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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:46 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:43 am
Posts: 29
Location: Sydney, Australia
I recently picked up a copy of the following book:

Buddhist Textiles of Laos, Lan Na and the Isan by Fredrick W Bruce
Published by D.K. Printworld, India in 2004
ISBN 81-246-0250-6

I have to say this book has been a surpise. It doesn't actually have any photos of Lao textiles. Instead what you have are hundreds of designs from Lao textiles reproduced in B&W in a fine square grid format and you are then provided with an explanation as to what the design represts in buddhist or local myth. The author is Professor Emertius of Art at Indianna University and it shows in the attention to detail and references in the book.

This book gives you what is effectively a dictionary of differing Lao designs and their meanings, by giving the designs in the grid format it allows you to conentrate on the elements of the design so you can correctly identify it on other textiles. It's not an easy book to find, and be warned it is quite heavy for postage purposes, but I highly reccomend it for the library of those interested in Lao textiles and their iconography.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 22
Location: Eugene, OR USA
We were anticipating more photos in the book - they would have been helpful. I will guess that printing costs were greatly reduced by including b/w grids of the textile patterns rather than photos. But the info in the text is unique and very helpful for those wanting an intimate peak and wanting a deeper understanding of the motifs of Buddhist-influenced textiles from northern Thailand and Laos. (Cheesman's Lao-Tai Textiles is far more readable and inclusive for those wanting a first deeper understanding of these textiles; Bunce's text is strictly for those focused on design motifs.) Bunce's work does extend to textile motifs beyond the reach of Cheesman's geographical focus.

It is not exhaustive in its details and collection of motifs, and makes a better reference book than reading book.

That being said, we have used it many times to isolate textile patterns and getting a deeper appreciation of the art, mythology, and depth of effort and talent that goes into these gorgeous silks.

We found a copy, ordered from India (where it was published), at

Above the Fray: Traditional Hilltribe Art

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:41 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 394
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Just for the sake of clarity: I believe the author of that book is Fredrick Bunce, not Bruce.
(Mai bpen rai!/think nothing of it)

Susan Stem

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