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(self-designation, Jingphaw, or Chingpaw), a people inhabiting the forested mountain regions of northern Burma (the national states of Kachin and Shan). Population, about 400, 000 (1967, estimate). About 100, 000 Kachins also live in southwestern China, and there are small groups in northeastern India, Thailand, and Laos. The Kachins are divided into a number of ethnic groups speaking the Kachin language. They have preserved their traditional religious beliefs, ancestor worship and animism; a small number are Christians or Buddhists.

The ancestors of the Kachins inhabited eastern Tibet. They apparently first appeared on the territory of present-day Burma in the eighth century, although the main migration occurred later, between the 13th and 17th centuries. Early feudal relations combined with vestiges of primitive communal relations survived among the Kachins until the mid-20th century. Their chief occupation is slash-and-burn farming, with hill rice as the main crop. Their autonomous status within the Union of Burma has contributed to their ethnic solidarity and economic and cultural development.


Narody Iugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
27) There is no evidence that a proper RSD was done before the Kachin refugees were forcibly returned to Myanmar.
In June 2011, fighting renewed in the Kachin state of Myanmar between the Burmese military and the Kachin Independent Army ("KIA").
The letter from HRW both criticized the lack of an RSD procedure and asserted that Chinese officials' claims that fighting in the Kachin Province was subsiding did not accurately reflect the situation.
Rights groups estimate that 700010,000 people fled the Kachin province for Yunnan.
The Chinese government has generally tolerated Kachin refugees staying in Yunnan but now needs to meet its international legal obligations to ensure refugees are not returned and that their basic needs are met," Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch, said in the report.
Human Rights Watch documented two incidents in its report where it says Chinese authorities forced an estimated 300 Kachin refugees back to Myanmar.
The refugees' flight followed a breakdown last June of a 17-year-old ceasefire between the Myanmar government and the minority group's fighting arm the Kachin Independence Army, or KIA.
Local Chinese aid groups, mostly of the same ethnicity as the Kachin, estimate there are now around 10,000 Kachin refugees living precariously in temporary accommodation near the city of Ruili, a major gateway to Myanmar in China's Yunnan Province.
The Chinese government, however, does not recognize the displaced Kachin as refugees and ignores local aid groups' warning of a coming humanitarian crisis.
But refugees at the camp told Kyodo News that local Kachin people living around Ruili provide nearly all the aid, along with some smaller amounts from Chinese Christian groups.
Des dizaines de milliers de personnes ont ete deplacees a l'interieur de l'Etat kachin depuis juin 2011, lorsqu'un cessez-le-feu en vigueur depuis 17 ans est devenu caduc.