Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Eli
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Love my Baby Brother....

One of the common sights in Laos, especially in the rural areas, is of young girls carrying her young baby brothers. Here is a photo I scanned from the National Geographic magazine May, 1954:
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This sight is depicted on a set of semi-postal stamps designed by Marc Leguay and issued on July 14, 1953. Stamps were issued to raise money for the Red Cross organisation established on :
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Here is a great painting show the same sight, painted by the French painter Jean Despujols (1886-1965) who lived in Indochina for several years. Published in National Geographic magazine in April 1951:
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Lao-French Painter Marc Leguay (II)

The painter Marc Leguay arrived to Laos in 1936. He stayed at Khong Islands in the south for a decade. In this period he painted mainly Lao landscapes and villages daily-life and designed some French Indo-China banknotes, show native Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao women.

After World War II, Leguay moved to Vientiane and worked at art school. In 1951, the secretary of Lao post, Prince Souvanna Phouma, asked Leguay to design stamps for the new independent country.

For more than two decades, Leguay designed Lao stamps depicting the beauty of Laos in different aspects: native peoples, culture, art, religion, village's daily-life and Laos's landscapes. His children, wives and girlfriends were sitters in some of his designs. Leguay's beautiful work of art, make the Lao Kingdom stamps very attractive and outstanding among French ex-colonies stamps.

In years 1969-1972, Lao post released four series of airmail stamps show Leguay paintings, all picturing typical scenes show the beautiful of Laos and its people.


Leguay in his studio, LIFE magazine 1959:

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Here are several Leguay paintings on Lao stamps:

Village Daily Life, issued on December 22, 1972:
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Mother and Child, issued on December 22, 1972:
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Village's Elder, issued on December 21, 1970:
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Village Track, issued on December 21, 1970:
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Yaho Hunter, issued on December 15, 1964:

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Postcards sent from Kingdom of Laos franked with stamps show Leguay's paintings "Village Daily Life":

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The Lao-French Painter Marc Leguay (I)

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Happy International Women's Day - March 8, 2020
ສຸກສັນວັນແມ່ຍິງສາກົນ - 8 ມີນາ 2020
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Hmong woman traditional costumes

The Hmong people are an ethnic group in East and Southeast Asia. They are a sub-group of the Miao people, and live mainly in Southern China, Vietnam and Laos.

From Wikipedia:

Many tribes are distinguished by the color and details of their clothing. Black Hmong wear deep indigo dyed hemp clothing that includes a jacket with embroidered sleeves, sash, apron and leg wraps. The Flower Hmong are known for very brightly colored embroidered traditional costume with beaded fringe.

An important element of Hmong clothing and culture is the paj ntaub, a complex form of traditional textile art created using stitching, reverse-stitching, and reverse applique. Traditionally, Hmong designs were ornamental, geometric, and non-representational, being that they did not allude to nor contain any symbols that related to real-world objects, with the occasional exception of flower-like designs. Paj ntaub are created to be sewn on to Hmong clothing as a portable expression of Hmong cultural wealth and identity. The main traditional functions of paj ntaub are in funerary garments, where the designs are said to offer the deceased spiritual protection and guide them towards their ancestors in the afterlife, and for the Hmong New Year celebration. In the new year celebration, new paj ntaub and clothes are made by women and girls as it was seen as bad luck to wear clothes from a previous year, and they would serve as an indicator of the women’s creativity, skill, and even propensity as a successful wife.


