Cover image for Laos : culture and society
Laos : culture and society
Evans, Grant, 1948-
Publication Information:
Singapore : Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 313 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Chiang Mai, Thailand : Silkworms Books, 1999.
From buffer state to crossroads state / Randi Jerndal & Jonathan Rigg -- Towards a new Laos / Soren Ivarsson -- Women, space, and history / Andrew Walker -- Elites in exile / Si-ambhaivan Sisombat Souvannavong --Ethnic change in highland Laos / Grant Evans -- The Lue of Muang Sing / Khampheng Thipmuntali -- Apprentice ethnographers / Grant Evans -- Royal relics / Ing-Britt Trankell -- Women's power and Theravada Buddhism / H. Leedom Lefferts, Jr. -- Books of search / Peter Koret -- Lao as a national language / N.J. Enfield.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS555.3 .L343 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Laos stands at the center of mainland Southeast Asia, sharing borders with all the main states in the region including China, so that when one touches on Laos, one touches the heart of the region. This study of culture and society in Laos inevitably leads into broader issues associated with all the surrounding societies and cultures concerning their origins and contemporary developments. Essays focus on the creation of the idea of Laos and its culture, whether it be through literature, tourism, or the activities of nationalists, thereby contributing to more general debates on the nature of Southeast Asian nationalism. They look at questions of minorities in Laos and issues of ethnic change. And they look at Laos in its regional context, and at Lao businessmen in their new global context. Grant Evans is reader in anthropology at the University of Hong Kong.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

For over four decades Laos has remained hidden from scholarly view. These essays revisit this mainland Southeast Asian country, its peoples, and its histories, bringing to light the significance of Laos in relation to surrounding regions while contributing to contemporary scholarly debates on gender, religion, the formations of ethnic identity, the emergence of the socialist nation-state, the social history of trade, and relationships between and among language, history, and memory apparent in social and cultural practices. The picture that emerges illustrates the arbitrary nature of the boundaries of the Lao nation-state and the fluidity of the peoples' social life within and across these boundaries, experiences that are anchored in the historical events that have shaped the country's trajectories. The high quality of all of the essays makes this volume a must read for the Southeast Asian specialist, and illustrates the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives and the rewards of international scholarly collaboration. For the general reader interested in Southeast Asia, these essays are accessible and informative. All collections.