Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

The Pha That Luang is a Buddhist stupa in Vientiane, Laos. It was built in the 16th century under King Sethathirath on the ruins of an earlier 13th century Khmer temple. The stupa became a symbol of Lao nationalism. Here is a group of stamps from different countries depicting the Pha That Luang:

Russia

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French Indochina:

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French Indochina - label:

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Vietnam:

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Burma:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Wat Ongtu Mahawihan is located in Vientiane. The name comes from its famous inhabitant, a huge (Ongtu) bronze Buddha sculpture. The Wat was built in the mid 16th century by King Setthathirat, destroyed in the war with Siamese and rebuilt in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Wat Ongtu Mahawihan on 10 Kip banknote issued in 1957:

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Phra Ongtu Buddha statue located in Wat Ongtu:

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The Wat Ongtu is famous for its carved wooden doors that represent scenes from Thao Khatanam legend. Thao Khatanam was a hero from Vientiane who fought Ngou Xouang, the great serpent that came from the sky to destroy the city of Khouang Thavadi. Later, in other event, he rescued Khamkong from the giant ogre, and married her.

The eastern door of Wat Ongtu depicting the wedding of Thao Khatanam with Khamkong, after he rescued her from the giant ogre:

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The central door depicting Thao Khathanam fighting against Ngou Xouang, the great serpent that came from the sky to destroy the city of Khouang Thavadi:

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FDC of the above stamps with a special commemorative postmark depicting Wat Ongtu:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Rural life in Laos:

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Laos Stamps 2010

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Coffee is one of the key industries of Lao PDR. Initially Robusta, Arabica and Liberica species are planted in Laos, but Robusta has become the dominant coffee species grown especially in the Bolaven Plateau.

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Laos Coffee Stamps 2008

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Tai Dam or Black Tai are an ethnic group of Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand. The Tai Dam originate from the vicinity of Dien Bien Phu, in Vietnam, the original area of occupation of the Tai people in the early history of the Tai settlement of Southeast Asia according to the legend of Khun Borom, the legendary progenitor of the Tai-speaking peoples. They called this area Muang Then, the land of God, a name that still applies to the valley around Dien Bien Phu.

The Tai Dam are known as "the people without a country." In the 1950s during the Vietnam-French War, many of the Tai Dam moved from Vietnam to Laos. In Laos, they worked as farmers, soldiers, and service workers. The Tai Dam language became infused with Lao. In the 1970s, Laos was undergoing a civil war and many of the Tai Dam became refugees and escaped into Thailand.


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In Vietnam, the Tai Dam are given their own nationality (with the White Tai) where they are classified as the Thái (Tai) people.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Wat 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.

The temple was reconstituted in 1936 and 1942 by Prince Souvana Phouma, the future prime minister of Kingdom of Laos. The Wat Phra Keo houses a museum that exhibits collection of Buddha statues and antiques found around Vientiane.

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Today, The Emerald Buddha is housed in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok:

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Cover sent registered from Vientiane to Sweden franked with a gold embossed stamp depicting the Wat Phra Keo:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Laos is consisted of 17 provinces (khoueng) and one prefecture (kampheng nakhon) which includes the capital city Vientiane.

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Laos stamp 2012

The flag of Laos: the white disk symbolizes the unity of the Lao people under one nation and a full moon against the Mekong River. The red stripes stand for the blood shed by the Lao people in their struggle for freedom and independence from the French, and the blue symbolizes the Mekong River itself, a symbol of the nation's prosperity.

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Laos stamp 2005

The Lao coat of arms depicts the national monument Pha That luang flanked by stalks of rice. The inscription on the bottom is the national slogan reads: "Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity and Prosperity".

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Laos stamp 2005

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Pathet Lao (Land of Lao) was the military arm of the communist Lao People's Party and later of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party that battled against the Lao Royal Government.

In 1953, Pathet Lao fighters accompanied an invasion of Laos from Vietnam led by Viet Minh forces. They established a government at Vieng Xay in Houaphane province in Northeast Laos. The Pathet Lao made incursions into central Laos and civil war was erupted. They occupied most of the Kingdom of Laos area and by the late 1973, they controlled eleven provinces. In late 1975, the unexpectedly rapid fall of South Vietnam following USA final withdrawal led the Pathet Lao to attack and occupy the rest of the Kingdom of Laos. The King was abdicated and the Lao PDR was declared.

