Photographer's Note

After I posted photo of the two women on the Ngapali beach, some people asked me what they had on their faces. So now another photo of a girl with painted face from Ngapali. This is thanaka, something typical for Burma. When you see a photo of a woman (or a kid) painted in this way you can be almost sure she is Burmese.

From Wikipedia:
Thanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of Myanmar (formerly Burma) seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls and to a lesser extent men and boys.
The wood of several trees may be used to produce thanaka cream; these trees grow abundantly in central Myanmar. Thanaka cream has been used by Burmese women for over 2000 years. It has a fragrant scent somewhat similar to sandalwood. The creamy paste is applied to the face in attractive designs, the most common form being a circular patch on each cheek, sometimes made stripey with the fingers known as thanaka bè gya, or patterned in the shape of a leaf, often also highlighting the bridge of the nose with it at the same time. Apart from cosmetic beauty, thanaka also gives a cooling sensation and provides protection from sunburn. It is believed to help remove acne and promote smooth skin.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7421 W: 100 N: 18676] (98810)
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