TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
of the Chinese Jin or Yin, meaning man. The Northern Chins call themselves Yo, Tashon, Haka, and more Southern tribes, Lai, while the Chins of Lower Burma give their name as Shu. The Chins, subordinate to Burma, are not all contained in the tract administered from Falam, viz. : the Soktes, Siyins, Tashons, Hakas, Klanglangs, and Yokwas. The Chinboks, Chinbons, and Chinmes are governed from Yawdwin, while the political officer in charge of the Arakan Hill Tracts and the Deputy Commissioners of Minbu, Thayetmyo, Kyaukpyu, and Sandaway all have dealings with the Chins, such as the Shendus, Khamis, Anu, Taungtha, Sak, and the Kyaws, who reside in their districts. Many of these tribes have been split up into
separate sections with designations of their own. Thus the formidable Shendus, so well known on the Chittagong and Arakan frontiers, are mainly Klanglangs and Hakas, and the Tashon includes the powerful communities of Yahows and Whenohs. Formerly the designation of Baungshe, given to a certain tract of the Chin country, was thought to indicate a tribal distinction ; but it is now known as the term derived from paung (a turban) and she (the front), to be applied indiscriminately to those tribes which wear their hair rolled up in a large topknot over their forehead. The women of the Southern Chins to this day are found to continue the custom, mentioned by Sangermano, of tattooing their faces. The Chinbok women
cover their faces with nicks, lines, and dots of a uniform design. The Yindus, or Shendus, have horizontal lines across the face tattooed, showing glimpses of the skin. The fairer Chinbon dames and damsels tattoo their faces a uniform dead black. This custom, however, never seems to have prevailed among the Northern Chins. The term Kuki, as applied to the Chins, is employed by the Assamese only to denote all the hill tribes in their neighbourhood. Mr. Taw Sein Ko, who has paid considerable attention to the social and ethnological features of these tribes, is of opinion that, judging from some of the Chin customs, in regard to slavery, inheritance, marriage, and c., they represent the usages of the Pre-Buddhist
Burman ; and thus present, of all the non-Burmese races in the province, the closest ethnical connection with the Burmese. The race is divided into clans, as well as tribes, each of which has a distinctive name, rather confusing to the uninitiated. Many of the Chin tribes claim to be of Burmese origin. They are a sturdy race, filthy of person, intensely clannish, but distrustful, regarding revenge as a part of family or tribal duty, capable of lying and treachery, and impatient under control. Their ideas of sexual morality rise no higher than that it is disgrace to a woman to become a mother without having been first made a wife. Hence any unmarried girl enceinte must save her reputation by an early abortion. Thanks, however, to the firm
but tactful control of British officers, the opening of schools, the encouragement of agriculture, and other humanising influences brought to bear on them, these wild tribes, though still addicted to blood feuds and acts of violence, are being gradually tamed.
The Kachins.aClosely allied, it appears to us, to the so-called Kuki-Chins, and the rearguard of the Indo-Chinese or Tibeto-Burmese races who migrated, are the Chingpaw, the Singphos of the Assam border, otherwise called Kachins, whose habitat is in the hills, at the head waters of the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers to the north, north-east, and north-west of Burma, extending as far west as the borders of Assam, and spreading a long way into the Northern Shan States, as well as into the districts of Bhamo and Katha. There are believed to be about 134,000 of these Kachins, just about double the number the census of 1901 enumerated. The Chingpaw divide themselves into the Khakhu and Chingpaw, the former meaning merely head of the river, the division being thus geographical rather than racial. Another division is that into Kamsas and Kumlaos. The former have a chief or ruler, the latter, the Kumlaos, have none, but only occasionally call a village council to settle disputes or arrange tribal affairs. As the word Kamlao means a a rebel,a it is more than probable that the original founders of these communities were republican seceders from some tribe whose chief had abused his authority. These two divisions are divided again into numerous clans, each distinguished by its own dialect. Then we have the Szi, Lashi, and Maru, with a dialect the nearest to the Burmese, and the Maingtha, whom the Chingpaw, equally with the Shans, claim as cousins, but who, unlike the Chingpaw, are hardworking and steady. Their language is for the most part Chingpaw intermixed with Shan and Chinese, and they are apparently a Mongol offshoot of the Kachin race. As Sir George Scott observes : a The Maing-thus dress proclaims him a Shan-Chinese ; his industry suggests the Chinaman, and his features suggest inter-marriage with the Chingpaw.a Yet more remote from the latter, but still a relation and closer to the Yunnan Chinese, in dress, feature, and habits are the Lihsaw, as the Chinese call them, or Yao-Yen, the name given by the Chingpaw. Most of them speak Chinese ; some of them grow the poppy, celebrate the Chinese new year, and wear the queue. These Yao-Yen are set down in the census of 1901 at 1,601 in number; but it is probable that this is only half the true figure. Another tribe to whom they are related is the Lahu
BURMESE PRINCE AND PRINCESS.BURMESE PRINCE AND PRINCESS.