Diverse Lao Women; Indra Riding Airavata; Pha That Luang Buddhist Stupa & Cattle Grazing 1000 Kip Laos Authentic Banknote Money for Collage
Diverse Lao Women, Pha That Luang Buddhist Stupa & Cattle Grazing 1000 Kip Laos Authentic Banknote Money for Jewelry and Collage (Indra on Airavata) (Ethnic Fashion)
Traditionally-Dressed Women representing the three major ethnic groups of Laos: 1) Lao Lum, 2) Lao Sung and 2) Lao Theung.
Pha That Luang stupa ("Great Stupa"), located in Vientiane.
Lao Coat of Arms.
God Indra riding Airavata the Three-Headed Elephant.
Lettering: ສາທາລະນະສດ ປະຂາຫປະໄຕ ປະຂາຂນນລາວ 1000
Reverse: Cattle grazing;
Electrical power towers.
Lettering: 1000 1000
Watermark: Pattern of alternating stars and hammer-and-sickles
Type Standard banknote
Years 1998-2003 (1998-2004)
Value 1000 Kip
1000 LAK = USD 0.09
Currency Lao PDR Kip (1979-date)
Size 152 × 68 mm
Number N# 214710
References P# 32A
The Lao Lum people are a Tai ethnic group native to Southeast Asia, who speak the eponymous language of the Kra–Dai languages, originating from present-day southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Laos, making up 53.2% of the total population. The majority of Lao people adhere to Theravada Buddhism. They are closely related to other Tai peoples, especially (or synonymous) with the Isan people, who are also speakers of Lao language, but native to neighboring Thailand.
In Western historiography, terms Lao people and Laotian have had a loose meaning. Both terms have been irregularly applied both to all natives of Laos in general, aside from or alongside ethnic Lao during different periods in history. Since the end of French rule in Laos in 1953, Lao has been applied solely to the ethnic group while Laotian refers to any citizen of Laos regardless of their ethnic identity. Certain countries still conflate the terms in their statistics.
Lao Sung or more commonly Lao Soung (Laotian: ລາວສູງ [láːw sǔːŋ]) is an official Laotian designation for highland dwelling peoples of Hmong, Yao and Tibeto-Burman origins in Laos (the others being the Lao Loum and the Lao Theung). Lao Soung make up 9% of the Laotian population in Laos.
They mostly practice indigenous religions classified together as Satsana Phi, including Lao phi worship, and Yao Taoism. Some practice Theravada Buddhism. Some Lao Soung fought against the communist Pathet Lao government in 1975 to keep the Royal Lao Government in power. Many moved from southern China and Laos to the U.S., France and Australia in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to escape the communist governments there.
The Lao Theung or Lao Thoeng (Lao: ລາວເທິງ [láːo tʰə́ŋ]) is one of the traditional divisions of ethnic groups living in Laos (the others being the Lao Loum and the Lao Soung). It literally indicates the "midland Lao", and comprises a variety of different ethnic groups of mostly Austro-Asiatic origin. In 1993, the Lao Theung formed 24% of the country's population.
Lao Theung are largely of Mon-Khmer stock, and are believed to be the autochthonous population of mainland Southeast Asia, having migrated south in pre-historical time. Their legendary origin is related in the "Pumpkin Story" in James McCarthy's account of 1894. Although they now live in the higher uplands of Laos, they were originally paddy rice farmers, until displaced by the influx of Lao Loum migration into southeast Asia from Southern China. See upland rice farmers' challenges.
Within Laos, the Lao Theung are sometimes referred to by the pejorative term khaa (Lao: ຂ້າ), meaning "slave", reflecting the fact that they were traditionally used for labour by the lowland Lao. Midland Lao still have a lower standard of living than other ethnic groups.
Pha That Luang (Lao: ທາດຫຼວງ or ພຣະທາດຫລວງ, IPA: [tʰâːt lwǎːŋ] 'Great Stupa') is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century AD, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions as recently as the 1930s due to foreign invasions of the area. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.
Buddhist missionaries from the Mauryan Empire are believed to have been sent by the Emperor Ashoka, including Bury Chan or Praya Chanthabury Pasithisak and five Arahata monks who brought a holy relic (believed to be the breastbone) of Lord Buddha to the stupa in the 3rd century BC. It was rebuilt in the 13th century as a Khmer temple which fell into ruin.
In the mid-16th century, King Setthathirat relocated his capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane and ordered the construction of Pha That Luang in 1566. It was rebuilt about 4 km from the centre of Vientiane at the end of Pha That Luang Road and named Pha That Luang. The bases had a length of 69 metres each and was 45 metres high, and was surrounded by 30 small Stupas.
In 1641, a Dutch envoy of the Dutch East India Company, Gerrit van Wuysthoff, visited Vientiane and was received by King Sourigna Vongsa at the temple, where he was, reportedly, received in a magnificent ceremony. He wrote that he was particularly impressed by the "enormous pyramid and the top was covered with gold leaf weighing about a thousand pounds". However, the stupa was repeatedly plundered by the Burmese, Siamese, and Chinese.