Here are several items show Hmong women in their traditional costumes:

Issued on December 15, 1964, designed by Marc Leguay and engraved by André Frères:
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The stamp on a commercial cover. On the right stamp, the woman on the left is also Hmong woman wearing traditional costume:
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Issued on December 22, 1973, designed by Ky Phungchaleun and engraved by Didier Guedron:
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Hmong family in Xieng Khouang, Laos, postcard by Alfred Raquez, 1906;
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Issued on November 9, 1987:
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Issued on October 2, 1992:
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Hmong young girls on Lao phoncards issued 1999 and 2005:
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Crafts on the Mekong River, issued by Laos on June 24, 1982:

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Alfred Raquez Postcards issued in 1906:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Laos is very famous in its delicate art and decorations. Most of Lao temples walls and doors are decorated with delicate geometric designs and with figures represent Lao mythology and Buddhist tradition. For example, many stairs banisters are decorated with Naga dragon which is considered as Mekong river protector as shown on the 0.5K. Stamp. The Lotus flower is another famous Buddhist motive used for decorations as shown on the 8K. stamp. It symbolizes complete purification of the body, speech and mind. Lao people also used to decorate its special silk weaving and cotton fabrics with embroideries of figures and geometric designs.

This set was issued on October 26, 1984 and shows different Lao decorations:

Naga Serpent on Temple Stairs:
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Capital of Column:
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Decorative Panel depicting god:
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Decorative Panel depicting Leaves:
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Stylized Leaves:
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Flower Decoration:
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Lotus Flower Decoration:
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Many Lao stamps and banknotes, especially from the Kingdom period, contain Lao decorations in their sides. Here are examples of a stamp and a banknote with such beautiful Lao decorations.

This stamp, designed by Chamnane Prisayane and engraved by Jean Pheulpin, was issued to commemorate UNESCO building in Paris. Look at the beautiful decorations in the sides taken from Lao temples:
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Banknote of 100 Kip issued in 1957 has decorations of Naga serpent, temple capitals and flower decorations:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

ສະບາຍດີປີໃໝ່ລາວ 2563!
Sabaidee Pi Mai!! Happy Lao New Year 2563!

Today, April 13, is the first day of three days Lao New Year festival. The first day of the festival is regarded as the last day of the past year, which is now the year of the pig. The second day is regarded as the day between the years and the third day of the festival - as the first day of the coming new year, which now is year of the rat.

So, Goodbye Lao Year of the Pig:
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Welcome Lao Year of the Rat:
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Decorative Patterns, issued on July 20, 1988:

Lao scarves decorative pattern:
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Lao hand made scarves known for their beauty and delicate decorations characterize different ethnic groups:
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Decorative pattern for temple doors:
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Decorative pattern for temple walls:
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This stamp depicting different famous Lao temples and has side decorations taken from temple walls:
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Decorative pattern for temple pillars:
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Decorative pattern for skirts:
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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.


This beautiful set of stamps, tells the story of Prince Wetsandon, was issued by Laos on July 22, 1975:

Prediction of Prince Phra Wetsandon birth:
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In the way to exile:
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God Indra and Prince Wetsandon:
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Prince Wetsandon and his family returning to the Kingdom:
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These stamp images are based on old temple paintings. I don't know from which temple exactly, but many Lao temple are decorated with different versions of these paintings. Here is one from Wat Xieng Ngeun in Vientiane:

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FDC and a commercial cover:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Eli wrote: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.
This beautiful set of stamps, tells the story of Prince Wetsandon, was issued by Laos on November 17, 1964:

Prince Phra Wetsandon and Nang Matxee:
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Sun god sending his son to Earth:
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Xuxouk the Brahman and his young wife:
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Arresting Xuxouk the Brahman:
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Addressed FDC sent registered to Fresno, USA:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Wood Handicrafts

Laos is famous for its delicate handicrafts. Weaving, woodcarving, silver and gold crafting and pottery are traditional handicrafts in Laos. Many daily life instruments are homemade such as fishing nets and equipment, kitchen tools, cloths and shoes, musical instruments, baskets, furniture, jewellery etc. Whole Lao villages may specialize in a particular handicraft and depend economically on selling their handicraft products.

