may be divided into the Cis-Salvveen and Trans-Sal ween, the Tai form a very large portion of the population of the four Chinese provinces, Yunnan, Kweichow, Kwangsi, and Kwangtung. Next to the Burmese, the Shans are the most numerous race in the province. In the census of 1901 they totalled a million, including the Hkun, the Lu, and the Hkamtis, who are really Shans, though some differences of dialect may appear owing to their aversion to subordination to one central power and their preference for dividing into small communities, it has been easy for the Burmese to deal with them on the principle of divide et imfcra. The general disposition of the Shans, however, towards British rule is one of friendliness. The foundation of the Tai principalities in the Salween Valley took place about the third century, after the people had overrun the Mekong Valley and the province of Yunnan. In the latter region, a Shan monarchy was set up by a chief named See-nullo, who had secured the allegiance of live or six other tribes and built himself a capital, calling himself the King of Nanchao. His great-grandson having succeeded in 748 a.d., and made himself a formidable potentate, had the title of Hereditary Prince of Yunnan conferred on him by the Chinese, while a Chinese princess of the Imperial house was given to his son in marriage. Tali then became the capital. Nanchao as an independent state
lasted for about six centuries, until Kublai Khan put an end to it by the conquest of Tali. But long before this the Tai had overflowed their former limits, founding the greater of the now existing states known under British
domination as Theebaw, Theinni, and Mone, between B.C. 519 and 423.
Sir George Scott, who has been Superintendent and Political Agent of the Southern Shan States and Kavenni for several years, and is, therefore, intimately acquainted with the people, describes the Shans as a greatly resembling the Burmese and Siamese, but fairer as a rule, muscular and well formed, and averaging an inch higher. The eyes, he says, are moderately linear, the nose is small rather than flat, and here and there has enough bridge to be almost aquiline. The mouth is large, and made to seem more so by betel chewing, which discolours the teeth and gums, and rivets attention. The hair is long, straight and lank, and rarely any other colour than black.a They tattoo their bodies from about the line of the navel down to mid-calf, and appear to have acquired this custom from the Burmese. The dress of the men is a pair of trousers and a jacket. In the north a turban, usually of white, forms their head dress ; in the south the turban is of various colours, and a very broad brimmed limp straw or grass woven hat crowning the headgear ms a characteristic of the Tai of British territory. a The women are fair skinned, and, perhaps, as a whole, are not so attractive as their Burmese sisters, their dress is certainly less coquettish than that of the Burmese or Siamese. The skirt is sewn up and does not reveal glimpses of shapely limbs, nor is it tucked up between the legs as it is with the Siamese. Coats are worn only by the fashionable and travelled. Ordinarily, the dress is worn folded over the bosom. A turban is worn on the head, which varies greatly in size in different parts. In the north, and in Kengtung, it is sometimes as voluminous as the puggari of a Sikh, and in the south it is often merely the scarf worn round the head, which the Burmese girl throws over her shoulder. Marriage customs are much the same as among the Burmese, the contract among the well-to-do being more a family than a personal affair. Among the peasantry the tie is mere concubinage founded 011 mutual convenience. There are no bachelors and no old maids, and Tai ladies are every whit as chaste as their Western sisters. Polygamy is sanctioned, but, as among the Burmese, very uncommon, except among the chiefs. Polyandry is forbidden, and infanticide unknown.a Before the passing of the Shan States Act by the British, the Chiefs were a law unto themselves, and their authority and that of their officials were exercised arbitrarily ; but the statute in question legalised the assertion of these powers. The law, to be administered in each state, is the customary law of that state, so far as it is
in accordance with justice, equity, and good conscience, and not opposed to the spirit of the law in the rest of British India. The Chiefs of the Shan States are called (1) Sawbwas; (2) Myozas ; (3) Ngwekunhmus,
KACHIN MAN AND WOMAN.
according to their importance, the lesser rank of Myoza being introduced by the Burmese. The Shan States, some 53 in number, vary in size, from Kengtung with an area of 12,000 square miles, Northern Theinni 6,330, Southern Theinni 5,000, Hsipaw or Theebaw 4,524, down to Namtak only 22 square miles. Their inhabitants, under the guidance of British officers, are beginning to settle down to peaceful pursuits, and to accept in a good spirit the civilising influences of the schoolmaster, the doctor, and the missionary. Besides the missionary and Government-aided Anglo-vernacular schools, one for the sons of Chiefs has been established at Taungyi, under an able English principal, which seems to be much appreciated and provides an education for the scholars up to the level of the Seventh Standard of the English Elementary Schools.
Sir George Scott, referring to the uncertainty as to the original inhabitants of Burma and the tributary States, observes : a The only tribe now remaining, which does not belong to the Indo-Chinese family, is the Selung or Selon, as the Burmans call them, the Sea Gypsies who inhabit the islands of the Mergui Archipelago. Their language shows affinities with that of the Tsiam, or Cham, the aborigines of Cambodia. It also appears to have relationship with the languages of the Aetas or Negritos, the aborigines of the Philippine Islands. It seems probable that they (the Selongs) were the inhabitants of the coast, when Thaton was on the sea and Pegu was
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