Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) via the Luang Prabang Fund for Culture and Conservation

Our Mission: To facilitate pride and investment in Laos' ethnic diversity and cultural resources by helping visitors and locals to understand and value the changing lifestyles of Laos' many ethnic groups, and providing an outlet for the development and selling of their handicrafts. Founding Principles and Information: The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre is a museum in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. It is the only independent non-profit museum and resource centre in Laos dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the traditional arts and lifestyles of the country's many and diverse ethnic groups. TAEC features professional exhibitions...
Aug 8, 2014

Education Progammes reach more than 300 youth in Laos

A visit to Donmai Elementary School
A visit to Donmai Elementary School

Before school was out for the summer, TAEC visited four primary schools for our school outreach program reaching nearly 70 children. Students learned about 5 of the ethnic groups in Laos: Yao Mien, Lahu, Akha, Hmong, and Khmhu.  Since most school children in Laos never have the opportunity to visit museums as a part of their school extracurricular activities,  TAEC also sponsors and coordinates school groups to visit the museum. After a tour, we set them loose on a scavenger hunt throughout the museum.

We also hosted 275 older students through two college group visits, one from Vientiane and one from Luang Prabang. We are happy to share our permanent and temporary exhibitions with more people in Laos.  Visitors learn about Akha, Kmhmu, Tai Lui, and Hmong people through exhibits of traditional clothing, household objects and handmade items including baskets, jewelry, textiles and carving.   The visits included a special exhibit on the Katu people. 

Students from Muang Ngaon a scavenger hunt at TAEC
Students from Muang Ngaon a scavenger hunt at TAEC

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May 12, 2014

Rural Artisan Handicraft Trip

Our handicrafts team headed north to visit Tai, Yao, Yao, Kmhmu, and Tai artisans in Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, and Oudomxai this past March. It’s always helpful to meet with producers face-to-face and strengthen relationships with our all-important source communities.

A typical visit starts with meeting the head of the handicrafts group for the village, followed by a walk around the village to meet with other artisans. On this visit to a Tai Dam village, we talked with several of the weavers working on a new design for TAEC and got to see the new scarf along various stages of the weaving process. The women have organized themselves into informal weaving cooperatives made up of family and friends and may range from high school students who weave after school to grandmothers! We also organize short training and feedback sessions to discuss designs, quality, and new product ideas.

To see more photos from our trip, check out our photo album on Facebook!

Feb 10, 2014

2013 Highlights and What's Ahead

Summer kids activity game
Summer kids activity game

Welcome to the Year of the Horse, 2014 and soon-to-be 2557! TAEC hit a number of milestones last year, with your help!

In addition to opening the new exhibition, “Carving a Community: the Katu People” we:

  • enabled $67,073 in earnings for our handicraft producers
  • held our first summer children’s activity benefitting 19 kids, including several from outside of Luang Prabang town
  • hosted Pasong Lee as part of our ethnic youth internship programme with PhotoForward,
  • co-organised a panel and spoke at the Lao Studies Conference

This year, we plan to expand our handicraft work even further to include more communities, to open our first community-curated exhibit, and to extend our education work into local orphages.

Thank you for your partnership and we look forward to sharing our progress with you over the year!

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