Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Natural Potency and Political PowerForests and State Authority in Contemporary Laos$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sarinda Singh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835712

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835712.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Appetites and aspirations

Appetites and aspirations

(p.61) 3 Appetites and aspirations
Natural Potency and Political Power

Sarinda Singh

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines beliefs about wildlife and wildlife consumption in Laos, drawing on the assumption that such beliefs express ideas about the social world. It begins by describing a conceptual framework to characterize Lao views of animals and goes on to discuss wildlife as a symbol of the wild forest by focusing on an important ritual called baci. It then considers a paradox underlying Lao ideas about wildlife consumption: wildlife that comes from pa (wild or undomesticated forest) is often more desirable or eagerly sought after than domestic animals that typify muang (urban settlements), even though the latter is the epitome of prosperity that Lao aspirations are directed toward. To elucidate this paradox, the chapter views beliefs about wildlife consumption as a reflection of beliefs about Lao identity and social change. It shows that wild animals can represent social relations and hence become objects invested with social and political meaning.

Keywords:   wildlife, wildlife consumption, Laos, wild animals, baci, pa, muang, Lao identity, social change, social relations

Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.