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It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. Could the same be said for a Lao pha khan mon, or “love gift”?

These small woven pieces carry a big mission: reminding those away from home of the loved ones they left behind.

Traditionally in Laos these love gifts were given to those travelling as a symbol of thoughtfulness and protection.

Nowadays, love gifts are one of our most popular pieces at Ock Pop Tok and can be given in the traditional way or framed. (Perfect for Valentine’s Day!)

Love gifts are part of our Village Weaver Project, hailing from various regions in Laos, including the Houaphan Province Sam Neau or Tai Daeng regions. Weavers from this area are famous for their intricate patterns, combining their artistic talent with traditional materials. Ock Pop Tok first started working with weavers Houaphan in 2001 — the first Village Weaver Project.

Given their size, love gifts are a perfect starter piece for young weavers first learning the craft. They take about 10 hours to complete, meaning beginners can work on them in spare time after school.

With each love gift, we not only see Lao history and tradition from past generations, but hopefully a burgeoning love of weaving itself for the future.

We hope you see it as well!

What better way to show those you care than with a gift of love from Laos?

Posted by Hilary Kilpatric

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