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Title: Mandalay to Momien: A narrative of the two expeditions to western China of 1868 and 1875 under Colonel Edward B. Sladen and Colonel Horace Browne
Author: Anderson, John Alexander
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mandalay to Momien: A narrative of the two expeditions to western China of 1868 and 1875 under Colonel Edward B. Sladen and Colonel Horace Browne" ***

 HILL. _Frontispiece._]





  OF 1868 and 1875












Seven years have elapsed since the date of the expedition which
furnishes the subject of the larger portion of this work. Its results
have been recorded, but can hardly be said to have been published, in
the official reports of the several members, printed in India, and not
accessible to the general reader.

The public interest in the subject of the overland route from Burma
to China, called forth by the repulse of the recent mission and the
tragedy which attended it, has suggested the present publication. It is
hoped that a compendious and popular account of the expedition of 1868
will be acceptable, if only as an introduction to the simple narrative
of the mission of this year, commanded by Colonel Horace Browne. The
statement of the difficulties which beset our advance in 1868 will
prepare the reader to estimate the opposition which, under a changed
political condition of the country, compelled the mission under Colonel
Browne to return without accomplishing its object.

The narrative of our experiences of the border country between Bhamô
and Yunnan, and its motley population, has been supplemented from
materials collected by Colonel Sladen, including a catalogue of Kakhyen
deities obtained by him, and which will be found in the Appendix, along
with a Panthay account of the origin of the Chinese Mahommedans. To
him, as well as to my fellow travellers, Captain Bowers and Mr. Gordon,
I gladly record my obligations for the information that has been
derived from them.

For many details illustrating the condition of Yunnan and the
Mahommedan revolt in that province, I am indebted to the volumes,
issued by the French government, which contain the results of the
French expedition from Saigon to Yunnan, under Lagrée, Garnier, and
Carné, whose premature loss their country has to deplore, and to the
travels of that enterprising pioneer of commerce, Mr. T. T. Cooper.

No one can treat of the border lands of Cathay without deriving
assistance from the stores of knowledge collected and arranged by the
erudite editor of ‘Marco Polo,’ Colonel Yule, to whom I tender my
tribute of admiration and indebtedness.

My observations on the Kakhyens are confirmed by the learned Monsig.
Bigandet, the annotator of the ‘Life of Gaudama,’ who was the first
European to visit those hill tribes, and who communicated his
experiences to the columns of the leading Rangoon journal. The reader
will find among the appendices a valuable note by the same author, on
Burmese bells, especially those of Rangoon and Mengoon.

The list of Chinese deities given in the Appendix has been translated
from the original by the well-known Chinese scholar, Professor Douglas,
of the British Museum, who has kindly added an explanatory note. The
appended vocabularies may prove interesting to philologists.

The illustrations of the country and people as far as Ponsee have been
executed from photographs taken by Major Williams and myself, while the
views of the country to the east are reproductions of sketches which
fairly claim the merit of accurate delineation of its features.

The map illustrating the topography of the district travelled has
been based upon surveys made during the expedition by Mr. Gordon and
a Burmese surveyor, and a second has been added to show the general
relations of our Indian empire to Western China, with the various
routes which have been explored or projected, including those followed
by the French expedition, and by Margary from the terminus of the boat
journey to Bhamô.

The journal of our ill-fated companion, recently published in
China, and received in this country when this work was completed,
unfortunately does not carry him on to Tali-fu, but his impressions of
the country beyond this point have been briefly summarised in these

The scientific reader will perhaps be inclined to complain that the
following pages do not contain more of the results of the proper work
of a naturalist. Of these, a full and illustrated report, unavoidably
delayed by absence from this country, is in active preparation. This
will be published by the aid of the Indian government, given at the
instance of the Chief Commissioner of British Burma, the Hon. Ashley
Eden, by whom the opening up of the overland route to China, as a
measure beneficial to the province administered by him, has ever been
strongly advocated.

  J. A.

  _December 31, 1875_.





  MANDALAY TO BHAMÔ.                                                1-36

  Overland trade of Burma and China--Early notices--English
  travellers--Burmese treaty of 1862--Dr. Williams--Objects of the
  expedition--Its constitution--Arrival at Mandalay--Second coronation
  of the king--The suburbs--The bazaars--Mengoon--Burmese
  navigation--Shienpagah--Coal mines--The third defile--Sacred
  fish--Tagoung and Old Pagan--Ngapé--Katha--Magnetic battery--The
  first Kakhyens--The Shuaybaw pagodas--The second defile--View of


  BHAMÔ.                                                           37-66

  Arrival at Bhamô--Our quarters--The town--The Woon’s house--The
  Shan-Burmese--Kakhyen man-stealing--The environs--Old
  Tsampenago--Legendary history--The Shuaykeenah pagodas--The Molay
  river--The first defile--Delays and intrigues--Sala--The new Woon--Our
  departure--Tsitkaw--Mountain muleteers--The Manloung lake--The
  phoongyee’s farewell


  KAKHYEN HILLS.                                                   67-86

  Departure from Tsitkaw--Our cavalcade--The hills--A false
  alarm--Talone--First night in the hills--The tsawbwa-gadaw--Ponline
  village--A death dance--The divination--A meetway--Nampoung gorge--A
  dangerous road--Lakong bivouac--Arrival at Ponsee--A Kakhyen coquette


  PONSEE CAMP.                                                    87-124

  Desertion of the muleteers--Our encampment--Visit of hill
  chiefs--Sala’s demands--A mountain excursion--Messengers from
  Momien--Shans refuse presents--Stoppage of
  supplies--Ill-feeling--Tsawbwa of Seray--St. Patrick’s Day--Retreat of
  Sala--The pawmines of Ponsee--A burial-ground--Visit to the
  Tapeng--The silver mines--Approach of the rains--Hostility of
  Ponsee--Threatened attack--Reconciliation--A false start--Letters from
  Momien--A hailstorm--Circular to the members of the mission--Beads and
  belles--Friendly relations with Kakhyens--Their importance


  THE KAKHYENS.                                                  125-154

  The Kakhyens or Kakoos--The clans--Their chiefs--Mountain
  villages--Cultivation and crops--Personal appearance--Costume--Arms
  and implements--Female dress and ornaments--Women’s
  Language--Character--How to deal with them--Our party


  MANWYNE TO MOMIEN.                                             155-188

  Departure from Ponsee--Valley of the Tapeng--A curious crowd--Our
  khyoung--Matins--The town of Manwyne--Visit to the haw--The
  tsawbwa-gadaw--An armed demonstration--Karahokah--Sanda--The chief and
  his grandson--Muangla--Shan burial-grounds--The Tahô--A murdered
  traveller--Mawphoo valley--Muangtee--Nantin--Valley of Nantin--The hot
  springs--Attacked by Chinese--Hawshuenshan volcano--Valley of
  Momien--Arrival at the city


  MOMIEN.                                                        189-222

  Momien--The town of Teng-yue-chow--Aspect and condition--An official
  reception--Return visit--Government house--A Chinese tragedy--The
  market--Jade manufacture--Minerals--Mines of Yunnan--Stone
  celts--Cattle--Climate--Environs--The waterfall--Pagoda
  hill--Shuayduay--Rock temples--Ruined suburbs--City
  temples--Four-armed deities--Boys’ school--A grand feast--The
  loving-cup--The tsawbwa-gadaw of Muangtee--Keenzas--The Chinese poor


  THE MAHOMMEDANS OF YUNNAN.                                     223-247

  Their origin--Derivation of the term “Panthay”--Early
  history--Increase in numbers--Adoption of children--The
  Toonganees--Physical characteristics--Outbreak of the
  revolt--Tali-fu--Progress of revolt--The French expedition--Overtures
  from Low-quang-fang--Resources of the Panthays--Capture of
  Yunnan-fu--Prospects of their success--Our position--The governor’s
  presents--Preparations for return


  THE SANDA VALLEY.                                              248-273

  Departure from Momien--Robbers surprised--At Nantin--Our ponies
  stolen--We slide to Muangla--A pleasant meeting--The Tapeng
  ferrymen--A valley landscape--Negotiations at Sanda--The Leesaws--A
  Shan cottage--Buddhist khyoungs--For fear of the nats--The limestone
  hill--Hot springs of Sanda--The footprint of Buddha--A priestly
  thief--The excommunication--The chief’s farewell--Floods and
  landslips--Manwyne priests--A Shan dinner party--The
  nunnery--Departure from Manwyne--The Slough of Despond


  THE HOTHA VALLEY.                                              274-312

  The mountain summit--A giant glen--Leesaw village--The wrong
  road--Priestly inhospitality--Town of Hotha--A friendly chief--The
  Namboke Kakhyens--The Hotha market--The Shan people--The
  Koshanpyi--The Tai of Yunnan--Their personal
  appearance--Costume--Equipment--The Chinese Shans--Silver hair
  ornaments--Ear-rings--Torques, bracelets, and rings--Textile
  fabrics--Agriculture--Social customs--Tenure of land--Old Hotha--A
  Shan-Chinese temple--Shan Buddhism--The fire festival--Eclipse of the
  sun--Horse worship--Ancient pagodas--Roads from Hotha


  FROM HOTHA TO BHAMÔ.                                           313-332

  Adieu!--Latha--Namboke--The southern hills--Muangwye--Loaylone--The
  Chinese frontier--Mattin--Hoetone--View of the Irawady plain--A
  slippery descent--The Namthabet--The Sawady route--A solemn
  sacrifice--A retrospective survey


  INTERMEDIATE EVENTS.                                           333-349

  Appointment of a British Resident at Bhamô--Increase of native
  trade--Action of the king of Burma--Burmese quarrel with the Seray
  chief--British relations with the Panthays--Struggle in
  Yunnan--Li-sieh-tai--Imperialist successes--European gunners--Siege of
  Momien--Fall of Yung-chang--Prince Hassan visits England--Fall of
  Tali-fu--Sultan Suleiman’s death--Massacre of Panthays--Capture of
  Momien--Escape of Tah-sa-kon--Capture of Woosaw--Suppression of
  rebellion--Imperial proclamation--Li-sieh-tai, commissioner of Shan
  states--Re-opening of trade routes--Second British mission--Action of
  Sir T. Wade--Appointment of Mr. Margary--Members of
  mission--Acquiescence of China and Burma


  SECOND EXPEDITION.                                             350-378

  Start of mission--Arrival at Mandalay--The Burmese pooay--Posturing
  girl--Reception by the meng-gyees--Audience by the king--Departure of
  mission--Progress up the river--Reception at Bhamô--British
  Residency--Mr. Margary--Account of his journey--The Woon of
  Bhamô--Entertains Margary--Chinese puppets--Selection of route--Sawady
  route--Bullock carriage--Woon of Shuaygoo--Chinese surmises--Letters
  to Chinese officials--Burmese worship-day


  SAWADY.                                                        379-399

  The _hun pooay_--Mission proceeds to Sawady--Visit from Woon--Rumoured
  opposition--The Woon as a musician--Sawady village--Royal
  orders--Baggage difficulties--Arrival of Mr. Clement Allan--Paloungto
  chief--Kakhyen pilfering--Abandon route--Adopt Ponline route--Reasons
  for change--Tsaleng Woon--Departure of mission to Tsitkaw--Elias and
  Cooke proceed to Muangmow--Dolphins--Up the Tapeng--Tahmeylon--Arrive
  at Tsitkaw


  THE ADVANCE.                                                   400-427

  Residence at Tsitkaw--View from our house--The Namthabet--Junction
  of the rivers--Arrival of the Woon--Conference of
  tsawbwas--Hostages--Kakhyen women--Rifle practice--A night alarm--A
  curious talisman--We leave Tsitkaw--Camp at Tsihet--Burmese
  guard-house--Lankon, Ponline--Camp on the Moonam--Hostile
  rumours--Camp on the Nampoung--Departure of Margary for
  Manwyne--Escape of hostages--Letter from Margary--We enter China--Camp
  on Shitee Meru--Burmese vigilance--Visit to Seray--Conference with
  Seray tsawbwa--Suspicious reception--Return to camp--Burmese


  REPULSE OF MISSION.                                            428-454

  Appearance of enemy--Murder of Margary--Friendly tsawbwas--Mission
  attacked--Woonkah tsawbwa bought over--The jungle fired--Repulse of
  attack--Incidents of the day--Our retreat--Shitee--Burmese
  reinforcements--Halt at guard-house--Retreat on Tsitkaw via
  Woonkah--Elias and Cooke’s visit to Muangmow--Li-sieh-tai--Return of
  Captain Cooke--Elias at Muangmow--Father Lecomte and the Mattin
  chief--A forged letter--The Saya of Kauntoung--Reports regarding
  Margary--The commission of inquiry--Return of Elias--Visit to the
  second defile--Mission’s return to Rangoon


  I. A Note by Bishop Bigandet, on Burmese Bells                     455

  II. Origin of Mahommedanism in China; from Chinese Document        456

  III. Deities worshipped by Kakhyens                            457-459

  IV. Deities in a Hotha Shan Temple                             460-463

  V. VOCABULARIES:--Kakhyen, Shan, Leesaw, and Poloung           464-473

  INDEX                                                          475-479





  MANDALÉ HILL                                           _Frontispiece._
  _From a photograph by_ COLONEL SLADEN.

                                                          _To face page_
  _From a photograph by the_ AUTHOR.

  _From a photograph by_ MAJOR WILLIAMS.

  KAKHYEN WOMEN                                                       74
  _From a photograph by_ MAJOR WILLIAMS.

  OUR CAMP AT PONSEE                                                  89
  _From a photograph by_ MAJOR WILLIAMS.

  KAKHYEN MEN--KAKHYEN MATRONS                                       125
  _From photographs by_ MAJOR WILLIAMS.

  _From photographs._

  NANTIN VALLEY, TOWN OF MUANGTEE TO THE LEFT                        178
  _From a sketch by the_ AUTHOR.

  _From a sketch by the_ AUTHOR.

  WITHIN THE WALLS OF MOMIEN OR TENG-YUE-CHOW                        192
  _From a sketch by the_ AUTHOR.

  _From a sketch by the_ AUTHOR.

  _From a sketch by the_ AUTHOR.

  _From photographs._

  POSTURING GIRL AT MANDALAY                                         354
  _From a photograph by the_ AUTHOR.

  VIEW IN BHAMÔ                                                      364
  _From a photograph by_ MAJOR WILLIAMS.

  _From a photograph by the_ AUTHOR.

 1868 AND 1875
  _Stanford’s Geographical Estabᵗ 55 Charing Cross._
  London; Macmillan & Cᵒ.]

 [Illustration: A MAP OF SOUTH-WESTERN CHINA Showing routes TRAVERSED &
  _Stanford’s Geographical Estabᵗ. 55 Charing Cross._
  London; Macmillan & Cᵒ.]

  _Stanford’s Geogˡ. Estabᵗ. 55 Charing Cross, London._
  London; Macmillan & Cᵒ.]




 Overland trade of Burma and China--Early notices--English
 travellers--Burmese treaty of 1862--Dr. Williams--Objects of
 the expedition--Its constitution--Arrival at Mandalay--Second
 coronation of the king--The suburbs--The bazaars--Mengoon--Burmese
 navigation--Shienpagah--Coal mines--The third defile--Sacred
 fish--Tagoung and Old Pagan--Ngapé--Katha--Magnetic battery--The first
 Kakhyens--The Shuaybaw pagodas--The second defile--View of Bhamô.

For some years previous to the date of the expedition of which the
progress is narrated in these pages, the attention of British merchants
at home and in India had been directed to the prospect of an overland
trade with Western China. Most especially did this interest the
commercial community of Rangoon, the capital of British Burma, and the
port of the great water highway of the Irawady, boasting a trade the
annual value of which had increased in fifteen years to £2,500,000.
The avoidance of the long and dangerous voyage by the Straits and
Indian Archipelago and a direct interchange of our manufactures for
the products of the rich provinces of Yunnan and Sz-chuen might well
seem to be advantages which would richly repay almost any efforts to
accomplish this purpose.

One plan, then as now, zealously insisted upon by its promoter, Captain
Sprye, was the construction of a railway connecting British Burma and
China via Kiang-Hung, on the Cambodia river, and the frontier position
or reputed town of Esmok.

But as it was, and still is, necessary to send a surveying expedition
over an unknown and alien country, as a preliminary, this project,
whether chimerical or not, could not compete with the immediate
possibility of opening a trade by way of the river Irawady and the
royal city of Mandalay.

Although before 1867 but four English steamers with freight had
ascended the river to the capital, harbingers of the numerous flotilla
now plying on the Irawady, it was known that a regular traffic existed
between Mandalay and China, especially in the supply of cotton to the
interior, which was reserved as a royal monopoly.

This trade was reported to be mainly carried on by caravans traversing
the overland route via Theinnee to Yunnan. According to the itineraries
of the Burmese embassy in 1787, the distance is six hundred and
twenty miles, and forty-six hills and mountains, five large rivers
and twenty-four smaller ones, had to be traversed in the tedious
journey of two months. But an unbroken chain of tradition and history
indicated the natural entrepot of the commerce between Burma and China
to be at or near Bhamô,[1] on the left bank of the upper Irawady, and
close to the frontier of Yunnan.

The Burmese annals testified that during several centuries this had
been the passage from China to Burma either for invading armies or for
peaceful caravans. The most recent Burmo-Chinese war had arisen out
of the grievances of Bhamô Chinese merchants, and the treaty of peace
that was signed at Bhamô in 1769 stipulated that the “gold and silver
road” between the two countries should be reopened. Mutual embassies
had consequently journeyed between Pekin and Ava, and almost all had
proceeded by way of the Irawady and Bhamô.

European travellers and traders had early discerned the importance of
this channel of intercourse, which seems to have been alluded to by the
great Venetian, Marco Polo, under the name of Zardandan.

The old documents of Fort St. George record that the English and
Dutch had factories in the beginning of the seventeenth century at
Syriam, Prome, and Ava, and at a place on the borders of China, which
Dalrymple supposes to have been Bhamô. According to this authority,
some dispute arose between the Dutch and Burmese, and on the former
threatening to call in the aid of the Chinese, both the English and
Dutch were expelled from Burma. In 1680 the reputation of this field
for mercantile enterprise seems to have again attracted the attention
of the authorities at Fort St. George, and four years afterwards one
Dod, trading to Ava, was instructed to inquire into the commerce of
the country, and to request that a settlement might be sanctioned at
Prammoo, on the borders of China. This mission was unsuccessful, and
Prammoo cannot with certainty be identified, but the strong similarity
of the name seems to point to Pan-mho or Bhamô.

Coming down to more recent and certain data, we find that Colonel
Symes, H.E.I.C.’s envoy to Ava in 1795 (and who was accompanied by
that able geographer, Dr. Buchanan), states that an extensive trade,
chiefly in cotton, existed between Ava and Yunnan. “This commodity was
transported up the Irawady to Bhamô, where it was sold to the Chinese
merchants, and conveyed partly by land and partly by water into the
Chinese dominions. Amber, ivory, precious stones, betel-nut, and the
edible birds’ nests from the Eastern Archipelago, were also articles
of commerce. In return, the Burmans procured raw and wrought silks,
velvets, gold-leaf, preserves, paper, and utensils of hardware.” Both
the researches of Wilcox and the journal of Crawford’s embassy to Ava
in 1826 referred to the trade and routes by Bhamô, and the Bengal
government in 1827 published a map containing the best procurable
information about the Burmo-Chinese frontier.

Colonel Burney, who was Resident at the court of Ava in 1830, published
a large number of valuable contributions to the history, geography,
and resources of Upper Burma, and accurate itineraries of the Theinnee
and Bhamô routes to China. Our experience demonstrated the accuracy of
the latter as far as Momien, and it may be inferred that the remainder
will be found equally exact. Pemberton[2] seems to have been the
first to fully realise that--to use his own words--“the province of
Yunnan, to which the north-eastern borders of our Indian empire have
now so closely approximated, has become from this circumstance and
our existing amicable relations with the court of Ava an object of
peculiar interest to us.” In the same year Captain Hannay accompanied
a Burmese mission to Mogoung, and for the first time Bhamô was
accurately described by an eye-witness, and much valuable information
gained respecting the trade then carried on between Ava and China. His
description of the importance of the town, however, differed widely
from that of Drs. Griffiths and Bayfield, who visited it two years

Hannay gives the reported number of houses as one thousand five
hundred, while the latter travellers estimated town and suburbs as
containing five hundred and ninety-eight houses, “neither good nor
large,” which latter description is more in keeping with the present
condition of the town.

In 1848 Baron Otto des Granges published a short survey of the
countries between Bengal and China, showing the great commercial and
political importance of Bhamô, and the practicability of a direct trade
overland between Calcutta and China.

In this paper the far-seeing author advocated the equipment of a small
expedition to ascertain the mercantile relations of the country about
Bhamô, to examine the mineral wealth of Yunnan, and to enter into
negotiations with the Chinese merchants.

In 1862 the government of India, in the prospect of a treaty being
negotiated with the king of Burma, directed their Chief Commissioner,
Sir A. Phayre, to include in it, if possible, the reopening of the
caravan route from Western China by the town of Bhamô, and the
concession of facilities to British merchants to reside at that place,
or to travel to Yunnan, and for Chinese from Yunnan to have free access
to British territory, including Assam. The first of these objects was
to be effected by obtaining the king’s sanction to a joint Burmese and
British mission to China. A treaty was concluded whereby the British
and Burmese governments were declared friends, and trade in and through
Upper Burma was freely thrown open to British enterprise. It was
further stipulated that a direct trade with China might be carried
on through Upper Burma, subject to a transit duty of one per cent.
_ad valorem_ on Chinese exports, and _nil_ on imports. The proposal,
however, as to the joint mission was unsuccessful.

In the following year, Dr. Williams, formerly resident at the court of
Mandalay, obtained the royal permission to proceed as far as Bhamô,
where he arrived in February, after a journey of twenty-two days. His
object was to test the practicability of a route through Burma to
Western China, and the results of his experience led him to strongly
advocate the Bhamô routes as politically, physically, and commercially
the most advantageous.

His energetic advocacy led the mercantile community of Rangoon to
appreciate the importance of their own position, commanding, as it
does, the most ancient highway to Western China. His claim, however,
to have been the first to suggest this trade route must yield to
that of Otto des Granges; and the assertion that he was the first
Englishman who visited Bhamô could only have been made in ignorance or
forgetfulness of the labours of Hannay, Bayfield, and Griffiths.

When the commercial acuteness of the merchants was thus directed to the
possibilities of the overland trade, it might seem at first sight that
the stream could be tapped at Mandalay without following it up to the
borders of Yunnan.

But our growing intercourse with the capital of Burma made it known
that for twelve years the Burmo-Chinese trade via Bhamô, which in
1855 represented £500,000 per annum, had almost entirely ceased.
Whether this were owing to the effects of the Mahommedan rebellion
in Yunnan, or, as some alleged, to Burmese policy, was uncertain. It
was an additional problem, and the then Chief Commissioner, General
Fytche, anxiously pressed upon the government of India the importance
of solving it, and under the treaty of 1862 of thoroughly examining the
possibility and probable results of reopening the Bhamô trade route.

This enterprise might be deemed one of hereditary interest to the
descendant of that enterprising merchant-traveller, Mr. Fitch, who has
left an account of his visit to Pegu in 1586. The proposed expedition
was sanctioned by the government of India in September 1867, and the
consent of the king of Burma having been duly obtained, arrangements
were forwarded for the departure of the mission from Mandalay in
January 1868. The chief objects of the expedition were, to use the
words of General Fytche, “to discover the cause of the cessation of the
trade formerly existing by these routes, the exact position held by
the Kakhyens, Shans, and Panthays, with reference to that traffic, and
their disposition, or otherwise, to resuscitate it, also to examine the
physical conditions of these routes.”

Thus the duties to be discharged were multifarious, pertaining
to diplomacy, engineering, natural science, and commerce. These
accordingly were all represented among the members of the mission,
which consisted of Captain Williams, as engineer; Dr. Anderson, as
medical officer and naturalist; with Captain Bowers and Messrs. Stewart
and Burn as delegates from the commercial community of Rangoon.[4] A
guard of fifty armed police, with their inspector and native doctor,
formed an escort, while the command of the whole was entrusted to Major
Sladen, Political Resident at Mandalay. It is saying scarcely enough
to add that to the foresight, tact, and resolute patience displayed
by him as leader was due whatever measure of success was obtained. He
had already secured not only the consent but the co-operation of the
king. Written orders had been despatched to the _woon_, or governor,
of Bhamô, and to other places, to render all assistance. Besides these
verbal aids, the king placed at his disposal a royal steamer, named the
_Yaynan-Sekia_, better known as “The Honesty,” to convey the party to
Bhamô. On no former occasion had it been deemed prudent for steamers
to ascend save for a few miles above Mandalay; and great difference of
opinion existed as to the navigability of the upper Irawady in the dry
season by a steamer, though only drawing three feet of water.

In the morning of January 6, 1868, the steamer _Nerbudda_, which had
conveyed the party from Rangoon, made fast alongside the landing-place
of the present capital of Burma, three miles from the city, of which
only the golden spires could be seen above the trees. As our stay was
not to exceed three or four days, all the party remained on board until
it should be time to embark on the _Yaynan-Sekia_. Beyond a jetty used
by the Burmese in the floods, lay the royal steamer undergoing thorough
painting and cleaning for our reception. She was moored in a creek, the
royal naval depot, where numerous war-boats of the past and the present
fleet of royal steamers are laid up in ordinary. For nearly three miles
the river banks presented a busy scene. Native boats were loading or
discharging cargo; houses extended the whole distance, those nearer the
river being tenanted by fishermen. A large suburb stretched inland from
the shore; each house was surrounded by a vegetable garden enclosed
in a bamboo fence eight to ten feet high, while all were embosomed in
magnificent tamarind, plantain, and palm trees. The women were busily
engaged weaving silk putzos and tameins in various patterns.[5] Beyond
this suburb lay a large flat of alluvial land, devoted to rice fields,
some in stubble, from which the grain had just been reaped; in others
men and women were irrigating the young crop, now about six inches
high, three crops yearly being raised from these lands, which formed,
as it were, an island of cultivation, surrounded by houses.

The leader of the expedition, Major Sladen, came down to welcome us,
and we rode with him to the Residency, situated on the banks of a
canal, which runs parallel with the river, and halfway between it and
the city. The bank of the canal is lined with houses, and broad streets
lead to the city, over numerous strongly built timber bridges, the only
defect in which is that the alluvial banks of the canal frequently
give way, to the destruction of the bridges and interruption of the
traffic. Our road lay through a populous suburb of houses built of teak
and supported on piles. To the right lay a quarter occupied by the
_demi-monde_; to the left numerous khyoungs, or monasteries, reared
their graceful triple concave roofs. Phoongyees, or Buddhist monks,
abounded; so did pigs and dogs, both of which are fed daily by a dole
from the king, who, as a pious Buddhist, lays up a store of good works
by thus preserving animal life. These ubiquitous pigs have given rise
to a well-known saying, which tersely expresses the first impression
made on the European visitor by the precincts of the capital. Our stay
was too short to admit of more than a flying visit to Mandalay, its
palace and countless pagodas.

The city properly so-called lies about three miles from the Irawady,
on a rising ground below the hill Mandalé. It was founded, on his
accession in 1853, by the present king; and one of his motives for
quitting Ava, and selecting the new site, was to remove his palace
from the sight and sound of British steamers. The city is built on
the same plan as the old capital, described by Yule, and consists
of two concentric fortified squares. The outer is defended by lofty
massive brick walls, with earthworks thrown up on the inside. There
are four gates, over each of which rises a tower with seven gilded
roofs. Similar smaller towers adorn the wall at intervals. A deep moat
fifty yards broad has been completed since the date of our visit,
and now surrounds the walls. During the night, guard-boats, with
gongs beating, patrol its waters. When the king, in compliance with a
prophecy, was crowned a second time in 1874, he made the circuit of the
city in a magnificent war-boat, the splendour of which eclipses the
traditionary glory of the Lord Mayor’s barge. The actual ceremony of
the re-coronation took place on the 4th of June, at 8 P.M., the hour
pronounced propitious by the court of Brahmins.[6] Captain Strover
describes the ceremony as being to a great extent private, only the
various ministers of state and about eighty Brahmins being present.
Incantations and sprinkling of holy water brought from the Ganges
formed the chief part of the ceremony, after which his majesty was
supposed to have become a new king, barring the difficulty of years.
Seven days afterwards, the king went through the ceremony of taking
charge of the royal city. At nine in the morning a gun announced that
he had left the palace, and at half past another was fired, intimating
that he had entered the royal barge. The procession round the city
moat commenced from the east gate, and was led by the two principal
magistrates of Mandalay in gilded war-boats; then followed all the
princes in line, a short way in front of the state barge, and behind
the king came the ministers and officials. Troops lined the walls all
round the city, and cannon were placed every here and there at the
corners of the streets. Bands of music played as the procession passed,
and, altogether; the sight was most effective and unique. Having gone
right round the city, he left the royal barge at the east gate, and a
salute announced that he had re-entered the palace, and the ceremony
was finished. According to his majesty’s own statement, the ceremony
was a purely religious act.

The first square is inhabited by the officials, civil and military,
and the soldiers of the royal army. All the houses are in separate
enclosures, bordering broad, well kept streets; along the fronts
is carried the king’s fence, a latticed palisade, behind which the
subjects hide themselves when his majesty passes. During the day,
stalls are set up in the streets, and the various Burmese necessaries,
even to cloth, are sold, but at night all are cleared away and the
gates closed. The central or royal square is surrounded by an outer
stockade of teak timber twelve feet in height, and an inner wall.
Entrance is given by two gates opposite each other, opening into a
wide place, containing the government offices and the royal mint,
on one side; on the other, a wall runs across, and a large gateway,
opened only for the king, and a small postern give access to the palace
enclosure. All Burmese entering this take off their shoes. Within is a
wide open area, as large as a London square. On the opposite side rises
a building crowned by nine roofs richly gilded, and surmounted by a
golden _htee_, or umbrella, with its tinkling coronal of bells. This
marks the audience hall. All entering this are required to take off
their shoes, for the royal abode is sacred. The same rule applies to
all temples, and this unbooting is really a mark of religious respect,
due as much to the meanest khyoung as to the residence of the king.
This fact perhaps, if borne in mind, might soothe the ruffled feelings
of those who see in this unbooting a mark of degrading homage. To the
left is the abode of the white elephant, which, it may be said, is
scarcely distinguishable from any other elephant save by the paler hue
of the skin of the head. To the right is the royal arsenal, outside of
which the visitor would be now surprised by the sight of a completely
armed and equipped deck of a vessel, which serves as a school for naval

We were not admitted to an audience, nor did we see the royal gardens,
which, with the other palace buildings, lie to the rear of the central
hall. Dr. Dawson, as quoted in Mason’s ‘Burmah,’ describes the gardens
in glowing language, as “truly beautiful, and as picturesque as they
are grand.” Outside the walls of the city the suburbs, or unwalled
town, stretch away southward in broad streets, which converge towards
the Arracan pagoda; and in the distance the spires of pagodas mark the
site of Amarapura.

It is impossible to estimate the population, but it must exceed one
hundred thousand, to judge by the extent of ground covered by houses.
Between the city and Mandalay hill numerous khyoungs have been erected
by the queens and other members of the royal family, the teak pillars
and roof timbers of which are magnificently carved and richly gilt.

In passing through the enclosures of these monasteries, it is necessary
for equestrians to dismount and walk slowly through the sacred
precincts. On this side also there is a large stockaded enclosure, to
which the Shan caravans always resort. Here their wares, principally
_hlepét_, a sort of salted tea--not, however, made from the true tea
plant[7]--are disposed of by means of brokers. At the foot of Mandalay
hill is a temple with a large seated statue of Buddha, carved from
the white marble of the Tsagain hills. The hill itself is crowned by
a gilded pagoda, and a statue of Buddha. The Golden King stands with
outstretched finger pointing down to the golden htee that marks the
royal abode, the centre of the city and of the Burman kingdom.

On the hill is a vast colony of fowls, numbers of which are purchased
by the royal piety every morning, and maintained at the king’s expense.
The eastern side of the city is skirted by a long swamp, which forms a
lagoon in the rains. The Myit-ngé river, six miles to the south, may
be said to complete the insulation of the environs of the capital. Not
far from the Residency, but on the other side of the canal, there is
a large bazaar, enclosed with brick walls, which presents a most busy
scene. This may be said to be the principal enclosed market-place; but
there are other smaller cloth bazaars; and several quarters or streets
are occupied by special trades, a very noisy quarter being that of the
gold-beaters. The fondness for gilding which characterises the Burmese
causes an immense demand for gold-leaf, the gold used being principally
brought by the caravans from Yunnan. Another quarter is tenanted by
Chinese. By a curious coincidence, on the day of our arrival, a Chinese
caravan of two hundred mules arrived from Tali-fu. They had come by the
long overland Theinnee route, bringing hams, walnuts, pistachio-nuts,
honey, opium, iron pots, yellow orpiment, &c. We noticed many Suratees
among the inhabitants of the city. These acute and enterprising
traders come to Burma in great numbers, and are found everywhere busily
engaged in money-making. European adventurers of various nationalities
form an element in the population, small, but mischievous; it is hardly
to be wondered at if an ill impression of _kalas_[8] is formed by the
Burmese nobility and gentry, judging from the conduct of some of these
foreigners; while again they spread monstrous reports about the king,
his social and political habits and ideas, which find their way into
the Indian and English press.

The transshipment of ourselves and followers and baggage was
duly effected, and in the afternoon of the 18th of January the
_Yaynan-Sekia_ left her moorings. We only proceeded as far as Mengoon,
on the right bank, a few miles from the capital. Thus far we had the
company of Mr. Manouk, an Armenian gentleman, who held the office
of _kala woon_, or foreign minister. We duly visited the huge ruin
of solid brickwork, which, as Colonel Yule says, represents the
extraordinary folly of King Mentaragyi, the founder of Amarapura in

Intended for a gigantic pagoda, it was left unfinished, in consequence
of a prediction that its completion would be fatal to the royal
founder; the earthquake of 1839 split the huge cube of solid brickwork,
and it is now a fantastic ruin.

Yule gives the dimensions of the lowest of the five encircling
terraces as four hundred feet square; if completed, the whole edifice
would have been five hundred feet high. Near this is the great bell,
twelve feet high, and sixteen across at the lips, and weighing ninety

The most interesting object is the Seebyo pagoda, built by the
grandson and successor of Mentaragyi in 1816, and named after his
wife. The substructure from which the pagoda rises is circular, and
consists of six successive concentric terraces. Each terrace is five
feet above the one below, and six feet in breadth, and is surrounded
by a stone parapet of a wavy design. In the niches of each terrace
are images, fabulous dragons, birds, and _beloos_, or monsters. By
a rough measurement the walled enclosure is four hundred yards in
circumference, but an open space of thirty-five yards deep intervenes
between the wall and the first terrace. The design of the pagoda is
intended to represent the mythical Myen Mhoo Doung, or Meru Mountain,
the central pillar of the universe, and the seven encircling ranges
of mountains, or the six continents, each of which is guarded by a
monster, the first by the dragon, the second by the bird Kalon. It
might be also suggested that those terraces may represent the six happy
abodes of nats which form successive Elysiums below the seat of Brahma.

From the rising ground above Mengoon a magnificent panorama unfolds
itself: the valley from the dry and treeless Tsagain hills, a few
miles to the rear, spreads out for fifteen miles in width to the
eastern line of mountains, which, emerging from the north bank of the
Myit-ngé, stretch away as far as the eye can reach to the north-east.
The long flowing sweep of these summits singularly contrasts with the
irregularly peaked outline of the Myait-loung hills, south of the
Myit-ngé. Immediately beneath the spectator, the Irawady, curving under
the western hills, broadens, till opposite to the capital its main
banks are nearly three miles and a half apart.

The river is broken up into channels by large islands, on one of
which the royal gardens are situated, and numerous sandbanks, exposed
in the dry season, and cultivated with tobacco and other crops. In
the foreground the various channels of the splendid river present an
animated spectacle of numerous canoes, timber rafts, and boats of
every form and size. In the middle distance, the golden roofs of the
city gates and of the many monasteries which cluster outside the red
city walls flash back the sunbeams. The fantastic forms of the many
roofed spires of the zayats and rest-houses, and the sparkling htees of
pagodas, everywhere perplex and please the eye, which looks from the
picturesque hill to the north, crowned by the gilded temple, to the
irregular outlines of the bazaar, stretching far down to the successive
line of the abandoned capitals. A glorious picture, especially when
the glowing orange tints of sunset are relieved by the rich purple of
the cloudlike distant hills!

From Mengoon the steamer made its unaccustomed way under the right
bank, passing sandbanks covered with numerous flocks of whimbrel,
golden plover, and snake-birds. Although at the present time both royal
and private steamers ply regularly between Mandalay and Bhamô, at the
dry season frequent delays, caused by grounding on sandbanks, make
the upward voyage of very uncertain duration. We as the pioneers had
to feel our way most cautiously, the water being very low. Our crew,
from captain to firemen, were to a man Burmese, and great was our
admiration of the coolness and skill shown by the skipper in navigating
the narrow channels; he seemed to have an almost instinctive intuition
of the depth of the water. It was no work of love on his part, as he
took no pains to disguise his dislike of the _kalas_, or foreigners,
and was devoid of the jovial openheartedness generally characteristic
of Burmese. A rich illustration of the character of the Burmese crew
was afforded us by the leadsman, who quitted his post, unobserved by
the captain. He provided, however, for the navigation, by telling
one of his fellows to sing out for him in his absence, and imaginary
depths, varying several feet, were accordingly shouted at intervals to
the unconscious captain, who steered accordingly--fortunately without
mishap. A court official accompanied us to see that the orders for
provision of firewood were duly obeyed, and to purvey boats in case
of the river proving unnavigable; but as no difficulties arose, he
had nothing to do save that he once showed his zeal by inflicting an
unmerciful beating on a village headman who failed to supply milk.

The banks of the river presented a succession of picturesque headlands,
fifty to sixty feet high, separated by luxuriant dells, each containing
a village. Between two such heights, covered with pagodas accessible
only by flights of steps, lay Shienpagah, a thriving town of some four
hundred houses. A brisk trade is here carried on in fish and firewood
for the capital, and salt procured from the swamps behind the sterile
Tsagain hills.[10] Above Shienpagah we changed our course to the other
side. The villages on the eastern bank seemed small and few, each
embowered among tall trees and groves of palmyra, mixed with a few
cocoa-nut palms, relieved by the bright, pale, tropical green of the
plantain. A broad alluvial flat extended to the low broken ranges of
the Sagyen and Thubyo-budo hills, from the former of which comes nearly
all the marble used in Mandalay. The distant Shan mountains rose beyond
another plain sparsely covered with lofty trees and richly cultivated.

Our course lay up a channel, skirting the long island and town of
Alékyoung, till the rounded hill of Kethung, dotted with white pagodas,
rose over the dense greenery in which nestled the village so called. On
the opposite bank lay Hteezeh, the village of oil merchants. A belt of
bright yellow sand, and then a fine green sward, led up from the river
to the village, shaded by noble palmyras and gigantic bamboos, which
formed a background to a river scene of exquisite colouring and beauty.
A mile or two above Alékyoung, the river narrowed, flowing in a stream
unbroken by islands or sandbanks. Soon the short well wooded Nâttoung
hills abutted on the right bank, in a pagoda-crowned headland, with
Makouk village at its base. On the opposite side, the small town of
Tsingu, once fortified, and still showing fragments of the old walls,
occupied another headland, marking the entrance of the third defile of
the Irawady.

From this point, for thirty miles, as far as Malé and Tsampenago, the
country on either bank is hilly, and covered to the water’s edge with
luxuriant forest. Winding in a succession of long reaches, the river
presents a series of lovely lake landscapes. The stream, one thousand
to fifteen hundred yards wide, flows placid and unbroken, save by the
gambols of round-headed dolphins. As, preceded by long lines of these
creatures, we steamed slowly along, each successive reach seemed barred
by wooded cliffs. Reminiscences of the lake scenery of the old country
were vividly awakened as we passed from one apparently land-locked
scene of beauty to another. The high irregular hills were clothed with
forest trees almost hidden by brilliant orchids and gigantic pendant
creepers. Palms of various kinds feathered the water’s edge. Here and
there fishing-villages peeped out, and everywhere graceful pagodas
and priests’ houses gleamed amid the foliage. Parroquets darted and
hornbills winged their heavy flight across the stream, while chattering
troops of long-tailed black monkeys escorted the unusual visitors along
the banks.

