Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 21
THE UPPER MEKONG, SIAM.
aPPearance; the black tattooing, which extends from the knee up to
the middle of the body, is the other distinctive feature throughout the
province of Kan. They seldom wear more than the panung and a
short blue jacket, except in the early mornings, when, with the
thermometer at 50A , they shiver inside their long plaids ; as the day
becomes warmer, the plaid is rolled up and stowed in the bag, which
is as indispensable as the dhap, and goes over one shoulder, carrying
its ownera s alla consisting of a small basket of kao wo for the day,
some tobacco, and betel-nut, with often a long-stemmed pipe and flint and steel.
The women tie their long hair up on the top of their heads, and when I first got among them I was reminded of the same fashion at home, as also by other points of resemblance one had not seen among the Siamesea a light springy step, a pleasant-sounding voice, a well-cut figure, and a rosy cheek. In some of the districts in the hills the women suffer severely from goitre, and up the Nam Wa, a wild torrent which joins the Nam Nan from the east, just below
53=- a - - '
AXE FOB HOIiLOWINO BOATS. DIPPER FOR WATER.
Muang Sa, three out of every four of the women I saw had it. Up that river, too, I noticed a lack of expression in the faces of the men and lads when in repose; but they are rare hands at a joke, and then their faces light up wonderfully. These men all wore short jackets to the waist, of blue cloth, leaving a strip of tattooing between it and the blue panung. I was astonished at the number of children I saw there, too, every man we met in the jungle having some four or five his sons with him. Ten or even fifteen children is a number not uncommon for one woman, while in Siam, as a rule, the number three is not exceeded. I imagine the population must be now recovering from the effects of the continual warfare which existed before Siam made its rule felt in the north, and which no doubt accounts for the meagre population throughout the entire peninsula.
Of the joyful, kindly, and hospitable character of the Laos of Nan A ne cannot say too much; I never saw a surly face or heard an ailgi'y word. Their honesty is proverbial, and they are singularly temperate: drinking lew (which is distilled from rice to a largeOf the joyful, kindly, and hospitable character of the Laos of Nan A ne cannot say too much; I never saw a surly face or heard an ailgi'y word. Their honesty is proverbial, and they are singularly temperate: drinking lew (which is distilled from rice to a large