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Myanmar Info ## Nation Ethnic groups
(Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Bamar
    They are include in the Tiveto-Burman group that came to the central part of the country. They live mainly on the central plains and 80% of the population is agricultural. The body structure is the same as the Mon, Rakhine, Danu, Taungyo and Innthar. In olden days the men dress in long-length longyis and have topknots in their heads. The women wear traditional style htameins and jackets. The men wear headbands and the women have shawls in their shoulders. They assimilated the Indian culture and established their own style of culture based on the Pyu and Mon cultures. There are huge developments in all kinds of arts. Bamar performing arts is composed of 3 different aspects: Anyeint (light dance troupe), Zat (classical dance troupe) and puppets. Rural villages have their own brand of dances and music. There are festivals the whole year round. Thingyan,Kason Full Moon, Thadingyut and Taboung Full Moon Festivals are most notable. Myanmar Language is the lingua fraca for the whole country. In olden days senior citizens used to play the Myanmar version of cards and chess.
If there is a village, there will surely be a pagoda and a monastery nearby. Previously, roving storyteller would relate the tales from the Jatakas and famous plays at the villages to the huge delight of the villagers. At most festivals the custom is to offer food to everybody, regardless of sex, religion or social status called "satuditha (free food for all comers from four corners of the globe)". There are also many other traditional customs and beliefs. Bamars are monogamous.

(Bamar | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Mon
    They are from the Mon-Khmer stock. They used to live in Pathein, Mottama and Hanthawaddy regions: so-called Ramanya Desa. They widspred in Thaton, Bago, Mawlamyine, Zingyaik, Yaunghtaung, Bilugyun and Ye regions. Their dress in similar to the dresses of ancient Bamars. There are many Jataka tales, folktales, riddles, songs, medical texts etc in the Mon language. There is a History of Mon-Myanmar epigraphy and a Collection of Mon Arts and Letters. Stone inscriptions in the Mon language are of great historical importance. At Zokethoke village there are bas-relief sculptures of laterite. "The Razadirit Revolution" is a notable manuscript. The Kalayani Ordination Hall at Bago is a historical monument. Small brass gongs are arranged on a so-called half-moon shaped wood frame and played as percussion instrument and the crocodile shaped stringed instrument are typical of Mon musical instruments. The movements of a Mon dance are smooth and dainty. The Mon dance has 12 basic movements, the same as the Bamar dance movements. There were traditional Mon dance troupes in earlier days. The Mons are also proficient in all kinds of martial arts.
The Mon region is rich in agricultural produce and there are also many industrialized regions. In ancient times the traditional custom of a suitor shoving his hand through a hole in the flooring of a girl's house to ask for her love was widespread. Hintha (Ruddy Shellduck) is the symbol of the Mon people.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Rakhine
    They are from the Tibeto-Burman group that diverted towards the central regions . In this group are: Rakhine , Mramagyi, Chaungthar, Mro, Thet and Daingnet. Like the Pyu, Mon and Myanmar civilizations. Rakhines are found mainly in the Rakhine State. Rakhine civilization is an ancient one. It is believed that the Rakhines had assimilated the Indian cultures from the Indian sub-continent in the west. Anandasandra stone inscription, the brass oil - lamps of Vesali and old Rakhine coins are most note - worthy. The Mrauk Oo civilization is also remarkable. Stone sculptures are more numerous at Mrauk Oo. Shitthaung Pagoda , Duukan Thein and the Maha Muni Image at Kyaktaw are representatives of the culture of that period. Rakhine dances are also very enchanting. Another interesting custom, "Ngasin nite ", is a solo performance by an individual who, while reciting the story text, acts out the various roles at the same time. They also have various traditional dances and music. Brass gongs arranged on a wooden frame resembling a crocodile is unique. There are also duets sung by the young males and girls in courtship and other literary works. The ceremony of making thanathka paste for the senior citizens at New Year's time and "Kyin" or traditional wrestling matches are popular.
