Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

This thread is about Laos on stamps. There is already a thread about Lao philately which is mainly dedicate to postal history of Laos showing covers, proofs and other philatelic items from Laos. I thought I would start this thread as a thematic thread deals with all subjects about Laos - People life, tradition, culture, religion, costumes, history, politics, fauna and flora etc. I will be very glad if many here will contribute to this thread and show the beauty of the land and its people.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Lets start with the first stamps in the world depicting Lao theme. Two stamps issued in 1907 for use in French Indo-China colony depicting women:

Lao woman:

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Indochina stamp Michel 57


Hmong woman:

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Indochina stamp Michel 56

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in areas where large Hmong communities exist. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights and other forms of entertainment. The celebrations frequently occur in at the end of the harvest season serving as a thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people. Historically, the Hmong New Year celebration was created to give thanks to ancestors and spirits as well as to welcome in a new beginning.

Here is a nice set issued December 1, 2008, depicting several of the Hmong New Year customs:

Bull fighting:

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Laos stamp 2008


Playing Geang (Hmong's mouth organ Khean):

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Special New Year Hmong costumes:

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This stamp is depicting a special mating custom of the Hmong called ball tossing - Young unmarried men and women standing in two rows and toss a ball back and forth. To show his interest in a woman, a man Hmong will walk up to the woman and ask her permission to toss ball with her. If she likes the man, she’ll accept his request. While tossing the ball they are speaking and know each other:

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The background of the SS shows the ball tossing ritual:

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Hmong Ball Tossing Video

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Here is a nice set depicting different Lao wind musical instruments issued on December 25, 1998.

Gaeng is the mouth organ of the Hmong people. It is usually played during funeral rites and at Hmong New Year festival. It has a very long wooden wind chamber intersected by six pipes placed in two rows, and that curve upwards. Gaeng players often perform athletic movements while playing, in order to confuse spirits of the dead at funeral rites and to demonstrate physical prowess.

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Laos Stamp Geang


The Mouxeu’s Khaen is a free-reed bamboo mouth-organ. It contains several pipes differ in their length and a big resonance box in the bottom. It is played by the Mouxeu people, tribes in Northern Laos, usually during New Year festival and different events such as wedding.

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Laos Stamps Khean


Khaen is a free-reed bamboo mouth-organ. Each pipe contains a small brass or silver reed traditionally made by hammering a small coin on an elephant thighbone. The pipes are arranged in two rows and extend through both sides of the wind chamber. The Khaen is used to accompany the Lam, a form social singing.

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Laos Stamps Khean


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Sticky rice (Khao Niao) is a type of short grain Asian rice that especially sticky when cooked. It is cooked by soaking and than steaming in Bamboo pot. Then it rolled into little balls and is kept in a small basket made of Bamboo. The sticky rice is eaten by hands by wadding the rice.

Sticky rice Bamboo steamer basket:

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Laos stamp sticky rice 1997


Steaming rice:

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Kingdom of Laos stamp rice 1957


Sticky rice Bamboo baskets:

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Sticky rice cooked in Bamboo tubes. Bon Apetit!!!

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Laos stamp 2007


Sticky rice is so important food in Laos that the national proverb is: "A person living under a stilted house, eats sticky rice, listens to any music related to Mor Lam, and plays the Khene is likely to be Lao!!"

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

In the rural areas of the Laos, Laotians still use wooden mortars to husk rice before cooking. The mortars are different in shape, size and in the method used to operate them. Three different wooden mortars are represented in this set of stamps: mortars that are operated by hand, by feet or by a water turbine. The set was issued on November 15, 2001:

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Laos Stamps

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Laos Stamps

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Laos Stamps

A beautiful stamp depicting mortar operated by feet, issued by the Kingdom of Laos, designed by Marc Leguay and engraved by Jean Pheulpin:

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Rice cultivation Laos Stamps


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by mari »

Dear Eli,

Thank you very much for sharing with us these. I am very much looking forward to, every day, to all your posts. And also enjoy very much the previous ones, the ones you did before I joined stampboards. Beautiful stamps, and very interesting readings.

