Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mon, Mon-Khmer, Siam and Kamboja, Palaung and Wa

Although the Mon of Burma, Mon-Khmer, Siam and Kamboja of the South East Asia might have their individual polity and places, their culture, customs, genealogy, ethnology, etymology and origins are intertwined with each other. So that we would study and discuss in details under this title. But it will be broken down as follow.

1)      Mon of Burma
2)      Mon-Khmer
3)      Siam
4)      Kamboja  (ကမ္ေဘာဇ)
Origin of the Mon and Khmer.
In search of the origin of our beloved Mon relatives,  firstly we would refer the Mon prominent Historian’s account for the name of the people and we would quote of Dr Nai Pan Hla as follow:-  

The ethononym of the Mon people in olden days were different from present name Mon, written Man (မန္). In the pre-Angkor Khmer inscriptions, the Mons were called RAMAN (ရမည္), RMMAN AND RAMANYA (ရမည ) IN THE 6TH-7TH CENTURIES ad. In 1021 AD, the Javanese named them as RMEN(ရမန္ ) and REMEN . The great Myanmar king Kyansittha referred them as RMEN  (ရမန္) in his Palace Mon inscriptions at Pagan inscribed on huge stomnes in the 11th century A.D., when Myanmars were known as MIRMA (မရမၼာ). {Dr Nai Pan Hla}

It is very interesting that there is a district capital town named Yamethin (or) Ramethin (ရမည္းသင္း) a hamlet in the middle of Burma. The famous SEA Game marathoners Papa was born in Yamthethin. There are some pagoda built and worshipped by the nephew and niece of the Mon King Manuha in the north-eastern part of the Yamathin, near Theign-gone village and Shwse-Myin-Tin hill, in the blue-ridge mountain we loved so much. ႊ့If we explore and verify the existence of the pagodas built by the Prince and Princess (Nephew and niece of the Mon King Manuha. we can confirm the town itself which was governed by the great Duke of the ancient time, Thi-la-wa Min and also Min Swe (aka) Min Gyi Nyo who became the King of Taungoo (Ketumati) later. There is a publisher by the name of Thi-la-wa in 33rd Street in Rangoon (Yangon). Thi-la-wa has published a journal which mentioned the existence of the above mentioned pagodas. The owner of the Publisher, U Kyaw Than can help re-print the journal again. We will explore more and mention these soon,  later.

We will cotinue with more information, facts and evidences of the Mon people who are actually kins or relative of Burmese themselves. In fact Mon hero Sami Baran had saved Burma once by fighting dual with Ga-ma-neet , the Hero of of Chinese Emporer. It is likely that the Prince Thi-La-Wa or Silva; the double brother-in-law of  the Prince of Ah-Myint town or "King -Swar-sor-ke";  of Yamethin. Thi-La-Wa was married to Swar-Sor-Ke's sister and the latter married to the former's sister.  The princess' names are "Hnin-Pa-Lae" and "Kha-Mae-Meet".  Thus, as a matter of fact, Mon and Burmese or Mrammar are , relatives since several centuries in the ancient past.

According to the historical sources and available records, we are informed that the Mon tribe people came from India. There are many evidences which are the facts to verify the following statements from our pioneer historian of the great learning Taw Sein Ko

“the Mon-Khmer, which is now represented by the Talaings and Cambodians, and by the straggling and scattered tribes of Khasias in Assam, and the Palaungs and Was in the Northern Shan States.  The Mon-Khmer appears to have entered Burma from north-eastern India, as it has left its congeners, the Bhils and Gonds, behind. This race was a gain succeeded by the Shans and Karens, P/4 (TSK)”

                                                        The Mon 

                            {Mon Traditional Costune : Source :Internet}

For the purposes of honouring the Mon cultural value we would share Mon classical dance from the Youtube, here. These are marvellous. There are more on youtube for those interested to enjoy.

