A very good reason to visit Luang Prabang aside its temples and stunning sceneries is the visit of the The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Moreover TAEC has recently opened a new unique exhibit entitled, “Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts” that will last up to Fall 2018.
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. The EXO Foundation is honored to be a sponsor of this exhibition not to be missed and where visitors are treated to a stunning visual experience allowing them to explore the meaningful role of the environment in daily lives of rural ethnic communities.
This exhibition draws on Dr. Ochiai’s field research in Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar to show that the wild and domesticated plants of Job’s tears are used as food, medicine, and beads by ethnic groups belonging to different linguistic categories. “By displaying the whole process from living plants, seeds and items in this exhibit, I hope to share an idea with TAEC visitors; how material culture is based on plant diversity and the environment,” Dr. Ochiai said.
Also, with the addition of discovery corners, an extensive activity centre, and ethnobotanical garden, the museum is perfect for children and adults. Currently on display at TAEC are permanent exhibits exploring the unique cultural aspects of four of Laos most well known ethnic minority groups: Akha, Hmong, Kmhmu and Tai Lue. It is also an ideal shopping place for amateurs of authentic crafts Made in Laos.