A Million Threads streaming
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Every year on a full moon night in November, thirty women gather at Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda in the Pazundaung district of Myanmar’s former capital Yangon to take part in a competition known as Matho Thingan. Their task is to weave the finest robes for the temple’s Buddha images. All robes must be finished by dawn otherwise they are considered ‘stale’. Cheered on by large crowds and an orchestra of pulsating drums and high-pitched oboes, the teams of dedicated female competitors work the handlooms frenziedly back and forth in a feat that celebrates Buddha’s own foster mother, Gautami, who is said to have woven her son a robe in a single day.