The chief object of interest is the little rocky island of Theehadaw,
which boasts the only stone pagoda in Burma, and is resorted to by
numbers of pilgrims at the great Buddhist festival in March. The
pagoda is of no great size, but is substantially built of greyish
sandstone admirably cut and laid in mortar. The building rises from
a quadrangular base, with a chamber facing the east and closed with
massive doors. The three other faces have false doors, and the sides
of all, as well as the angles, are adorned with quasi-Doric pilasters.
Our attention, like that of most pilgrims, was chiefly given to the
famous tame fish. Having supplied ourselves with rice and plantains,
the boatmen, called “Tit-tit-tit.” Soon the fish appeared, about fifty
yards off, and after repeated cries, they were alongside, greedily
devouring the offering of food. In their eagerness they showed their
uncouth heads and great part of their backs, to which patches of gold
leaf, laid on by recent devotees, still adhered. So tame were they that
they suffered themselves to be stroked, and seemed to relish having
their long feelers pulled. One fellow to whom a plantain skin was
thrown indignantly rejected it, and dived in disgust.

For three miles above and three below the island fishing is prohibited
by royal order, and the priests, who feed them daily, assured us that
the fish never stray beyond the boundaries of their sanctuary. An offer
of fifty rupees failed to secure a single specimen, but it may be
here told that on another occasion, under cover of night, and without
Burmese observation, one was hooked, and, though not easily, landed,
photographed, and duly preserved. Two miles above the island we stopped
at Thingadaw to coal. This is a depot for the produce of the coal
mines, which having been accidentally discovered by some hunters were
being worked by the king.

We set out to visit a newly opened mine, said to be two miles distant,
but failed to find it after a walk of two hours over a broken
undulating country covered with dense tree and bamboo jungle. The
soil is poor and sandy, save in hollows, which afford good grazing
to ponies and cattle. Fossilised wood abounds all over the surface,
and soft white and reddish sandstones crop out, so soft that the cart
wheels cut them into deep ruts. In these places the surface presented a
remarkable appearance, being covered with symmetrical pillars of soft
reddish sand, two inches high, and capped by a hard ashen-grey top of
the consistence of stone, and as large as a penny piece. The little
pillars in many places had crumbled away, and the soil was strewed
with the little caps, giving it the appearance of an ash heap. In a
later visit to the coal district, made from Kabyuet, a little south of
Theehadaw, we had the assistance of the headman of the mines, who was
most anxious to show us everything and secure a good report to the king.

At the first mine, called Lek-ope-bin, five miles from the river, the
coal-bed, six feet thick, crops out in a hollow, and dips south-west
at an angle of thirty-five degrees. A little to the north-east is the
Ket-zu-bin mine, said to yield the best coal. During our visit a few
men were quarrying the coal with common wood axes and wooden-handled
chisels, so that they could only win a small quantity of broken coal.
Under proper management these mines could give an abundant supply of
useful fuel. We learned that the sand of an adjacent stream is washed
for gold, and a single worker can make 303 _yuey_ = 3_s._ per diem.

The black sand of the Pon-nah, a stream falling into the Irawady, is
also washed for gold, which it is said to yield in large quantities at
a place two days’ journey up the stream.

On the 17th of January, we reached the northern entrance of the defile,
marked by two prominent headlands--the western one crowned by the
pagoda of Malé, or Man-lé, formerly Muang-lé, and the eastern by those
of the old Shan town of Tsampenago, above which none but Chinese could
formerly trade.[11]

Malé contains about three hundred houses, and is the customs port
for clearing boats bound from Bhamô to Mandalay, and the centre of a
considerable trade in bamboo mats, sesamum oil, and jaggery. From it we
beheld rising to the eastward the fine peaked mountains of Shuay-toung,
about six thousand feet high, on which snow is said to lie in the

Above Malé the river widens to a great breadth, with numerous islands,
as far as Khyan-Nhyat. Thence it contracts to an unbroken stream about
one hundred yards wide, flowing for twenty-two miles between high, well
wooded banks.

Having halted at Tsinuhat, a little village to the south of a long
promontory, on which are the ruins of Tagoung and Old Pagan, we made
a short excursion to the sites of these ancient capitals. According
to the Burmese chronicles, Tagoung was founded by Abhi-rája--of the
Shakya kings of Kappilawot--who fled before the invasion of his
country by the king of Kauthala or Oudh. After the death of Abhi-rája
the succession was disputed by his two sons. They agreed that each
should endeavour to construct a large building in one night, and that
the crown should belong to him whose building should be found completed
by the morning. As usual in legends, the younger son outwitted the
elder. He artfully set up a framework of bamboos and planks, covered
with cloth and whitewashed over, so as to present the semblance of a
finished building. The elder brother, believing himself to have been
vanquished by the aid of nats or demons, migrated to Pegu, and finally
settled in the city of Arracan (Diniawadee).

The younger son assumed the throne at Tagoung, and was succeeded by
thirty-three kings. An inroad of Tartars and Chinese, said to have
come from Kandahar,[12] destroyed the city and expelled the last of
the dynasty, who had married Nagazein, whose name indicates one of
the mythical serpent race. This event may be referred to the century
preceding the Christian era, and, according to the late Dr. Mason, must
have occurred after the Tartar conquest of Bactria.[13]

After the death of the Tagoung king, one portion of his people migrated
eastwards and founded the Shan states. Another, under the widowed
queen Nagazein, settled on the river Malé. After the advent of Gaudama
and the second overthrow of the cities of the Shakya kings, one of
their race, named Daza-Yázá, migrated to Malé, and, having there found
and married Nagazein, founded Upper or Old Pagan. A dense forest of
magnificent timber and thousands of seedling eng trees surrounds and
covers the sites and ruins of the ancient cities, of which nothing
now remains but low lines and shapeless masses of brickwork. Near
them stand pagodas of later date, still in tolerable preservation. Of
the most ancient within the bounds of Old Pagan, only a single wall
remained, behind a seated Buddha eight feet high. From the former we
obtained small metal images of Buddha, and from the pagoda in Old Pagan
bricks bearing in relief an image of Gaudama as the preceding Buddha.
One of these was exactly the same as that described by Captain Hannay.
Each bears an inscription in the old Devanagari character, beginning,
“Ye Dhammá.”

The ancient name of Tagoung is now borne by a little fishing-village
of forty houses. At the time of our passage the villagers were located
in temporary huts on a long sandbank, and busily engaged in preparing
ngapé or mashed salt-fish. The fishing stakes were fixed athwart a
deep narrow channel separating the sandbank from the village. Such
fishing-stations are numerous all along the river. Every morning
large quantities of fish are taken, and sold by weight to the makers
of ngapé. The fish, when cleaned, are packed between layers of salt
and trodden down by the feet in long baskets lined with the leaves of
the eng tree. While this narrative was being prepared for the press,
a suggestion was made in the columns of a most able weekly paper
that in the event of difficulties with Burma the Viceroy of India
should prohibit the exportation from British Burma of ngapé, “which
must be imported from the seaboard.” Undoubtedly there is a large
exportation from our territories, but the fish composing that curious
Burmese condiment, which, as Yule says, resembles “decayed shrimp
paste,” are caught in the Irawady. The upper river teems with fish;
fourteen species[14] were purchased by us at Tagoung, and the numerous
fishing-villages could probably render the capital independent of the
supply from British Burma.

The Shuay-mein-toung hills, on the right or western bank, opposite
Tagoung, are very high, and wooded to their summits, with white pagodas
peeping out amidst the dense foliage. A few miles to the north they
recede from the river, where, on the eastern bank, the isolated range
of the Tagoung-toung-daw, about twenty miles long and one thousand
feet high, runs almost parallel to the river, in its intervening
valley six miles wide. The Irawady is here studded with large islands,
covered with long grass and forest trees; during the rains they are
submerged, and become very dangerous to descending boats. A serpentine
course, following a broad deep channel to the east of the large island
of Chowkyoung, brought us to the town of Thigyain on the right bank,
opposite to the village of Myadoung on the left. This latter gives its
name to the district south of Bhamô. Here we were startled by the news
that the Woon of Bhamô, to whom we were accredited, had been killed
during a riot at Momeit, about thirty-six miles south-east of Myadoung.
The Woon had proceeded thither with a force of three hundred men to
collect taxes, when the Shans and Kkahyens broke out into revolt and
surrounded the royal troops, many of whom, with their leader, had been
killed. It was impossible not to feel a presentiment that this untoward
event would prove a source of delay, by compelling us to deal with
subordinates who would be timid, even if well disposed to assist. We
passed, hidden by an island, the mouth of the Shuaylee, three miles
above Myadoung, and halted at Katha, on the right bank, the largest
place met with since Shienpagah. It is a long town, containing at
least two hundred well-built timber houses, disposed in two parallel
streets, and surrounded by bamboo palisades with three gates. It is
the head-quarters of the woon of a considerable district, inhabited
by Shan-Burmese. Long hollows of rich alluvium cultivated for rice,
and closed in by undulating land covered with valuable forest trees,
including teak, separate the town from the western hills. Some cotton
is grown and tobacco largely raised on the islands and sandbanks. At
the time of our visit, a number of Shan merchants had arrived with
salted tea-leaves and other commodities. A few Yunnan Chinese, who had
probably come down the Shuaylee, were also in the town. The people
seemed well-clad and well-to-do, and the women were busily employed
in weaving and preparing coloured cotton yarns for the manufacture of
putzos and tameins.

A dense morning fog delayed our departure from Katha, and the whole
population of the town swarmed on board the steamer. After satisfying
their curiosity with the novelties of machinery, &c., we bethought
ourselves of amusing them with a magnetic battery. At first all held
back, but a few more venturous spirits leading the way, the operators
were speedily besieged by eager candidates for a shock. The grimaces
of each patient produced shouts of laughter. The good-humoured Shans
discovered or fancied that the shock was good for would-be parents;
some coaxed their timid wives to the front, while the matrons brought
up their pretty young daughters to obtain a share of the benefits
going. Above Katha the river is broken up by large islands into
tortuous, deep, and narrow channels. Large flocks of geese kept passing
us for nearly an hour, and the sandbanks and shores of the islands
were covered with varieties of wild ducks. As evening closed in, at
Shuaygoo-myo, immense flocks of _Herodias garzetta_, or the little
egret, were seen roosting in the tall grass and on the high trees,
which seemed illuminated by their white forms.

In this neighbourhood we saw several villages deserted for fear of the
Kakhyens, who had occupied some of the abandoned houses.

Two of our party set out to visit and make their first acquaintance
with those wild highlanders, who reminded them of the East Karens; they
were civil, but declined an invitation to the steamer, pleading that
they must rejoin their chief, but really fearing reprisals from the
Burmese. Of their kidnapping habits, several proofs were given, one
being in the person of a boy of Chinese extraction, who had been sold
by them to the village headman for twenty-five rupees. At our departure
in the morning, young women and boys raced along the river-side,
keeping up with us, to secure protection from the hillmen on the way
to their villages. We were also informed that the priests’ pupils who
collected food from village to village were obliged to creep along
under the high banks to escape the kidnappers. Subsequent experience
has shown that the villagers on the eastern shore, as far as Bhamô, are
in the habit of sleeping in boats moored in the river; only thus can
they be secure from the nocturnal raids of their dangerous neighbours.

Leaving Shuaygoo-myo, we passed the large island of Shuaybaw, with its
thousand pagodas, their bright golden htees strikingly contrasting with
the rich green massive foliage, above which they rose. The great pagoda
is about sixty feet high, enclosed on two sides by a richly carved
zayat of teak with an elaborately decorated roof, and a cornice of
small niches, containing seated marble Buddhas. Two broad paved ways,
one known as the Shuaygoo-myo and the other as the Bhamô entrance,
approach the pagoda, which is three quarters of a mile distant from
the river. Numerous zayats cluster round the central shrine, piled to
the ceiling with Buddhistic figures in metal, wood, and white marble,
offered by the worshippers who yearly throng this holy place sanctified
by the footprint of Gaudama.

Three miles above the island is the entrance to the second defile,
where the Irawady flows through a magnificent gorge piercing a range
of hills at right angles. For five miles the deep dark green current,
narrowed to three hundred yards, but deepening to one hundred and
eighty feet and more, is overhung by gigantic precipices. Their summits
are mostly covered with scanty stunted trees, but some rise bare, with
splintery peaks, and red, rocky escarpments; lower down their bold
sides are mantled in dark green forest, picked out here and there with
the fresher green of festooned clumps of bamboos, palms, and luxuriant
musæ. Little fishing-villages enclosed in bamboo palisades lie snugly
in the hollows. Entering the defile, we rounded a many-peaked hill on
the left bank, which rose precipitously four hundred feet, its outline
broken by huge black rocks standing out against the blue sky. The
little white pagoda of Yethaycoo, in front of a cave, and dominating
a grey limestone precipice one hundred and fifty feet in height,
looked across the gorge to a phoongyee’s house perched on high, and
accessible only by bamboo ladders. The most striking feature was the
great limestone precipice which rose like a gigantic wall eight hundred
feet from the water’s edge. This is the Deva-faced cliff celebrated in
the mythical history of Tsampenago. At its base the little pagoda of
Sessoungan was perched on a detached pyramid of limestone embowered
in fine trees. During the March festival many devotees scale the long
bamboo ladders which form the only access to the shrine. The Buddhist
love for preserving animal life is here manifested towards the large
monkeys (_Macacus assamensis_, M’Lelland), which, like the tame fish,
come when called, and devour the offerings of the devotees. Projecting
and depending from the precipice were huge masses of stalagmite
formation, seemingly liable to fall at any moment. Water was dripping
over them, and the natives say that during the rains the water pours
over the face of the precipice in a tremendous cascade, the roar of
which is deafening. It may well be so, for the echoes in the defile
are most wonderful, echoing and re-echoing in almost harmonious
reverberations. In the earliest morning the loud shouting of the
hoolock monkeys in the forest made the whole air resonant, as it was
taken up by another troop on the opposite bank, and echoed along the
hills and from cliff to cliff in a constant wave of sound, curiously
blended with which rang the shrill crowing of jungle cocks. As the
sun rose higher, a deep bass was supplied by the hum of innumerable
bees, whose pendant nests thickly studded the rocky projections of
the precipice. At the next turn of the river another pagoda, with a
handsome many-roofed zayat by its side, high on the western hills,
marked the northern entrance of the defile, and we soon passed the
ancient mart of Kaungtoung, celebrated for the repulse of the Chinese
invading army in 1769, and the treaty which thenceforward secured peace
and commerce between Burma and China. Subsequently it became a rival of
Bhamô as an emporium of Chinese trade by the valley of the Shuaylee and
the Muangmow route. The river now spread itself into a broad stream,
broken up by islands and sandbanks, but in some places not less than
a mile and half wide between the main banks. In front of the village
of Sawady a long stretch of sand was occupied by a large encampment of
Shan, Chinese, and other traders, a large fleet of boats lying ready to
convey the goods down the river.


Here we sighted Bhamô in the distance, situated on an elevated bank
overlooking the river, the htees of its few pagodas glistening brightly
in the setting sun. To the right the high range of the Kakhyen hills
was seen stretching away in an unbroken line to the east-north-east,
and on the left a low range of undulating tree-clad hills bent round to
join the western heights of the defile.

The almost level sweep of country, about twenty-five miles broad
between these limits, was closed in, about ten miles to the north, by
another low range, marking the upper _khyoukdwen_, or first defile, of
the Irawady.

[1] Pronounced “Bhamaw.”

[2] ‘Report on Eastern Frontier of British India,’ 1835.

[3] _Vide_ ‘Selection of Papers on the Hill Tracts between Assam and
Burmah,’ Calcutta, 1873.

[4] The Chamber of Commerce, under the able president, Mr. M’Call,
had been most active in urging the despatch of the mission, and had
subscribed £3000 for all expenses of their representatives, and for the
purchase of specimens of manufactures.

[5] The _putzo_ is a long narrow silken cloth of a chequered pattern,
which a Burman winds round him to form a suit of clothes. The _tamein_
is the feminine equivalent, partly of cloth, partly of silk, with a
zigzag pattern, the silken portions forming the skirt, which, according
to ancient custom, exposes one leg almost completely in walking.

[6] These Brahmins act as royal astrologers, who are consulted on all
great occasions. The Buddhist priests took no part in the ceremonial.

[7] It appears to be made from the leaves of _Elæodendron persicum_,

[8] _Kalas_, Burmese word for “foreigners.”

[9] See Appendix I.

[10] At this time about one million viss of salt were annually exported
up the river from Shienpagah, finding its way chiefly to Bhamô and to
Tsitkaw, for the supply of the Kakhyens and Shans. Lately, however,
English salt is beginning to take its place, and on my last voyage
up the Irawady, one flat from Mandalay carried nothing but salt. In
order to proceed to Tsitkaw, it is transshipped at Bhamô into small
boats, which carry only five thousand viss each, as the Tapeng is a
rapid river, and rather shallow during the dry weather. On salt from
Shienpagah, a duty is levied at Malé, Yuathét, and Bhamô, in addition
to a boat tax, and when it proceeds up the Tapeng, an additional impost
has to be paid at Tsitkaw, and a boat tax at Haylone and Tsitgna. (A
_viss_ = about 3 lbs.)

[11] Hannay, ‘Selection of Papers,’ Calcutta, 1873.

[12] In the ecclesiastical translation of the classical localities of
Indian Buddhism to Indo-China, which is current in Burma, Yunnan is
represented by Gandhara or Kandahár. Yule’s ‘Marco Polo,’ ii. p. 59,
edition of 1874.

[13] Colonel Yule remarks that “Tartars on the Indian frontier in those
centuries are surely to be classed with the Frenchmen whom Brennus led
to Rome” (‘Marco Polo,’ i. p. 12).

[14] _Wallago attu_, Bloch and Schn.; _Callichrous bimaculatus_,
M’Lelland; _Macrones cavasius_, H. B.; _Macrones corsula_, H. B.;
_Labeo calbasu_, H. B.; _Labeo churchius_, H. B.; _Cirrhina mrigala_,
H. B.; _Barbus sarana_, H. B.; _Barbus apogon_, C. and V.; _Carassius
auratus_, Linn.; _Catla buchanani_, C. and V.; _Rhotee cotio_, H. B.;
_Rhotee microlepis_, Blyth; _Notopterus kapirat_, Bonn.



 Arrival at Bhamô--Our quarters--The town--The Woon’s house--The
 Shan-Burmese--Kakhyen man-stealing--The environs--Old
 Tsampenago--Legendary history--The Shuaykeenah pagodas--The Molay
 river--The first defile--Delays and intrigues--Sala--The new Woon--Our
 departure--Tsitkaw--Mountain muleteers--The Manloung lake--The
 phoongyee’s farewell.

We found some difficulty in steering the long steamer through the
channels, but anchored about 5 P.M. on the 22nd of January off the
river front of Bhamô, in a very deep and broad channel. Our arrival
attracted crowds, but the whistle and rush of steam drove many into a
precipitate retreat. We had now reached our true point of departure.
Whatever had been the uncertainties of the untried navigation of the
river, the real dangers and difficulties of the attempt to penetrate
Western China were now to begin. We bore the proclamation of the king
commanding all Burmese subjects to aid us. But there was no governor
of Bhamô to execute the royal orders, and the secret intentions or
inclinations of the Burmese were yet to be tested. The difficulties
of the unknown road over the Kakhyen mountains, the hostility or
friendship of the mountaineers, and of the Shan population between them
and Yunnan, were equally untried. Moreover, though it had scarcely
been realised in all its bearings by our own British officials,
Yunnan was no longer a well ordered province of the Chinese empire;
it was disorganised by the successful rebellion of the Mahommedan
Chinese, called Panthays by the Burmese, who had established a partial
sovereignty, extending from Momien to Tali-fu. The frontier trade had
been materially interrupted, partly by the desolation caused by the
internecine warfare, and partly by the depredations of imperial Chinese
partisans. Of these, the most dreaded leader was a Burman Chinese,
known as Li-sieh-tai, a faithful officer of the old _régime_, who had
established himself on the borders of Yunnan, and waged a guerilla
war against the Panthays and their friends. His name is Li, and his
so-called small name is Chun-kwo, while from his mother having been a
Burmese, he is also known as Li-haon-mien, or Li the Burman. As having
been raised to the rank of a Sieh-tai in the Chinese army, he was
called Li-sieh-tai or Brigadier Li.[15]

In Bhamô itself there were a number of Chinese merchants, who were
unlikely to favour any project which threatened to admit the hated
barbarians to a share of their monopoly and profits. This may give
some idea of the state of things which we found on our arrival. Our
illusions as to a speedy or easy progress were soon dissipated, and
after a formal visit from the two tsitkays, or magistrates, ruling
the northern and southern divisions of the town, it became evident
that we must prepare for a long stay at Bhamô. The royal order to
provide transport had only been received by the Woon on the eve of
his departure on his fatal expedition to Momeit. Nothing, therefore,
had been done; nor could they venture to act until the new governor
arrived. The next best thing was to insist on their carrying into
effect the royal order to build a house for us, which had not been
done. This they reluctantly performed, and in a few days a bamboo
edifice was run up close to the Woon’s house, consisting of a central
hall, with three bedrooms on either side, and a verandah at each end of
the house. A small outhouse accommodated the servants and baggage, and
the guard was quartered in an adjacent zayat; a tent pitched in front
of the house served as a refectory. Till these quarters were prepared,
we remained on board the steamer, receiving crowds of visitors. In
the press a heavy log of timber fell on a little girl and fractured
her thigh; she was at once carried on board, and the broken limb duly
set. This incident speedily established the reputation of the foreign
doctor, and for the rest of our stay patients flocked in every day,
some coming from long distances, and blind and lame eagerly expecting
to be made young and whole. A great deal of blindness had resulted
from small-pox. Ophthalmia was also prevalent. A common affection was
a form of ulcerous inflammation, chiefly on the legs, amongst those
whose occupation led them into the jungles. This was so intractable
as to incline one to attribute it to poisonous thorns; but subsequent
personal experience proved that slight bruises and abrasions are most
apt in this country to become painful and tedious. During the whole
time no case of fever was treated, nor did any occur among our party
of one hundred men. This speaks volumes for the salubrity of the place
during the dry season. The highest temperature experienced was 80°
Fahrenheit, the average maximum being not more than 66° Fahrenheit,
while the nights were very pleasant, cooling down, if we may put it
so, to fifty or forty-five degrees. Fever is rather more prevalent
during the rains, when the Irawady rolls down a huge volume of water, a
mile and half broad, and the low lands are submerged twelve to fifteen

But this is a digression somewhat professional, and it is needful to
revert to the narrative and try to give the reader some notion of our
surroundings and proceedings until we got away fairly on the march.

Bhamô, known by the Chinese as Tsing-gai, and in Pali called Tsin-ting,
is a narrow town about one mile long, occupying a high prominence on
the left bank of the Irawady. Instead of walls, there is a stockade
about nine feet high, consisting of split trees driven side by side
into the ground and strengthened with crossbeams above and below.
This paling is further defended on the outside by a forest of bamboo
stakes fixed in the ground and projecting at an acute angle. However
formidable to barefooted natives, the stockade does not always exclude
tigers, which pay occasional visits, and during our stay killed a woman
as she sat with her companions. There are four gates, one at either end
and two on the eastern side, which are closed immediately after sunset;
a guard is stationed at the northern and southern gates, while several
look-out huts perched at intervals on the stockade are manned when
an attack of the Kakhyens is expected. The population numbers about
two thousand five hundred souls, occupying about five hundred houses,
which form three principal streets. There are many thickly wooded
by-paths, and bridges over a swamp in the centre of the town, leading
to scattered houses, dilapidated pagodas, zayats, and monasteries.

The street following the course of the bank, with high flights of steps
ascending from the river, has a row of houses on either side, with a
row of teak planks laid in the middle to afford dry footing during the
rains. The houses of the central portion are all small one-storied
cottages, built of sun-dried bricks, with tiled concave roofs with
deep projecting eaves. Through an open window the proprietor can be
seen calmly smoking behind a little counter, for this is the Chinese
quarter, and the colony of perhaps two hundred Celestials here offer
for sale Manchester goods, Chinese yarns, ball tea, opium, Yunnan
potatoes, lead, and vermilion, &c. They also regulate the cotton
market, and the traffic in this product, which is brought both from
the south and the north, is carried on even during the rains. The head
Chinaman, who is responsible for order amongst his compatriots, is a
man of great influence. He and his fellow merchants, professing great
friendship, invited us to a grand feast and theatrical entertainment
given in the Chinese temple, or rather in the theatre which formed a
portion thereof. We entered through what was to us a novelty in this
country, a circular doorway, into a paved court. The theatrical portion
of the building was over the entrance to a second court, facing the
sanctuary, which is on a higher level. A covered terrace surrounded
the holy place on three sides, with recesses containing seated figures
nearly life size, with rubicund faces and formidable black beards and
moustaches. Each of these was carefully protected from dust by being
enshrined in a square box closed in front with gauze netting. Besides
the theatrical entertainment, which was interminable, we were regaled
with preserved fruits and confectionery, with tea and _samshu_, or rice
spirit, followed by numerous courses of pork, fowls, &c. The staple
of conversation was the dangers and impossibilities of getting through
to Yunnan; every argument they could think of to induce us to abandon
the idea of progress was then and afterwards employed. It can readily
be imagined that the Bhamô Chinese traders viewed with utter dismay
the prospect of Europeans sharing their trade; to their schemes of
hindrance we shall again recur.

The rest of the townspeople are exclusively Shan-Burmese, living in
small houses built of teak and bamboo, all detached and raised on
piles. The Woon’s house, on a low promontory running out into the swamp
behind the Chinese quarter, was a large tumbledown timber and bamboo
structure; but its double roof and high palisade covered with bamboo
mats marked the dignity of its occupier. A small garden overrun with
weeds contained the remains of a rockery and fish-pond, and a neglected
brass cannon, under a low thatched shed, guarded either side of the
gate; in a large adjacent space stood the court-house. All the public
buildings were then in a state of dilapidation and decay; this the
inhabitants attributed to Kakhyen raids, destructive fires, decay of
trade since the Panthay wars, and misrule. Evidence was not wanting in
the numerous neglected pagodas and timber bridges, and in the ruinous
and charred remains of what must have been handsome zayats, that Bhamô,
in palmier days, deserved the eulogiums passed on it by Hannay and
other travellers.

The Shan-Burmese seemed a peaceful, industrious class. In each house a
loom is found in the verandah, and the girls are taught to weave from
an early age. The women are always busy weaving silk or cotton putzos
and tameins, preparing yarns, husking rice, or feeding and tending
the buffaloes, besides doing their household duties. The men till
the fields, but are not so industrious as the softer sex. A few are
employed in smelting lead, and others work in gold, or smelt the silver
used as currency. To six tickals[17] of pure silver purchased from the
Kakhyens, one tickal eight annas of copper wire are added, and melted
with alloy of as much lead as brings the whole to ten tickals’ weight.
The operation is conducted in saucers of sun-dried clay bedded in paddy
husk, and covered over with charcoal. The bellows are vigorously plied,
and as soon as the mass is at a red heat, the charcoal is removed, and
a round flat brick button previously covered with a layer of moist clay
is placed on the amalgam, which forms a thick ring round the edge, to
which lead is freely added to make up the weight. As it cools, there
results a white disc of silver encircled by a brownish ring. The silver
is cleaned and dotted with cutch, and is then weighed and ready to be
cut up. Another industry is confined to the women, who make capital
chatties from a tenacious yellow clay, which overlies this portion of
the river valley, in some places forty feet thick; the earthenware is
coloured red with a ferruginous substance found in nodules embedded in
the clay.

From the same clay, a number of Shan-Chinese from Hotha and Latha make
sun-dried bricks outside the town, and a colony of the same people
sojourn every winter at Bhamô, making _dahs_, or long knives, which
are in great demand. A number of Kakhyens are often to be seen near
the town, bringing rice, opium, silver, and pigs for sale. Their chief
object is to procure salt, for which necessary they are dependent
on Burma. They are not allowed to encamp within the town, but are
compelled to shelter themselves outside the gates, in miserable
wigwams. The Burmese assigned as a reason for their exclusion their
dread of the Kakhyen propensity for kidnapping children and even men,
and also because a small party might be the precursors of a raid.[18]
A few days after our arrival, four children who had been stolen were
recovered. One of them was brought by her mother, to show the large
round holes bored in the back of the ears as a sign of servitude. The
other three were little fat Chinese children, and adopted by the head
tsitkay. A curious illustration of their habits of man-stealing was
also afforded us.

The Burmese interpreter found among the Kakhyens outside the town a
man who privately told him that he was a _kala_, or foreigner, who
had been ten years in slavery; having heard of the arrival of the
kalas, he anxiously desired an interview. His features showed that he
was a native of India, and his history, given in a jumble of Burmese,
Kakhyen, and Hindostani, was as follows. Deen Mahomed, a petty trader
from Midnapore, had come to Burma with nine others ten years before.
They stayed a year at Tongoo, thence making their way up as far as
Bhamô. In this neighbourhood, during a halt for cooking, all had gone
to seek firewood save Deen Mahomed and another, who were in charge
of the goods. A party of Kakhyens suddenly rushed out of the bush,
and seized both men and goods. His comrade was taken away he knew not
where, and he was carried off as a slave. A log of wood was fastened to
one of his legs, and he was further secured by ropes fastened to this,
and braced over his shoulders. This he wore for two months, during
which time he was not made to work, but was guarded by a Kakhyen. He
was then released on his promise to remain. A few days after, the
village was plundered by a hostile tribe, but he and his master escaped
to another village, where he was bartered for a buffalo to another
man. His new master treated him well, but did not allow him to leave
the hills, and after two or three years gave him a Kakhyen wife. He
had almost forgotten his native language, but not his native country.
As soon as he heard of our arrival, he resolved to ask our aid in his
deliverance. We sent him among his fellow-countrymen of the guard, who
clothed him, and he was installed as a groom, and taken with us as
an interpreter. That his story was true, we had confirmation, as his
quondam master preferred a claim for compensation for his loss.

The country behind Bhamô runs up to the base of the mountain wall in
undulations so long as to present the general aspect of a level slope,
covered with eng trees and tall grass. For about a mile outside the
stockade, the surface is cut up by numerous deep jheels, evidently old
backwaters of the Irawady, which once flowed in a long curve, marked
by an old river bank, south-east of the town. The soil, especially in
the hollows, is very rich, giving two crops of rice annually. Numerous
legumes, yams, and melons, and a little cotton are grown, and the sandy
river islands yield capital tobacco.

The edible fruits procurable are jacks, tamarinds, lemons, citrons,
peaches, &c., and plantains are plentiful.

About a mile north of the town, the Tapeng river debouches into the
Irawady, after flowing twenty miles through the plain as a quiet
navigable stream, hardly recognisable as the furious torrent which
rushes through the neighbouring gorge. During the dry season, it is
one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards wide, and navigable only by
boats, which convey a constant traffic between the Irawady and Tsitkaw,
where the merchandise is transferred to and from mules. During the
rains, the Tapeng is at least five hundred yards wide, and navigable
for small river steamers up to this place.

Occupying the angle between the two rivers, the remains of an ancient
city are still discernible, though completely overgrown by magnificent
trees and thickets of bamboo and elephant grass. The broad wall,
composed of bricks and pebbles, can be traced from the river banks
at its northern and southern extremities, which are a mile apart. We
followed one section for three quarters of a mile, and found it in some
places thirty feet high from the bottom of the moat, which is still
traceable. The ruins, which, to judge from appearances, are coeval
with those of Tagoung, mark the site of the oldest Tsampenago. This
city, according to tradition, quoted by the old phoongyee at Bhamô,
flourished in the days of Gaudama. There is yet another ruined city of
the same name on the other side of the Tapeng, which does not present
the same appearance of great antiquity. Twelve miles to the east of
Bhamô are the ruins of another city named Kuttha, while Bhamô itself
has a predecessor in the village called Old Bhamô, near the foot of
the Kakhyen hills, the former importance of which is witnessed by its
ruined pagodas. Here too is that old brick building mentioned by Dr.
Bayfield as probably the remains of the old English factory erected in
the beginning of the seventeenth century. We have little but conjecture
to guide us as to the vicissitudes of these ancient cities of the
Shan kingdom of Pong. As elsewhere in Burma, each new founder of a
dynasty seems to have transferred the seat of power to a new site. But
the legend of the origin of Tsampenago, of which the history of Bhamô
is a continuation, may be more interesting than dryasdust details of

Tsampenago is the Burmese form of a Pali name, Champa-nagara, from
_nagam_, town, and Champa, the seat of a powerful kingdom, flourishing
in the era of Gaudama, the ruins of which are still visible near
Bhaugulpore, on the Ganges. Tsampenago, then, means the city of Champa.

The founder and first king of Tsampenago was Tsitta, and his queen’s
name was Wattee. They were childless, which was a cause of great
grief, and the queen prayed earnestly for an heir. A son was promised
to her by a dream, in which the king of the Devas presented her with
a valuable gem. Soon after this, the king’s brother Kuttha rebelled,
and attacked the city with a great army. The king and queen fled for
their lives to Wela, a mountain three thousand feet high, a day’s
journey north of Tsampenago. They were pursued, but the queen escaped
and was preserved by the nats, on the mountain, where her son was
born and named Welatha. The king was taken prisoner and confined in
chains. When Welatha was six years old, he saw his mother in tears,
and by questioning her learned that he was a prince, and his father
a captive. When he was seven, his mother yielded to his importunity,
and sent him, with her royal ornaments, to visit his father. On
approaching Tsampenago, he met his father being led out to execution.
The brave boy stopped the procession, and revealed himself, offering
to die instead of his father. Kuttha ordered him to be thrown into
the Irawady. But the river rose in tremendous waves, the earth shook,
and the executioners could not, for terror, obey the royal order.
This being reported to Kuttha, he ordered that the prince should be
trodden to death by wild elephants, but the beasts could not be goaded
to attack him. A deep pit was dug and filled with burning fuel, into
which the prince was cast, but the flames came on him like cool water,
and the burning fagots became lilies. When Kuttha heard this, in his
fury he had the young prince taken down to the Deva-faced mountain
(second defile), and cast from the great precipice into the river, but
he was caught up by a naga, and carried away to the naga country. The
earth quaked, many thunderbolts fell, the Irawady rolled up its waves,
and broke down its banks. Kuttha was seized with terror, and as he
fled forth of the city gate, the earth opened and swallowed him up.
Thereupon, the nagas brought back the young prince and his father, and
they reigned jointly. Their first care was to seek for the queen, but
on approaching the mountain of Wela, the flowers were few, and their
fragrance gone, and the queen was found dead. History says nothing of
their after reign, but records that in the 218th year of the Buddhist
sacred era, in obedience to the command of the universal monarch, four
pagodas were built in the kingdom of Tsampenago--the Shuaykeenah,
the Bhamô Shuay-za-tee; Koung-ting, and two others. The next item of
history states that in the year 400 of the era (probably the vulgar
era of 638 A.D.) the succession of kings being destroyed, and the
glory of the former rulers having departed, the tsawbwa Tholyen did
not dare to live in the city; so he founded a new one at the village
of Manmau, and made it his capital. Now _man_ is Shan for village, and
_mau_ for a pot; thus Bhamô, or Manmau, signifies Potters’ Village, a
name still justified by the pottery there manufactured. How Tsampenago
was destroyed, is not historically certain, but a tradition exists
among the Shans, that it was overthrown by an army of Singphos from
the north-west. After Tholyen, twenty-three tsawbwas are said to have
ruled in succession at Bhamô over a district comprising one hundred and
thirty-six villages. The succession was then broken, and the country
was ruled by Shan deputies. After this, tsawbwas were obtained from
Momeit, who ruled over Bhamô till Oo-Myat-bung and his family were
made slaves by the great Alompra about 1760. Ever since, the district
has been governed by myo-woons appointed by the king of Burma. The
first, Thoonain, settled the boundaries of the district, including only
eighty-eight villages, the eastern and north-eastern boundaries being
given as China.

The legend of Tsampenago records the erection of the Shuaykeenah
pagoda, the name of which at least is preserved to the present day
by the group of pagodas situated on an eminence north of Tsampenago.
These are still the holy places of the neighbourhood, and are thronged
with pilgrims at the March festival. The great gilded pagoda has been
re-edified by royal bounty and popular offerings, but others are from
time to time added by private votaries. Thus it was our good fortune to
witness the laying the foundation of a votive pagoda at Shuaykeenah.
A small square of ground, the exact size of the base of the intended
pagoda, was railed off by a fantastic bamboo fence, two feet high,
decorated with flowers and paper flags. A wooden pin, covered with
silver tinsel, and bearing a lighted yellow taper, was fixed in the
centre, and another about two feet from the south-eastern corner of the
level plot; round the first a quadrangular trench, and a deep hole by
the side of the other were dug and sprinkled with water. Eight bricks,
each the exact size of one side of the trench, were prepared. On four
the name of Gaudama was inscribed in black paint; on the others, a
leaf of gold was placed on the centre of one, silver on the second, a
square of green paint on the third, and red on the fourth, each having
a border of green. A round earthen vase containing gold, silver, and
precious stones, besides rice and sweetmeats, was closed with wax in
which a lighted taper was stuck, and deposited in the south-east hole,
by the builder of the pagoda, who repeated a long prayer, while the
earth was filled in and sprinkled with water. This was an offering to
the great earth serpent, in the direction of whose abode the south-east
corner pointed. It is an interesting relic of the snake worship once so
prevalent among the Shan race to the south, which, like nat worship,
has been incorporated in Buddhism. Another instance is afforded in
some of the Yunnan shrines, where the canopy over Buddha is supported
by many-headed snakes, as occurs in some Indian temples. In the next
part of the ceremony, the depositing of the bricks in the trench, the
Shan was assisted by his grandmother, wife, and daughter; he knelt
at the north, faced by his wife, his daughter on his right hand, and
the grandmother on the left. The silvered brick, with a lighted taper
on it, was handed to the old woman, who raised it over her head,
and, devoutly murmuring a long prayer, placed it in the trench; the
wife did the same with the red brick and its taper, and the daughter
followed with the green, while her father took the gold one. The
girl, in raising her brick, burst out laughing, amused, as we were
told, at having forgotten her prayers. The four bricks having been
properly deposited, the others were next laid in order, the sacred name
downwards, and a layer of cloth spread over all. Earth was then thrown
in and sprinkled with water, and the hole having been filled up, the
ceremony was over.

Four miles above Shuaykeenah and the mouth of the Tapeng, the Irawady
receives the waters of the Molay. It is a narrow stream, rising in the
Kakhyen hills, with a course of ninety-six miles, for thirty of which
it is navigable during the rains, and a small boat traffic exists,
chiefly for the conveyance of salt.

While our leader was engaged planning for our departure with the
officials, three of us made a hurried excursion to the first
_khyoukdwen_, or defile. This portion of the river commences a few
miles above Bhamô, and extends for twenty-five miles, nearly to Tsenbo.

Between these two points the river flows under high wooded banks.
At the lower entrance, the channel is one thousand yards broad, but
gradually narrows to five hundred, two hundred, and even seventy yards,
as the parallel ranges approach each other. As we ascended, the hills
rose higher and closed in, rising abruptly from the stream and throwing
out a succession of grand rocky headlands. We moored for the night off
a Phwon village standing on a cliff eighty feet high, just above the
first so-called rapids. The next day, after we had proceeded about
seven miles, we came to a reach in which the river flowed sluggishly
between two high conical hills, which seemed to present no outlet. The
quiet motion and deep olive black hue of the water suggested great


This reach extended about one mile and a half, with a breadth of two
hundred and fifty yards, closing in at the upper end, where the channel
is broken up by rocks jutting out boldly, and approaching each other
within eighty yards. A pagoda, apparently of great age, perched on a
small isolated rock, rising about forty-five feet from the stream,
seemed to indicate the limit of the rising of the waters, as it could
not have withstood the flood. This rocky reach stretches a mile in a
north-north-westerly direction, and terminates abruptly in an elbow,
from which another clear reach, overhung by precipitous but grassy
hills, extends east-north-east.

