Mines de Thakhek (Laos - Indochina) 1928

Mines de Thakhek (Laos - Indochina) 1928

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Mines de Thakhek (Laos - Indochina) 1928

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Beautifully engraved Certificate from the Mines de Thakhek (Laos - Indochina) issued in 1928. This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of elephants with an umbrella. This item is hand signed and is over 72 years old. Information about Lao The Lao People's Democratic Republic, or (FORMER NAME OF KINGDOM OF) Laos, is a landlocked country of Southeast Asia. The (COUNTRY) former kingdom lies entirely within the tropics and occupies a rugged central strip of the Indochinese peninsula, surrounded by Vietnam on the east, Cambodia on the south, Thailand on the west, Myanmar on the northwest, and China on the north. Vientiane is the capital (see Vientiane, (LAO)Laos ). Land and Climate The landscape of this country of 91,429 square miles (236,800 square kilometers) is dominated by inhospitable, forest-covered mountains, which in the north rise to 9,248 feet (2,819 meters) above sea level. The principal mountain range, the (TRUONG SON MOUNTAINS) Annamite Chain, runs from northwest to southeast along the Laos-Vietnam border. Secondary ranges running perpendicular to the (TRUONG SON MOUNTAINS) Annamite Chain are separated by narrow, deep river valleys. The slope of the land is generally downward from east to west, and most of the rivers drain into the Mekong, which forms the boundary with Myanmar and most of the boundary with Thailand. The only lowlands lie along the eastern bank of the Mekong, where more than half the population is concentrated. Most are engaged in wet rice farming. The fertile floodplains of these lowlands are formed from soil carried by the river and its tributaries (see Mekong River ). The only other important fertile area is the Bolovens Plateau, a region in the far southeast underlain by volcanic basalt. Its fertile, reddish soils are well suited for plantation crops such as rubber. The hills and mountainsides can be brought into temporary cultivation by primitive slash-and-burn agriculture, but they quickly lose their fertility and the cultivators must move to other areas and repeat the process. A vital area strategically and politically is the Plain of Jars, a plateau area in the north that often changed hands during the Vietnam War. Its name derives from large prehistoric stone jars discovered there. The tropical monsoon climate in (LAO) Laos varies with altitude and latitude. More than 80 percent of the rain falls from May to October, when the winds blow from the southwest and deposit an average rainfall of between 50 and 90 inches (1,300 and 2,300 millimeters). On the Bolovens Plateau precipitation reaches 160 inches (4,100 millimeters) per year. The dry season is from November to April. Temperatures average between 60? to 70? F (16? and 21? C) from December through February, and increase to more than 90? F (32? C) in March and April. (LAO) Laos has tropical rain forests of broadleaf evergreens in the north and monsoon forests of mixed evergreens and deciduous trees in the south. In the monsoon forest areas the ground is covered with tall, coarse grass called tranh; bamboo and scrub and wild banana trees are abundant. The People More than half of the people are the Lao-Lu, who speak virtually the same language as the Thai of Thailand and live mainly in the lowlands. The mountain peoples are known collectively as Kha, a derogatory term meaning slaves. They may be classed in three groups: Lao-Tai, or tribal Tai, who unlike most (LAO) Laotians believe in spirits rather than in Buddhism; the Lao-Soung, including the Meo and Man, who have migrated from southwest China since the late 1800s; and the Lao-Theng, or Mon-Khmer, who are thought to be descendants of the earliest inhabitants of the region. There are also a few thousand Vietnamese and some Chinese town dwellers. The typical lowland Lao village is strung along a road or a stream. Houses are raised on timber stilts. They have steep thatched roofs and verandas. Animals find shelter beneath the houses. Tropical fruit trees and vegetable gardens grow nearby. Rice fields surround the village. The Lao and most of the other ethnic groups are Theravada (or Hinayana) Buddhists. Village life has long centered about the temple, with its guesthouse, monastery, and monastery school. Each Lao youth traditionally spends some time as a Buddhist monk, with shaven head, saffron robe, and begging bowl. Buddhism prevails, but there is widespread belief in spirits, called phu. The Lao are slight in stature and have light brown skin and black hair. Typical Lao clothing consists of a saronglike garment, worn by both men and women, and a blouse or jacket. Shoes are seldom worn. The diet is barely adequate. It consists chiefly of rice combined with a pungent fish sauce. Little meat is eaten, largely because of Buddhist beliefs. Only a few (LAO) Laotians live in cities or large towns. There is little manufacturing to offer employment, and most trade is carried on by Chinese. Vientiane, the national capital, is the largest city. Pakse, Luoangphrabang (Luang Prabang), Thakhek, and Savannakhet are regional centers. The (LAO) Laotian Economy Most (LAO) Laotians depend upon agriculture for a livelihood, though less than 4 percent of the country is under permanent cultivation. Rice accounts for about 90 percent of the permanently tilled acreage. Also raised are melons, cassava, sweet potatoes, corn (maize), potatoes, tobacco, coffee, sugarcane, and plants yielding drugs, especially opium poppies. Each village attempts to meet its own needs. Weaving, basketmaking, forest gathering, and fishing help supply village needs. Some lumbering is carried on, and tin is produced in southern (LAO) Laos. The Mekong River system is the chief transportation route, though it is only partly navigable. Between Vientiane and Savannakhet it can handle larger vessels. Navigation on other sections is hampered by shallows, rapids, and falls. In 1956 the Thai railroad system was extended to the Mekong, near Vientiane, providing northern (LAO) Laos with access to the s


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