This set was issued on May 10, 2003:
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Here are two postcards from my collection show wood instruments:

Lao wood instruments made by hands, this photo was taken during the Colonial Exhibition held in Paris in 1907:
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I think that this postcard is from the 1910-1920's:
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Traditional Handicrafts, issued by Laos on March 10, 2005:

Numerous crafts have developed over the centuries in Laos, their production aimed initially at domestic use but later being developed to meet the needs of international markets.

The manufacture of household objects from bamboo, rattan and various other types of reed has been practices for centuries, by both the majority Lao community and other ethnic groups. Light, durable and termite-resistant, these objects take many forms, ranging from baskets and containers to furniture, and are now an important industry in their own right.



Warming Plate:

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Paddle:

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Rattan Basket:

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Bamboo Basket:

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A complete set on a cover sent from Laos;

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An illustration shows Lao women in Siam holding rattan baskets, 19th Century, from the chapter "Voyage dans les Royaumes de Siam, de Cambodge, de Laos" by Henri Mouhot, from the French book "Le Tour du Monde" published in 1863:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Ho Phra Keo, Vientiane

The Ho Phra Keo ("Image of the Jewel Buddha") temple was built in Vientiane in 1565 by King Setthathirat to house the statue of the Emerald Buddha. This statue was brought from Chiangmai by King Setthathirat after the death of his father, King Phothisarat, when he had to move from Lenna, where he was ruler, to Vientiane.

In 1779, the Siamese army under General Chakri (the future King Rama I) invaded Vientiane, damaged the temple and took and installed the Emerald Buddha statue in Ho Phra Keo, Bangkok. The temple was reconstituted in 1936 and 1942 by Prince Souvana Phouma, the future prime minister of Kingdom of Laos. The Ho Phra Keo houses a museum that exhibits a collection of Buddha statues and antiques found around Vientiane.

Here are several stamps and old photos from my collections:


HPK1.jpg

Lao PDR Mi 571.jpg

HPK3.jpg


Buddha statue from Ho Phra Keo:


HPK4.jpg

HPK5.jpg


Stairs of Ho Phra Keo:


Michel 310.jpg

HPK6.jpg


Kingdom of Laos Banknote;


Kingdom of Laos 31.jpg

FDC 1952 - Phra Keo SB.jpg

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Art Decorations on the Patuxai (Victory Gate) Ceiling, Vientiane

Patuxai (Lao: ປະຕູໄຊ), literally meaning Victory Gate, is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, built between 1957 and 1968. The Patuxai was dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. Here is a stamp issued on May 15, 1968 shows the Patuxai gate:

Michel 225.jpg

The ceiling of the Patuxai is decorated with Lao art. The central decoration shows gods Brahma, Vishnu and Indra and Rahu swallowing the Sun. The margins show scenes from Phra lak Phra Ram (Ramayana) epic and other scenes from Lao mythology. Here is a photo of the ceiling taken by Anousone Manisouk. Thanks for the permission to post it:

Patuxay.jpg

Several of the decorations were issued on stamps by the Kingdom of Laos:

Nang Mekhala, goddess of the sea, flies over the stormy sea and save sailors from sunken ships with her magic emerald ring. According to a Laotian legend, Ramasoun, the sea storm demon, combats her forever and try to steal her magic ring. Her image is depicted on a stamp, designed by Ky Phungchaleun, engraved by Claude Jumelet and issued on October 24, 1973:

Michel 368a.jpg

On the Patuxai ceiling’s decoration, Nang Mekhala is depicted with Ramasoun, the sea storm demon:

nang mekhala1.jpg

Rahu is an immortal dragon head that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipse. His image is depicted on a stamp, designed by Ky Phungchaleun, engraved by Claude Jumelet and issued on February 5, 1971:

