Photographer's Note

In Laos and the ethnically Laotian parts of Thailand special festivals take place before the onset of the monsoon. These are ancient fertility rites that predate Buddhism and are to do with the worship of the spirits. In Dan Sai, in the mountains of Loei, on the border with laos, they have a tradition of spirit dancing. The men wear special masques and are possessed by the spirits. For a night and a day they dance wildly through the streets of the village.In the morning the little kids make their entrance, but later in the day the festival becomes bawdier and wilder as the older boys and men appear. The idea is to call for the rains to come again to restore the fertility to the earth. this little boy, waiting to begin, is wearing the traditional multi-colored suit of the ghost dancers and his head is padded against the weight of the masque that he will wear.

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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 173 N: 1802] (7517)
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