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Shan States
Shan States
and British Shan States
Shan States
(1885 - 1948) is an historic name for Minor Kingdoms (analogous to Princely state
Princely state
of British India) ruled by Saopha
Saopha
(similar to Thai royal title Chao Fa Prince or Princess) in large areas of today's Burma
Burma
(Myanmar), China's Yunnan Province, Laos
Laos
and Northern Thailand from the late 13th century until the mid-20th century. The term "Shan States" was first used during the British rule in Burma as a geopolitical designation for certain areas of Burma
Burma
(officially, the Federated Shan States, which included the Karenni States, consisted of today's Shan State
Shan State
and Kayah State). In some cases, the Siamese Shan States
Siamese Shan States
was used to refer to Lan Na
Lan Na
(northern Thailand) and Chinese Shan States
Chinese Shan States
to the Shan regions in southern Yunnan
Yunnan
such as Xishuangbanna. Historical mention of the Shan states inside the present-day boundaries of Burma
Burma
began during the period of the Pagan Dynasty; the first major Shan State
Shan State
of that era being founded in 1215 at Mogaung, followed by Mone in 1223. These were part of the larger Tai migration that founded the Ahom Kingdom
Ahom Kingdom
in 1229 and the Sukhothai Kingdom
Sukhothai Kingdom
in 1253.[1] Shan political power increased after the Mongols
Mongols
overran Pagan in 1287 and the Shans came to dominate many of the northern to eastern areas of Burma—from northwestern Sagaing Division
Sagaing Division
to the present-day Shan Hills. The newly founded Shan States
Shan States
were multi-ethnic states that included a substantial number of other ethnic minorities such as the Chin, Palaung, Lisu, Pa-O, Kachin, Wa, and Burmans. The Shan States
Shan States
were a dominant force in the politics of Upper Burma throughout the 13th to 16th centuries. The strongest Shan States, Mogaung, Mongyang and Hsenwi, constantly raided Upper Burma. Mogaung ended the kingdoms of Sagaing
Sagaing
and Pinya in 1364. The Mohnyin-led Confederation of Shan States
Shan States
captured the Ava Kingdom
Ava Kingdom
in 1527 and ruled Upper Burma
Upper Burma
until 1555. The Shan States
Shan States
were too fragmented to resist the encroachment of bigger neighbours. In the north, China
China
annexed today's Yunnan
Yunnan
in the 1380s, stamping out the final Shan resistance by the 1440s. In the south, the Toungoo Dynasty
Toungoo Dynasty
captured all those Shan States
Shan States
that would become known as Burmese Shan States
Shan States
in 1557. Though the Shan States came under the suzerainty of Burmese kingdoms based in the valley of the Irrawaddy River, the Shan saophas (chiefs) retained a large degree of autonomy. When Burma
Burma
gained independence in 1948, the Federated Shan States became Shan State
Shan State
and Kayah State
Kayah State
of the Union of Burma
Burma
with the right to secede from the Union. However, the Shan States
Shan States
and the saophas' hereditary rights were removed by Gen. Ne Win's military government in 1962.

Contents

1 Historical states 2 History

2.1 Pagan Dynasty
Pagan Dynasty
period 2.2 Confederation of Shan States 2.3 British rule in Burma

3 Chinese Shan States 4 See also 5 Bibliography 6 References 7 External links

Historical states[edit] Main article: List of rulers of Shan states Most Shan States
Shan States
were just little principalities organised around the chief town in the region. They played a precarious game of paying allegiance to more powerful states, sometimes simultaneously. Smaller states such as Loi-ai, Monghsat and Monghsu
Monghsu
paid allegiance to more powerful Shan states like Yawnghwe, Kengtung and Hsenwi. The larger Shan States
Shan States
in turn paid tribute to larger neighbours such as the Ava, the Burmese Kingdom
Burmese Kingdom
and China. Some of the major Shan States
Shan States
were.[2]

Hsenwi Hsipaw Kengcheng Kengtung Mongpai Mongkawng
Mongkawng
(Mogaung) Mongmit Mongpawn Mongnai Yawnghwe Wanmaw
Wanmaw
(Bhamo)