Pha That Luang was destroyed by the Thai invasion in 1828, which left it heavily damaged and abandoned. It was not until 1900 that the French restored to its original design based on the detailed drawings from 1867 by the French architect and explorer Louis Delaporte. However the first attempt to restore it was unsuccessful and it had to be redesigned and then reconstructed in the 1930s. During the Franco-Thai War, Pha That Luang was heavily damaged during a Thai air raid. After the end of World War II, the Pha That Luang was reconstructed.
The National Emblem of the Lao People's Democratic Republic shows the national shrine Pha That Luang. A dam is pictured which as a symbol of power generation at the reservoir Nam Ngum. An asphalt street is also pictured, as well as a stylized watered field.
In the lower part is a section of a gear wheel. The inscription on the left reads "Peace, Independence, Democracy" (Lao script: ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ) and on the right, "Unity and Prosperity" (Lao script: ເອກະພາບ ວັດຖະນາຖາວອນ.)
The coat of arms was changed in August 1991 in relation to the fall of the Soviet Union. The Communist red star and hammer and sickle were replaced with the national shrine at Pha That Luang. The coat of arms is specified in the Laotian constitution:
The National Emblem of the Lao People's Democratic Republic is a circle depicting in the bottom part one-half of a cog wheel and red ribbon with inscriptions [of the words] "Lao People's Democratic Republic", and [flanked by] crescent-shaped stalks of fully ripened rice at both sides and red ribbons bearing the inscription "Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity, Prosperity". A picture of Pha That Luang Pagoda is located between the tips of the stalks of rice. A road, a paddy field, a forest and a hydroelectric dam are depicted in the middle of the circle.
The emblem of the Kingdom of Laos was a three headed elephant named Airavata. Airavata is a huge elephant which has three, sometimes 33 heads. The heads are often shown with more than two tusks. In Hinduism, Airavata (raFt) is a white elephant who carries Lord Indra, the King of Gods and Lord of Heaven.
According to the Matangalila, Airavata was born when Brahma sang sacred hymns over the halves of the egg shell from which Garuda hatched, followed by seven more male and eight female elephants. Prithu made Airavata king of all elephants. One of his names means ‘the one who knits or binds the clouds’. This is because these elephants are capable of producing clouds.
Airavata is the mount of each one of the eight guardian deities who preside over the eight points of the compass.
A reference to Airavata in the Bhagvad Gita reads:
“Of horses, know Me to be the nectar-born Ucchaisravas; of lordly elephants, Airavata and of men, the monarch.” (Chapter 10, Verse 27)
Airavata was crested with a sevenfolded umbrella, the emblem of a sovereign ruler.
The government encourages animal husbandry through programs for cattle breeding, veterinary services, cultivation of pasture crops, and improvement of fish, poultry, and pig stocks. Between 1976-78 and 1986-88, the stock of all farm animals increased greatly: cattle by 69 percent to 588,000 head; goats by 128 percent to 73,000; pigs by 103 percent to 1.5 million; horses by 59 percent to 42,000; buffaloes by 55 percent to 1 million; and chickens by 101 percent to 8 million. Increases, however, would, have been significantly greater without diseases and a persistent shortage of animal feed. Disease is a serious problem: there is a significant annual mortality of chickens and pigs in most villages, and buffaloes are also frequently subject to epidemics.
Learning the art of rice farming in Laos
By Claire Connell
Friday 1 November 2013, 09:50AM
LUANG PRABANG: Wading through sloppy, knee-deep mud and dragging a plough through a rice field behind a huge water buffalo is probably not every tourist’s idea of fun – it’s certainly not what I had planned when I signed up for a tour to learn about the rice farming industry in Laos.
But in Luang Prabang, a charming city in the east of the country, hundreds of visitors are eagerly saying yes to the unique opportunity to experience being a rice farmer for the day – even if it includes getting covered in mud and being dragged around by a beast of burden named Susan.
Laut Lee, a native of Luang Prabang, is the mastermind behind the rice farming experience project, called Living Land.
A rice farmer all his life, Laut became manager of the eight-hectare rice farm seven years ago, and set up an organic garden on the site to sell produce to local hotels and restaurants.
Things were ticking along nicely when he received a phone call one day from a hotel, whose American guests had asked if they could visit the farm to see where their organic salad came from.
His reaction? Total shock that someone would want to visit his farm.
“I thought it was impossible, because it was so muddy and dirty – everywhere here is mud, clay and soil. But they insisted that they really wanted to see it,” Laut explains.
“So they came and said, ‘Wow, this is wonderful. Why don’t you set up a place where people can come and visit?’ The idea grew from there.”
These days, Living Land is rated the top attraction on Trip Advisor for tourists staying in the quiet Unesco-listed town of Luang Prabang, and after 10 minutes in the company of the enthusiastic Laut it’s easy to see why.
The rice farm actually belongs to seven local families who lease the land. Laut’s the manager, and since he introduced the programme for tourists a couple of years ago, nearly 2,000 visitors have passed through.
