National Geographic : 1963 Feb
Forest of pinnacles studs Mandalay's Kuthodaw Pagoda, which King Mindon built in 1857. Small spires house 729 marble tablets (page 183) of the Buddhist canon. Bamboo scaffolds permitregilding the main pagoda. Shan Plateau borders the plain. Goldbeaters of Mandalay pound metal gossamer-thin Dollar-size lump of refined gold at far left will be worked into a narrow rod, then drawn between rollers into a 55-foot-long ribbon. Sledge man at center beats bits of ribbon, held between goldbeater's skins in a leather binding, until the metal is as thin as 1/200,000 of an inch. Metal harness holds binding on a stone anvil. Women place the fragile gold in protective fold ers. Their product will gild temples and statues.