The Lanten are the indigo masters of Laos, in fact their name Lanten means ‘those that dye cloth’ in Chinese. They migrated from China around one hundred years ago. There are only eleven Lanten villages in Laos. With a population of around 6,500, they are one of the smallest of all the ethnic groups in the country.
In 2017 Mrs Kham from Bokeo province was the first Lanten woman to visit Peru. She went to Cusco with Ock Pop Tok to a gathering of weavers from all over the world. Mrs Kham was representing the language, culture and handicrafts of the Lanten.
This work is characterized by finely spun and tightly woven organic cotton, expertly dyed with indigo. The Lanten traditional dress features dark blue almost black trousers and long tunics. This outfit is highly distinctive and is accented by long pink silk yarns that drape from the collar.
Our project with the Lanten started in 2010 at the request of the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA). We developed handicraft product training programmes for both their cotton weavings and bamboo papermaking.