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SHAN STATES

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 803 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SHAN STATES, a collection of semi-independent states on the E. frontier of Upper Burma inhabited by the Shan or Thai race. The Shan States have a total area of 57,915 sq. M. and a total population (1901) of 1,137,444. There are six states under the supervision of the superintendent of the N. Shan States, and 37 under the superintendent and political officer of the S. Shan States. In addition, two states are under the commissioner of the Mandalay division, namely, Hkamti Long on the N. of Myitkyina district and Mong Mit which is temporarily administered as a subdivision of the Ruby Mines district; and two states, Sinkaling Hkamti and Hsawng Hsup, near Manipur, are under the supervision of the commissioner of the Sagaing division. There are besides a number of Shan States beyond the border of Burma, which are tributary to China, though China exercises an authority which is little more than nominal. The British Shan States were tributary to Burma and came under British control at the time of the annexation of Upper Burma. They rank as British territory, not as native states. By section 11 of the Burma Laws Act 1898, the civil, criminal and revenue administration of each state is vested in the chief, subject to the restriction specified in the sanad or order of appointment granted to him. Under the same section the law to be administered is the customary law of each state so far as it is in accordance with justice, and not opposed to the spirit of the law in British India. Physical Features.—The shape of the Shan States is roughly that of a triangle, with its base on the plains of Burma and its apex on the Mekong river. The Shan plateau is properly only the country between the Salween and Irrawaddy rivers. On the W. it is abruptly marked by the long line of hills, which begin about Bhamo and run S. till they sink into the plains of Lower Burma. On the E. it is no less sharply defined by the deep and- narrow rife of the Salween. The average height of the plateau is between 2000 and 3000 ft., but it is seamed and ribbed by mountain ranges, which split up and run into one another. On the N. the Shan States are barred across by the E. and W. ranges which follow the line of the Namtu. The huge mass of Loi Ling, 9000 ft., projects S. from this, and from either side of it and to the S. extends the wide plain which extends down to Mong Nai. The highest peaks are in the N. and the S. Loi Ling is the highest point W. of the Salween, and in Kokang and other parts of N. Hsenwi there are many peaks above 7000 ft. The majority of the intermediate parallel ranges have an average of between 4000 and 5000 ft. with peaks rising to over 6000. The country beyond the Salween is a mass of broken hills, ranging in the S. towards the Menam from 2000 to 3000 ft., while in the N. towards the Wa states they average from 5000 to 7000. Several peaks rise to 8000 ft. such as Loi Maw (8102). The climate varies considerably. From December to March it is cool everywhere, and to° of frost are experienced on the open downs. The hot season temperature is 8o° to 90°, rising to too° in the Salween valley. The rains begin about the end of April, but are not continual till August, which is usually the wettest month. They last until the end of October or beginning of November. The annual rainfall varies from 6o in. in the broader valleys to too on the higher mountains. Race and Language.—According to the census of 1901 there were 787,087 Shans (see above) in Burma. The Thai or Tai, as they call themselves, were first known to the Burmese as Taroks or Tarets. The original home of the Thai race was S.W. China, or rather that was the region where they attained to a marked separate development as a people. It is probable that their first settlement in Burma proper was in the Shweli valley, and that from this centre they radiated at a comparatively recent date N., W. and S.E. through Upper Burma into Assam. It is supposed that the Thai race boasts of representatives across the whole breadth of Indo-China, from the Brahmaputra as far as the gulfs of Siam and Tongking; that it numbers among its members not only the Shans proper, the Laos and the Siamese, but also the Muongs of French Indo-China, the Hakas of S. China, and the Li, the inhabitants of the interior of the far Eastern island of Hainan in the China seas. But no exhaustive survey of the Thai has yet been accomplished. For the purposes of Burma they may be divided into the N.W., the N.E., the E. and the S. Shans. The Siamese and the Laos are the principal representatives of the S. division. Siamese are found in considerable numbers in the districts of Amherst, Tavoy and Mergui in the Tenasserim division. The total at the time of the census of 190I was 31,800, while that of the Laos was 1047. The country of the E. Shans lies between the Rangoon-Mandalay railway and the Mekong, and is bounded roughly on the N. and S. by the 22nd and loth parallels of latitude. It includes the S. Shan States, and comprises the country of the Lii and the Hkiin of the states of Kengtung and Kenghung. Linguistically the connexion between the latter two races and the Laos is very close, but apparently the racial affinity is not sufficiently near to justify the classification of the Hkfin and the Lu with the S. Thai. The N.W. Shan region is the area ex-tending from Bhamo to Assam between the 23rd and 28th parallels of latitude. It corresponds more or less with those portions of Katha, Myitkyina, Bhamo and Upper Chindwin districts which at one time or other during the palmy days of the Shan dominion acknowledged the suzerainty of the Sawbwa of Mogaung.' The N.E. Shans are the Chinese-Shans who are found where Upper Burma and the N. Shan states border on China. The Thai language may be divided into two sub-groups, the N. and the S. The S. includes Siamese, Lao, Lu and Hkiih; the N., the three forms of Shan, namely, N. Burmese-Shan, S.