DEPENDENCIES UPON SIAM.
The Laos races are divided into two very distinct sectionsathose who tatoo their bodies, and those who do not. The tatooed, or Black-bellies, occupy the districts of Xieng Mai, Laphun, Lakhon, Muang Phre, and Muang Nan. The non-tatooed ( White-bellied) live in the districts of Muang Lorn and Muang Luang Phra Bang.
The Laos country is renowned for the finest specimens of the lan palm, upon whose leaves the religious records and teachings are written with a sharp-pointed style or bodkin. Over the characters so inscribed, ink is passed, which penetrates into the indented parts, and is washed away from the smooth surface of the leaves.
The Laos spoken language is a modification of the Siamese: so close is the resemblance, that the two nations easily understand one another. The Laos writing, however, is more like that of Cambodia than of Siam.
The dress of the Laos people approximates to that of the Siamese. A long scarf is wrapped round the loins, and the ends, passing beneath the thighs, are, pushed under the drapery behind. This garment is called a langouti : a jacket frequently is worn with it, and sometimes a cloak over the shoulders. Vests, ornamented with gold and silver threads, are used by
Ve nos remotos montes outras gentes Que Gueos se ehamam, de selvages vidas, Humana carne comem, mas a sua Pintam com ferro ardenteausana crua.
Lus., can. x., cxxvi.Lus., can. x., cxxvi.