The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VI

Lies between 19 and 24 degrees latitude North, and Stretches from 96 to 101 degrees longitude East, covering approximately 64,000 square miles; shares boundaries with Burma, China, Laos, Thailand and the Karenni.

Topography and Drainage:
Bisected north to south by the Salween River, one of the longest rivers in Asia. It lies at an average of 2,000 feet above sea-level, and the highest point, Mount Loilaeng, is 8,777 feet. It is composed of broad valleys, thickly wooded mountain ranges and rolling hills forming scenic landscapes.
Jong-ang, the biggest waterfall (972 feet) can be found near the town of Kengtong in Mongnai State.
There are three seasons:
  1. Monsoon (May to October),
  2. Cold season(November to January)
  3. and Summer (February to April).
Annual rainfalls average between 40-60 inches.
The overall temperature is equable throughout the year: not too cold and not too hot.
Pine and evergreen forests can be found in abundance. Teak and various kinds of hardwood cover over 47,210 square miles.
The bulk of the so-called Burmese natural resources are in the Shan State: silver, lead, gold, copper, iron, tin, wolfram, tungsten, manganese, nickel, coal, mica, antimony, fluorite, marble, gemstones and even uranium.
Major Operating Mines are:
  • the Mogok (Mognkut in Shan) and Mongsu ruby mines,
  • and the Namtu Bawdwin silver mines discovered by the Chinese traders and renovated in 1904 by none other than Herbert Clerk Hoover (1874-1964) who became the 31st President of the United State.
  • A study of the Indian geological reports made by Drs Cogging and Sondhi in 1993 reveals Northern Shan States as incredible mining potential…
  • As for Southern Shan’s remarkable resources, they can be studied from the reports made by a G.V. Hovson (Shanland’s Grievances, by Htoon Myint of Taunggyi, )
People :
The population of these multi-racial people, described by ancient travelers as the most peace loving people who trust everybody and envy nobody is estimated at 7-10 million, the majority of whom are Tai, of the same ethnological stock as Thai and Laos, plus several other racial groups including Pa-o, Palaung and Wa of Mon-Khmer stock; and Kachin, Akha and Lahu of the Tibeto-Burman stock.
All in all, it’s various indigenous races have lived harmoniously together for centuries. This fact is supported by the political analyst Josef Silverstein, who say’s:
“Although the Shans dominated the people in the area both politically and numerically, they never assimilated the minorities; as a result, cultural pluralism existed through out the Shan States”. (Politics in the Shan State, The Question of Secession from the Union of Burma, 1958, by J. Silverstein).
The Shan’s stand on the racial question is best described by Sao Shwe Thaike, who in his capacity as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly,
countered the objection that Muslims could not be considered as being indigenous by saying :
“Muslims of the Arakan certainly belong to one of the indigenous races of Burma. If they do not belong to the indigenous races, we also cannot be taken as indigenous races.”


Shan is still the first language of the majority, though due to 60 years under the British Protectorate and 40 years under Burmese neo-colonialism, usage of English and Burmese has become fairly common.
As for attire, Shan men, unlike the Burmese, who wear longyis or long skirts, don long baggy trousers. Theravada Buddhism is the pre-eminent faith, and perhaps due to this tolerant religion, Hinduism, Christianity, Islamism and even animisms flourish in this land.


Primarily a self-sufficient agricultural economy, being blessed with fertile soil, it produces rice, tea, cheroot leaves, tobacco, potatoes, oranges, lemon, pears, and opium.
Cattle-and horse-breeding is also a common sight in low grasslands. Added to the fact that it is rich in mineral resources and abundant in teak timber, there is no reason why the Shan State could not become one of the richest and most economically dynamic countries in Southeast Asia, given a favorable political climate. 
Shan States is a beautiful and fertile land, with green hills and mist-covered mountains. 
Shans are on the whole, good natured gentle, independent people.
Shan States have a diverse mix of ethnic groups; Tai Yai, Tai Khurn, Tai Lui or Tai Neir, Tai Keiy, Pa-O or Daung Su, Daung Yoe, Palaung, Kachin, Dai Nawng or in Burmese Intha, Danu, Lisu, Lahu, Wa, Kaw, Padaung, as well as Chinese, Indians, Burmans and others. 
The Shans are the most widely scattered of the ethnic people in Myanmar and they can be found in every part of the country.
Their Mans (villages), Mongs (city-states) and settlements stretch from the northernmost region of Hkamti Long down to Tharrawaddy and then to southern Taninthayi (Tenasserim) and from the tip of Kengtung in the east to Hsawng Hsup, Kabaw valley and Ta-mu in the west.
In central Myanmar many Shan settlements can be found around Ava, Pinya, Sagaing, Toungoo, Pyinmana and Pyi (Prome). 
Now-a-days, Shan people are spread around the world, many having left Burma to escape the persecution and brutality of the SPDC, many to study overseas. 
Shans live overseas in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Europe, Taiwan, China, Japan and elsewhere.  Many overseas groups are actively campaigning for freedom in Shan States and Burma. 
Until recently many groups worked almost independently.  In recent years the more widespread use of e-mail and internet technology means that overseas Shan groups can communicate more easily with one another, sharing ideas, discussing campaigns and global change.
Shans feel immensely sad that their beautiful homeland has been ravaged and abused by SPDC, and because they have deep love for their motherland, they feel deeply bereft and betrayed.