Rahu2_zpsgmshkzix a.jpg

The Ramayana epic tells that Hanuman and the monkeys had to build bridge across the sea to move to Lanka in order to rescue Nang Sida. The mermaid Nang Matsa received order from her father Thotsakan, the demon, to disturb the building. When the fish started to remove the bridge stones, Hanuman tried to prevent them and fought the mermaid underwater. During the duel she fall in love with him and ordered to stop destroy the bridge. This scene is depicted on a stamp designed by Ky Phungchaleun, engraved by Roger Fenneteaux and issued on February 5, 1971:

Michel 303a.jpg

Duel between the white monkey and the black monkey, a scene from Phra Lak Phra Ram. This scene is depicted on a stamp, designed by Marc Leguay, engraved by Jean Pheulpin and issued February 19, 1962. Although the stamp and the decoration show the same scene, I am not sure the decoration served as a model to design the stamp:

Michel 115b.jpg

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Nāga Dragon

In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, the Nāga are divine, semi-divine deities, or a semi-divine race of half-human half-serpent beings that reside in the netherworld (Patala) and can occasionally take human form. They are principally depicted in three forms: wholly human with snakes on the heads and necks, half-human half-snake beings or common serpents (like in Laos). They are common and hold cultural significance in the mythological traditions of many South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. In Laos, Nāga are believed to live in the Lao stretch of the Mekong or its estuaries. Lao mythology maintains that the Nāga are the protectors of Vientiane, and the Lao state.


Year of the Dragon, issued on January 10, 2012:

Naga 1.jpg

Naga 2.jpg

In Laos, the Nāga are considered as the protectors of the state. Here is a first day postmark shows Nāga serpents protect the Lao coat of arms. The postmark issued on September 16, 1959 and applied to the FDC of the Lao Monarchy set of stamps:

Naga 3.jpg
Naga 3a.jpg


In this banknote of 100 Kip issued in 1957, Nāga serpents protect the King:

Naga 4.jpg


Nāga dragon statues are seen in many temples throughout Laos. Here is a stamp, issued on June 28, 1971 and a photo taken by Maurice Bouton in 1951 show the staircase of Wat Ho Phra Keo in Vientiane:

Naga 5.jpg

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Mekong giant catfish

The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) is a large (about 3 m and 150-350Kg), critically endangered species of catfish (order Siluriformes) in the shark catfish family (Pangasiidae), native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia and adjacent China. It is considered Critically Endangered due to accelerating habitat loss. Fishing for the Mekong giant catfish is illegal in the wild in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, but the bans appear to be ineffective and the fish continue to be caught in all three countries.

Laos issued several stamps show the giant catfish:


Issued on June 8, 1967, Designed by Sa-Nguan Rodboon and engraved by Roger Fenneteaux:

Michel 208.jpg

The giant catfish is depicted on the commemorative first day postmark:

FDC 1967 Fish a.jpg

IMG_20200802_0004.jpg

Issued on November 8, 1992:

Lao PDR Mi 1966a.jpg

Lao PDR Mi 1967a.jpg

A family member, issued on September 5, 1983:

Lao PDR Mi 672a.jpg

catfish a.jpg

167 A SBa.jpg

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Traditional Woman Costumes

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

Lao women wear the Phaa Nung, sarong skirt, over a tight-fitting blouse or shirt and Phaa Biang, a wide sash worn across the chest and shoulders. Women from some different ethnic groups dress traditional hats. In special ceremonies and events, Lao women wear traditional silk skirts, blouses and scarves. This set of stamps, issued on February 16, 1973, depicts traditional woman costumes from different regions of the Laos.


Ceremonial woman costume – Attapeu Province:

Michel 354.jpg

Festival woman costume – Phongsally Province:

Michel 355.jpg

Wedding woman costume – Luang Prabang:

Michel 356.jpg

Evening woman costume – Vientiane:

Michel 357.jpg

Commemorative postmark applied in the day of issue shows same design of the Vientiane’s woman:

Laos PM.jpg

Lao married woman from Luang Prabang – Published in “La France Lointaine”, 1929:

Married Woman Costume 1929.jpg

91 SB.jpg

115 SB.jpg

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