It’s easy to forget that the farm is a real working farm, and the tours are merely a sideline. The main purpose of the farm is to make profit from rice, and there are 14 employees hired to help with this.
Laut is a one man band on the tourism side of things – in the morning he runs the tours or works in the office doing bookings, and in the afternoon he’s back out on the farm doing the practical harvesting.
Laut starts every tour with a short introduction to the history of the farm, and explains the importance of sticky rice to the people of Laos. The 14 practical steps to planting sticky rice are explained, and then the fun really begins as tourists get to do it for themselves.
While normally the start-to-end process takes all year, one area of Laut’s farm has been set up in various different stages, so visitors can experience all different parts of the harvesting in one day.
The fun (and it really was) began with ploughing the field in preparation for rice planting. One by one, we took turns at wading through a muddy paddock, gripping onto a wooden plough for dear life as Susan the buffalo dragged us around.
It’s much harder than it looks, and it was not long before some of us were falling into the mud, alongside squeals of laughter – it must have been quite the sight for the real farmers.
The next step was planting the rice, where we were all given small rice seedlings to carefully plant in the freshly, although rather haphazardly, ploughed field. Once that was complete we fast forwarded to the harvesting stage, which happens in the next paddock over.
After only a few minutes of carrying huge sacks of rice we realised just how physically tiring rice farming is, and we spared a thought for the Lao locals, many of whom do this every day for years on end.
For Laut, it's incredibly rewarding seeing such fun had on the farm, though he never intended on a career as a rice farmer.
He attended university in Luang Prabang where he studied to be a teacher. Years of working in restaurants and hotels had left him with excellent English skills, but he was eventually lured into the industry that supports thousands of his countrymen.
“Lao people believe rice is our life – it’s our staple food. We live on sticky rice, that’s the main thing on our dining table. The farmers eat sticky rice because it makes them strong and able to work hard.”
Laut explains that around 80 per cent of the 6 million people in Laos are still involved in rice farming. On average, every Lao person eats around 20kg of sticky rice a month. One hectare of planted rice produces around 2.5-3 tonnes of rice.
Farmers get up at sunrise and work until lunchtime, and usually have a long lunch break to escape the hottest part of the day, Laut says.
“It doesn’t bring much money. Working in the fields is very hard, and rice is cheap. You cannot make money from only selling rice, so farmers will have other jobs, like doing crafts, fishing, collecting food, berries and bamboo shoots from the jungle, or selling vegetables.”
Speaking of vegetables, there’s also an organic garden on the farm, which was created by staff member Mr Vixay. We were given a tour of the extensive garden, after we had learned how to make rice flour (a slow and time consuming process), rice wine, and also tried our hand at sugarcane juice.
It was with great satisfaction that after a busy morning harvesting our rice, we sat down to a huge meal of Laos’ prized national dish with far more appreciation for the exhausting process than we had before.
“As a teacher I would earn a bit more money, but not a lot more,” Laut says.
“My parents were rice farmers, and growing up I would always help them on the farm. I’m so happy to continue their job. Even if I’m teaching or doing some other business, I’m still eating a lot of sticky rice. I’m very proud of what I’m doing here.”
For more information, visit livinglandlao.com
Mountainous terrain and heavy annual rainfall give Laos considerable hydroelectric potential. The Mekong River and its tributaries in Laos have an estimated hydroelectric potential of between 18,000 and 22,000 megawatts, or roughly half that of the river as a whole. The remaining potential belongs to Cambodia and other riparian countries. Total installed capacity in 1991 was 212 megawatts, the majority of it hydroelectric, or only about 1 percent of the potential.
Production of hydroelectricity, the country's major export until 1987, expanded slowly throughout the 1980s, from 930 thousand megawatt-hours in 1980 to about 1.1 million megawatt-hours in 1989, an increase of about 17 percent. The majority of electricity produced--approximately 75 to 80 percent, as of 1992--is exported to Thailand, which has an agreement to purchase all surplus electricity. The remainder is supplied to power networks for domestic consumption. Through 1986 the sale of electricity to Thailand was the country's most important source of foreign exchange. Despite increased production, in 1987 hydroelectricity yielded its place as the principal export to wood products, because of the drought, which lowered water levels, and a reduction in the unit price of electricity to Thailand. By 1991 a new agreement between Laos and Thailand had raised the unit price of electric power.
The largest hydropower facility in Laos is the Nam Ngum dam, sited on the Nam Ngum River, north of Vientiane. The Nam Ngum plant began operation in 1971 with an installed generating capacity of thirty megawatts; by 1987 additional turbines had increased capacity to 150 megawatts. In the early 1970s, the Nam Ngum facility provided electricity to Vientiane; the supply was gradually extended to surrounding villages on the Vientiane plain. As of the early 1990s, approximately 80 percent of the power produced at Nam Ngum was exported to Thailand; some was diverted to the south for town and village electrification.
A second hydroelectric dam was completed at Xeset near Saravan (Salavan) in southern Laos in 1991. The Xeset plant has an installed capacity of twenty megawatts.