intercourse also probably affected their language, remarkable as this may sound, since the language bears no apparent affinity, according to Colonel McMahon, in its vocables to Chinese, or any of the Indo-Chinese dialects, nor is it cognate with any of the cultivated tongues in Hindustan. Little enough can be gathered, however, of the ancient history of the Talaings, excepting .what relates to the history of the introduction of Buddhism, which later was spread to Paghan by a Rahan or holy Talaing missionary from Thaton, during the reign of Anoarhta Soa. The Paghan monarch, gladly receiving the
faith, sent ambassadors to the King of Pegu, asking that a copy of the Tripika, the Buddhist scriptures in his possession, might be sent him. The request was haughtily refused. Angered at this insult, the Paghan monarch led an army, which besieged Thaton. The city was taken and destroyed, the king led captive, and all the relics, sacred books, golden images, and c., carried to Paghan, to which city Pegu for many years remained subject. The Paghan kingdom flourished until 1,200 a.d., when Kublai Khan, Emperor of China, hearing of its wealth, power, and magni-
ficence, sent an embassy to demand tribute. The ambassadors were put to death, and to avenge this outrage the Chinese monarch marched an army to Paghan and destroyed it. There is some doubt as to whether the Paghan here referred to is not Tagaung, known as Old Paghan, especially as New Paghan, much further south, seems to have been in existence till the sixteenth century.
In tracing this outline of the rise and history of the two Mongoloid peoples who inhabited the valley of the Irrawaddy, we note, as far back as the beginning of the Christian era, the commencement of the racial
contests between the Talaings or Peguans and the Burmese, which have only now ceased through the fusion of the two races under the strong government of a dominant people. To the north, the valley of the Irrawaddy was occupied by the Shan or Tai people ; in the centre by the Burmese, and in the Delta, as far north as Prome, by the Talaings. Buddhism was the faith common to all, but debased more or less by a worship of the Genii loci or Nats, and later by Naga or Dragon worship.
The Shans.aOverlapping the Burmese at
numerous points, and found from the borders of Manipur to the heart of Yunnan, and from the valley of Assam to Bangkok and Cambodia, are the Shans, or Tai, as according to Colonel Yule, they called themselves. Everywhere Buddhist, everywhere to some extent civilised, and everywhere speaking the same language, with little variation, a circumstance very remarkable amid the infinite variety of tongues that we can find among tribes in the closest proximity of location and probably kindred throughout those regions. Their ancient glories, which flourished with the old kingdom of Pong (on the north
of Burma), have long since departed, and the utter want of political unity, which is such a distinguishing characteristic of Indo-Chinese peoples, has split the race into a great number of unconnected principalities, all their states with the exception of Siam (which possesses its independence) being subject or tributary to Burma or Cochin China. The name Shan is, according to Dr. Grierson, a corruption of the word Sham, which he assumes to be obviously Siam. But the people everywhere call themselves Tai. In addition to the Burma branches, which
LEMS AND YINTALES (SOUTHERN SHAN STATES).LEMS AND YINTALES (SOUTHERN SHAN STATES).