Another unique ceremony in Rakhine is the ceremony of blessing the bridegroom before marriage called "Thamet tetpwe" literally meaning the anointing of the son-in-law. Class verses by the learned bards Ok kar pyan and Maha pyin nya kyaw are notable. It is one of the most popular traditional sports. It was in evidence even before the Mrauk Oo period. Previously it was called "Kyayin" but now it had evolved into "Kyin". It is a sport where two contestants try to wrestle each other down to the floor. It needs, not only brute strength but also experience, guile and expertise. The contestants are known as "Kyinthan", meaning strong in the Kyin wrestling and the wrestling match itself as "Kyin kaing pwe", meaning holding a Kyin contest. In many rural Rakhine villages, the young engage in this kind of traditional wrestling during their free time and practice this art at pagoda festivals etc. There are rules of fighting and experienced wrestlers act as referees.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Thet
Thet are also of Rakhine stock. They are found around Maungdaw, Rathedaung and Buthidaung regions. The men dress as the Bamars and pierce their ears also. They tie their hair into topknots and wrap a cloth around the head. The women also dress like Bamar women and tie their hairs at the back of the head. Some scholars put the Thet into the same category as the Kadu and Kanan. The body structures of the Thet are similar to the Bamars and Rakhines. They are mostly Buddhists but there are also nat worshippers. Agriculture and domestic weaving industries are the main liveli-hood of these people. They are monogamous and the women must follow the men after marriage. Both sexes wear huge silver earrings and some also wear necklaces and bracelets according to ones wealth. Their houses are mostly single-storied. Only the men have the right of inheritance.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Daingnet


Their dress is very similar with the dress of the Bamars and the Rakhmes. They are found west of Sittway and on the hilly regions of the Rakhine region. The skin color is light to dark brown and the hair is straight and black. The men wear hand woven jackets and longyis and wrap a cloth around their heads. The women wear hand woven jacket and their longyis have horizontal stripes. The women also wear amber and coral bead necklaces. Some wear belts decorated with shells. Some senior citizens spot tattoos on their bodies. They engage in agriculture and fishing. Womenfolk weave bamboo baskets and containers in their free time. They believe in Buddhism but also pay homage to the traditional nats. They especially pay homage to the guardian nat of the village. The bride has to follow me groom after marriage. They are very simple and honest folks.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Kayins
Previously, Sgaw, Paku, Bwe, Thaungthu, White Kayin, Po, Kayah(Red Kayin), Padaung, Yinbaw, Zayein, Yintale, Gheko, Gheba, Manumanaw, Pa 0 were included in the Kayin stock. Actually we can categorize the above into two groups: Kwin Kayin meaning Kayins from the plains and Hill Kayins, meaning Kayins that live in the hilly regions. All those in the Kayah group are hill Kayins while the Po and Sgaw Kayins are Kwin Kayins. The men wear hand woven long dresses with vertical red and white stripes and longyis. The women dress in short black dresses with various designs and green, blue or black htameins with horizontal stripes. The hair is gathered at the back and the heads are covered with scarves. The women also wear necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The Kayin celebrate New Year and bone gathering (of departed ancestors or dead persons) ceremonies. There is also a special ceremony called "Aw" where the young persons from both sexes engage in a kind of a verbal duet and out-do each other. The Kayin are famous for traditional wrestlers and boxers. They are also interested in other forms of martial arts. For any infringements of tradition or customs fines or compensations are levied. Their musical instruments are the hom made from buffalo hom, harp, bamboo xylophone and the brass drum with a frog motif. Both the Po and the Sgaw have their ownwritten language. They keep the items that are used at the traditional not offering ceremony separate from other things. The Kayin celebrate two New Years; one on the First day of the Pyatho new moon (February) and another on the first day of the Tabodwe new moon (March). Kayin "Don" dance is very popular, as it is a very lively and joyful dance. Kayin are widespread in the Kayin State and the Ayeyarwady delta.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Chin
    They are also from the Tibeto-Burman group that diverted to the west. Chins are found at Tiddim, Falam, Haka, Mindat and Paletwa regions. There are more than 30 different Chin tribes according to the differences in spoken language and customs due to different environment and locality. The most prominent of these different Chin tribes are: Khami, Chinbon,Ton Chin, Chin Pu, Yindu, Zahaung, Hueldo, Zanniack, Kuelshi, Ngun, Tashun, Lisol, Titan, Saingyan, Siyin, Tehyan, Din, Zo, Khaung saing, Thado, Whanngo, Maro. The Yindu have two sub - tribes : East Yindu and West Yindu . The Chinbons wear long hand - woven dresses . The Yindu dresses are with red horizontal stripes . The male Chins from Mindat wear blankets with red horizontal stripes and the females wear htameins with red and yellow horizontal stripes. Some wear black htameins coming down to their knees. In olden days female Chins tattooed their faces. The traditional dress of a female Chin from Haka region is elegant as well as expensive. It is hand-woven and the women also wear silver and amber bracelets, armbands and necklaces.