History[edit] Early history of the Shan states is clouded in myth. Most states claimed having been founded upon a predecessor state with a Sanskrit name. Tai Yai
Tai Yai
chronicles usually begin with the story of two brothers, Khun Lung and Khun Lai, who descended from heaven in the 6th century and landed in Hsenwi, where the local population hailed them as kings.[3] The Shan people
Shan people
have inhabited the Shan Highlands
Shan Highlands
and other parts of northern modern-day Burma
Burma
as far back as the 10th century AD. The Shan kingdom of Mong Mao
Mong Mao
(Muang Mao) existed as early as the 10th century CE but became a Burmese vassal state during the reign of King Anawrahta
Anawrahta
of Pagan (1044–1077).[4] Pagan Dynasty
Pagan Dynasty
period[edit] The historical relevance of the Shan states inside the present-day boundaries of Burma
Burma
increased during the period of the Pagan Kingdom in the Shan Hills
Shan Hills
and Kachin Hills
Kachin Hills
and accelerated after the fall of the Pagan Kingdom to the Mongols
Mongols
in 1287. The Shans, including a new migration that came down with the Mongols, quickly came to dominate an area from northern Chin State
Chin State
and northwestern Sagaing Region
Sagaing Region
to the present-day Shan Hills. The newly founded Shan States
Shan States
were multi-ethnic states that included a substantial number of other ethnic minorities like the Chin, Palaung, Pa-O, Kachin, Akha, Lahu, Wa and Burmans. The most powerful Shan states were Mohnyin
Mohnyin
(Mong Yang) and Mogaung
Mogaung
(Mong Kawng) in present-day Kachin State, followed by Theinni (Hsenwi), Thibaw (Hsipaw), Momeik
Momeik
(Mong Mit) and Kyaingtong
Kyaingtong
(Keng Tung) in present-day northern Shan State.[5] Confederation of Shan States[edit] The Confederation of Shan States
Shan States
were a group of Shan States
Shan States
that conquered the Ava Kingdom
Ava Kingdom
in 1527 and ruled Upper Burma
Upper Burma
until 1555. The Confederation originally consisted of Mohnyin, Mogaung, Bhamo, Momeik, and Kale. It was led by Sawlon, the chief of Mohnyin. The Confederation raided Upper Burma
Upper Burma
throughout the early 16th century (1502–1527) and fought a series of war against Ava and its ally Shan State of Thibaw (Hsipaw). The Confederation finally defeated Ava in 1527, and placed Sawlon's eldest son Thohanbwa on the Ava throne. Thibaw and its tributaries Nyaungshwe and Mobye also came over to the confederation. The enlarged Confederation extended its authority down to Prome
Prome
(Pyay) in 1533 by defeating their erstwhile ally Prome Kingdom because Sawlon felt that Prome
Prome
did not provide sufficient help in their war against Ava. After the Prome
Prome
war, Sawlon was assassinated by his own ministers, creating a leadership vacuum. Although Sawlon's son Thohanbwa naturally tried to assume the leadership of the Confederation, he was never fully acknowledged as the first among equals by other saophas. An incoherent confederation neglected to intervene in the first four years of Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War
Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War
(1535–1541) in Lower Burma. They did not appreciate the gravity of the situation until 1539 when Toungoo defeated Hanthawaddy, and turned against its vassal Prome. The saophas finally banded together and sent in a force to relieve Prome in 1539. However, the combined force was unsuccessful in holding Prome against another Toungoo attack in 1542. In 1543, the Burmese ministers assassinated Thohanbwa and placed Hkonmaing, the saopha of Thibaw, on the Ava throne. Mohnyin
Mohnyin
leaders, led by Sithu Kyawhtin, felt that the Ava throne was theirs. But in light of the Toungoo threat, Mohnyin
Mohnyin
leaders grudgingly agreed to Hkonmaing's leadership. The Confederation launched a major invasion of Lower Burma
Burma
in 1543 but its forces were driven back. By 1544, Toungoo forces had occupied up to Pagan. The confederation would not attempt another invasion. After Hkonmaing died in 1546, his son Mobye Narapati, the saopha of Mobye, became king of Ava. The confederation's bickering resumed in full force. Sithu Kyawhtin set up a rival fiefdom in Sagaing
Sagaing
across the river from Ava and finally drove out Mobye Narapati in 1552. The weakened Confederation proved no match for Bayinnaung's Toungoo forces. Bayinnaung
Bayinnaung
captured Ava in 1555 and conquered all of Shan States in a series of military campaigns from 1556 to 1557. British rule in Burma[edit]

Two Shan saophas with their wives seated between them at the Durbar held in New Delhi
New Delhi
in honour of Edward VII.