They are really wonderful. Thanks for doing this!

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Global Administrator »

What great insights into Lao life!

The foot mortar one is ingenious. :mrgreen:

I think we might spend Xmas Day in Luang Prabang next month from Bangkok, on the way to Sri Lanka, if i can get organised enough to book it! :lol: :lol:

I recall it being a beautiful cool city so different to Vientiane which I disliked.

Abut 25 years ago I flew to Laos to visit The Plain Of Jars. Do that have that on stamps Ei?

At that pre internet time, it was almost unknown to tourists for some reason. No easy way to see it, no easy way to get near it, and certainly no western style hotels nearby!
Image

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

mari wrote:Dear Eli,

Thank you very much for sharing with us these. I am very much looking forward to, every day, to all your posts. And also enjoy very much the previous ones, the ones you did before I joined stampboards. Beautiful stamps, and very interesting readings.

They are really wonderful. Thanks for doing this!
Thank you very much, Mari, for your warm words. I glad you enjoy the posts in the different threads :) . I also like your input especially the animal stamps you are posting and the nice art set of Toulouse-Lautrec. Feel free to post in this thread too as well as in others.
Global Administrator wrote:What great insights into Lao life!

The foot mortar one is ingenious. :mrgreen:
Thank you very much, Glen! I glad you enjoy the thread :)

Global Administrator wrote:I think we might spend Xmas Day in Luang Prabang next month from Bangkok, on the way to Sri Lanka, if i can get organised enough to book it! :lol: :lol:

I recall it being a beautiful cool city so different to Vientiane which I disliked.

Abut 25 years ago I flew to Laos to visit The Plain Of Jars. Do that have that on stamps Ei?

At that pre internet time, it was almost unknown to tourists for some reason. No easy way to see it, no easy way to get near it, and certainly no western style hotels nearby!
I also like Luang Prabang and have good memories from my visit there. With time, will post many stamps and items depicting the beauty of this city.

There are several stamps depicting the Plain of Jars. I will post them in other time, but here now two items depicting the site. First, is a stamp issued by Laos on March 20, 1991:

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Second, is a label depicting real photo of the plain, issued by France when Laos was a part of Indo-China colony:

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Wish you bon voyage!! Eli.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Several months ago, I saw the Australian-Laotian movie "The Rocket", telling about an orphan child in Laos and how he survived. The core of the movie was the Laotian Rocket Festival in which the child won the first prize. Here is the movie's trailer (the rocket festival starts at 1:25):

"The Rocket" Trailer

In the beginning of the rice planting season Laotians celebrating the Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai). They launch large Bamboo rockets to symbolically fertilize the clouds and requesting from rain god Phaya Thaen to bring rain.

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Laos Stamp 1995

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Laos Stamp 1995

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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1965

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Fishing is a very important part of the economic activities in Laos and freshwater fish are a vital source of food in the local diet. The fish production, mainly carp raised in small home lots, grew annually especially in the Mekong River close districts. Laotian used several traditional fishing instruments like the casting net depicting in the following stamps and items:

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Laos Stamps 1990


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Laos Stamps 1963

A real photo of a Laotian fisherman using casting net. The photo used as Maxicards:

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Laos Stamps 1998


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

I think the following set is one of the best sets depicting the beauty of Laos.

Sunset on the Mekong River, issued June 20, 2001:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Carts dragged by domesticated animals, as elephants and buffaloes, are traditional means of transportation, especially in the rural areas of Laos. Here are several items depicting traditional carts pulled by buffalo.

