National Geographic : 1961 Jun
Skeins of silk, tied and dyed, hang to dry outside a lattice-shaded workshop in the village of Pak Thong Chai. Bound parts of the silk do not absorb the dye. When the threads are shuttled in a hand loom (right), the undyed portions form the light colored pattern of the cloth. our hot climate and resistant to disease. We plan on using them for crossbreeding to im prove our herds - to develop a good beef cat tle for our eastern region." From American agricultural advisers and Thai experts with whom I talked later, I learned that a concentrated study has been made of grasses, fodders, and water facilities with a view to transforming the eastern pla teau into a cattle-raising land. "Eastern Thailand already is a meat-pro ducing region-water buffaloes," Chamnieng said. We came upon herds of these big-horned beasts wallowing in roadside canals. "During the war the Japanese occupying forces killed off many of our buffaloes. They didn't even leave enough for our farming needs. Now herds have been built up again; farmers in the eastern region raise thou sands. They drive them to Bangkok, spend ing weeks on the way. Some of the livestock are slaughtered for our own use, and others go to Hong Kong." Beyond the agricultural experiment sta 838 tion we turned off the highway to see another industry-lumbering. We followed a jungle trail to a forestry camp called Tap Kwang. The name means "deer shelter," and deer thrive in the forests round about. So do tigers and other wild beasts. Elephants Haul Forest Timbers Chamnieng knew the district well. He had often come here to hunt. We spent the night in camp with two of his forester friends, and took off at dawn by Jeep on a truck logging trail. Abandoning the Jeep at a log-marshaling site, we slithered afoot along a greasy mud path through trees and elephant grass toward the tree-felling area. Abruptly we heard the clank of bells and were confronted by sev eral elephants hauling out logs (page 844). Two young calf elephants were having a lively time playing about their mothers' legs until one got in the way, and the mother gave it a reproving rap with her trunk that sent it skittering.