Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts
Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
Luang Prabang, Laos
Sep 17, 2016 To Sep 15, 2018
Detail: The exhibition is curated by Dr. Yukino Ochiai, an ethnobotanist and professor at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan, and it explores the importance of nature for culture.
Focusing on the grass plant Job’s tears (Coix), or mak dueay, “Seeds of Culture” draws on Dr. Ochiai’s over 15 years of field research in Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar to show that the wild and domesticated plants of Job’s tears are used as food, medicine, and beads by ethnic groups belonging to different linguistic categories. In particular, the seed beads have been used for costume decoration in beautiful and striking combinations. Over the years, Dr. Ochiai has amassed an unparalleled collection of objects featuring the plant’s seeds.