaborate silver vessels, satirical cartoons and contemporary art, from the 400s CE to the present day, this book is a testament to the creativity and variety of Myanmar's many peoples.