National Geographic : 1951 Apr
463 Paul Alnasy, Three Lions Triple Rows of Bristling Bamboo Lances Protect Quan Loi, a Military Outpost Elsewhere brick towers, manned by French and Viet Nam troops, guard highways and bridges against Red raiders, who loot, burn, and kill, then sneak back into the jungles. Some villages have log palisades. mese, were not the only comers here. Indo china's ancestry also has roots in the Tibetan hills, the wind-swept Mongolian plains, and the isles of Indonesia, as Despujols' paintings show. In this land of rich racial heritage the in dustrious Annamese have won the dominant place. Viet Nam, reviving its ancient name, meaning "People of the South," embraces the prewar divisions of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China, which edge the eastern S-shaped coast. In this State, menaced by war, are some 22,000,000 persons.* The Kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos, which occupy the western inland half of the country, have a combined population of only a few more than 5,000,000 people. They have remained relatively peaceful and gov ern themselves, but already there is talk that they, too, must be "liberated." The Laotians and their more primitive tribal cousins scattered throughout the val- leys of northern Tonkin show how old Asia's peoples have shifted. They are members of the extensive Thai (Tai) race, to which also belong the Siamese and the Shans of Burma. Centuries ago they dwelt in the southern region of China before it had become Chinese. Many are still there. Persistent pressure, and the sweep of Kublai Khan's armies, with whom Marco Polo was the only European "war correspondent," broke up their organized kingdoms and sped their southern migration. A Land of Hillside Homes Other tribes have moved over these same home-seeking paths. The Man, or Yao, tribes, who followed the Thai into northern Laos and Tonkin, found their predecessors already occupying the val * See sketch map on page 501 of the NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE for October, 1950, and the National Geographic Society's map of Asia and Adjacent Areas, published as a supplement with the March, 1951, issue.