As he (Taw Sein Ko) mentions, firstly  we are investigating the Bhils and Gonds of the north-eastern India. However we find them not just in north-eastern India but they are spread all over India and south-east Asia. The brief social stature and background of the Bhils could easily be found on the internet webpages for information.
Palaung and Wa
Notes from Palaung
Palaung race (from Palaung national Society Website)
ပေလာင္ လူမ်ိဴးတို႔သည္ မိမိတို႔ကိုယ္ကို “တအာင္း”ဟူ၍ေခၚဆိုသည္။ ဗမာတို႔က “ပေလာင္” ဟူ၍ေခၚသည္။ “ပေလး” ဟူ၍ လည္းေခၚဆိုသည္။ ပေလာင္ ရာဇ၀င္ အဆိုအရ တေကာင္း ေခတ္ကတည္းက “ပေလာင္”ဟုေခၚဆိုခဲ့သည္ ဆိုသည္။ ပုဂံေခတ္ တြင္လည္း “ေပါင္ေလာင္” ဟူ၍ ေရးသားခဲ့ၾကသည္ကို ေတြ႔ရွိရသည္။ ေရွးဗမာတို႔က “ေရြပေလာင္၊ ေငြပေလာင္”ဟူ၍ ခ်စ္ခင္ ျမတ္ႏိုးဖြယ္ တင္စား သံုးႏွဳန္း ေခၚဆိုၾကသည္။ ေရြပေလာင္လူမ်ိဳး၊ ေငြပေလာင္လူမ်ိဳး ဟူ၍ လူမ်ိဳး ကြဲျပားျခင္းမရွိပါ။ ေရြပေလာင္ ေငြပေလာင္ဟူေသာ ပေလာင္မ်ိဳးႏြယ္စု (၀ါ) တအာင္းမ်ိဳးႏြယ္စု အားလံုးကို ရည္ညြန္း ေခၚဆိုျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။ ဘယ္ပေလာင္မ်ိဳးႏြယ္စုကို ေရြပေလာင္၊ ဘယ္ပေလာင္မ်ိဳးႏြယ္စုကို ေငြပေလာင္ -ဟူ၍ရည္ညြန္း ကြဲျပား ေခၚေ၀ၚျခင္း မရွိေပ၊ ေရြပေလာင္ ၊ ေငြပေလာင္ဟူ၍ ေျပာစမွတ္ျပဳရာတြင္ အမည္နာမကို စကားအရာ ခ်စ္ခင္စြာ ဂုဏ္တင္ ေခၚေ၀ၚျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။
(ကၠသွ်ံဂူေမာ္ကြန္း) ပေလာင္တို ့သည္ မြန္တို ့ႏွင့္အတူ ျမန္မာျပည္ ေအာက္ပိုင္ေဒသ၊ သထုံေဒသ၊ ပဲခူး-ေတာင္ငူ ေဒသတို႔တြင္ အေျခခ် ေနထိုင္ခဲ့ေၾကာင္း ပေလာင္မ်ိဳးႏြယ္စု တစ္ခုျဖစ္သည့္ (ရူမိုင္း)တို႔ အေျခခ်ခဲ့ေၾကာင္း ရမၼ၀တီဟု အမည္တြင္ေၾကာင္း၊ သေရေခတၱရာ (ျပည္) ပန္းေတာင္း အရပ္ေဒသသို႔ ေျပာင္းေရႊ႔ လာၾကေၾကာင္း “ရူမိုင္း (ရူမည္း) ေရွးေဟာင္း  ရာဇာ၀င္ တြင္ပါရွိသည္။
က်န္အစုမွာ ေတာင္ငူ- ရမည္သင္းေဒသမွ   ရွမ္းျပည္ေတာင္ပိုင္းသို႔ ေရႊ႔ေျပာင္းေၾကာင္း ေျဖာ္ျပသည္။ ၀၊ ပေလာင္အုပ္စု တစ္စုသည္ တရုတ္ျပည္ ေတာင္ပိုင္းဆီ မွျမန္မာျပည္သို႔ ေရႊလီျမစ္ ေၾကာင္းႏွင့္ တပိန္ျမစ္ေၾကာင္း အတိုင္း ျမန္မာျပည္ အထက္ပိုင္း တေကာင္းေဒသ၊ ျမန္မာျပည္ အလယ္ပိုင္းေဒသ ျဖစ္သည့္ ေရွးပုဂံ (ေပါကၠံ=Pugama desa )ေဒသ၊ မင္းဘူး (၆)ခရိုင္ေးသ၊ ပခုကၠဴ (ေယာနယ္)ေဒသ၊ ဗိႆႏိုးေဒသ (Vishnu-desa) တို႔၌ ၀၊ပေလာင္လူမ်ိဳး အႏြယ္တစ္စုတိုသည္ ဧရာ၀တီ ျမစ္ေၾကာင္း အတိုင္း ဆင္းသက္လာ ၾကျပီး အေျခခ်ခဲ့ၾကသည္ဟု ဆိုပါသည္၊ ေနာက္တြင္ကာ မေရွးမေႏွာင္းပင္ ေရာက္ရွာလာၾကေသာ ေရွးပ်ဴႏွင့္ အႏြယ္တူ လူမ်ိဳးမ်ားတို႔ ေရာေႏွာ အေျခခ်ၾကေၾကာင္း သိရွိရ၏။ ေနာက္တြင္ ပုဂံျပည္ၾကီးကို ထူးေထာင္ၾကရာတြင္ မြန္၊၀၊ ပေလာင္အႏြယ္ လူမ်ိဳးမ်ား ပါ၀င္ေၾကာင္း ပုဂံေက်ာက္စာအရ သိရ ေၾကာင္း သိရပါ၏။ ပေလာင္လူမ်ိဳးတို႔သည္ ေရွးဦး ပ်ဴလူမ်ိဳးတို႔ႏွင့္ နီးကပ္စြာ အတူ ယွဥ္တြဲေနထိုင္ျပီး ယဥ္ေက်းမွူ ဓေလ့ထုံးထမ္း အစဥ္အလာ၊ ေရွးေဟာင္း ယုံၾကည္မွူ၊ ရိုးရာပုံျပင္မ်ား၊မ်ိဳးရိုးစဥ္လာ ခံယူမွုူ၊ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မွူစံနစ္ကို ကူညီစြာ ခံယူက်င့္သုံးလာခဲ့၍ လည္းျပဴ လူမ်ိဳးမွ "ျပဴ“ “ပလူ”  ၎မွ “ ပေလာင္ “လူမ်ိဴးဟု အဆိုရွိေလ သည္၊ ပေလာင္၊ ၀အႏြယ္တူ လူမ်ိဳးတစ္စုတို႔သည္ တေကာင္း ေဒသဆီမွ ဧရာ၀တီျမစ္ေၾကာင္း အတိုင္း ဆင္းသက္လာၾကျပီး ေျမျပန္ ့ေဒသျဖစ္သည့္ မတၱရာ၊ ေအာင္ပင္လယ္ (မႏၱေလး) အင္း၀၊ ေတာင္ျပဳန္း ၊ ေက်ာက္ဆည္ ေဒသသို႕ျပန္ ့ႏွံ ့အေျခခ် လာျပီး မြန္ခမာအႏြယ္ မြန္ ၊၀၊ ပေလာင္တို ့ႏွင့္ ျပန္ဆုံစည္းၾက၍ ေက်ာင္ဆည္ (၁၁) ခရိုင္ေဒသတြင္ အင္အား ႀကီးထြားျပန္႔ႏွံ ေနထုိင္ခဲ့ၾကသည္။ 
 Refer the details
 Actually the Mon, Wa and Palaung are descenadants of the same parent stock associated Kiratas who came from Middle, South and North-eastern parts of India. They move from Suvarnabuhmi- Thaton to Taungoo then to Yamethin (RAMAN (ရမည္)}.From Yamethin they move up the East Yoma or Shan Yoma and due to infighting each other among feudatory they eventually even reach to Talifoo in Yunnan. But originally Siam(Shan), Palaung and Wa are not the Chinese. But they are Kiratas of India. Their complexion is Gold or Old Gold (Dark Gold )colour. 
We shall continue to add the origin of the Kamboja (or) Cambodia (or) ကမ္ေဘာဇ
 The followings are from  Internet sources(Courtesy :Palaung national Society). Please click on the following Link.
ပေလာင္မ်ိဴးႏြယ္စုမ်ား Palaung race (from Palaung national Society Website) 
As The Bhils and Gonds share the biggest population all over India Bhils (39% ) and Gonds ( ), it is highly logical that they were also in Brahma-desa (modern Burma) which is very likely part of the larger India or All INDIA. The brief accounts of Bhils and Gonds are is under.
The Bhils
The word Bhil is derived from the Bil or Vil which mean Bow. They are the largest tribe of South Asia and constitute 39% of the total population of Rajasthan. Bhils are known as bow men of Rajasthan or the tribals of Mewar or the Archers. Bhil tribe is divided into two groups, the Central or Pure Bhils found in the mountains ranges of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Eastern Rajput Bhils are found in eastern parts of Tripura. These tribes have been mentioned in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. (source: Indianmirrordotcom).
The Bhil tribal people in their traditional costume can be fond on internet and the followings are just few of them.

