The Political Expansion of the MAO SHANS* พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Padmeswar Gogoi   

GOGOI, PADMESWAR. THE POLITICAL EXPANSION OF THE MAO SHANS. JSS. VOL.44 (pt.2) 1956. p.125-137.

 

 

     THE POLITICAL EXPANSION OF THE MAO SHANS*

                                               by

                               Padmeswar Gogoi

 

The Mao Shans are a well-known section of the Thai race
that   migrated   to   Burma   from  the  north  from  very  early  times,
when   in  the  13th  century  A.D. they  became  very  powerful  and
started to build  an  empire  for  themselves. The  rise  of  the  Mao
Shan power in the region of Yünnan and Upper Burma in  the  first
quarter   of   the   13th   century   brought   about   a   great   change
in  the  political  structure  and  the  social  outlook  of  the  peoples
inhabiting this area as well as neighboring territories. The  concen-
tration   of   the   Mao  Shans in  the  extensive  fertile  plains  of  the
Shweli valley and their advance to the south-east and  to  the  west
up to the valley of the Brahmaputra in  what  is  now  called  Assam
led to the consolidation of their power in a number of closely allied
states  in  this  region, some  of  which  had  enjoyed  six  to  seven
hundred  years  of  unbroken  rule. A  review  of  the  history  of   the
Mao Shans is necessary to  understand   their  political  expansion,
particularly in Burma and Assam.

As to the migrations of the Thai   into  Burma, the  opinion
generally held by scholars is that these movements  began  about
two thousand  years  ago. The  great  waves  of   migration  always
moved towards the south and west whenever events  in   the north
upset   the  Thai   centres  of   power. Infiltrations  during  times  of
comparative peace were chiefly due to the restless character of the
race. Other causes of movement in large masses were, of course,
warlike  expeditions  or  the  pressure  of  Chinese  invasions  and
conquests. Dr.  Cushing  enlightens  us  on  the  fact  that  the  6th
century of the Christian era  saw  a  great  wave  of  Thai migration
descending from the mountains of southern Yünnan into the Nam-
Mao (Shweli) valley and  adjacent  regions. (Vide:  "The Shans"  in
the Report on the Census of Burma, 1892, p. 200).

Compared with the earlier movements the strength of this
6th century migration  was  such  as  to convert  almost  the  whole
_____________________________ ___

                      * See also the related article by Kachorn Sukhabanij, which immediately

follows.

 

 

 

 

 

126                                      Padmeswar Gogoi

 

valley of the Shweli into a great centre of Thai  political  power  for
the  first  time  in  history. The  result  was  the  speedy  growth  of
states such as  Hsen  Wi, Mong  Mit,  Bhamo  and  others  in  this
region. It was from the Shweli valley  that  the  Thai  communities
spread southeast over the present  Shan  States, reinforcing  the
earlier colonists, and to the north and west across  the Irrawaddy
in Upper Burma. By the 13th century   the s pearhead  of  the Thai
migration in the west established a foothold in Wehsali Lông (Assam)
which in a few centuries came completely under Thai rule.

