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Ref ID: 24326
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Stuart-Fox, Martin
Title: On the writing of Lao history: continuities and discontinuities
Date: 2002
Source: Breaking new ground in Lao history: essays on the seventh to twentieth centuries
Place of Publication: Chiang Mai
Publisher: Silkworm Books
Abstract: The writing of Lao history presents peculiar problems, not because of the quantity and quality of sources available (though these leave much to be desired for certain periods), but because of the difficulty in deciding what is meant by ‘Lao history’. There is a problem in identifying the object of study. Is Lao history the history of those territories inhabited by ethnic Lao, or the state of Laos as it has existed at various times under various names? The Lao have spread far beyond the geographical boundaries of present-day Laos: many more ethnic Lao live in Thailand than in Laos. Moreover, the Lao state ceased to exist as a unitary entity in the early eighteenth century. What was reconstructed by the French nearly two centuries later and what exists today is but a fragment composed of territories belonging to former principalities inhabited by diverse peoples, many of whom are not ethnic Lao.
Date Created: 3/23/2004
Editors: Mayoury Ngaosrivathana
Breazeale, Kennon
Page Start: 1
Page End: 24