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Shan State

Shan State is the largest state in Myanmar, bordering China to the north, Laos to the East, and Thailand to the south. There are 9 primary ethnic groups in Shan State: Shan, Pa-O, Intha, Lahu, Lisu, Taungyo, Danu, ShwePalaungNgwePalaung, Ahka and Jinghpaw (Kachin). Shan State is known as a hilly state, and has a largely rural demographic. It is home to Inle Lake, the second largest lake in the country and one of the major tourist attractions. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the first of its kind in Myanmar.

Silversmiths on Inle Lake smelt silver in their small workshops using ore mined from Shan State. The entire process of making the jewellery is homogenous to the region and uses man powered tools to finish the intricate pieces. 

Traditional weaving techniques also thrive in workshops on Inle Lake, including a relatively new fabric made from lotus root. Each fibre is extracted from inside the lotus root and rolled by hand to make thread. This is then woven on a wooden loom to create scarves and other wearable items. 

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