Sunday, January 04, 2009

291206 Wat Xieng Mouane - workshop 1

Photos from December 2006 & October 2008 visits

UNESCO centre for training monks & novices in Lao traditional decorative arts and building crafts, on the grounds of Wat Xieng Mouane:


Such traditional skills used to be passed on from master to pupil within the Lao sangha, but were lost due to upheaval & political change in the 1970s, which saw the closure of two temples dedicated to such training. Interest in restoring & maintaining the temples of Luang Prabang was revived with the 1995 addition of the city to the World Heritage list.

Unfortunately...young monks, sometimes assisted by community members, could be seen pouring cement, whitewashing over temple walls with mural paintings and repairing roofs with tiles purchased from Bangkok. The Cultural Survival and Revival in the Buddhist Sangha Project was launched with the aim of restoring within communities the traditional skills needed to properly care for, preserve and conserve temples in Luang Prabang... (source)

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2006 photos of training activities, slightly damaged by rain:


Woodcarving (khwat) of door & window panels, eave brackets, gable boards, etc:

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Casting of bronze Buddha sculptures (lor thorng):

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Looks like COPE Laos for Buddha statues:


Before & after:


Not seeing eye to eye:


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