History of Shan

The Shan have already evacuated to Mae Hong Son province for more than a century of years. The evidence has been shown by the elderly the Shan tellers, and from study the history of Mae Hong Son province can see that the Shan, who live in Mae Hong Son, have evacuated from North East of Myanmar which called “Shan State” that comprises of towns along Salween River such as Maung Mog Mai, Maung Nai, Maung Lang Kur, etc. Shan move to live in Mae Hong Son about the year of 1831 B.E. of the third king era, King Pra Nang Klao, of Ratanakosin City.

The Shan will always come to plant the seasonal vegetation and go back to Shan State after finish harvest until the year of 1856, then move to domicile at Baan Pangmoo, Pangmoo subdistrict, Maung district, Mae Hong Son province. They earn their living by planting and farming till the year of 1866 Chao Kaewmaungma has been sent from Chiang Mai to catch the elephants to train to work. He has gathered all the Shan who live scatteringly to come to stay together in the area which is Mae Hong Son at present. In the year of 1874 the ruler of Chiang Mai has seen that Baan Mae Hong Son and Baan Pangmoo are crowded with people which deserve to be upgraded as a town named “Mae Hong Son Town” and has appointed a Shan whose name “Shangale” to be the first ruler and has the title of “Praya Singhanartracha”. After that there are 3 more rulers before the management system changed to be Mae Hong Son province.
 
From the past long period over a hundred year Shan of Mae Hong Son still live with strict traditions and cultures of the time together with the Shan’s life style and the belief of Shan. At the same time they still have the brotherly relationship with the Shan who live in Shan State in Myanmar by selling and visiting to each other all the time, though, there will sometime be some political unrest.

The Shan have their own art of dressing which express the unique of culture for a long time. It is the same as the Shan in Mae Hong Son who have their own art of dressing, too. It has just only a little bit of difference in details that depends on the status of living, sex, age, and suitability of dressing such as the women’s blouses are like Myanmar’s which have both long and short sleeves, the edge of the blouse to which buttons are attached, will be passed from the left to the right and the lower part prefer putting on Thai sarongs. For the Shan men prefer using long sleeves cotton shirts, round collars cut the middle with Chinese buttons, and putting on wide leg trousers. In the past the Shan men prefer carrying on the shoulder with shoulder bags and nice pattern swords and usually have an ink tattoo all over the bodies. Whenever going out from the houses both men and women usually use turbans or hats which called “Gub Tai”.

For the languages, the Shan have their own spoken and written languages. For spoken language or “Gwam Tai” is different from the Myanmar language. However, it is similar to the Thai language; it is only a little bit deviated. For their written language, the alphabets are called “Leek Tai” have been used from the ancient time, which are similar to Mon and Myanmar letters.


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