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Handicraft of Laos

 
 The Buddhist sculpture in Laos  
 
 
 
 
  The earliest Buddha images found within the territory of present-day...more  
 
 
  The textiles of Laos  
 
 
 
 
 
The production of woven and embroidered textiles is undoubtedly the most prolific of all traditional crafts in Laos
...more 
 
 
 
  The gold and silver ware of Laos  
 
 
 
 
  The archaeological evidence indicates that gold and silversmithing was practised...more  
 
 
  The ceramics of Laos  
 
 
 
 
  The pottery dating back to the 3rd and 2nd centuries CE has been unearthed at Ban Pako near Vientiane...more  
 
The gold and silver ware of Laos
 THE GOLD AND SILVER WARE OF LAOS
 The archaeological evidence indicates that gold and silversmithing was practised from an early date in those areas of modern Laos which once formed part of the Khmer empire (9th-13th centuries). However, significant development of this craft did not take place until the first half of the 16th century, when a class of skilled gold and silversmiths emerged at the royal court of Xiang Dong Xiang Thong (Luang Prabang), most probably under the influence of Lanna, an important early centre of gold and silverware production. 
 Thereafter mining increased to provide the raw materials for the production of elaborately-decorated ceremonial boxes, urns and items of jewellery for members of the royal family and aristocracy and votive items for Buddhist temples. 
 From the early years of the 20th century necklaces, bracelets, earrings and a range of distinctive small containers for the storage of betel and home made cosmetic preparations began to be produced to meet the demands of the growing urban population. 
 Before 1975 Luang Prabang was known as a major centre for high-quality silverware. However, both gold and silversmithing declined after 1975 and has only recently begun to recover. 
 In recent years both the Lao Handicraft Association and the Design Centre Vientiane have offered short training courses in gold and silversmithing with a view to helping Lao craftspersons to develop new products and to upgrade the quality of existing goods. At the time of writing too the Lao, the Handicraft Association is co-operating with private businesses to draw up professional standards for gold and silversmiths in Laos and to develop a two-year gold and silversmithing course to be offered at vocational training schools throughout the country.