In the  7th  century  there  arose  a  powerful  Shan  kingdom,
called Mong-Mao-Long, across the northeastern  frontier  of  Burma
in the  neighborhood  of  the  Shweli  River. This  was  the  kingdom
founded by the Mao Shans,the Shans who settled along the Shweli.
Who  are  the   Mao  Shans?  M. Terrien   de   Lacouperie,  from   his
Chinese sources, gives Ti, Moü and Tsiu as the "tribal naimes  with
settlements   in   Szetchuen ". Ti   has   its    modern  representative
in Möngr-Ti ; Moü, in Möng-Mou  or  Mong-Mao ; and  Tsiü  seems to
appear in Hsö, the Tiger   race  of  the  Hsen  Wi. The  Shweli  River
was   called   Nam-Mao  by   the  Mao  community  of  the  Thai  who
settled in its valley. No one place was the  seat  of  the  government
all  through  the  long  period  of  Mao  rule  in  the  kingdom, but  the
site often adopted was Cheila, according to Ney  Elias ' manuscript,
It was where modern Se Lan is located, about  thirteen  miles  east
of Nam Hkam, while modern Möng Mao is in the territory of  Yünnan
opposite Se  Lan  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Shweli. Another  place
called Pang Hkam was an old Mao capital. Relics of Mao Shan cities
in the shape of parapet and formidable  entrenchments  are  still  to
be  seen. Anawrahta,  the  Pagan  king (1044-77 A.D.), once  visited
Nan   Chao  in  quest  of   the   Buddha's  tooth, but  while  returning,
married Sao-Môn-la, a  daughter  of  the  Mao  Shan  king. But  there
is nothing to show that the Mao Shan king ever had to acknowledge
the  overlordship  of  the  Pagan  monarch.  According  to  the  Hsen
Wi  Chronicle, Sao-Môn-La  was  the  daughter  of  Sao-Hôm-M'ong.

In   the  year  1047 "the  king  Anawrahta  Mangsaw  of  Pagan  went

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                         127

 

up to Möng Wong in search of the five relics of the Buddha, and on
his way back he stayed at Möng-Mao and Möng Nam and met Sao-
Hôm-Möug there and married his daughter Sao-Môn-Lâ''

The disintegration of the Shan Kingdom of Nan Chao that
inevitably followed the Mongol conquest  of  Ta-li  in  1253  had  far-
reaching effects oh  the fortunes  of   Burma  and  Siam. When  the
heart of Nan Chao fell there was almost a  general  exodus  of  the
people, who were mostly Thai, from Yünnan to the west and to  the
South.

In Burma the Thai had already been in power in the regions
of the Shweli  valley  since  the  6th  century, although  in  the   11th
century the extension of  the  Pagan  empire  brought  much of  the
territory, over  which   the  Thai   communities  were  holding  sway,
under   the  suzerainty  of  the  Burmese  monarch  Anawrahta. But
Kublai Khan's advance almost  to  the frontiers  of  Burma not  only
exposed the Pagan kingdom to the invading Mongols, but also caused a
great  influx  of  Thai  people  into Burma from the northeast. The3e
new entrants upset the balance of  population  in  the  country  and
became an immediate source of strength to their kinsmen who had
already been settled there for generations.

For   about   thirty  years  after  the  conquest  of   Yünnan  the
Mongol-Chinese army  was  moving  about  on  the  border  of  Burma
as an impending menace to  her  security. During  this  period  Kublai
Khan  negotiated  with the Pagan king, Narathihapate, for a perpetual
alliance  with  his  country.  But  the  latter's  insolent   rejection  of  the
offer provoked the Mongol chief so that in 1284 (or according to some,
1287) an expedition, composed largely of Mohammedans of  Turkish
race and Shan levies, swept down on Pagan and overthrew the Burmese
monarchy   with    great    slaughter   and   devastation.  The   downfall
of   Pagan  afforded  an  opportunity  to the Shans (Thai) of  Burma   to
assert their   strength.  This   eventually   resulted  in  the  partition   of
Burma into a   number  of  free  Shan  states  with  their  own  princes,
although subsequent events made them tributary to China and Siam.
It is to be noted that Kublai  Khan's  expedition  against  Pagan  must

                              have  marched  through  Mao  territory  and  that  the  latter  remained

 

 

 

 

 

128                                    Padmeswar Gogoi

 

unharmed can be  accounted  for  only  by  the  existence  of  friendly
relations between  the  two  countries. Moreover, the  destruction  of
Pagan was a blessing to the Mao kingdom, enabling it to extend, its
influence into Burma.

