Myanmar is a small country nearly 135 different nationalities with their own language and dialect. In the first migration, there are three main groups; 1.Tibetto Burman, 2.Mon Khmer, and 3.Thai Chinese. These groups float down along Salween river, and some by Irrawaddy River, and settle their own land while the other move from place to place by living out of slash and burn cultivation. Myanmar is a word that is to represent the all nationalities of its people within.
The Intha people live around Inle Lake; Intha means 'sons of the lake'. Like the Pa-O, they are Tibeto-Burman, but they thought to be descendants of the Tibeto Burmans, who migrated N during the reign of King Narapatisithu (1173-1210). The Inthas are well known for their one-legged rowing technique, which the fishermen developed to enable them to keep 2 hands free for fishing. Because they do not have much fertile land so that the Inthas developed a system of floating gardens on which is grown most of the vegetables, fruits and flowers for the surrounding area . The majority of the Inthas are Buddhist. Most of the Intha dress like Burmese costume-longyis and open-necked shirts.
The Pa-Os are the second most numerous tribe in the region and mainly live in and around Taunggyi. They are descended from Tibeto-Burma stock. The Pa-Os are very religious, and although previously animist, most are now Buddhist. They are farmers and their main cash crop is leaves from the cordia trees, which are used for rolling cheroots (see page 590). The women wear lungyis, long sleeveless shirts and cropped long-sleeved jackets, which are also jet black, but with a brightly coloured turban.
The Pa Laung are descended from Mon-Khmer stock and inhabit the Kalaw area; they were amongst the earliest inhabitants of Burma. They are famous for growing tea- unlike other tribes they have never grown opium. Their traditional dress is very colourful. The women wear white, green, Pink, red and blue jackets and a red striped lungyi. They also wear cane rings around the waist when they are married and heavy strings of beads around their necks. The older women shave their heads and wear white hoods. Unlike other tribes the Pa Luang live in small longhouses - several families share a longhouse on stills.
The Danu - who are also of Tibeto - Burmese descent - live in the Pindaya Cave area. The name Danu comes from donake, meaning 'brave archers'. In the 16th century the Danu were King Alaungpaya's arhcers and on returning from wars in Thailand settled in the Pindaya area. They are a farming people and speak Burmese, with a slightly different accent, and wear Burmese costume.
These tribal People are mostly to be seen in and around Kyaington or Kengton (Eastern Shan State). One of the distinguish feature of these people is their teeth which are always painted with black color resin obtained from some kind of plants like betel leave naturally grown on hill-side.
One of the most interesting tribes in and around Kyaington (Kengton) area of the Eastern Shan State is called Akhar, adorned with beautiful traditional costume. There are two different groups; one is Animist and the other is Buddhist living on the Hill-side.
The animists living on the hill-side near Teetain, Khanti, Mintat are well known for their Inked-spotted face. The back ground story goes like this; Chin ladies are the most beautiful among other nationalities, and they were always chosen as concubine by the Burmese's King during Burmese Kingdom. They therefore spotted their beautiful face with ink in order to escape the above affair. These people held the New Year in Myanmar Thitinkyut (October), they pay respect to their Nats (Spirits) by sacrificing Ox, Buffalos and other animals.
Padaung tribes are one of the popular ethnic minorities among the hills people. They are on of the decadence of one of three major migration named Mon-Khmer group possessed by Kaya minority, and their ethnicity name is "Kam-yam" mostly living in the Kayah State (Loikaw) and the Shan States of Myanmar. They also live in the Demawso Township in Kayah and Pekhon in the Shan State. There are two kinds of Padaungs, one who put rings on women’s necks called "long-necked Padaungs' and the other without rings who are 'short-necked-Padaungs'.
It is not easy to trace the period of the unique tradition of wearing rings around the Padaung women’s necks, and no one is able to fix the exact period of their history. However, this tradition has been kept successively through the centuries and it is very interesting to learn this peculiar convention of the Padaungs, who are our brethren in the Union of Myanmar.
They said, “We started putting the brass rings on the girl’s neck at the early age of 5 or 6 years.” When asked how it is done, they said, “When the Padaung girl comes to that age, the elder called “SHAMAN” is called upon to perform this ceremonious task. The SHAMAN chooses an auspicious day and recites rituals and prayers for the occasion. A Padaung man makes a brass ring resembling a big spiral cord and then a skilled Padaung woman puts the said ring around the girl’s neck using a toot like a pipe about 12 inches long. With that tool she fits and places the ring around the girl’s neck. Not all Padaung women are adept at this task but a few are capable of doing this. It looks easy but it takes more than two to three hours to complete the performance and more than an hour to take them out. This art is meticulously kept in practice by the Padaungs from generation to generation and handed down from their forefathers to posterity to date. It is in fact a very exciting, interesting and invaluable tradition of our brethren Padaungs in the far east of Myanmar.
