Making 'Black Kao Toom
In the Tai Dam village of Ban Nong Bua, Muang Sing District, New Year coincides with Chinese New Year, this year in early February. Traditionally a large amount of 'black Kao Toom is produced. This is rice, mixed with finely pounded charcoal from a selected wood, and small amounts of pork and pork fat added. The mix is packed in a banana leaf, tied up with little strings of rattan, and steamed in a large steamer.
The charcoal is said to be good for intestinal problems. The day before New Year, many households can be seen preparing this dish.
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© Kees Sprengers - Ethnic Diversity in Luang Namtha - Laos