From long before Kublai Khan's invasion of  Ta-li  the  Thai
tribes had been migrating to the south, following the courses of the
great rivers like the Mekong and  the  Menam  Chao  Phya,  forming
Settlements in what is now  Siam  but  what  was  then  part  of  the
Khmer empire. Certain Thai states  came  into  existence  in  Siam
even as early as the 9th century. Thus about  857  the  Thai  Prince
P'rohm founded the city of Muang Fang. During the  same  century,
another Thai state, called Muang Sao (modern Luang P'rabang  in
Laos) sprang up in northern Siam.In 1096 a descendant of  Prince
P'rohm,  K'un   Chom  T'amma, founded  the  city  of  P'ayao  which
became  the  capital  of   an  independent   Thai  state.  It  must  be
remembered, however,  that  King  Anawarahta  attacked  and  per-
manently weakened the Cambodian  empire  and  for  some  time
extended his sway over Siam. He was most  ardent  in  spreading
Buddhism in  Burma  and  Siam. Bat  when  the  Burmese  control
over Siam was removed a number of independent or semi-independent
Thai states arose.

The Thai, who were growing in numbers in the centre of Siam,
revolted   against   Khmer   rule. A   Khmer  general  named  Khlon
Lamphong was sent by the king of Cambodia to restore order, but
he was defeated in a pitched battle by two Thai  chiefs, K'un  Bang
Klang T'ao and K'un P'a Muang. These  two  chiefs  then  captured
the city of Sukhodaya, which was then the northern outpost  of  the
Khmer empire, and set up a feudal state about 1237 with  K'un  Bang
Klang T'ao as its first king who assumed the Hinduized Khmer name
of    Sri   Indraditya.  According   to   Phya   Anuman   Rajadhon, Sri
Indraditya became king of Sukhodaya in about 1252 or 1257.

Kublai Khan's invasion of Yünnan was indirectly responsible
for the growth and consolidation of Thai  rule  both  in  Siam  and
Burma. King  Indraditya's  power  to  withstand  Khmer  pressure

                              lay chiefly in a  constant  supply  of  Thai  recruits  from  the  north.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                      129

 

Another Thai kingdom, called Ayudhya, was founded by the
Prince  of   Uthong (modern   Sup'an) in  1350. It  was  destined  within
a few decades to supplant altogether the older kingdom of Sukhodaya
and become the capital of a greater Siam for more than  four  hundred
years. The Prince  of  Uthong  became  its  first  king  under  the  Hindu-
ized name of Ramadhipati I.

In Burma, as we have noted above, real Thai  immigration
began  in  the  6th  century  about  the  time  of  the  descent  of   the
heavenly   Princes   Hkun-lung  and   Khun-lai. At  that   time  Upper
Burma  was  ruled  by  the  princes  of  the  Sakya  dynasty  of  India
who had been driven from Kapilavastu as a result of wars that took
place between Kapilavastu and the neighboring states. According to
the  Burmese  Tagaung  Yazawin,  the  first  Sakya  prince  to  enter
Burma with his army was Abhi Rajah of Kapilavastthu (Kapilavastu,
or  the Middle Country), who  arrived  as  early  as  923 B.C., that  is,
several centuries before  the  birth of Gautama  Buddha. He  came
by way of Arakan and first founded what was called Sangassarattha
in the Tagaung Country. The capital was established on the site of
the old city of Pagan, called Chindue in some accounts, op the left
bank   of   the   Irrawaddy.  It   seems   his   family  virtually  merged
among the local tribes and his two sons were known by  Burmese
names.  He  carried  to  Burma  the  pre-Buddhist  traditions of  the
Sakyas, a people of the sub-Himalayan region of  north  India. It  is
doubtful whether  the  Aryans  had  extended  their  sway  over  this
part  of  India  to  the  north  of  the  Gangetic  valley  proper  during
that early period. The thirty-third  descendant  of  the  Sakya line of
princes was Bhinnakarajah who reigned roughly speaking  about
the commencement of the Buddhist era, or partly during Gautama's
lifetime. During  his  reign  a  Chinese  army  which  was  actually
manned by Thai forces invaded his country, captured Pagan, des-
troyed  it,  and  compelled  him to flee for his safety. This invasion

was from the "Sein Country in the kingdom of Gandhala".

