This is the cow shed in Sồng A Chứ's house. In the village, there are only two households who have cows in enclosures. The shed was built in April 2021. Chứ’s family does not let cows graze in the forest like many other households in Xam Ta village because they are afraid that the cows will fall down cliffs and die. In 2016 and 2017, the family lost five cows for this reason and they therefore had to bring their cows home.
Between March and November, the cows are locked up until 10 a.m., and then they are herded until 5 p.m. Rice is growing in the fields at this time of the year so the cows need to be watched, otherwise they will damage the rice paddies. For the remaining months of the year, the cows are locked up in the evening and graze around the fields during the day.
Currently, there is not enough grass. I can only cut some along the roadside and in the fields, so I have to herd them.
Sồng A Chư and Sồng A Vụ, who are the only two households with confined cows, own 18 cows in total. Chứ has five cows and the rest are owned by Vụ. They take turns to herd the cattle to save labour in both households.
Narrator: Sồng A Chứ (Hmong, 25 years old)
Photographer: Sồng A Tráng (Hmong, 23 years old)
Person in the photo: Sồng A Chứ (Hmong, 25 years old)