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KENG TUNG

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 729 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KENG TUNG, the most extensive of the Shan States in the province of Burma. It is in the southern Shan States' charge and lies almost entirely east of the Salween river. The area of the state is rather over 12,000 sq. m. It is bounded N. by the states of Mang Lon, Mong Lem and Keng Hung (Hsip Hsawng Panna), the two latter under Chinese control; E. by the Mekong river, on the farther side of which is French Lao territory; S. by the Siamese Shan States, and W. in a general way by the Salween river, though it overlaps it in some places. The state is known to the Chinese as Meng Keng, and was frequently called by the Burmese " the 32 cities of the Gan " (Hkon). Keng Tung has expanded very considerably since the establishment of British control, by the inclusion of the districts of Hsen Yawt, Hsen Mawng, Mong Hsat, Mong Pu, and the cis-Mekong portions of Keng Cheng, which in Burmese times were separate charges. The " classical " name of the state is Khemarata or Khemarata Tungkapuri. About 63% of the area lies in the basin of the Mekong river and 37% in the Salween drainage area. The watershed is a high and generally continuous range. Some of its peaks rise to over 7000 ft., and the elevation is nowhere much below 5000 ft. Parallel to this successive hill ranges run north and south. Mountainous country so greatly predominates that the scattered valleys are but as islands in a sea of rugged hills. The chief rivers, tributaries of the Salween, are the Nam Hka, the Hwe Long, Nam Pu, and the Nam Hsim. The first and last are very considerable rivers. The Nam Hka rises in the Wa or Vu states, the Nam Hsim on the watershed range in the centre of the state. Rocks and rapids make both unnavigable, but much timber goes down the Nam Hsim. The lower part of both rivers forms the boundary of Keng Tung state. The chief tributaries of the Mekong are the Nam Nga, the Nam Lwe, the Nam Yawng, Nam Lin, Nam Hok and Nam K6k. Of these the chief is the Nam Lwe, which is navigable in the interior of the state, but enters the Mekong by a gorge broken up by rocks. The Nam Lin and the Nam K6k are also considerable streams. The lower course of the latter passes by Chieng Rai in Siamese territory. The lower Nam Hok or Me Huak forms the boundary with Siam. The existence of minerals was reported by the sawbwa, or chief, to Francis Garnier in 1867, but none is worked or located. Gold is washed in most of the streams. Teak forests exist in Mong Pu and Mong Hsat, and the sawbwa works them as government con-tracts. One-third of the price realized from the sale of the logs at Moulmein is retained as the government royalty. There are teak forests also in the Mekong drainage area in the south of the state, but there is only a local market for the timber. Rice, as elsewhere in the Shan States, is the chief crop. Next to it is sugar-cane, grown both as a field crop and in gardens. Earth-nuts and tobacco are the only other field crops in the valleys. On the halls, besides rice, cotton, poppy and tea are the chief crops. The tea is carelessly grown, badly prepared, and only consumed locally. A great deal of garden pro-duce is raised in the valleys, especially near the capital. The state is rich in cattle, and exports them to the country west of the Salween. Cotton and opium are exported in large quantities, the former entirely to China, a good deal of the latter to northern Siam, which also takes shoes and sandals. Tea is carried through westwards from Keng Hung, and silk from the Siamese Shan States. Cotton and silk weaving are dying out as industries. Large quantities of shoes and sandals are made of buffalo and bullock hide, with Chinese felt uppers and soft iron hobnails. There is a good deal of pottery work. The chief work in iron is the manufacture of guns, which has been carried on for many years in certain villages of the Sam Tao district. The gun barrels and springs are rude but effective, though not very durable. The revenue of the state is collected as the Burmese thathameda, a rude system of income-tax. From 189o, when the state made its submission, the annual tributary offerings made in Burmese times were continued to the British government, but in 1894 these offerings were converted into tribute. For the quinquennial period 1903–1908 the state paid Rs. 30,000 (£2000) annually. The population of the state was enumerated for the first time in castle and grounds, and here in July 1575 he entertained Queen Elizabeth at " excessive cost," as described in Scott's Kenilworth. On the queen's first entry " a small floating island illuminated by a great variety of torches . . . made its appearance upon the lake," upon which, clad in silks, were the Lady of the Lake and two nymphs waiting on her, and for the several days of her stay " rare shews and sports were there exercised." During the civil wars the castle was dismantled by the soldiers of Cromwell and was from that time abandoned to decay. The only mention of Kenilworth as a borough occurs in a charter of Henry I. to Geoffrey de Clinton and in the charters of Henry I. and Henry II. to the church of St Mary of Kenilworth confirming the grant of lands made by Geoffrey to this church, and mentioning that he kept the land in which his castle was situated and also land for making his borough, park and fishpond. The town possesses large tanneries.
End of Article: KENG TUNG
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