Tuesday, April 29, 2014


"Countries and Their Cultures." Kammu. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Kammu.html#b>.

"Khmu of Laos | OMF." Khmu of Laos | OMF. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.omf.org/omf/us/peoples_and_>

"Khmu people." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmu_people>.

"Kids of Courage." Khmu Food and a Recipe «. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.kidsofcourage.com/?p=5461>.

"Lao-pedia - Facts About The Khmu People." Lao-pedia - Facts About The Khmu People. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.greendiscoverylaos.com/travel-info/wiki/item/177-facts-about-the-khmu-people>.

"List of birds of Laos." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds

"Oral histories of livelihoods and migration under socialism and post socialism in Northern Laos."Academia.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.academia.edu/2039490/Oral_

*pictures resources are listed below each photo along with video clips*

Khmu Cultural Survival:

 The Khmu peoples are ones who in recent times have adjusted easily to socio-political organizations (greendiscoverlaos.com). As noted before, they work well with their surrounding neighbors and villages in order to meet each others needs. However, such quick adaptations can have the Khmuic people lose their traditions within their culture, which means that the Khmu may risk losing their cultural identity all together. As it is, the Khmu culture is already viewed as vanishing according to some texts. Overall, the Khmu peoples need to find an adaptation system that enhances but still keeps important aspects of their culture alive.

Khmu Cooking:

     Khmu food is primarily based on sticky rice and small game. Rice is served at almost every meal and they almost never buy food. What is placed on the table is what is caught either fishing or hunting. In order to preparing meat and fish, they are smoked and cooked on top of large fires located near the males huts. The men typically do the hunting and fishing, while the females collect plants and grains such as rice and mushrooms. Special foods consist of eggs and black sticky rice fro "wife-givers" (such as the mates father) and ceremonies (everyculture.com). Lastly, there is not many ingredients used in cooking. Usually the meal is simply seasoned with salt and chili (other spices may include ginger and garlic). 
**Fun fact from everyculture.com: Black rice also symbolizes safety and is carried around in a small pouch when they travel. 


Music of the Khmu:

     The Khmu's music consisted of handmade and carved instruments including a bronze drum and w carved wooden flute. It is similar to the music in the rest of southeast asia as portrayed in the video above. The video includes pictures of the Khmu culture along with a traditional Khmuic song.

Khmu Migrations and Diaspora:

     The area of northern Laos has been subjected to an a series of wars and air raids from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s. Therefore, many people fled to the highlands and the outskirts, already where the Khmu resided for almost 400 years. The Khmu are only a mere 11% of the total population in all of Laos, but the largest minority. In Nam Tha valley, they compile around 80% of the local population. They are classified as being extremely poor in relation to income in comparison to the other people of Laos and other countries. This is often blamed by their traditional agricultural practices ad other traditional practices because it holds them back from developing their villages and some of their cultural practices. However, this is beginning to change and they are becoming more used to developing and change.

The Khmu and their Neighbors:

The Khmu people typically live in rural villages so a good connection with their surrounding neighbors is tough, but they do manage to be involved. In past times, neighboring villages have been afraid of the Khmu and their spiritual practices since their land is considered sacred. However, in more recent times they do tend to barter and trade more with other villages involving crops, cloth, and so on. The Khmuic people will also look for work when necessary in other villages. Good relations with their neighbors is important in their culture and lifestyle because each others services is depended upon by one another. Below is a video of a Khmu village and their daily tasks to portray their village and surrounding areas.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Birds and the Khmu:

     The Khmuic people of Laos from what I have researched do not have anything specific in common, nor any specific special meaning. The only thing I came across was that during the New Year Celebration the people of Laos will sometimes buy birds in cages and then set them free to celebrate the incoming year ; there is a video link below. There are hundreds of birds located in Laos and the region of the Khmu. To list a few there are the Black Bitterns, Purple Herons, Eastern Great Egrets, Painted Stork, Garganey, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Besra, Amur Falcon, Red Junglefowl, Wood Snipe, and many more: Birds of Laos. There is also a section in Laos devoted to preservation known as Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area which is displayed in the first video below.