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Laos Stamps 1979 Imperforated


Cover sent from Oudom (rare postmark):

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Laos Stamps 1996


MC franked with Indo-China stamp issued in 1892 cancelled in Vientiane on March 25, 1907:

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Same cart depicted on a Kingdom of Laos 10 Kip banknote. This banknote was never issued:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by DJCMH »

Eli question for you. Where are contemporary Lao stamps printed? I love the artistry of the Royal Lao issues, which I believe were printed in France, and while the issues of the first coupled decades of the PDR tended to be rather wallpaper (printed in Vietnam maybe??) starting in the late 90s it appears Laos shifted to another printer (Thailand ???) And the quality and artistry of Lao stamps improved massively almost overnight. Among modern stamps Laos today releases some of the most beautiful, I find.
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

DJCMH wrote:Eli question for you. Where are contemporary Lao stamps printed? I love the artistry of the Royal Lao issues, which I believe were printed in France, and while the issues of the first coupled decades of the PDR tended to be rather wallpaper (printed in Vietnam maybe??) starting in the late 90s it appears Laos shifted to another printer (Thailand ???) And the quality and artistry of Lao stamps improved massively almost overnight. Among modern stamps Laos today releases some of the most beautiful, I find.
Hello DJCMH, welcome.

Indeed, the Royal stamps, most of them beautifully engraved, were printed in France. After the fall of the Kingdom, stamps issued in 1976-1980 were printed mainly in DDR (high quality) or Vietnam (low quality). Fortunately, the stamps of this period depicting mainly Lao themes. Here is one example from this period:

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Unfortunately, from 1981 until 1997!! stamps were printed in Cuba. Many of them depicting themes which have nothing with Laos like space, cars, sport, underground trains etc. I personally don't like this period. Here is one example from these years:

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From 1997, stamps were printed in Thailand and I agree with you that the quality and artistry of the stamps improved massively. All stamps depicting Lao themes. In the last years, the printing moved to Vietnam, stamps still are very beautifully designed and depicting Lao themes but the printing quality is less than the Thai printing.

Of course, there are exceptions like few sets of stamps printed in the USSR or Ukraine or other countries.

Regards

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Tikhee (Tikhi, Tee Kee) game is a Lao traditional sport. it is a form of hockey played with bamboo sticks (Maikhee) and ball (Lookhee). This game is held mainly in That Luang festival and other festivals. Tikhee used to be played between the local inhabitants and the civil servants and aimed to decrease the tension between the two groups.

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Laos stamp 2003


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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1965


Tikhee game in That luang Festival, Vientiane - From my Lao postcards collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Phassad Pheng is a wax stupa model covered with flowers, money and offerings, built to venerate Buddha and his teachings. In some Buddhist festivals, such as the New Year Festival in Luang Prabang, a procession of people holding a Phassad Pheng is held. In the end of the procession, the offerings are offered to the temple monks.

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Laos Stamp 1992


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Laos Stamp 1966


The Phassad Pheng is depicted both on the postmark and the cover cachet:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Buddha Phabang (Prabang) is a Buddha statue in Abhaya mudrâ (position) that represents calming floods and quarrel between relatives.

According to a legend, the Buddha Phabang statue was given by the governor of Sri Lanka to the King of the Khmer empire, and latter was donated by him to the Lao Prince Fa Ngum prior to his departure from Cambodia to re-conquer his Kingdom. Fa Ngum placed the Phabang Buddha in Vientiane. In 1489, King Samsenthai brought the statue to his capital where it was placed in the Wat Nandron. After which, the city was renamed, Muang Luang Prabang.


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Laos Stamps 1999


The Phabang Buddha statue became the most sacred image of Luang Prabang and one of the city symbols. The Wat Ho Phabang in the Royal Palace garden, Luang Prabang was built to enshrine the Phabang Statue, although it is now housed in a richly ornamented shrine in the Royal Palace Museum.

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Wat Ho Phabang Laos Stamps 1965

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Wat Ho Phabang Postmark 1965


In Pi Mai Festival (New Year), the Buddha Phabang is been carried in a religious procession from the Royal Palace to Wat Mai. There the statue is exhibited at a shrine where it is ritually bathed by devout laypeople during Lao New Year festivities.


The Buddha Phabang procession starts at the Royal Palace Garden....

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Laos Stamps 2010


...., continues in the streets of Luang Prabang...