The Chins of Mindat celebrate the New Year with Lonyu Festival and in Haka, Kwado Festival to celebrate the harvest is notable. The bones of the dead are buried in jars.The women do not have the right of inheritance. There are five different kinds of traditional fermented wine. One is made with rice, another with sticky rice, the third kind is with millet, the fourth is with corn and lastly with banana. Guests are customarily invited to drink this fermented wine similar to the Bamar and the Shan inviting the guests to a cup of hot, green tea. This fermented wine is an important and compulsory item in all ceremonies. The picture shows a Chin woman preparing jars of fermented wine. Shields are used by the Chins, Kayins, Nagas, Kachins, Mons and Bamars. The shields are designed normally to deflect the sword and spear thrusts of the enemies but some shields of the ethnic tribes are compulsory items in their ceremonial costumes. Most shield are either round or square. Some shields of the ethnic tribes are made of tough buffalo hides. The Tashun Chin shields are decorated with small bells. The Bamars have a shield dance and poetry, made famous by King Kyaw Swa of Piny a in the 13th century A.D, extolling the victorious Bamar warriors against the invading Chinese armies.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Khami
    They are called either Khami or Khamwe. They are related to the Chins. They are concentrated mainly in the Paletwa region or southern Chin State. Previously the women knotted their hairs at the back of their heads while the men tied it on the top. Instead of hats both sexes usually wear "petkala", a kind of woven bamboo covering to protect the heads in the rains. The men wrap scarves with the end showing on the left - hand side. All their clothes are hand-woven. The unique feature of the men's dress is of two long clothes hanging at the front and back over the lower garments. Both sexes wear huge earplugs, especially the women, who usually wear huge, hollow earplugs in their ears. The women have headdresses and wear either silver or coral beads as decorations. The unmarried girls wear a covering on their breasts with belts made of cane or brass. But married women are usually naked above the waist. This breast cover is taken as a sign of differentiating the marital status of the women. A kind of martial dance is performed at ceremonies. Most of these, people are engaged in agriculture.
A stranger is liable for compensation if he intrudes into an agricultural plot on the day of homage to the guardian spirit of the plot. The women do not have the right of inheritance.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Eng

    They are Wa-Palung sub-group of the main Mon-Khmer group. They are usually found on the hills around Kyainge Tong in the Eastern Shan State. The Eng are a small minority among the neighbouring Akha, Lahu and Gon Shans of thatarea. They tie their hair in a knot and wear black or dark coloured clothes. They are one of the rare minorities of the Shan State and they had never been invited to the Union Day celebrations. Some literature on the Eng was in existence since about 30 years but no photographic proof was available until about a year back. Eng do not seem to have any developed economy and are one of the least developed minorities and slowly disappearing like the Lu, Lam and Yo. Necessary steps should be taken in time to record and document these vanishing minorities otherwise nothing would be left of them in 3-4 years time.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Palaung
belong to the Mon-Palaung-Wa stock. There are approximately 15 different Palaung sub tribes: Taung ma, Taung me, Kyaw phyu, Namhsan, Zayan, Humein, Hu hkan, Mein kun, Shaung Ie, Pin nin, Kun he, Kun Huk, Man Nauk, Saw pa na, Ka Wan toke. The Palaungs in the Kalaw region are called Palay or sometimes as Silver Palaungs. The majority of the Palaung lives in the hills around Kyaukme. Unmarried girls usually wear huge gold earrings decorated with flowers. The Palaung women from Kalaw region wear hats, made of black velvet resembling a half orange (tangerine) and decorated with multi-colored tassels and silver coins stitched around the rim. Unmarried girls usually wear these hats but married women wrap their heads with scarves. The Palaung women of Kyaukme region wear hats embroidered with silver threads or sequins. The htamein is covered over with another layer belted around the torso. Silver bracelets and necklaces are also worn. Some women have embroidered clothes placed on their heads while other wear these clothes as a kind of a shawl to cover the heads. All offerings to the nats must include betel and tobacco. If there should be any trespasses towards these nats, tobacco is used as an offering to appease these nats. The main crop is tea. There are two types of wooing a girl: going to visit the girl at her house or putting one's hand through the hole in the girl's house and asking for her love.