National Geographic : 1943 Oct
Burma: Where India and China Meet of the famed Burma Road.* Begun in November, 1937, and opened for through traffic in De cember, 1938, the road was China's life line until March, 1942, when the Rangoon Lashio railway, which feeds it, was cut a short distance north of Pegu, in Lower Burma. Day and night, fair weather and foul, trucks rumbled along it unceasingly, with the exception of the short interval from July 18 to October 18, 1940, when traffic in war materials was sus pended. It was a wonderful road, and, although tooth-loosening, it brought the Western World and the sinews of war to southwest China. Yunnan Prov ince, which as recently as 1937 had only about 200 motor vehicles, now has hundreds of cars and trucks. Inspired by the ex ample of the Burma Road, thousands of miles of roads and trails have been built throughout all of for bidding southwest China. lenry It. uo'rten A Shy Kaw Hill Woman Visits Kengtung Market Her wooden yoke is designed to support a basket of supplies. Ornaments are beads, seeds, shells, buttons, and tufts of red-dyed monkey fur. The Kaw tribes inhabit the mountains in Kengtung State. These picturesque costumes have largely been replaced by imported factory-made textiles. Unfortunately, the seminomadic people, mostly of Tibetan stock, living where Burma, China, and India meet, cannot read. Nor do they understand maps and frontier lines so carefully drawn and pronounced final and good by the diplomats of Britain and China. Carefully worded proclamations, in English, prohibiting non-British subjects from collect ing medicinal roots and herbs and shooting musk deer on the southern slopes of the 20,000-foot peaks at the headwaters of the Irrawaddy were lost on itinerant Chinese and Tibetans, particularly when these proclama tions were entrusted to timid headmen of the Hkanung tribe at the northern tip of Burma. Tibetans from Tazungdam, Haita, and Adung Long, among the northernmost vil lages in Burma, are so unaware of interna tional frontiers that they regularly cross the 14,280-foot Diphuk Pass to Rima in Tibet to pay their annual tax. Natives Grind Grain with Tombstones I noticed in several villages along the China Burma frontier two types of grinding stones in use by the village women: Chinese tomb stones, and the smaller boundary stones that had been so carefully set up to mark the frontier. * See "Burma Road, Back Door to China," by Frank Outram and G. E. Fane, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIIC MAGA ZINE, November, 1940.