Publication Date

January 1958

Journal or Book Title

The Eastern Anthropologist


Since the author has lived in Laos for less than a year, this paper is more a general survey than an analysis in depth. If anything, it should emphasize the large gaps existing in our knowledge of this area, from the point of view of economic, social and cultural anthropology. As is the case with countless other societies throughout the world, the people of Laos are going through a period of change. Culture change is, of course, an ever-present phenomenon, but few will doubt that its rate has increased greatly in recent years - as an outgrowth of closer contacts among people, directly and indirectly resulting from wars and the aspirations of new nations as well as by planned development and aid programs. In northern Laos there are a number of different peoples whose positions range from that of an almost entirely subsistence economy to that based primarily on barter and cash trade. It is the trade relations and economic interdependencies among these peoples which I wish to present here.

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