Digital Commonwealth

Letter from Barbara Halpern to friends

Item Information

Title:
Letter from Barbara Halpern to friends
Description:
Letter from Barbara Halpern to friends during time she and Joel M. Halpern spent in Laos with the United States Operations Mission. This letter describes a wide variety of recent events in which the Halperns were involved. Their house in Luang Prabang was considered a field station, and used by visitors as a kind of bed and breakfast, with Barbara as hostess. She begins with describing a ritual called "baci" which was conducted by two "beetle chewing grandmas" in order to wish the Halperns good luck and health, and healing from the Asian flu. The Fourth of July celebrations included many houseguests. She also describes meeting Dr. Thomas Dooley, a doctor working in the northern provinces. There they visited a Thai Dam village and took part in a a festival. Typical Lao food and its preparation is described, as well as the pampering that Barbara received from her housemaid, Le. The sumptuous celebration of the Royal Wedding of Princess Savivanh Savang Manivong is described from the point of view of an American insider.
Creator:
Halpern, Barbara
Recipient:
Halpern, Joel Martin
Recipient:
Halpern, Carl, 1902-1986
Creator:
Halpern, Nettie
Date:
October 5, 1957
Format:
Letters/Correspondence
Genre:
Field notes
Location:
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
Collection (local):
Joel M. Halpern Papers
Series:
Series 5. Field work and research
Series 5H. Southeast Asia: Laos and Vietnam
Subjects:
Anthropology
Ethnology
Diplomatic and consular service, American
Civil servants
Description and travel
Roads
Royalty
Manners and customs
Marriage customs and rites
Political customs and rites
Dance
Festivals
Food
Food habits
Asian flu
Medicine, Magic, mystic, and spagiric
Weddings
Halpern, Barbara Kerewsky
Halpern, Joel Martin
Dooley, Thomas A. (Thomas Anthony), 1927-1961
Places:
Laos
Louangphrabang (Laos)
Viangchan (Laos)
Extent:
5 p.
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
All rights for this image are held by Joel M. Halpern. Requests to publish, redistribute, or replicate this material should be addressed to Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.
Contact host institution for more information.
Place of origin:
Laos
Identifier:
mufs001-ls-fn-i115