Here are the key leaders of the Pathet Lao:

Khamtay Siphandone (second from the left):

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Prince Souphanouvong (center):

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Kaysone Phomvihane (front):

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Another key leader is Nouhak Phoumsavanh. Laos didn't issue any stamp depicting him, so here he is on the right, next to Phomvihane, Souphanouvong and Siphandone (but could be Phao Phimpachanh):
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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This week, January 8-12, 2017, the elephant festival will be held at Somsavhan Village, Sayabouly province, Laos. The festival draws a significance of the endangered Asian elephant which has an essential part of Lao people's heritage, culture, agriculture and livelihood. The festival is a part of the rice festival (Boun Kong Kao Yai):

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Baci (Soukhouane) ceremony - blessing the elephants:

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More items depicting the elephant festival:

Elephant Festival

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The Kor (Akha) are an indigenous hill tribe who live in small villages at higher elevations in the mountains of Laos, Thailand, Burma and Yunnan Province in China. They made their way from China into Southeast Asia during the early 20th century.

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Laos Stamps Kor Akha 2000

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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On January, 20th Laos will celebrate the "Army Day".

The Lao People's Army is the name of the armed forces of Lao PDR, who are charged with defense of the country. The Lao People's Army was developed from the Pathet-Lao armed forces, the Communist movement that fought against the Royal Lao Government and took control in 1975.

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Vieng Xai Caves - an important military base of the Pathet-Lao:

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Kaysone Phomvihane and Khamtay Siphandone - Two Pathet-Lao key leaders:

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Pathet-Lao forces:

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Lao PDR Army:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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That Chom Si is a Buddhist stupa in Luang Prabang regarded one of the sacred places in the city. The stupa was built in 1804 by King Anurut on the summit of mount Phou Si. Around the stupa, in the Phou Si slope, are several religious sites including temples, caves with Buddha statues and Buddha footprints.

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Kingdom of Laos Stamp 1959


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Laos stamp 1976


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is found in tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia including Laos. It is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the large-scale deforestation that has occurred throughout Southeast Asia over the past three decades has dramatically reduced suitable habitat for the sun bear. The global population is thought to have declined by more than 30% over the past three bear generations.


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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao folk songs (Khab Lam Lao) is extemporaneous singing that is very popular throughout Laos. The Khab Lam is part of family and community events as wedding. Usually, the singer is accompanied by musical instruments players such as Khene (Pipes), Row Nat (Xylophone), So (Violin) and Kong Thab (Drum) players.

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Laos Stamps 2004

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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A beautiful stamp, depicting Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos was issued in 2017 by Sri Lanka:

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This came in a very long set depicting various temples from around the Buddhist countries:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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ເຈົ້າ​ແມ່ນ​ໃຜ,ນາງໃນທະນະບັດ ??
Who are you, the beautiful lady on the banknotes??

ນາງແສງເດືອນ ສຸລິວົງ
Mrs. Sengdeuane Soulivong

In 1946, the Lao-French painter Marc Leguay married Mrs. Sengdeuane Soulivong, from the Island Khong, who became his model for many of his paintings. Her figure appears on two Lao banknotes as well as on several stamps.

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"Women been groomed (Femme se Parant)" by Marc Leguay: is it Sengdeuane Soulivong sitting?

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Spinning is the twisting together of drawn-out strands of fibers to form yarn, and is a major part of the textile industry. The yarn is then used to create textiles, which are then used to make clothing and many other products. There are several industrial processes available to spin yarn, as well as hand-spinning techniques where the fiber is drawn out, twisted, and wound onto a bobbin (Wikipedia)

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. Here is a small collection of items depicting Lao traditional hand spinning:

Houaphanh, 1906 - Raquez postcard

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This banknote design was rejected and was never issued

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Phonecard

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Khean - the national music instrument of Laos

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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This photo of a young Lao lady going to the market was taken in Laos around 1920-1930's:

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In 1952, Laos intended to issue its first set of stamps. Several different designs were submitted including the following design based on the above photo. For unknown reason to me, this design was rejected and the stamp was never issued:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Traditional Sport - Muay Lao

Muay Lao (ມວຍລາວ ຫຼື ມວຍລາຍລາວ) regarded as the national kickboxing sport of Laos. It is a form of kickboxing resembles to other forms of kickboxing of other Southeast-Asian countries.

