This pattern is actually based on an old Tai Daeng ceremonial headcloth featuring intertwining nagas. These scarves are very similar to the Intertwining Naga Scarves that we offer from Taykeo Textile Gallery, but have only one section of main patterning. The Naga in the design "is a mythological water serpent with unparalleled magic powers. Nagas can assume the form of other beings such as animals and humans. Lao legends tell of love affairs between Nagas and humans. Generally they are seen as benevolent beings, that protect and save humans from illnesses, hunger and bad spirits. When they are angry Nagas use their powers to create floods, storms and other natural disasters, or inflict illness and even death. The word Naga is from the Buddhist language Pali, in Lao it is called Nak. Nagas are a prominent feature in temple design, the spikes you see on temple roofs are in fact the horns of the Naga’s head. The Naga is important to animists as it is believed to be an ancestor spirit, whilst Buddhists revere the Naga as he saved Buddha from the floods." (Ockpoptok)
The naga is such an important motif in Lao textiles that Viengkham Nanthavongdouangsy, one of the two sisters who are owners of Phaeng Mai Gallery, wrote a little book called Weaving Cloth, Weaving Nagas: Lao Woven Textile Motifs
where she wrote that "The Naga is the most outstanding and dominant motif in Lao woven textiles, artistically created with imagination and respect. It has been so inseparably bound to the livelihood of the Lao people that whenever weavers speakof their work the tern "Naga" is spontaneously mentioned first, as in the phrase 'Weaving Cloth - Weaving Nangas."
These scarves being much shorter than the traditional silk scarf and are best used for decorative purposes and are perfect to showcase the complexity and artistry of Lao weaving.