Lao - Settlements

Most Lao live in villages of from ten to several hundred families. Villages are usually of the cluster type, although a number established since 1975 have been laid out in rectangular or linear patterns along a central road or a strip of public land. Few Lao villages include families of other ethnic groups. Houses are made of wood or bamboo and built on stilts above the ground. The grounds under and around the house accommodate a rice granary, family livestock and poultry, vehicles, a kitchen garden, craft equipment, and perhaps a kitchen lean-to. Towns have developed as market and administrative centers, often on the site of old muang capitals. They are ethnically diverse but few have populations over 5,000, except for some provincial capitals.

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