The art of Panbu is defined as the progress of producing figures and floral designs made of wood or ivory. The artisans make the figure of human beings and animals and floral designs. This traditional sculpture of Myanmar contains wood sculpture, stone sculpture and plaster sculpture. The artisans make create wooden figure or figurine by means of a knife in one hand or a chisel by two hands.
It was not until the Bagan period this making of sculpture in wood and stone emerged, afterward, it saw a drastic improvement in the middle of Bagan Era. This traditional art of Myanmar was greatly influenced by religion of Buddhism which has origin from Southern India in the 11th century A.D. The ancient temples and palaces were magnificently decorated with carved wooden gables and eaves, and other fabulous ornamentation comprised of the most creative and intricate woodcarvings.
Unfortunately, some of the most exquisite woodcarvings are left today in monasteries and pagodas as most of the wood sculptures belonging to Bagan and Ava periods have been lost under various circumstances. It is highly recommended that those who are interested in ornamentation of filigree-like woodcarving should go to The Shwezigone Pagoda in Bagan, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay to contemplate and marvel at this kind of intricate traditional art.