The Shans.—The main body of the Shan people inhabits the valley of the Salwen, and the country as far as the Mekong eastward and the Irrawaddy westward. They are found to the north as far as Tengyueh Ting, where they occupy the whole of the Taiping Valley. Within the Chinese borders they are governed by their own hereditary chieftains, subject to Chinese officials. They call themselves the "Tai" family, and are a peaceable and industrious people. Most of them are ardent Buddhists; but some are found who worship "Nats" or demons, like their neighbours the Kah-ch'ins.
The Shan tribes stretch south and west into Burmah. Those in Burmah are well known, and a good deal of Christian effort has been put forth for their benefit. The Scriptures and other books have been translated into their language by the missionaries of the American Baptist Mission. Nothing has yet been done for these people dwelling within the Chinese border, though they are quite accessible.
The Ming-kia tribes, whose principal location is in the Tali plain, and on towards the Yungchang Prefecture, are generally considered to be allied in race to the Shans.
The Lo-lo.—The old Chinese name for the Lo-lo race was "Ts'uan" (barbarian), a name taken from one of their chiefs. Where the Lo-lo come from is not yet decided, but their present habitat is well defined. In the great bend of the Yangtse river, in long. 103° east, between that river and the Anning river, the Lo-los are at home. This country, occupied by the independent Lo-los, covers an area of 11,000 square miles, and is called "Liang-shan" or " Ta-liang shan " (Great Ridge Mountains). This designation does not mean any particular peak or peaks, or special range, but applies to the whole Lo-lo region, a district mountainous throughout, and containing a few summits which reach the limits of perpetual snow. Thus they live in independence of China under their own tribal chiefs. Thence they extend in a scattered manner as far north as