The Gonds 
The Gonds are among the largest tribal groups in South Asia and perhaps the world. The term Gond refers to tribal peoples who live all over India's Deccan Peninsula. Most describe themselves as Gonds (hill people) or as Koi or Koitur.
Scholars believe Gonds settled in Gondwana, now known as eastern Madhya Pradesh, between the ninth and thirteenth centuries AD . Muslim writers describe a race of Gond states after the fourteenth century. Gond dynasties ruled in four kingdoms (Garha-Mandla, Deogarh, Chanda, and Kherla) in central India between the sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries. (Source:  everyculturedotcom)
                                    { Source}

                                  { Source : Courtesy of}
Based this picture and the habit of carrying the child in the sling cloth or sarong or blanket, they might probably be the kins of Burma's Karen tribe as well.

                                                {Source : Courtesy of indianmirrordotcom}
                                 {Source: Courtesy of musetheplacedotcom}
The ligustically the Mon-Khmer people are the members of the Austro-Asiatic family of languages. According to Hutton , the Munda of the India are also part of the same family with Mon-Khmer. They also share the customs for the burrials of their deads. He hutton mentiond as below:-
The present distribution of Austroasiatic languages in India shows very small patches of survival in the Punjab and Himalayas,  a fairly solid block in Chota Nagpur and Orissa,  and patches again, but stronger and larger than those in the north-west, in the Central Provinces and in Assam. The same family appears again in the Nicobar Islands and in the east of Burma and becomes, of course, increasingly predominant in the south-east of the Asiatic Continent, in Indonesia and in the Pacific.  The breaks in the distribution of the Indian branches of the family are marked by the fact that the Munda group of languages has retained certain ancient characteristics lost by the Mon-Khmer group, and that Nicobarese, though generally approximating to the latter group, has likewise retained some of those ancient characteristics which are seen in the former.(Hutton 1950)
Also refer to the Indian researchers and they informed us the languages of tribal people of India and their affinities and relationships with that of the tribes of other neighbouring countries and the world itself. And we come to know the languages of India as such:-
     Looking at the linguistic map of India and the languages found among the tribals we note that the Dravidian language family is in use in the Dravidian region in south India and a few pockets in middle India in Chotanagpur and north-western border near Baluchistan. Another language family, “Austro-Asiatic”, is found in certain pockets in the north-eastern Himalayan region in Meghalaya, in Nicobar Islands and extensively in middle India and adjoining western India. The third language which is traced on the map and is prevalent all along the Himalayan region is Tibeto-Chinese. The Indo-European language is found in the remaining, major, part of India. {Vidyarthi, Lalitha Prasad and Binay Kumar}
But Hutton opines that the Austro-Asiatic language was brought by the Kolarians through the west end of the Himalayas and by the Mon-Khmer-speaking people from the east of the Himalayas. The Tibeto-Burmese language entered our country(India) from the north and spread all along the Himalayas. {Vidyarthi, Lalitha Prasad and Binay Kumar} And they classified the tribes of the in the family of the languges, firstly the Austro-Asiatic Family as below.
    With this background we came to classify the tribal people linguistically. They speak different languages in different regions and groups, and can be broadly classified into four main linguistic families. These are (with examples) :
I(1)  Austro-Asiatic Family:
(a)    Mon-Khmer Branch : Khasi and Nicobari
(b)   Munda Branch – Santhali, Kharwari, Ho, Mundari, Gondi, Kharia, Savara, Khond, Gadaba, etc.
  According to (Guha, 1935) tribal people of India can be grouped into three major catagories: 
(a)    The Proto-Australoids—This group is characterized by dark skin colour, sunken nose and lower forehead (example). The Munda, the Oraon, the Ho, the Gond, the Khond, etc. 
(b)   The Mongoloids—Tribal people of the Himalayan region specially of north Himalaya come under this category 
(c)    The Negrito—The Kadars of Kerala and the Andamanis of the Andaman Island come under this stock. 
These tribes, Munda ,Oraon, Ho , Gond or Kond are traditionally agriculturalist or
agrarians,peasants in the plain lands under the cateogory of:

Plain Agriculture Type: These tribals live in undulating plateaus and are predominantly dependent on plough cultivation. They live in bigger villages with several tolas. Under this category are the major tribes like the Santhal, the Munda, the Ho, the Oraon, the Gond, the Bhil, the Mina, etc. {Vidyarthi, Lalitha Prasad and Binay Kumar}
The Munda.
The Munda live in North India among varying populations and linguistic groups. Researchers have assumed that the Munda represented the earliest Indian population. This theory has been recently disputed by researchers who claim a S.E. Asian origin for the Munda speakers. The S.E. Asian origin hypothesis is not supported by Munda mtDNA phylogeny, archaeology and linguistics. This evidence suggest an ancient presence of Munda speakers in India before the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan speaking populations. {Reference: Ispub}

                                     {Photo Source: Courtesy of}
                          Birsa Munda - The great Revolutionary was a Munda Archer
                                 {Picture source : Courtesy of}

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