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Danaw
They are from the Palaung-Wa stock. They are mostly found around Naung In village, Thitpin Taung village, Heho village around Ayethaya satellite town in Taung Gyi district and Nyaung Gone village in Baw Nin tract in southern Shan States. They are intermingled with the Pa Os and the Danu who also live in the vicinity. They are all Buddhist and only a few thousands are left. Their dresses are similar to the Pa Os. There are also such ceremonies to celebrate the New Year and other religious occasions. The Danaws also have their own language. In olden days the women folks used to wear silver ornaments and hollow silver bracelets. One customs of the Danaws is that they do not borrow any money or wash then hair nor do any kind of planting on market days. In ancient times they eat together out of a big round bamboo platter. Most of their household utensils are made of bamboo. Rice is also wrapped in bamboo leaves. Even Buddha images are woven out of split bamboo. The women weave bamboo containers in their spare time. Reasonably rich people will buy buffaloes with their money. In divorce cases a betel leaf is divided equally into two parts and each take a part. The main economy of the Danaws is agriculture. Some of the Danaws have never even been to Taunggyi. There is very little crime involving Danaws.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Daye
They are from the Tai stock. Dayes are very small in numbers. The Dayes migrated from the peaks around Kalaw and the sources of the Bilu Chaung to the present location around Thigyit in Nan Tai area, Pinlaung Township. The Dayes are now intermingled with the Pa Os. Their dress is the same as the Pa Os. Their head dress is a red, green and yellow tri-coloure cloth. In ancient times the men tattooed their thighs. They will not plant on the funeral days of their parents or grandparents or weigh paddy on marketdays. They use chicken and alcohol as offerings to the nat spirits. Agriculture is their main occupation and buffaloes are used as draught animals. Most of their customs and traditions are similar to the Pa Os. The Dayes also have their own spoken language but most of them understand the Pa 0 language. However others cannot understand their language. They also have songs to be sung in duets. They used to weave their own clothes but there are only 3 households left at present doing this job. The Dayes are the latest discovery by the author and have never been recorded until now.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Wa
    Wa, La, Lawa, Lwela and Sanhton are all the same. They belong to the Wa-Palaung group and are mainly found in Kunlong region. They are widespread from the areas east of the Thanlwin River to the borders of China. Some men shave their heads clean and wrap black cloths around the heads while some use red clothes. Their trousers are shorter than most and the jackets are big and baggy. The women dress in black, brown or red hand woven jackets that come down to their waists. Cane rings are wrapped around the waist and silver necklaces are also worn. Some women also wear earrings and rings on their fingers. Buffaloes are used to till the land but some traditional method of planting is still in evidence. There are markets every five days and cattle and buffaloes are traded at these markets. In olden days buffaloes are used as sacrificial animals. There is usually a sacrificial post in front of the house. Hollowed tree trucks are used as drums for signaling. Ancient traditional houses have only one entrance and one window only. Rice wine, spirits and buffalo meat are compulsory ingredients at any sacrificial feast.
