Thanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls and to a lesser extent men and boys.
Thanaka trees grow abundantly in central Myanmar. The trees are perennials, and a tree must be at least 35 years old before it is considered mature enough to yield good-quality cuttings.
Thanaka cream is made by grinding the bark, wood, or roots of a Thanaka tree with a small amount water on a circular stone slab called kyauk pyin which has a channel round the rim for the water to drain into. Traditional Thanaka cream has been used by Burmese women for over 2000 years.
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