- Meet three innovative and enterprising locals in Luang Prabang.
- Get an intimate insight into their early and current lives.
- Witness traditional artisanal techniques and skills.
Portraits of Luang Prabang
Spend the morning meeting talented and inspiring artisans keeping traditional arts alive.
Our first visit is with the artist, Thone, at his home in Ban Don Keo village on the bank of the Nam Khan River. Thone graduated from the Art School of Wat Xieng Maun, a project set up by UNESCO to help preserve the exquisite art and decorations in temples and other ancient buildings. These include mural paintings, glass mosaics, wood carvings and lacquer work. Thone specialises in painting and currently sells his artworks in the night market. Some of his traditional murals can also be seen adorning the walls of hotels and restaurants in Luang Prabang.
Next, meet the sisters, Mone and Keo, skilled in the ancient tradition of weaving. From a Katu ethnic group, they grew up in a small village on the Salavan plateau in the south of the country. From an early age their mother taught them how to weave using techniques that have been passed down through the generations. About nine years ago the sisters came to Luang Prabang where they set up a small workshop to teach others this ancient art. See the beautiful textiles that they create using traditional designs from the Katu tribe. Learn the stories and the meaning behind the various designs and patterns. If this has sparked your interest in learning more about weaving, there is the opportunity to sign up for a workshop with Mone and Keo.
Finally, return to downtown Luang Prabang to meet Uncle Noy. He makes elaborate ornaments such as the crowns worn by traditional Lao dancers and the playful monkey masks used in the Ramayana. As a young boy he learned the craft from an old artisan who worked for the royal family, and is now considered to be the last artisan of this type in Luang Prabang. Unless he can find someone to pass his skills on to, this unique craft will sadly die out.
|Arts & Culture, Off The Beaten Track, Sustainable