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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(self-designation, Thainyo), a nationality in Burma, inhabiting primarily the Shan Upland. According to a 1975 estimate, the Shan number 2.1 million.

The Shan, who speak a Thai language, profess Buddhism; the folk religion is based on tiger worship. The Shan first settled in Burma at about the beginning of the Common Era; a Shan state, with its capital at Muanmau, is known to have existed as early as the seventh century. In the 14th and 15th centuries all northern and central Burma was controlled by the Shan, who in turn came under the control of the Burmese kings in the mid-16th century.

The Shan are undergoing national consolidation in their own region of Burma, the Shan State. They engage chiefly in irrigation farming, including the cultivation of rice; the plow is still the principal agricultural implement. Highly developed handicrafts include smithery, jewelry-making, the making of lacquer ware, weaving, and mat braiding.


Narody lugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.



a national state in Burma, in the Shan Upland. Area, 158,000 sq km. Population, 2,725,000 (1969), most of whom are of Shan nationality. The capital is the city of Taunggyi. The chief crops grown in the Shan state are rice, potatoes, tea, and citrus fruits. Nonagricultural economic activities include logging, the mining of lead-zinc ores (center, Baldwin), the mining of brown coal (center, Lashio), nonferrous metallurgy, and the processing of timber and agricultural raw materials.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(44) The SDU often releases statements concerning the issues facing Shan people on behalf of the joint committee of the SDU and SSA-S.
The programme was a military-cum-information training organised especially for Shan migrants in Chiang Mai, which the SSA-S hopes will impart knowledge about the plight of Shan people in Burma to their Shan fellows.
She has published several articles in Thai magazines as well as on websites about the plight of Shan people, and how they have suffered under Burmese troops.
Smith writes that Khun Sa suggested to him that if the Tailand Revolutionary Council (TRC) could not succeed in achieving military secession from Burma, the 'eight million Shan people' should consider joining their ethnic 'brothers' in Thailand.
As a result of this weakening of the kyat, Oraphan stopped long-distance trading and instead started driving a yellow truck for a living, transporting Shan people and their goods between the two sides of the border until today.
The partial life stories of Shan people, especially women, presented in this article relate to their involvement in long-distance trade in the Burma-Thailand borderland during the period of intense fighting taking place between the ethnic rebel movements and the Burmese regime between the 1970s and the 1990s.
As a result, I was told, more Shan people from different regions can now communicate by using Tai Long dialect.
In a similar vein, Shan people in Burma, drawn into images of materials provided by the imaginary world of Thai television, have flocked to Thailand, the country that fuelled their hopes and desires.
Over the past ten years, Chiang Mai, a northern metropolitan centre in Thailand, has experienced a large-scale migration of Shan people coming illegally across large transnational terrains.
The Four Cuts has been central to the military strategy of extending centralized power to the peripheral territories that has brought about massive internal displacement of Shan people. (4)
For the stateless Shan people, in this sense, the modern border works to fix geographic territories and create legitimate sovereignty through the establishment of a disjunctive space and culture.
While the idea about Shan nation represented an imagined place that constantly served asa powerful source of inspiration for Shan people, such a nation was not located in a homogenous space.