The girl will exchange chewed betel with a the owner of a house is away on a hunt he boy if she accepts him to be her lover. House warming ceremonies and nat festivals are held often. In olden days vendettas were the rule.Married women must follow their husband home. There is usually a nat shrine at the entrance of a village. Both sexes smoke pipes. If usually leaves an arrow sign in front of his house.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Kholon Lishaw
They live in the interior of Bhamaw district, mainly around Namhkan and Theinni (Hsenwi) area . They are intermingled with the Shans , Bamars , Chinese , Maingthas, A Chans living in the same area . The women have long hairs and a black cloth is woven around the head. Most of the women wear black htamein except the unmarried girls who wear htameins of other colours than black. Some women wear jackets with a high collar and buttoned at the front and big, baggy trousers. Gold and silver ornaments are worn according to the individual' s wealth. Among the men, some keep their hair long or shave the head clean. Some men wrap black clothes around their heads. They wear a jacket, not unlike the Myanmar male jacket and big, baggy trousers. They will also have a long, sword and a shoulder bag slung on either side of the shoulders. They celebrate Thingyan (Myanmar New Year), Kason Full Moon Festival and Thadingyut (Festival of Lights) as the Bamars and the Shans. It is notable that Chinese customs are intermingled with the Shan customs.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Azi

Azi are also known as Zeitwa. It is also one of the Klachin stock. They are widespread in the Sadon area, northeast and southwest of Kodaung region and in Yunnan. There are about 4 sub - groups. The men wrap black clothes around their heads but with a tassel hanging below . Their traditional dresses are black, baggy trousers and black jackets. The women wound their hairs neatly in a knot and wrap clothes around the heads. They wear black jackets and hand-woven htameins. Like the Jingpaw, Maru and Azi they have their own traditional festivals. The Htaungka Dance of the Azi is famous. They have wind instruments made out of buffalo horns. Musical instruments called "Piyet"," Pitop " and "Tuyin" are used extensively. In olden times the young people of both sexes meet at a specially designated building called "Wanze" at night and they play- fully ask riddles of each other or sing or have fun together.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Naga
The Naga belong to the Tibeto- Myanmar group that diverted to the west. There are approximately 49 sub-groups differentiated by their spoken language. The most prominent of these sub- groups are "Summra Naga", "Htangan Naga", "Sann Naga", and "Htemye Naga". The southernmost point of the Naga Hill Tracts is the sources of the Chindwin River and the northernmost point is India-Myanmar border. 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. Naga are stout and sturdy. Their hats are made of cane and decorated with tusks of the wild boars, bird feathers, bear fur and human hairs. Their dress is usually a cane covering polished with natural gum of the tree or a small cloth over the genitals and nothing more. A sword is worn on a belt decorated with goatskins, lacquered bamboo or beads. A necklace of red and blue beads is worn around the neck. The female dress is a bare minimum, to preserve modesty only.
The females also tattoos their foreheads and chins. The biggest Naga festival is the New Year Festival called the Kaing Bi.They practice the custom of "boys' house" and "girls' house". The highest compensation involves any offence connected with their small agriculture plots. Their dances with the shield are connected with the martial arts.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Innthars
Innthars are of ancient Bamar stock. They are found around the Inlay Lake in the Southern Shan State. The Innthars have as neighbours the Pa O, Shan, Danu and Taungyo. Innlay Lake is the second largest natural lake in Myanmar. The Innthars engage in many home industries and in planting vegetables and flowers on the floating gardens. The more famous festivals are the Phaung Daw Oo festival and the Ywama Pagoda festival plus the usual navigation ceremonies and rowing contests. The Innthars row their boats standing upright and with their legs. The floating gardens, where vegetables and flowers are planted, are unique to this area. The Inndein stone inscriptions and the Ywama Brass Bell Inscriptions are important landmarks of Myanmar language. In Myanmar linguistic study we find "Inlay standard version" amd "Mongkai Standard version". On the eastern bank of the lake there is an ancient city called Inndein, where during the Shan princes' time, alesser official called called the "ngwekunmu" or revenue collector has his seat of government. On the western bank, the Khaungdaing hot water spring is a popular picnic spot. Until Myanmar's Independence in 1948, the Nanpan market on the eastern bank of the lake was the biggest market in the eastern bank on the lake was the biggest market place in the whole region. Innthar are very pious people and we find many monasteries dotted around the lake. In olden days the Innthar use 21 different kinds of fishing methods. About 60 years ago, big cargo boats about 20 metres in length were used to transport goods inside the lake. The young people engage in song contests in their leisure time. There is also a dance called "lan si" , which is similar to Bamar Shwebo drum dance. Innlay is the region rich in ancient culture values.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Shan
    Previously there were altogether 9 Shan principalities; Nyaung Shwe, Mongne, Thipaw(Hsipaw), Theinni (Hsenwi), Mongye, Mongmit, Moegaung, Monyin, Kalay. The Shans are the second most populous people in Myanmar. Shans are widespread in the territory of Myanmar and even spread into Assam where they established the Ahom Kingdom. The Shan have their own written language and literature. There are also translated Tripitakas texts in the Shan language. The Shans also have folktales, classical dramas, stories and poems. The Shans also have their own musical instruments; the long drums, traditional violins made of dried coconut shells, flutes from dried gourds. The Shan martial arts are also famous. Shan Toenaya( a mythical deer ) dance, the Keinnayi (a mythical half-man, half-bird ) dance are welknown. The most famous pagoda festivals are Inlay Phuang Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, Bawgyo Pagoda Festival, Katku Pagoda Festival, Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Festival. The Shans are very pious people. Monks sitting for their religious examinations are also grand affairs.
