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Pyu Beads & Pumtek Beads

The ancient Pyu (also spelled Phyu and Phyuu) civilization existed for over a millennium from around the 2nd century BC to until the 11th century AD.  It was located in present day Myanmar (also known as Burma). It was predominantly a Buddhism practicing civilization founded by Tibeto-Burman-speaking people as they migrated southwards into what is now the Chinese province of Yunnan.

The Pyu people left behind remarkable beads very similar to those found in the Himalayan regions.  Today, collectors call these beads Pyu Beads and Pumtek Beads.  The word “pumtek” means ‘buried thunderbolt' in the Chin language.  This is in reference to the lines and zigzags etched onto the beads, which resemble thunderbolts.  Pyu Beads are often fashioned out of petrified wood, agate, or chalcedony.  The beads posted on our website are agate beads unless otherwise specified.