The Plain of Jars: Xieng Khouang, Laos

Looking back at the photos, I realized that the best images were the ones that didn’t focus solely on the jars, they were the ones of us.  Most had never been to the plain of jars, only read about it.  To this day archaeologists have no clue as to who made them.  This area of Laos being crossroads in the past, the jars could have been used as mortuaries or storage urns for trade.  For some, the legends say an ancient king triumphed in a massive battle, and the jars were used to house rice whiskey for the celebration afterwards.

Its historical significance and beauty makes it a crying shame that this area was pulverized by the bombing campaigns in the ’60’s and ’70’s.  Some craters still exist, and per order of MAG (Mines Advisory Group) you are not to stray from the path, unless you want to encounter a rusty 40 year old cluster munition, bomb, or other weapon of war.  This area had so much sky and earth.  From the moment we stepped off the plane to the carefree posing next to the jars, I could not get over how mythical this place was.  So busy calculating compositions of the stones and people, figuring out the time value to adequately expose the earth and sky, and not even really thinking about just putting the camera down…and just sitting there.


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