The Tribes of Burma/Shan Tribes

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Shan Tribes: Maingthas, Dayes

For reasons given earlier the Shans proper have not been dealt with specifically in this note. The manner of their coming into the country has been indicated at page 17. All that need be said about them here is that in 1901 the Shans proper totalled 787,087, the Lem Shans 2,134, the Lüs and the Hküns of Kèngtung 16,227 and 41,470, and the Lao Shans 1,047; that they are the preponderating nationality in the Shan States and form nearly half the population of the plains of Upper Burma north of the 23rd parallel of latitude and that an outlying colony of them exists at Hkamti on the Malikha far beyond our administrative border in the north. Reference may here, however, be made to what for want of a better term we may call the Shan tribes of Burma. Several of the communities already referred to when dealing with the Tibeto-Burmans, e.g, the Danus and the Kadus, have Shan in their composition. The Hpons, adverted to on an earlier page, appear at first sight to be of Shan origin, but, as has been pointed out, it is probable that the Shan element in them is of comparatively recent introduction and that originally they were Tibeto-Burmans. Hitherto the Maingthas of the Ruby Mines and the Northern Shan States have been placed in the same dubious category as the Hpons. Their language has been described as a curious mixture into the composition of which both Burmese and Shan enter (page 390, Upper Burma Gazetteer^ Part I, Volume I). It is clear, however, that the name "Maingtha" is a Burmese rendering of Monghsa and indicates that the Maingthas came from the Chinese Shan States of Ho Hsa and La Hsa, and the more recent view is that there is a far fainter Tibeto-Burman element in their language than was at one time supposed. On the whole it seems probable that the Maingthas are merely Chinese-Shans. The total, of Maingthas at the 1901 Census was 749 only. The Upper Burma Gazetteer connects the Maingthas with the Turengs, referred to by Mr. Enrol Gray, but it seems probable that Mr. Errol Gray's Turengs were merely a tribe of Kachins. A second Shan tribe is that of the Daves, who are found in the Myelat Division of the Southern Shan States. They may possibly have a strain of Chinese blood in them, but it probably dates back to a very remote period. Most of what is known of them is noted at page 564 of the Upper Burma Gazetteer. Further data about the Dayes and Naungyes (a branch of the tribe) have been supplied by Mr. C. E. Browne, who thinks it possible that they may have migrated from the Shan State of Kale on the Chindwin. It appears that the Dayes once had a tribal dress of their own which must have been like that of the Taungfthus and Taungyos. In all 1,094 persons were enumerated as Daves at the 1901 Census.