As a result of Vitatupa's invasion of Kapilavatthu another
Sakya prince, Dhaja Rajah, fled to Burma and  took  shelter at  the

                              place where Bhinnakarajah's queen resided, Naga Seng at Male in

 

 

 

 

 

130                                        Padmeswar Gogoi

 

Burma. He founded a kingdom for himself in Burma and rebuilt
the capital immediately beyond the north wall of the old city of Pagan
after the withdrawal of the invading Chinese army. This was the
Tagaung of the Burmese and the Tung Kung of  the Shans, and  the
date  of  its  foundation as given by the Burmese is  the twentieth
year   of  the  year  of  religion (523 B.C.), and  by  the  Shans  the
twenty-fourth   year  (519 B.C.). Dhaja  Rajah's  dynasty  appears
to have ruled at Tagaung until the great Hkun-Lung of  the Ahom
Chronicles displaced it and placed his son Ai-Hkun-Lung on the
throne at some date probably within one generation posterior to the
year 568  A.D.,  the  date  of   the  foundation  of  the  kingdom  of
Möng-ri   Möng-ram (in Shan: Möng-hi Möng-ham) of  the  Ahom
Chronicles.

The Thai principalities came for a time under Burmese
domination  during  Anawrahta  reign. But  with  the fall of Pagan
and further accession of immigrants from the Nan Chao and Möng-
Mao regions, the Thai principalities of old asserted their  independ-
ence. Whether Anawrahta reduced Möng-Mao to the status of  a
vassal state or not, it is certain that the succeeding kings of that
state Were entirely independent and reigned in unbroken continuity
and peace until the death of Pam Yao Pöng in 1210 A.D.  According
to the Burmese Buddhist's Tagaung Yazawin we find  that Pam
Yao Pöng was the son of Chao Taiplung and the grandson of Khun-
Kum of the line of Hkun-Lung. Chao Taiplung, the ruler of Mong
Mao-Long, divided his kingdom between his three sons  giving
Training, the eldest, Mong Mao; and  Lengsham   Phuchâng  Khang
(or Phrutyāug Khrāng), the second son, rule of the territories  of
Möng-Mit and Kupklingdao in the Shweli valley in  Upper Burma.
According to one manuscript by Harakanta,Burrua Pameoplung
was the eldest son of Chao Taiplung. Phuchāng Khāng was suc-
ceded in his kingdom by his third son, Sukapha (Hso-Ka-Hpa), who
later founded the Ahom kingdom in Saumarpith in Assam some
five years after Sam-Lông-Hpa's invasion of  Assam, as  related

                             below. The eldest son,Sujitpha, was appointed ruler of a country

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                     131

 

called Taip and Sukhranpha; the second son was given the rule of
Tai-Pông of which Mong Kawang or Mogaung was the capital.

