The Tribes of Burma/Tamans

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The Tamans

It is possible that the Kadus may be racially allied to the Tamans in the north of the Upper Chindwin District who live where the Shan, Chin and Kachin areas meet in the neighbourhood of the 25th parallel of latitude and speak a language (vide vocabulary prepared by Mr. Grant Brown in September-October 1908) which appears to be connected with Kachin and Naga but, like Kadu, contains an element of Shan and Chin. Even if they are not related to the Kadus, however, the Tamans have been produced by much the same amalgamation as the latter. There are said to be Tamans outside the Upper Chindwin District, but of the 829 persons who returned themselves as Tamans at the 1901 Census, all but fifty-five were enumerated in the Upper Chindwin. There is only one pure Taman village (Tamanthi in the Homalin Township), but there are said to be Tamans in most of the villages in the extreme north of the district. An account of the Tamans' stories of people who could turn themselves into tigers and of nats who afflicted those who stole the property of Tamans, etc., was written by Mr. Grant Brown, Deputy Commissioner of the Upper Chindwin District, in 1908. In the migration map the Tamans have been shown as branching off from the Kachins. The line adopted in the map merely indicates roughly the probable origin of such of the elements composing the tribe as have been subsequently overlaid by Shan and Chin accretions. If we ever sought to establish a connection between the residents of Burma proper and the Nagas, it is through the Tamans that the line would probably be traced.