This kickboxing form includes attacks from knees, elbows, fist and kicks. In Muay Lao, the fighters are often grappling each other behind the back of the neck and struggle to get dominance over the opponent. The two fighters start with one hand free, then they compete to get both hands on each other.

The origin of Muay Lao is unclear. One theory is that it was evolved from Muay Thai of the Thai people before their immigration to Southeast Asia from China. Another theory is that it was adopted and modified off of Khmer martial art when Thai and Lao culture were influenced by the Khmer culture.


A set of postcards by Alfred Raquez from 1900-1906 depicting the Muay Lao stages:

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Muay Lao, issued by Laos on January 30, 1982:

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The original photo used to design the 2K stamp:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Traditional House

The traditional Lao house made of a thatched wooden structure built on stilts to catch breezes, avoid flooding and insect infestation and leave space beneath the living area for grain, domestic animal cultivation and a loom. This kind of houses found mainly in the rural areas of Laos.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Yesterday, December 2, Laos celebrated its 43rd National Day. This day marks the end of the Royal regime and the beginning of the Communist regime on December 2, 1975 after a very long civil war.

To celebrate the 3rd anniversary, on December 2, 1978, Laos issued this set of stamps. I think the stamps were printed in Vietnam. Note the bad printing and the bad perforations, that characterise many Lao stamps from this period (1975-1985) that were printed in Vietnam:

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Issued also in SS (I cut the white edges):

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Note the differences in the colours of the same stamp on the front and on the back:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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The scouts movement is a world wide youth movement, aimed of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, in order to train them to do constructive roles in their communities.

The Lao Scouts movement was established in 1948 in Luang Prabang and was called Scouts Lao (ສກຸດລາວ). It had about 2300 young scout active members. The movement motto was ຕຣຽມພຣ້ອມ (Triam Phrom) Prepared in Lao, and Sois Prêt, Be Prepared in French. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movement, the Kingdom of Laos issued on September 1, 1973 a set of three stamps depicting Lao scouts.

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To publicize the 13th world jamboree held on August 2-10, 1971 in Fujinomiya, Japan, Manama, one of the Gulf Emirates, issued in 1971 a set of 16 stamps depicting boy scouts from the Middle and Far East. One of the stamps depicting Lao scout based on a real photo taken by the "Boy Scouts of America" in 1968.

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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I was lucky to find the following photo depicting Lao silversmiths taken during the 1960's. This photo was used as a model to design two different Lao stamps:

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First stamp was issued on April 12, 1971 as one of a set of three stamps depicting Lao artisans:

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Second stamp was issued on April 1, 1977 as one of a set of four stamps depicting Lao artisans:

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The man on the left in the upper original photo (which not appears on the first stamp since his image was replaced by a Lao woman image) is Mr Thong Rattanakone, [ທ່ານເພັຍ ສັພພະຊ່າງ ທອງ ຣັຕຕະນະກອນ] the goldsmith of Kings Sisavang Vong and King Savang Vatthana during the period of the Kingdom of Laos 1951-1975. I received the photos as well as the information from his grand-grandson which continues the Lao tradition of silver smiting:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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A set of Maxicards of the Musical Instruments set issued on March 25, 1957 signed by the stamp engraver Pheulpin:

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Missing one Maxicard of this stamp:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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That Ing Hang, Savannakhet

That Ing Hang is a Buddhist stupa near Savannakhet. It was built in the 16th century near the spot where Chao Fa Ngum's forces were based during the takeover of Muang Sawa in the mid 14th century. It is considered the second holiest edifice in southern Laos after Wat Phu Champasak.

