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Lao art has a long and eventful history.
Lao ceramics were first uncovered in 1970 at a construction site at kilometer 3, Thadeua Road in the Vientiane area, Mekong Valley, Laos. Construction was halted only temporarily, and the kiln was hastily and unprofessionally excavated over a one-month period. At least four more kilns have been identified since then, and surface evidence and topography indicate at least one hundred more in the Ban Tao Hai Village of the Jar Kilns vicinity Archaeologists have labeled the area Sisattanak Kiln Site
Lao artisans have, throughout the past, used a variety of media in their sculptural creations. Of the metals, bronze is probably the most common, but gold and silver images also exist. Typically, the precious metals are used only for smaller objects, but some large images have been cast in gold, most notably the Phra Say of the sixteenth century, which the Siamese carried home as booty in the late eighteenth century. It is in enshrined at Wat Po Chai in Nongkhai, Thailand, just across the Mekong River from Vientiane. The Phra Say's two companion images, the Phra Seum and Phra Souk, are also in Thailand. One is in Bangkok and the other is in Lopburi. Perhaps the most famous sculpture in Laos, the Phra Bang, is also cast in gold, but the craftsmanship is held to be of Sinhalese, rather than Lao, origin. Tradition maintains that relics of the Buddha are contained in the image.
Media related to Art of Laos at Wikimedia Commons
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