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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 22
Location: Eugene, OR USA
Have spent the day reading Siho and Naga- Lao Textiles by Edeltraud Tagwerker (2009, Peter Lang Publ., 195 pp., about $50) Gives broad overview of modern Lao culture and then a moderately in-depth look at Lao textiles, focusing primarily on what people wear. Has a few small color pictures, but in that regard I am disappointed. It is weakly researched - and while it does cover sinh (skirts) in better detail, it overlooks completely some of Laos' most prominent weaving art forms, such as healing and shaman cloths.

It is written by a person obviously interested and excited by Lao textiles, and while her bibliography does indicate she is familiar with Patricia Cheesman's authoritative text on textiles of eastern Laos, she seems to rely more heavily on a few lesser known and authoritative texts and on her limited personal experiences, primarily in Laos' capital Vientiane. Some seminal works are not included in her bibliography, although she does site www.tribaltextiles.info in her list of links.

The book doesn't seem to break any new ground for those who are familiar with Lao textiles, and her discussions sometimes wanders into broad, less relevant topics such as general loom types in history. Her discussion on Lao ethnic characteristics is particularly limited. The layout is weak.

Ms. Tagwerker is a passionate amateur who alternates between personal experiences in Laos and a limited and slightly befuddled exploration of woven Lao art and Lao culture, never quite being able to satisfyingly tie the two together. Reading it, I often felt I didn't know what she ultimately wanted to say, and I felt she has a limited grasp of Laos' complexities and uniquely diverse traditions.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:43 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanks for the review. It is very helpful and informative.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:18 pm
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Siho and Naga are the most powerful figures in the mythological tradition Lao evident in their tissues. This book focuses on the history and culture of the creators of woven exquisite hand that drew lovers of textiles around the world. The study led not only to rare weaving techniques, patterns and natural dyes, but also an ethnically diverse population living self sufficient in their natural environment in rural areas or under the royal patronage in the cities old.

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