Since Pameoplung was without issue, hjs ministers decided
to place on the Möng Mao throne a  prince  named  Tyao-Aim-Kham-
Neng (Chao or  Sao  Aim  Kham  Neng  of  Ney Elias) of  the  line  of
Khun-Su, the youngest  Son  of   Khun-Lung. Tyao-Aim-Kham-Neng
is undoubtedly Chao Changneu, son of Chao Changbun ( or  Chao
Changmun of Assamese history). Chao Changeu advanced with his
followers from Möng-ri Möng-ram to Möng-kha  Möng-jaw and  then
entered   the   territory   of   Mao-Lung  (Möng-Mao-Long),  marching
through Möng-pa Möng-khan. This was said  to  be  the  third  influx
of Hkun-Lung's posterity. At  this  time  Chao  Taiplung, the  king  of
Mao-Lung and father of Pameoplung, advised Chao Changneu not to
proceed beyond the Irrawaddy River: "You  should  never  cross  the
Namkeo," he said. "We were sent down at the same time. We were
born at the same time. We are in peace up to th'S time,so we must
always be on friendly terms." This  possibly  refers  to  the  western
boundary   of   Mao-Lung  beyond  which  the  independent  brother
princes were ruling with whom peace and amity  were  maintained.
The old King Chao Taiplung offered his daughter Nang-mong-blok-
kham-sheng in marriage to Chao Changneu, It   appears  from  the
above account that at that  time  Möng-Mao  was  a  feudatory  state,
within the kingdom of Mao-Lung which extended up to the Namkeo
on  the  west.  Mao-Lung  was  simply  Möng  Mao  Lung,  the  great
country  of  the  Mao  Shans. According to the Hsen Wi Chronicle, in
those days Chao Taiplung(Sao Tai Pong of the Hsen Wi Chronicle)
governed the whole of the Shan States except Möng Mit,Möng Yang
(Mohnyin), Kare Wong Hsö,  Möng  Kung  Kwai  Lam, Möng  Kawng
(Mogaung), and   Mān  Maw (Bhamo), which  were  independent  of
him  and  were  governed  by  Sao  Hkun  Kôm  of  Sung  Ko. In  this
connection we cannot rely on the dates as given by the translator of
the Chronicle. Chao Taiplung's capital was the golden city of Hsen Se.

Pame oplung suffered from hysteria and after  ruling  for  seven
years  committed suicide by cutting his throat with a  knife. He  was

                        succeeded by Chao Changneu as the ruler of the Möng Mao state.

 

 

 

 

 

132                                      Padmeswar Gogoi

 

Chao Changneu died after ruling for ten  years. He  left  behind  two
sons, Sao Hkan Hpā and Sam Lông Eyem Mong or Sam Lông Hpā,
the latter being a remarkable figure in  Mao history. Sao  Hkan  Hpā
(or Hsö Hkan Hpā) succeeded  to  the  throne  of  Möng  Mao on the
death of his father in 1220. Sam Löng Hpâ ( Hkun Sam  Long)  had
already become the first Sawbwa of Mong Kawang or  Mogaung   in
1215 and  built  a  city  on  the   bank  of   the  Nam  Kawng. He  laid
the foundation of a new line of   Sawbwas  at  Mogaung, tributary  to
Mong Mao.

Sam Lông Hpā was a great general and under the direction
of his brother, Sao Hkan Hpā, undertook a brilliant  series  of  cam-
paigns of  conquest  with  startling  successes, adding  thereby  vast
territories to the kingdom of Möng Mao. The first of these campaigns
began by an expedition against Mithila (Yun-nan-sen) which  was  at
once crowned with success by the subjugation of the states of Möng
Ti (Nam Tien), Momien (Teng-Yueh) and Wan Chang  (Yung-Chang).
From there he extended his operations to  the south  with  the  result
that  Kung  Ma, Möng  Möng, Keng  Hung  (Cheli),  Keng   Tung   and
other smaller states  fell  under  the Mao yoke. The state of Hsen Wi
managed to establish friendly relations with Möng Mao by  a  certain
agreement. But according to the Hsen Wi Chronicle, Hsö Hkan Hpā
himself commanded his forces while marching for the conquest  of
territories in the east in Yūnnan and also later in  the Hsip  Hsawng
Panna of Möng Yon and further south. Only the  expedition  to  Möng
Wehsali Long (Assam) in  the  west  was  led by Sam Lông Hpā, as
mentioned in this record.

Immediately   after   the  close  of   the   first   campaign,  Sam  Lông

Hpā  was  ordered  to  start with the second series of operations on
the  west. This  time  he  swept  across  Burma  right  up  to  Arakan,
annexing many important cities on the banks of the Chindwin whose
rulers acknowledged the supremacy of the Mao Shan monarch.

