chapter  5
16 Pages

An Early Morning in July 1968

The original idea to do research on Hintang came from Kanda, who had expressed an interest in questions of heritage and ethnicity at Hintang back when we worked together at Lao Pako. In 2006, when the Hintang project was about to take off, Transparency International listed Laos in a tie for 111th place along with Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, and Paraguay on an international list of perceived corruption. If one dare talk to his/her travelling companion, he/she also have an excellent opportunity to expand and challenge their own ideas about Hintang along the way. Madeleine Colani writes in her report that it was difficult to obtain information about the stones from the natives, and this may have been a part of Hintang that they decided not to share with the French archaeologists. The experience of war has had a profound impact on the Hintang stones, and they are now two inseparable, interwoven components of local reality.