Pagodas at Yaynangeoung, on the Irrawaddy, Upper Burma. Yaynangeoung is famous for its petroleum wells
Photographer: Jackson, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of pagodas at Yenangyaung in central Burma (Myanmar), taken by J. Jackson in c.1868, part of an album of 43 views of Burma from the Sladen Collection. This is a general view looking towards a cluster of temple pagodas on the hillside, with houses in the foreground. The pagodas are built in the characteristic form of Burmese Buddhist stupas. The bell-shaped structures, topped with spires, enshrine sacred relics, precious stones and images of the Buddha. In the 19th century petroleum was the most valuable mineral product in Burma from which was derived paraffin wax, illuminating oil and petrol. It was one of the country's three principal export commodities along with rice and timber. Rights to extract petroleum from the oilfields at Yenangyaung were owned by local families. Following the annexation of Upper Burma by the British, the oil was sold for export through the Burma Oil Company and the government received a royalty.