Uploaded 15-Dec-06
Taken 3-Aug-06
Visitors 319
11 of 51 photos

A three day ceremony in the Lantien village of Ban Nam lue. The purpose of the Dao (Tao?) ceremony is to bring back the spirits of the dead to the house where they belong. In this case the spirits of the late husband of the old lady of the house, who died about a year ago.

Che ceremony is attended by many people, including children. the men, priests and shaman, go though a variety of rituals which involves praying, reciting from old holy texts, playing music, chanting, dancing, looking at messages of the spirits in the form of reading the ways the coins fall. On the far wall the altar, made of bamboo, decorated with strips of colored paper with chinese characters handwritten on them, copied out of old manuscripts. During the three days, a number of different offerings are produced from paper and bamboo, the paper handmade in the village. All eventually are burned on the spot.

This young woman, during a brief hiatus in the ceremony, cleans the floor to make the house ready for the next meal. The men chant and dance, the women cook, and serve huge meals, washed down with Rice whiskey, sometimes beer, and tea.
f/2.5 @ 24 mm, 1/100, ISO 1600, No Flash