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Real photo used as postcard


....and end in Wat Mai:

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Laos Stamps 2001

Video: Laos New Year 2013 - Moving of the Buddha phabang, in Luang Prabang

Wish you all a Happy New Year 2016!!!

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

There are 68 official ethnic groups in Laos, belonging to three main groups: Lao Loum, Lao Sung and Lao Theung.

The Lao Loum (Low Lao) are the principal lowland inhabitants and the politically and culturally dominant group. The Lao Sung (High Lao) are the Hill people and minority cultures of Laos such as the Hmong (Meo), Yaho ( Mien), Thai Damm that have lived in isolated regions for many years. The Lao Theung (Upland Lao) are the predominate people in the central and southern mountains of Laos.

Here are several items depicting women representing the three main ethnic groups of Laos:

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Laos Stamps 1987


This stamp was issued by the Neutralist Government of Laos (mainly the Pathet-Lao movement):

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Pathet-Lao Stamps 1961


The following banknote was issued in 2008 depicting women from the three main Laotian ethnic groups, Lao Lum, Lao Theung and Lao Sung. It was withdrawn after a week since it depicting real women photos:

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Laos Banknotes 2008


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1964


From my Lao phonecards collection:

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From time to time, I will post more beautiful women of Laos!! :)

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by King Tut »

Eli wrote:
From time to time, I will post more beautiful women of Laos!! :)
I can trump that Eli :mrgreen: I married a beautiful woman of Laos 13 years ago so get to admire her everyday :D

Enjoying the thread and hope the postcard has arrived in Israel.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

King Tut wrote:I can trump that Eli :mrgreen: I married a beautiful woman of Laos 13 years ago so get to admire her everyday :D

Enjoying the thread and hope the postcard has arrived in Israel.
Thanks King Tut!! :) :) :) , I glad you enjoy the thread!! :) :)


The That Luang Festival takes place at Pha That Luang, Vientiane, held during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month. It is one of the important Theravada Buddhist Lao's festivals commemorates Buddha and Pha That Luang (The main temple in Vientiane).

The festival starts with procession of people holding Phassad Pheng, wax stupa models covered with offerings. It begins at Wat Si Muang as respect to Nang Si Muang, the protector of the city. More events last during the following days including candlelit circumambulations (Vien Thien), alms giving to monks (Takbat), prayers, fireworks, music and dancing.

Passad Pheng:

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Laos Stamps 2007


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Laos Stamps 2007


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Laos Stamps 2007


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1972


Phonecard depicting the That Luang Festival:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

For centuries Laos has been renowned for the fineness and intricacy of its special silk weaving and cotton fabrics with the use of gold and silver threads. Laotians still use traditional ancient loom where they place warp and weft and turning them into cloths or tapestries. Here is a photo I took in a village near Luang Prabang:

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There are several stamps and items depicting traditional Lao weaving and Lao famous textile art:

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Lao PDR Stamps SS 1977


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1952


Art of Lao Textile, 2003:

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Banknote of 20 Kip issued by the Kingdom of Laos in 1957 traditional Lao weaving:

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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1970


Video: Weaving a Lao Tai Daeng Textile

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

I received a nice postcard from Laurence (King Tut) sent from Laos:

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The photo depicting a 40 meters long reclining Buddha in the Buddha park, also known as Wat Xieng Khouane (Spirit City).

The Buddha park is a sculpture park near Vientiane. It was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a priest shaman who integrated Buddhism and Hinduism.

The park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues, mainly, Buddha statues and other characters from Buddhism and Hinduism Mythologies such as gods, animals and demons. On June 16, 2006, Laos issued a set of four stamps depicting different sculptures from the park including one stamp depicting the same Buddha statue as on the postcard:

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Laos Stamps 2006


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Laos Stamps 2006


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Laos Stamps 2006


This stamp depicting statue of Rahu swallowing the moon causing eclipse:

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Laos Stamps 2006


Thank you very much, Laurence, for the nice postcard! :)

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

People how intend to visit Laos, should not miss the daily Buddhist ceremony of Takbat - monks collecting food from laypeople. Here is a photo of Takbat I took in Luang Prabang near Wat Xieng Thong:

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Takbat is a symbolic connection to the spiritual and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of normal society. Takbat also gives the laypeople the opportunity to make merit. Such giving is one of the elements of the path of practice as formulated by the Buddha for laypeople and the beginning of one's journey to Nirvana. Laos issued several stamps depicting Takbat.