That Ing Hang, designed by Chamnane Prisayane, engraved by Jean Pheulpin and issued on November 2, 1959:

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That Ing Hang, issued on November 23, 2000:

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Kingdom of Laos banknote of 1 Kip depicting That Ing Hang, issued in 1957:

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Two old postcard circa 1920 depicting That Ing Hang (left) and one of the temple statues (right):

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Temple and Sites in Laos, issued on January 3, 2009:

Wat Ho Phra Keo, Vientiane
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Plain of Jars, Xieng Khouang
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Pha That Luang, Vientiane
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Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang
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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Gold Panning in Laos

Laos is rich in varieties of natural resources as Iron, Zinc, Silver, Gold and Sapphire. Several areas of Laos, especially the Attapu province, is rich in open Gold mining. Lao people used to wash the Gold from the river sand by using large wood sieve:

Gold Panning, Attapeu Province, issued on December 31, 1974:

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Gold panning, issued on August 1, 2005:

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Gold Panning in the Mekong River, Luang prabang Area - National Geographic Magazine 1987:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Eradication of Opium Cultivation in Laos

Opium has played and important role in the Lao society for almost 200 years. During the colonial period, opium was used as a means of labor exploitation and socio-economic development obstruction by allowing free addiction among ethnic groups. Since then, the opium poppy cultivation started to steadily increase in the Northern provinces of Laos.

From 1999, the Lao PDR government, together with UNDOC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes) started a campaign to eradicate the Opium cultivation. Some activities have been undertaken in this campaign including law enforcement and implementation of integrated rural development projects to replace socio-economic incentives to produce opium. Since then, the Lao PDR government has managed to reduce the number of opium addicts and Opium cultivation in Laos to a very low level, and ultimately to the zero opium in the country.

Hmong woman working on a poppy field, issued on December 22, 1973 to commemorate 50th anniversary of the INTERPOL:

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Hmong woman working on a poppy field, National Geographic Magazine, 1974:

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Two sets were issued publicising the anti-drugs abuse campaign. The first one on June 26, 1993 and the second on July 26, 2001:

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National Geographic Magazine, 1974:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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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.

Here are several items depicting Lao dances by an individual or a couple:

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Here is the original photo (as a Maxicard) used as a model to design this stamp:

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A nice postcard show couple dancing. Photo was taken in Vientiane during the 1950's;

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Buffalo Fighting

In Laos, Buffalo fighting are organised in fields near the villages for entertainments and competitions. Prizes are given to winners buffaloes. The Buffalo fighting competition event is usually held in Wat Phu festival and by the Hmong and Lao Sung during the New Year festival as seen on the last stamp

Isuued on December 15, 2002

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Issued on December 23, 1965:

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Buffalo fighting competition during the Hmong New Year, issued December 1, 2008:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Wat Siphoutthabat Thippharam, Luang Prabang

For a long time I searched information about the source of this stamp issued on February 21, 1967 as one of a set of four stamps depicting door wood carvings. This particular stamp shows a wood carving of god Shiva:

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I used the description on the stamp "Pagoda Siprapouthbat" but found nothing, until I came across an old photo depicting the same wood carving:

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After an inquiry in the Facebook, I learned that the source of this carving is a wood door in Wat Siphoutthabat Thippharam in Luang Prabang (ວັດສີພຸດທະບາດ ທິບພາຣາມ, ຫຼວງພະບາງ):

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Wat Si Saket, Vientiane

Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist temple in Vientiane, Laos. It was built in 1818 on the order of King Anouvong in Siamese style of Buddhist architecture, with a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof, rather than in the Lao style. This may have kept it safe, since the armies of Siam that sacked Vientiane following Anouvong's rebellion in 1827 used the compound as their headquarters and lodging place. It may be the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. The French colonial government restored Wat Si Saket in 1924 and again in 1930.
Wat Si Saket features a cloister wall with more than 2,000 ceramic and silver Buddha images. The temple also houses a museum. (Wikipedia)

View of Wat Si Saket on a stamp and on an old postcard from 1906:

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Wat Si Saket is famous for the Ho Tay (Library) structure, the place where old Buddhists scripture are kept. This structure appears on several stamps:

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Buddha statue in front of Wat Si Saket on an old postcard I think from 1950's (The couple statue, built by the French, was removed and is located now in Wat Ho Phra Keo):

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A nice cover sent from Vientiane to France in 1970 franked with Wat Si Saket Ho Tay stamp:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

Post by Eli »

Lao Children's Games

Jumping Rope (Tenh Xeuak) - In this game one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads.