Two Soa Hso Kham Pha is the eldest son of the late Last year Soa Hso Kham Pha, also known as Tiger Yawnghwe, founded the Interim Shan Government with the cooperation of a group of Shan elders. Recently the ISG has established a freedom fighting force called Shan State Army (Central) with thousands of troops to fight against the neo-fascist military regime in Burma.  
List of Shan state rulers
 Read more in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.The Shan State of Burma (Myanmar) was once made up of a large number of traditional monarchies or fiefdoms. Three ranks of chiefs where recognized by the Burmese king and later by the British administration. These ranks were Saopha or Chaofa (Shan for king or chieftain) or Sawbwa in Burmese, Myosa (”duke” or chief of town), and Ngwegunhmu (silver revenue chief).

1 Shan states
  1. 1.1 Hierarchy and Precedence
  2. 1.2 Baw (Maw)
  3. 1.3 Hopong (Hopon)
  4. 1.4 Hsahtung (Thaton)
  5. 1.5 Hsamönghkam (Thamaingkan)
  6. 1.6 Hsawnghsup (Thaungdut)
  7. 1.7 Hsenwi (Theinni)
    1. 1.7.1 North Hsenwi
    2. 1.7.2 South Hsenwi
  8. 1.8 Hsihkip (Thigyit)
  9. 1.9 Hsipaw (Thibaw)
  10. 1.10 Kehsi Mangam (Kyithi Bansan)
  11. 1.11 Kengcheng (Kyaingchaing)
  12. 1.12 Kenghkam (Kyaingkan)
  13. 1.13 Kenglön (Kyainglon)
  14. 1.14 Kengtung (Kyaingtong)
  15. 1.15 Kokang
  16. 1.16 Kyon
  17. 1.17 Kyawkku Hsiwan (Kyaukku)
  18. 1.18 Laihka (Lègya)
  19. 1.19 Lawksawk (Yatsauk)
  20. 1.20 Loi-ai (Lwe-e)
  21. 1.21 Loilong (Lwelong)
  22. 1.22 Loimaw (Lwemaw)
  23. 1.23 Mawkmai
  24. 1.24 Manglon
  25. 1.25 Monghsu
  26. 1.26 Mawkmai (Maukme)
  27. 1.27 Mawnang (Bawnin)
  28. 1.28 Mawsön (Bawzaing)
  29. 1.29 Möngkawng (Mogaung)
  30. 1.30 Mongkung
  31. 1.31 Möngleng (Mohlaing)
  32. 1.32 Mönglong
  33. 1.33 Möngmit (Momeik)
  34. 1.34 Mong Nai (Monè)
  35. 1.35 Mongnawng
  36. 1.36 Mong Pai (Mobye)
  37. 1.37 Mong Pan
  38. 1.38 Mong Pawng (Maing Pun)
  39. 1.39 Möngping (Maingpyin)
  40. 1.40 Möngsit (Maingseik)
  41. 1.41 Möngtung (Maington)
  42. 1.42 Möngyang (Mohnyin)
  43. 1.43 Möngyawng
  44. 1.44 Namhkai (Nanke)
  45. 1.45 Namhkok (Nankok)
  46. 1.46 Namhkom (Nankon)
  47. 1.47 Namtok (Nantok)
  48. 1.48 Namkhok-Nawngwawn
  49. 1.49 Panglawng
  50. 1.50 Pangmi
  51. 1.51 Pangtara (Pindara)
  52. 1.52 Pwehla (Poila)
  53. 1.53 Sakoi
  54. 1.54 Samka
  55. 1.55 Tawngpeng
  56. 1.56 Wanmaw (Bhamo)
  57. 1.57 Wanyin (Banyin)
  58. 1.58 Yawnghwe (Nyaungshwe)
  59. 1.59 Ywangan (Yengan)
  60. 1.60 Bibliography 

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