The most spectacular stamp, IMO, is the stamp I use as my Avatar, issued in 1957, designed by Marc Leguay and engraved by Jean Pheulpin:

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Laos Stamps 2007


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Laos Stamps 2007


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Laos Stamps 2001

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by our_elephant »

Some from my collection.. P
Laos 1958 elephant issue, They are really beautiful.... Shows how Laos used elephants for working..

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Hello, Our-Elephant, and welcome to the thread!! :) :) Thanks for sharing the lovely cover franked with, IMO, one of the best and famous sets issued by the Kingdom of Laos.

You know, in my "philatelic life" in the past, I started many themes before I decided what to collect. One of the theme I started and stopped was "elephants". Then, before the internet era, I didn't know much about the richness of this theme - many stamps depicting elephants in art, literature, legends, fables, religion, mythology, heraldica, daily life, flags and many other sub-themes. Until today, I regret I stopped to collect this theme, but I still like elephants on stamps.

Speaking about elephants, since 2007, once a year there is an "Elephant Festival" in Laos. Its goal is to raise awareness of the need for action to protect the Asian elephant as part of the vital cultural and natural heritage of Laos. The festival is organized by Elephentasia organization that works toward the protection of Asian Elephant. In 2008, Laos issued a set of six stamps ans SS depicting the festival held in Paklay, Sayaboury Province:

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There are more three stamps in this set, will post them other time.

Here is a PC issued by Elephentasia organization, depicting the 2007 festival held in Hongsa, Sayaboury Province:

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...and a phonecard depicting the same 2007 festival in Hongsa:

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Again, thanks our-elephant! from time to time I will post here more subjects about elephants in Laos.

Regards from Israel, Eli

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by our_elephant »

Hi Eli, Thanks for sharing the info about Elephant festival in Laos.. i collect only elephants.. and Laos is the country which has given a major part of these stamps (But I haven't yet obtained the elephant festival stamps)..
These days i am collecting mostly used covers, as stamps are difficult to preserve in the climatic condition of my place (southern part of India).. I once obtained a colour trial set of these 1958 stamps and within a few weeks all of them got struck to the pages which i had kept them.. i felt that all the stamps of this 1958 elephant issue are very sticky..
Another cover of this 1958 issue not used in the cover i had posted before..

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Thank you very much, our-elephant, for posting second lovely cover. I understand your problem with the humidity which sometimes prevents me to buy old items from SE Asia countries.

You can see many covers from Laos franked with elephant stamps as well as color trials of the elephant stamps in this thread:

Laos - Kingdom and P.D.R. stamps and covers

From time to time I will post here items about elephants. You are always welcome to visit and share your items. Regards
Last edited by Eli on 20 Feb 2016 21:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Wat Phu is a Buddhist Khmere temple ruins near the Phu (mountain) Kao, Champasak province, Southern Laos. It was built in 11th to 13th centuries as part of Khmer empire. The mountain Kao gained spiritual importance from the linga shaped protuberance on its summit, so, it was considered the home of god Shiva and the Wat Phu dedicated to him.