This bend of the river is one of the most dangerous parts, owing to
numerous insulated greenstone rocks which stretch across it, exposed
twenty feet and more in February. Owing to the sudden bend, the current
rushes between them with great violence, but we found no difficulty in
effecting a passage for our boats. Telling evidences were not wanting
in the high-water mark, twenty-five feet above the then level, and in
the shivered trunks of large trees and debris of branches heaped in
wild confusion among the rocks, that the body of water pouring through
the narrow gorge must in the rains be enormous and of terrific power.
The navigation, with the present obstructions unremoved, would be
impossible for river steamers, but engineering skill could speedily
render the water way practicable if desired for traffic. We had not
time to ascend to the northern entrance of the defile, where the river,
unconfined by the hills, is again a majestic stream half a mile in
width. We could only look, and long for an opportunity of exploring its
course upwards to the unknown regions whence it rolls down its mighty
flood. The problem of the Irawady’s source and course has yet to be
solved; but we had to return to Bhamô, expecting the solution of our
perplexities, as to how and when we should reach Yunnan.

Four weeks had now been spent by our leader in a fruitless attempt
to get the tsitkays to assist in making the necessary arrangements.
What between the novelty of their first introduction to enterprising
Englishmen, their dread of acting till the Woon arrived, and last,
though not least, their fear of offending the influential Chinese,
they could do nothing, nor give any information. As the arrival of
large Shan caravans and companies of trading Kakhyens proved, all
routes were not closed. The magistrates admitted a small trade existed
by the Tapeng and Ponline route; by this route it was decided that
we should go. It soon became known to our leader that the Chinese
merchants, failing to deter us from proceeding, had taken more active
measures. They had written to the Kakhyen tsawbwas, desiring them to
withhold assistance, and they further intrigued with the imperialist
officer Li-sieh-tai, who at this time threatened the road to Momien
and Tali-fu, entreating him to cut off the expedition _en route_. The
turning-point of our fortunes had now arrived. We could gain no exact
information as to the political relations of the Shans, and only knew
that the Panthay government extended to Momien, which was believed to
be the residence of Mahommedan chiefs of importance.

Major Sladen, with promptness and decision, resolved, unknown to all,
to outwit the Chinese. He despatched letters to the chiefs of Momien,
explaining the peaceful objects of the mission, and the approbation
given to it by the Burmese government under our treaty, and pointing
out the advantages of opening the direct trade. These letters, with
copies of the treaty and proclamation, were secretly sent off by three
Kakhyens from the southern hills, who had attached themselves to our

The next character claiming our attention was Sala, the Kakhyen chief
of Ponline, who came to Bhamô at the request of Sladen, after refusing
to comply with the order of the tsitkays. He visited us attired as
a mandarin of the blue button, and attended by six or eight armed
followers. He carried a gold umbrella, which he had received from the
king of Burma, with the title of _papada raza_, or mountain king. There
was nothing regal in his aspect or bearing. He was a tall, thin man,
with a contracted chest, long neck, very small and retreating forehead,
while his oval and repulsive visage was adorned with high cheek-bones,
oblique eyes, and a depression instead of a nose. During the interview,
when all the Burmese officials were present, he sat ill at ease,
with his eyes bent on the floor. We received him as an independent
chief, with the escort drawn up under arms in his honour. But little
information was procured, as the interpreter, a village tamone, could
not be persuaded to give correct versions of the chief’s short and
almost monosyllabic answers. So Sladen brought the interview to a
pleasant close by offering a friendly cup of _eau de vie_. This seemed
to suit the chief, and he and his retinue finished a bottle of brandy,
and asked for more. His parting words were, “Remember the brandy, and
send it to me quickly.”

The following day, at a private interview, the chief threw off his
former reserve, which he said had been forced on him, as he could not
afford to offend the Bhamô Chinese. It was his own wish to assist the
mission, but he stipulated for a small Burmese escort, to show that
we had the full support of the king. He engaged to assemble a hundred
mules at Tsitkaw, a village on the right bank of the Tapeng twenty-one
miles distant; thence he undertook to conduct us safely to Manwyne, the
first Chinese Shan town, and boasted himself as the greatest chief on
the route, and on good terms with all the tsawbwas.

The new Woon arrived on the 20th of February, but declined to land for
three days, as they were _dies nefasti_. In the meantime he sent word
that we might have boats to take the baggage to Tsitkaw, but advised
us to wait until he had fired his guns, and brought in the various
Kakhyen chiefs. The day after his landing, Sladen, with Sala, visited
him, and the Ponline chief asked for a Burmese guard, alleging as a
precedent that a guard had been sent up with the king’s cotton. The
Woon, however, declared it to be quite unnecessary and uncalled for,
and told the chief that the cases were quite different. The tsawbwa
then consented to take us on without the guard, but told the Woon that
he had received threatening letters from the Chinese. The Woon admitted
his knowledge of the Chinese opposition, and promised to admonish
the head Chinaman at Bhamô that he would be held responsible for our
safety. The morning after the Woon arrived, he proceeded in state to
the court-house, escorted by two hundred men. He wore the fantastic
dress of a Burmese prince, a short tight richly coloured coat covered
with gold tinsel, with two enormous wing-like epaulettes, and a tall
gilt hat like a fireman’s helmet, surmounted by a pagoda-like spire.
His appointment was read, and the guns fired, after an hour had been
spent in driving home the powder and cartridge of green plantain
leaf. Our baggage was despatched the next day, but two difficulties
remained. We had no Kakhyen interpreters, and the rupees, which were
said to be useless in the Shan country, had not been changed, for no
country silver was to be found in Bhamô, a mysterious and suggestive
fact. But these were not held sufficient to delay our departure,
which took place on the morning of the 26th of February. Our want
of a guide was removed by an accidental meeting in the street with
the head jailor, a good-natured Shan, whom Sladen induced to guide
us to Tsitkaw, promising to screen him from any displeasure of the
authorities. Although the distance is only twenty-one miles, the loss
of time caused by ferrying our party of one hundred men over the Tapeng
compelled us to halt at the village of Tahmeylon, where we put up in a
small monastery. Early the next morning we started, skirting the Tapeng
through tall grass, with occasional rice clearings. At the junction of
the Manloung river with the Tapeng, a number of ruined pagodas marked
the site of the second town of Tsampenago, built at a much later date
than that near Bhamô.

By noon we reached Tsitkaw, and were received inside the low stockade
by the Burmese officials and a miserable guard armed with rusty flint
muskets, who garrison this as a customs station. We were conducted
to a small barn-like zayat, which had been cleaned out for our use.
Inquisitive natives speedily sought to force their way in, and had
to be kept at bay by armed sentinels, though with caution. And we
were requested to have a guard under arms all night, to protect our
property against thieves, and perhaps ourselves against tigers, which
occasionally overleap the stockade. In the morning, the Kakhyen
_tsawbwas_, or chiefs, and _pawmines_, or headmen, of Ponline, Tahlone,
Ponsee, and Seray, through whose lands lay the route to Manwyne,
appeared to take charge of ourselves and baggage. As the Shan-Burmese
of Tsitkaw and other villages near the hills keep on good terms
with the highlanders, the chiefs showed no timidity of the Burmese
officials; they made themselves quite at home, and asked for brandy;
under its genial influence a formal assent was soon given to our
passage through their territories.

The first process was to collect all our baggage, that it might be
passed in review, and divided into small loads. Outside Tsitkaw, we had
passed an enclosure in which were about a hundred men, chiefly Shans,
with a few Kakhyens. These fellows had jeered at us in passing, and it
was by no means reassuring to learn that this unmannerly mob consisted
of the mule owners, as restive and untractable as their beasts. Each
man owned from one to a dozen mules, and looked after his own interests
without regard either to his employer’s or the rest of the caravan.
The consequent shouting, disputing, and almost fighting that ensued
as each helped himself to the packages that seemed desirable baffled
description. At last all the baggage was distributed in little heaps,
and each man marked off the number of mules required on a primitive
tally, formed from a piece of bamboo, which he broke across into a
corresponding number of joints, and put up carefully against the day of

The next morning witnessed another scene of confusion and quarrelling,
as the panniers or pack-saddles were brought in order to have the
loads adjusted. The packs are secured to cross-trees, which fit into
transverse pieces of wood, fixed in the saddles; and a band passed
in front of the mule’s shoulders keeps all firm in its place. When
the burdens had been arranged, it appeared that there were more mules
than loads, and the disappointed proprietors furiously disputed the
possession of their lots with their more fortunate competitors; hands
were repeatedly laid on the hilt of the dah, but all ended in bluster,
and finally the loads were arranged. When all seemed ready for the
morrow’s starting, the _choung-oke_, or bailiff of the river, appeared
on the scene, accompanied by several Kakhyens, and informed us that
March 1st, being the 9th of some Kakhyen month, was an altogether
ill-omened day to commence any undertaking. This Burmese official
further confidentially informed Sladen that there was a quarrel brewing
between the muleteers and the chiefs, which would break out before
long; but he was disconcerted by the prompt action of the leader, who
sent for the chiefs, and, assuring them of his confidence, said that
he would abide by their arrangements for the transport. To this they
replied that we were their brothers, and that they would be true to us
for ever. The enforced delay at this place enabled us to make a short
excursion to the Manloung lake, about one mile and a half distant.
I went all round it in a small canoe, which held three people with
difficulty. The western bank is high and wooded, but broken by two
channels, through which the Manloung stream issues, uniting below a
small island, on which stands a Shan village of the same name. Besides
this, there is another island, and a village named Moungpoo. The high
bank is continued on the north, beyond the lake, as a prominent ridge
covered with tall trees, extending in a bold sweep to the foot of the
hills; it appeared evidently to be an old river bank, and that the
lake marks what was once the course of the Tapeng. The Manloung stream
falls into a remarkable offshoot of the main river, which afterwards
rejoins the Tapeng by several channels. This stream is deep and rapid,
and supplies several irrigating water-wheels. The lake is two miles
long and a mile broad, and according to native accounts very deep. To
the east extended a succession of swamps, hidden under a luxuriant
growth of high grass; careful search discovered no springs or streams
as sources of supply, although doubtless the former exist, as there is
a constant outflowing of water. It is probably also a reservoir, filled
annually by the overflow of the Tapeng, which during the rainy season
frequently floods the level plain to a depth of two feet for some days
at a time, the flood suddenly rising and as suddenly subsiding.

Manloung contained about eighty houses, and the women at this time were
all busily engaged in weaving cloth from cotton procured from the
Kakhyens, who grow it on the hills. The village boasted of a large and
flourishing monastery, far superior to any to be seen at Bhamô, and
with a large number of resident pupils. The dormitory was exhibited
with pride by the chief phoongyee; the beds were neatly arranged
along one side of the room, each possessing a nice clean mattress and
coverlet and superior mosquito curtains.

Thence we returned to Tsitkaw, where the filthy disregard of decency
exhibited by the drunken highland chiefs, which we were obliged to
tolerate, made our enforced sojourn still more insupportable; and an
additional source of anxiety was furnished by the information, imparted
by Sala, that Moung Shuay Yah, our Chinese interpreter, was really in
collusion with the hostile Chinese.

Daylight on the 2nd of March saw us all on the _qui vive_ in
expectation of an early start, but the mule-men, at nine o’clock, had
not eaten their rice, and then came a demand for an advance of mule
hire; a previous request for salt to be distributed to the people of
villages _en route_ had been complied with, but no sooner had the
baskets containing it been brought in front of the house than the
men helped themselves at discretion, and no more was heard of it. An
hour was now spent in the distribution of five hundred rupees, which
were laid out on a mat, while the eagerness with which the recipients
gathered round and handled the silver spoke volumes as to their greed
for coin. One of the tsawbwas had been seen eagerly watching Sladen’s
private cash-chest, and asked in the most pressing manner to be allowed
to take charge of it, while another dogged the footsteps of Captain
Bowers’ servant, endeavouring to coax him into entrusting his master’s
fowling-piece to his care.

During the morning the phoongyee of an adjoining khyoung arrived to
say farewell. He had been a constant visitor, and the kind reception
given him, and the toleration of his curiosity, which showed itself by
wandering about and prying into everything, had quite won his heart. He
was far superior to the usual run of Shan phoongyees, who, according
to Burmese Buddhism, are lax and unorthodox in practice and doctrine.
He spent much of his time in missionary visits to the ruder villages,
whose inhabitants he hoped to convert to conformity with stricter
religious rules. By way of a parting gift he presented each of us with
some sweet scented powder and a few fragrant seeds or pellets, which he
declared to be a sovereign remedy for headache or fever, “contracted by
smelling culinary operations!” His advice to Sladen at parting was so
shrewd and characteristic as to deserve quoting. “We have met before in
a former existence, and it is by virtue of meritorious acts there done
that I am privileged to meet you again in the present life, and advise
you for your welfare. Wisdom and prudence are necessary in all worldly
undertakings; use then special care and circumspection in your present
expedition; your enemies are numerous and powerful. We shall all hail
the reopening of the overland trade with China. The prosperity of the
priesthood depends on the condition of the country and the people; what
is good for them is also good for religion.”

[15] A distinguished continental Chinese scholar has informed me that
this title is a civil one, denoting commissioner. In the absence of the
Chinese characters, the exact title of this functionary cannot be given.

[16] The meteorological registers kept at the British Residency show
the annual rainfall at Bhamô to be 65 inches.

[17] One _tickal_ = rather more than half an ounce troy.

[18] Since the date of this visit, rest-houses have been erected for
the Kakhyens by the Burmese authorities, and also by the British
Resident; and some of these natives are always to be found temporarily
occupying them.

[19] For this the writer is indebted to the learning and industry of the
late Rev. Dr. Mason.

[20] Bayfield found no bottom at twenty-five fathoms.



 Departure from Tsitkaw--Our cavalcade--The hills--A false
 alarm--Talone--First night in the hills--The tsawbwa-gadaw--Ponline
 village--A death dance--The divination--A meetway--Nampoung gorge--A
 dangerous road--Lakong bivouac--Arrival at Ponsee--A Kakhyen coquette.

Almost at the last moment before setting out, while lists of the
muleteers were being taken, in order to ascertain their respective
chiefs, so as to know who should be held responsible, in case of
default or robbery, the tsawbwas of Ponsee and Talone discovered
that Sala, when at Bhamô, had received a musket as a present. Their
informant was the treacherous Moung Shuay Yah, who instigated them
to stand on their dignity and demand a similar gift. Compliance was
impossible, so they refused their services, and prowled about in
sneaking silence, ostentatiously taking lists of ourselves and of our
baggage. By two o’clock a start was fairly effected, although our
arrangements were by no means as complete as they might have been;
but as it was settled that we should only proceed as far as Ponline
village, about twelve miles distant, it was better to start than risk
further delay. There was something outrageously wild in the irregular
confusion of our exodus from Tsitkaw, which, though perhaps orderly
according to Kakhyen ideas, presented no trace of system to our
uninformed minds. The three Kakhyen chiefs led the way, followed by the
unwieldy cash-chest, borne by eight men, and guarded by four sepoys;
then came the long straggling caravan of a hundred and twenty mules,
travelling just as it suited the peculiarities of each beast and its
driver. Our police escort marched steadily on, headed by the jemadar,
at whose side appeared his wife, looking like a true _vivandière_,
her slim figure becomingly attired in a blue silk padded jacket, and
trousers tucked up to the knee, with a red silk handkerchief for
head-dress; with a Burmese dah and bag slung over her shoulders, and
her shoes tied behind her back, she was evidently prepared for all
dangers and fatigues.

We mounted our ponies and rode forward over the level plain before
us; stretching north-east and south-west, rose the long undulating
outline of the Kakhyen mountains, broken here and there by huge domes
or pointed peaks, rising to five and six thousand feet. On our right
flowed the Tapeng, gradually calming its waters into a placid stream,
after having emerged as a foaming torrent from the mountain barrier.
At the village of Hentha the route diverged from the river, and half
a mile further we passed the long, straggling, but populous village
of Old Bhamô, embosomed in a dense grove of bamboos and forest trees.
Outside the village stood a solitary and almost ruined pagoda, the
advanced outpost, on this side the river, of Burmese Buddhism, for none
of these religious edifices are found among the Kakhyen hills.

Four miles’ ride through a succession of level swampy patches of paddy
clearings, and grassy fields intersected by deep nullahs, brought us to
the village of Tsihet, on slightly undulating ground. At this point the
route turned almost at right angles, to ascend the hills, and here the
three tsawbwas were seated in deep and excited consultation, apparently
waiting for us. We had outstripped most of the convoy, and as Sladen
rode up, Sala exclaimed, pointing to the hill-path, “All right, go on,
and don’t be afraid.” His words were less intelligible than those of
the Talone tsawbwa, who asked in an injured tone, “When are you going
to give me that gun?”

We ascended about five hundred feet, over a series of rounded hills,
distinct from the main range, but connected with it by spurs, up the
slope of one of which we were slowly climbing, when a shot was heard
in front. Sladen, the superior powers of whose pony had taken him
ahead, waited until the others joined him, and another shot and then
four reports together were heard, but no bullet whizzed near. A spear
was picked up in the path, which a Burmese syce alleged to have been
thrown from the jungle at the passing travellers; but his evidence was

We all proceeded as if nothing had happened, but our Kakhyens, some
fifty of whom were ahead, gathered round, flourishing their dahs and
yelling like fiends, to assure us of their determination to protect us.
A little further on we came upon two Kakhyens of our party, standing
in an open by the roadside, one armed with a cross-bow and poisoned
arrows, and the other with a flint musket. By signs they tried to
convey to us that some evil-disposed mountaineers had hidden themselves
at this spot, and had fired on them, but that on their returning the
fire, the enemy had “bolted” down the hillside. We had our own opinion
that the supposed attack was an ingenious ruse to try our mettle, and
that most of the shots were fired by our half intoxicated muleteers,
who evinced no sort of fear or misgiving. One of them, mounted on a
mule, and armed with a long dah and matchlock, proved himself more
dangerous as a friend than all the supposed enemies. He kept rushing
backwards and forwards on a path scarcely wide enough in some places
for a single pony; now he flourished his long sword in a reckless
manner, and then fired his matchlock over the head of Sladen, who
was in front, reloading and firing over his shoulder with a rapidity
wonderful in a man so drunk as to be beyond reason. Judicious praises
of his dexterity and a promise to refill his powder-horn at the
next village were necessary to prevent him from becoming suddenly
quarrelsome and dangerous.

From the summit of the spur fifteen hundred feet high, we descended
by a rough, slippery path, the bed of a dried-up watercourse, to a
level glen of rich alluvial land, and thence climbed another spur to a
height of two thousand feet, whence a slight descent brought us to a
long ridge, on which were situated the villages of Talone and Ponline.
Approaching the first-named, we were requested to dismount, as Kakhyen
etiquette does not admit of riding past a village. We led our ponies
through a grassy glade, surrounded by high trees, and sacred to the
nats. At one side stood a row of bamboo posts, varying in height from
six to twenty feet, split at the top into four pieces, supporting small
shelves to serve as altars for the offerings of cooked rice, fowls,
and sheroo, wherewith the demons are propitiated. Before each altar
were placed large bundles of grass, and a few old men were kneeling,
muttering a low chant.

Leaving Talone on an eminence to our left, we remounted and descended
a little distance through deep ravines, in secondary spurs, and, after
a short ascent, traversed a tolerably level pathway, and another short
rise brought us to our halting-place, the village of Ponline, lying
two thousand three hundred feet above the sea. The rocks exposed were
all metamorphic, consisting chiefly of a grey gneiss or red granite,
and a hornblendic mica schist, huge rounded boulders of which latter
were strewn on the hillsides. The hills were covered with a dense tree
forest, largely intermixed with bamboos. It was already dusk when we
arrived, but the moon shone brightly, and a pawmine conducted us to a
house, swept and made ready for us. Like all Kakhyen houses, it was an
oblong bamboo structure, with closely matted sides, raised on piles
three feet from the ground. The roof thatched with grass sloped to
within four feet from the ground; the eaves, propped by bamboo posts,
formed a portico, used as a stable at night for ponies, pigs, and
fowls, and as a general lounge by day. Notched logs served as stairs
to ascend to the doorway in the gable end. On one side of the interior
was a common hall, running the whole length of the building. On the
other was a series of small rooms, divided from each other by bamboo
partitions; a second doorway or opening at the further end was, as we
afterwards learned, reserved for the use of members of the family,
or household, none others being allowed to enter thereby, on pain of
offence to the household nats. Chimneys and windows there were none,
and the walls and roofs were blackened with smoke. In the common hall
and in each room there was an open hearth sunk a little below the
flooring, the closely laid bamboo work being covered with a layer of
hard-pressed earth.

Only a portion of the baggage mules had arrived, and the bedding of
several members of the party was among the missing property. Rumours
were also afloat that robbers had succeeded in driving off eight
mules, if not more, and altogether the first night in Kakhyen land
seemed to some of the party inauspicious; but we made the best of it,
and, having taken possession of our strange quarters, were presently
joined by Williams, who had been detained taking the altitudes. He
contributed the news that after leaving Talone a shot had been fired at
Sala, who was in front of him. We strolled out in the pleasant night
air, and admired an animated group of fair Kakhyens, busily pounding
rice by moonlight. The paddy was placed in a rude mortar, or rather a
cavity hollowed out in a log, and two girls stood opposite each other
wielding heavy poles, four feet long. These were plied alternately, the
heavy dull thud of the pestle forming a bass to the treble of a low
musical cry, emitted at each stroke by the fair operators, while their
bell girdles tinkled a pleasant accompaniment. These girdles marked
their rank, only the daughters of chiefs being allowed to wear these
musical ornaments.

An old woman beckoned Sladen to follow her, and conducted him to
a house, which proved to be that of Sala, who received him most
hospitably, making him share his carpet, while his guide, the tsawbwa’s
wife, and her family brought successive relays of bamboo buckets,
filled with _sheroo_, or Kakhyen beer.

At last, having divided what bedding there was, we settled ourselves
to sleep, leaving it for the morrow to confirm or dissipate the fears
excited by the non-arrival of guard, cash-chest, and baggage.

Our slumbers were, however, disturbed by loud shouts, repeated from
height to height, which seemed to be the “All’s well!” of native
guards, posted round the village to watch over our safety.

In the morning a large capon and a supply of beer arrived, as a present
from the chieftainess, and later on she herself with her daughters and
retinue came in state. She was a short matronly-looking woman, with
an intelligent expression of countenance and good features, but for
her high cheek-bones and slightly Chinese eyes. Her costume was of
course the perfection of highland full dress, and, though singular, by
no means unbecoming. The head-dress was the most striking part of it,
consisting of blue cloth, wound round and round in a sort of turban, so
as to form an inverted cone, towering at least eighteen inches above
her head. Her upper garment was a sleeveless black velvet jacket,
ornamented with a row of large embossed silver buttons running round
the neck and continued down the front; besides these, circular plates
of chased and enamelled silver, three inches in diameter, arranged
in rows down the front and back seams and around the skirt, made the
garment almost resemble a cuirass. The dress was completed by a single
kilt-like petticoat, composed of a dark blue cotton cloth, with a broad
red woollen border, wound round the hips, and reaching a little below
the knee. One end was tastefully worked with deep silken embroidery,
and carefully disposed, so as to hang gracefully on one side. A
profusion of fine ratan girdles round the waist supported the kilt and
filled up the void between it and the jacket; and, by way of stockings,
a close-fitting series of black ratan rings encircled her legs below
the knee. Her rank was marked by two large silver hoops round her
neck, and a necklace of short cylinders of some red clayey material,
intermixed with amber and ivory beads. These cumbrous ornaments are
permitted only to the wives and daughters of tsawbwas and pawmines.
Two silver bracelets on each arm, and long silver tubes worn in the
lobes of the ears, completed her splendour. Her little daughters,
besides the distinctive girdles of black beads, and silver bells, each
containing a small free pellet, which tinkled pleasantly to every
motion of the wearer, wore broad waist-belts ornamented with several
rows of cowrie shells. Our visitor brought us goose eggs and sheroo,
and apologised for not having more to offer, but promised to send us
every day something to eat. Her goodwill was rewarded by presents of
silk handkerchiefs and red cloth, and a gorgeous table-cloth, the
splendour of which and her joy, when Sladen presented it to her, left
her perfectly speechless.

[Illustration: KAKHYEN WOMEN.]

During the day the missing mules and baggage began to arrive,
the drivers having camped for the night at various places in the
neighbourhood, and early in the afternoon the guard marched in, but
without the cash-chest. The jemadar reported that he had remained
in charge of it at Talone, where he had been obliged to leave it,
together with the missing eight mules and their loads. The tsawbwa, who
with his people and the Chinese interpreter, Moung Shuay Yah, had spent
the night in drinking, refused to let either cash-chest or baggage
proceed. The guard had been unable to obtain any food till before
starting this morning, and one of the sepoys who had rashly indulged in
excessive draughts of water had been seized with sickness, and died in
two hours.

On the receipt of this news of the unaccountable conduct of the
Talone chief and Moung Shuay Yah, Sala despatched his own son with
positive orders for the instant release of the porters and drivers,
and pending their arrival, we sallied forth to view the village and
its surroundings. The houses were situated at short distances from
each other in a deep hollow, thickly wooded with magnificent oaks and
a few palms (Corypha), and very fine screw-pines, or _pandani_, one
fallen stem of the former being fully sixty feet in length. Immediately
over the village towered a bold rounded summit of the main range two
thousand feet above us, halfway up the side of which a large conical
Khakyen grave formed a prominent object; in shape it so strongly
resembled a Burmese pagoda as to suggest an imitation. In the village
very fine plantains were cultivated, and the sides of the spurs below
were extensively cleared for rice and other crops. From the ground
behind the tsawbwa’s house, we obtained a splendid view of the lofty
hills on the southern side of the Tapeng valley, many of which
appeared to rise to a height of six thousand feet above the river,
cultivated and dotted with villages almost to the very summits.

In the course of our ramble we were attracted to one house by the
sound of drumming; outside the portico, some men were sitting cooking
chickens, which had been merely stripped of their feathers, but not
otherwise cleaned. Having asked and obtained permission, we entered
the common hall, round which men, women, and children were dancing,
each carrying a small stick, with which they beat time, as they circled
round with measured steps, curiously combining a prance and a side
shuffle. The instrumentalists were a man and a girl, who vigorously
beat a pair of drums, while ever and anon the dancers burst out into
loud yells, and quickened the speed of their evolutions. We at first
sat gravely on the logs, brought by a smiling girl, but were presently
invited by signs to take our places in the dance; accordingly we stood
up and went round, but had scarcely taken two turns when the whole
party rushed, yelling loudly, out of the house, the leader flourishing
his stick wildly, as though clearing the way. Much puzzled, we returned
into the house, and found the corpse of a child, laid in a corner
carefully screened off, and the poor mother wailing bitterly by its
side. The festivity turned out to be the death dance, to drive away
the departed spirit from hovering near its late tenement, and our
exertions were believed to have mainly contributed to the speedy and
happy result; so at least we were made to understand by our hosts,
who hastened to refresh us with sheroo, served in cups ingeniously
improvised out of plantain leaves. We paid our footing in silver, and
departed with a feeling that even the _entente cordiale_ we desired to
establish with the Kakhyens hardly demanded an active participation in

The next day Sala’s son arrived with the cash-chest and the missing
mules from Talone; but the boxes had been opened, Sladen and Bowers
had each lost a canteen, well stocked with knives and forks, and the
mule-men had further helped themselves to all eatables. They had,
however, shown a laudable consideration, for in one of Stewart’s cases
was a bottle of port wine, which they had opened by pushing in the
cork; not relishing the contents, they had carefully cut and fixed in a
wooden stopper to prevent waste!

Sladen assembled Sala and the other chiefs, and distributed salt,
cloth, and some yellow silk handkerchiefs, which were highly prized.
Sala delivered a public exhortation, enjoining fidelity on all; in
private he communicated the necessity of propitiating the nats, and
requested our attendance at a ceremony which was to take place that
night, for the purpose of ascertaining the will of the demons, by the
medium of a _meetway_, or diviner.

Accordingly after dinner we all adjourned to the hall of the tsawbwa’s
new house, and, reclining on mats brought by his wife, chatted for
some time with the chiefs and headmen assembled round the fire.

The meetway now entered, and seated himself on a small stool, in one
corner, which had been freshly sprinkled with water; he then blew
through a small tube, and, throwing it from him with a deep groan, at
once fell into an extraordinary state of tremor, every limb quivered,
and his feet beat a literal “devil’s tattoo” on the bamboo flooring. He
groaned as if in pain, tore his hair, passed his hands with maniacal
gestures over his head and face, then broke into a short wild chant
interrupted with sighs and groans, his features appearing distorted
with madness or rage, while the tones of his voice changed to an
expression of anger and fury. During this extraordinary scene, which
realised all one had read of demoniacal possession, the tsawbwa and his
pawmines occasionally addressed him in low tones, as if soothing him or
deprecating the anger of the dominant spirit; and at last the tsawbwa
informed Sladen that the nats must be appeased with an offering.
Fifteen rupees and some cloth were produced. The silver, on a bamboo
sprinkled with water, and the cloth, on a platter of plantain leaves,
were humbly laid at the diviner’s feet; but with one convulsive jerk of
the legs, rupees and cloth were instantly kicked away, and the medium
by increased convulsions and groans intimated the dissatisfaction
of the nats with the offering. The tsawbwa in vain supplicated for
its acceptance, and then signified to Sladen that more rupees were
required, and that the nats mentioned sixty as the propitiatory sum.
Sladen tendered five more with an assurance that no more would be
given. The amended offering was again, but more gently, pushed away,
of which no notice was taken. After another quarter of an hour, during
which the convulsions and groans gradually grew less violent, a dried
leaf rolled into a cone, and filled with rice, was handed to the
meetway. He raised it to his forehead several times, and then threw it
on the floor; a dah, which had been carefully washed, was next handed
to him and treated the same way, and after a few gentle sighs he rose
from his seat, and, laughing, signed us to look at his legs and arms,
which were very tired. The oracle was in our favour, and predictions of
all manner of success were interpreted to us as the utterances of the
inspired diviner.

It must not be supposed that this was a solemn farce, enacted to
conjure rupees out of European pockets; the Kakhyens never undertake
any business or journey without consulting the will of the nats as
revealed by a meetway, under the influence of temporary frenzy, or,
as they deem it, possession. The seer in ordinary life is nothing;
the medium on whose word hung the possibility of our advance was a
cooly, who carried one of our boxes on the march, but he was a duly
qualified meetway, belonging to Ponsee village. When a youth shows
signs of what spiritualists would call a “rapport” or connection with
the spirit world, he has to undergo a sufficiently trying ordeal to
test the reality of his powers. A ladder is prepared, the steps of
which consist of sword blades, with the sharp edges turned upwards, and
this is reared against a platform thickly set with sharp spikes. The
barefooted novice ascends this perilous path to fame, and seats himself
on the spikes without any apparent inconvenience; he then descends by
the same ladder, and if, after having been carefully examined, he is
pronounced free from any trace of injury, he is thenceforward accepted
as a true diviner. Sala improved the occasion by warning Sladen that a
powerful combination had been formed to oppose our advance, and that
many evil reports had been circulated, but concluded by saying that a
liberal expenditure of silver would remove many, if not all, obstacles.
The practical application of this was made next morning. When all was
ready for a start, the tsawbwa would not appear: Sladen paid him a
visit, and was informed that six hundred rupees must be paid nominally
as an advance for the mule-men, or else he had better go back. This
extortionate demand was reduced after some debate to three hundred,
which were paid, and then an additional sum of three hundred rupees was
demanded for the carriage of the troublesome and tempting cash-chest.
An offer of one rupee per diem each to twenty bearers was refused, and
we then decided to divide the cash into parcels of three hundred rupees
to be carried by the men of the escort. By this means the liability
to continual “squeezes” on the part of the chiefs, or robbery by the
porters, was avoided. At length we set out from Ponline, and, after
proceeding a mile over an easy road along the high ground, commenced
the descent to the gorge, down which, fifteen hundred feet below, the
Nampoung flowed into the Tapeng, dividing the hills into two parallel
ridges. The descent, at first easy, gradually became steeper, and at
length precipitous; the path was cut into zigzags, but as slightly
deviating from the straight line as the steepness of the declivity
allowed. The weathered and disintegrated surface of metamorphic rock
had been worn down by traffic and torrents, so that it often was a
deep =V= shaped groove with but nine or ten inches of footway, and the
loaded mules found it difficult to round the abrupt turns in these deep
cuttings; huge boulders, stones, and sharp-pointed masses of exposed
quartz, made the travelling still more hurtful and dangerous to man and
beast. The beds of the streams were filled with fine granite, and in
the largest watercourse crossed, a small section was observed, showing
a mass of greyish micaceous schist, with large veins of quartz; it was
tilted up vertically, and there were distinct indications of bedding
in a nearly north and south direction. The Nampoung, whose source lies
among the hills to the north-east, is the limit between the districts
of Ponline and Ponsee, and was formerly, and must be considered still,
the boundary between Burma and the Chinese province of Yunnan, the
ruined frontier fort being pointed out on a height commanding the ford.
We forded the Nampoung on our ponies, where the stream was a hundred
feet wide, and three feet deep. The beasts could scarcely stem the
rapid current, which in the event of a fall would have soon swept horse
and rider into the foaming Tapeng. The road wound up the face of a
precipice, below which the Tapeng rushed down a succession of rapids,
with a deafening roar, and a force which nothing could resist, save the
prodigious masses of granite which encumbered its bed, while others
leaned from the banks as if ready to topple into the raging torrent.

The occasional glimpses of the distant landscape were glorious; on
either hand hills towered up into mountains, and range succeeded range,
till lost in the blue distance. Our enjoyment of the grandeur of the
mountain scenery was, however, somewhat marred by the difficulty of the
path, which compelled us frequently to dismount, and let the goat-like
ponies scramble as best they could up the deep narrow cuttings. The
road contoured the hillside, cut into the face of the rock for some
ten feet, presenting every now and again turnings at a sharp angle.
On the verge of a precipice of one thousand feet deep, the outer edge
gave way under the hind hoofs of Williams’ pony, and he was only saved
from destruction by the pony recovering itself with a vigorous effort.
Kakhyen roads seem to be purposely designed with a view to reaching
the highest points on the given route, and after leaving the river
banks, we thus ascended and descended over a succession of lofty
spurs abutting on the river from the main range; precipitous ridges,
connecting them at right angles, presented tolerably level ground, but
with a surface so confined that the traveller looked down into the deep
gorges on both sides. Patches of rich loamy soil in the valleys, and on
the slopes of the spurs, were cleared for paddy, and in each clearing
a small thatched hut raised on poles served as a watch-tower. Near
some of the villages perched on heights, limited efforts at terrace
cultivation were visible, and in one place a small stream had been
diverted for irrigation. Magnificent screw pines and large tree ferns
displayed their exquisite foliage, relieved by the blossoms of various
flowering trees.

By two o’clock the baggage mules were so jaded that, although we had
not made more than eight or ten miles, it became necessary to halt in
the jungle. Behind our bivouac towered an enormous shoulder of the
mountains, rising four thousand feet above us, and called Lakong. The
air was genial and temperate, the thermometer marking sixty-three at
9 P.M., and, with our lamps strung up on bamboos, our followers and
servants surrounding the bivouac, we dined and slept comfortably and
securely _al fresco_, while the drivers picketed their mules above
and below. Close to our camp were some old Kakhyen burial-places on
a rounded hill. Each consisted of a circular trench, thirty-eight
feet in diameter, and about two feet deep, surrounding a low mound,
containing only one body. The high conical thatched roof which covered
newer graves, elsewhere observed, had disappeared, but some of the
bamboo supports were still standing. The trenches of some other graves
were built round with slabs of stone, the form of the grave and manner
of interment reminding one involuntarily of the megalithic burial

Before resuming our march to Ponsee, Sala intimated that caution would
be required, as the Ponsee tsawbwa was very indignant at not having
received the desired musket. The nats also had signified through the
meetway that before starting the guard should fire a volley, and the
tsawbwa added a recommendation to use double charges of powder, so that
the nats might be doubly pleased. The road lay along tolerably easy
ground, as we were now almost on a level with the origin of the main
spurs, and by noon of March 6th we had reached the village of Ponsee,
three thousand one hundred and eighty-seven feet above the sea-level,
and forty-three miles from Bhamô. As the tsawbwa did not appear, and
had made no preparation to house our party, the camp was pitched under
a clump of bamboos, in a hollow below the village. Ponsee, with its
twenty scattered houses, and terraced slopes of cultivated ground,
occupied one side of a mountain clothed to its summit, two thousand
feet above, with dense jungle and forest, save where clearings
betokened the vicinity of other villages far above us.

Our muleteers dispersed themselves and their mules on the upper
terrace of a tumulus-shaped knoll overlooking the road, and cultivated
on one side in a succession of regular and equidistant terraces. In
the afternoon we were visited by a pawmine, accompanied by his wife
and several female relatives, who brought presents of sheroo and
vegetables. One of the young ladies was inclined to be merry and
communicative, in order to attract attention and secure a present of
beads. Although she was a wife, her hair was cut straight across her
forehead, and hung down behind in dishevelled locks, uncovered by the
head-dress which Kakhyen wives wear. An offer of a puggery to supply
the defect was received with a peal of laughter, at which the pawmine
seemed startled and scandalised, and he reproved his fair cousin in a
way that caused her to shrink into abashed silence. During the evening
the dangerous temper of the Kakhyen was shown by an unprovoked attack
made by one of the Ponsee tsawbwa’s followers upon a Burmese servant,
but Sala promptly interfered to protect our man, and declared that he
would resent an insult offered to any of our people as if offered to
himself. Thus, as in other matters, he so far showed himself honest,
though his constant demands for money began to make the leader think
his friendship might be too dearly purchased.



 Desertion of the muleteers--Our encampment--Visit of hill
 chiefs--Sala’s demands--A mountain excursion--Messengers
 from Momien--Shans refuse presents--Stoppage of
 supplies--Ill-feeling--Tsawbwa of Seray--St. Patrick’s Day--Retreat
 of Sala--The pawmines of Ponsee--A burial-ground--Visit to the
 Tapeng--The silver mines--Approach of the rains--Hostility of
 Ponsee--Threatened attack--Reconciliation--A false start--Letters from
 Momien--A hailstorm--Circular to the members of the mission--Beads and
 belles--Friendly relations with Kakhyens--Their importance.

