Photographer's Note

Picture taken at the street in Yangon (Rangun) city.

Thanaka (a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark) has been used by Burmese people (mainly women and childern) 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. It may be applied from head to toe (thanaka chi zoun gaung zoun). 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. It is also an anti-fungal. The active ingredients of thanaka are coumarin and marmesin.


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Additional Photos by Leszek Stefaniuk (jabumbum) Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 0 N: 428] (1308)
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