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1959


To commemorate the friendship with the PRC, Laos issued in 2006 a single stamp depicting the Wat Phu:

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Stone relief from Wat Phu depicting god Indra riding the tricephalic elephant Erawan:

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In year 2001, the UNESCO declared "Wat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape" as world heritage site. This set was issued to celebrate the declaration:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The National flower of Laos is the The Frangipane, called in Laos Dork Champa. It consists of four colors: red, red-white, yellow and yellow-white. The Frangipane's tree has many branches with green thick leaves measuring 20-25 cm long. The Frangipanes trees can be found all over Laos, especially around temples and shrines hence, one of the tree names is "Pagoda Tree". Laos issued several stamps depicting its national flower:

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Laos Stamps 2009

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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1967

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Laos Stamp 2001


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Thailand also issued a stamp of Dork Champa, representing Laos, a member of the ASEAN countries:

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Video: dork Champa

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Music in Laos is an important part of the tradition and culture. Each village has its orchestra, dancers and players that participate in occasions such as national, community and family events and religious processions. The orchestra includes Khene and all or part of the following instruments: So violin, Khouy flute, Row Nat xylophone, Kong Thab drum and Khong Wong bells. Here is a Lao banknote issued 1974 depicting Lao traditional orchestra:

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From time to time I will post one traditional musical instrument. Let's start with the Row Nat (Xylophone), a Lao musical instrument in the percussion family. It consists of 21 wooden bars suspended by cords over a boat-shaped trough resonator and struck by two mallets.

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Laos Stamps 1984


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Laos Stamps 1965


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Laos Stamps 1957


The following photo was used by Marc Leguay as a model to design the above 1957 stamp. It shows Leguay's son, Phoun Savath, plays Row Nat. (Photo - "Life Magazine" 1959):

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Row Nat (yes, yes, on the left!), from my PC collection:

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Video: Lao xylophone and drum performance, Luang Prabang, Laos

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Kong (drum) Thab is a kind of drum used in Laos. It is a single head membranophone with a goblet shaped body very resemble the Middle Eastern Darbuka:

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Laos Stamps 1984


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Laos Stamps 1992


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1957


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The So is a two-stringed instrument used in traditional Lao music. The sound is produced by the bow made from horsetail hair which goes between the strings made from silk. The bow has to be tilted to switch from one string to another. So is light and played vertically on the lap.

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Laos stamps 1984


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Laos stamps 1996


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1957

The above stamp was designed by Marc Leguay who used his son, henri, as a model for the So player;

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Sogdee Pi Mai 2016!!! Happy New Year 2016!!!
Sogdee Pi Vok!!! Happy Year of the Monkey!!!

In these days, the Lao people celebrate the Boun Pi Mai (or Boun Songkhane), New Year festival, for three days start at 13th April. According to Lao tradition, the 13th of April, considered the last day of the year (Mur Sangkhane Pai), the 14th as the day between the years (Mur Sangkhane Nao) and 15th as the New Year first day (Mur Sangkhane Khun). The current 2016 Pi Mai Festival marks the end of the Year of the Goat (Pi Mamae) and the beginning of the Year of the Monkey (Pi Vok).

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Khong Wong is a circle with gongs used in the music of Laos. It has 16 tuned bossed gongs in a rattan frame and is played with two beaters. The player sits in the middle of the circle. The gongs are individually tuned with beeswax under the gongs. The Khong Wong can either be played with soft beaters or hard beaters.

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Laos Stamps 1984


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1957


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Bronze drums, called Kong Thong, are widely used by several Lao ethnic groups like the Meo, Yaho, Kha and other mountainous tribes. The bronze drums are used in religious ceremonies and festivals, family events such as wedding, mourning and other celebrations and events. The drums are decorated with drawings symbolize events from the minority life.

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Laos Stamps Bronze Drums 2006


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps Bronze Drum 1970


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps Drums FDC 1970

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

In Laos, drums are used in temples and villages. In villages, drums are used to announce the villagers the time of midday and remind them certain special days of the calendar and events like festivals. They are also used to alert people from coming dangers such as flood and fire. In temples, drums are used to announce the monks their schedule like awakening and going to Takbat (gathering food), prayers and meals times.