On the first night of our sojourn at Ponsee, we were roused from our
beds in the open air by a violent thunderstorm, which threatened a
drenching, but fortunately let us off with only a few heavy drops. One
of the party drew his bed under a small thatched shed close by, and
slept soundly, to awake in the morning and find that he had shared
his shelter with a deceased Kakhyen, on whose grave he had been
reposing. At an early hour, Sala came to inform Sladen that a small
army of Shans and Kakhyens had collected to oppose our progress, but
that two thousand rupees might purchase their goodwill. When informed
that the disposable funds would not admit of such costly travelling,
he significantly remarked that the Panthays were rich, and would be
glad to assist us. This obstacle might be imaginary, but a most real
difficulty left us no time to reflect on it, for instead of preparing
for a start, the muleteers, without a word of complaint, or indeed
any communication with us, proceeded to unpack their loads, flinging
all the baggage on the ground. I went to look after my boxes, but was
warned off by a Kakhyen, who flourished his dah, and worked himself up
into such a fury that retreat appeared the wisest course. In a short
time the mules and drivers marched away, taking the road to Manwyne,
leaving us and our baggage destitute of any means of transit. A few
beasts remained, belonging to Ponline, but too few to be taken into
account. Here was an unexpected dilemma, such as would have delighted
Sir Samuel Baker, who says he “finds pleasure in a downright fix.”
Sladen set off to find out, if possible, the meaning of it all from
Sala, who was seated comfortably drunk in the chief’s house. He
declared that the muleteers had been influenced by messages from the
Shan tsawbwas of Sanda and Muangla, threatening them with death if they
brought us on. He advised threats of exclusion of the Shans from the
Burmese fairs by way of reprisals, but Sladen indignantly told him that
he came to promote peace, and not dissension, and that he would write
conciliatory letters, explaining the object of the expedition to those
chiefs who had been misled. Thereupon Sala grew confidential, and
let out what certainly seemed the truth, _in vino veritas_, about our
missing interpreter Moung Shuay Yah, who had been last seen or heard of
at Ponline. It appeared that this half Chinese scoundrel had finally
endeavoured to persuade Sala, and on his refusal the Talone tsawbwa, to
murder Sladen and plunder the cash-chest. Thwarted in his villainous
projects, he had returned to Bhamô, of which latter fact confirmation
was afforded a few days later. Matters looked unpromising; it was
whispered that the muleteers had become aware that our detention at
Ponsee was certain, and were unwilling to hazard a delay, the profits
of which would go into the greedy pockets of the Ponline chief. Besides
the dark aspect of affairs, the natural atmosphere was overcast, heavy
clouds presaging storm, and to be prepared against all consequences,
we removed our quarters to the plateau vacated by the muleteers, where
the three sepoy palls, or small tents, accommodated the Europeans,
while the sepoys and followers set to work to construct bamboo tents,
thatched with leaves and grass for their protection, and speedily a
regular camp was established in a favourable position. Sala showed
himself in a new light, later on in the day, when he came down very
drunk, and dressed in a yellow silk cloth which he had stolen from
Sladen’s servant. He was at first inconveniently affectionate, and,
seizing Sladen by both hands, vowed eternal friendship; he then grew
inquisitive about our rifles and revolvers, and required Sladen to
show his marksmanship by splitting a bamboo forty yards off. A refusal
to gratify him changed him at once into a violent savage, pouring out
a flood of the foulest abuse in Burmese. With tact and patience, he
was restrained from violence, but the real treacherous nature of the
animal had shown itself unmistakably. He finally assured Sladen that
he might make up his mind not to quit Ponsee until he had paid two
bushels of rupees. More agreeable visitors arrived, in the persons
of the Kakhyen chiefs of Nyoungen, Wacheoon, and Ponwah, small hill
districts on the road to Manwyne. These tsawbwas all brought presents
of fowls and rice, for which they received cloth as a return. The chief
of Ponwah was a wiry little highlander, with oblique eyes, and strongly
marked features of a Tartar type, adorned with two scanty tufts by way
of moustache, and a sparse beard carefully restricted to the front of
his chin. His dress was different from that of the other tsawbwas, and
argued a higher social condition. It consisted of a blue turban, blue
padded woollen jacket, a kilt of the same material and colour, with a
red and blue border, finished off with richly embroidered leggings,
and short blue woollen hose with thick soles. A leopard’s fang adorned
his dah, and a cloth bag contained his metal pipe and bamboo flask of
samshu, which frequently found its way to his thirsty lips; before each
draught he dipped his finger into the liquor, and poured a few drops on
the ground as a libation to the earth nats. The mother of the young
Ponsee tsawbwa also came down, attended by a number of girls, bringing
_sheroo_, or beer, cooked rice, eggs, and vegetables. Beads were
distributed, but they begged for rupees; and a few four-anna pieces
hardly contented them. One of us gallantly presented an importunate
damsel with a pretty little bottle of perfume, and to make her
appreciate it, poured a little on her hand, and signed to her to rub it
on her face, but having done so, she evinced her disgust by wry faces,
spitting at and abusing the donor, as though he had insulted her, to
his extreme confusion.

[Illustration: OUR CAMP AT PONSEE.]

The day of anxiety was followed by a night of rain and storm. Heavy
gusts of wind, sweeping down the lofty shoulder of the mountain,
threatened to carry away the light tents, and it required all our
efforts to prevent this catastrophe by holding stoutly on to the
tent poles. The interior was of course inundated, and beds and
bedding saturated with water, but some of the followers were worse
off, having no shelter of any sort. Our troubles, however, were only
beginning. The Nanlyaw tamone,[21] who had been ordered to accompany
us as interpreter, and had failed to do so, arrived with orders from
the Woon of Bhamô to the tsawbwas of Ponsee and Ponline to repair at
once to Bhamô, and assist in an inquiry about reopening the silver
mines. The message and the messenger were both suspicious, and some
obstructive influence speedily showed itself. A demand was set up for
three hundred rupees, compensation for five houses said to have been
destroyed by a jungle fire, originating in the embers of our camp-fire
at Lakong. Sala evidently thought that any demands would be complied
with to prevent his deserting us, and talked much about the imperative
orders of the governor. By way of relief from the discussion, we made
an excursion up the mountain to a height about six hundred feet above
our camp, whence a splendid panorama unrolled itself of the Burmese
plain as far as Bhamô, and the junction of the Tapeng with the majestic
Irawady. We passed numerous oaks, and a grove of trees bearing nuts
exactly like our own hazels. At the highest point reached, a Kakhyen
village was found, snugly nestled in a beautifully cool hollow, with a
small stream flowing down the hillside.

Our appearance startled three women, proceeding to fill the bamboos,
which serve as water pitchers, carried in a wicker basket at the back;
they darted into a hollow below the road, and, turning their backs to
us, waited till we had passed by. A thousand feet below us, a deep
ravine resounded with the cry of hoolock monkeys, howling at the full
pitch of their voices. Shooting, either for sport or purposes of
science, was rendered extremely difficult by the dense jungle and the
steep sides of the deep gorges, where the birds are mostly found, for
a bird, when shot, dropped down a steep declivity, into long grass or
tangled shrub, where search was useless.

On our return, a cock and hen partridge, of a new species, belonging
to the genus Bambusicola, were shot in the cleared ground, and in
the woods the cry of an oriole was often heard, but the birds were
invisible. Descending by another route, passing the rice clearings,
where wild strawberries carpeted the ground with flowers and fruit,
and two sorts of violets and various brambles were also in flower, we
reached the camp, and were soon plunged again into debate with Sala.
The fellow was sulky and angry, demanding six hundred rupees blackmail,
and three hundred as compensation for the village fire, threatening
as an alternative to leave us to “be lost in the hills and never more
heard of.” Sladen temperately refused to submit to such extortionate
demands, but, to prove his friendly intentions, offered to compensate
for any actual damage, and to send presents to the chiefs _en route_.
His arguments had such an effect on Sala that he was content to ask for
one hundred rupees to settle the “fire.”

At this stage of the interview all were surprised by the sudden
appearance on the scene of three strangers, dressed in gorgeous Chinese
costume, and attended by half a dozen others; two of their faces were
familiar, and they saluted Sladen with an air of recognition, but Sala
and he were at first equally puzzled as to their identity. The two
foremost were arrayed in blue satin skull-caps embroidered with gold,
padded and embroidered jackets of fine blue cloth, and wide trousers
of yellow silk. They wore new broad cane hats and gold embroidered
Chinese shoes. The hilts of their dahs were each enriched with half
the lower jaw of a leopard, and suspended from their button-holes was
a decoration consisting of a pink and blue square of cloth, with a
cipher embroidered in the corner. This was full dress Panthay uniform,
which one of them proceeded to divest himself of, and exhibited his
ragged Kakhyen garb underneath, and then Sladen recognised Lawloo,
the scout despatched by him from Bhamô to the governor of Momien.
He produced, carefully rolled up, a packet addressed in Arabic on a
strip of red paper, which contained an envelope stamped with Chinese
hieroglyphics in red, and a letter written in Arabic, and stamped with
Chinese devices in red and blue; attached to this was another letter in
Chinese. The latter no one could read, and a combined attempt made by
the native doctor and the jemadar to decipher the former also failed,
but Lawloo assured us that the governor of Momien was most friendly.
He had received the messengers with all respect, and had equipped them
in the gorgeous dresses which had disguised them from our recognition.
He had also sent with them Shatoodoo, an officer in the Mahommedan
service, a tall, fair-skinned, well-built man, dressed in blue
uniform, with a fine intelligent face and the quiet self-possession
of a well-bred gentleman. Our couriers, men belonging to the Cowlie
tribe, bore their new honours with great composure; they completely
ignored the presence of the Ponline tsawbwa, while they told of
their kindly reception, and explained the purport of the letters. The
governor had expected us by the “ambassadors’” route, which leads from
Bhamô into Hotha, where he had arranged to meet us. They said we were
not to advance at present via Manwyne, unless we were strong enough
to fight our way past Mawphoo fort, the stronghold of Li-sieh-tai.
The messengers, on their return, though conspicuous by their Panthay
uniform, had travelled openly and unmolested through the Shan states,
which had been declared to be hostile to our advance. The immediate
effect was to cause Sala and the pawmines to withdraw from our tents,
which was a great relief, as they had infested them, squatting on the
beds for hours together, smoking, and chewing tobacco and betel, while
any remonstrance was at once replied to with an angry scowl and a
flourish of the naked dah. But the peace did not last long. The tsawbwa
soon recommenced his demands, and day after day the fire question was
discussed, and terms of settlement agreed upon, only to be insolently
repudiated on the first occasion.

The next day more practical preparations for opening the route were
made by the despatch of letters and presents to the Kakhyen chief of
Seray, and to the Shan chiefs or headmen of Manwyne and Manhleo. Two
of the Ponline pawmines and the interpreter Moung Mo, the tamone of
Hentha village, whose services and goodwill we had secured, went in
charge of the presents, and Sladen’s Burmese writer was also sent,
by way of check on the pawmines. They returned in a few days with the
presents, which the chiefs had declined to accept, as the tsawbwa of
Sanda had refused his consent to our passage, and the Manwyne people,
though favourably disposed, were afraid of the _poogain_, or headman,
of Manhleo, a town situated on the south bank of the Tapeng, opposite
Manwyne. This official was an inveterate enemy of the Panthays,
and a few years before had massacred a Panthay caravan of peaceful
merchants. The character and intentions of the expedition had been so
misrepresented by the Chinese traders at Bhamô that the Shans were
naturally indisposed to run any risks from our presence among them.

The refusal of the presents caused Sala to raise his demands; “all
the people, Burmese, Chinese, and Shans,” he declared, were leagued
against us, and if we did not secure his protection, we should have our
heads cut off. This was his usual argument, illustrated by holding an
imaginary head with his left hand, and making the motion of sawing at
the supposed neck with his right.

A more practical result of the secret opposition was the stoppage of
supplies. Soon after our arrival the Shans from the Manwyne district
had discovered that there was a sure market for their provisions, and
a regular bazaar had been established in our lines. Kakhyen villagers
as well as Shans brought in fowls, rice, salt, vegetables, &c., and
competition had kept prices down; empty beer bottles were found to be
highly prized, and one bottle was worth twelve measures of rice. Among
other things, the Manwyne Shans brought in sugar candy, and preserved
milk in the form of thin cakes of paste like a film of coagulated
cream, which placed in a cup of water over night supplied a cup of
excellent milk in the morning. The method of preparation we could not
learn, but the result was undeniably successful. The attendance of
Shans, however, fell off, owing to the ill-usage received by many of
them from the Kakhyens, who helped themselves to their goods, and paid
them with abuse and blows. Hence supplies fell short, and prices rose
accordingly, and it became unsafe moreover to wander for any distance
from the camp. On one occasion one of us was tempted to indulge in a
bath in the small stream which flowed immediately below. There was
a most perfect douche, where the water leapt over a huge boulder,
embowered in gigantic bamboos and splendid ferns, as though contrived
for the secret bath of a Kakhyen sylvan nymph: but the unhappy European
invader was scarcely in full enjoyment of the refreshing douche than
he was saluted with a shower of stones and broken branches from some
villagers who had watched him. This was a ludicrous side of popular
hostility, but as the “fire” question continued to be discussed, almost
daily warnings were brought to us that ill-disposed Kakhyens were
collected on the heights above, intending to attack the camp under
cover of night.

A slight change in affairs was effected by the arrival of the tsawbwa
of Seray, a village four miles distant, who made his appearance on the
13th, attended by his pawmines and a numerous retinue. He was a rather
short stout man of about forty-five, dressed in blue from turban to
shoes; his manner was serious and respectful, and his remarks sensible,
but evincing great curiosity about all the novelties that presented
themselves. When he found leisure to discuss business matters, he
asked us the particulars of the fire question, saying that if it were
settled, he would undertake to guide us by a hill route to Momien, so
as to avoid the necessity of passing through Sanda. Sladen explained
to him that though the fire question had been settled three times,
he would now submit it finally to his arbitration, and the demand,
which had risen to five hundred rupees, was by his award satisfied by
a promise of two hundred and sixty. Notwithstanding this settlement,
that evening both the tsawbwas came down to request us to keep fires
burning, and maintain a careful watch all night, as over a hundred
men had collected on the hillside commanding the camp, intending to
try their chance in a night attack, according to their usual tactics.
Sala had endeavoured, he said, to dissuade them, and had finally told
them he would look on while they were shot down by our men. The night,
however, passed off more quietly than the days, which were occupied
in ceaseless discussions; the question of mule hire being again in
debate. Sala brought forward the preposterous demand of twenty rupees
a piece for one hundred and sixty mules, those, namely, whose owners
had deserted at this place. This demand was supported by fictitious
tallies, and his disgust at finding we had kept an accurate account
was great, while his fury at the laughter with which his attempts at
extortion were met found vent in the usual pantomimic prophecy of our
decapitation. The party of tsawbwas was increased by the arrival of the
chief of Wacheoon, who brought a present of rice and sheroo; the object
of his visit being to make the pertinent inquiry as to what still
detained us at Ponsee.

On St. Patrick’s Day, matters came to a crisis. All the morning the
tsawbwas and pawmines were assembled in our tent, arguing about the
mule hire; even the respectable chief of Seray had caught the infection
of covetousness, and demanded twenty rupees a mule for a journey of
a few hours. The Seray chief was attended by a Chinaman who had been
in his employment from his youth, and now acted as his chief trader.
He had interpreted the Momien letters, and seemed to desire to be
useful, but it was plain that he regarded the expedition as a military
one, designed to assist the Panthays. He declared that the Sanda
people were willing to receive us, but were restrained by fear of
Li-sieh-tai. Sladen offered five hundred rupees, in addition to the
money already paid, for sufficient carriage to Manwyne, where he would
await the answer to his letters despatched the day before by the former
messengers to Momien and to the tsawbwa of Sanda, as he was determined
not to advance without the full consent of all the Shan chiefs. He
then, by a happy thought, recounted to the assembled tsawbwas the sums
of money and presents that the arch robber Sala had received from him
for distribution. At this startling revelation, the chief of Ponsee was
evidently exasperated, and a storm was brewing, when suddenly a shot
was fired from a house on the hill above us, and a bullet, or slug,
whizzed over the tent in which we were sitting, and presently another
struck the head of a camp cot inside. All were naturally startled, but
no one believed the first shot to have been intentionally aimed until
the second was fired after the lapse of a few minutes. Sala and the
pawmines sprang out, and vociferated frantically to the people in the
village above. The chief of Seray sat silent, and presently announced
that he should return to his own home, and the meeting was forthwith

True to his word, the Seray chief departed the next day, leaving the
message that he would return as soon as we were rid of Ponline; and the
next news was that the Ponsee chief had threatened Sala with instant
vengeance, and that our friend and protector had decamped to his own
village, taking with him all the presents entrusted to him for the
officials of Manwyne, &c., and forcibly carrying off our Burmese
interpreter Moung Mo.

The tsawbwa and pawmines of Ponsee, who now came to the front, as
self-appointed arbiters of our destinies, so far as progress was
concerned, have not yet been introduced.

The tsawbwa was a youth of eighteen, who possessed no influence. What
natural intelligence he might possess was obscured by his habits of
continual intoxication and debauchery, in company with a number of
“fast” young Kakhyens. He had hitherto preserved a sort of sullen
neutrality, occasionally, however, conveying to us useful warnings,
but acting neither for nor against us. The real power seemed to be
exercised by his pawmines, four brothers who had generally shown
themselves friendly. The eldest was a good-for-nothing merry-andrew,
in a chronic state of intoxication. The next in age was a quiet,
sensible man, who seemed fully to appreciate the advantages that would
accrue to his people from the reopening of the trade between Yunnan
and Burma, and he frequently declared that he was ready to give us all
the help in his power. He was nicknamed by us the “Red Pawmine;” and
his next brother and constant companion, a little spare man, with high
cheek-bones, deeply sunken eyes, and features sharpened and worn by
bad health, was appropriately styled “Death’s Head.” He was by far the
ablest, but his quick, nervous temperament and violent temper rendered
him a difficult man to deal with. The youngest, as excitable, but far
less intelligent, was regarded with jealous eyes by his three elder

The young tsawbwa for about a week subsequent to Sala’s departure
professed himself our friend, and a few days of tranquil and almost
patient expectation ensued, during which we endeavoured to extend our
acquaintance with the hill country about us, of which we had as yet
been able to see no more than the outskirts of our camp or rather

Accordingly, Stewart and I started on our ponies to ascend the
mountain, taking Deen Mahomed as interpreter and a native boy to act
as guide. No sooner had the party passed the tsawbwa’s house than a
hue and cry was raised by one of the pawmines, who shouted orders to
the lad to return at once. Disregarding the outcry, we pushed on along
a narrow bridle-path, but were delayed by the obstinacy of a pony who
declined to face a difficult bit of road, and the villagers overtaking
us, the guide was dragged away by the pawmine. The tsawbwa was appealed
to, but he declared that it was not safe to go up, as there was a
village of “bad Kakhyens” on the mountain, and Deen Mahomed was warned
with gesture symbolical of throat-cutting of what would happen to him
if he got another guide. We consoled ourselves for this failure by a
visit to a burial-ground, on the top of a thickly wooded height, which
lay to the east of the camp. The path leading to it was sprinkled at
intervals with ground rice, as an offering to the nats, and on two of
the graves, which were quite recent, lay a little tobacco and a small
cylindrical box containing chillies, while outside the surrounding
trench the skull of a pig, with some more tobacco, had been placed. The
conical roof of bamboos and grass was decorated with a finial of wood
cut into two flag-like arms, painted with rosettes in black and red,
which ridiculously resembled guide-posts.

The tsawbwa proved more obliging a day or two afterwards, when a
request was sent to him for a guide to conduct us to the Tapeng
river. The path led along the saddle of the long spurs running down
to the valley, and the climate as we descended changed from temperate
to tropical; the upper forest consisted of oaks, cherry, apple, and
peach trees, especially in a magnificently wooded glen, while a large
mountain stream made its way over a rocky channel, forming at one
place a splendid waterfall over a perpendicular cliff of gneiss. Along
the tops of the fruit trees a large troop of monkeys _(Presbytis
albocinereus_) were leisurely wandering.

In descending we could only keep our footing by clutching at the
overhanging branches, as our feet slipped on the fallen leaves and
bamboo spathes which lay heaped in the steep and narrow path. The
roots which projected every now and then were another and even worse
impediment. Where, as often happened, the path turned a sharp angle on
the crests of the precipitous spurs, great caution was needful, for if
one had lost his equilibrium in such a place, he would have certainly
sent all in front of him down the almost perpendicular declivity. As
the lower level was reached, the trees became essentially tropical,
intermixed with musæ, bamboos, ratans, and splendid ferns, while huge
cable-like creepers intertwined their leafy cordage, and orchids of
various and novel species displayed their fantastic beauties, and
loaded the air with perfume.

After a long scramble down, we climbed over a secondary spur, and at
its foot reached a sandy strand shaded by a magnificent banyan covered
with the fragrant blossoms of a large yellow orchid (_Dendrobium
andersoni_, Scott). Before us the roaring Tapeng rushed in a torrent
forty yards wide, over a rocky bed, in a succession of foaming rapids
and deep smooth reaches. At this point its bed was about thirteen
to fourteen hundred feet above the plains at Tsitkaw, twenty miles
distant, so that its descent is nearly seventy feet in the mile, the
water mark indicating the highest rise of the flood to be twelve feet
above its present level.

The only birds visible were two water wagtails flitting from boulder
to boulder in the middle of the torrent. The rocks in position were
gneiss, with veins and large embedded oblong pieces of quartzite; the
quartz often standing out in bold relief where the gneiss surface had
been worn away by the action of the water. Huge boulders of the same
rock and pure white crystalline marble were strewn along the river
bed. Along the bank a footpath led to a spot where a raft lay ready,
in the deep smooth water above a rapid, to ferry over passengers to
the silver mines. The raft was attached by a loop to a bark rope,
stretched across the river. Our guide expressed his readiness “for a
consideration” to conduct us across, but not “that day;” so we made
our way back again, and if the descent had been difficult, it may be
imagined how much more so was the return journey, which, however, was
safely accomplished.

A few days after this trip, we started, accompanied by two of the
Ponsee pawmines, for a visit to the silver mines. We reached the river
by the next spur, to the west of the path followed on the former
excursion, and, leaving the servants to prepare breakfast under the
banyan tree, made for the raft. The guide rope was fastened to a fallen
tree, six feet above the river on the opposite bank, while on our side
it was carried over forked branches, firmly fixed in the ground and
secured to a huge boulder. The raft proved to be on the other side,
and one of the Burmese followers caught hold of the rope, and hand
over hand succeeded in making his way across the strong current. He
was followed by one of the pawmines, who evinced a careful dexterity
which argued him to be well accustomed to what seemed a dangerous task.
The raft was then brought across, one man in front running the loop
along the rope, and the other sitting behind with a paddle to keep it
stemming the stream. It was a simple wedge-shaped platform of bamboos
lashed together, presenting a sort of prow which is kept against the
rush of the stream. Bamboos at each side supported seats of split
bamboo, and when the raft, which carried six persons, was loaded, the
“deck” was a couple of inches under water.

Arrived at the other side, we were struck by the prevalence of white
marble, and the extraordinary contorted folds of an abrupt cliff of
blue crystalline quartzite rock, about fifty feet high, overlooking
the ferry. A narrow footpath to the north-east of this cliff led to a
ridge of pure white crystalline marble, of the same structure as the
marble of the Tsagain hills. The ridge, which was destitute of trees,
was about six hundred feet above the level of the river, running almost
parallel with its course for about a mile. A small watercourse dividing
the ridge from a rounded hill covered with waterworn boulders of the
quartzite rock marked the limits of the marble, which terminated so
abruptly as to be at once noticeable, and the pawmine said there was no
silver beyond this limit. We walked along the almost level top of the
treeless ridge, and found at the eastern side a pleasant valley, where
the cultivated terraces showed signs of the neighbourhood of a village,
and a Bauhinia in full bloom of white flowers with violet centre
occurred in great profusion.

The mines consisted of a series of galleries about four feet in
diameter, run horizontally into the slope of the ridge facing the
river. Our conductors led us along the steep hillside, strewn with
large masses of iron pyrites, and overgrown with grass and low jungle,
so thick that each man had to cut his way with a dah. We passed about
thirty of these adits, which penetrated the hillside for two or three
hundred feet, sloping slightly downwards, and with passages opening at
right angles. I crawled into one of them, preceded by a guide with a
lantern, and made my way for a considerable distance along the tunnel,
the sides of which showed red earth mixed with masses of marble and
quartzite, but my progress was stopped by finding the passage blocked
by the fallen roof, the bamboo props used when the mine was worked
having given way. No detailed information regarding the productiveness
of these mines could be obtained, and since the outbreak of the civil
war in Yunnan they had not been worked, save to a very small and
intermittent extent by the Kakhyens. The heaps of slag in the glen
near the small watercourses, where all smelting operations had been
conducted, showed that a very considerable quantity of ore used to be
raised. Specimens of the ore assayed by Professor Oldham have been
found to contain 0·191 per cent. of silver in the galena. The mines are
of easy access, and from their close proximity to the borders of China,
little or no difficulty would be experienced in finding labourers to
work them. Silver is also said to be found on the right bank of the
river, at a great elevation on the hillsides to the west of Ponsee;
and gold is asserted to occur near the same locality, and specimens
were shown to me at Bhamô in grains some of which were as large as
small peas.

From the mines we returned across the river, and breakfasted on the
bank of the Tapeng, treating our Kakhyen companions to some of the
eatables, their approval of which was indicated by jerking their fists
with the thumb extended, which emphatically signifies that anything is
very good. The forefinger is held straight to indicate that a man is
good, and crooked to denote one who is not to be trusted.

So we returned to Ponsee, where we must again take up the tangled
thread of events bearing on our progress. A month had passed since our
arrival, and the advance of the season was marked by the call of the
cuckoo, which was often heard in the eastern woods. The jungle had
all been felled in the new clearings, and nightly fires illuminated
the opposite hills, caused by the burning of the jungle over acres of
ground. Heavy thunder showers almost every night did not add to our
comfort, and heralded the speedy setting in of the south-west monsoon.

But we were apparently as far off from any extrication from our
detention as ever.

The Seray tsawbwa had on March 22nd returned with news that a Panthay
official had arrived at Sanda, and that the country so far was open. He
also produced a letter addressed to himself by the governor of Momien,
requesting him to give us all the help in his power, and promising to
reimburse any expense he might be put to in our service. The chief
seemed fully disposed to help, and started for his own village to
procure mules, with which he promised to return in two days, leaving
his Chinese clerk to help us as an interpreter.

This was pleasant, and the improved temper of the people was shown
by the arrival of messengers from the widow of a tsawbwa ruling a
district on the road to Manwyne, with a present of fowls, eggs, and an
uninviting compound of flour and chillies; accompanied by a message
that she and her people would come and escort us to Manwyne. The
dowager of the late chief of that town also sent Sladen the gift of
two Kakhyen bags, and a curious implement forming a toothbrush and
tongue-scraper combined.

The Seray chief, however, did not show according to promise, and a week
after his departure news came that two Chinamen had arrived from Bhamô,
with a party of fifty armed Burmese. These men gave out that they had
been sent to recommence mining operations at the silver mines. The
immediate result was that the Seray chief, first by a messenger, and
then in person, repudiated his engagement to procure mules, alleging
that the Ponsee chief had threatened to kill him if he assisted us to
quit the Ponsee territory. Argument and expostulation were useless,
and he nodded assent when Sladen attributed his change of purpose to
private instructions received from Bhamô. He departed, after warning
us to be on our guard against the Ponsee chief, who had resolved to
attack the camp.

The hostility of the Ponsee chief was soon shown, for the day after
the arrival of the Burmese his Kakhyens drove off all the Shans from
our little bazaar; the chief himself came down with his dah drawn, and
cut down one of the traders, which act of violence made him liable to
pay an indemnity to the Manwyne people. His pawmines came next with
the intelligence that he had summoned two neighbouring tsawbwas to
his assistance, that two buffaloes had been slaughtered, and a grand
sacrificial feast was to be held that night, after which the nats
would be consulted as to our fate, when, if the oracle commended it,
the Kakhyens, drunk with sheroo and samshu, would attack the camp. One
of the buffaloes had been supplied by the Burmese, and the symbolic
present of a pound of flesh, the acceptance of which signified consent,
had been offered to and accepted by the _tsare-daw-gyee_, or Burmese
royal secretary, in charge of the party. The pound of flesh had been
also sent to the pawmines, but rejected by them, and they loudly
denounced their chief as an uncontrollable madman.

A wholesome fear of the European strangers had gradually grown up; they
were believed to possess supernatural powers. Breech-loading rifles
and revolvers, and “Bryant and May’s matches,” which ignited only on
the box, and defied wind and rain, argued a close alliance with the
nats of the elements; while the photographic apparatus appeared in
Kakhyen eyes to be the instruments of conjurers, who could control the
sun himself. Hence but few of the Kakhyens would join the chief, whom
they considered bent on his own destruction. While the conspirators
were revelling and consulting, our police escort was drawn out and
exercised, and the ominous sound of three volleys from fifty guns,
which to their universal astonishment and awe all went off at once,
terrified them, and gave a significant hint that assailants would meet
a warm reception. The pawmines prayed that they and their houses might
be spared in the general destruction that must overtake our enemies,
and the news soon reached us that the meetway, who was secretly in our
pay, had announced that the nats disapproved of the conspiracy.

The pawmines then requested permission to introduce the two hostile
tsawbwas, who accordingly arrived; their naturally villainous faces
were not improved by an expression of sheepish fear, but they lightened
up when Sladen received them kindly, and without upbraiding them
explained the advantages that would arise to all if our plans should
be carried out. A present of an empty biscuit tin and a beer bottle
quite won their hearts, and converted them into fast friends. The
pawmines then represented that the young chief, with whom, on his
repentance, they had made friends, desired to be forgiven and received
into favour. It was argued that he felt very sore at Ponline having
defrauded him of his rightful gains, and it was agreed that by way
of making up for all neglect he should receive one hundred rupees!
He swore eternal friendship, and vowed that henceforth we were his
relations. Sladen asked him why he had omitted his relations in the
late distribution of beef, at which he grinned, and went off awkwardly
enough, but still in good humour.

During the first few days of April, the situation was hopeful
and exciting, but the tsawbwa and his pawmines, though outwardly
reconciled, soon made it evident that their respective interests
clashed too much for united action. The chief volunteered to go and
procure mules, the pawmines offered to supply any number of coolies.
The amount to be paid on our arrival at Manwyne was fixed at five
hundred rupees, and this was eagerly coveted by the rivals; each
in turn denounced the other as entertaining designs of looting the
baggage, and the pawmines declared that the chief dared not show his
face in Manwyne on account of a private feud.

Sladen refused to accept the separate services of either the chief or
his subordinates, and this straightforward policy compelled a seeming
reconciliation. The Seray tsawbwa sent his pawmines with sixty men and
six mules, far too few for the baggage of the party; his men, however,
declared they could carry it all, and facetiously advised us to build
houses for permanent residence at Ponsee, as the latter chief would
never be able to procure mules.

An amusing interlude was afforded by the arrival of a half-caste,
professing to be one of the chief men of the _tsawbwa-gadaw_, or
dowager chieftainess, of Manwyne. He came in a breathless state of
excitement, and announced that he had succeeded in hiring two hundred
mules, but that the caravan had been detained by the Kakhyen chiefs
on the road, who had sent him to say that they would allow them to
pass for one hundred rupees, and as a pledge of their sincerity had
entrusted him with an amber chain worth that sum. The fellow must have
had a high opinion of our credulity, for the chain, when produced, was
valued at about eight annas, and he was summarily dismissed.

At last, terms were arranged; the pawmines were to supply coolies,
while the tsawbwa was to find carriage for forty mule-loads, and the
7th of April was appointed for the start. We were up with daylight,
tents were speedily struck, and baggage packed for the march. The
coolies soon assembled, and the area of our little camp was covered
with wild-looking Kakhyens armed to the teeth with matchlocks, spears,
and dahs, looking much more like a horde of banditti than peaceful
porters. Their demeanour was in keeping with their appearance, and
their dishonest purpose was evidenced by the bare-faced rivalry
displayed by the different parties in seizing upon the packages which
seemed most valuable, irrespective of size or weight. The precaution
had been taken of telling off the escort into parties, with strict
orders to prevent the exit of any baggage until all were in readiness
for a start. The crisis was brought on by Sladen’s japanned tin cases.
The youngest pawmine, who was first on the field, had appropriated
them for his coolies, but when his brother, “Death’s Head,” appeared,
very much excited, early as it was, with drink, he claimed them for
his men. On his brother’s refusal to give them up, he lost all command
over himself. After a violent outburst of passion, he made a dash at
the gold sword which the king had presented to Sladen, and snatched
it from the Burmese servant in charge. This attempt was frustrated by
Williams, who with a vigorous wrench rescued the sword from “Death’s
Head’s” grasp. Thus foiled, he attacked the Burmese clerk, who was
taking down the names of the coolies, and threatened to cut him down. A
general hubbub ensued, during which he rushed off to a camp fire, lit
his slow-match, and advanced priming his matchlock, till he was close
to Sladen, when he fired off his piece in the air. The consternation
which ensued reached its climax when an assistant surveyor in a foolish
panic fired his revolver. The Kakhyens showed that they had no relish
for a fight, and, throwing down their loads, bolted in all directions.
We of course remained quiet, while the tsawbwa showed more sense than
could have been expected, calling upon the Kakhyens not to fly, and
after a time order was restored. One of us followed “Death’s Head,”
who had sat down at the end of the camp to reload his gun, and by a
little persuasion got him to send his gun up to the village, and return
to his duties. The loads were all arranged, and the escort had been
so distributed that each set of coolies could be under surveillance,
with a chain of communication between the van and rear-guard, while
the coolies carrying the japanned tin cases were placed under the
immediate supervision of armed followers, so that they could not “bolt”
without creating an alarm. It was high noon before all was ready, and
then the tsawbwa and pawmines, perhaps disgusted with these salutary
precautions, announced that, as Manwyne could not be reached that day,
our departure must be postponed till the morrow. This was pleasant
after toiling six hours under a broiling sun, but we had nothing
to oppose to native caprice save patience, strongly tempered with
misgivings, which proved to be correct. The next morning no coolies
appeared, and the pawmines came down to say that they could not fulfil
their promise, as the tsawbwa had refused his co-operation. The chief
himself soon afterwards arrived to lay the onus of the failure on the
pawmines. A probable instigator of the whole scheme was the Nanlyaw
tamone, who, after a long absence, suddenly presented himself in our
camp, and whom Sladen, having had repeated proofs of his machinations,
at once arrested as a spy; but at the urgent intercession of his
friends, the pawmines, he was dismissed with a strong caution not to
show himself again in our vicinity.

At this juncture, when all hope of extrication from our Ponsee prison
seemed to have vanished, letters arrived from the governor of Momien,
informing Sladen that he was about to take the field in person, with a
strong force, to attack Li-sieh-tai, and drive him from his stronghold
of Mawphoo. The letters further recommended us not to attempt to
advance beyond Manwyne until advices should reach us of the defeat
of the Chinese partisan. A second letter was a circular addressed to
the Kakhyen chiefs, exhorting them to give all possible aid to the
expedition. This at once gave a vantage ground, from which to deal
with our highland friends, and it was improved by Sladen. Kakhyens,
Burmese, and Shans had alike conceived extravagant ideas of the value
of our baggage, and showed beyond doubt that the hope of getting
possession of all, or a part of it, was a strong motive of their action
or inaction. The leader therefore began to proclaim on all sides that
though we had cheerfully endured privations and delays, in the hope
of thoroughly conciliating the natives, they were not to imagine our
patience to be inexhaustible. If we should be compelled to abandon all
or any part of our baggage, it would be piled up and burned before
our departure; thus they would lose their expected plunder, and incur
the risk of future reprisals, or demands for compensation, and, above
all, certainly alienate those who sought to be their friends. To this
the chiefs replied in substance as follows: “Do not blame us for your
misfortunes; we have been always in doubt how to act, on account of the
many warnings we have received against aiding your progress. _Now_ we
know you. You have always been kind to us, and are a powerful people.”

Vexatious and harassing as had been our detention at Ponsee, it is
certain that it would have been before this period quite impossible
to proceed beyond Manwyne, and our residence among these semi-savage
tribes served to convert their first suspicions into confidence, and
to impress them with the value of our friendship. The uniform kindness
with which all just services were requited, as contrasted with the
treatment to which they had hitherto been subjected in their dealings
with other races, especially with the Burmese, gradually worked its

At this time letters were received through Burmese agency, from no less
a person than Moung Shuay Yah, who since his treacherous desertion
had never been heard of. Now all of a sudden his name was mentioned
_ad nauseam_ by the Burmese followers, and two Kakhyens arrived with
letters purporting to have been written at some halting-place in the
Shan country; but the bearers contradicted each other, and could not
tell when, or from whom, they had received the letters. Next day,
another letter was brought by one of the silver mining party, which, he
said, Moung Shuay Yah had given him fourteen days before, but which he
had _forgotten_ to deliver. The fact was the interpreter had started
for Momien, having heard of the change of our prospects, and our
probable advance to that city. As it was needful, if possible, to save
appearances, Moung Shuay Yah in his letter declared that he had been
obliged to fly to save his life from the anger of Sala. Fortunately
his place was by this time well supplied by Moung Mo, whom, it may be
remembered, Sala had carried off with him, but who had returned and
placed himself at Sladen’s disposal. He amply corroborated all that had
been before told us of the efforts of the Bhamô people to obstruct our
progress. Orders had been received from Mandalay, conveying the king’s
displeasure at our detention at Ponsee, and authorising Sala to take us
to Manwyne, but he had replied that after being induced by the Burmese
of Bhamô to compromise himself with us, he would have nothing further
to do with it.

It was supposed by our leader that the express object of stationing the
armed miners at Ponsee was to deter the Kakhyens from helping us. Moung
Mo, in addition, assured us that he had ascertained that Li-sieh-tai
had sworn to oppose any attempt on our part to penetrate the Shan
states, and he advised us on no account to proceed to Manwyne without
an intimation from the Panthays that the road was open. An important
circumstance occurred at this time in the arrival of messengers and a
Chinese interpreter from Momien. They brought no letters, but were
charged by the Tah-sa-kon[22] to make personal inquiries into the real
objects of the mission and our circumstances at Ponsee. It transpired
that letters from Bhamô had informed the governor that we represented
a powerful nation in alliance with the Chinese, and foes to the
Mahommedans all over the world, and that our real object was to destroy
the Panthay dominion in Yunnan.

Sladen thoroughly dispelled these suspicions, and sent away the envoys
completely satisfied as to the genuineness of our pacific intentions.
The probabilities of an advance were, however, still remote and
uncertain, and the wet season had fairly set in, marked by a constant
succession of thunder and heavy rains. Dense masses of mist rolled
up the valley like vast advancing curtains, shrouding the mountains
in their gigantic folds, and producing an artificial twilight, and
torrents of rain descended for three or four hours incessantly, soaking
the tents; our waterproof blankets alone saving the inmates from
complete saturation, but not from the utter discomfort of living in a

One storm deserves accurate description. Up to 4 P.M. of April 12th,
the wind had been blowing in fitful cool gusts from the south-west,
but at that hour there was a sudden lull; distant thunder was heard
echoing among the mountains, and heavy black clouds came rolling up;
a few drops of rain gave, as it were, the signal for a discharge of
hailstones, or rather flakes of ice. The wind blew in violent gusts,
and thunder rumbled over head, but the flashes of lightning were very
faint. The hailstones were circular discs about the size of a shilling,
flat on one side, and convex on the other. A white nucleus two-eighths
of an inch in diameter, and in many cases with a prominent boss of
clear ice on the convex side, formed the centre of a pellucid zone
surrounded by an opaque one, in its turn encased in clear ice; the
inner margin of this external zone was filled with a dark substance,
resembling mud combined with delicate ice crystals; the whole disc
strongly resembling a glass eye; when fractured, the nucleus separated
itself as a small short column, flat at one end, and convex at the

During the storm, which lasted for twenty minutes, the aneroid rose
from 26·62 to 26·65, and the attached thermometer registered 67°, the
maximum heat during the day having been 84°.

It was evident that the season was closed for purposes of engineering
survey and exploration, and this, combined with the reduced state
of the exchequer, induced the leader of the expedition to address a
circular to the members of the party, placing before them the facts,
and suggesting that it would be for the interests of the public service
that the numbers should be reduced in order to curtail the future
expense of transport. It was necessary in fact to lighten the ship, and
each was invited to consider how far he could assist in this needful
work. Sladen had determined to remain, _if necessary_, for some months,
until the opportunity should arrive to visit Momien, and at all hazards
personally communicate with the Panthays; but he felt that he ought to
place it in the power of the other members of the expedition to return,
especially as the work which some of them had been despatched to effect
could not be performed. This circular was sent round on the 17th, and
the news of the fall of Mawphoo and the utter defeat of Li-sieh-tai
reached us on the 18th of April, and was afterwards fully confirmed by
despatches from the Tah-sa-kon, announcing his victory and writing to
us to advance under the protection of all the chiefs _en route_. Our
friends the tsawbwa and his pawmines, who had been day by day “making
believe,” as children say, to discuss plans for procuring mules, were
evidently much influenced by this; but they could not help showing
their greed for rupees, and their continual demand was that three
hundred should be paid before starting.

It was only later on that we learned that all these Kakhyens,
especially Sala, had always been steady adherents of Li-sieh-tai, and
that his utter defeat made them thoroughly anxious to conciliate the
victorious Panthays.

The tsawbwa presented himself in a very penitent mood, and, confessing
all his past misconduct, averred his determination to give up drink and
debauchery and do his duty as a chief. Linking his fingers together
with an expressive shake, he vowed leal service to his English friends,
and then started off in company with his head pawmine on the road to
Manwyne, where he expected to meet the Seray chief, and arrange means
for our transport.

