Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ethnic Groups of Laos

The Akhas were the bigger producer of opium in Laos and they could earn the small money they needed from the narco-traffickers. In order to fight this illegal commerce, the government relocated most of their villages along the main roads and converted their production to the rattan cane. The Akhas sell it on the market where all ethnic groups of Laos gather to trade. This video casts a suggestive look on the fragmented ethnic composition of Laos and shows how its peoples live nowadays. 

In Laos, Slush and Burn is a primitive agricultural system still in use to grow the "dry rice". After a few years the plantation need to be moved for the loss of productivity, but at least this method does not involve any chemical fertilizers. In this way, the waters of the rivers are not polluted and are suitable for all daily uses. When the village is to be transferred the Zoema, the chief of the community, finds the new location by interpreting a "special omen": the braking of an egg.

Herbs are another very important resource in Laos, both for healing and cooking. As an example, there is one herb that improves sex (although only for men..) while another one named Kalanka stops diarrhea...