Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center Luang Prabang, TAEC, announces internationally curated exhibition
“Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts”
The Luang Prabang based Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre (TAEC) has opened a new exhibit entitled, “Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts”. This exhibit features the Job’s tears (Coix) plant, indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia, to demonstrate the important relationship between humans and nature. It is guest curated by Dr. Yukino Ochiai, a Japanese ethnobotanist at Ryukoku University, who has researched Job’s tears for over 15 years, amassing an unparalleled collection of objects featuring the plant’s seeds.
This special exhibition provides insight into the clothing and changing lifestyles of the region’s ethnic minorities, including the Akha, Chin, Karen, Jinghpaw and Palaung. On display are unusual artefacts, including a Chin headdress that uses porcupine quills, and magnificent necklaces from 14 different countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. Visitors are treated to a visually stunning display allowing them to explore the meaningful role of the environment in the daily lives of rural ethnic communities. Also, with the addition of discovery corners, an extensive activity centre, and ethnobotanical garden, the museum is perfect for children and adults.
TAEC Co-Director Tara Gujadhur says, “In the past, ethnic groups gathered different kinds of natural materials from the forests and fields, including cotton, plant dyes, and the seeds of Job’s tears. Nowadays, these natural materials are being replaced by those from markets, such as machine-made textiles, chemical dyes, and synthetic fibres. This is just one indicator of the upheavals these communities are undergoing – resettlement of villages, dependence on a market economy, and erosion of cultural practices and customs. We are looking forward to shedding more light on these issues through this exhibit.” The exhibition will be open through Fall 2017.
About the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre
The Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre is the only museum in Laos dedicated to cultural diversity. TAEC is engaged in a broad range of museum and community engagement activities, reflecting its commitment to supporting living ethnic minority communities to preserve and promote their cultural heritage while looking towards the future.
TAEC Museum – Exhibitions and Museum Shop
At the foot of Phousi Hill behind Dara Market
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9am-6pm
Phone: 071 253364
Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC)
Phone: 071 253364