Mro Rora Weaving Tour
Mrauk U, Myanmar
Join our walking tour visiting weavers at work in their homes.
Location: Myothit Quarter of Mrauk U (near the Princess Hotel), a 10 minute bike ride or 20 minute walk from Myoma Market (the central market)
Time: 2 hours
Cost: 10,000 MMK per person
Guide: Saw Htay Yee
The Mro Rora Weaving tour was started and organized by a group of artisans to support their neighbours and community. It is the only tour in Mrauk U that is fully run by the artisans themselves. Your tour fee is shared between the houses you visit. Saw (your guide) does not try to sell you anything, does not ask for donations, and does not demand kickbacks from artisans. This is a great alternative to the Chin Village tour because the community you are visiting is able to benefit just as much as you do from the tour.
The Mrauk U region is Burma’s leading producer of traditional backstrap loom weavings. Commonly known as “chin weavings” these textiles are produced by women belonging to ethnic groups originally from Chin state. They use some of the world’s most ancient technology (the backstrap loom) to produce intricate textile designs from patterns which have been passed down from mother to daughter for countless generations.
This tour visits artisans from the Mro Community. While the majority of their work is bought or commissioned by artisan shops in Yangon, many weavers also make functional pieces for their own homes (like blankets and baby-carriers) and many produce traditional garments (like skirts and shawls) for sale within their own community.
On tour, you can learn how a traditional backstrap loom works, about the lives of weavers today, and about Myothit – the most vibrant, friendly and close-knit quarter of Mrauk U. The tour finishes at the Mro Rora Artisan Shop which features traditional products from Mrauk U and surrounding villages, made following Fair Trade guidelines, and includes weavings made by each artisan taking part in the tour.
Saw Htay Yee is a native of Mrauk U and a trained Tour Guide with a Bachelor's in History from Sittwe University. She has extensive experience in the hospitality industry from her years working at the Mrauk U Princess Hotel. Saw is passionate about sharing with visitors the rich living cultural traditions of her region in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Learn How to Weave
With a traditional Backstrap Loom, Master Pin Ei Nwe has been weaving since she a teenager and loves to pass on her amazing skill. Pin Ei Nwe will give you a 2 hour lesson where she will show you how to make the “Warp”, and how to weave a few simple designs or more complex ones, depending on your level of skill or interest. The lesson cost is 15,000 MMK and includes all materials.