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    To develop the ethnic groups database where systematized research data are available online and can be made use of by interested parties or individuals, following the subjects or topics of their interests, and thus making it easier for them to sum up the essential points necessary for further in-depth studies. 


    S'gaw youth at Mowakee Chaingmai

    Less savings. Much to share.

    S'gaw's proverb
    Mowakee Chaingmai

    Salak Yom Festival
    Pratupha Temple

    Sea as Home of Urak Lawoi, Moken, Moklen

    Rawai beach Phuket Thailand


    Computer class of S'gaw students
    Mae La Noi , Maehongson

    Khaw Rai (Rice)
    produced from rotational farming
    Li Wo, Kanchanaburi


    S'gaw woman at Hin Lad Nai village

    Fermented Beans

    Important ingredient of Tai


    Phlong(Pwo) woman

    Li Wo village

    Boon Khaw Mai rite

    Phlong at Li Wo


    Little Prince of Tai

    Ordination in Summer of Tai boys


    Boys are ordained as novice monks

     Poi Sang Long is the tradition of the Tai. 

    Be novice monk to learn Buddhism


    Tai-art  mural painting of  Buddha 
    at Wat Chong Kam Chong Klang
    Maehongson Thailand

    Wat Chong-Kam, Chong Klang

    Hmong childs at Ban Kewkarn
  •   Smile

    Smile in problems
    Urak  Lawai at Rawai Phuket
  •   Hybrid




  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Ethnic Groups Research Database
Sorted by date | title


Subject Tai Tai Luang Shan, Lue, history, culture
Author Sompong Withayasakpan
Title Socio-cultural histories of the Tai group
Document Type Book Original Language of Text Thai
Ethnic Identity Lue, Tai, Tai Luang ,Shan, Language and Linguistic Affiliations Tai
Location of
SirindhornAnthropology Center Total Pages 246 Year 1999
Source Department of Thai, Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University

This course book is a compilation of articles and texts about the Tai group from the historical, social and cultural perspectives. The book starts from an overview of the ethnic group after they established kingdoms after the tenth century. The group scattered throughout the Southeast Asian region and called themselves various names. The book then focuses on the origin of the ethnic group until the period of western colonization and many Tai ethnic groups were colonized. The arrival of Westerners created trade routes and the collapse of some Tai kingdoms. 

The author recommends that future studies on community cultures  of the ethnic group would make it easier to understand the relationships, development and changes of the Tai groups. The histories of  the Tai kingdoms started around the 11th century after the collapses of Nan Chao, Mon, Sri Kaset, Vietnam, Cham Pa, and Khom (Khmer) kingdoms. The Tai ethnic groups reside in northern Vietnam, Southern China, Laos, Thailand, northern Burma and Assam State in India. They call themselves various names according to the localities and countries in which they resided. There were approximately 300,000 Shans residing in Yunnan Province in southern China in 1999 and about two million in the Shan State of Burma in 1965.

However, there have been no figures for the Shan in Assam State of India. Most of the Shan are Buddhists of the Hinayana Sect, which is the influence of the Burmese and the Lanna Kingdom. In the southern region, there are four Buddhist sects, which include Kung Yon, Poi Jong, Tolay and Toti of Joti. Despite different sects, Shan Buddhists are religious, e.g., making merit and practicing meditation. Pu Jong (a religious layman) is the leader of religious ceremonies. Therefore, the temple is the central part of the Shan community, functioning as the spiritual refuge of the Shan Buddhists. The Shan language is the means of communication with some Chinese loanwords.

However, the Yunnan dialect is used as a lingua franca in Muang Khon and Muang Mao, and all the ethnic groups are bilingual in this region. Tai Lao or Isan Tai has its own spoken variety and script which was created in the Khotraboon Kingdom. Nevertheless, the script became obsolete after the region was annexed to Siam. Tai Lue has its own spoken variety and script similar to that of Lanna and was derived from the Burmese script. There are some Chinese loanwords.Initially, Tai Ahom used the Shan script but later changed to Hindi-based script. The script became obsolete after the ethnic group was colonized by the British. Tai Nora uses Kachin and Assamese language. 

Text Analyst Sunisa Fuekfon Date of Report Apr 04, 2013
TAG Tai Tai Luang Shan, Lue, history, culture, Translator Chalermchai Chaichomphu


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