His   third  and  fourth  expeditions  were  directed  against
Manipur  and  Assam,  respectively. After  the  conquest  of  Manipur

                              Sao Hkan Hpā ordered, according  to  the  Hsen  Wi  Chronicle, "an

 

 

 

 

 

                        The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                         133

 

army of nine hundred thousand men to march against Möng Wehsali
Lông (modern Assam) under the command of  his brother Sam Long
Hpâ  and  the  ministers Tao  Hsö Han Kai and Tao Hsö Yen.  " When
they  reached  Wehsali  Lông, some cowherds reported the arriva l of
the army from Kawsampi, the country  of  white  blossoms  and  large
leaves,and the ministers submitted without resistance and promised
to   make   annual   payment  of   twenty-five  ponies, seven  elephants,
twenty-five   viss (about 7  pounds  weight)  of  gold, and  two  hundred
viss of silver every three years. Sam Löng Hpā accepted  these  terms
and commenced his march back. Kawsampi was said to be the  Mao
country   in   which, we  are   told   by  Dr.  Cochrane,  there   is   still   a
wealth  of  white  blossoms  at  the beginning of the dry season in the
jungles near the  Chinese-Shan  town  of  Möng  Mao. We  know  from
Ney  Elias'  version of   the  Tagaung  Yazawin   that  Sam  Lông   Hpā
conquered the greater  portion of  the  territory in eastern Assam  then
under   the   away   of   the    Chitia    kings.  In   the   list   of   territories
conquered on the west by Sam Lông Hpā, the following are mentioned
by Ney Elias:

Möng     Mit,   Sung-ko,  Tagaung,  Möng    Kawng   or
Mogaung,   comprising   ninety-nine  Möngs,  among
which the following were the most important,—Möng
Lāng   (Upper   Assam),   Kahse  (Manipur),  part   of
Arakan,  Möng   Kawn   (in    the    Hukawng     valley),
Singkaling   Hkamti, Möng  Li  (Hkaniti  Long),  Möng
Yang   (Mohnyin),  Mot   Sho  Bo  (Shwebo) ,  Kunnng-
Kumun  (the   Mishmi   country  of   Eastern   Assam),
Khang Se  ( the   Naga   country   of   South   Eastern
Assam );   Hsen   Wi  comprising   forty-nine   Möngs.

In the same account, territories conquered in the present
country of Siam are mentioned as follows:

Keng Hsen, the present Siamese province of Chieng
Hsen  (Chiengsen) on   the   Mekong, Lan  Sang   (or
Vieng  Chan,   that   is,  Vientiane),  Luang    Prabang
(the    capital),  Yon   (Chiengmai   and    neighboring

                              states ),    Keng   Long  ( probably   Keng   Hung,  the

 

 

 

 

 

134                                       Padmeswar Gogoi

 

Sibaong (or 12) Panua, called by the Chinese Cheli),
Keng Lawng (said to be the country north of Ayuthia),
and  a  few  others. These  territories   were  brought
under Mao suzerainty  by  General  Sam   Lông  Hpā
during the second part of his  first  campaign   when
he started his drive to the south.

The results of the Mao General  Sam  Lông  Hpā's  military
campaigns for extending the supremacy of the Möng Mao  Kingdom
over the surrounding countries have been summarised in the Hsen
Wi Chronicle as given below.

Sao Hsö Hkan Hpā was a very powerful ruler and he
obtained the submission of the following states and
received tribute from  them  to  the  end  of  his  days:
Möng  Se-yung, Hsang  Mu-kwa, Hsi-pa Tu-hsö  (the
Chinese T'u-ssu ?), Möng Hkon, Meung Yawn, Kawi
Yotara, Hpa-hsa Tawng, Labon, Lakawn,Lang Sang
(this is what the Burmese called Leng Zeng  and  is
no doubt  the  Chinese Lan-tsiang; it  was  probably
Wing  -  chang   [ViengChan]   or    Luang    Prabang,
whichever  was  for  the  time the dominant state  of
the Lao; Luang Prabang has outlasted Wing-çhang
as   the   capital ),  Wang   Kawk,   Mawk   Mai,   Hsip
Hsawng   Panna,  Keng  Hung, Chieng Hai, Chieng
Hsen, Chieng Mai, Pai-ka  (Pegu),  Pang-ya  (Pinya),
Eng-wa (Ava), Hsa Tung,  Yankong, Maw  Lamyeng,
besides Hsa-chjng  (Sagaing), aad  Wehsali  Lông
is almost certainly Assam whose Buddhistic name is
Weisali). He reigned for fifty-three  years  and  died
at  the  age  of  seventy-three  in  the  year  567  B.E.
(1205 A.D.) *.

