Monday, March 1, 2021

Pit stop in Laos (Following folktales around the world 191. - Laos)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!

Lao folktales
Wajuppa Tossa, Kongdeuane Nettavong, Margaret Read MacDonald
Libraries Unlimited, 2008.

I usually love the Libraries Unlimited folktale series, because they are very high quality collections, but this one I was a bit slow to get through. I'm not sure if it was the language or the tales, but I found my attention wandering quite often. With that said, this is still a very good book. It has historical background, cultural explanations, it notes the names and background of the storytellers, and a separate chapter has recipes, games, and even crafts from Laos. There is also a good wide range of stories, from animal tales to folk epics.


There were a few tales that stood out to me. One of my favorites was a small story about why dogs lift their leg when they pee (because their fourth leg was given to them by the god Indra, and they are very careful with it). One of the folk epics was also fascinating; it told about the quarrel between a husband and wife that lasted through several rebirths, underpinned by the quarrel of two dragon kings who could not agree whether a porcupine is larger than an elephant. 


I found several connections to Chinese tales, such as the one where a king promises to pick an heir based on who grows the most beautiful flower from the seeds he hands out. However, the seeds are boiled, and the king picks the only boy who is brave enough to tell him the truth. (Story also known as the Empty Pot). 
I was surprised to find a Flying Turtle tale in the collection; so far I've only known it as a North American indigenous story. From the notes it turns out it exists around the world.

Where to next?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for you article. This article very much informative for us. I have also this type of informative website. If you will be interested about this type of article, then you can visit my website to
    Click Here.