See also: Princely state
Princely state
and Federated Shan States In 1885, following three wars that steadily added various parts of Burma
Burma
to their empire, the British finally occupied all of the territory of present-day Myanmar. The area became then a Province of British India.[6] Under the British colonial administration, the Shan States
Shan States
became nominally sovereign princely states. Although states were ruled by local monarchs, they were subject to a subsidiary alliance under the paramountcy of the British Crown.[7][8] Towards the last phase of British rule the Shan and Karenni states were labeled as "Frontier Areas", a broad designation for mountainous areas bordering India, China
China
and Laos
Laos
where the British government allowed local rule. in 1922 the Shan states were joined together into a Federation, the Federated Shan States. They were administered separately by the Burma
Burma
Frontier Service by British Assistance Superintendents, later renamed as Assistant Residents.[9] In 1935 the Frontier Areas were divided into "Excluded Areas" and "Partially Excluded Areas" —also known as "Part I Areas" and "Part II Areas"— through the Government of Burma
Burma
Act.[10] Chinese Shan States[edit]

Map of the Toungoo Kingdom
Toungoo Kingdom
with the Koshanpye in the NE.

19th century map including the Chinese Shan States.

See also: Chiang Hung, Kingdom of Pong, and Sino-Burmese War (1765–69) The Chinese Shan States
Chinese Shan States
were petty states or small territories of Shan people ruled by local monarchs under the suzerainty of China. They were also known as Koshanpye or "Nine Shan States". The main states were Mönglem (Mainglengyi, Maing-ying, Mienning, Mong Lien), Möngmāu (Mong Mao), Hsikwan (Si-gwin), Möngnā (Mong Na and its three dependent states of Mong Hsung, Mong Kaw and Mong Tum), Sandā (Zhanda, Mong-Santa), Hosā (Ho Hsa, Hotha), Lasā (Mong Hsa, La Hsa), Möngwan (Mong Wan, Mo-wun), Möngmyen (Mong Myen, Momien, Momein/Tengyue) and Köng-ma (Küngma, Kaing-ma, Kengma, Gengma),[11] among others, in addition to Keng Hung (Chiang Hung).[12] Most of the history of these petty Tai (Dai) Kingdoms is obscure. Existing chronicles and traditions regarding the northernmost outlying Shan States
Shan States
include conflicting names and dates which have led to different interpretations.[13] According to ancient tradition there was a State of Pong that had its origin in the legendary kingdom of Udiri Pale, founded in 58 BC. The Cheitharol Kumbaba Manipuri Kingdom chronicle —written much later— mentions an alliance between the Kangleipak
Kangleipak
State and the Kingdom of Pong.[14] This quasi-legendary kingdom is also mentioned among the conquests of Anoratha, the King of Pagan. Some scholars identify the Kingdom of Pong
Kingdom of Pong
with Mong Mao
Mong Mao
as well as with the kingdom of Luh Shwan mentioned in Chinese chronicles.[13] Vassal
Vassal
states to more powerful kingdoms in China, these Shan States gained a measure of independence in the power vacuum left after the Kingdom of Dali
Kingdom of Dali
in Yunnan
Yunnan
fell to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.[15] By the 17th century the territories of these outlying Shan States
Shan States
had been merged into Chinese kingdoms, their rulers being allowed to retain a great measure of authority under the Tǔsī Zhìdù (Chinese: 土司制度) system of recognized chieftainship.[16] In mid 18th century, the Konbaung Dynasty's armies led a series of wars against the Chinese Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
following which eight of the Chinese Shan states were briefly occupied by the Kingdom of Burma, but all of these northernmost Shan States
Shan States
remained under Chinese rule after that.[9] The former Chinese Shan States
Chinese Shan States
are now part of Yunnan
Yunnan
Province. Under the Chinese administration the status of the Shan people
Shan people
in the Chinese Shan States
Chinese Shan States
was reduced when they were labelled as a "minority". Thus they became one more among the other ethnic minorities in that area of present-day Yunnan
Yunnan
such as the Lahu and the Va.[17] See also[edit]

List of Shan states and rulers Shan people Wa States

Bibliography[edit]

C. Patterson Giersch, Asian Borderlands: The Transformation of Qing China's Yunnan
Yunnan
Frontier. Harvard University Press (2006), ISBN 9780674021716

References[edit]