Kong Phene - Midday Drum:

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Laos Stamps 1984

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Laos Stamps 1984


Kong Phene - Midday Drum:

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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1970


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Laos Stamps 1994

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Khone Falls and Pha Pheng Falls is a waterfall located in Champasak Province on the Mekong River in southern Laos. The falls are the largest in southeast Asia and they are the main reason that the Mekong is not fully navigable into China. The falls are characterised by thousands of islands and countless waterways, giving the area its name Si Phan Don or "The 4,000 islands". Here are several items depicting the beauty of Khone Phapheng waterfall:

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Laos Stamps 2008


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Kingdom of Laos Stamps 1960


Sunken die proof of the above stamp signed by the engraver Jean Pheulpin:

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From my PC collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Saola is one of the world’s rarest mammals. It is a forest dwelling bovine found only in Vietnam and Laos. Saolas have only been known to zoologists since 1992, initially from unusual horns founded in Vietnam. Analysis of morphology and DNA has revealed that this is a new bovine genus, regarded as antelope, related to cattle, nyala, kudu and elands. The Saola is a very delicate animal, hence the Hmong natives call it saht-suphap, meaning “The polite animal”. This set of stamps depicts Saola, was issued to commemorate the discovery of this endemic animal.

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Laos Stamps Saola 1997

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Laos Stamps Saola 1997

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Laos Stamps Saola 1997


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From my PC collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of world fauna, flora, landscapes, water and soil.

To raise awareness to the endangered species issue, countries issue stamps of endangered animals of their region. The WWF emblem, the Giant Panda, appears on the stamps. The first Lao WWF set, issued in 1984, depicting the Tiger (Panthera tigris). Today, as few as 350 endangered tigers prowl the forests of Laos and the neighboring countries, down from around 1,200 in 1998. WWF is taking action to ensure that wild tigers never go extinct in the Greater Mekong region.

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Laos Stamps WWF Tiger 1984


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Laos is known for its ethnic group’s diversity. Each group has its own tradition costumes and each Laotian region may have particular clothing style including wedding costumes. The clothing has classical Laotian figures and geometric designs.

In general, the grooms wear traditional blouse and pants. On the blouse, the Lao Lum grooms wear a wide sash worn across the chest and shoulders, while the Lao Sung grooms wear wide silk belt.

The brides also wear traditional wedding costumes. They wear silk dress ornamented with Laotian geometric designs. The Lao Theung and Lao Sung brides wear traditional belt while the Lao Lum brides wear a wide silk sash (phaa biang). The Lao Sung couple dress traditional hats.


Bride wedding costumes from Luang Prabang region:

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Kingdom of Laos Stamps Costumes 1973


Lao Theung Wedding Costumes:

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Lao Lum Wedding Costumes:

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Lao Sung Wedding Costumes:

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Laos Stamps Wedding Costumes 2005

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Fa Ngum was the King of Lan Xang (Land of Million Elephants) in years 1353-1373. He was born in 1316 in Muong Sua (Luang Prabang). When Fa Ngum was a child, he had been exiled to Angkor along with his father after the latter had seduced one of the concubine tied to Souvanna Khamphong. He married to a Khmer princess, Keo Keng Nya, and became a Theravada Buddhist.

During 1350-1351, Fa Ngum established an army of Khmer soldiers. Until year 1354, He conquered a large area now covered by present Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Fa Ngum fought against his uncle near Luang Prabang and won, becoming the ruler of the land and named it “Lan Xang Hom Khao” (“A million elephants under white parasol”) with his capital at Luang Prabang, and declared the Theravada Buddhism as the official religion of the state.

Around 1373, King Fa Ngum was deposed and sent to exile in Moung Nam mainly because abusing his power especially over women of the leading families. He was succeeded by his son, Samsenthai. King Fa Ngum died in 1374 at Muong Nam.


King Pha Ngum Statue, Vientiane:

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Laos Stamps 2006

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From my phonecards collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

One of the ceremonies takes place in the New Year Festival (PI Mai) is Sand Stupas building ceremony. The stupas symbolizing Mount Sumeru, where King Kabinlaphom's head was kept by his seven daughters according to the legend "Nang Sang Khan". The stupas are built in front of Wats. They are sprinkled with scented water, decorated with flags and covered with yellow cloths symbolizing Buddhism. The stupas, with their offerings are than offered to the monks, thus people gain merits.

