Lao Roots by Fleur Brofos Asmussen
Fragments of a Nordic-Lao Family Saga
Lao Roots. In 1990 the author travelled to Laos to find her relatives still living there. For years she and her sister had sought the descendants of their grandmother, Sao Boun Ma. These Laotian relatives were finally found in Vientiane. The search revealed a complex and fantastic story. The Norwegian grandfather, Peter Hauff, who died in 1951, left a long account of his experiences as a trader in Indo-China (1890-1928) with a number of hitherto unknown photographs of Laos and Cambodia/Vietnam. Nowhere did he mention the Laotian mother of one of his daughters, and the Vietnamese mother of the other. Shortly after his son drowned and the premature death in Laos of his equally fantastic Swiss business partner, Hans Faesh, the energetic Peter Hauff left for Europe in 1905 with his two daughters. He married a woman probably not of his choice, and returned to Vietnam to continue trading. He eventually settled in France, and died there, never having seen again his Sao Boun Ma whom he described in a note shortly before his death as "the honest and faithful".
236 pages, illus. with 86 historical photographs