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Walking on stilts game (Khi Kong Koï) - a very popular children game in Laos and the neighbouring countries. Stilts for walking are poles equipped with platforms for the feet to stand on and can be used, with straps to attach them to the user’s legs or be held in place by the hands of the user.

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The tail-eating snake game (Ngou Kine Hang), also called “stay in line” - played by a large group of children. In this game, the “mother snake”, usually a relatively adult child, is standing in line with her “baby-snakes”, while the “father-snake” try to outwit the mother-snake and catch one of her “babies” that she is trying to protect.

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Coconut feet lifter (Lean Kapo Mak Phao) - made of two perforated pieces of coconut peels tied by strings. The coconut peels are put on the legs and the competitors run with them holding the strings. This game is common in the rural areas of Laos.

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Spinning top (Mak Khang) - made of hard wood spikes in cone or pear shaped that are thrown to the ground to turn around. There are several types of spinning tops like: gyroscope, peg top and whipping top. The last one is depicted on this stamp:

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Ti Khee game is a form of hockey played with bamboo sticks (Mai Khee) and ball (Lou Khee). Ti Khee game is played also by adults especially in That Luang festival. It is 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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Traditional Lao Handicrafts and Artisans

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, jewelry etc. Whole Lao villages may specialise in a particular handicraft and depend economically on selling their handicraft products.

Here are two sets show artisans, issued by Laos in 1971 and 1977:

Silversmiths

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Potters

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Wood Pirogues Builder

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Silversmiths

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Weaver

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Potter

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Basket Weaver

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Lao Traditional Festivals

A set issued by Laos on July 26, 2010 shows three different Lao religious festivals:

Boun Haw Khao Padap Din
This festival is devoted to remembering and paying respect to the dead ancestors, and to maethaulanii, the earth god. Relatives then present gifts, especially steamed rice (Khao), betel and cigarettes, to their friends, neighbours and to the monks who have chanted on behalf of those who have passed away. The remaining gifts are given to the spirits of the dead in packages (Haw) wrapped in Banana leaves.  The packages are put on the ground so that the spirits can reach them. While it is still dark the spirits can come and get the offerings.

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Boun Haw Khao Salark
This festival commemorates the dead. Offerings to the dead, including the deceased’s favourite food, are passed to monks during the ceremony, just after takbaat, along with the names of the dead persons the family wishes to honor. The monk then draws (salark) the names from the basket. He calls to each dead person and transfers the things through prayers. In the evening, the monks chant from the Buddhist texts and lay people walk around the sim. Afterwards offerings are placed near the sim.

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Boun Kareu
This festival is celebrated by the Khamu tribes. During the festival, a special dance is held aimed to call for rain or to bring luck to the coming harvest.

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Lao Buddhist Old Palm Leaf Manuscripts

From the beginning of the Buddhism creation in India, palm leaves were used as material for the Buddhist manuscripts. They were used to record actual and mythical Buddhist narratives as well as other information such as traditional medicine methods, astrological maps, prayers, ancestral legends etc.

Laos has a huge collection of palm leaf manuscripts dating back to the ancient Kingdom of Lan Xang in the 15th century. The collection kept in 2,800 Buddhist Wats’s Ho Tai (Libraries) in all over Laos. beside religious texts, the manuscripts contains many works in fields such as history, traditional law, poetry, legends, traditional customs, traditional medicine grammar, lexicography etc.

The “Lao-German Preservation of Lao Manuscripts Programme” works to preserve and digitise the old Lao palm leaf manuscripts.

Monk writing a palm leaf manuscript:

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Palm leaf manuscripts:

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Ho Tai (Palm leaf manuscripts library):

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Manuscrip Gasket:

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Writing on palm leaf:

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Monks reading Palm leaf manuscripts - Published in Sud-Est, May 1950:

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Chamnane Prisayane

The painter and designer Chamnane Prisayane designed many stamps of the Kingdom of Laos during years 1958-1975. Unlike the artist Marc Leguay, there is no much information about Prisayane.

