Past, Present and Future of the Tai Yai/ Shan People

A Personal View

Nel Adams alias Sao Noan Oo, B.Sc. Hons. MSc (Biology. 1949-1959, University of Rangoon, author of My Vanished World, 2000)

Ancient Past

The history of ethnic TAI has been widely studied and argued over during the past century. It is well known that the TAI underwent many migrations before they finally settled in their homelands, but no one has been able to put a finger on the exact manner how this really happened (Sao Saimong, 1956).

Where do the Proto-Tai come from we ask again and again? According to the Philologist, Max Muller, the Tai came from Central Mongolia and arrived in China by crossing over the Altai Mountain ranges. Professor Terrein de Lacouperie suggested that the cradle of the Tai could be in the Kun-lun Shan valley.

I looked for Kun-lun on the map, and found its position. Knowing that most Tai in the Shan States live along the river valleys of Nam Khong and its many tributaries, I traced its course on the same map and found that it has its source in the Province of Qinghai, where the Kun-lun valley is also situated. To my surprise the other three rivers the Lan Caing (Mei Kawng), Yangtse and the Hawngho also begin here.


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