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Kingdom of Laos stamps 1966

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Laos Stamps 2001

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From my postcard and phonecard collections:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Vientiane is the largest city of Laos. During French rule, Vientiane became the administrative capital and due to economic growth in recent times, it has become also the economic centre of Laos.

Historians believe Vientiane was an early Khmer settlement centered around a Hindu temple, which the Pha That Luang would later replace. In 1354, when Fa Ngum founded the Kingdom of Lan Xang, Vientiane became an important administrative city. King Setthathirath officially established it as the capital of Lan Xang in 1563, to avoid Burmese invasion.


A set of four stamps, depicting the Pha That Luang in different periods, was issued to commemorate 450th anniversary of Vientiane:

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A special commemorative banknote of 10000 Kip was issued to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Vientiane, depicting Pha That Luang and the statue of King Setthathirath, the founder of the city. The back side depicting the Ho Phra Keo temple in Vientiane:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Known as Lane Xang, or the “Land of a Million Elephants”, Laos had large and widely distributed populations of both wild and domesticated elephants. Today, Laos has about 450 domesticated elephants. Most of them are engaged in timber harvesting operations by logging companies and therefore causal to the destruction of elephant habitat. The following items depicting domesticated elephants working in timber harvesting:


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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1958


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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1969


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Laos stamp working elephant 1982


A 50 Kip banknote 1957:

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Working elephant 1880’s – from my phonecards collection:

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Working elephant – the elephant festival, Hongsa, 2007 - from my postcards collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Waterfalls in Laos, July 28, 2008:

Tad Fan waterfall - Champasak province:

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Tad Sae waterfall - Luang Prabang province:

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Kuang Si waterfall - Luang Prabang province:

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Khonphapheng waterfall - Champasak province:

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Issued in SS:

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Waterfall near Lakxao - Bolikhamxai province - from my PC collection:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Li Pi waterfall - Champasak province:

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Tad Set - Saravane province:

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Pha Pheng waterfalls - Champasak province - banknote of 200 Kip issued 1962 by the Kingdom of Laos:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong groups began a gradual southward migration in the 18th century due to political unrest and to find more arable land. Here are several stamps depicting different woman and man costumes of the Hmong:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Phra Wetsandon Buddhist Legend

Jataka refer to legends concerning the previous births of the Buddha as were told by the Buddha himself in his sermons to emphasize certain moral ways of life. One of the important Jataka is a legend telling about the Buddha life prior to his incarnation as a Prince Phra Wetsandon.

The legend tells about the Prince and his family when they went to exile. It was when the father heard that the Prince gave the Kingdom white elephant to nearby country. The Prince and his family suffered a lot in exile and their children were taken to be slaves by the Brahman Xuxouk. When the King heard about his son suffering and merits, he ordered him and his family to come back from exile and rule the Kingdom.


Prince Wetsandon is giving the Kingdom's white elephant:

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The Prince and his family were exiled to the forest:

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Prince Wetsandon children are taken to slavery by Xuxoux, the Brahman:

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Prince Wetsandon wife returns to the prince:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Lao Dances

The Lao folkloric tradition incorporates a wide repertoire of folk dances (Fon Phun Muang) based on ancient animist rituals, on celebrations of the passing of the seasons and other dances adapted from courtly performance genres.

Traditional Lao dances are performed by the different Lao ethnic groups in several occasions such as religious festivals, family events and community events. Special dance is performed in the Soukhouane (Baci) ceremony - Fon Baci Soukhouane.

One of the most popular Lao social dances is the celebrated Lamvong (circle dance), in which couples dance circles around one another until there are three circles in all - a circle danced by the individual, a circle danced by the couple, and a circle danced by the whole crowd. The Lamvong is danced to a slow rhythm performed by an ensemble led by the Khene, featuring delicate and precise movements of the hands. Subtle differences characterize the style of Lamvong performed in different regions.


Tangwai Dance:

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Khabthoume Luangprabang Dance:

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Lao Lamvong Dance:

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Salavan Dance:

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