^ Maung Htin Aung
Htin Aung
(1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. p. 66.  ^ Shan and Karenni States
Karenni States
of Burma ^ Historical Studies of the Tai Yai: A Brief Sketch in Lak Chang: A Reconstruction of Tai Identity in Daikong by Yos Santasombat ^ Nisbet, John. Burma
Burma
under British Rule - and before. Volume 2. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 414. ISBN 1-4021-5293-0.  ^ Jon Fernquest (Autumn 2005). "Min-gyi-nyo, the Shan Invasions of Ava (1524–27), and the Beginnings of Expansionary Warfare in Toungoo Burma: 1486–1539". SOAS Bulletin of Burma
Burma
Research, Vol. 3, No. 2. ISSN 1479-8484.  ^ Encyclopædia Britannica ^ Great Britain India Office. The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908. ^ Census of India 1901 - Burma ^ a b Kanbawsa - A Modern Review ^ Donald M. Seekins, Historical Dictionary of Burma
Burma
(Myanmar), p. 193 ^ Kaung: Miex, Kaung: Max [Gaeng Miex, Gaeng Max] N23.33, Е99.25. Town in Yunnan, Gengma County town. 'Mother's fields'. Other names: Gengma, Küngma, Kaingma, 耿马 Gěngmǎ; Dictionary of Wa (2 vols): With Translations into English, Burmese and Chinese By Justin Watkins, p. 1139 ^ Peter Truhart, Asia & Pacific Oceania, p. 218 ^ a b Yos Santasombat, Lak Chang: A Reconstruction of Tai Identity in Daikong, p. 3-4 ^ Phanjoubam Tarapot, Bleeding Manipur, Har Anand Publications (July 30, 2007) ISBN 978-8124109021 ^ Daniels, Christian (2006) "Historical memories of a Chinese adventurer in a Tay chronicle; Usurpation of the throne of a Tay polity in Yunnan, 1573–1584," International Journal of Asian Studies, 3, 1 (2006), pp. 21–48. ^ John Anderson. Mandalay to Momien : a narrative of the two expeditions to western China
China
of 1868 and 1875 under Colonel Edward B. Sladen and Colonel Horace Browne (2009) ^ Susan Conway, The Politics of Inland Southeast Asia, SOAS

External links[edit]

Media related to Shan States
Shan States
at Wikimedia Commons "Gazetteer of Upper Burma
Upper Burma
and the Shan states"

v t e

Shan States
Shan States
and related petty kingdoms

Northern Shan States

Hsenwi State Mongmit Hsipaw North Hsenwi South Hsenwi Hsumhsai Manglon Mongleng Monglong Mongtung Tawngpeng

Southern Shan States Eastern Division

Kehsi Mansam Kenglon Kengtawng Mawkmai Monghsu/Mongsang Mongkung Kenghkam Mongnawng Mongnai Mongpan Mongpawn Mongsit

Southern Shan States Central Division

Hopong Hsatung Laihka Lawksawk Mongping Mongpai Namhkok Nawngwawn Sakoi Samka Wanyin

Southern Shan States Myelat
Myelat
Division

Hsamonghkam Kyawkku Kyong Loi ai Loilong Loimaw Maw Mawnang Mawson Namhkai Namhkom Namtok Pangtara Pangmi Poila Yengan

Southern Shan States Kengtung & Yawnghwe

Kengtung Yawnghwe Hsihkip Kengcheng Mongyawng Hsenyawt Hsenmawng Monghsat Mongpu

Chinese Shan States

Chiang Hung Hsikwan Momien Mong Lem Mong-La Mong Mao Mong-Santa Mangshih Mong-Yin

Related states and outliers

Hsawnghsup Singaling Hkamti Hkamti Long Siamese Shan States Wa States Kokang Mongkawng Mongyang Pong Wanmaw Wuntho Karenni States
Karenni States
(Western Karenni/Kantarawadi)

Federated Shan states List of rulers of Shan states Princely state Saopha

v t e

Myanmar articles

Myanmar
Myanmar
is also known as Burma

History

Prehistory Pyu city-states Pagan Kingdom Myinsaing Kingdom Pinya Kingdom Sagaing
Sagaing
Kingdom Kingdom of Ava Prome
Prome
Kingdom Hanthawaddy Kingdom Kingdom of Mrauk U Toungoo dynasty
Toungoo dynasty
(First Toungoo Empire) Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom Konbaung dynasty Shan States Karenni States British rule Japanese occupation Union of Burma Socialist Republic Union of Myanmar

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