Monday, February 8, 2010

Burma: Bamar(缅族)

Bamar, the majority racial group of Myanmar. Sometime they are called Burmese. But Burma (or Myanmar) is an ethnically diverse nation with 135 distinct ethnic groups officially recognized by the Burmese government. These are grouped into eight "major national ethnic races":

1. Kachin 2. Kayah 3. Kayin 4. Chin 5. Mon 6. Bamar 7. Rakhine 8. Shan

The "major national ethnic races" are grouped primarily according to region rather than linguistic or ethnic affiliation. Many unrecognised ethnic groups exist, the largest being the Burmese Chinese(Kokang Chinese is recognized) and Panthay (who together form 3% of the population), Burmese Indians (who form 2% of the population), Anglo-Burmese, and Rohingya. There are no official statistics regarding the population of the latter two groups, although unofficial estimates place around 52,000 Anglo-Burmese in Burma with around 1.6 million outside of the country. We should called Bamar as Burmese, as there are other ethnic races in Myanmar or Burma.


The majority of Burmese people is Bamar, the largest national ethnic races. The Bamar , also called Burman), are the dominant ethnic group of Burma, constituting approximately 68% (30,000,000) of the population. The Bamar usually have straight black hair, and a relatively light skin tone (although intermixing makes skin tone vary). The Bamar are frequently called simply Burmese, but this term is ambiguous as it can also refer to a citizen of Burma who belongs to a different ethnic group (Karen, Shan, Kachin, Mon, etc.). In general, the people of Burma use "Myanmar" to describe persons of all ethnic backgrounds in Burma.

The Bamar are of East Asian descent, and speak a Sino-Tibetan language (related to Tibetan, and more distantly to Chinese). They migrated from the present day Yunnan in China into the Ayeyarwady river valley in Upper Burma about 1200–1500 years ago. Over the last millennium, they have largely replaced/absorbed the Mon and the earlier Pyu, ethnic groups that originally dominated the Ayeyarwady valley.

The Burmese originated in the hills of Tibet, and they speak a Sino-Tibetan language called Bama (Burmese). Today, they are the political, economic and religious leaders of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. They inhabit the country's central delta plains, an extremely fertile area that was formed by the Irrawaddy and Salween Rivers. This is the most economically important region in the country.

The Bamar national ethnic races, consists of 9 ethnic races; namely Bamar(缅族),Dawei(土瓦族),Beik(梅族),Yaw(尧族),Yabein(亚本族),Kadu(加杜族),Ganan(加南族),Salon(察隆族),Hpon(蓬族).




缅族群,主要分布在缅甸的七个省,分9个民族,包括缅族(Bamar),土瓦族(Dawei),梅族(Beik),尧族(Yaw),亚本族(Yabein),加杜族(Kadu),加南族(Ganan),察隆族(Salon), 蓬族(Hpon).


官方的缅族群划分不能完全缅语支.杜族(Kadu) ,加南族(Ganan)属于萨尔语群. 察隆族属于马来-波利尼西亚语族.

緬語方言中与仰光话区别较大而使用人数又较多的方言. 主要有若開方言和土瓦方言。这些方言都保留了一些仰光话中已经消失的古缅语特征。尽管如此,缅文中的全套塞音韵尾在所有方言中都已经消失,但是在阿昌语、载瓦语语中还有保留。


The Myanmar chronicles begin with the foundation of Tagaung in the upper reaches of the Ayeyawady in 850 B.C, but the early history of Myanmar is obscure. However, due to the latest discoveries of primates fossils in Pontaung Region . The French Professor Jean Jacques wrote in the French newspapers ," Primates fossils that were discovered in Pontaung region in the northwest of the Union of Myanmar revealed that this region was once inhabited by the human beings that dates back about 40 million years ago and thus these fossils were 7 million years older than the fossils that were found in Egypt. Moreover, according to the evidences that were found in Padalin Cave at Ywa Ngan Township in Shan State proved that human beings lived there about 10000 years ago.

About 800 A. D.. Bamar and its racial groups came into Myanmar along the Thanlwin river via the Nat Htate Valley in the south-east of Kyauk-se Township. At that time Thet and Kadu were living in the northern part of Myanmar at Tagaung , which was in the east of Ayeyawady river , ancient Rakhine were living at Vesali , Mon were residing at Thaton which was situated near the sea and Pyu were staying at Sri Kshetra which was near Hmaw Zar village near the town of Pyi.

Later , Hanthawaddy( Bago ) , where a lot of Mon were residing played an important role in the history of Myanmar. Thaton, Bago and Pyi ( Sri Kshetra ) were sea -port- towns and due to the trading between these towns and India, (especially Middle and Southern part of India )Buddhist monks arrived at Myanmar. After a long time, most of the people from Thaton, Sri Kshetra and Bago became Buddhists, some of them worship Lawkanarhta God of Mahayana Buddhism and various gods of Hindus. When Bamar were residing in the central part of Myanmar Pyu, Thet and Mon were also staying with Bamar. Later, Bamar, Pyu , Mon and Thet moved to Taungtwingyi which is in the southern part of Kyauk-se due to the population growth. Some transferred to Salin creek and Mone creek-region where Karen and Palaung were residing beforehand after crossing the Ayeyawady river. Some also traveled up to Rakhine and some went to Mu delta after traveling up the Ayeyawady river.

Related articles:

1. Burma, history of Burma, are the history of Bamar. Please refer to the article)

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