As part of traditional buddhist dharma teachings in this Golden Triangle area of Laos and Burma, the main teacher/monk would have his students carve a buddha statue as part of their studies. In the process they learn about all the different shapes and features ( like hand mudras or shapes of earlobes) which all have significance in the teachings. Every carving is different and reflects the student carver. These 50-year-old carvings are mostly naive art, some are very primitive, almost tribal-feeling. But others are quite sophisticated and very beautiful.