National Geographic : 1966 Jul
tied a covering of bamboo mats over the steeply pitched roof until the permanent roof ing of grass shingles could be woven. Our home, which was to have taken two weeks to build, had been put up in a single day, after only three days of gathering mate rials. Ai Po had not wanted to make a prom ise he could not keep. In accordance with Lua custom, Sally and I climbed up the ladder with rice, cotton, tobacco, money, new clothes, and other sym bols of the good life. Pu Di sacrificed a chick en, summoning the good spirits to protect the house and its inhabitants. The women of the village began to troop in with small bags of rice for Sally and me and bottles of plai for everyone. Someone came from every household to make us welcome. Pounding chili peppers for a stew, a girl helps prepare the feast that follows the peri odic sacrifice to ancestor spirits guarding this house. Care and feeding of hundreds of different spirits occupy much of the Lua's time and resources. After the pious Lua sac rifice, the practical Lua eat-a convenient arrangement for both body and soul. Study in silver, the widow Ee Suin gins cotton on the porch of her son's house. Downy seeds squeezed from the fiber by the hand-cranked roller spill onto her lap. Later she will fluff the cotton for spinning by whanging it with a bowlike device. Most households use gins to process the winter crop. Silversmiths in the neighboring village of La Oop fashioned the gleaming necklaces.