To commemorate the painter and his great contribution to the Lao philately, the Kingdom of Laos issued two stamps show two of Chamnane Prisayane’s remarkable paintings:

Sunset over the Mekong River:

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Quit Morning at Ban Tane Pieo:

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Prisayane's stamps depict the beauty of the landscapes, nature and the people of Laos. Many of his designed stamps were chosen by philatelists as the year's most beautiful stamps of Laos. Here are several of stamps he designed:

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Sunken die proof signed by the engraver Jean Pheulpin shows Phapheng waterfall stamp designed by Prisayane:

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Cover sent from Vientiane franked with three copies of the set issued to commemorate UNESCO headquarter in Paris designed by Chamnane Prisayane:

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The complete collection of Prisayane's designed stamps:

Prisayan's Stamps

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ສັນຍາວຽງຈັນ 21ກຸມພາ 1973
Vientiane Peace Agreement, February 21, 1973

The Vientiane Peace Agreement was a cease-fire agreement between the two warring Lao factions - the Royal government of Laos, headed by Prince Souvanah Phouma as PM and the Pathet Lao, headed by Prince Souphanouvong - signed in Vientiane on February 21, 1973. The agreement document was signed by Pheng Phongsavan, represented the Royal government and Phoumi Vongvichit, represented the Pathet Lao.

The Vientiane Agreement was corollary to the Paris Peace Accords, signed the month before, which had ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The Vientiane Agreement called for the removal from Laos of all foreign forces.

Under the terms of the agreement, a new coalition government was to be created; security in major cities was to be undertaken by joint forces from both sides.

The coalition government envisaged by the agreement did not long outlast it and on 15 August 1975, the Pathet Lao took over Laos.

A set of three identical stamps and gold embossed souvenir sheet were issued on February 21, 1975 to commemorate the first anniversary of Vientiane Peace Agreement. The stamps show Kinf Savang Vatthana, Prince Souphanouvong and Prince Souvanah Phouma:

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Here is the brochure printed by Lao post announces the issue of these stamps and SS:

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FDC of this issue with special postmark:

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Another special postmark on a cover:

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Signing ceremony - Pheng Phongsavan, represented the Royal government (left) and Phoumi Vongvichit, represented the Pathet Lao (right):

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Prince Souphanouvong speech after he returned to Vientiane:

Prince Souphanouvong speech

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The Lao-French Painter Marc Leguay (I)

The painter Marc Leguay was born in 1910 in Charleville, France and educated at Evreux high school. In his youth he exhibited his art works in France and later in Spain, where he met Salvador Dali and Esteban Vicente. During one of these exhibitions he met the governor of Cochin-China, and accepted his invitation for stay in Laos.

In 1936, at the age of 26, Leguay left France for Indo-China and stayed in Khong Island in southern Laos. He continues to paint, in general the landscapes of south Laos and in particular those of Khong Island. Leguay stayed in Khong Island for 10 years, where he founded the Lao Academy of Art (L'Ecole d'Arts Lao).

Later in his life, he settled permanently in the town of Sala, close to the Cambodian border. In 1945, during the World War II, he arrested by the Japanese and kept in prison. Returning to his village after the war, he found his house plundered, probably by the Japanese. In 1947, He decided to go to Vientiane, where he worked as an art teacher at "Lycée de Vientiane". At this period he changed completely his style, now painting nudes with his Thai girl friend as sitter. In 1976, after the overthrow of the Lao monarchy, he moved to a small Thai village, where he remained until his death in 2001 at age 91.

Leguay in his studio, LIFE magazine 1959:

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Here are several Leguay paintings on Lao stamps:

Paddy-Field in Rainy Season, issued on December 21, 1970:

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Village Daily Life, issued on December 22, 1972:

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Village Market, issued on December 25, 1969:

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Bank of the Mekong River, issued on April 8, 1970:

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Kha hunter, issued on December 15, 1964:

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A nice cover sent registered from Vientiane to France franked with two stamps show Leguay's paintings:

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Lao Traditional Canoe

Here is a group of items shows Lao traditional canoes which are still in use in several parts of Laos.

A set issued on October 30, 1998:

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A stamp issued on June 24, 1982 as part of a set shows river crafts:

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Postcards issued by Alfred Raquez in 1906:

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Kingdom of Laos 1000 Kip banknote issued 1963 shows Lao canoes on the Mekong river:

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Time to School....

