Migration of Yunnan People into Myanmar from Ancient Times to the 19th Century

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XuYin Liu
Dararat Mattariganond
Benjawan Narasaj


This article examines the migration from ancient times to the 19th century of Yunnan people to the area that is now known as Myanmar. Using primarily Chinese language documents, the study found that this migration can be divided into two periods. The first is from 1 to 1287 AD, when the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms in Yunnan had commercial and political relationships with the Pyu and Bagan kingdoms in Myanmar. Later, in 1274 the Yuan Dynasty governed Yunnan, and in 1287, after conquering Bagan, began to develop communications with Myanmar. Consequently, through roads and rivers, Yunnan people migrated to Myanmar both for political reasons as China sent soldiers and officers there, as well as for commercial reasons, such as mining and labor. The second period is 1288-1840. Since the time of the Ming Dynasty, Chinese communities have appeared in Myanmar for numerous political reasons, such as changes in dynasty, wars, government policies, as well as mining and trading. Roads and waterways served as migration routes.


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Liu, X., Mattariganond, D., & Narasaj, B. (2019). Migration of Yunnan People into Myanmar from Ancient Times to the 19th Century. Journal of Mekong Societies, 15(1), 18-39. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/186340

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