It is told, the Padaung girls have to add to her neck brass rings every four years increasing the numbers up to nine times in her lifetime until the age of 45. That is the normal practice but additional rings may be supplemented at their choice. By the last round, the total weight of the rings will weigh approximately 5 kg altogether. From the medical point of view the human neck cannot be elongated and stretched. It is due to the pressure of the rings, that the shoulder blade and the ribs are pushed down gradually, making the necks look long. If the said rings are removed, the neck will return to normal position after 2 or 3 years.
It is the state in which Kayah ethnic minorities dwelt. Kayah (also know as Red Karin) is the word to express the whole nationality of Kayah minorities which can be diverged into 8 different ethnic groups.
1-Kam-yan (Padaung), 2-Gka ko, 3-Ghae-bar, 4-Manu-manor(kaw-yaw-mo), 5-Za-yin (Lahta), 6-Yin-ta-lai, 7-Pa-yai(Ka-yaw), 8-Bwe
The Padaungs are a rural race and they are essentially agriculturists and hunters. Their methods of cultivation are outmoded and badly in need of modernization. They should be taught terrace farming, fertilization, multiple cropping, etc. to uplift their living standards. They mostly produce rice and corn, cotton, pumpkins, peas, beans, ginger, sugarcane, bananas, tobacco just self-sufficient for their living. Padaung women do weaving for their own use after harvesting. Due to the work of Christian missionaries in this region Padaungs embraced Christianity but the majority remain Buddhists.
The “NAGA” people are one of the most interesting hill tribe people among the 135 different nationalities of Myanmar, and formally known as head-hunters whose area has been long time been in-accessible to explore. They are animists and always celebrated the New Year Festival in January. The hill tribes in the areas now known as Naga-land had no generic term applicable to the whole race. Nagas are of sub-medium height, the facial index is very low, the nasal index corresponds to a medium nose, the hair is generally straight, the skin is brownish yellow. The eyes significantly do not show Mongolian form. Some Naga generally wear no upper garment, but the small piece of garments and copper circular gong to cover their genes. They always revenge their intruders, and never forget their enemies.
It could broadly be said that they are straight forward people, honest, hardworking, sturdy and with a high standard of integrity. They are lacking in humility and are inclined to equate a kind and sympathetic approach with weakness. The Nagas have a very strong sense of self respect and would not submit to anyone riding roughshod over their sentiments.
The Nagas are not a composite people. They speak many languages. There are 49 sub-groups differentiated by their spoken language. They differ widely in dress and other cultural traits, as well as in physical features. They belong to Tibeto-Burma group but yet there are great differences in the details between one tribe and other, as well as between different people of the same tribe. Some are tall, some are short. Some are yellow in complexion and some are even brown. The Naga can be found on both sides of the India-Myanmar border. They live mostly around the Patkoi Ranges and on the western hills of the Chindwin River's sources. The Naga costumes must be among the most colorful in the country. Feathers, fangs, teeth, brass, beads, intricate weaving; they wear everything in every color.The females tattoos their foreheads and chins. The southernmost point of the Naga Hill Tracts is the sources of the Chindwin River and the northernmost point is India-Myanmar border. Naga's biggest festival is new year festival of January 15th, called Kaing Bi and organized by Naga festival committee who choose each year's festival location and details under the control of central government. All Naga tribes send a few delegations to this occasion, thus it is the perfect opportunity to see variety of different Naga people at once.
There is no caste system among the Nagas or anyone of the non-Naga tribes. But each of the Naga tribes is divided into several or as many as twenty clans. Clans are mainly based on forefathers or such other things by which one group of people is differentiated from others. The bigger the tribe, the more is the number of clans. This has grown out of an important man of that family whose name is used by his progeny as the surname. This has got nothing to do with clan system, but in course of time, such family name may become a clan name. Generally, marriage in the same clan is prohibited but nowadays modern educated young men and women are often violating it.
We are specially conducting this type of tour not only by means of Flight, but also in the way of adventure traveling overland from Monywa, Homalin, Khanti through the deep forest, then proceed to the Naga festival. What is more interest is to floating down along Chintwin River 4 night 5 days boat-trip after participating the Naga Festival until Monywa.
It will be your un-forgettable trip that you have ever been. The people in towns and villages along the river are very rural, and remote. They have never see the tourists, and their live is very natural. Sometimes our cruise boat will pass-through the un-touched or virgin forest where one can explore flora and fauna. Some people along the river are living out off water by searching the gold. Dive into the river bottom without any equipment. Their life is really hard! Some people are finding the ship wreckage which were sunk during the World War II!
Please, Enjoy Your Adventure travel with us for the Next year 2011.
|Archaeological Explorations||The Way of Buddhist Life||Nature Observations|
|Ethnic & Remote Village Trekking||Leisure and Relax|