This post is about the rest of the time we spent in Luang Prabang. It's going to be photo heavy and I will keep the writing to a minimum. Ock Pop Tok, means East meets West. It was started in 2000 by a Laotian weaver and an English photographer. Combining a passion for textiles and natural dye, OPT brings people together through textiles: exchanging knowledge and ideas. We booked in a full day workshop of natural dyeing and weaving at OPT. As you can imagine, it was the best day of my stay in Luang Prabang.
I will walk you through our workshop at OPT with the photos. In the second part of this post I will show you some photos of an alms giving procession ceremony in Luang Prabang. Enjoy!
|The picturesque setting of OPT when you arrive|
|Hands of natural dyed threads hanging out |
|Weaving is part of the workshop.|
I wove this piece from indigo
and natural silk
|The weaving pattern made out of fine threads.|
|Woven cloth samples at Ock Pop Tok|
|An experienced weaver working on a masterpiece|
|Wooden shuttles from the workshop|
|Work in progress by a master weaver|
|A commissioned piece by a master weaver. |
This is the underside of the work
|Tool bag on each loom made from|
indigo dyed fabric
Now for dyeing workshop. I do this back to front. I should start with dyeing because that what we did that day. We booked in for a whole day of dyeing and weaving workshop at Ock Pop Tok. We got dropped of in the morning. When we arrived we saw hank of dyed yarns hanging out to dry in the yard, we knew we would have a smashing day there.
|Sample of plants used in natural dyeing|
|Sappan tree, I was pleased to see it live|
|Different kinds of plants were cooking |
ready for us to use
|These were Sappan wood-chips I chopped up|
|Here are the silk yarns we dyed that day|
|Ikat silk yarns dyed and ready to be revealed|
As promised on my last post I will post more photos and tell you about the Almsgiving ceremony. Each morning at down in Luang Probang the local Buddhist monks form a procession around the streets of this charming town, collecting alms of rice and vegetables from the local population. Almsgiving is an integral part of the Buddhist philosophy, earning the giver merit, or 'bun', towards their next life, enhancing their chances of improving their existence next time around. Taking part in this daily ritual was one of the highlights of my stay in Luang Probang.
How to respect the Tak Bat:
- Observe the ritual in silence and contribute an offering only if it is meaningful for you and can do so respectfully.
- Bring freshly prepared food or sweet for offering.
- If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep appropriate distance and behave respectfully. Do not get in the way of the monks' procession or the believers offerings.
- Do not stand too close to the monks when taking photographs; camera flashes are very disturbing for both monks and the lay people.
- Dress appropriately: chests and legs should be covered.
- Do not make physical contact with the monks.
Take part in the Almsgiving ceremony by protecting its dignity and its beauty. Information taken from Dept. of Information, Culture and Tourism, Luang Prabang.
|The ritual of Almsgiving|
|Monks walking in a row or individually from |
|For a magical reason each group of monks|
would have one or two street dogs running
in front of them
|Monks were barefoot on the Almsgiving round|
|Each monk was carrying Alms bowls to receive|
Recalling the event of Almsgiving ceremony brought back a nice memory I experienced there in person. I woke up at the crack of dawn to be there. It was worth every minute. We actually went back there the next day and did it all over again. After the Almsgiving ceremony we visited the morning market.
My next post is about Siem Reap and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. There is so much I can tell you about Siem Reap so don't miss it. I will be away for Easter break for a couple of weeks so please be patient.
Until next time