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Ambacht in Beeld Festival 21 & 22 September 2024
NDSM Loods, Amsterdam-Noord

| Kids: weave an animal with bamboo

Ae Saiyasith - Ock Pop Tok Laos - Saturday 23 september & Sunday 24 september
1 hour
€ 15
Minimum age:
7 years
Saturday 23 september
Sunday 24 september

Language: English.


Kids: make your own bamboo animal! You will learn how to make two to three bamboo animals during the workshop.


Join a master bamboo weaver from Luang Prabang, Laos, and learn about the many uses of bamboo in Laos. During this interactive workshop, you will learn the bamboo weaving craft using no tools other than your hands and creativity.


They consume it (such as in bamboo soup), craft musical instruments, fashion weapons for hunting and traps for capturing animals, and even utilize it for paper production. They incorporate it into constructing houses, walls, roofs, and even bridges. They skillfully split bamboo in various techniques to intricately weave it into baskets, hats, traps, ceremonial items, woven walls, and mats.


Many bamboo creations are dark brown in colour because they have been hung over the house fire in the smoke 
to harden the bamboo and kill off any insects living in the bamboo. In the villages, cloth weaving is done mainly by women, but men usually do bamboo weaving. It is an important skill, and some people say a man cannot get married unless he can weave bamboo.


There are over 1000 varieties of bamboo worldwide; four main ones are used in Laos. These varieties have multiple uses, which depend on the width of the bamboo stems and the age of the plant. In the countryside, people from the region venture into the forest to cut bamboo, selecting stems that possess the appropriate length between joints. Subsequently, the bamboo is meticulously split and peeled. It is then subjected to scraping, rendering it smooth and flat. Following this, it undergoes a soaking process, often in the river, which can last for several days. This soaking serves to soften and enhance the flexibility of the bamboo, as well as to eliminate any insects that may be present within the bamboo.


At Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre, the value of traditional crafts and their teachings to visitors is significant. This is done not only to keep these crafts alive and thriving but also to encourage visitors to gain a deeper appreciation of the various crafts of Laos, including bamboo weaving.


Originally from Ngoi District, Ae moved to Luang Prabang in 2006 to become a monk. Like many young Lao boys, he was taught the art of bamboo weaving from a young age by his father. While bamboo has many uses in Laos, it’s hard to make a living out of it in Laos. Ae thus decided to take a new direction in 2010. With the hopes of increasing his chances of working in tourism – Luang Prabang is a UNESCO heritage town, and its hospitality scene offered many opportunities – Ae decided to study English. He joined Ock Pop Tok in 2012 and then left in 2017 to gain more experience. Throughout, he never let go of his love for bamboo weaving and would always find some time to practice.


Working at Ock Pop Tok made this easier for him as Ock Pop Tok promotes the traditional crafts of Laos through workshops. Ae rejoined the Ock Pop Tok family at the end of 2022 as Assistant Hospitality Manager, jumping in to teach bamboo weaving classes to tourists visiting Luang Prabang and thus sharing his love for the art of bamboo weaving. He loves that his job allows him to learn new things every day while meeting people worldwide. In his spare time, you will find Ae fishing on the banks of the Mekong, often using bamboo traps and baskets he fashioned himself.


Connected through Craftscurator.


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