As if a new order of things had set in, our camp now was daily crowded
by Kakhyens, all in the highest good humour. The women of the village
came down _en masse_, bringing presents of fowls, eggs, sheroo, and
rice, but the fair ones had an eye to business; beads, looking-glasses,
bright new silver coins, and what they seemed most to prize, red
cloth, were in great demand. A brisk trade was driven in the various
ornaments, and they stripped off their bead necklaces and ratan girdles
and leggings with great glee, and even a bell-girdle, the distinctive
ornament of Kakhyen aristocracy, which hitherto even rupees had failed
to secure, was now acquired in return for red cloth; indeed, it seemed
quite possible to purchase a Kakhyen _belle_, ornaments, and all,
for a few yards of the much prized material; and they returned home
with great glee, shorn of their decorations, but rich in beads and
cloth. Some came to solicit medical aid; cases of severe ulcerations,
caused probably by their labour in the jungle, and aggravated by
dirt, being common. The gratitude evinced for the relief given was
touchingly shown by the presents, deposited with a fearful humility
that showed the donor’s belief in the intimate connection between
the doctor and the nats. Every day both chiefs and people from the
more distant villages flocked in, and none came empty-handed. Gifts
of rice, vegetables, tobacco, and sheroo, were brought not merely in
the hope of return presents, but evidently as signs of amity. There
could be no mistaking their feeling, that strangers who behaved with
kindness and justice were welcome. These poor hill people had hardly
ever known what it was to be treated with confidence; on either side,
Burmese and Chinese had wronged and oppressed them. Monsig. Bigandet
states that they had formerly been characterised by a genial kindliness
and ready hospitality to strangers, but that the cruel treatment they
experienced in Burmese towns, and the fraudulent evasion of payment for
their services, had rendered them suspicious, greedy, and treacherous.
It is not to be wondered at if the presence among them of strangers
of an unknown race, escorted by an armed force, should at first have
been regarded by them with fear and dislike, and it is with a modest
pride that we recall the kindly confidence in the strangers which had
sprung up towards the end of our long detention at Ponsee. The people
from the distant villages continually asked, “Why did you not come our
way? we should have then had some of the good things that you have
brought for the Ponsee people.” The camp was perpetually full; the men,
after curiously inspecting the many wonders that presented themselves,
chatted and smoked with our followers; and the women, old and young,
eagerly petitioned for small hand glasses, and black or green beads,
the latter being most valued, and straightway converted their prizes
into personal decorations. The young women formed in lines, each
clasping her neighbour in a coquettish embrace, their shyness had
vanished, they chatted and flirted freely, and did not even flinch from
being photographed.

The friendly intercourse with these visitors gave us most welcome
opportunities of inquiry into their customs, their national and social
life. There was no backwardness in answering any questions, and the
record of delays and difficulties may be well interrupted by a few
pages devoted to these mountaineers. Those of whom we saw the most were
all dwellers to the north of the Tapeng, but some of the visitors came
from the southern hills, and the general characteristics distinguish
both these and the clans visited by us on the return journey, who seem
to be more civilised than their northern congeners. It is right here
to acknowledge that the following account of this people has been
rendered fuller and more accurate by the use of some notes furnished
by Major Sladen from accounts given by natives, and by the use of
a valuable memoir on the territories written by the learned and
indefatigable missionary, Bishop Bigandet, whose warmest sympathies
have been called out for these poor mountaineers, of whom he said, “It
is of the utmost importance to know them, their character and habits,
and to be prepared to secure their good will, whenever the thought of
opening communications with Western China shall have been seriously

[Illustration: KAKHYEN MEN.]

[Illustration: KAKHYEN MATRONS.]

[21] _Tamone_, a Burmese headman of a village.

[22] _Tah-sa-kon_, a civil title equivalent to Commissioner or



 The Kakhyens or Kakoos--The clans--Their chiefs--Mountain
 villages--Cultivation and crops--Personal appearance--Costume--Arms
 and implements--Female dress and ornaments--Women’s work--Sheroo--
 Character--How to deal with them--Our party.

From the summit of the lofty hill, fully two thousand feet above our
camp, called Shitee-doung, which it became possible to ascend during
the latter part of our stay, an extensive view was obtained. From it to
the north a sea of hills extended as far as the eye could reach; to the
south stretched ranges of hills covered with forest, save where little
clearings showed the presence of villages; to the north-east lofty
parallel ranges closed in a narrow valley with a river winding down
it. These hills are the country of the Kakhyens. These mountaineers
belong to the widely spread race that under the name of Singphos,
Kakoos, &c. occupy the hills defining the Irawady basin, up to the wall
of the Khamti plain, and are probably cognate with the hill tribes of
the Mishmees and Nagas. The name Kakhyen is a Burmese appellation;
they invariably designating themselves as Chingpaw, or “men.”[23] By
their own account the hills to the north of the Tapeng, for a month’s
journey, are occupied by kindred tribes. South of the Tapeng, they
occupy the hills as far as the latitude of Tagoung, and, as mentioned,
were met with on our voyage near the second defile. To the east, they
are found occupying the hills, and, intermixed with the Shans and
Chinese, almost to Momien. Here they, as it were, run into the Leesaws,
who may be a cognate, but are not an identical, race. The two chief
tribes in the hills of the Tapeng valley are the Lakone and Kowrie or
Kowlie, but numerous subdivisions of clans occur. All are said to have
originally come from the Kakoos’ country, north-east of Mogoung; and
Shans informed us that two hundred years ago Kakhyens were unknown in
Sanda and Hotha valleys. To give one instance of their migrations. The
Lakone tribe have at a very recent period driven the Kowlies from the
northern to the southern banks of the Tapeng. A Lakone chief, having
married the daughter of a Kowlie, asked permission to cultivate land
belonging to his father-in-law; receiving a refusal, he took forcible
possession, and drove the Kowlies across the river to the hills where
they now dwell.

Among these hill tribes the patriarchal system of government has
hitherto universally prevailed, although a certain, or rather
uncertain, obedience is nominally due to Burmese or Chinese
authorities. Thus the Ponsee and Ponline chiefs had each received a
gold umbrella and the title of papada raza from the king of Burma.
Each clan is ruled by an hereditary chief or tsawbwa, assisted by
lieutenants or pawmines, who adjudicate all disputes among the
villagers. Their office is also hereditary, and properly limited to the
eldest son, whereas the chieftainship descends to the youngest son, or,
failing sons, to the youngest surviving brother. The land also follows
this law of inheritance, the younger sons in all cases inheriting,
while the elder go forth and clear wild land for themselves. Between
Tsitkaw and Manwyne seven clans under separate chiefs are met with,
each chief considering himself entitled to exact a toll of four annas
per mule-load from travellers through his district. The chieftain’s
goodwill being secured by payment of his toll or blackmail, that of
the people follows as a matter of course. When the traveller quits the
lands of one chief, he is handed over by his guide to the next headman,
and is as safe with him as with the former. The tsawbwa is the nominal
owner of the land, but a suggestion to a villager that the chief might
evict him from his holding was replied to by a significant sawing
motion of the hand across the throat. As a general rule, the chief
owns the slaves found everywhere among these people. Most have been
stolen as children, but adults are also kidnapped. The women become
concubines, the men are well treated if industrious and willing. The
children of slaves belong to the owner, but really are as well treated
as the members of his family. When a tsawbwa marries, he is expected to
present a slave to his father-in-law, among the other gifts. The market
value of a boy or girl is about forty rupees, but that of a man not
more than twenty to thirty rupees, or a buffalo.

Every house pays the chief an annual tribute of a basket of rice.
Whenever a buffalo is killed, a quarter is presented to him. He is
usually a trader, and, besides the receipt of tolls, derives a profit
from the hire of mules or coolies for transport. Save in this respect,
it was impossible to help being reminded of Scottish highland clans of
the olden time, so many were the points of resemblance that occurred
in the customs and indeed character of these mountaineers, though, to
avert all possible indignation, I hasten to add that no parallel is
intended to be drawn, especially as regards their morals or social life.

The Kakhyen villages are always situated near a perennial mountain
stream, generally in a sheltered glen, or straggling with their
enclosures up a gentle slope, covering a mile of ground. The houses,
which usually face eastwards, are all built on the same plan as that
tenanted by us at Ponline. The most usual dimensions are about one
hundred and fifty to two hundred feet in length, and forty to fifty
feet in breadth. These large bamboo structures are veritable barracks.
The first room is hospitably reserved for strangers; the others form
the apartments of several families, connected by blood or marriage,
which compose the household community. The back entrance is reserved
for the use of the members of these families. A serious demand for
compensation arose out of the inadvertence of one of our servants who
entered by the family door, and thus provoked the domestic nat. The
projecting eaves, supported by posts which are adorned with the skulls
of buffaloes and pigs, form a portico, where men and women lounge or
work by day, and at night the live stock--buffaloes, mules, ponies,
pigs, and poultry--are housed, while a bamboo fence guards them from
possible thief or leopard.

Near the houses are small enclosures, where white-flowered poppies,
plantains, and indigo are cultivated; paddy and maize are grown
together on the adjacent slopes and knolls, which are carefully scarped
in terraces, presenting often the appearance of an amphitheatre. The
stream is dammed near the highest point, and directed so as to overflow
the terraces and rejoin the channel at the base. Bamboo conduits are
sometimes used to convey the water to paddy fields or distant houses.
Fresh clearings are also made every year by felling and burning the
forest on the hillsides. Near every village disused paths may be seen,
which have been cut to former clearings, and along which a little canal
has been carried. The cleared ground is broken up with a rude hoe, but
in the cultivated terraces wooden ploughs are used. Excessive rain,
which makes the paddy weak and the yield scanty, is most dreaded.
Generally, the natural fertility of the soil more than repays the rude
husbandry with beautiful crops of rice, maize, cotton, and tobacco, of
excellent quality. Near the villages, peaches, pomegranates, and guavas
are grown; and the forests abound with chestnuts, plums, cherries, and
various wild brambleberries. On the higher slopes, oaks and birches
grow in abundance, and large areas are covered with _Cinnamomum
caudatum_ and _C. cassia_, the oil of which is commonly sold as oil
of cinnamon. Thousands of these trees are annually felled to clear
new ground for cultivation and burned where they lie. Another natural
production is the tea plant (_Camellia thea_), which grows freely on
the eastern side of the hills, and suggested dreams of future tea
plantations, cultivated by improved Kakhyens or imported Shans and

Among the inhabitants of the villages, both those who visited our camp
and the southern hillmen seen on the homeward route, the variety of
faces is striking. This may be probably owing to admixture of Shan
and Burmese blood, but two types may be said to predominate; the one
with a fine outline of features, which recalled the womanly faces of
the Cacharies and Lepchas of Sikkim. In it the oblique eye is very
strongly marked, and the face is a longish, rather compressed oval,
with pointed chin, aquiline nose, and prominent malars. One Kakhyen
belle met with at Bhamô, with large lustrous eyes and fair skin, might
almost have passed for a European. The other and by far the most
prevalent type is probably the true Chingpaw, presenting a short, round
face, with low forehead and very prominent malars. The ugliness of
the slightly oblique eyes, separated by a wide space, the broad nose,
thick protruding lips, and broad square chin, is only redeemed by the
good-humoured expression. The hair and eyes are usually a dark shade
of brown, and the complexion is a dirty buff. The average height for
men is from five feet to five feet six inches, and four feet six inches
to five feet for women. The limbs are slight, though well formed, one
peculiarity being the disproportionate shortness of the legs. This is
also observable among the Karens, to whom the Kakhyens bear a general
resemblance, suggesting a common origin, which is further indicated
by their language. Though not muscular, they are very agile, and the
young girls bound like deer along the hill-paths, their loose dark
locks streaming behind them. They bring down from the hills loads of
firewood and deal planks which we found as much as we could lift.
However interesting and picturesque their appearance may be, closer
inspection dissolves the enchantment lent by distance. Both persons
and clothes appear never to have been washed, and the dress, once put
on, is never changed till it is worn to pieces. Neither men nor women
use combs, and the state of the thick matted felt of hair can better
be imagined than described. Although they never seemed to wash except
faces, hands, and feet, some of the men were good swimmers and divers,
and proudly exhibited their skill, disclosing thereby the fact that
their bodies were tattooed with blue dots, chiefly on the chest and
back. The dress of the men usually consists of a Shan jacket and short
breeches of blue cotton cloth, supported by a cotton girdle. The hair
is coiled in a blue or sometimes a red turban; the moustache and beard
are very scanty, but their custom of eradicating the natural growth
renders it hard to judge. They insert in the lobe of the ear a piece
of bamboo, or a lappet of embroidered red cloth, a leaf or flower, or
a piece of paper, our old newspapers being in great request; and a
number of fine ratan rings encircle the leg below the knee. It seemed
to us that the Kakhyen men were ready to adopt any dress; some even
wore their hair in the Chinese pigtail. The “Red Pawmine,” on grand
occasions, turned out in a bright red turban, rose-checked breeches,
and a red blanket over his shoulders. The chiefs usually wear Chinese
padded jackets, leggings made of rolls of blue cloth, and Shan shoes.
They are distinguished, especially in the case of those who rigidly
adhere to the ancient Kakhyen costume, by neck-hoops of silver,
resembling Celtic torques, and the necklace of beads or cylinders of
an ochreous earth. These are found in the Mogoung district, and are
highly valued, being reputed to be the authentic handiwork of the
earth nats. Some Kakoos met with at Sanda wore a broad piece of blue
cotton cloth, with a red embroidered border of woollen stuff, like a
kilt, reaching to the knee. This seems to be the true Kakhyen dress;
and they also wore their hair uncovered, and cut straight across the
forehead, like the Kakhyen maidens. No hillman is ever seen without
his _dah_, or knife; it is half sheathed in wood, and suspended to a
ratan hoop covered with embroidered cloth and adorned by a leopard’s
tooth. This is slung over the right shoulder, so as to bring the hilt
in front ready to the grasp of the right hand. Two sorts of dahs are in
use: one the long sword, such as the Thibetans use, two feet and a half
in length, with a long cylindrical wooden hilt, bound with cord and
finished with a red tassel. The other is shorter and broader, widening
from the hilt to the truncated tip. This knife the Burmese call “the
Kakhyen’s chief”; it is wielded with great dexterity either to cut
down trees or men, or to execute the fine lineal tracery with which
their bamboo opium pipes and fan cases are decorated. It is appealed to
in every argument, and drawn on visible foes and invisible nats with
equal readiness. On one occasion we espied a woman on the hillside
writhing on the ground in evident pain. A passing villager came to her
assistance, and at once out flashed his dah, with which he executed
several cuts in the air over the prostrate woman. This was to drive
away the nat who had taken possession; he then threw earth over her
head, and ran off to the village to procure help to carry her home.
During the latter part of our stay, one of the police escort, during a
chaffing argument with a Kakhyen visitor, was without warning felled
by a blow of the dah. The savage decamped to the jungle, leaving the
sepoy bleeding from a gash on his head, and another on the arm, with
which he had warded off the blow and so saved his skull from being
split. These dahs are made by the Shans of the Hotha valley, who are
the itinerant smiths of the country. Other arms are a long matchlock,
and a cross-bow, with arrows poisoned with the juice of an aconitum.
They are much used in hunting; the flesh round the wound being cut out,
the rest of the animal is eaten without danger. An invariable article
of equipment is an embroidered bag worn over the right shoulder,
containing pipe, tobacco, lime and betel box, money, and a bamboo flask
of sheroo. A most ingenious apparatus supplies a light for the constant
pipe. It resembles a child’s popgun, and consists of a small cylinder
four inches long, open at one end, into which is very tightly fitted
a piston, with a cup-shaped cavity at the lower end. In it, a small
pellet of tinder is placed, the piston is driven down smartly, and as
quickly withdrawn, when the tinder is found to be ignited.


 Fig. 1. Kakhyen ladle for preparing opium.

 2. Kakhyen opium forceps.

 3. 4. Kakhyen cylinder and piston for striking fire.

 5. Shan flute with gourd mouthpiece.

 6. Kakhyen double flute.

 7. Kakhyen opium hookah (bamboo).

 8. Kakhyen opium pipe.

 9. Kakhyen opium hookah, the mouthpiece made of the underground stem
 and the water receptacle of the segment of a remarkable bamboo with
 swollen internodes.

 10. Chinese bamboo lamp.

 11. Shan powder flask.

 12. Shan violin.

 13. Bow for ditto.

 14. Shan guitar.]

It is worth recording that the men invariably smoke opium, but not
to excess; rarely, if ever, did we see them use tobacco for smoking,
though they were addicted to chewing it. The juice of the poppy,
exuding from incisions made in the green capsules, is collected on
plantain leaves, which are dried, and in this form the opium is smoked
either in hookahs made of the segment of a peculiarly shaped bamboo
or in brass pipes of Chinese manufacture. Whether the cultivation and
use of opium have spread from Assam or from Yunnan is uncertain, but
we found it universal from the Burmese plain to Momien, although the
method of smoking it among the Kakhyens differs altogether from that
of the Chinese. Dr. Bayfield, in 1837, observed of the Singphos, on
the western side of the Irawady valley, that, “from whatever source
derived, the cultivation of the poppy is now universal;” and he
describes the methods of collection and use as the same, save that
coarse cloth was used instead of leaves.

The men rarely employ themselves in manual labour; a few of the more
industrious assist the women to fell the jungle and set it on fire,
but most of this labour is left to the women. In general, the men till
the land; but between the seasons, they wander from house to house,
and village to village, gossiping, drinking, or smoking. Journeys to
dispose of produce, or carry goods, hunting excursions, and occasional
fights or forays, are not reckoned labour. They do not work in metals,
but are very skilful in adorning bamboos or wooden implements with
carving. The designs of their tracery are the simplest combinations of
straight lines, and rude figures of birds and animals, characteristic
of the most primitive art.

The Kakhyen women have adopted the short loose Shan jacket of blue
cotton, slashed with red cloth, variously ornamented, according to the
means of the wearer, with cowries and silver. This covers the arms and
breast, but leaves the waist exposed, save for a profusion of ratan
girdles, adorned with lines of white seeds. These also support the
kirtle or kilt, which reaches from the hips to the knee, the border
of the skirt being chequered in red, blue, and yellow. Cowries form a
favourite ornamentation of every part of the dress, and the daughters
of chiefs wear broad belts of these shells. Besides the distinctive
bell-girdle, fine ratan rings encircle the leg below the knee, but no
shoes are worn. Most of the matrons coil their hair in the folds of
the Shan turban, but the original Chingpaw head-dress is a puggery
of embroidered cloth, twisted round the head, while the end, fringed
with beads, falls gracefully on the shoulder. Unmarried women wear no
head-dress, and cut their hair square across the forehead in a fashion
not unknown in England, while their back hair, unrestrained by any
fastening, streams down behind. The ears are pierced both through the
lobes and upper cartilage. In the latter orifice is inserted a lappet
of embroidered cloth tasselled with small green and black beads;
silver tubes, reaching to the shoulder, are also worn by the wealthier
_belles_, while the poorer display fresh flowers or leaves. Anything
seems convertible into an ear-ring: thus a cheroot, or, as seen by
us, a freshly plucked leek, is stuck into the ear. All who can, wear
necklaces of beads, but silver hoops called _gerees_, and the komoung
of red ochreous beads, are peculiar to the necks of high-born damsels.

It has been remarked that the men are averse to labour, but the lot of
all women irrespective of rank is one of drudgery. They are not allowed
to eat with the men, and are looked on as mere beasts of burden, valued
only for their usefulness; but they seem contented with their lot, and
are always cheerful and light-hearted. Their brisk activity forms a
pleasing contrast to the lounging idleness of their lords. Much, if not
most, of the field-work falls to their share, and their daily routine
is one of incessant and hard labour. Their first duty in the morning
is to clean and crush the rice for the daily consumption, and late at
night the dull thud of the heavy pestle, with the accompaniments of
their regular wild cry and the jingling of the bell-girdles, was to be
heard. They fetch water from the stream, and firewood from the jungle.
This latter is a most laborious task, as the girls have to search for
dry wood, cut it into faggots, and bring it home on their backs. Their
bare legs are often lacerated in the jungle, and the wounds, aggravated
by dirt and neglect, form intractable ulcers. Many such cases were
brought to our camp for treatment. Another effect of the hard work and
exposure is to be observed in the frequency of grey hair among the
young women, the matted locks of even girls of ten and twelve years
being abundantly silvered as if by premature old age.

Their ordinary house labours include the preparation of _sheroo_,
or Kakhyen beer, a beverage always in demand. This is regarded as a
serious, almost sacred task, the women, while engaged in it, having to
live in almost vestal seclusion. Certain herbs and roots dried in the
sun are mixed with chillies and ginger, to avert the interference of
malignant nats; the mixture is pulverised with some rice in a mortar,
and reduced to a paste which is carefully preserved in the form of
cakes, wrapped in mats. Crushed rice mixed with fresh plantains is
steeped for half a day, and allowed to dry. It is next boiled, or
“mashed,” with a due proportion of the “medicine” or powdered cake in
a _paungyaung_, or wooden tub, placed within a copper caldron, from
which it is, after cooling and fermenting for a week in a leaf-covered
basket, transferred to a closely covered earthen jar. After twenty days
the sheroo is fit to drink, but is better if left for six months. This
forms the stock, to which water is added, and the beverage is offered
in a bamboo, closed with a fresh plantain leaf. This liquor resembles
very small beer, but is pleasant and refreshing. A similar beverage is
found among the Lepchas of Darjeeling, who imbibe it through a reed,
the Looshais and Nagas. The Khyens and Karens also prepare a rice-beer
like the _congee_ of the Burmese; the Nagas also prepare “moad” from
rice, and the Khamtis and Singphos of the Hoo-kong valley distil a
spirit which the latter call _sahoo_; but the Kakhyens procure all
their supplies of _samshu_, or rice-spirit, from the Shan-Chinese.

It is naturally the business of the women to spin, dye, and weave the
home-grown cotton. Their loom is of a primitive form, the same as
that used among the Khyens, the Munipoories, and other tribes on the
north-east of Assam. One end of the warp is held in position by pegs
driven into the ground, and the other is kept on the stretch by a
broad leather strap fastened round the back of the woman as she sits
on the ground with her legs straight before her. A long piece of wood
keeps the threads of the warp open, so that the shuttle, which is
thirty inches long, and worked by both hands, can pass easily. With
this they produce a strong thick cloth, and weave fanciful patterns
of red, green, and yellow. They are also adepts at embroidery in silk
and cotton, which is only applied to the decoration of the bags or
havresacks worn by the men.

The code of morality of the Kakhyens has been variously represented.
Unchastity before marriage is certainly not regarded as a disgrace. If
possible, the parents of the girl endeavour to get the lovers married,
but it is not an imperative duty. Should, however, an unmarried
girl die _enceinte_, the father of the child is bound to compensate
her parents by the present of a slave, a buffalo, a dah, and other
articles, and to give a feast to the inmates of the house. Failing
this, he is liable to be sold as a slave. This arises from the value
set upon a marriageable daughter, both as regards her present working
power and her future price as a wife, which is not lessened by an

Infidelity after marriage is a crime which the husband may punish on
the spot by the death of both the offenders. In case of elopement of
a wife, the husband is entitled to recover damages, fixed at double
the amount expended by him at his marriage. For this the relatives and
clansmen of the lover are held liable on pain of a feud.

The ceremony of marriage, besides the religious rites, combines the
idea of purchase from the parents with that of abduction, so frequently
found to underlie the nuptial rites of widely separated races. An
essential preliminary is to get the diviner to predict the general
fortune of the intended bride. Some article of her dress or ornaments
is procured, and handed to the seer, who, we may suppose, being thereby
brought _en rapport_ with her, proceeds to consult omens and predict
her _bedeen_ or destiny. If auspicious, messengers bearing presents
are sent to make proposals to the girl’s parents, who specify the
dowry required and agreed to by the envoys. All being adjusted, two
messengers are sent from the bridegroom to inform the bride’s friends
that such a day is appointed for the marriage. They are liberally
feasted, and escorted home by two of her relatives, who promise to be
duly prepared. When the day comes, five young men and girls set out
from the bridegroom’s village to that of the bride, where they wait
till nightfall in a neighbouring house. At dusk the bride is brought
thither by one of the stranger girls, as it were, without the knowledge
of her parents, and told that these men have come to claim her. They
all set out at once for the bridegroom’s village. In the morning the
bride is placed under a closed canopy, outside the bridegroom’s house.
Presently there arrives a party of young men from her village, to
search, as they say, for one of their girls who has been stolen. They
are invited to look under the canopy, and bidden, if they will, to take
the girl away; but they reply, “It is well; let her remain where she

While a buffalo, &c. are being killed as a sacrifice, the bridegroom
hands over the dowry, and exhibits the trousseau provided for his
bride. A wealthy Kakhyen pays for his wife a female slave, ten
buffaloes, ten spears, ten dahs, ten pieces of silver, a gong, two
suits of clothes, a matchlock, and an iron cooking pot. He also
presents clothes and silver to the bridesmaids, and defrays the
expense of the feast. Meanwhile the _toomsa_, or officiating priest,
has arranged bunches of fresh grass, pressed down with bamboos at
regular intervals, so as to form a carpet between the canopy and the
bridegroom’s house. The household nats are then invoked, and a libation
of sheroo and water poured out. Fowls, &c. are then killed, and
their blood is sprinkled on the grass path, over which the bride and
her attendants pass to the house, and offer boiled eggs, ginger, and
dried fish to the household deities. This concludes the ceremony, in
which the bridegroom takes no part. A grand feast follows. Besides the
ordinary fare of rice, plantains, and dried fish and pork, the beef of
the sacrificed buffalo and the venison of the barking deer, all cooked
in large iron pots, imported from Yunnan, are the viands. Abundant
supplies of sheroo and Chinese samshu prepare the guests for the dance.

The orchestra consists of a drum formed of a hollowed tree stem,
covered at both ends with the skin of the barking deer, a sort of
jews-harp of bamboo, which gives a very clear, almost metallic, tone,
and a single or double flute, with a piece of metal inside a long
slit, which the performer covers with his mouth. He also accompanies
the strain with a peculiar whirring noise, produced in his throat. The
marriage feast ends, like all their festivities, in great drunkenness,
disorder, and often in a fight.

Breach of promise is made a cause of feud, the friends of the aggrieved
fair one making it a point of honour to attack the village of the
offender. The curious custom obtains that a widow becomes the wife of
the senior brother-in-law, even though he be already married. The day
after the birth of a child, the household’s nats are propitiated by
offerings of sheroo and the sacrifice of a hog. The flesh is divided
into three portions, one for the toomsa, another for the slayer and
cook, and the third for the head of the household. The entrails, with
eggs, fish, and ginger, are placed on the altars, all the villagers are
bidden to a feast, and sheroo is handed round in order of seniority.
After all have drunk, the oldest man rises and, pointing to the infant,
says, “That boy, or girl, is named so and so.” When a Kakhyen dies, the
news is announced by the discharge of matchlocks. This is a signal for
all to repair to the house of death. Some cut bamboos and timber for
the coffin, others prepare for the funeral rites. A circle of bamboos
is driven into the ground, slanting outwards, so that the upper circle
is much wider than the base. To each a small flag is fastened, grass
is placed between this circle and the house, and the toomsa scatters
grass over the bamboos, and pours a libation of sheroo. A hog is then
slaughtered, and the flesh cooked and distributed, the skull being
fixed on one of the bamboos. The coffin is made of the hollowed trunk
of a large tree, which the men fell with their dahs. Just before it
falls, a fowl is killed by being dashed against the tottering stem.
The place where the head is to rest is blackened with charcoal, and a
lid constructed. The body is washed by men or matrons, according to
sex, and dressed in new clothes. Some of the pork, boiled rice, and
sheroo, are placed before it, and a piece of silver is inserted in the
mouth to pay ferry dues over the streams the spirit may have to cross.
It is then coffined and borne to the grave amidst the discharge of
fire-arms. The grave is about three feet deep, and three pieces of
wood are laid to support the coffin, which is covered with branches of
trees before the earth is filled in. The old clothes of the deceased
are laid on the mound, and sheroo is poured on it, the rest being drunk
by the friends around it. In returning, the mourners strew ground rice
along the path, and when near the village, they cleanse their legs
and arms with fresh leaves. Before re-entering the house, all are
lustrated with water by the toomsa with an asperge of grass, and pass
over a bundle of grass sprinkled with the blood of a fowl sacrificed
during their absence to the spirit of the dead. Eating and drinking
wind up the day. Next morning an offering of a hog and sheroo is made
to the spirit of the dead man, and a feast and dance are held till late
at night, and resumed in the morning. A final sacrifice of a buffalo
in honour of the household nats then takes place, and the toomsa
breaks down the bamboo fence, after which the final death dance[24]
successfully drives forth the spirit, which is believed to have been
still lingering round its former dwelling. In the afternoon a trench
is dug round the grave, and the conical cover already described is
erected, the skulls of the hog and buffalo being affixed to the posts.

The bodies of those who have been killed by shot or steel are wrapped
in a mat and buried in the jungle without any rites. A small open hut
is erected over the spot for the use of the spirits, for whom also a
dah, bag, and basket are placed. These spirits are believed to haunt
the forests as _munla_, like the Burman _tuhsais_, or ghosts, and to
have the power of entering into men and imparting a second sight of
deeds of violence. Funeral rites are also denied to those who die of
small-pox and to women dying in child-birth. In the latter case, the
mother and her unborn child are believed to become a fearful compound
vampyre. All the young people fly in terror from the house, and
divination is resorted to, to discover what animal the evil spirit
will devour, and another with which it will transmigrate. The first is
sacrificed, and some of the flesh placed before the corpse; the second
is hanged, and a grave dug in the direction to which the animal’s head
pointed when dead. Here the corpse is buried with all the clothes and
ornaments worn in life, and a wisp of straw is burned on its face,
before the leaves and earth are filled in. All property of the deceased
is burned on the grave, and a hut erected over it. The death dance
takes place, to drive the spirit from the house, in all cases. The
former custom appears to have been to burn the body itself, with the
house and all the clothes and ornaments used by the deceased. This also
took place if the mother died during the month succeeding child-birth,
and, according to one native statement, the infant also was thrown into
the fire, with the address, “Take away your child;” but if previously
any one claimed the child, saying, “Give me your child,” it was
spared, and belonged to the adopting parent, the real father being
unable at any time to reclaim it.

These ceremonies show the character of the religion of the people.
Hemmed in as they are by Buddhist populations, they adhere to
the ancient form of worship of good and evil spirits. The French
missionaries have been unable to produce any effect upon them. A vague
idea of a Supreme Being exists among them, as they speak of a nat in
the form of a man named Shingrawah, who created everything. They do
not worship, but reverence him, “because he is very big.” As their
funeral rites show, they believe in a future existence. Tsojah is the
abode of good men; and those who die violent deaths, and bad characters
generally, go to Marai. To questions as to the place and conditions of
these, an intelligent Kakhyen answered, “How can I tell? no one knows

The objects of worship are the nats benign or malignant; the first
such as Sinlah, the sky spirit, who gives rain and good crops; Chan
and Shitah, who cause the sun and moon to rise. These they worship,
“because their fathers did so, and told their children that they were
good.” Cringwan is the beneficent patron of agriculture, but the
malignant nats must be bribed not to ruin the crops. When the ground is
cleared for sowing, Masoo is appeased with pork and fowls, buried at
the foot of the village altars; when the paddy is eared, buffaloes and
pigs are sacrificed to Cajat. A man about to travel is placed under
the care of Muron, the toomsa, after due sacrifices, requesting him to
“tell the other nats not to harm that man.”

Neglect of Mowlain will result in the want of _compraw_, or silver, the
great object of a Kakhyen’s desire, and if hunters forbear offerings
to Chitong, some one will be killed by stag or tiger. Chitong and
Muron are two of ten brothers, who have an especial interest in
Kakhyen affairs, and another named Phee is the guardian of the night.
Every hill, forest, and stream, has its own nat of greater or less
power; every accident or illness is the work of some malignant or
vindictive one of “these viewless ministers.” To discover who may be
the particular nat, or how he is to be appeased, is the business of
the toomsa. He prescribes and assists in all sacrifices, and calls the
nats to receive their share, which with economical piety generally
consists of the offal. The extraordinary method of consulting the will
of the nats by a possessed medium has been already described. The
meetway is distinct from a toomsa, or regular priest, but there is no
sacerdotal caste, the succession being kept up by a natural selection
and apprenticeship. The village toomsa practises augury from fowl
bones, omens, and the fracture of burned nul grass, besides holding
communication with the spirit world. Besides the occasional sacrifices,
at seed-time a solemn sacrifice is offered to Ngka, the earth spirit.
In this the whole community participates, and the next four days are
observed as a strict sabbath, no work or journey being undertaken.

At harvest-time Sharoowa and his wife are worshipped in a similar
manner by the chief and villagers. All animals sacrificed must be
males, but a woman’s dress and ornaments are offered to the female
nat. The _namsyang_, or tutelary nats of the village, are also husband
and wife; he ruling the western and she the eastern portion; they are
venerated twice a year with other nats by the tsawbwa. All the people
repair to the head village, and the chief offers buffaloes, &c., and a
grand feast is held. The skulls of the animals offered and eaten are
affixed to the tsawbwa’s house, where they remain as memorials of his
piety and hospitality.

These recurring seasons of seed-time in May and June and harvest-time
in December seemed to us to be the only divisions of time known
to these mountaineers, but they were said to have a succession of

The language of the Kakhyens is monosyllabic, and is spoken in an
ascending tone, every sentence ending in a long-drawn “ee,” in a
higher key, thus--“Chingpaw poong-doon tan-key-ing _eee_?” “Do the
Kakhyens dance?” Monsig. Bigandet says: “It is the same as used by
all the Singpho tribes, and bears a great resemblance to that of the
Abors and Mishmees, and other tribes of the south-western spurs of the
Himalayas. The pronunciation is soft and easy, and the construction of
sentences simple and direct as in English. It is totally different from
the Burmese, and belongs to a completely different group.” We found
very few that could speak Burmese, except the Ponline and other chiefs
bordering the plain; but almost all the chiefs both north and south of
the Tapeng, and many of their clansmen, could speak Chinese, and a few,
such as the chiefs of Mattin, Seray, &c., could write Chinese; but the
Kakhyens possess no written characters of their own.

As warriors the Kakhyens cannot be ranked high. Quarrelsome and
revengeful as they are, prone to exact atonement for a wrong or feud
to the last, their attacks are always made stealthily, and generally
at night--they may be said to crouch and spring like the tiger. As
hunters, so far as we could learn, they are not very daring, but our
opportunities of observation were limited, and the hills about Ponsee
did not seem to contain much animal life. Their chief quarry is the
barking deer, but leopards and porcupines are said to be sometimes
found, and wild elephants were reported as occasional visitors. The
fierce and pugnacious bamboo rat is esteemed a dainty and valuable
prize. The young lads set ingenious traps for jungle fowl and
pheasants. A miniature fence of the stems of tall jungle grass is
constructed down the hillside for two hundred feet, through which
little runs are opened. At each a pliable bamboo is firmly fixed at
one end, while the other is lightly fastened to the ground. A noose
fixed to this end snares the birds, which are hoisted in the air like
moles in the familiar trap. We also observed boys liming small birds
in an ingenious manner, with a bird-lime obtained from the root of
some plant. This was smeared on the prongs of a wooden trident fixed
in a bamboo handle, which was hidden in the jungle bordering a path.
On a cord across the trident, a number of ants were so fixed that they
could move their wings; the constant flutter allured the birds to perch
on the trident and be caught. The small boys were stimulated in the
pursuit of “small deer” and all sorts of birds by the rewards given for
any specimens. The collection and preservation of all manner of living
things was a constant source of wonder to the Kakhyens, as well as of
gain. Even the young tsawbwa caught the infection, and, moved either by
greed or gratitude for medical help, brought in a young example of a
red-faced monkey, closely allied to _Macacus tibetanus_ (Milne-Edwards).

It will be evident that they are a perfectly wild race of mountaineers,
supplying themselves with most of the necessaries of life by rude
cultivation. They are altogether dependent on their neighbours for
salt and dried fish; and as their own scanty crops furnish little
superfluity, their great object is to obtain _compraw_, wherewith
to purchase what they need. They rear no animals but pigs; and the
buffaloes they own have been stolen from the plains. This habit of
“cattle-lifting” causes them to be regarded as natural outlaws by the
Burmese; hence the constant state of hostility and reprisals on both
sides. Since the time of our visit the mountaineers have been better
treated at Bhamô, and a zayat has been erected for their use outside
the stockade, besides one built for them near the British Residency;
but no Kakhyen can enter or leave the town without a pass, for which he
has to pay toll, this licence-duty being farmed by residents in Bhamô.
It must be owned that, whether their character has been deteriorated
by knavish injustice on the part of Chinese traders, or high-handed
extortion and wrong on the part of Burmese, they are at the present
time lazy, thievish, and untrustworthy. Their savage curiosity leads
them to pry into every package entrusted to them. During the return
journey all the collecting-boxes were opened, and every specimen
unrolled and examined, with what results of utter confusion may be
imagined. They consider themselves entitled to levy blackmail on
all passing through their districts, and each petty chief tries to
represent himself as an independent tsawbwa, with a full control of the
portion of route near his village.

As any mission or trade-convoy must, however, pass through their
hills, and strong and impartial justice should characterise all our
relations with them, it will not be thought presumption to suggest
what appears to be the best and fairest method of dealing with them.
It is thoroughly well established that the Kakhyens themselves
possess no mules, or at least so few as to be insufficient for the
carriage of any large amount of baggage or goods. When the chiefs
have been employed to procure mules, they hire them from the Shans,
acting thus as middle-men, and in our case making an exorbitant
profit. Their incurable habits of pilfering and meddling curiosity
render them unfit to be employed as porters. All beasts of burden,
and coolies, if required, should be procured either in Burma or by
direct agents, hiring them in the Shan districts subject to China;
in the latter case no payments in advance should be made. The chiefs
of the Kakhyens occupying the portion of the route lying within the
Burmese frontier line should be summoned to Bhamô by the Burmese
authorities at the instance of the British Resident, and, a proper
sum, in recognition of their territorial dues, being fixed, should be
informed that this will be paid at the Residency on the safe passage
through their territory being accomplished and certified. A similar
course can be pursued by communication with the Chinese authorities
with regard to those who live within the Chinese frontier. The duties
to be performed by the chiefs should be limited to guaranteeing an
undisturbed passage, and providing such accommodation or supplies as
may be required. With regard to provision for an open trade route, a
fair tariff should be fixed upon: this has been done by the Chinese,
and could be accomplished by the Burmese also. The mountain chiefs may
then be required to keep the roads open and in repair, and to suppress
any attempt at brigandage, on pain of being fined, and otherwise
punished. It must be remarked, however, with all deference to the
political branch of our service, that one cannot help thinking that
it will be needful in all cases that our Residents should not issue
independent summonses and orders to the hill chiefs. The ill-feeling
of the Burmese has not unnaturally been excited by British officers
dealing, independently of the Woon, with the chiefs, nominally at
least, subordinate to him as the officer of the king of Burma. It is
surely incumbent on the British Resident in the town of an independent
foreign power to co-operate with and recognise the local authorities,
and cultivate an _entente cordiale_ with them. If this policy be
systematically observed, the Burmese will be most fairly and properly
held responsible for the conduct of the chiefs whom they claim to be
dependent on their authority, and who have accepted titles and insignia
from the king of Burma. It may seem fanciful to suggest ways and means
of removing the difficulties of the route for a future trade; but
the passage of a mission, or of future explorers of the interesting
country beyond the Kakhyen hills, will be only thus made possible.
The arrangements must be made with the Burmese and the Chinese; the
Kakhyens, being only regarded as outlying people, paid their dues, not
from fear, but from generous justice; while they are sternly repressed,
and taught their own insignificance and almost inutility. These remarks
may seem an example of shutting the door after the steed is stolen;
but if the plan proposed widely differs from that pursued by our
expedition, let it be remembered that we were pioneers in an unknown
country, feeling our way through tribes and populations, the political
relations of which were at that time as little known as were the
physical difficulties of the route we had been commissioned to explore
through their midst.

These observations are the result of the experience gained in the
course of this first attempt, and the opinions then formed have been
confirmed on a more recent occasion, when it was not in my power to
make any practical application of the knowledge of the ways and habits
of the mountaineers which had been formerly gained.

If the reader is somewhat tired of the Kakhyens, he can better
understand the wearisome and anxious time passed by us at Ponsee, as
all through April we alternately hoped and despaired of escaping from
our open-air prison. At the end of that time our party was reduced in
numbers by the departure of Williams and Stewart, who acted upon the
circular already mentioned as issued by the leader of the mission. They
started, under the guidance of Moung Mo, on April 29th, and reached
Bhamô without delay or difficulty.

[23] “En langue Mou-tse et Kong un homme se dit _Ho-ka_, en langue Kho
il se dit _Ka-sya_.”--‘Voyage d’Exploration,’ tome i. p. 378.

[24] See _supra_, page 77.

[25] At a later visit the tsawbwa of Mattin declared the year 1874 to
be the Kakhyen year 1320; and the following list of months was given to
Père Lecomte:--(February) Ra, Wot, Shila, Cheetung, Shenan, Shimerray,
Kopes-hay, Kopetang, Kala, Majea, Mahah, Hro (January).



