The Peoples of Laos: Rural and Ethnic Diversities
By Laurant Chazée
This book is the first comprehensive study conducted in Laos combining research on ethnic culture and indigenous values and the present socio-economic development. The 132 identified ethnic groups and sub-groups belong to the four linguistic families represented in Laos: Tai, Austroasiatic, Miao-Yao, and Sino-Tibetan. For each linguistic family, a detailed case study shows the ethno-linguistic specificity, as well as the institutional and socio-economic complexity. 132 maps give the geographic distribution of each group in Laos, while a large folded map shows the national linguistic and ethnic distribution pattern. For 56 ethnic groups and sub-groups, pictures cover people, habitat, agro-ecosystems, production systems and ethnic-related activities and handicrafts. This publication describes the peoples? diversity in the rural areas of Laos during the period 1992?1999. Specifically, the research, based on inter-disciplinary and participatory approaches - historical, ethno-linguistic, institutional, religious and natural resource management diversities of the rural communities - was conducted for a better understanding of the values and organizations of the rural communities. In the current period of world globalization, with the persistent challenge of poverty reduction through human development and gender issues, this study highlights great people and rural mosaics, and the still retained authenticity of Laos. If this cultural richness is not understood and preserved, several positive and environmentally friendly indigenous groups will continue to lose ground, sometimes at great social and environmental cost. This work contributes to a better knowledge of the indigenous values and systems of the ethnic groups, who are, or should be, the key partners and decision-makers in conceiving and implementing socio-economic development programs.
Size 210 x 295 mm
267 pages, illus., 68 pp. in color