The important point to be noted in the above is  the discre-
pancy in the dates of the reign of the Mao sovereign Sao Hsö Hkan
Hpā. If we are to rely on the Buddhist era as given in  the Chronicle,

________________________________

                             * Hsen Wi Chronicle as translated in the Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States,

                              part I, Vol. I, 1900, page 241.

 

 

 

 

 

                          The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                             135

 

Sao Hsö Hkan Hpā's reign  will  be  sixty-eight  years  earlier. It  is  a
point   for   further   investigation. At  any  rate, the  narrative  given  by
Hoit  S.  Hallett   in   his "Historical  Sketch  of   the  Shans"  supports
the fact, inspite of the  chaos  of  dates, that  in  the  13th  century  thé
Mao  rulers  extended  their  dominions far and wide, including  even
a   part, if  not  all, of  modern  Siam, Hallett  points  out  that  even as
early  as   568   A.D.,  Muang  Kaing, Muang  Nyaung, and  Muang Ri,
Muang Ram (Muang=Mong )were the capitals of the Mao dominions.
We know that the kingdom of  Möng-ri  Möng-ram  was first  founded
on  that  date  by  Hkun  -  lung  (Prince Elder)  and  Hkun-lai  (Prince
Younger), the  grandsons  of   Lengdon   or   Lengnon  (Indra  of  the
Hindus  and  Marduk  of  the Chaldeans), progenitors  of   the  Ahom
dynasty and hence also of the northern Shan rulers who descended
into the valleys of the Mekong  and  the  Shweli, re-naming the  latter
Nam Mao after the name of their race. Since then the Shan kingdoms
rapidly increased in  numbers, partly  from  conquest  and  the  habit
of placing relatives  of  the  ruling'  chief  as  princes of  out-lying  pro-
vinces. Hallett also refers to the great Mao sovereign, Chau Kwamphā
(i.e., Hso Hkan Hpā)  of   Möng  Mao, who  added  the  princedom  of
Theebo   to   his  dominions, and also to  the ''Mau prince"  (definitely
Sukaphā, the founder of the Ahom Dynasty) under whose leadership
the Mao Shans occupied Eastern Assam in 1220. As to  the  political
changes brought about in Burma and the  neighboring  countries  by
the   advent   of  the  Mao  Shans  in  the  13th  century  Halleet  notes,
"Between  1283-1292  the  Mau  shattered  the  Burma  empire,  and,
perhaps with the  aid  of  the  Mongol-Chinese,  pursued  Tarok-pyee-
meng,  the   Burmese King,  farther  south  than  Prome. About  1293
they   annexed   Zimmé  (most   likely   driving  the  Zimmé  Shans  to
Chaliang, from whence the Siamese, to escape a pestilence, descended
and   founded   Ayuthia   in   1350)".  "The   Mau   empire," he   further
says. "split up nearly as  soon  as  it  had  reached  the  height  of  its
power; by 1350 Siam had taken over the Mau conquests as far north
as the boundary of Zimmé. .. Zimmé remained under  a  Mau  prince,
but whether dependent for   any  length  of  time on: the  Mau  empire

                              or not isnot known. This prince is said to  have  brought  the  present

 

 

 

 

 

 

136                                      Padmeswar Gogoi

 

Siamese alphabet into use."* Until 1283 various forms of writings
were used in Siam, such as Kanji, Pali and  Cambodian, creating
confusion. Who was the Mao prince mentioned here? Was he the
King Rāma K'amhêng of Sukhodaya whose supremacy then extended
over Zimmé?