 Departure from Ponsee--Valley of the Tapeng--A curious crowd--Our
 khyoung--Matins--The town of Manwyne--Visit to the haw--The
 tsawbwa-gadaw--An armed demonstration--Karahokah--Sanda--The chief
 and his grandson--Muangla--Shan burial-grounds--The Tahô--A murdered
 traveller--Mawphoo valley--Muangtee--Nantin--Valley of Nantin--The
 hot springs--Attacked by Chinese--Hawshuenshan volcano--Valley of
 Momien--Arrival at the city.

After various reports and interchange of letters between ourselves
and the Panthays, tending to the removal of any doubts in the minds
of the latter, we learned that the representatives of the Shan states
had come to Manwyne. A slight hint of the unchanged ill-feeling of the
Bhamô people was given in the imprisonment of Moung Mo, who had acted
as guide to Williams and Stewart; a vigorous remonstrance, however,
forwarded to the Woon, was followed by his liberation and return to the

On the 8th of May, the Shan representatives arrived. The appearance
of these fair, civilised, intelligent men, dressed in dark blue from
shoe to turban, was a great relief. They assured us that we might go
forward, and disowned having entertained any hostile feeling. Men were
sent to Manwyne to bring mules, and our departure for that town on the
next day but one was resolved on.

It was amusing to see the pawmine acting as cicerone, and exhibiting
the wonders of our camp furniture to the inquiring Shans. They
complained bitterly of the unsettled state of the country, and declared
that our presence had already contributed to restore order. One of
their complaints was that they could not trade with Bhamô on account of
the extortion and plunder practised by the Woon and his people on the
traders resorting thither.

The Ponsee pawmines were on their best behaviour, and even the vexed
question of the mule hire was at last settled. The tsawbwa declared
that every man, woman, and child, was the better for our stay, and
entreated us to favour him by choosing this as the return route, and to
make what use we liked of him.

The Shans came down very early on the morning of May 11th to announce
that sufficient mules had arrived. We packed up with right good will,
and at eight o’clock the mules actually appeared. At the last moment,
“Death’s Head” pawmine attempted to create a disturbance about a
photograph taken of his house. He declared his wife and son had been
sick ever since, and that the photographer had bewitched them, in
revenge for his having stolen our cow. Another pawmine demanded a toll
of two rupees per mule, and threatened an embargo. This was too much.
A short and sharp refusal, emphasized by a revolver, acted like magic,
and the pawmines sneaked off, thoroughly crestfallen.

At half past eleven we started from the scene of our long detention.
Scarcity of mules compelled us to leave our tents behind, and trust for
future shelter to the hospitality of the townspeople _en route_.

The road was tolerably level for a mile or so, as far as Kingdoung,
whence a steep descent led to a comparatively flat glen, closed in by
hills on all sides but one, covered with flooded rice terraces, while
here and there the ground was being broken up by men and boys with
large hoes.

The steep descent to this alluvial hollow could be easily avoided by
a road skirting a spur to the east, sloping down to the Tapeng. Here
numerous small streams drain into the Tapeng, from both south and
north, the largest of which is called the Thamô. From the north-eastern
watershed, we obtained a fine view of the Tapeng valley, stretching
away to the east-north-east, and then descended to the level of the
river by a gradual slope, over rounded grassy hills and dried-up
watercourses. On the way we were met by the tsawbwa-gadaw of Muang-gan,
accompanied by a bevy of damsels offering cooked rice, fresh sheroo,
and flowers. After a short halt for refreshment and friendly talk
with the old lady, whose hospitality was duly rewarded with beads,
we proceeded over a fair road six feet broad. From an eminence we
viewed the Tapeng entering the hills through a narrow gloomy gorge,
which swallowed up the broad placid stream, descending from the
north-east between low white sandy banks. Looking up the river, the
level valley stretched away, till in the far distance the border
ranges, three or four miles apart in the foreground, seemed almost to
meet. These defining mountains rose three thousand feet, and others
of still greater height towered in the background, while a loftier
range, running almost at right angles to them, crowned the far horizon.
The level ground on either side of the river was parcelled out into
innumerable rice fields, which, with the numerous villages situated on
the higher undulations amid clumps of bamboo and fruit trees, attested
the presence of a numerous and industrious population. The exposed
reaches of sand within the river banks suggested heavy floods during
the wet season; but at this period the water was drawn off by many
canals, and glistened in little lakes, from which the green blades of
the young rice crop were just raising their heads. The gentle slopes
running up to the base of the hills and the lower hillsides afforded
rich pasture to large herds of cattle and buffaloes. At the various
villages large crowds of Shans and Chinese were gathered, awaiting the
strangers. At one of some importance, mats were laid out for us under
the trees, and we were challenged by the officials of Manwyne, who
addressed our leader somewhat to this effect: “You say you are a man
of authority, therefore we allow you to pass.” It was not etiquette
to take any notice of them, and mounting their ponies, they fell into
the rear of the cavalcade, with a crowd of boys behind them. Outside
Manwyne itself a dense crowd of men, women, and children surrounded our
baggage, which had been unloaded pell-mell on a stretch of sand where
we were expected to encamp. No sooner had we dismounted than the crowd
pressed around. They appeared by no means friendly, and the Chinese
especially jeered and hooted, and one fellow had the impudence to
feel the texture of the beard of one of our party. A more inquisitive
set of sightseers it is impossible to conceive, and for some time
they regularly blockaded us, almost to suffocation. While impatiently
waiting for the officials in the full blaze of the afternoon sun, both
parties found ample interest in surveying each other. To us the first
sight of the peculiar but picturesque dress of the good-looking Shan
women was probably as attractive as our physiognomies and attire seemed
to be to the natives. The head-dress was a long blue turban, curled
in crescent-shaped folds with neat precision, towering nearly a foot
above the head, and inclined backwards in an inverted cone, displaying
the back of the head adorned with large silver discs. Add to this,
neat little white or blue jackets slashed with red, fastened with
enamelled silver brooches, and exposing plump little arms adorned with
heavy silver bracelets, blue petticoats with deeply embroidered silken
borders, fanciful gaiters, and blue shoes, and the reader can imagine
that the curious crowd of Manwyne was picturesque.

There was a good sprinkling of Chinese women with dwarfed feet, but
they were much more poorly clad than the prosperous-looking Shans.

The men, Shan and Chinese, were all dressed in dark blue jackets and
trousers, the Shans being distinguished by blue turbans with the
pigtail wound into their coils, while the Chinese wore skull-caps.
Almost all carried long-stemmed pipes. After some delay and
expostulation with the headmen, we were inducted into a Buddhist
khyoung or temple, standing in a separate courtyard just within the
town, but entered through a gate of its own in the town wall. It was
a low square building, facing the river, built partly of bricks and
partly of wood, on a rubble foundation, and roofed with fired tiles.

It had two roofs, the upper in itself somewhat like a smaller khyoung
perched on the top of the larger, with two latticed windows in each
of its curved sides, and borne up by strong teak pillars. At either
end two wooden partitions shut off the cells of the priests and their
pupils. A kitchen in one corner completed the domestic arrangements,
unless we may include two or three new coffins, and materials for
more, piled ready in one corner of the verandah. A long table was
covered with models of pagodas, enclosing seated figures of Gaudama,
one principal Buddha occupying the centre, with an umbrella suspended
over his head. This seemed to serve as an altar, on which two large
candles were placed during the evening prayers, intoned with bell
accompaniments, strongly reminding us of the Catholic mass. In the
verandah three square niches faced this altar, one containing the image
of a horse.

As soon as we had taken up our quarters, the temple was thronged inside
and out by a curious crowd, who favoured us with their presence till
we retired for the night. The ill-feeling of certain of the Chinese
inhabitants was so dreaded by the headmen that an armed Shan guard was
stationed round the khyoung, in addition to our own police sentries,
who were requested by the authorities to be on the alert against an

In the early morning the matin bell and chanting awoke us to find the
apartment filled with precise old matrons and buxom Shan girls busy at
their devotions. Each carried a little basket filled with rice, and a
few brought offerings of flowers. As they entered, they first knelt
in front of the principal Buddha, but did not venture on the raised
platform. After a short prayer, they turned to the niche containing
the horse, before which they repeated a prayer standing, and then
deposited an offering of cooked rice in front of the quadruped. We next
became the objects of their attention, but they were too timid to give
us much of it on the first occasion. After the priests had finished
their prayers, all the women arranged themselves in a row outside the
khyoung. Presently the burly chief priest, draped in yellow, appeared.
With downcast eyes and grave face he walked slowly down the line,
holding a large bowl, in which each placed an offering of cooked rice.
This done, the congregation dispersed to their homes.

This practice of the phoongyees gathering their daily food from the
worshippers, instead of begging it from house to house, _patta_, or
alms-bowl, in hand, is an instance of the unorthodox laxity prevailing
among the Shan Buddhists.

A delay of two days was made necessary by consultations as to the
route to be followed. The choice lay between crossing the river into
the Muangla territory, or continuing along the right bank, through the
Sanda state, to the town of that name. The latter was finally decided
on, despite the opposition of a Muangla deputy named Kingain.

The town of Manwyne, or Manyen, was itself formerly a dependency of
Sanda, but had been ceded to one of the Muangla family as the dowry of
a Sanda princess. It is surrounded by a low wall of sun-dried bricks,
raised on a lower course of rough stones. The population of Shans and
Chinese might be reckoned at seven hundred, and the district contains
about five thousand. At this time numerous fugitives from the more
disturbed districts had taken refuge there, the war not having extended
so far down the valley. The people, though prosperous, were lawless
and independent, the nominal authority of the dowager tsawbwa-gadaw,
or princess, being little regarded, and the Chinese power being in
abeyance. We visited the bazaar held every morning outside the wall.
The vendors were mostly girls, each sitting in front of a small basket,
supporting a tray on which her stock was laid out. The eatables
comprised a curious curd-like paste made from peas and beans, and in
great request; peas which had sprouted, beans, onions, and various
wild plums, cherries, and berries, while maize, rice, and barley, and
several sorts of tobacco, were also on sale. One end of the bazaar was
devoted to unbleached home-made cotton cloth, with a small stock of
English piece goods, and red and green broadcloth.

Many Kakhyens, chiefly young women, were present, with firewood and
short deal planks for sale, and we were struck by the perfect freedom
enjoyed by these people as contrasted with their treatment in Burmese
territory. The town gate led into a filthy narrow street, or rather
lane, about nine feet wide. It was paved with boulders, and bordered
on either side by a deep open gutter close under the windows, and
alive with swine. The one-storied houses were built of bricks, with
one room opening on the street, the sill of the open window serving as
a counter, mainly for the sale of pork. This was the Chinese quarter;
beyond it lay the clean Shan division, every house detached and
surrounded by a neat little courtyard, with ponies, buffaloes, and
implements, housed under substantial sheds. A few villages formed, as
it were, suburbs of the so-called town, each enclosed in its bamboo
fence, and intersected by narrow railed paths. None of the houses were
raised on piles, as in Burma; the better sort were built of bricks
and tiled, and the smaller ones were mere mud hovels. In one village
we saw a man cutting tobacco for the use of the ladies, and were
politely invited to be seated while we were instructed in the art of
the tobacconist. The fresh leaves rolled firmly together were pushed
through a circular hole in a wooden upright, and thin slices rapidly
cut off; these are only partially dried and smoked while still green.
Some was brought to fill the visitors’ pipes, and for half an hour we
sat chatting to these homely Shans. Returning to the khyoung, we found
it crowded with numerous patients, all entreating medical aid. The
poor people were intensely grateful, though some of the old and infirm
seemed to expect miracles, and went away evidently doubting the will,
rather than the power, of the physician.

During this time our leader had been busily engaged adjusting the
division of three hundred rupees among the Kakhyen pawmines; they were
most demonstrative in their expressions of friendship, and urgently
pressed us to confide ourselves to their escort on the return route.
Presents were also distributed to the headmen of the town, and those
of Sanda and Muangla, and the officials escorted us on a visit of
ceremony to the tsawbwa-gadaw. Her _haw_, or palace, built in the
Chinese style of telescopic courtyards, formed an enclosure in the
centre of the town. We passed through two courtyards, the sides of
the outer one forming the stables, and those of the inner one the
kitchen and servants’ rooms, with the residence filling up the end.
The entrance from the first to the second court formed a waiting-room,
where a bench covered with silken draperies had been placed. After a
few minutes we were invited to proceed through the second court to the
house, which was raised about three feet from the ground, with an open
reception hall, apparently off a third court, containing the private
apartments. The reception court was laid out with flowers, dwarf yews,
and a vine trained over a trellis. High-backed chairs with red cushions
were set out, and presently the dowager appeared from her apartment,
accompanied by some white-robed Buddhist nuns, or _rahanees_, and
attended by three maids. One of the nuns was her daughter; the others
had visited Rangoon, as pilgrims to the great pagoda, and brought back
strong impressions of the excellence of British rule; both in Manwyne
and elsewhere these pious ladies subsequently did good service by
spreading favourable reports of the English visitors.

But we are forgetting the tsawbwa-gadaw. She was a stout little woman
of fifty summers, of quiet self-possessed carriage. Above her round
fair face towered a huge blue turban eighteen inches in height. Her
costume consisted of a white jacket fastened with large square
enamelled silver clasps, and a blue petticoat with richly embroidered
silken border and broad silken stripes; her leggings and shoes were
also covered with exquisite embroidery. She entered smoking a long
silver-stemmed pipe, and received us with pleasant affability. Sladen
held a long conversation with her concerning the mission, and she
greatly rejoiced in the prospect of reopening Burmese trade, and
promised her hearty support. Small cups of bitter tea, and saucers
furnished with all requisites for betel-chewing, were handed round, the
style of everything being thoroughly Chinese, and we took our leave,
having evidently won her esteem.

The next morning, May 13th, the entire population of the neighbourhood
assembled to see the visitors depart. The fair ones were in their
holiday attire, their head-dresses decorated with sweet-smelling
flowers. Many parting presents of these, accompanied with good-natured
nods and smiles and kind wishes, were bestowed on the travellers.
Several Shan officials accompanied us, perched high on huge red-cloth
saddles and padded coverlids heaped on their small ponies. The route
lay along the undulating right bank of the river, over a tolerable
but narrow track, which crossed the mountain streams flowing into the
Tapeng by substantial granite bridges, built of long slabs laid side by
side, so as to form an exact semicircular arch.

About four miles from Manwyne, our attention was called to a number of
men who rushed out of a village on the opposite bank of the river.
Although they were all armed, and indulged in threatening shouts and
gesticulations, we did not suspect any really hostile intentions.
Presently, however, we found ourselves exactly opposite to them, when,
whiz! came a bullet, passing close to Sladen’s pony, which plunged
violently. At this they yelled, and fired some more shots, accompanied
by furious brandishing of dahs. We took no notice, and this apparent
indifference cooled their ardour, and the road, diverging from the
river, soon took us out of sight. The fact that small but well-armed
parties of Shans were posted at intervals suggested that the officials
had expected an attack.

Beyond this the march to Sanda was an ovation, the people lining the
road, and waving us on with shouts of _Kara! kara!_ “Welcome! welcome!”
Most striking was the panorama of the fertile and populous valley,
with the broad Tapeng winding through it, and the magnificent wall of
mountains towering on either hand. Village succeeded village, and every
available acre was cultivated, the young rice now rising about two
inches above the water, and tobacco plantations on the higher ground
displaying their delicate verdure.

Halfway between Manwyne and Sanda, the road passes through Karahokah,
the chief Chinese market-town of the valley. The village consists
of two long parallel lines of houses separated by a broadway, down
the centre of which the booths and stalls are placed on the weekly
market-day. It was full market when we passed, so by advice we went
round outside the village, but the curious crowd streamed out and
nearly closed the road. A striking feature was added to the landscape
by the bright red soil of the lower spurs jutting out from the higher
range. In contrast to the dense forests above, they were almost
destitute of trees, except at the extreme points, and clothed as
they were with rich short grass, their strongly marked red and green
colouring completed the unique beauty of the Sanda valley. At five
o’clock P.M. we reached Sanda or Tsandah, seventy-five miles from
Bhamô, and were conducted to a small temporary Buddhist khyoung built
on the site of one wrecked by the Panthays.

It was little better than a thatched hut, with the ground for a floor.
Here, as in other Shan towns, a striking difference was observed
between the phoongyees and those seen in Burma. Their huge yellow
turbans, coiled round yellow skull-caps, stood out each like a solid
nimbus or glory. They wore white jackets and yellow trousers, girdles,
and leggings, and shoes contrary to the precepts of their religion.
Each carried on his back a broad-brimmed straw hat covered with green
oiled silk. Their profusion of silver ornaments, buttons, rings, and
pipes, was utterly at variance with the vows of poverty taken by Rahans.

The town of Sanda, marked on maps as Santa-fu, occupies the end of a
ridge in a northerly bend or bay of the valley, a mile and a half from
the Tapeng. The remains of a thick loopholed wall enclose an irregular
area about six hundred yards square, over which are scattered eight
hundred to one thousand houses, with a population of four to five
thousand. We saw neither towers, pagodas, nor public buildings, save in
ruins, excepting the tsawbwa’s house. The Panthays stormed the town in
1863, and the ruined defences and buildings had not yet been restored.
Indeed the dejected and poverty-stricken inhabitants had only partially
repaired their own brick-built dwellings.

Four hundred yards from the north-east gate was the bazaar, a village
in itself, inhabited solely by Chinese, consisting, like Karahokah, of
two lines of houses, the broadway between being closed at either end
by a wall. A Chinese joss house, the ruins of which showed its former
importance, stood near the entrance. In our wanderings through the
bazaar, we met two women from the hills to the north of Sanda, of an
entirely different race from Shans, Chinese, or Kakhyens, who called
themselves Leesaws.

The next day was devoted to a ceremonious visit to the old tsawbwa.
We entered his haw, a handsome structure of blue gneiss, through a
triple archway, and passed through the courtyards, the whole building
being arranged on the same plan as the Manwyne palace, but on a much
larger and handsomer scale. High-backed Chinese chairs were duly set
out in the vestibule of a building leading directly to the private
apartments, and the courtyard in front was crowded with the leading
townsmen. The tsawbwa, a frail old man with an intelligent face and
polished manners, was dressed in a long coat of sombre Shan blue
and a black satin skull-cap. He was nervous and silent, nearly all
the talking being done by his officials, who seemed to be gentlemen
of education and considerable intelligence. They were unanimous in
expressing their hopes that our mission would result in settling the
country and restoring the trade.

The little grandson and heir of the tsawbwa was brought to be
introduced. The old chief evidently doated on the boy, and made a most
urgent request, that Sladen would consider him as his son. When he
learned that he already possessed a little boy, the chief exclaimed,
“Then let them be brothers.” It appeared that the astrologers, in
forecasting the event of our mission, had divined that this adoption by
our leader was essential to the future welfare of the heir of Sanda.
The interview closed with the circulation of tea and betel, and after
we had requested the chief’s acceptance of a handsome table-cloth and
other presents, we took our leave, but were followed to our quarters
by servants of the tsawbwa bearing supplies of rice, ducks, fowls, and
salted wild geese. The next morning the tsawbwa made his appearance,
accompanied by his grandson, and bringing presents of a silken quilt
and handsome embroidered Shan pillows. A richly enamelled silver pipe
stem was given to Sladen in the name of his newly adopted son, for
whom the grandfather earnestly besought his affection and care. At
his request it was arranged that in leaving the town we should pass
in front of the tsawbwa’s house. As the cavalcade neared the gates of
the enclosure, two trumpeters stationed there blew a lusty flourish on
their long brass trumpets. The chief himself stood on the steps, shaded
by two large umbrellas, one a gold _chatta_ and the other red, with
heavy fringes. His chief men surrounded him, and the little grandson
was held in the arms of an attendant. We dismounted to shake hands,
which rather puzzled the chief. After a cordial parting, a salute of
three guns was fired, and the trumpeters preceded us, blowing sonorous
blasts till we passed through the south-eastern gate.

The road followed the embankments of the paddy fields, across the
entrance to the high steep glen down which flows the Nam-Sanda stream,
which was forded. A low red spur from the north-west range, nearly
meeting another from the opposite range, here confines the Tapeng
to a narrow deep channel, and divides the valley into two basins,
one of Sanda and the other of Muangla. Having crossed this spur, we
forded a small stream, which was quite warm, from its being fed by
the hot springs of Sanda. The Muangla valley is a repetition of that
of Sanda, with the same direction, and flanked by similar parallel
heights, until the head of the basin is reached. There the valley,
as it were, bifurcates: down the northerly division, the main stream
of the Tapeng flows from the north-east through a fine valley, shut
off from the Muangla basin by an intervening range of grassy hills. A
large affluent, called the Tahô, or by the Chinese Sen-cha-ho, comes
down from the east-north-east, between the high hills which appeared to
bound the valley before us, but, opening farther on, enclose the valley
of Nantin.

Numerous villages were passed, the inhabitants of which gave us a most
hearty welcome. Near the head, or fork, of the valley, the Tapeng, even
now a hundred yards wide, runs nearly across it, from one side to the
other. We forded it at a village called Tamon, where a large bazaar was
being held. Having crossed a slightly elevated flat peninsula on the
left bank, and above the junction of the rivers, covered with charming
villages embowered in high trees and splendid bamboo topes, we came
to the Tahô flowing in broken streams in an old channel, a mile wide,
between lofty banks. A great portion of the level ground is covered
with rice fields, for the irrigation of which the streams are diverted.

A very neat bamboo pavilion had been erected for us on the high bank
overlooking the Tahô, and after a rest, we crossed the channel to
Muangla, which was visible on the opposite side, below a range of low
red hills. We ascended the old river bank, and passed through the
southern gateway, screened by a brick traverse, into a short broad
street closed by a stone wall. Here we were conducted to a ruined
Chinese temple, which had been hastily repaired for our occupancy, and
were speedily invested by a crowd of curious folk, who seemed never
satiated with staring.

Muangla, or Mynela, nearly ninety miles from Bhamô, stands on a high
slope on the left bank of the Tapeng, enclosed by a brick wall nine
feet high, with numerous loopholes and occasional guard-houses. The
wall, with its six strong gateways, protected by traverses, appeared
to be in much better condition than that of Sanda. With the exception
of the broad bazaar street, the various roadways were mere lanes paved
with boulders. The population within the walls could not exceed two
thousand, which might be doubled by the addition of the large suburban
villages close to the town. One of these contained the remains of some
handsome Chinese temples, destroyed by the iconoclastic Panthays. One
temple, built in a picturesque series of terraces, still retained
evidence of its former grandeur in elaborate carving and colouring,
a number of life-sized figures, and a large sweet-toned bell on the
highest terrace. In still another, one of the courts contained a
symbolic representation of the passage of souls into the future life.
A miniature bridge with many passengers was depicted, guarded by two
human forms, and spanning a miry hollow. In the latter, human beings
were being tortured by monstrous dogs and serpents. Some of the
passengers were represented being thrown from the bridge into this
abyss; others had passed to Elysium, or Neibban, on the further bank.
In another recess stood a low square hollow pillar with an opening on
one side, facing a structure resembling a small brick stove with a
chimney-like orifice, over which, as issuing from it, were depicted men
and animals. This seemed intended to figure the transmigrations of the
soul in the whirlpool of existences, from which every good Buddhist
desires to escape into Neibban.

Close to the town, but out of sight of the buildings, we came upon the
burial-ground of the tsawbwas, overlooking a desolate sea of hills.
Over handsome horseshoe tombs with broad terraces and lofty portals of
well-hewn gneiss, a few scattered pines stood sentinels. In the common
graveyard, between the town and the junction of the river, as in many
others passed in the valley, the graves are all raised and rounded as
in old churchyards at home, lying to all points of the compass, with a
broad stone slab at the head, but little care is shown except for the
burial-places of the chiefs, in this particular the Shans differing
altogether from the Chinese.

Viewed from Muangla, the western range of the valley culminates in
a bold precipitous mountain, frowning above the Tapeng, which comes
down through a narrow gorge between it and the hills which rise behind
the town, and wall the valley of the Tahô. Above this narrow gorge,
the Tapeng flows down a broad level valley, from its source reported
to be three days’ journey distant. At its exit from the gorge, it is
a quiet deep stream; at this spot a boat ferry was plying, and the
view reminded us forcibly of Scottish mountain scenery. A long deep
valley ran along the eastern face of the opposite hill, dotted on
both sides by Kakhyen and Poloung villages and dark green forest. Its
stream was conveyed across the Tapeng gorge by a wooden aqueduct, to
irrigate the fields on the further bank. We were warned not to venture
far from the town, so could not explore as much as we wished and had
leisure for. A ceremonial visit had been duly paid on our arrival to
the youthful tsawbwa, a lad of fifteen, who, under the regency of his
mother, governed the extensive district of Muangla, paying a tribute
of five thousand bushels of rice to the Panthays. The officials, who
evidently favoured the old Chinese imperialist regime, demurred to our
proceeding, for fear of the banditti infesting the road to Mawphoo. In
this they were supported by the tsawbwa of Hotha, who joined us here,
on his road to Momien, with a caravan of one hundred and fifty mules
laden with cotton. He was a man of energy and education, speaking and
writing both Shan and Chinese. As one of the largest traders between
Bhamô and Momien, he possessed the respect and confidence of both
Shans and Panthays. Sladen sent letters to the governors of Nantin
and Momien, to which replies were brought on May 21st by our missing
interpreter, Moung Shuay Yah, who was accompanied by three well-dressed
and fine-looking Panthay officers, also by a guard sent to escort us to

On the 23rd of May, we left Muangla, and crossed the muddy flat to the
Tahô, where the valley contracted to a breadth of scarcely two miles.
Here we were joined by the Hotha chief with his well-appointed caravan,
but a halt was called, as a report came in from the front that three
hundred Chinese were ahead ready to attack us. Advancing to Nahlow,
a little further on, a fresh report raised the numbers of the enemy
to five hundred, and we were pressed to order a volley, which would
frighten them away! At Nahlow the villagers pointed out a hill as the
post of the Chinese, who had killed two men, but careful examination
with field-glasses could detect no signs of the enemy. Some men were
now observed a thousand yards ahead, and the Panthay officers galloped
forward to reconnoitre. The mules were unloaded, and the villagers
brought buckets of pea curd and fried peas strung on bamboo spathes.
Our scouts having reported all clear, we proceeded over undulating
boggy ground, and descended about eighty-five feet to the bed of the
Tahô in a long oval basin, covered with gravel and boulders, and closed
in on three sides by grassy hills. We presently came upon a man lying
by the stream, with a frightful gash in his head, and a wound in his
chest. He was a poor trader, who had been attacked, robbed, and, as
it proved, murdered, for despite our help he died in a short time. At
the head of the valley, a slippery zigzag path led up the steep face
of a great spur of the Mawphoo mountain, the summit of which commanded
a splendid prospect of the rich valley of the Tapeng, mantled with
green paddy, and of the wild barren gorge below us. The sides of the
parallel ranges, here a few hundred yards apart, were marked by large
landslips, many of them white as snow. Our path lay along one which
formed a perpendicular precipice five hundred feet above the Tahô. A
high mountain facing Mawphoo was pointed out as the Shuemuelong, famous
in the wars between Burma and China. From the summit, a level path
turning north-east led us to Mawphoo, situated at the extremity of a
high level basin, marked by two terraces on the northern side, with the
Tahô flowing invisibly in a deep cleft, or ravine, at the base of the
southern hills. At first sight one is inclined to regard it as an old
lake basin, for it is so closed in by hills that the presence of the
river could not be even suspected by a spectator who had not previously
traced its course.

Mawphoo, which was said to have been recently the stronghold of
Li-sieh-tai, was a wretched walled village in ruins, garrisoned by a
few Panthay soldiers. The crumbling walls and ruins were overgrown
with weeds and jungle, and it was hard to believe that this place
had been held by an enemy and stormed only a few weeks before. From
this the road skirted the level ground of the valley, but numerous
deep watercourses presented frequent difficulties, while the rain of
the last few days had rendered the path dangerously slippery. There
was evidence however in the paved roadway, the numerous substantial
stone bridges, and the frequent ruins of villages, that this must have
been a considerable highway in peaceful times; now the whole country
seemed to be a desolate waste. For some miles the heights along the
road were manned by strong Panthay and Kakhyen guards, who carried a
profusion of yellow and white flags, striped with various colours. All
were armed with matchlocks, as well as spears and tridents mounted on
shafts twelve feet long. Each picquet, as we passed, discharged their
pieces, and then followed in our rear beating their gongs. At the end
of this remarkable valley, we made a rapid descent to the treeless
valley of Nantin, which now opened to view curving to the north-east or
rather almost north. At the foot of the descent, the Tahô, which leaves
the valley through a deep rocky gorge, is spanned by an iron chain
suspension bridge, with massive stone buttresses, and an arched gateway
on either bank. The span is about one hundred feet, and planks laid
across the chains, covered with earth and straw, serve as a roadway,
while one of the chains sweeps down from the top of the gateway, to
serve as a railing. A small circular fort on an eminence was garrisoned
by a few men, who guarded the bridge. We continued along the right
bank through the Nantin valley, the sides of which presented three
distinctly marked river terraces, and, having forded the river, entered
the little Shan town of Muangtee, or Myne-tee, one hundred and eight
miles from Bhamô. The walls were crowded, and the short narrow street
through which we passed was thronged with women and children. Very
few men were visible, owing, as we were informed, to the incessant
fighting, which had killed off most of the male population.


A mile beyond we reached the small walled Chinese town of Nantin,
now held by the Panthays. Two officers on ponies met and conducted
us through the gate to a ruined Chinese temple. This had once been a
handsome structure, but the walls were riddled with shot, the images
defaced, and broken open in search of plunder. Nantin itself showed all
the signs of having been once a thriving Chinese town. Now one-half
of it was in ruins, and the other tenanted by a scanty and miserably
poor population. By its position on a triangle of land between the Tahô
and a swift deep affluent, with the hills rising close behind it and
forming the base line, it completely commands the main road to Momien
and Yunnan. It was accordingly held by a strong Panthay force, under a
governor bearing the title of Tu-tu-du.

The governor visited us, accompanied by a Chinese chief named
Thongwetshein, who had recently joined the Panthay cause. They
demanded either a list of the presents intended for Momien or
permission to search our baggage, both of which requests Sladen stoutly
refused, and referred them to Momien for instructions. In the course
of the day it came out that reports had been circulated that our boxes
contained live dragons and serpents and fearful explosives. The fears
of the Tu-tu-du were quieted by a peep at some bottled snakes and
frogs, and he begged us to pay him an official visit. This, he said,
would strengthen his influence over the townspeople, whom he described
as thieves and ruffians.

A veritable Mahommedan Hadji was resident in the town. Knowing a little
Persian and Arabic, he led the devotions of the faithful, the Musjid
being held in his house. Our jemadar visited it, and described it as
miserably appointed, without water for ablutions, and the worship as
very lax.

The next day, we set out in state with a guard of eight sepoys, and
preceded by two gold umbrellas. We passed through the bazaar, a narrow
dirty street, with a double row of stalls, displaying hoes and ploughs,
a little cloth, thread, paper, and eatables, including almost ripe
peaches. At the residence, we were received with a salute of three
guns; and the centre gates being thrown open for our admission, as a
mark of special honour, we rode forward to the second courtyard. In
the reception room the governor led us to a raised dais, he himself
occupying a low place on a bench at the side of the room. After a few
compliments, he suddenly vanished, only to reappear in a few minutes
in full mandarin costume. The explanation was that, seeing Sladen in
full staff uniform, he felt it incumbent on him to assume his official
robes. Tea in beautiful porcelain cups and betel-nut were served; and
Sladen having presented him with a musket and one hundred and fifty
rounds of ammunition, the governor escorted us to the outer court, and
dismissed us under a salute of three guns.

Instructions having come from Momien that we were to proceed without
delay, we started the next morning. The Panthay garrison lined the
street, and at a neat stone bridge spanning a burn which runs through
the town the governor and Thongwetshein with their staff awaited us to
say farewell, while the band struck up a lively air on the gongs. A
guard preceded us, commanded by a nephew of the governor of Momien, and
a more indescribable lot of irregulars were never seen. The officers,
however, were fine intelligent men, well dressed in Panthay garb. So
little fear of danger seemed to exist that they were accompanied by
some female relatives in full Chinese costume, who rode in the advance
guard. The valley, or rather glen, as it is only a mile wide, which
stretched to the north before us, seemed to be a remarkable instance of
the changes effected by water. Throughout its length of about twenty
miles, its sides are marked by two well defined river terraces, and
indications of a third higher one corresponding to the highest of the
Mawphoo glen. These terraces close in at the head, while the entrance
into the deep ravine of the Mawphoo glen terminates it. This whole
length of area, lying one thousand feet above the level of Sanda, has
been denuded by the Tahô; the second terrace, which corresponds with
the lower one of the Mawphoo glen, is almost on the same elevation with
a level platform which extends from the head of the valley. From this
to the foot of the Mawphoo gorge seems to have been once a level flat,
perhaps a lake, like that of Yunnan, from which the Tahô precipitated
itself as a waterfall into the Sanda valley. The hills to the east,
at the base of which our route lay, instead of the bold precipitous
mountains of metamorphic rocks, were rounded trappean hills, occasional
glimpses of which reminded us of home scenery, as they swept up in
grassy curves, with dense clumps of trees on or near their summits.
Numerous watercourses seamed their sides, the channels strewn with
waterworn granite boulders, rounded lava-like masses of cellular
basalt, and large fragments of peat.

The hills to the north-west rose much higher, in a lofty, well wooded
mountain wall, with grander peaks soaring beyond. Seven miles from
Nantin we halted to visit the famous hot springs. The steam rising from
them had been visible nearly a mile off; and the Nam-mine, a rather
large stream fed by them, was hot enough to startle both men and mules
while fording it. The rocks composing the side of the hill whence the
springs issue consisted of a cellular basalt and a hard quartzose rock,
the former being partially superficial, and the latter that through
which the springs issued.

Seen from the west, the south-eastern side of the hill is marked by an
apparently deep, crater-like hollow, forcibly suggesting that it was
once a volcanic vent, the neighbouring rocks being almost scoriaceous,
and the internal heat being still evidenced by the boiling springs.
Besides those on the western face, others still larger occur on
its other side, some miles to the east. Of those visible, the most
important is an oval basin about three yards long, with a depth of
eight inches; about six yards from it are a number of funnels, six
inches in diameter, in the quartz rock, emitting steam. Higher up, and
fifty yards off, another strong jet of steam occurs, and on the other
side of a narrow gully are two other springs, which emit a considerable
body of boiling water through the earthy face of the hill. The water
in the principal spring comes up with great force through circular
apertures, about three inches in diameter, and the bottom of the basin
is covered with thick impalpable white mud. Owing to the heat and
volume of steam, it was only accessible on the leeward side, and the
ground was so hot that our barefooted followers could not approach by
some yards. It vibrated in a remarkable way, and the sensation was as
if one were standing over a gigantic boiler buried in the earth, which
was increased by the loud roar of the steam from the funnels, and the
indistinct rumbling noises in the hidden inferno.

It is remarkable that, although the steam is at scalding heat, the
stones in it are covered with masses of green jelly, which thrive at
a temperature only ten degrees below boiling-point. The analysis of
a gallon of the water is as follows: 120 grains of solid matter; 112
salts of alkalis, almost entirely chloride of sodium; 80 earthy salts,
silica, and oxide of iron. No nitric and but very little sulphuric
and carbonic acids were present, but traces of phosphoric acid were
detected. We were informed that the springs are much resorted to by
patients from all parts, who use the spring to cook their food, and
cure themselves in the vapour or the Nam-mine stream. After enjoying
our halt, which had been made with the full approval of the Panthay
officers and the Hotha chief, we started to overtake the cavalcade,
which had marched forward. Just as we rejoined the rear-guard, four
shots were fired in front, but as the road only admitted of single
file, and lay along a thickly wooded hillside, marked by the ruins of
many villages, no one could advance to reconnoitre. Word was presently
passed down that the mules had been attacked and two Panthay officers
wounded; but on proceeding onwards, we discovered that the affair
was more serious, and that the two officers and another man had been
killed. We soon came up to the bodies of the officers wrapped in their
large turbans and tied to bamboos, ready to be carried back to Nantin.
The poor fellows had both been great favourites with their comrades
and the governor of Momien; and a sad group surrounded the bodies,
including their female relatives, who had ridden out from Nantin only
to lament their murder, for so it was. As they were riding at the
head of the mules, at a corner in the narrow path, a lurking body of
Chinese rushed out from the trees, shot down the first, and the second,
hurrying to the rescue, was shot through the leg and cut down with a
dah. Eight mules had their loads thrown off and looted, and were then
driven up the hills. A little further on, the scene of the disaster was
marked by the ransacked packages lying on the roadside, and among them
two boxes containing my clothes and notebooks. One of these had escaped
unopened, and was left in charge of a Panthay officer, who promised
to see it brought on. At the head of the valley a halt was called, to
enable all the Panthays to come up, as a second ambuscade was suspected
in a thickly wooded hollow in the steep hillside above.

At this point the river terraces sweep round to form the head of the
valley, but the Tahô has cut a deep gorge through them. The second
terrace could be seen continuing to the north in a long upward
slope, thrown into rounded mounds, the sites of small villages, and
terminating in a distant broad plain. The hillsides were covered with
pines, and the road ran through a belt of dense forest, over the
shoulder of a spur from the main range of hills. Here the attack
was expected to be made, so we advanced with vigilant attention to
the jungle on either hand, passing ruined villages, buried in dense
vegetation, consisting chiefly of fruit trees and garden plants run
wild. We were unmolested, and, after a short descent, came upon the
Tahô foaming along its rocky channel, spanned by a broad parapeted
bridge of gneiss and granite. The roadway exactly followed the curve
of the arch, and the ponies could scarcely keep their footing on the
smooth slabs, worn almost to a polish by the constant traffic of bygone
centuries. On the right bank a small Panthay guard met us, and reported
that they had chased a body of Chinese, lurking in the dreaded hollow.
We soon gained the level of the plain, seen in the distance as the
upward termination of the Nantin valley. From its eastern side rose
a long conical hill, stretching nearly north and south, in a black
sterile mass of lava, with the exception of its rounded grassy summit.
This remarkable extinct volcano of Hawshuenshan, rising abruptly from
the plain, stands out in striking contrast to the tumulus-shaped grassy
hills which cluster round it on all sides. A few small plants rooted
in the interstices of the rocks do not, in the distance, impart even
a trace of verdure to its barren sides, which are thrown into long
rocky curves, evidently old lava streams. We rode over the eastern
extremity of this volcano, by a broad path paved with long slabs of
gneiss and granite, and again came upon the Tahô, as a narrow rapid
stream running between it and the abrupt sides of the grassy hills to
the east. We crossed the river over another handsome stone bridge, and
passed the ruins of a rather large village. The Tahô issues at this
point from between a high spur and the volcano, through a very narrow
gorge; and the road wound up the side of the spur, and was laid with a
double line of stone flags to facilitate the ascent. From the top we
gained a fine view of the small circular lake-like valley, from which
the Tahô issued below, and looked down on numerous villages encircling
the irrigated level in its centre, which was covered with young rice.
Continuing a slight ascent over the grassy hills, by a good broad road,
we turned the flank of a lofty hill crowned with a white pagoda; and
the valley of Momien lay before us, shut in on all sides by rounded
hills, treeless, but covered with pasture.


The hills seemed to slope almost to the walls of the city in the
centre, but the intervening area was sufficient for an almost unbroken
ring of large villages, either in ruins or deserted. To the right
rose the Deebay range, beyond which lay the road to Tali-fu, and in
the far distance the lofty Tayshan ranges, running north and south,
formed a noble background of black rugged mountains. A long narrow
valley stretched in a northerly direction, marking the course of the
Tahô, from its source in the Sin-hai or Pai-hai watershed, sixty miles
distant. Between the foot of the hill and the city wall, a long line
of flags of all shapes and colours, and glittering spears, marked
the presence of the Tah-sa-kon of Momien. An aide-de-camp presently
arrived with a request that we would dismount and greet the governor,
who had come out to meet us. We were a motley group, not improved in
appearance by twenty-one miles’ march over muddy flats and dusty hills,
but, preceded by the most presentable sepoys, with the jemadar carrying
a gold sword in front, the three Europeans advanced under the canopy
of two gold umbrellas, through a long line of officers and banner men,
to the Tah-sa-kon, who, dressed in full mandarin costume, occupied a
richly cushioned chair, with three huge red silk umbrellas, fringed
with gold lace, held over him. He rose to welcome us with handshaking
and courteous greeting, and then escorted us to a large, well-built
temple outside the town wall, but close beneath the angle where the
governor’s palace stood. Here we took up our quarters with a sense
of profound satisfaction at having at last, after so many delays and
difficulties, reached a city of Western Yunnan.