-Burmese Shan and Chinese-Shan with Hkamti and Ahom. The vernacular of the people who are directly known in Burma as Shan is S. Burmese-Shan. This language is isolating and polytonic. It possesses five tones, a mastery of which is a sine qud non if the language is to he properly learnt. It is exhaustively described in the works of Dr Cushing. The Shans are a peaceful race, fond of trading. During the past decade the trade with Burma has increased very largely, and with the construction of the railway to Lashio a still further increase may be expected in the N. states. The cultivation of wheat and potatoes in the S. states promise them wealth also when a railway furnishes them means of getting the produce out of the country. Since 1893 the peace of the Shan States has been practically undisturbed. See Ney Elias, Introductory Sketch of the History of the Shans in Upper Burmah and West Yun-nan (Calcutta, 1876) ; Cushing, Shan Dictionary (Introduction); Bock, Temples and Elephants; Sir A. Phayre, History of Burmah; A. R. Colquhoun, 4cross Chryse (London, 1883), and Amongst the Shans (1885); Diguet, Etude de la longue Thai (Paris, 1896). (J. G. Sc.) SHAN-TUNG (" East of the Mountains "), a maritime province of China, bounded N. by the province of Chih-li and the Gulf of Chih-li, E. by the Yellow Sea, S. by Kiang-su and the Yellow Sea and W. by Chih-li. Area about 56,000 sq. m., population (estimated) 37,500,000. It is the most densely inhabited part of China, and is celebrated as the native province both of Confucius and Mencius. It is divided into ten prefectures, with as many prefectural cities, of which Chi-nan Fu (q.v.), the provincial capital, is the chief. The physical features of the province are very plainly marked. The centre and eastern are occupied by mountain ranges running N.E. and S.W., between which lie fertile valleys, while the north-western, southern and western portions form part of the great deltaic plain of the north of China. The mountainous region projects seaward beyond the normal coast line forming a large peninsula, the shores of which are deeply indented and contain some good harbours, such as that of Kiao-chow. The most considerable range of mountains occupies the centre of the province, the highest peak being the T'ai-shan (5o6o ft.), a mountain famous in Chinese history_ for more than 4000 years, and to which hundreds of pilgrimsannually resort. The Lao-shan, east of Kiao-chow, fringes the south-eastern coast for about 18 m. With the exception of the Hwang-ho, which traverses the province in a north-easterly direction to the sea, there are no large rivers in Shan-tung. The most considerable are the Wei, which flows into the Gulf of Chih-li; the I-ho, which empties into a lake lying east of the Grand Canal; and the Ta-wen, which rises at the southern foot of the I-sham Mountains and terminates in the Grand Canal. The canal traverses the provinces S. to N. east of the mountain region. There are several lakes, notably the Tu-shan Hu, which borders on the Grand Canal in the south-west. The fauna includes wild boars, wolves, foxes, badgers, partridges, quails and snipe. Cotton, silk, coal, grain, &c. are produced in the fertile tracts in the neighbourhood of the lakes. Not being a loess region, the mountains are unproductive, and yield only brushwood and grass, while the plain to the north is so impregnated with salt that it is almost valueless, especially near the sea, for agricultural purposes. The valleys between the mountains and the plain to the south-west are, however, extremely rich and fertile. The chief wealth of Shan-tung consists in its minerals, the principal of which is coal. Several coal-fields are worked ; the most considerable lies in the valley of the Lao-fu river in the centre of the province. Another large field lies on the plain a little to the south of I-chow Fu in the south. A third field is in the district of Wei Hien to the north; and a fourth in the neighbourhood of I-Hien in the south-west. Iron ore, ironstone, gold, galena, lead and copper are also found in considerable quantities in many districts. Agricultural products are wheat, millet, Indian corn, pulse, arrowroot and many varieties of fruits and vegetables. Rice is grown in the extreme south of the province. Among trees, stunted pines, dwarf oaks, poplars, willows and the cypress are fairly plentiful. The castor-oil plant, is common, and the wax tree grows plentifully in the neighbourhood of Lai-yang in the east, giving rise to a considerable trade in the wax produced by the wax insects. Unlike those of their kind in Sze Ch`uen, the wax insects of Shan-tang breed and become productive in the same districts. They are placed upon the trees in the spring, and at the close of the summer they void a peculiar substance which when melted forms wax. In the autumn they are taken off the trees, and are preserved within doors until the following spring. Sericulture is an important industry. The worms are fed in the west on mulberry leaves, in the east on those of the dwarf oak, the material made from the silk produced from the oak-fed.worms being known as pongee or Chifu silk. The worm itself, after the cocoon has been used, is eaten and is esteemed a delicacy. Besides Chi-nan Fu, the provincial capital, other inland cities are Tsao-Chow Fu (pop. 15o,000) on the Grand Canal (an industrial centre) and Wei-hsien (1oo,000), a commercial centre. The ports of Shan-tung include Chifu, Wei-hai-wei and Kiao-chow (Tsing-tao), all separately noticed. As part of compensation for the murder of two. German missionaries in 1897 in this province—Protestant mission work in Shan-tung dates from 186o—the Germans took possession on lease of the port of Kiao-chow, 300 M. N. of Shanghai,. a 36-hours'. run by steamer, with which were associated many railway and mining rights in the district. In fulfilment of these rights a railway has been constructed connecting Kiao-chow with Chinanfu, the capital; there it connects with another railway crossing the province north to south and forming part of the Tientsin and Chin-kiang line. In consequence of this acquisition: of territory by Germany and the subsequent seizure of Port Arthur by Russia, Great Britain accepted the lease of Wei-hai-wei on the same terms. The convention confirming this arrangement was signed on the 1st of July 1898. It was in Shang-tung that the Boxer movement was first turned against foreigners (see CHINA, § History). See M. Broomhall, The Chinese Empire (London, 1907), pp. 93-too; L. Richard, Comprehensive Geography of the Chinese Empire (Shanghai, 1908), pp. 79-89, and authorities there cited.
End of Article: SHAN STATES
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