Chronologically it is  absurd  to  think that  Sam  Lông  Hpā
annexed Zimmé (Chiengmai) or possibly Sukhodaya in about 1293
during his southern drive. That event must have taken  place  about
1220 and before Khun  Bang  Klang  T'ao, ascended  the  throne  of
Sukhodaya, a neignboring state of Zimmé. Zimmé's  ruler  was  the
great figure King Mengrai. Another important   neighboring  state  of
the time was P'ayao of which Khun Ngam Muang was the ruler. The
three potentates were in  friendship  and  amity  at  least  during  the
early   period   of   their   rule.  The  present   city  of  Chiengmai  was
founded by King Mengrai in 1296. Hence, these regions must  have
been subjected to the Mao  empire,  if  at  all, well  before   this  time.
Even Khun Sri Indraditya  and  Rāma  K'ainhêng  the  Great   of  Suk-
hodaya were perhaps the early princes of the Mao Shan family  who
became sovereign rulers when the Mao Shan empire rapidly declined
after the death  of  Hsö-Hkan-Hpā  the  Great  of  Möng  Mao. It  is  to
be  noted  in  this  connection  that  during the Sukhodaya  period of
Siam, particularly when King Rāma  K'amhêng  was on  the  throne,
"Siam received", as Wood informs us," a trememdous wave of Thai
immigrants, who fled  from  Yünnan  after  Kublai  Khan's  conquest
of Nan Chao". These  immigrants  were  certainly  coming from  the
whole region of Nan Chao and Mong Mao and they  were  obviously
northern Shans or rather mostly Mao Shans or Thai-Yai who at that
time flooded Chiengmai and the  neighboring areas. This  influx  of
manpower certainly added great strength to the kingdom  of  Rama
K'amhêng who as the leader of the whole mass of the Thai population
could start his great career.

In this connection, I am happy to be informed by  Kachorn
Sukhabanij of Bangkok, who is now engaged in researches on the

________________________________

* Holt S. Hallet, " Historical Sketch of the Shans, " in Archibald R. Colquhoun,
Amongst the Shans, London, 1885, pp. 333-34.

 

 

 

 

 

                            The Political Expansion of the Mao Shans                      137

 

history of Southeast Asia, that acoording to the No. 2 Stone Inscription
in Siam, one P'oh K'un Nam Thom  was  the  chief  of  Sukhodaya  in
about 1220. It is noted by him that  Nam  Thorn's rule  at  Sukhodaya
coincided with Sam Lông Hpā's first  expedition  towards  Siam. It  is,
therefore, presumed that Nam Thom was probably a local prince  or
a prince of the Mao Shan family entrusted with the rule of Sukhodaya
by Sam Lông Hpā after he had received the submission of that state.
The second event of the complete annexation of Zimmé by  the  Mao
Shans in 1293 might be  due  to  a  subsequent  revolt  against  Mao
suzerainty by some  tributary  chief  of  Zimmé. It  appears  that  their
hold over these areas could not be maintained for long  by  the  Mao
Shan  rulers  of   Möng  Mao. It  may  also  be  observed  that  the  lin-
guistic similarities between the Chiengmai Thai and  the  Shans  of
Upper Burma and of Assam testify to some form of political relations
of the Mao Shans with that region. Further  I  believe the  Chiengmai
Thai and the Ahom of Assam have greater affinity than can be found
between the Sanskrit  and  Pali-dominated  Bangkok  Thai  and  the
Ahom. That  affinity   will  be  greater  even  in  dress, musical  tunes,
manners and mode of living between  the  two  groups  of  the  Thai
people even today.

 

 

 

 

 


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