 Momien--The town of Teng-yue-chow--Aspect and condition--An
 official reception--Return visit--Government house--A Chinese
 tragedy--The market--Jade manufacture--Minerals--Mines
 of Yunnan--Stone celts--Cattle--Climate--Environs--The
 waterfall--Pagoda hill--Shuayduay--Rock temples--Ruined suburbs--City
 temples--Four-armed deities--Boys’ school--A grand feast--The
 loving-cup--The tsawbwa-gadaw of Muangtee--Keenzas--The Chinese poor.

A retrospect of the journey thus far showed that since our departure
from the Burmese plain we had been steadily ascending. Although
the altitudes could not be taken with accuracy, owing to the
inefficiency of the instruments which had been supplied at Rangoon,
such observations as it was in our power to make were made; they were
subsequently reduced by the surveyor’s department at Calcutta, and the
results are approximately correct. Where it was necessary to depend on
speculation, care was taken to under-estimate the apparent altitudes.
The natives always speak of ascending to Momien and descending from
it, and, applied to the western approaches, this expression is
fully justified. From Bhamô, four hundred and fifty feet above the
sea-level, we had climbed over the Kakhyen hills to the Sanda valley,
which, at Manwyne, lies at least two thousand feet above Bhamô.
Throughout the forty-eight miles of its length, this valley rises so
gradually as to present the appearance of a long level avenue, divided
into three stages, till the head of the Muangla division is reached.
From this it is requisite to ascend by a detour over the Mawphoo
height, to attain the fourth stage, or the valley of Nantin, lying one
thousand feet above Manwyne. From the upper extremity of the Nantin
valley, the long steps, so to speak, of the Hawshuenshan glen rise
fourteen hundred feet to Momien. Thus, the latter city, one hundred and
thirty-five miles from Bhamô, occupies a site on a plateau elevated
more than five thousand feet above the level of the sea, which is
declared by native reports to be the highest inhabited position in the
mountainous region of Western Yunnan.

The Chinese city of Teng-yue-chow, better known by its Shan name of
Momien, is said to have been built four hundred years ago by a governor
of Yung-chang, obeying the king of Mansi or Yunnan, which the Shans
call Muangsee. It was probably built as a frontier garrison, to hold
in check the recently conquered territories of the Shan kingdom of
Pong. It thus became, as it still is, the ruling head-quarters of the
tributary Koshanpyi or Nine Shan States, now represented by those of
the Sanda and Hotha valleys, with Muangtee, Muang-mo, and Muangmah.
We were able to procure a Chinese history of Momien as well as of
Tali, though both had become rare, as the rebels had destroyed the
woodblocks. These copies were brought by Major Sladen to England, in
order to be deposited in the British Museum. It is to be hoped that
some one of our Chinese scholars will find leisure to translate these
works, which would probably throw valuable light on the little known
history of these regions.

The plan and construction of the city show that it was built as a
fortress. It occupies an area of five furlongs square, enclosed by a
strongly built stone wall, battlemented or crenellated, twenty-five
feet high. Twenty yards from the walls a deep moat surrounded the
once city; it was still perfect on the eastern and southern faces,
but had degenerated into a broad puddle, the favourite wallow for the
bazaar pigs, on the western. The masonry is admirable, the well hewn
slabs of lavaceous rock, two to four feet long, being laid in mortar,
hardened almost to the consistency of the stone, while the moat is
faced with stones laid together without mortar, so close and true that
a penknife can scarcely be inserted between them. Inside the wall, an
earthen rampart, about thirty feet wide and eighteen feet high, serves
as a battery, or parade ground, as well as a promenade. There are no
bastions, but at intervals turrets rise from the rampart, built of
blue burned bricks, the smooth surface and sharp edges of which are
uninjured by the wear and tear of centuries. The four gateways, to
each of which corresponds a substantial bridge spanning the moat, are
lofty and well built; but at the time of our visit, two of these gates
had been built up. The south-western or bazaar gate was especially
fortified by a semicircular traverse, an entrance in the side of which
led into a tunnel-like archway, over which rose a lofty watch-tower,
with concave roof, supported by strong pillars. The inner doorway was
closed by heavy ironclad wooden valves, which were carefully shut at
nightfall. Viewed from a distance, the walls and turrets, with a lofty
pagoda and the roof of the watch-tower, seemed to indicate a populous
and thriving town; but within the walls was almost emptiness. The
broad rectangular streets were comparatively deserted, save by a few
Panthay soldiers, who with their families formed the sole intramural
population. But few houses remained uninjured, the best of these being
the dwellings of the governor and his officers. The numerous temples
had been gutted and half demolished. The images and huge stone incense
vases had been overthrown and broken, while the ruined walls pitted
with bullets showed the fierceness of the struggle which had taken
place. The absence of all the wonted bustle and noise of a crowded
city was made more striking by the evidence on all sides of the former
prosperity and population.

Our stay at Momien extended over six weeks; but the state of the
country, combined with the weather, reduced us almost to inaction.
The depressing monotony of life under these circumstances was, however,
relieved by the unvarying kindness of the hospitable Panthays. Our
first day was devoted to arrangement of ourselves and baggage, in which
a crowd of curious visitors assisted by uttering astonished “Iyaws!” at
everything possessed by the foreigners, whose persons and goods each
was anxious to inspect.


The following day having been appointed by the governor for our
reception, we entered the town in state, preceded by twenty Mahommedan
sepoys of the escort, carrying the presents. These consisted of
green and yellow broadcloths, muslins, gaudy rugs and table covers,
double-barrelled guns and revolvers, with all appliances, powder
and shot, penknives, scissors, a binocular glass, telescope, and
musical-box, and a quantity of Bryant and May’s matches.

A large but well-behaved crowd of poverty-stricken Chinese had
assembled, who matched well with the ruinous houses of the suburb. We
entered by the south-western gate into a narrow dirty street, from
which a lane led to the governor’s house, surrounded by a low wall. The
gateway, about fifteen feet high, was formed of plain squared stone
pillars, with others laid horizontally across them, like the cross
beams of a doorway. This led into the usual Chinese succession of
quadrangular courts. In a small circular pavilion were stationed some
ragged musicians, who struck up a lively air on gongs and cymbals.
As we crossed the court to the house, a salute was fired from three
small cannon that were stuck into the ground, with muzzles upwards. A
rabble followed into the doorway leading to the inner court, at the end
of which, in the reception hall, sat the governor. He rose to receive
us, and motioned us to sit on his left hand, at a long table, on which
the presents were laid before him. Behind his seat there was a raised
recess, covered with red cloth, in which stood a small chair of state.
The sides of the room were hung with long narrow strips of blue and
red cloth, covered with Chinese characters in gold-leaf. The superior
officers occupied chairs along each side of the room, and a crowd of
underlings blocked up the entrance. The governor was a powerful man,
fully six feet three inches high, with prominent cheek-bones, heavy
protuberant lips, slightly hooked nose, and faintly oblique eyes. His
face was bronzed by exposure, and a deep indentation between the eyes,
with other scars, told of campaigns, in which he was said to be ever
foremost in the fight. He wore a grey felt hat, resembling a helmet
placed sideways, the front half of the rim being turned up, and the
back part downwards. A gold rosette, set with large precious stones,
formed a handsome ornament in front, and a long blue silk topknot hung
down behind. A pale blue silk coat, richly figured, exactly resembling
a dressing-gown, completed his costume. Sladen expressed our deep
regret at the death of the two officers, and promised to suggest to
our government to compensate their families. The governor replied that
we were not to distress ourselves, as they considered it an honour to
die as those men had done. As to the opening of trade, he declared
that any number of English merchants might visit Momien in the ensuing
November; that he had arranged with the Shan tsawbwas, and could manage
the Kakhyens, so that caravans should pass safely; but he hinted that
there were too many people then present to admit of this question
being discussed. He expressed great pleasure at the presents, and the
musical-box being set agoing excited universal admiration; the matches
astonished the company; but the sincerest satisfaction was called
forth by the guns and powder. Tea, preserved oranges, jujubes, and
sugar-candy were served round. In the course of general conversation
the governor stated that the Sultan had been pleased to hear of our
intended visit to Momien; but he feared that the road to Tali-fu was
too infested with Chinese bands to allow of our proceeding further.

The governor, attended by an armed retinue, paid his return visit of
ceremony the next day, carried in a gorgeous chair, and dressed in
full mandarin robes, while his officers were gaily attired in white
cotton jackets, braided, and adorned with silver buttons. They made
a gallant show of gold swords, silver spears, banners, and other
insignia. Presents were brought in, consisting of a bullock, sheep,
trays of confectionery, and forty thousand cash. The latter were at
first declined, but the courteous Tah-sa-kon would take no refusal, and
the cash furnished an acceptable largess to the escort and followers,
giving each about one rupee. The mission funds were, in truth, rather
low about this time, which, it may be noted, operated against the
acquisition of specimens of the local manufactures, save to a very
limited amount. Among the confectionery sent was a quantity of fine
white granulated honey, and a strong warning was given against the use
of onions, as the combination of onions and honey in the system would
be a certain poison.

When taking leave, the governor suggested that now the claims of
etiquette had been satisfied, we should consider ourselves free of
government house, as well as the town in general, and come and go as we
liked, and promised that he would visit us _sans cérémonie_. Our guard
and the Panthays fraternised completely, their common faith uniting
them, and the Chinese Mahommedans treated the true believers from India
with great respect. The jemadar was indeed in constant request to
officiate at the mosque, till he lost his voice by over-exertion.

True to his promise, the governor appeared bent on carrying us off
to an entertainment at his house. We were received in the same room
as before, but were invited to sit with our host on the dais at the
further end; constant relays of tea-cakes and sweetmeats were brought
in, to all of which each man was expected to do his duty. Shouts of
laughter reached our ears from time to time, as the ladies, our
host’s four wives and their maids, amused themselves in the adjacent
zenana with the magnetic battery. Our circle was presently joined by
the tsawbwa-gadaw of Muangtee, who was on a visit to the governor. She
was attended by several well-dressed Shan ladies, and they chatted and
laughed with that charming good humour which seems characteristic of
the Shans.

We were then shown over the private apartments by the governor himself,
who led us first to his bedroom, a snug little windowless room, lighted
by two doors facing each other, containing a large four-post bed, with
blue silk curtains looped up by silver chains, and a comfortable couch,
while the walls were decorated with an English eight-day clock, and
Chinese pictures and old armour. Passing through the room, we entered
a small court, where a number of tailors sat busily at work in a
verandah. This led to the zenana, or women’s apartments, a pretty range
of buildings, surrounding a small garden, ornamented with large vases,
containing dwarfed fruit and pine trees, and stone tanks filled with
goldfish. The trees included peach, plum, orange, box, &c., about two
to four feet in height, which had been dwarfed by tying knots in the
stem of the sapling. On our way back, we passed through a room hung
round with war hats gorgeously decorated with the tail feathers of the
Lady Amherst and golden pheasants, and with the handsome fox-like
brush of the _wah_ (_Ailurus fulgens_, F. Cuv.). After this inspection,
we were conducted to an open hall, in which a theatrical entertainment
was to take place. More tea and cakes were produced, while large copper
vases of incense burned close to us, and the heavy fumes produced
a drowsy feeling. The stage was a pavilion about twenty feet long,
closed on three sides, with two doors behind it, one for the entrance
and the other for the exit of the players. The orchestra of violins,
gongs, and cymbals, occupied the back of the stage, and discoursed most
monotonous music, like the clatter of crockery, with occasional bangs
and screeches. A small panelled picture of birds and flowers served
as scenery, and the properties were a table like an inverted pyramid,
with a chair on either side of it. The characters were all sustained by
male performers, who, on this occasion, presented a tragedy, turning
on the Chinese virtue of filial obedience. This required the hero to
obey his mother by rebelling against his father-in-law and killing the
princess, his wife; but the latter solved the difficulty by suicide,
and mother and son joined in lamentation over her. The hero had his
face painted red, and adorned with a long black beard and moustache;
he was accoutred in a gorgeous coat, richly embroidered with dragons
and flowers, a hat with a fine bushy tail of _Ailurus fulgens_, red
trousers, and black satin boots. He bellowed and blustered, and strode
about the stage as if practising the goose-step; the close of every
speech being emphasized by a bound in the air. While the play was going
on, we were expected to consume the contents of eight bowls containing
fowl chopped up with salted goose, dried prawns, mushrooms, vegetables,
&c., each dish being evidently a choice specimen of Chinese cuisine.
_Ahyek_, or samshoo, was then served round, but the governor, as a good
Mussulman, abstained from the forbidden liquor; small saucers of rice
and condiments came next, but after three hours of eating we beat a
retreat from the still interminable feast and drama.

The hospitable governor renewed his invitation the next afternoon, when
a farcical comedy was played, which was very broad, but fortunately
brief. As this was the market-day, two officers were detached to
escort us through the bazaar, the principal street of which extended
half a mile straight from the south-western city gates. Each side was
occupied by permanent shops, and a double row of stalls, protected by
huge umbrellas, lined the whole length of the street. A dense crowd of
Chinese, Shans, and Panthays, with a small sprinkling of Leesaws and
Kakhyens, thronged every avenue; the people were quite good-humoured,
but their curiosity would have been very troublesome but for the
presence of the officers. This, however, was only at first; during our
stay we roamed at will through the streets of the bazaar suburb, as
well as within the walls. The shops were small, one-storied cottages,
each devoted to a particular trade. Drapers, booksellers, druggists,
dealers in tobacco and nuts, provision merchants, displayed their
several wares, but, except on the market-day, with little custom.
Numerous eating-houses were crowded by the better class of customers,
while the poorer villagers were supplied by lads hawking comestibles.
The stalls made a rich display of vegetables and fruit; among the
former were peas, green and dried beans, potatoes, celery, carrots,
onions, garlic, yams, bamboo shoots, cabbage and spinach, and ginger;
the fruit comprised apples like golden pippins, pears, peaches,
walnuts, chestnuts, brambleberries, rose-hips, and three sorts of
unknown fruit. Mushrooms were in great demand, as well as a dried,
almost black lichen; black pepper, betel-nut, and poppy capsules
were seen on almost every stall, and salt sold in compressed balls,
marked with a government stamp. Other departments contained coloured
Chinese cloths and yarns, and buttons, English long and broad cloth,
needles, and brass buttons, Mahommedan skull-caps, embroidered in gold
thread, rings, mouth-pieces and brooches of amber and jade, opium
pipes, and Chinese hookahs. Running at right angles to the principal
street is another devoted to tailors and ready-made clothes stores,
and coppersmiths, who supply all kitchen appliances, and manufacture
the copper discs used in cutting jade. Along this street we came to
the store of the principal Chinese merchant, who invited us in, and
was very hospitable. His laments over the decay of the former trade
with Burma, caused by the civil war, showed clearly to which side his
sympathies inclined; and it was evident that he, as well as all the
non-Mahommedan Chinese, were only kept to their present allegiance by
the strong hand. The whole bazaar suburb was surrounded by a low brick
wall with several gates, each guarded by a sentinel at night, and the
Chinese resided here, being evidently excluded from the city. Although
the manufactures seemed to be in a very depressed state, the quarters
of the various artificers were still traceable; in a by-street we
had an opportunity of viewing the manufacture of jade ornaments. The
copper discs employed, a foot and a half in diameter, are very thin
and bend easily; the centre is beaten out into a cup, which receives
the end of the revolving cylinder. We watched two men at work, one
using the cutter, and the other a borer tipped with a composition of
quartz and little particles resembling ruby dust. Both were driven by
treadles; the stone is held below the disc, under which is a basin of
water and fine, silicious mud, into which the stone is occasionally
dipped, the operator taking handfuls of the mud. The stones are cut
into discs one-eighth of an inch thick, when intended for ear-rings,
and handed over to the borer to be perforated. The most valuable jade
is of an intensely bright green, something like emerald; but red and
pale pink qualities are highly prized. In the extensive ruins outside
the bazaar there was ample evidence, in the rejected fragments of
jade, that the manufacture must have been formerly carried on on a
much more extensive scale. The jade is obtained from the mines in the
Mogoung district, where large masses in the form of rounded boulders
are dug out of the pits; in former times a large quantity was yearly
imported to Momien. One hundred rupees was the price asked for a pair
of bracelets of the finest jade, and at Bhamô four rupees purchased
rings worth £2 at Canton.

Of amber-workers, who manufactured rosaries, rings, mouth-pieces,
&c., from the amber brought from the mines in the Hukong valley, near
Mogoung, but few remained at the time of our visit. The amber most
prized is perfectly clear, and the colour of very dark sherry. A
triangular specimen, one inch long, and one across, cost ten shillings.

At the bazaar there was a plentiful display of the mineral wealth of
Western Yunnan, which is rich in gold, silver, lead, iron, copper, tin,
mercury, arsenic, and gypsum; and we obtained small specimens of most
of these minerals, including a yellow orpiment, exported in quantities
from Tali to Mandalay, whither a large amount of tin also is annually
sent. The copper is brought from a range of hills near Khyto, three
days’ march to the north-east. It is smelted on the spot, and brought
in flattish pigs. The same hills are said to yield all the iron and
salt used in Western Yunnan; but the most precious product of the
Khyto mines is galena. Of this, a small specimen has been assayed by
Dr. Oldham, who has pronounced it to be among the richest that he has
ever seen; it yields 0·278 per cent., or 104 oz. of silver to the ton
of lead. Flints and large quantities of lime are brought from Tali-fu,
where large quarries of fine white marble exist. Sulphur is procured
in the neighbourhood, but we could not learn the locality. Li-sieh-tai
was subsequently reported to be raising sulphur to the south-west, and
an Old Resident[26] in Western China mentions a rich mine of sulphur
belonging to the northern frontier town of Atenze, behind a little mine
of saltpetre. The Chinese report on the mines of Yunnan, appended to
the records of the French expedition, states that in 1850 the copper
mines of Yunnan, of which Tali-fu is the principal depot, produced
over eleven thousand tons, and the silver amounted to two millions
of francs. The Old Resident, however, says that before the outbreak
of the rebellion there were one hundred and thirty-two copper mines,
government knowing only of thirty-seven; and as the above account was
calculated on the returns made to the government, who exact from thirty
to fifty per cent. of the produce, it is plain that the mineral wealth
of Yunnan is even greater than it is set forth in that report. Gold is
brought to Momien from Yonephin and Sherg-wan villages, fifteen days’
march to the north-east; but no information could be obtained as to the
quantity found. It is also brought in leaf, which is sent to Burma,
where it is in extensive demand.

In the drug-shops a powder was vended as a nervous restorative, made
of the horn of an antelope ground down, and sold at one rupee per
tickal;[27] and the pharmacopœia also included the powdered shells of
a tortoise (_Testudo platynotus_, Blyth), imported from Upper Burma,
and snuff made of sambur horn, used as a styptic for bleeding from the
nose. We were much surprised to find stone celts openly offered for
sale. When it was known that we would purchase, numbers were brought
in, and we acquired a collection of one hundred and fifty specimens,
at prices varying from two shillings to sixpence. Their poverty and
not their will constrained the owners to part with them, for they are
believed to confer good luck on the owner, and to possess curative
properties if dipped in medicine, and are exhibited to procure easy
parturition. They are usually turned up by the plough; and the popular
belief is that they fall from the sky as thunderbolts, and take nine
years to work up to the surface. The high estimation in which they are
held suggests that a Chinese Flint Jack made a profitable business
of imitating the real implements, or manufacturing amulets of the
same type. A large number of those purchased are small, beautifully
cut forms, with few or no signs of use, and made of some variety of
jade; but there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the larger
forms which were brought to us. Bronze celts are also found, but are
valued at their weight in gold; we managed, however, to purchase one at
Manwyne on the return journey. It belongs to the socketed type of celts
without wings. The composition of the bronze is the same as that of the
celts found in Northern Europe--tin 10, copper 90.

In consequence of a long period of drought preceding our arrival,
the slaughter of animals had been forbidden, as it was feared that
the rain would be withheld as a punishment, a curious instance of
Buddhist superstition affecting the Panthays and Chinese; but in two
days the rains set in, and the prohibition was removed. The markets
were thenceforward well supplied with bullocks, buffaloes, sheep,
goats, and pigs. The buffaloes are chiefly used for agriculture;
the beeves have no hump, and are small but well made, generally of
reddish-brown colour, deepening to black. The numerous sheep belong to
a large blackfaced breed, with convex profiles. Two kinds of goats are
common; one with long shaggy white hair nearly sweeping the ground, and
flattened spiral horns, directed backwards and outwards; the other kind
has very short dark brown hair, short shoulder list, and full beard,
with similar flattened spiral horns, but not so procumbent. The pigs
seemed to be all black. Remarkably fine ponies were common; but the
mules, which were much more numerous, are more prized. Fowls, ducks,
and geese are abundant and large; and last, though not least, cats, all
of a uniform grey, with faint darkish spots, made themselves at home
everywhere. But we noticed very few dogs, those seen being black with
shaggy coats, resembling the shepherd dogs of the south of Scotland.

It has been mentioned that the rains set in soon after our arrival.
From June 1st the south-west monsoon prevailed, with very few fair
intervals. The sky was obscured by thick, misty clouds, that wrapped
the hills in dense folds. As a rule, the rain fell very heavily; but
there were days together when it was little more than a thick Scotch
mist in a dead calm. Occasional thunderstorms of terrific grandeur
burst over the valley, accompanied by strong gusts from the south-west;
but the most characteristic feature of the weather was the generally
perfect stillness of the atmosphere, while low leaden clouds poured
down incessant rain, generally heavy, but sometimes only a gentle
drizzle, all which combined had a sufficiently depressing effect on
us. The temperature was by no means oppressive, the mean maximum in
June being seventy-four degrees, and the minimum sixty-two degrees. The
natives strongly assert that the climate is unhealthy for strangers,
and we all suffered more or less from intractable diarrhœa. Smallpox,
too, was prevalent; and one of our collectors and a Kakhyen sub-chief,
who had accompanied us, died from it. We were strongly cautioned
against the use of the river water, to which the natives attribute the
prevalence of goitre, which is most unpleasantly remarkable among men
and women and children, some goitres being so large as to require
special support; even young infants were observed affected by it, and
in their case it must have been congenital. Otherwise the children
seemed very healthy, notwithstanding their rags and dirt, and not
a single case of fever was observed, though about sixty or seventy
patients were treated for other diseases.

The fact that by far the greater part of the valley is under water for
six or seven months, during three of which it is little better than a
huge morass, would not seem to recommend it as salubrious; but it must
be remembered that it lies more than five thousand feet above the level
of the sea, in the twenty-fourth parallel of north latitude, and is a
comparatively dry and temperate country, singularly destitute of trees,
which conditions would combine to place it beyond the range of miasma.

The worthy governor showed great anxiety about our health. He refused,
on the score of security against prowling robbers, to let us shift our
quarters, but sent guards to accompany us in an occasional ramble round
the precincts of the city. So great was the insecurity that we dared
not venture more than a few hundred yards from the walls unattended.
A favourite walk was to a place less than a mile to the north-west of
the town. Here the Tahô, after flowing through the valley, precipitates
itself, in an all but unbroken sheet of water, over a cliff one hundred
feet high; thence it foams down a steep glen to the little valley
of Hawshuenshan. Immediately above the fall the stream is spanned by
a substantial stone bridge of three arches with roofed approaches.
Below this the thick bed of basaltic trap, over which the river leaps,
is worn into a miniature horseshoe; and the overhanging luxuriant
vegetation of ferns and brambles, and wild roses with double flowers,
formed a strikingly beautiful scene. In the rains the body of water was
so great that a column of spray ascended which was visible two miles
off. From this point the crenellated walls of Momien, with the distant
background of lofty ranges, completed a striking picture. Above the
bridge the Tahô flows down in a tortuous stream twenty yards broad,
well stocked with large gold carp (_Cavassius auratus_, Lin.), between
banks ten feet high; and the rice fields on either side are irrigated
by large wheels raising the water in long bamboo buckets, which
discharge themselves into wooden pipes leading to the fields. These
wheels are numerous in the valley.


After visiting the waterfall, we ascended the pagoda hill, about one
thousand feet above the town. The path led through potato-fields now
in full bloom, the plants grown in ridges, and earthed up with a
home-like effect. The leaf is smaller than that of the home plant,
and the tubers in the market had a thin red skin; but they were very
good, and in great demand at fourpence for three pounds and a half.
Nothing could be learned of the introduction of this plant, nor of
the celery, which is also largely cultivated, and seemed quite as
out of place. The potato, however, is called _yan-gee_, evidently the
same as _yang-yu_, foreign root, which, according to Mr. Cooper,[28]
is its name in Sz-chuen, where it is said to have been introduced by
the foreign teachers, i.e. the French missionaries, long ago. The
lower slope of the hill was covered with stone tumulus-shaped tombs,
the arched head of each containing a tablet with an epitaph. Ruder
graves were simple earthen tumuli, each with its arched opening blocked
by a large stone. The slopes of the hills surrounding the valley are
dotted with similar graveyards--mute records of the population that
once thronged the ruined villages lying below. Near the summit stood
a pagoda, a whitewashed round brick tower on a stone base with six
projecting rings. The hill itself, like all the eminences around, was
covered with fine grass, and a number of mules were grazing under
the protection of a Panthay guard. A pleasant illustration of the
prevailing insecurity was given a few days later, when this guard was
attacked and forty mules driven off by imperialist Chinese. We were
unmolested, and climbed to the summit, flushing from the bracken beds
a magnificent cock pheasant (_Phasianus sladeni_, And.), with long
tail feathers, resembling some noticed in a Panthay head-dress. Sladen
afterwards bagged the hen; and we also obtained a young fox with a
golden-yellow coat and white-tipped brush, apparently of the Himalayan
race. Returning, we observed a large arched cavern, which proved to be
an old quarry of trachytic rock, which had probably furnished the city
walls. On one occasion we were permitted to make a longer excursion
to the valley of Hawshuenshan. Our party must have consisted of
thirty-five men, all armed, the Panthay guard, equipped with spears and
muskets, being commanded by the governor’s nephew, with several other
officers: all this being necessary for safety during a mere suburban
stroll. Turning southerly from Momien, we soon came in sight of the
town of Yay-law, the deserted ruins of which stretched for more than a
mile along the foot of the Deebay range. We skirted the pagoda hill,
remarking a curious isolated heap of lava; no other rock was visible
for miles around, and it had all the appearance of a small volcanic
vent, and the rock was identical with that of the extinct volcano.

Rounding the hills two miles from Momien, a slight westerly descent
led to a short narrow gorge, at the south-eastern angle of the little
circular valley of Hawshuenshan. The once wealthy village of Shuayduay
occupies an abrupt slope at the head of the gorge, rising in a series
of terraces faced with mortarless walls of very porous lava, laid as
closely as the facing of the Momien ditch, and protected by parapets
of sun-dried brick. A small stream runs down the ravine, which is
not more than a quarter of a mile long and fifty yards broad, to a
substantial tank crossed by a broad stone platform, arched on one
side to allow the overflow to escape. Facing Hawshuenshan valley, the
platform expands into a handsome, crescent-shaped terrace, enclosed by
an elegant stone balustrade, which forms the entrance to a temple built
on the southern slope, opposite to Shuayduay. This temple, rising in
terraces on the steep hillside, standing out beautifully against the
background of green hills, was the only one spared by the Mahommedans,
whose stern bigotry could not resist its beauty. The approach to the
temple buildings lay through two curved courtyards with handsome arched
gateways. The first enclosure was an open square with three sides built
on the same level, the nearest one of which contained the priests’
apartments; to the right and left lay a neat garden of dwarfed fruit
trees, the centre of which was occupied by a few stunted trees covered
with a profusion of yellow orchids in full flower, and a magnificent
hydrangea in a colossal vase; the furthest side next the hill was
raised on a stone terrace four feet above the level of the rest. On
this higher platform stood life-sized gilded figures of deities, with
incense always burning in small black stone vases, and on a table
in front of the images lay a large drum and grotesque hollow wooden
fishes, which the priests and worshippers beat with short sticks.
A passage led through each side of the court to stone staircases
proceeding to the terrace above, and converging in its centre in
an hexagonal tower, supported on stone pillars seven feet high;
these formed an archway from which ascended a short flight of steps,
dividing to the right and left to reach the highest terrace, nearly
on a level with which was a chapel forming the upper chamber of the
hexagonal tower. The upper temple occupied the whole of its terrace,
built entirely of wood, except the back and end walls. The front was
panelled with richly gilt lattice work, while the eaves and ceilings
were coloured in imitation of porcelain. Behind a screen, adorned with
richly coloured carvings of birds and flowers, sat three life-sized
gilded figures on altars, apparently of porcelain. The central figure,
of marble, represented a woman seated on a lotus, with a flower of
the lily beneath her feet; she held forth a naked male child, seated
on one hand, and supported by the other in front, the child’s sex
being strongly marked. This was the goddess Kwan-yin, goddess of mercy
and conception, and her presence would seem to mark the shrine as a
Taouist temple. These terraced rock temples resembled those described
by Mr. Cooper as visited by him at Chung Ching. The stone walls of
the shrine were not carried to the roof, but finished with wooden
panelling, pierced with circular windows of elegant tracery. These were
so arranged that the light fell full on the seated figures. From the
centre of this terrace a narrow stair led down to the chapel on the top
of the hexagonal tower, within which sat a fine Buddhistic figure, with
the head in white marble tinted brown.

Following a well-paved track along the hill to the east of the valley,
a ride of a quarter of a mile brought us to the walled Chinese town of
Hawshuenshan, built on the slope of the hill. The valley is abruptly
closed in on three sides by rounded grassy hills rising suddenly round
the dead level of the centre, then inundated for the rice crop. The
south-west side is closed by the long low range of the extinct volcano,
with a white pagoda standing out in strong relief from its black and
barren side.

Hawshuenshan had evidently been a place of great importance, being a
much larger town than Shuayduay, and must have contained at least three
thousand inhabitants. At this time a considerable number of refugees
had here found an asylum, who had fled from the deserted villages of
Shangnan, Tahinshan, &c. We were shown an open grassy plot on the
southern outskirts of the town which had, only a few months previously,
been strewn with the corpses of imperialist Chinese. The people of
Hawshuenshan had declared against the Panthays, and joined the Chinese
partisan Low-quang-fang; on this plot they had been attacked and
defeated. As usual, no quarter was given, and all who failed to fly
were massacred, and afterwards buried where they fell. A fine temple
overlooked a small stream running down from Shuayduay, and which now
formed a small lake just outside the town. This water was crossed by a
handsome stone bridge, with picturesque archways. From this we followed
a raised causeway to the head of the valley, and, passing the Tahô
waterfall on the left, ascended gradually four hundred feet to Momien.
This vale of Hawshuenshan, though not more than two miles long by one
broad, had been once encircled by large villages, the ruins of which
still attested that before the war they must have been places of no
little wealth.

With the exception of the walled bazaar, the once populous _faubourgs_
of Momien had been laid in ruins; the heaps of bricks, the stone
sides of the ancient wells deeply grooved by rope marks, and the long
rows of detached mounds, with little grass-grown squares, defined the
position of the southern and north-eastern suburbs. The houses of the
north occupying a smaller area, surrounded by fine gardens, and shut in
between the river and the city wall, seemed to have escaped demolition.

Amidst the general desolation within the city walls, two remarkable
objects of art and nature stood, as it were, memorials of the past. One
was a tall whitewashed pagoda seven stories in height, of the usual
and familiar Chinese form. The other was a magnificent fir tree, which
towered fully one hundred feet, although its top had been broken by a
storm; at the height of four feet from the ground, the trunk measured
fifteen feet in circumference.

In default of other resources, we spent a good deal of time strolling
among the ruined temples and monasteries, which were numerous both in
the city and suburbs; by far the greater majority were in ruins, but a
few only partially destroyed were still tenanted by a few poor priests
who, in spite of the Mahommedans, kept the incense burning before the
gods of their forefathers. The massive stone gateways, richly carved
roofs, and the elaborate decorations of the altars and images, afforded
proofs of a high proficiency in art. Combinations of plants and birds
furnished many of the designs of the decorations, executed either in
well chiselled carvings or richly coloured paintings. In the carvings,
dragons and monsters are frequent; all are generally coloured, the
standard tints being red, blue, green, and yellow. The outsides of the
principal walls are frequently decorated with medallion pictures of
small animals and birds in black, grey, and white, alternating with
squares or circles of complex geometrical figures. As far as could be
judged from the images of the various deities, these temples appeared
to be shrines of a compound of Buddhism, Taouism, and Confucianism,
though no Buddhist priests were to be seen--or at least their yellow
religious garb was nowhere visible--the priests having no distinctive
costume, and living generally in their own houses in the suburbs.
The images of the deities are nearly all life-sized, the place of
honour being occupied sometimes by one, sometimes by three, seated on
a pedestal in the centre of the principal hall. Around the central
figures are disposed the statues of lesser deities, sages and scholars.
In one temple where the central images were undoubtedly Buddhistic,
the walls of the outer court were surrounded by fifty life-sized male
and female figures, all seated, which seemed to represent the army
of the Thagyameng. In another the chief deity was a colossal seated
image, with a dragon at each knee, and the body of a snakelike dragon
passing up under the double girdle, and breaking on the breast into a
number of heads, recalling the seven-headed cobras of Hindoo mythology;
the head and neck of a serpent-formed dragon issued, too, from under
each armpit. Some of the female figures are seated on lions, other
forms have the heads of bulls and birds, while four-armed figures also
occur. In the khyoung, which formed our residence, there was a figure
of Puang-ku, the creator, seated on a bed of leaves resembling those
of the sacred _padma_ or lotus. This remarkable four-armed figure was
life size, and naked, save for garlands of leaves around the neck and
loins. He was seated cross-legged like Buddha, the two uppermost arms
stretched out, forming each a right angle. The right hand held a white
disc and the left a red one. The two lower arms were in the attitude
of carving, the right hand holding a mallet and the left a chisel.
Except the Shuayduay images, which were of stone, almost all were
constructed in the following manner: a frame of wood, making a sort
of lay figure, is roughly put together, and afterwards padded to the
proper proportions with layers of straw wound tightly over it; a layer
of clay is plastered over the whole, and when dry, the flesh tints are
laid on with marked realistic truth, and the garments duly coloured.
The fact that the breast of every image of importance had been broken
open seemed to show that a jewel or gold had been deposited therein, as
is the custom in Burma.

During our stay the festival of the Goddess of Agriculture occurred.
The stem of an iris and a branch of wild indigo were hung up over every
door, and a general holiday observed; but nothing else marked the
occasion, save that the priests insisted on kindling the incense in our
khyoung, which act of devotion had been on other days pretermitted for
the sake of our lungs. In one of the few khyoungs still inhabited by
priests--all of which were situated in out-of-the-way places outside
the town--I found a boys’ school conducted by an intelligent priest. A
heavy shower of rain drove me in for refuge, and the master, who was
seated at a low black desk, politely invited me to a seat. The pupils
at once left their desks and crowded round us. A sign directing them
to resume their desks and tasks was only so far obeyed that all began
shouting their lessons at the full pitch of their voices; a word from
the master, however, quickly dispersed them. I produced cheroots, and
the priest sent for tea, and we chatted for an hour. Lying on the desk
was a flat piece of wood like a gigantic paper-cutter. To explain its
use, he called up a small boy, and, taking one of his hands, rubbed the
palm with the instrument in a mysterious way. Suddenly, however, the
paper-cutter rose and descended rapidly, tears started to the boy’s
eyes, but were dried by a kindly word from the master, explaining
that it was only an exhibition, not a punishment. The boys, whose
ages varied from six to fifteen, seemed to enjoy their lessons there.
The school hours lasted from nine to five o’clock, with an hour and
a half’s interval, during which each boy purchased his dinner from a
hawker of small bowls of Chinese dainties. Every boy has his own books,
and, seated at a table, shouts his lesson aloud till he thinks he knows
it, and then proceeds to attempt to recite it to the master, on whom
he turns his back during the repetition. They learn to write at the
same time as to read, for each boy first copies his lesson, getting
the exact pronunciation of each letter and word from the master--thus
whole books are committed to memory; but the babel of voices during
the process is deafening, and the plan is not recommended for adoption
to our school boards, although the punishment of the paper-knife might
offer them a good model for imitation.

One bright little Momien boy was a great favourite; he was the pet
son of the chief military officer, who brought him, as being deaf and
dumb, in order to see what could be done. As the child attempted to
imitate sounds, he was not deaf, and careful examination discovered
that he was tongue-tied. A successful operation removed the impediment,
much to the astonishment and delight of his father. The latter, whose
title was Tah-zung-gyee, was a fine young Panthay soldier, of rather
a jovial temperament. He invited us to a grand feast at his house,
which was one of the few remaining uninjured within the walls. The
invitation was duly conveyed to each on a piece of pink paper; and at
the hour appointed--about 1 P.M.--a messenger arrived to inform us that
the feast was ready. The house was approached through an outer court
containing the stables. It formed a large square enclosing a central
court. The principal building, facing the entrance, was raised on a
terrace about four feet high, with a flight of steps at either end,
each leading into an open hall. From this two doors led to the women’s
apartments. The buildings on the other three sides of the square
suggested Swiss cottages by their deep eaves and the large latticed
windows of the second floor. A kitchen and store-rooms occupied the
ground floor, and on one side was a dovecot. The eaves of the house
were richly decorated with carvings representing landscapes with
running water, bridges, and trees. A court outside contained a very
choice garden filled with dwarf trees in vases; besides which, there
were tall crimson hollyhocks and passion flowers. Two small stone
tanks contained gold fish with remarkable doubly divided tails; and in
one corner there was a model roughly carved in stone of a hillside,
with caves and a pagoda. The walls of the rooms were decorated with
Chinese landscapes and pictures of birds, in sepia and colours,
which were mounted on rollers, like maps on a school-room wall. The
entertainment, as usual, commenced with tea and cakes, followed by
delicious nectarines and plums; after which came the more solid items
of the repast. A decoction of samshoo seasoned with aromatic herbs was
handed round like a loving-cup, our host first taking a vigorous pull,
and passing it round till the jug was emptied. The liquid was warm and
rather agreeable; but it fell to my lot to finish the contents, and,
much to my disgust, I observed unmistakable pieces of pork fat among
the herbs and spices. Our Mahommedan host not only drank samshoo, but
allowed his drink to be thus flavoured with pork! He was most genial,
and declared he would most willingly bestow his sisters on us as wives;
and, in token of friendship, presented each with a jade ring and
camellias. The women were curiously watching the strangers from the
curtained doors; and towards the close of the evening the host asked
for remedies for barrenness, with which some females of his household
were affected. After some hesitation, the three patients mustered
courage to show themselves, and were fine, young buxom women, with
dwarfed feet. Some disappointment was evidently experienced at the
refusal to prescribe for such patients as these.

The jealous reserve of the Chinese ladies was always pleasantly
contrasted by the Shan manners, which united perfect modesty with
a frank and pleasant demeanour. Thus the tsawbwa-gadaw of Muangtee
visited us with her retinue of ladies. The old lady was splendidly
attired, her towering turban being ornamented in front with the Panthay
rosette of green, blue, and pink stones set in gold, and at the sides
with little silver triangles set with small enamelled flowers. Her
skirt was richly embroidered in silk and gold thread, and her light
blue silk jacket was trimmed with black satin, which contrasted well
with her massive gold bracelets. She wore amber and jade finger-rings,
and a handsome silver chatelaine and richly embroidered fan-case
hanging by her side. One of her maidens carried a small Chinese hookah,
and another her embossed silver boxes of betel-nut, &c. She was greatly
pleased with a present of a handsome carpet, needles, scissors, &c.;
and her maids were charmed with small circular mirrors, which they at
once fastened to their jackets as ornaments. These _keenzas_, as they
called them, were immensely prized; and a few days after, as I was
engaged in searching for land shells below the city wall, one of the
Shan ladies hailed me from the battlements. The owner of the pretty
face peering over the wall was evidently begging for something, which
at first I thought was cheroots, and bade her by signs lower down
her long head-dress, in the corner of which I tied a few cheroots,
but these proved unsatisfactory; and the word _keenza, keenza_, at
last made it plain that the young Shan lady wanted a mirror, and one
had to be brought and sent up to her; and her glee was most amusing
when she pulled up the cloth and found the keenza and a packet of
needles. Compared to the pretty faces and picturesque attire of these
Shan maidens, the dress and appearance of the Chinese women was very
miserable. All the women who appeared in the streets were ugly and
ill-clad, though the children had chubby, red cheeks. The majority
wore pork-pie hats. All except the slaves had their feet dwarfed, and
wore Dutch-like clogs in the rainy weather. The costume consisted of
trousers, drawn tight round the ankle, a long loose blue garment, and a
large blue double apron in front. Notwithstanding the dwarfed feet, the
women walked to market three or four miles, carrying heavy loads, and
seemed to think nothing of shouldering two buckets of water, slung to a
bamboo. Every day our khyoung was besieged by crowds of beggars of all
ages, from little ragged urchins to old men and women bent with age.
Their rags and filth defied description, and sordid poverty in various
degrees characterised all the wretched inhabitants of the ruined
suburbs that surrounded the almost empty city. It must seem wearisome
to harp upon the utter desolation and ruin that had resulted from the
long continuous warfare, and the reader may prefer to gather some
information as to the rebellious Mahommedan Chinese and their doings.

