Daily Archives: May 20, 2007

Dai Minorities in China 中国的傣族

Before I continue my travel tales to 西双版纳 XiShuangBanNa, it will be good to understand a bit on the Dai minorities in China

Dai is one of the 56 moniroties in China and they mostly reside in Yunnan Province. Although they are officially recognized as a single people by the Chinese state, these Tai people form several distinct cultural and linguistic groups. Most Dai people are living near Myanmar, Thailand (although separated by Myanmar and Laos), and Vietnam (Map).

Dai Lue ไทลื้อ(SipSongPanNa Dai)
Dai Lue culturally is close to Northen Thailand in the area that used to be part of Lanna kingdom. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dai_people

Tai Lue in Thailand
In Thailand there are Tai Lue in many provinces of the upper regions of Northern Thailand; these provinces are:
-Chiang Rai: Mae Sai, Chiang Khong and Chiang Saen districts (a portion fled to Chiang Rung at the outbreak of the Ayuthian-Burman War)
-Chiang Mai: Samoeng and Doi Saket districts
-Nan: Tha Wang Pha, Pua, Chiang Klang and Thung Chang districts (the greatest number, fleeing from the Saiyaburi and Sipsongpanna regions)
-Phayao: Chiang Muan and Chiang Kham districts (many in number)
-Lampang: Mueang Lampang and Mae Tha districts
-Lamphun: Mueang Lamphun and Ban Thi districts

The seat of Thai Lue autonomous county is on Jinghong (景洪)or Chiang Rung. Chiang Rai, Chiang Rung (China), Chiangtung (Kengtung in Myanmar) used to be 3 very important cities during the rule of King Mengrai the great of Lanna kingdom. Lanna means million (Lan) padi fields (Na). Mekong river is known in China as LanCang 澜沧 which means million (Lan) Chang (elephant).

I have attended a Cultural show in JingHong entitled “a night at Lancang river” and I will write about it later.

Dai Nue or Northern Dai ไทยเหนือ
This Dai people live in the autonomous county of “DeHong Dai people and JingPo people (JingPo is known as Kachin in Myanmar)” 德宏傣族景颇族自治州”. The language is a variant of Dai Language.

There is a International border crossing into Myanmar near Ruili 瑞丽 town. The Ruili River is one of the three major tributaries of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

Dai Dam or Black Dai ไทดำ
Dai Dam lives the Yuanjiang Hani, Yi, and Dai Autonomous County Autonomous County (Yuánjiāng Hānízú Yízú Dǎizú Zìzhìxiàn 元江哈尼族彝族傣族自治县), of which Yuanjiang is the capital. YuanJiang known as Red River (HongHe 红河) in Vietnam and passes through Hanoi (meaning “city” inside river) into Gulf of Tonkin.

Other Dai
Other groups of Dai people scattered in China are Dǎibēng, Dǎiduān ไทขาว, Dǎiyǎ ไทหย่า, and Dǎiyǒu.

While every effort is made to ensure that accuracy of the information, the writer should not be held accountable for secondary information sources which need further research and verifications.