Download A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between (Short History by Grant Evans PDF

By Grant Evans

This complete and shiny historical past of Laos is a perfect advent for travelers, company tourists, and scholars. Informative and transportable, it chronicles the background of Laos from precedent days, whilst the dynastic states of the area waxed and waned, to the turmoil of the Vietnam battle and independence from France. This consultant investigates those key occasions lower than a brand new mild and provides severe demanding situations to the traditional perspectives approximately Laos's fascinating heritage.

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Extra resources for A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between (Short History of Asia series, A)

Example text

He described it as ‘a delightful little town, covering a square mile of ground, and containing a population . . of 7,000 or 8,000 only’. The picture he gives in his memoirs of ‘the princes who govern this little state, and who bear the title of kings’ is of two men, the king and his ouparat, elevated on a raised platform, their subjects prostrated around them, speaking to the seated explorer. It displays little majesty and power, and clearly the kingdom now stood barely above the chiefdoms of the Sip Song Chu Tai.

Auguste Pavie was the first French governor of Laos (1893–95), but apart from replacing the ailing King Ounkham with his son (who took the name Zacharine) and proclaiming, ‘I confirm the princes in their current positions in Laos, now become a French possession’, he did relatively little. In 1899 Laos, now seen as a single administrative unit of Indochina, was headed by a Résident Supérieur based at Savannakhet. He moved to Vientiane the following year. In December 1895 Bulloche, the Résident in the north, drew up an agreement with the King which left him in charge of the day-to-day running of the kingdom through its traditional structure.

These kingdoms were organised as hierarchical societies in which classifications of people implied hierarchy. Even the highest lord of the kingdom was kha in relation to the king. Upland non-Buddhists were kha to all Buddhists. Kha might occasionally be given a particular name, such as the Kha-kassak surrounding Luang Phrabang, but these were kha who were encompassed by a muang and tied to it by ritual relations, among others. Those beyond the muang were khon pa, ‘wild forest dwellers’, beyond the pale 21 Laos—PAGES 12/4/02 2:10 PM Page 22 A Short History of Laos of civilisation.

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