Journey to the North 2009 November Day-3-4 26-27-Nov SUT Manau Poi

the Sut Manau Poi 2009 Bhamo, Nov 26-28

the badge for the SUT Manau Poi 2009

at the SUT Manau Poi, 2009, Bhamo

P and AKO in front of the Manao Taings

SUT MANAU POI 2009, Bhamo

dear all

the SUT MANAU POI was another unexpected delightful experience of our trip

you will see the photos here on my blogsite

but you will miss the videos and music of the dance

the videos were taken by the Panasonic camera, borrowed from ko khine soe

and the cd on which it was burnt is not recognized by the laptop at home and the computer here although it could be read at ko ks’s desktop and Pyone’s niece’s desktop



reception team, Sut Manao Poi, 2009, Bhamo



the 2nd Sut Manao Poi, 2009, Bhamo, is also called KaukThit Sarr Pwe

we were told by Zaw Tuu that the Manao Poi-s are usually held in January

on the way to Bhamo, a co-traveller told Pyone that there will be a Manao Poi in Bhamo

and that getting rooms will be difficult

so they had booked rooms in advance

when we got to Bhamo, we decided to stay near the bus depot so that we need not go far to and from lodging and bus depot

we found that many nearby lodges are not free

because of booking by the Manao Poi committee

for the delegates

although many delegates to the Manao Poi have not arrived yet

we could not get rooms in the first 2 places

and had to go till the 3rd one to get the only remaining double room that is free

we took it as we did not want to go from place to place

and this one is quite near the bus depot

they provided extra matress for ako to sleep

so we 3 stayed in the last double room

the Manao Poi turned out to be an unexpected special event in our trip

we found out that although the official opening ceremony would be at 08:00 the next day, there is a pwe that night at the Manao grounds

so we went there after buying bus ticket and having dinner near our lodge

we went there in a tricycle taxi

the usual mode of travel apart from the motorcycle taxi


at the showroom of the Sut Manau Poi







in front of the Manao Taings


Kachin Ladies in front of the Kachin house in the Manao Poi

when we got to the Kachin house, we looked inside and saw people sitting

I thought it is their office and some would stay the night there

then, we saw several Kachin ladies getting down from the Kachin house and I requested permission to photograph them

they consented and Pyone got in with them for a group photo

I am sorry for the poor condition of the group photo, being not properly focused

I did not realize then

but when I look at the photo now

2 were wearing tags indicating they are delegates to the Manau Poi

3 were wearing longyis, of which 2 were in traditional Kachin longyis

they told me to get up inside the Kachin house and take photos

we got up the ladder and inside

and took more photos


the inside of the Kachin house at Manao Poi

roasting pork in the main room

in Kachin style, the stove is in the living room as it is cold in Kachin States

there are bamboo cups

and baggage piled in the corner

tied up in colourful patterned sheets

probably pillow, blanket and mosquito net inside

some personal bags too


ceremonial costumes

there are colourful dresses in the main room

ako told us that the dresses are that of the Duwas

Duwas are hereditary chiefs

a sort of Saw Bwas (Saophas)

they seem to be independent

not under the Burmese kings as the Shans and Saw Bwas were

the next day we saw the Kachin elders wearing them at the SUT MANAU POI opening ceremony

the colours are bright

and shiny

headpieces with feathers, boar tusks and decorations above the costumes

and a Kachin bag on the pillar

a sword on the far left

I wonder what the 5 pieces with handles on the shelf at the right upper corner are


the first side room

after I took a photo in the main room

a man directed me to the first side room

to take photos

there are utensils on the shelf and cardboard boxes below

this room seems to serve as a store room for the present


the men’s room

he took me to the next room too

here men were sitting around the fire

with a kettle nearby

edibles on the rack above the fire

you will find a Kachin bag hanging on the wall

and another in the foreground

mats placed around the fireplace

made ready to sleep


the ladies room

the next room is the ladies room

a fireplace in the middle of the room

it seems to be a standard feature in Kachin houses

2 swords at the corner


main room (rear)

a group of people sitting around the fireplace

rocks in the fireplace

flasks and mugs for tea

a traditional bamboo cup / mug for Khaung Yae

Pyone and Aung Ko Oo are in the background

talking with the elders

those who are from the Sut Manau Poi convening committee

and their guests


our host introducing ako and P to other guests

the lady in front was taken unawares

when I photographed

she was holding a KaukHnyin htoke

our host has a bamboo cup of khaung yae

there are 2 bamboo cups on the table

a guest holding an opened kauk-hnin-htoke

I wonder what the basket holds

there is one in the previous photo too


another room

pardon me for the poor light

I think these rooms are assigned to these people to live while at the Manau Poi


preparation room

pouring khaung-yae from the bamboo container into the bamboo cups

a sword in the corner

condensed milk cans on the shelf

an empty basket in the foreground

while I was taking photos of each and every room

the occupants do not seem to mind at all

and not ask me anything

when I neared the end of the hall

I saw Pyone and Aung Ko Oo talking to someone

and I was requested by someone to join them

I continued taking photos of the remaining rooms

and then joined them

later I learnt that when they got near the end

they were asked where they were from

obviously, we were outsiders

and not invited guests

ako replied that he is the doctor of the Man Tawn Station Hospital

the elder was delighted and they were accorded guest treatment

given seats

and khaung yae

with kauk hnyin htokes

this was how I found them when I finished my photo session


P and AKO were seated when I returned to the main hall

with a packet of kauk-hnyin-htoke each in their hands

I was greeted by our host

introduced to others

given a chair to sit on

a cup of khaung-yae offered to me

the ones prepared in the previous photo I believe

and we were told of the difficulties they met for the preparation for the Manau Poi