Lao student and the key to education, issued on October 1, 1959:

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Children learning to read, issued on January 30, 1972:

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Children in Class, issued on August 1, 1979 and December 10, 1998:

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Cover sent local from Sanakham:

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At a secondary school in Vientiane during the 1980's, a teacher brings her own children with her to class (National Geographic, 1987):

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That Makmo and Wat Visounalat, Luang Prabang

The Wat Wisunalat is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. The temple, also known as Wat Visoun was founded in 1512. The temple houses an important collection of ancient Buddha images. On the grounds are a sim of fairly plain architecture and the That Makmo (That Pathum), a large Singhalese style stupa. The temple burned down in 1887 when Luang Prabang was largely destroyed and looted by the Black Flag Army, a militia group from China. It was rebuilt in 1898.

The That Pathum, or Stupa of the Great Lotus was built in the early 16th century in a Singhalese style, the only one of its kind in Laos. The stupa is also known as That Makmo, which translates to “watermelon stupa”, because of the dome shape at the top. The stupa sits on top of a square platform. On each of its four corners is a lotus pedestal.


That Makmo:

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Local cover sent from Bolikhamxay franked with the That Makmo stamp:

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Wood carvings from Wat Visoun show Buddha holding lotus flower and dancing Apsara:

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FDC of the wood carvings set. Buddha holding lotus flower on the commemorative postmark and dancing Apsara on the cover's cachet:

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Two banknotes issued by the Kingdom of Laos show That Makmo:

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The entrance to Wat Visounalat and That Makmo:

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2500th Anniversary of Buddhism Era

Buddhism is a religion, or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end or ease suffering. The Buddhism practiced in Laos is the Theravada. The main philosophy of the Theravada says that insight must come from the aspirant's experience, critical investigation and reasoning instead of by blind faith. The Laotian Buddhism is a unique version of the Theravada. It is the basis of Lao culture and is often tied to animist and ancestral spirits beliefs.

In years 1956-1957, the Buddhist world celebrated the 2500th anniversary of of the complete Nirvana of the Buddha (Mahaparinirvana) which considered as the point of the Buddhism creation. Several countries issued stamps to celebrate the event, among them Laos which released on May 24, 1956 a set of five identical stamps show Lao Buddha statue from 14th century. The stamps were designed by Marc Leguay and engraved by Jean Pheulpin:

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Deep looking at the great engraving of this stamp:

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In addition to the stamp set, Laos also issued this commemorative 500 Kip banknote:

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Postcard shows planting Bohdi tree in Pha That Luang, Vientiane as a part of the 2500th anniversary of Buddhism's celebration:

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Other Buddhist countries issued stamps mark this event. Among them Burma which issued on May 17, 1956 a set about the Sixth Buddhist Council held to mark the 2500th anniversary of Buddhism in Yangon. One of the stamps shows Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos and Lao monks:

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Here is the complete set. You can see the high resolution of the stamps here:

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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Lao Fauna, issued on November 10, 1999:

Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus):

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Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis):

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Spotted Linsang (Prionodon pardicolor):

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Indian Sambar (Cervus unicolor):

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Lion (Panthera leo):

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Riding a Buffalo, a common sight in the rural areas of Laos:

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Lao Fauna: Crabs, issued on June 20, 2007:

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ເຈົ້າເສດຖາທິຣາດ - 1534-1571
King Saya Setthathirath - 1534-1571

Setthathirath or Xaysettha is one of the great leaders in Lao history. Throughout the 1560s until his death, he successfully defended his kingdom of Lan Xang against military campaigns of Burmese conqueror Bayinnaung, who had already subdued Xieng Mai (Chiang Mai) in 1558 and Ayutthaya in 1564. King Setthathirath was a prolific builder and erected many Buddhist monuments including Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Phrabang and the That Luang in Vientiane

Statue of King Setthathirath in Vientiane, issued by the Kingdom of Laos on March 30, 1973:

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Same statue of King Setthathirath on a gold embossed stamp issued by Laos on November 15, 2010 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Vientiane:

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This stamp was issued in SS. It was sold inside a yellow cardboard folder:

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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:

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Statue of King Setthathirath on a phonecard:

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ພຣະລັກພຣະຣາມ - ມະຫາກາບທີ່ຍິ່ງໃຫຍ່ຂອງປະຊາຊົນລາວ
The Phra Lak Phra Ram - The Great Epic of the Lao People (Part I)

The Phra Lak Phra Ram is the national epic of the Lao people, and is adapted from Valmiki's Hindu epic, the Ramayana.

