In the north of Laos, dawn breaks over the mountains of Annam and the banks of the Mekong River, near vietnam. Here live the ekor tribe
Salaebe is where Bojam and Bunseng live. They belong to the Ekor tribe.
As soon as he wakes, the head of the family prepares a pipe to help him face the new day.
In this laos village, the tradition is that men can smoke opium if they have fathered children and if they are over forty. Bunseng has done his bit and has 5 children.
Bojam, his wife, is very busy. I think that broom should have a longer handle.
After sweeping up, she has to fetch some water. This is real spring water and the women stock up by filling these enormous bamboo canes. The chores of fetching water and washing take up half the morning.
This woman walks almost 2 miles to the village twice a day carrying more than 100 lbs on her back.
Even so, most of their time is spent grinding rice, which is their basic food. And they seem to enjoy doing it. It’s February 5th today in Laos, their New Year´s day, so they’ll color the rice red, green and yellow.
Then they’ll prepare special cakes and rice liquor. The women grind rice and the men smoke. They’re waiting for the first rains to arrive, so they have to get the fields ready to plant the rice. Goodness! There’s a man actually working!
The Ekor tribe treat their forests with great respect. They only cut the amount of firewood they need for cooking and keeping themselves warm.
Everyone keeps on working.
And when they finish, each person puts a leaf into her mouth and then they all play a sonata to the forest to thank it for its generosity. These are some girls.