the restrictions enforced by the authorities

the difficult routes they had to take to make this Sut Manau Poi possible

the khaung-yae was clear and colourless

the best I have tried

better than that I had at the food shop in the MyitHsone

much more than at the Kachin food shop in MyayNiGone


leaving the Kachin house

we went to the stage

where there was entertainment and contests


while I was taking photos of the singing group

P and AKO went off

while waiting for them I took photos of the nearby stalls

and more photos of the singers and prize awarding

I must apologize for the poor quality of my photos

as there was not enough light for my camera to focus on


you will notice how many photos were not good from the missing numbers

this one is a prize giving ceremony for the Kachin traditional dress contest


the 4 top prize winners

p and ako returned after a long time

she was shopping for Kachin longyis

ako bought a jacket with the logo of the Sut Manau Poi


P at another stall

with ako waiting


what they were selling


on the way to the Sut Manao Poi 2009, Bhamo

after our PhaYar Phu tour of Bhamo in the morning, we went to the Sut Manao Poi 2009 opening ceremony


the badge for the SUT Manau Poi 2009

when we entered the SUT Manau Poi 2009 on 26-Nov, each of us were given a badge and asked for 500 kt entrance fees

we had to place the badge on our shirt

later, when we went to the market, there were many Kachin delegates too

I was buying some medicine and the salegirl asked me whether the Manau Poi openining ceremony has finished

I think that she thought my badge means I was a delegate

in fact I was just a visitor

I have been mistaken many times

when I was in hotels, staff who do not know me always address me as if I were an expatriate Chinese

when we were visiting Mrauk-U, we were walking in the town when a man come alongside me and asked me in Japanese

of course I do not understand Japanese, but only know some words that help me identify the language he was speaking

I answered in Burmese: I am Bamar

I was wearing longyis at the time

with Pyone in longyi and Aung Ko Oo in toursers besides me

even then I was mistaken for a Japanese

I was in KL shopping for extra battery for my Canon camera

together with Ko Win Nyunt Aung and Ko Nay Myo Aung

when the shopowner asked me whether I were Japanese

it was the 2nd time I was mistaken for a Japanese


near the Manao Kwinn


a Kachin delegate

when we got there, we met a Kachin gentleman in semi traditional wear

I asked permission to photograph and he said that I could

but he was surprised when I aimed my camera at him

he thought I was asking for permission to take photos in the ceremony


the Manao taings inside the enclosed Manao field

when we got to the Manao circle, there was music and singing already

with announcements about the Manao dancing about to begin

we waited

there was more singing and music

but we saw no dancing inside the circle

it was only after some time that ako realised that the dancing was on the other side of the enclosed space

in front of the Kachin house we visited the night before

we went around the circle to witness what was our first first-hand experience of a Manao dance

you will notice the people at the base of the Manao taings facing the other way

they are the singers

I do not know the real purpose of a 4 story building near the Manao taings

but on zooming in to the photo, I think the traditional music band is on it

but I cannot be sure


the official singers in traditional dress

these are the singers who sing for the Manao festival opening ceremony dance


before ako noticed that we were on the wrong side


waiting for the dance to begin with “great expectations” while the Manao dance has already begun


the leaders in the front of the dance group


the dance begins in front of the Kachin long house

it takes the form of many turns, others following the leaders in a long que, like a long serpent

much more longer with more participants than when we used to play “Shwe Sun Nyo / Ma Htwe”

the Chinese dragon dancers’ record would be broken many times by the sheer number of the participants


the leaders turn to the other side while others followed

the dress of the leaders are splendid

bright coloured and silky

shining in the sun

the leaders wear tousers and shoes underneath

the dance is in slow motion

turning this way and that while advancing slowly


the leaders enter the Manau field


followed by others, the leaders turn back and then turn again


advancing to the fence where I was


passing close by


followed by others


Kachin swords

you will find there are many swords

one in each hand of the male Manau participants

the most I have seen in my life

enough to start a battle


a Rawang group passed by


the leaders made the full circle

followed by others in various ethnic dresses, the leaders made the whole circle and got back nearby, just behind the last of the whole group


the KIA

the first close up contact with them

they sponsored the Manau Poi

and are guarding with AK-47s


the grand stand

I asked permission to take this photo from a person with a badge before taking it

but there was no objection

the VIPs were on the grand stand

in the first row

2 with silver swords


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