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TitleThe Imperial Gazetteer of India v13 Sirohi to Zumkha
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Page 294

2 82 THAYET-MYO.

to him khaimg and pork, or, if his circumstances are such that he
cannot do this, he must make profound apologies.

A death is made an occasion of much feasting. Bullocks, buffaloes,
pigs, and fowls are slaughtered, according to the means of the family,
to entertain the guests, and to propitiate the ancestral spirits, so that
the deceased may safely reach the happy land, Nga-thein. The corpse,
with a fowl tied to one of its big toes, is carried in a stretcher to the
burning-place, and, together with the fowl, is burned. The bones of
the deceased, plucked from the embers, are washed in khaung, rubbed
with turmeric, and placed in a pot, where they remain for a year or
more, till they can be taken to the family burying-ground, where they
are finally deposited.

It has hitherto been the custom with Chin young women, soon after
they arrive at years of puberty, to tattoo the whole of their faces with
vertical and closely adjoining narrow black lines, which gives them a
most extraordinary appearance. The origin of the custom is not known.
According to some, it is to prevent the young men of other tribes from
falling in love with them. According to others, it is in order to prevent
the Burmans from depriving the Chins, as they once did, of their
most comely virgins. And according to others, to be able to trace
their women when carried away by other tribes. The custom was
lately universal, but in British territory it is slowly dying out.

The Chins in appearance resemble the Burmans much more than
any of their cognate tribes. A Chin man, when he abandons his
natural dress, which is nothing but a narrow strip of cloth, and adopts
the Burman waist-cloth, is indistinguishable from a Burman save by the
absence of tattooing on the legs. Now that the custom of so marking
the limbs is by no means universally followed among the Burmese, this
distinguishing mark is not a safe one. The women are naturally pretty,
and seem far less willing than the men to adopt the Burmese costume,
generally wearing a dark blouse ornamented with red and white thread.

The Census of 1881 returned the total number of Chins in Lower
Burma as upwards of 55,015 within the Province, namely, in Thayet-
myo District, 16,416; Kyauk-pyu, 11,617; Prome, 10,662, chiefly in
the Padaung township; Akyab, 5707; Sandoway, 5045; Henzada,
3652; and in Northern Arakan, Rangoon town, Hanthawadi, Thara-
wadi, Thon-gwa, Taung-ngu, and Bassein Districts, 1916.

The chief towns in the District are



Thayet-myo, the head-quarters
station, population (1881) 16,097; Allan -myo, population 5825;
Ywa-taung, population 2804; Ka-ma, population 1796; and Min-dun,
population 12 10.

Of the 872 towns and villages within Thayet-myo District, 634 in
1 88 1 contained less than two hundred inhabitants; 211 between two
and five hundred; 21 between five hundred and one thousand; 3

Page 295

THAYET-MYO. 283

between one and two thousand ; i between three and five thousand ;
I between five and ten thousand; and i between fifteen and twenty

thousand.

The Census of 188 1 distributed the population into the following six
main groups: —(i) Professional class, including State officials of every
kind and members of the learned professions —males 4379, and females
120

; (2) domestic servants, inn and lodging-house keepers— males 928,
and females 160; (3) commercial class, including bankers, merchants,

carriers, etc. —males 2752, and females 600; (4) agricultural and
pastoral class, including gardeners —males 29,996, and females 25,736 ;
(5) industrial class, including manufacturers and artisans —males 7584,
and females 7270 ; and (6) indefinite and non-productive class, compris-

ing labourers, children, and persons of unspecified occupation —males
41,669, and females 48,366.

Agriaclture. —Agriculture supported (1881) 129,223, or 76*21 per
cent, of the population. In 1881, of the total area of the District,

176 square miles were cultivated and assessed for revenue; the area

cultivable was 1066 square miles; and uncultivable, 1155 square miles.

The amount of Government assessment, including local rates and cesses
paid on land, in the same year, was ;^i 1,274 ; the average incidence of

assessment, including local rates and cesses on land, is. ii|d. per acre

of cultivated land paying revenue. Average area of cultivated land

per head of agricultural population, 0*87 acre.

The principal crops raised in Thayet-myo District are rice, oil-seeds,

cotton, tobacco, and onions. In 1883-84, the total area actually culti-

vated was 122,492 acres. Rice occupied 71,124 acres; oil-seeds,

15,848 acres; cotton, 2347 acres; tobacco, 4076 acres; plantains, 1963

acres; thetke, 316 acres; mixed fruit-trees, 2518 acres; chillies, i486

acres; onions, 2199 acres; mulberry, 120 acres; custard apple, 41

acres; taungya or hill gardens, 13,387 acres ; and mixed products, 7067

acres. The average produce of land per acre was—rice, 945 lbs.;
cotton, 100 lbs. ; oil-seeds, 460 lbs.; tobacco, 900 lbs.; chiUies, 1090

lbs.; mixed products, 1800 lbs.; vegetables, 950 lbs.; onions, 7200

lbs.; plantains, i960 lbs.; mixed fruits, 1390 lbs. The average rent
per acre of land suited for —rice, 2s. 8d.; oil-seeds, 3s. 4jd.; cotton, 3s.;
tobacco, 2S. 6d. ; dhani, 2s. 3d. ; mixed fruit-trees, mixed products,

and vegetables, each 3s.
;

plantains, chillies, and mulberry, each 2s. 3d.

The agricultural live stock consisted of —cows and bullocks, 95,832 ;
horses and ponies, 620; buffaloes, 18,739; donkeys, 140; sheep and

goats, 1387 ; pigs, 10,258 ; elephants, 39 : dead stock— ploughs, 25,837;
carts, 17,701 ; and boats, 894.

A bushel of good unhusked rice, if well cleaned, will give 31 lbs. of
rice. During the exceptionally good harvest of 1872, 100 bushels of

unhusked rice sold at 50 rupees, or ;^5, on the river bank, near the

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UMASS/BOSTONLIBRARIES

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The imperial gazetteer of
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