1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chin Hills

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CHIN HILLS, a mountainous district of Upper Burma. It lies on the border between the Lushai districts of Eastern Bengal and Assam and the plains of Burma, and has an area of 8000 sq. m. It is bounded N. by Assam and Manipur, S. by Arakan, E. by Burma, and W. by Tippera and the Chittagong hill tracts. The Chins, Lushais and Kukis are to the north-east border of India what the Pathan tribes are to the north-west frontier. In 1895 the Chin Hills were declared a part of the province of Burma, and constituted a scheduled district which is now administered by a political officer with headquarters at Falam. The tract forms a parallelogram 250 m. from N. to S. by 100 to 150 m. wide. The country consists of a much broken and contorted mass of mountains, intersected by deep valleys. The main ranges run generally N. to S., and vary in height from 5000 to 9000 ft., among the most important being the Letha or Tang, which is the watershed between the Chindwin and Manipur rivers; the Imbukklang, which divides the Sokte tribe from the Whenchs and sheds the water from its eastern slopes into Upper Burma and that from its western slopes into Arakan; and the Rong-klang, which with its prolongations is the main watershed of the southern hills, its eastern slopes draining into the Myittha and thus into the Chindwin, while the western fall drains into the Boinu river, which winding through the hills discharges itself eventually in the Bay of Bengal. The highest peak yet discovered is the Liklang, between Rawywa and Lungno, some 70 m. S. of Haka (nearly 10,000 ft.).

It is supposed that the Kukis of Manipur, the Lushais of Bengal and Assam, and the Chins originally lived in Tibet and are of the same stock; their form of government, method of cultivation, manners and customs, beliefs and traditions all point to one origin. The slow speech, the serious manner, the respect for birth and the knowledge of pedigrees, the duty of revenge, the taste for and the treacherous method of warfare, the curse of drink, the virtue of hospitality, the clannish feeling, the vice of avarice, the filthy state of the body, mutual distrust, impatience under control, the want of power of combination and of continued effort, arrogance in victory, speedy discouragement and panic in defeat, are common traits. The Chins, Lushais and Kukis were noted for the secrecy of their plans, the suddenness of their raids, and their extraordinary speed in retreating to their fastnesses. After committing a raid they have been known to march two days and two nights consecutively without cooking a meal or sleeping, so as to escape from any parties which might follow them. The British, since the occupation of Upper Burma, have been able to penetrate the Chin-Lushai country from both sides at once. The pacification of the Chin Hills is a triumph for British administration. Roads, on which Chin coolies now readily work, have been constructed in all directions. The rivers have been bridged; the people have taken up the cultivation of English vegetables, and the indigenous districts have been largely developed. The Chin Hills had a population (1901 census) of 87,189, while the Chins in Burma totalled 179,292. The Pakôkku Chin Hills, which form a separate tract, have an area of 2260 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 13,116.  (J. G. Sc.)