National Geographic : 1960 Jan
trees need professional care, and we take over." Problems of livestock, the third of Lao agriculture's big three, are in the hands of Dr. Chao Sinh, head of the government's Veterinary Services Department. Lao Cows Enjoy Ripe Old Age The doctor told me indignantly he was tired of being reminded that the livestock industry of Laos is run down, the cattle scrawny, the pigs sickly and sway-backed, the chickens all skin and bone. "What is expected of us?" he asked. "For years we had war. The Japanese Army lived off our cattle. When the Chinese got out, they drove our herds before them. Before the wars we exported cattle to our neighbors. We were the area's meat suppliers." He waved to a clerk and spoke a few words in Lao. The boy hurried away, returning with a photograph album. Dr. Chao Sinh handed Solid-gold Buddha stands in the royal pal ace at Luang Prabang. For years the two and-a-half-foot figure lay hidden in the Mekong. Layers of gold leaf pressed on by cure seekers have blurred its features. Purification rite precedes the Bang Fai fete (page 63). Perfumed water pours over monks kneeling beneath the serpent shaped spouts. W. ROBERTMOORE,NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSTAFF (ABOVE) AND PETERROBINSON© N.G .S.