Main Contents Luang Prabang and Its Art Furniture and Statuary Beliefs and Religions Population and Habitat

Photo from the cover of "Treasures of Luang Prabang"


Foreword 3


    Later, from the XIIIth to the XVth century, the state was named Xieng Dong Xieng Thong. This name appears in the legend that tells how the location of the future town was demarcated by two hermitswho took the Dong stream (whose flow from its source on a hill resembles a pile of rice) as the southern boundary and a big Thong tree as the northern boundary which explains why the city was called "Xieng Dong Xieng Thong". This name appears to have been used to designate Luang Prabang as opposed to Suvannaphoum - which seems to have referred to the whole of Laos .

    Finally, it should be said that the true splendor of Luang Prabang began with the reign of Fa Ngum in the XIVth century. Together with his preceptor and numerous persons learned in the Theravada, he established this religious philosophy. This in turn inspired the will of successive monarchs in making this capital a pole of thought from which generated the religious art of this city.

    An astonishing cultural activity developed: literature, music and dance played an active part in the social and festive life. By imposing the Theravada as the state religion, he nonetheless conserved the beliefs of the common people, or the cult of the Phi.


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