Burmese paddy boat
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a paddy boat moored on the Irrawaddy River in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. This view from the riverbank shows a rice or paddy boat, an old vessel of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River also known as a laung-zat which was used to transport rice down to Rangoon. In the 19th century, rice was Burma’s main agricultural crop and its largest export. The boat has a long, narrow hull and high stern. In this view its distinctive bipod mast and rigging carrying enormous square sails are lowered. The crew are posed with oars as if in the act of rowing. Burma’s waterways have traditionally been an important means of domestic transport and communication, and the boat would have been crewed by members of a family, who lived aboard.