The Phra Lak Phra Ram tells the adventures of Phra Ram and his wife, Nang Sida. While they were in exile, Thotsakane, the demon King, kidnapped Nang Sida to his Kingdom. Phra Ram, with help of his brother Phra Lak and the monkey army headed by Hanoumane fought Thotsakane and his army of demons. Finally, Thotsakane was defeated in the war; Nang Sida was rescued and reunited with Phra Ram. They returned to their Kingdom, Phra Ram was crowned King, and during his reign the Kingdom enjoyed peace and prosperity.

The Phra Lak Phra Ram is a tale of devotion, separation and reunion and an expression of the eternal battle between good and evil. In general, the epic explores the tenets of human existence and the concept of Dharma – the person's righteous duty on earth.

The Phra Lak Phra Ram Royal Ballet, designed by Marc Leguay, engraved by Jean Pheulpin and issued by the Kingdom of Laos on October 28, 1955.

Thotsakan, King of the demons (Hindu: Ravana):
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Hanuman, the Monkey-god, servant of god Phra Ram (Rama):
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Ninh Lapath, the black monkey:
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Phra Ram and Nang Sida (Hindu: god Rama and his wife Sita):
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Luci and friend:
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god Phra Ram, hero of the Phra Lak Phra Ram epic (Hindu: god Rama):
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Registered cover sent from Laos to Italy franked with the complete set of the Royal Ballet. Arrival postmark applied in Rome on the back:
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Raquez postcard issued in 1906 shows the Phra Lak Phra Ram Royal Ballet:

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Laos issued other sets and stamps depicting the Phra Lak Phra Ram epic. I will show them other time. So, see you again!

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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ພຣະລັກພຣະຣາມ - ມະຫາກາບທີ່ຍິ່ງໃຫຍ່ຂອງປະຊາຊົນລາວ
The Phra Lak Phra Ram - The Great Epic of the Lao People (Part II)

The Phra Lak Phra Ram Royal Ballet, designed by Tiao Mani and issued by the Kingdom of Laos on July 24, 1969:

Soukhib (Sugriva), King of the monkeys:
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Phra Lak (Lakshmana), god Rama brother:
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Thotsakan (Ravana), King of the demons:
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Nang Sida (Sita), god Rama's wife:
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Phra Lam (god Rama):
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Hanuman the monkey god, god Rama's loyal servant
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Duel between Soudagnou and Thotsakan (Jatayu and Ravana)
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Duel between Phra Lam and Thotsakan (god Rama and Ravana)
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Cover sent by airmail to USA franked with three stamps of the Royal Ballet set:

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The Lao Royal Ballet dancers performing the Phra Lak Phra Lam show - Maxicard affixed with a stamp of Phra Ram (Lord Rama):

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Re: Laos on Stamps - The People and the Land

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ພຣະລັກພຣະຣາມ - ມະຫາກາບທີ່ຍິ່ງໃຫຍ່ຂອງປະຊາຊົນລາວ
The Phra Lak Phra Ram - The Great Epic of the Lao People (Part III)

Here are more stamps depicting different scenes from the Phra Lak Phra Ram epic:

Different scenes from the Phra Lak Phra Ram, issued by Laos on October 10, 2004. Since the stamps were designed and printed in Thailand, the inscription on them is "Ramakian", the Thai version of the Ramayana:
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Hanuman in Phra Lak Phra Ram, issued by India on January 25, 2018:
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The Phra Lak Phra Ram 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.

Underwater duel between Hanuman and Nang Matsa, designed by Ky Phungchaleun, engraved by Roger Fenneteaux, and issued by Laos on February 5, 1971:
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The design of this stamp is based on a mural engraving in Patuxai gate in Vientiane:
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