A charming hand woven and decorated basket of split bamboo made in an Isan village in Northeastern Thailand is smoothed on the exterior with an application of brick red lacquer thickened with ash. Yellow and green flowers and dots on black grounds give the basket folk appeal. The Isan (also Isaan) people, though sometimes called Thai Isan, are a blend of Lao, Mon and and Khmer, and have their own language, which is Lao-like but written in the Thai alphabet. They are primarily agrarian and live in villages that often border their rice paddies. This basket looks excellent holding a green, leafy plant, a reminder of a little-known group struggling to maintain their cultural heritage. (For an in-depth look at the Isan people, see an Asian studies thesis by Ronald L. Myers at www.isanpeople.net ). Dimensions: height including handles 10 ¼’ (27.4 cm), height not including handles 9 ¼” (23 cm), diameter 13” (33 cm).