Among these religious examination centres, the Nyaung Shwe Centre is the most famous and is now in its Golden Jubilee year Of the many Shan folktales "Khun San Law and Nan U Pyin" is one of the more famous story. Among the Shan literary giants the Mong Nong Sayadaw(venerable monk) is noteworthy. The Shans are mostly engaged in cottage industries. In 1959 all the Shan sawbwas relinquished all their hereditary powers to the central government. The Nyaung Shwe Haw and the Mong Pan J-faw are two reminders of those periods.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Kayah
    Combining the three regions of Kantarawaddy, Bawlahke and Kyehpogyi forms the Kayah State. Previously they were the habitat of the red Kayins. The Kayah are included in the 17 Kayin sub-groups. After the emergence of the Kayah State, Kayah, Padaung (Kayan), Bre, Yintale, Manu Manaw, Gheko, Gheba were recognized as of the Kayah stock. Ngwe Taung, Seven Ponds area, the Hti wetlands and the Lawpita Palls are some of the remarkable sites in the Kayah State. The men dress in red trousers with white jackets and white headbands. The women tie their hairs in knots wrapped in a red headband. Their jackets are either black or red and have a black shawl. The belt is white and is about 2 meters long. Their skirts are mostly black and have lacquered cane rings around their calves. There is also a modem Kayah dress now worn by young girls on ceremonial days.
They also wear amber and coral necklaces. The ankles are also adorned with beads. The Kyauknyinhtoke festival or the festival where packets of steamed sticky rice are distributed to all comers, the harvest festival, the Tagundaing festival, when the whole village dance around a kind of a totem pole in honor of the New Year and house warming are unique to the Kayah culture. The brass drum, called-the Hpa Si or Frog Drum, is the most revered item of the Kayah. The future is foretold by using the bones of the rooster. There are also wrestling matches in the villages. Previously the Kayah were administered by a system of local princes or Sawbwas. The Kantarawaddy and Sawlon haws(palaces) where these princes lived are of historical interest.
(Bamar | Mon | Rakhine | Thet | Daingnet | Kayins | Chin | Khami | Danaw | Daye | Wa | KholonLishaw | Azi | Eng | Naga | Shan | Kayah | Palaung)
Padaung
    They belong to the Kayin group of the Tai Tayok main group. They are the second largest population in the Kayah State. They are found in the western parts of the Kayah State and in the hills around Mobye region. The men tie their hairs into a topknot on the right side of the head. They wear short pants with hand woven jackets on top. They also have head bands around their heads. The women have huge topknots on the front of their heads secured with bamboo combs. They have red headscarves, knee-length black inner garment and waist-length outer garment. They also wear brass rings on their calves and neck. Small diameter brass rings are put around the neck and underneath the bigger rings to give strength to the elongated neck and giving them the curious name of "giraffe women". They wear big earrings in their ears and silver or beads necklaces. There are Buddhists as well as Christian and animists. Padaung are mostly engaged in agriculture and hunting. At traditional Tagundaing festival, villagers dance around a kind of a totem pole in honour of a ceremony or New Year.
These ceremonies are held under the guidance of the village shaman. The traditional brass gong with the frog motif, big brass gongs and cowbells are valued items for the Padaung. They engage in wrestling matches and other forms of martial arts. The girls do not have any inheritance rights. Zayein are also of the Padaung stock. They believe that they lose their caste and identity if they should ever be away from their own village for more than three days and therefore they had never attended the annual Union Day celebrations.
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