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Menglian History

Menglian Dai, Lahu and Va Autonomous County(孟连傣族拉祜族佤族自治县) (referred Menglian County) is located in southwest Yunnan Province, is under the jurisdiction of Pu'er County, is the gateway to Myanmar, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, an important gateway for the provincial open ports.

Menglian Dai, Lahu and Va Autonomous County (孟连傣族拉祜族佤族自治县; pinyin: Mènglián dǎizú lāhùzú wǎzú Zìzhìxiàn) is an autonomous county under the jurisdiction of Pu'er Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. Menglian County boders Lancang County in the east, Ximeng Va Autonomous County north, and Burma west and south. Its border line is 133.399 km. As of 2012, Menglian county administers 3 countrysides, 3 towns, an area of 1893.42 square kilometers; registered population of 127,870 people. Multiple ethnic groups promote the diverse and long-standing history here.

The History of Dai People

The ancestors of the current Dai minority in China first appeared as a political group during the Qin and Han dynasties, between about 221 BC and 220 AD. The first Dai prefecture was set up by Emperor Wu Di in 109 BC, during the Western Han Dynasty. Located in Southwest China, this special area corresponded to the current Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces. It provided an excellent climate for agriculture, encouraging the Dai to develop new techniques, such as the use of oxen for tilling.

The History of Lahu People

Legend says that the forbears of the Lahu people, who were hunters, began migrating southward to lush grassland which they discovered while pursuing a red deer. Some scholars hold that during the Western Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, the "Kunmings," the nomadic tribe pasturing in the Erhai area in western Yunnan, might be the forbears of certain ethnic groups, including the Lahus. Then, the "Kunming" people still lived in a primitive society "without common rulers." They belonged to different clans engaged in hunting. The Lahu people once were known for their skill at hunting tigers. They roved over the lush slopes of the towering Ailao and Wuliang mountains.

In the 8th century, after the rise of the Nanzhao regime in Yunnan, the Lahu people were compelled to move south. By no later than the beginning of the 18th century they already had settled in their present-day places. Influenced by the feudal production methods of neighboring Han and Dai peoples, they turned to agriculture. With economic development, they gradually passed into a feudal system, and their life style and customs were more or less influenced by the Hans and Dais.

The History of Wa People

According to Sir George Scott in the Wa origin myths the first Wa originated from two female ancestors Ya Htawm and Ya Htai who spent their early phase as tadpoles (rairoh) in a lake known as Nawng Hkaeo. Very little is known about the early history of the Wa. What is known is mostly made up of local legends telling that in the distant past the historical Wa States and all the territories of eastern Shan State, as well as large swathes of the adjacent areas of present-day China had belonged to the Wa. In the area of the former Kengtung State the Wa were displaced around 1229 and were later defeated by King Mangrai. At the time of British rule in Burma the Tai Yai people were the majority of the population in Kengtung state with other groups such as Akha and Lahu, forming sizeable communities. The Wa now form a minority of only about 10% in Kengtung District despite having been the original inhabitants.

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