[26] ‘Pioneer of Commerce,’ appendix v. pp. 464 and 466.

[27] A _tickal_ is rather more than half an ounce troy.

[28] ‘Pioneer of Commerce,’ p. 186.



 Their origin--Derivation of the term “Panthay”--Early
 history--Increase in numbers--Adoption of children--The
 Toonganees--Physical characteristics--Outbreak of the
 revolt--Tali-fu--Progress of revolt--The French expedition--Overtures
 from Low-quang-fang--Resources of the Panthays--Capture of
 Yunnan-fu--Prospects of their success--Our position--The governor’s
 presents--Preparations for return.

The Mahommedans of Yunnan have a tradition of their origin, which is
curious, but mythical. The governor and the hadji at Momien stated,
in substance, that their forefathers came from Arabia to China one
thousand years ago, in the reign of the emperor Tung-huon-tsong, who
had sent his chief minister, Khazee, to Tseeyoog(?) to implore help
against the rebel Oung-loshan. Three thousand men were accordingly
sent, and the rebellion was crushed by their assistance. Their former
compatriots refused to receive them back, as having been defiled by a
residence among pork-eating infidels, so they settled in China, and
became the progenitors of the Chinese Mahommedans. This information
was furnished in the form of answer to questions put by me carefully
written, and translated into Chinese, and Sladen also procured a
Chinese document, giving substantially the same account.[29] It will
be seen that the variations of this from the account furnished to
General Fytche are important;[30] but as the name of the emperor
Tung-huon-tsong differs but slightly from that of Hiun-tsong of the
Tung dynasty, against whom Ngan-Loshan[31] rebelled, it seems possible
to connect this account with Chinese history. His son Sutsung, A.D.
757, was rescued from his difficulties by the arrival of an embassy
from the khalif Abu Jafar al Mansur, the founder of Bagdad, accompanied
by auxiliary troops, who were joined by Ouigoors and other forces
from the West. It must be added that my informants, while claiming
Arab descent, stated clearly that their more immediate ancestors had
migrated from Shensi and Kansu to Yunnan about one hundred and fifty
years ago. History, however, shows the early growth and rapid increase
in China of a large Mahommedan population, whom the Chinese term
Hwait-ze; the name Panthay or Pansee being of Burmese origin.

As to the derivation of this term, several theories have been
suggested. Major Sladen gives Puthee as a Burmese term for Mahommedans
generally. Garnier says that the word Pha-si, which the Burmese have
corrupted into Pan-thé, according to Colonel Phayre, is the same as
Parsi or Farsi, which in India is applied to the Mahommedans, and that
this denomination is very ancient, as Colonel Yule pointed out that in
a description of the kingdom of Cambodia, translated by A. Remusat, a
religious sect is described, called Pâssi, who were distinguished by
wearing white or red turbans, and by refusing to drink intoxicating
liquors, or to eat in company with the other sects; but that
distinguished Chinese scholar, Sir T. Wade, derives the term Panthay
from a Chinese word Pun-tai, signifying the aboriginal or oldest
inhabitants of a country; and Garnier mentions that a people called
Penti are found on the eastern side of the Tali Lake, and in the plain
of Tang-tchouen, to the north of Tali. They are a mixed race, descended
from the first colonists sent into Yunnan by the Mongols, after the
conquest of the country by the generals of Kublai Khan.

Mr. Cooper tells us that the term Pa-chee, or white flag party, as
distinguished from the Hung-chee, or red flag, or imperialists,
was also used to designate the rebels in the north of Yunnan, and
Garnier frequently applies these terms to the contending parties. The
termination _-ze_ in the name Hwait-ze, as in Mant-ze, Thibetans,
Miaout-ze, hill tribes, and Khwait-ze, foreigners, seems always to
imply political and tribal separation from Chinese proper. These
names occur in the curious prophecy of the Four -Ze Wars, quoted by

From the account of China compiled in the middle of the ninth century
by Abu Zaid, from the reports of Arab traders, it is evident that his
countrymen had long resorted to China. Even then the Arab community of
Hang-chew-fu (Khanfu) was of great importance: it possessed a separate
judge, appointed by the emperor of China, and we are told that the
Mahommedan, Christian, Jewish, and Parsee population massacred in
A.D. 878 numbered one hundred and twenty thousand. Mahommedanism was
little known among the Tartars before the time of Chengis-khan, but
his conquests were the means of bringing a considerable population of
Uigurs into Shensi and Kansu; and the faith of the Prophet had spread
amongst this tribe long before the Tartar conquest of China.

The vigorous trading and political intercourse subsisting between China
and their mother country kept alive the religious life and social
individuality of these immigrants. This large addition of population
to their co-religionists already derived from the contingents of the
khalifs, and the Arab traders, accounts for the number of Mahommedans
which Marco Polo noted during his residence in China (1271-1295). In
his description of the people on the western border of Shensi, where
the celebrated mart of Singui was situated, and his account of Singan,
and Carajan, a part of Yunnan, he describes the Mahommedans as forming
a considerable part of the foreign population.

How strong a position this sect had obtained under the reign of Kublai
appears from Marco Polo’s statement that the provincial governments
were entrusted to Tartars, Christians, and Mahommedans. The invasion
of Burma and the sieges of Singan and Fun-ching were entrusted to
Mahommedan generals. The story of Bailo Achmed, the great minister of
finance, is the most striking illustration of the Mahommedan influence,
although the discovery of his crimes brought the khan’s anger upon
the Saracens, and led to their being prohibited the practices as to
marriage and slaughter of animals, enjoined by their religion. This
check could only have been temporary, and as we find Mahommedans
filling high places of trust, both civil and military, it can be fairly
conjectured that after the conquest of Yunnan these enterprising
soldiers and traders established themselves in the colonies planted in
the new province.

In the early part of the fourteenth century, Rashid-ood-deen, Vizier
of Persia, mentions Karajang or Yunnan province, and states that the
inhabitants were all Mahommedans. Ibn Batuta, who visited China in the
middle of the same century, found in every large town Mahommedans,
who were mostly rich merchants. In all the provinces there was a town
belonging to them, each of which usually possessed a mosque, market,
a cell for the poor, and a kadi and sheikh ul Islam, while in some
districts they were exceedingly numerous.

The Jesuit fathers, in the seventeenth century, make frequent mention
of the Chinese Mahommedans. Le Compte, writing to Cardinal de Bouillon
in 1680, says, “that they had been six hundred years in the country
undisturbed, because they quietly enjoyed their liberty without seeking
to propagate their religion, even by marriages, out of their own
kindred, even in places where they were most numerous, and longest
settled, as in the provinces north of the Hoang Ho, and in towns along
the canal, where they had built mosques, differing altogether from
Chinese architecture. They were regarded as foreigners, and frequently
insulted by the Chinese.”

The oppression to which they were subjected after the second Tartar
conquest began to show itself as early as the beginning of the
eighteenth century, when their mosques were destroyed by the populace
of Hang-chow in Hu-quang province, notwithstanding the efforts of the
magistrates to protect them. At an earlier period, however, about
1651, they had been deprived by the Tartar emperor, Chunchi, of the
honours enjoyed by some of their number in connection with the Board
of Mathematics. This change of policy, thus begun, caused a rebellion,
which broke out in the reign of Kien-hung, 1765-71, on the western
frontier, and spread to the province of Kansu. The rebels resisted
the imperial forces with great valour, but were ultimately subdued.
The Abbé Grosier, writing subsequently to this event, says, “that for
some time past the Mahommedans seem to have been more particularly
attentive to the care of extending their sect.”[33]

The method they resorted to was the free use of their wealth in
purchasing children to bring up as Mahommedans. During the terrible
famine which devastated the province of Quangtong in 1790, they
purchased ten thousand children from poor parents; these were educated,
and, when grown up, provided with wives and houses, whole villages
being formed of these converts. This system has been followed by them
to the present day, so that large numbers of the faithful are of
Chinese origin; and we found instances of it at Momien. According to
Garnier, the sultan of Tali was a Chinese orphan, adopted and educated
by a wealthy Mahommedan. Yunnan appears, from the _Pekin Gazette_,
to have been the scene of almost incessant insurrections from 1817
to 1834, attributable, in all probability, to the Mahommedan element
in the population. During one rebellion, in 1828, the leader had an
imperial seal engraved, and issued manifestoes summoning the people
to join his standard. At the same time, the mixed populations of this
province appear to have been always distinguished by an independent and
insubordinate spirit, which often defied the central authority. Some
towns were even governed by elective municipal councils, only nominally
ruled by the mandarins.

Grutzlaff mentions that during his residence in China, in 1825-1832,
they had several mosques in Chekiang, Pechili, Shensi, and Shansu;
but as they had occasionally joined the rebels of Turkistan, the
government viewed them with a jealous eye. Nevertheless, some of
their number filled offices of high trust. He also states that many
of them performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, and brought back Arabian
MSS. of the Koran, which a few could read imperfectly, that they
were by no means bigoted nor proselytising, and that they venerated
Confucius. These Mahommedans of Northern China and Turkistan include
the people called Toonganees, who are said to trace their origin to
a large body of Uigurs, who were transplanted to the vicinity of the
North Wall, under the rule of the Thang dynasty, between the seventh
and tenth centuries. These settlers were encouraged to intermarry
with the Chinese women, and after this, when, following the example
of their fellow tribesmen, they embraced Islam, they still retained
this practice, although careful to bring up all their children in the
Faith. Though a mixed race, they are distinguished from both Manchoos
and Chinese by their intelligent countenances and superior strength.
They have always evinced special aptitude for mercantile speculations,
like their southern brethren. They have also shown themselves to be
excellent warriors in the successful rebellion of Turkistan, and that
which broke out in 1861 in Kansu, and under Abdul Jaffier threatened to
be as successful as the revolt of Yunnan.

In the course of the present century, the Faithful appear to have
multiplied in Yunnan more rapidly than in the northern provinces.
Colonel Burney tells us that in 1831 almost the whole of the Chinese
traders who visited the Burmese capital were Mahommedans, except a few
who imported hams. Some of them could speak a little Arabic, and one
read to him passages from the Koran; but none of them could tell him
whence they derived their origin.

As far as appearance goes, there are strong traces of descent from a
non-Chinese and, we may say, Turkish stock visible among the present
Mahommedans of Western China. Garnier remarks that “the Mussulmans of
Arab origin are tolerably numerous, and many are to be met with who
manifest very markedly the principal traits of Arabs, some preserving
the ancestral type in great purity. But the majority cannot be readily
distinguished from Chinese, except by their superior stature, greater
physical strength, and more energetic physiognomies. Although they only
contract matrimonial alliances with those of their own creed, they
commonly take Chinese women as concubines. Hence a large infusion of
Chinese blood, notwithstanding which they have preserved almost all the
warlike qualities of their ancestors.” Mr. Cooper describes a merchant
who called upon him as “a splendid specimen of the Yunnan Mahommedan,
standing over six feet; his countenance was singularly haughty and
noble, and his manner peculiarly gentle and dignified.” His long black
moustache and hair, hanging in a huge tail almost to the ground, are
also particularly noticed.

The leading men met with by us at Momien were well-made, athletic,
and of a goodly height, the governor standing six feet three inches.
They were fair-skinned, with high cheek-bones, and slightly oblique
eyes, their cast of countenance being quite distinct from the Chinese.
In fact, the general type of face recalled that of the traders who
come down to Calcutta from Bokhara and Herat. They generally wore
moustaches, but depilated the rest of the face, while their long
hair was coiled in the folds of huge white turbans. The only other
distinctive article of dress was a bright orange-coloured waistband,
which usually supported a silver-mounted dagger. As a rule they
abstained from intoxicating drink, and smoking opium or tobacco; but
some were lax in these particulars. Our strict Mussulmans rather
despised them for laxity in worship as well, and the native doctor,
who was a fanatic, declared that they were not true believers at
all. On the whole, the conclusion which may be fairly arrived at as
to their origin is, that to the descendants of a possible Arab stock
have been added a considerable number of Turkish emigrants, who, in
truth, constitute the main origin of the Mahommedan population in
Yunnan. A number of Chinese proper have from time to time been added
to this community, which, in all places, seems to have included the
wealthiest and best class of the population. The rebellion in Yunnan
seems to have been brought about solely by the oppression to which the
Mahommedans were subjected by the mandarins. Their proud independent
spirit would not brook the tyranny and extortion universally practised
by the official class, from which they were excluded. The mandarins,
according to their wont, secretly hounded the mob on to their rich
and respectable enemies, riots were provoked, and their mosques were
destroyed, as at Momien, where a handsome building, constructed after
plans brought home from Mecca, had existed before the war. Thus their
religious hatred was aroused, as the ruined temples and Buddhist
monasteries testified, and both interest and revenge for insults
to their religion led to a universal and well-planned rising. As
the insurrection which broke out in 1855 spread, the Chinese towns
and villages which resisted were pillaged, and the male population
massacred; while the women were spared to minister to the passions of
the undisciplined soldiery, and children were captured to be brought up
as Mussulmans; but all the places which yielded were spared.

That the country suffered terribly in the struggle was proved to us
by the mute evidence of the deserted towns and villages, and from the
most southern border of the province to the farthest north we have the
reports of eye-witnesses of the fearful devastation. The contending
parties invoked the aid of the hill tribes, such as the Lolos, Lou-tse,
and Kakhyens, and these had to be rewarded for their services by
licensed pillage. Thus it happened that places on the debatable borders
were pillaged three times over, by the Red Flag, by the White Flag, and
by the marauders. In this way the towns of Sanda and Muangla had been
plundered by the Kakhyens after the Panthay invasion. The officers at
Momien told many stories of the conduct of their soldiers, which spoke
volumes of the misery brought on the peaceful inhabitants; but the
Chinese soldier is, by all accounts, as dangerous in peace to the towns
on which he is billeted as any enemy could be, and scenes of violence
and outrage accompany the march of the undisciplined ruffians under the
imperial banners wherever they go.

The exact order of events which led to the establishment of the
Mahommedan kingdom is somewhat uncertain; we could not, for want
of interpreters, gain trustworthy information. In the account of
the French expedition,[34] M. Garnier refers the commencement of
the rebellion to an outbreak of the Mahommedans, the cause of which
is not stated, and describes them as having instigated a riot in
1856, and pillaged the city of Yunnan-fu. The imperial authorities
thereupon determined to rid themselves of these intractable subjects
by a general massacre, which was ordered to take place on a given
day. This commenced at Hoching, a town between Li-kiang-fu and
Tali-fu, when upwards of a thousand Mahommedans were murdered; while
similar treacherous massacres followed in different places. A simple
bachelor or literatus of Moung-ho, named Tu-win-tsen or Dowinsheow,
a Chinese orphan who had been adopted by Mahommedans, rallied his
co-religionists. His followers at first numbered only forty, but their
ranks were speedily joined by fugitives from Hoching, Yung-pe, and
other places, till with six hundred men he attacked the ancient and
holy city of Tali-fu, which surrendered in 1857. Although Tali-fu is
a small town, the population of which did not at that time exceed
thirty-five thousand, the rich plain walled in by mountains, and
with a lake teeming with fish, stretching forty miles in length and
ten in breadth, maintained a population estimated before the war at
four hundred thousand. Garnier states that there were one hundred
and fifty villages, but the Old Resident numbers them at two hundred
and fifty-three. The mountains to the north and south close in upon
the lake, and the plain and city are accessible only by two strongly
fortified passes, Hiang-kwang and Hia-kwang, or, as the Burmese call
them, Shangwan and Shagwan. Thus Tali has been from the earliest
times a strong city; it was the capital of a kingdom at the invasion
of Kublai Khan, and is still regarded by the Thibetans, who make
pilgrimages to its vicinity, as the ancient home of their forefathers.
The Mahommedans made it their head-quarters, and it seemed likely
again to become the capital of an independent kingdom. Their success
was facilitated by the jealousy which existed between the pure Chinese,
mainly descended from immigrants from Sz-chuen, and the Minkia and
Penti mixed races, descended from the early colonists planted by the
Mongols, and probably by the later Tartar dynasty in 1679. These
tribes, inhabiting the eastern plains of Tali and other adjacent
districts, were despised, as being sprung from intermarriage with the
Shan and barbarous races, by the Chinese, as the true Creoles looked
down upon any in whose veins ran negro blood.[35] Hence they stood
aloof in the struggle between the Chinese and the Mahommedans; the
latter even succeeded in occupying Yunnan-fu for a short time, but were
speedily expelled. A local revolt, however, was organised there by a
Mahommedan hadji of great repute, called Lao-papa, who assassinated
the viceroy Pang, and was proclaimed emperor or sultan, but enjoyed
his dignity a very short time. Another Mahommedan, named Ma-kien, who,
before the war, had been a seller of barley-sugar, but had become a
soldier, and took the imperialist side, subdued Lao-papa in 1861,
and established the authority of another Lao, who had been appointed
viceroy. Ma-kien was named _ti-tai_, or commander of the forces, but an
officer called Leang, in the south of the province, refused to obey
his orders, and a little civil war ensued between their respective
partisans. The Mahommedans took advantage of this division in the camp
of the enemy to consolidate their power under their elected chief,
Tu-win-tsen, who was proclaimed sultan, or imam, in the year 1867.
Momien had been captured three years before our visit, and the Shan
states on the Tapeng brought under the Mahommedan king, whose authority
extended over a considerable portion of the province. In the beginning
of 1868, the French found the government at Yunnan-fu administered _ad
interim_ by a mandarin of the blue button, named Song, the viceroy Lao
having recently died, and his successor, though appointed, not having
ventured to assume the perilous post. The office of commander-in-chief
was filled by Ma-kien, supported by a staff of Mahommedan officers,
whose costume and physiognomy marked them as different from the
Chinese. Lao-papa also resided in Yunnan, invested with rank and
honours, as the religious head of all the Mahommedans.[36] It does not
appear how this could be reconciled with the religious authority of
Sultan Suleiman, and it is plain that the Mahommedans were themselves
divided into two parties.

It is interesting to compare this account with that derived by Mr.
Cooper from information furnished him in the north of the province as
to the rebellious attitude assumed by the imperial viceroy, himself a
Mahommedan proselyte, who had actually concluded a treaty of partition
with the sultan of Tali, and corrupted the imperial troops sent to
quell the revolt with funds furnished by the sultan. We do not,
however, possess such information as will enable us to reconcile the
two accounts which present so many points of agreement and difference.
By a curious coincidence, that most enterprising traveller, having been
turned back by the impossibility of penetrating to Tali, was detained
at Weisee-fu, one hundred and twenty miles distant, at the very time
of our stay at Momien. The utter want of communication kept us in
perfect ignorance of his being comparatively so near at hand, and he
was equally unaware of our presence in Western Yunnan. Our information
as to the passage of the French mission was, if anything, worse, as
an obstructive falsehood is perhaps more aggravating than complete
ignorance. During the first week of July the governor communicated
the information that some six or eight months previously the French
expedition had come into collision with hostile tribes in the vicinity
of Kiang-hung, and had suffered severe losses; some of their number had
perished, and the remainder had arrived in a state of exhaustion and
want at a place called Thela, where they had been kindly received. This
information he declared to be authentic, and furnished by a relative
of his own, resident at Thela, who had purchased some of the arms and
other property taken from the French. As at that time the last news
received some time before our departure from Burma had stated the
party to be at Kiang-tong or Xiang-tong, a Laotian state tributary to
Burma, we could not help fearing that some disaster must have befallen
them. The statement may have been a distorted account of the detention
experienced by the French before reaching Kiang-hung, and the fact
that they were obliged to reduce their baggage, some of the articles
referred to as proof positive by the Panthays having perhaps come
from the superfluous stores, given or bartered away to the Laotians.
It does, as M. Gamier remarks, appear improbable that the governor,
who was a trusted officer of the sultan, should have received no
information as to the visit to Tali-fu of the party in the month of
March preceding.[37] On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine any
reason for his suppression of his knowledge of it, unless he feared
that we should be thereby inclined to mistrust the letters from the
sultan. As regards Garnier’s theory that the apparent welcome given
to us was intended to do away with any unfavourable impression which
might have been produced in the minds of foreigners by the sultan’s
refusal to see the French party, and ordering their instant departure,
it is much more probable that the French were regarded with strong
suspicion, and taken for spies. The fact that they had travelled under
Pekin passports, and had been guests of the viceroy _ad interim_ at
Yunnan-fu, was not in their favour; but worse than that was their
connection with the French missionaries, who were everywhere most
hostile to the Mahommedan cause. One of their number had been engaged
in the sacerdotal task of manufacturing gunpowder for the viceroy, and
had been blown up by his own petard; others had forwarded a memorial by
the medium of the French minister to the emperor in favour of Ma-kien,
as the only man capable of saving the province from the rebels. An
imperial reply to this, promising to aid him with troops and supplies,
was received before Garnier left Yunnan. It is more than probable that
this was known to the authorities at Tali, and, even independently of
the circumstance narrated by Mr. Cooper, would have operated against a
cordial reception of the French visitors.

At our first entrance into the country, without any passports whatever,
we, as commercial explorers, had appealed to the existing authorities,
and had refused to advance until their safe-conduct had been received.
Our neutrality between the two contending parties had been most
carefully sifted by letters and envoys before we were made welcome at
Momien, and little more than a week after our arrival it was tested,
if not by the contrivance, certainly with the knowledge, of the
governor. One evening Moung Shuay Yah, in a mysterious manner, made
known the presence of an important visitor, namely, an officer sent
by Low-quang-fang, the officer who, in conjunction with Li-sieh-tai,
supported the imperial cause. He had brought a pony as a gift, and
desired to make our friendship, and provide us with a safe escort
on the return route, always provided we were unaccompanied by the
Panthays. Our leader declined an interview, and refused the pony,
stating that we were guests of the governor, and as such could not
confer with his enemies, except with his consent. We soon learned
that the governor was aware of the mission of this envoy, and that in
course of time a treaty was signed by which Low-quang-fang undertook
not to attack the Panthay possessions, or molest us on our return,
and was to be left undisturbed in the possession of a small customs
post; whether this was a ruse on the part of the Chinese partisans to
win our support, or of the Panthays to sound our real opinions, it is
impossible to say. At all events, it confirmed the conviction of the
governor in our good faith. The terms of the agreement, if true, were
another proof of the anxiety of the Panthays to re-open the western
trade routes, to which we doubtless mainly owed our friendly reception.

Gamier remarks that they had all along found it essential to keep open
the trade with Sz-chuen, and Mr. Cooper found Mahommedan merchants
unmolested in Chinese Yunnan. The king of Burma, not only as an ally,
but as a tributary of China, could not recognise the rebel sultan, nor
enter into political or commercial relations with him. The sultan, who
had visited Rangoon and Calcutta as a pilgrim to Mecca, may well have
been disposed to court the favour of those Feringhees whose power and
wealth he had witnessed in the City of Palaces. It is possible that
the hospitable governor of Momien was only amusing his guests with
complimentary mockeries, and that there was no intention of suffering
us to proceed to Tali, and see the real state of things in the
interior, the desolation of the province, and the scanty forces at the
disposal of the new power. Subsequent events have shown the instability
of the Panthay kingdom as soon as a regular and determined attack
was made on it by the imperial government; but as regards their then
condition, with the utmost respect for the memory of that distinguished
explorer, Lieutenant Gamier, it is impossible to overlook the fact that
he was strongly prejudiced against the Panthays, by their treatment
of him, as well as by the French missionaries, one of whom speaks of
the “detested yoke of the Mahommedans.” Garnier even attributes the
closing of the western traffic to the robberies of the Kakhyens and
the arbitrary oppression of the Panthays; who were, as our observation
showed, doing all they could to encourage the Burmese and Shans to
carry on the former traffic. It is possible that we were prejudiced by
kindness, and misled by outward appearances of strength; but whatever
the cause of the origin and progress of this rebellion, it is certain
that from the outset the rebels met with little direct resistance
from the imperial authorities, and the officials, with their few
adherents, were gradually driven from the fertile valleys of Western
Yunnan to more inaccessible fastnesses; thence they still maintained a
guerilla warfare, neither side ever bringing anything like a large or
well-appointed army into the field. The imperialist commanders, such
as Li-sieh-tai and Low-quang-fang, who were designated robber chiefs
by the Panthays, although really officials of the Pekin government,
could only harass their enemies by desultory attacks. Their followers,
if captured, were speedily tried and executed as robbers. We witnessed
more than sixteen executions of these poor wretches. The criminal was
led to the outskirts of the bazaar by a small escort, with music and
banners flying, and, with his hands tied behind his back, was made to
kneel by the side of the road. The executioner chopped off the head
usually at one blow; the body was buried on the spot, and the ghastly
head hung up by the gate of the town.

The superior prowess of the Panthays and the unanimity of their
councils, directed by the sultan of Tali-fu, were apparently carrying
all before them. During our stay at Momien, news was brought,
apparently authentic, of the capture by his army of the great city
of Yunnan-fu. The condition of Central Yunnan may be imagined from
the statements made in the proclamation announcing the fall of the
capital. In it are enumerated forty towns and one hundred villages as
having been taken and destroyed, and upwards of three hundred persons
being burned to death; while the losses of the Chinese, in various
fights, amounted to over twenty thousand men. The communications were,
however, interrupted by constant fighting on the road between Momien
and Yung-chang, two out of three messengers, with despatches from Tali,
being killed, while the Mahommedan convoys of specie, and presents sent
from the sultan to us, were stopped at Sheedin, near Yung-chang. During
our stay, a force of some hundreds of so-called soldiers, commanded by
our friend, the chief military officer, or _tah-zung-gyee_, marched
to repel an attack on the town and mines of Khyto; and as proofs of a
victory gained by them within a few days, two hundred ears were sent
into Momien, while they owned to a loss of forty men.

Although the Panthays were merciless in warfare--only those inhabitants
of the towns and villages who at once tendered their submission
being spared--they were desirous of establishing a firm and orderly
government: in all cases their officers protected the passage of
merchants, and dealt much more justly by them than the mandarins had
been accustomed to do; this was admitted by the Chinese and Shans,
who, though outwardly submissive, were at heart thoroughly opposed to
the new _régime_. Similar testimony is borne by the two travellers
already quoted, as regards the caravans trading with Sz-chuen and
Thibet. It seemed at this period almost certain that Yunnan would
become an independent kingdom, if indeed Sz-chuen and the northern
provinces were not also formed into a great Mahommedan empire, and the
same idea is recorded by Mr. Cooper, as having been the result of his
observations of the state of the country to the north.

For us, however, to attempt to advance was impossible; even if progress
had been safe, it would have been impolitic. Whether our presence at
Momien was an infraction of the Chinese treaty or no, it was made
necessary if any information as to the real state of the country was to
be obtained, and this had been the principal object of the expedition
set forth in the instructions.

The reader is earnestly requested to bear in mind that politically,
socially, and almost geographically, this border land of China had been
almost a _terra incognita_ before our arrival at Momien. We realised
the fact that we were in China indeed, but in a province which the
rebellion had almost converted into an independent kingdom; and from
which it seemed almost certain that the lingering remains of obedience
to the emperor at Pekin would be soon thoroughly erased. Our leader
was, therefore, very soon desirous of effecting a return, but the
governor, on various pretexts of securing our safety and communicating
with Tali, postponed our departure; and this although he insisted on
supplying the whole party with all necessaries during the whole time
of our stay. The kindly Tah-sakon was really busy preparing as good a
display of presents to his English friends as he could. As _de facto_
ruler of the country, we arranged with him the duties which should
be levied on future caravans, and received letters expressive of the
desire of the Panthay sultan’s government to enter into friendly
relations with our government, and to foster mutual trade. The governor
asked for and obtained two seals, wherewith to authenticate his future
letters, and gave in exchange an official seal and a vase of red ink,
the use of which would, he said, ensure the safe delivery of any
letters forwarded to him.

Our farewell visits were exchanged on the 11th of July, and the
good-natured governor, who was most sincerely sorry to part with his
guests, brought his presents. These consisted of seventy white jackets
and bamboo hats for our men, a mandarin’s full dress suit, figured
silk jackets, three fine straw hats covered with oilcloth for our
wear in the rain, silver-mounted daggers and spears, a gold and jade
chatelaine, and amber rosaries. The mandarin’s suit was his own, and he
had previously insisted on taking off the rings from his fingers, and
placing them in the same order on the fingers of his “English friend,”
whom he begged always to wear them for his sake.

Our departure was fixed for the 12th of July, the last advice of the
governor being that we should not loiter _en route_, and only pass one
night at each stage. A body of troops were to precede and another to
follow in our rear; as a further precaution it had been decided not to
employ mules but coolies to carry the baggage, as the engagement of
mules would have given some days’ warning to the hostile Chinese; for
the same reason the porters had not been engaged till the last--so that
our anticipated start was delayed by the insufficiency of porters, and
the need of cutting up old rafters to make poles for the few who did
appear. The governor was very wroth with his officers, and one of them,
an old Chinese, not a Panthay, pleaded in excuse that we were carrying
away a number of boxes filled with mud, and worthless weeds and
skins--the pursuit of natural history was by no means appreciated by
the people, except by the Kakhyens, who were ready enough to bring any
sort of animal or reptile they could catch. The same Chinese official
tried to represent that we were carrying back a number of boxes of
powder. As his object was evidently to make delays and mischief, other
officials were appointed to superintend our departure, and Sladen
thought it right to remove any possible ill-feeling from the kindly
governor’s mind by showing him that the stock of ammunition was only as
much as was needful for the escort; and we parted on the best terms.

[29] Vide Appendix II.

[30] ‘As. Soc. Proceedings,’ 1867, p. 176.

[31] Du Halde, i. p. 199.

[32] ‘Pioneer of Commerce,’ p. 352.

[33] Grosier’s ‘China,’ vol. iv. p. 270.

[34] ‘Voyage d’Exploration,’ tome i. p. 455, &c.

[35] ‘Voyage d’Exploration,’ tome i. p. 518.

[36] ‘Voyage d’Exploration,’ tome i. p. 455.

[37] ‘Voyage d’Exploration,’ tome i. p. 514, note.



 Departure from Momien--Robbers surprised--At Nantin--Our ponies
 stolen--We slide to Muangla--A pleasant meeting--The Tapeng
 ferrymen--A valley landscape--Negotiations at Sanda--The Leesaws--A
 Shan cottage--Buddhist khyoungs--For fear of the nats--The
 limestone hill--Hot springs of Sanda--The footprint of Buddha--A
 priestly thief--The excommunication--The chief’s farewell--Floods
 and landslips--Manwyne priests--A Shan dinner party--The
 nunnery--Departure from Manwyne--The Slough of Despond.

At the last our departure from Momien seemed doubtful, owing to the
difficulty of finding porters, and men were forcibly impressed into the
service. Any demur as to a particular box or complaint of the weight of
their loads was silenced by a torrent of abuse from the Panthays, who,
to these persuasives, sometimes added severe blows. About 8 A.M. on
July 13th we started, waving our adieus to the governor, who had come
out on the town wall to bid us farewell. The guard gave him a feeble
cheer in Hindustani, which they again repeated as we marched out of the
bazaar gate and set our faces westwards. Two Panthay officers, who had
been our constant visitors, accompanied us for nearly a mile, and at
parting they burst into tears. After we had gone a long way, and turned
back to take a last look at Momien, we saw the two figures, standing on
the same spot, gazing wistfully after us.

In a short time it began to rain in torrents, and the roads became very
slippery, especially for men carrying heavy loads, so that we soon went
ahead of the porters. At the descent into the Nantin valley, the road
was as if it had been well oiled. Ponies and pedestrians slid down the
steep hill-path in wild confusion, many of the party coming to serious
grief. A little Chinese girl, who had been presented to the jemadar
and his wife, as a return for his exertions in the mosque services,
accompanied us, tied in a small bamboo chair on a pony. As the beast
was quite at liberty to choose his own course, the terror and screams
of the small neophyte were most piteous. At the scene of the attack
made on the upward journey--marked still by some of our empty boxes--we
passed the bodies of two men who had been recently killed and cast on
the roadside. Halting at the hot spring to wait for the porters, we
learned that these were the corpses of Chinese robbers, who had been
caught, by the Panthay vanguard, crouching in the jungle with long
spears, ready to stick the first mule passing, and had been summarily
disposed of by them. Near Nantin all were requested to wait and allow
the rear-guard to close up, as we were about to pass a favourite
lurking-place for robbers.

We formed a long line, with Panthay soldiers before and behind,
and, with gongs beating ahead, marched unscathed into Nantin, which
was reached by six o’clock. Our former residence, the khyoung, was
found to be already tenanted by a Panthay guard and a Kakhyen tsawbwa
groaning with fever. A dose of sulphate of magnesia, followed up
with quinine, secured to him sleep and to ourselves quiet, as far as
he was concerned; but we were kept on the look-out, as the baggage
arrived in detachments, much of it, including bedding, not turning up
till the next day, and some articles, such as a portable bedstead,
and a magazine box, not appearing at all. The governor came to greet
us in the evening, attended by a guard, one of whom carried a huge
gauze lantern swung from a tripod. He was full of regrets that he had
not been apprised of our coming, so as to have prepared comfortable
quarters, and met us on the way. The Hotha tsawbwa did not appear,
according to his promise, and was reported to be still in his own
valley, and his absence prevented us from adopting the embassy route
across Shuemuelong into Hotha valley. As it afterwards appeared that
the irrepressible Li-sieh-tai and his troops had taken up their
quarters in a strong post on the Shuemuelong mountain, it was just as
well that this route was not attempted. We found ourselves accordingly
obliged to retrace the former road to Muangla, Sanda, and Manwyne.

The pleasing news reached us that a party of one hundred Burmese had
arrived in Muangla, sent from Bhamô in charge of a remittance of
five thousand rupees, and to escort us back to that place; so that,
notwithstanding all the discomforts of our quarters, all turned in well
pleased and prepared to make an early start for Muangla.

Our morning slumbers were rudely broken by one of the police, who
reported concisely, “Of the three ponies, not one is left.” During the
night thieves had made a hole in the wall of the courtyard just large
enough to admit the passage of a pony, and through this the animals
had been carried off unperceived by the sentries posted within twenty
yards. Examination showed that the animals had been supplied with
corn, and a trail of grain led to another opening in the town wall. On
the previous visit we had been cautioned to watch carefully against
any attempt to steal the ponies; but the warning had unfortunately
been forgotten. A robbery had been attempted in the same way when the
tah-sa-kon was residing in the khyoung. The thieves purloined a gun
and sword, but an alarm was raised, and the latter was dropped in
their flight. We borrowed ponies to carry us to Muangla, and started
at half past ten. As before, considerable difficulty was caused by
the absence of porters, nearly all the coolies from Momien having run
away. Mules had to be found to supply their place, and the proverbial
character of these beasts was fully verified by those of Nantin, which
for an hour stubbornly refused to be loaded. During this interlude the
Panthays were doing their best to impress men for the lighter loads.
The recusants were dragged up by soldiers with drawn swords, and each,
when loaded, was followed by a spearman, ready to egg him on with his
spear if he attempted to lag behind. As we passed through Muangtee, the
townspeople had all turned out, and our old friend, the tsawbwa-gadaw,
and her retainers, male and female, stood outside her haw, and waved
salutes and adieus. Outside the town a strong Shan guard of honour was
drawn up, and escorted us to the chain bridge across the Tahô, three
miles from the town.

During the rains the river is unfordable, and the road follows the
left bank along the embankments of the paddy fields as far as the
bridge. From the right bank the ascent to the lofty Mawphoo glen
proved most arduous, the road being so slippery that men and beasts
were continually falling, and many of the pedestrians were severely
bruised. It rained incessantly, and it was a great relief to all when
Mawphoo was reached, and an hour’s rest was enjoyed previous to the
descent into the head of the Muangla valley. The road first led down
a declivity, where the only mode of progress for the ponies was by
sliding; and then followed a series of zigzags, some of them over
frightful precipices, where a slip of the pony’s foot would be certain
destruction. At this season the Tahô issues as a tremendous torrent
from the deep gorge in the Mawphoo hills, and the distant Tapeng
appeared almost as large as the Irawady in dry weather. We reached
Muangla at dusk, and were astonished, on entering the town, to meet
an Englishman, accompanied by some Shans. He rushed up to our leader,
and introduced himself as Mr. Gordon, a civil engineer from Prome, who
had been sent by the Chief Commissioner with additional funds, and
to fill the post of engineer to the expedition. He had received his
instructions by telegraph on May 9th, to follow the party as quickly as
possible, and had obeyed them with laudable energy. He had travelled
from Bhamô with a guard of fifty Burmans, and found no difficulty _en
route_. At Manwyne he had met with the Hotha tsawbwa, who wished him
to remain for a day or two; but pushing on, and passing Sanda without
halting, he had reached Muangla the day of our arrival. The guard
of one hundred Burmese which had been despatched in charge of the
first supply of rupees had arrived there ten days previously; but the
tsare-daw-gyee in charge had been afraid to advance further.

From this place our Panthay guards were to return, and the Burmese
officer expected that his escort would take their place. He seemed
indeed most eager to be of service, and was much chagrined when he
learned our leader’s intention of exploring the route on the southern
banks of the Tapeng. It was a most pleasant surprise to meet Mr.
Gordon, whose goodwill and energy were inexhaustible. The supply of
funds also came just in time to enable us to make complete collections
of Shan products, and it also marvellously smoothed the difficulties of
the return journey. So we set out from Muangla in excellent spirits,
notwithstanding the incessant rain. Messages had come, from parties
unknown, offering to restore the stolen ponies for three hundred and
twenty rupees, but as the local authorities did not seem inclined to
move in the matter, the thieves were left in possession of their booty.
Our Mahommedan escort bade us farewell with evident reluctance, and one
officer expressed a strong desire to accompany us to Rangoon, saying
that if he was once there, he would never return to Yunnan.

On July 20th we started for Sanda, the usual difficulty as to porters
having compelled me to leave behind the collecting boxes for specimens,
with two of my collectors in charge, until carriage could be procured.
We crossed the Tapeng above its junction with the Tahô in ferry-boats,
the boatmen at first refusing to convey us unless paid five thousand
cash beforehand. This attempt at extortion was resisted, and the
dispute was ended by our taking forcible possession of the boats, when
the boatmen at once gave in, and worked with perfect goodwill and
activity till all the party were safely over. We then set out in a body
for Sanda, the road at first leading along the top of some old river
terraces deeply channelled by mountain streams, which were crossed by
two narrow planks laid side by side. Our ponies, however, crossed them
with ease, except the one which Gordon had brought from the plains, and
which was unused to such acrobatic exploits; so it grew nervous on
a bridge over which it was being led, and disappeared head-over-heels
in the deep gully beneath. Wonderful to relate, the animal broke no
limbs, and shortly reappeared a little further down, trembling, but
unhurt, on the river terrace below. Two miles beyond the place where
the Tapeng had been forded on the upward journey we descended towards
the level centre of the valley, at this season under water, the road
being carried along a substantial embankment built to keep back the
floods. The whole extent of the valley was clothed in exquisitely fresh
verdure, in beautiful contrast to the dark mountains which towered like
a protecting wall on either side, while alternate cloud and sunshine
fully displayed the beauty of the landscape. Now deep shadows of giant
clouds flitted down the mountains and over the sunny plains, while
occasional fleecy mists wrapt the highest peaks, and again black storms
obscured the hills as with a curtain,

  “Lashed at the base with slanting storm,”

the rest of the valley basking in the sunlight. Near Sanda a stream
had to be crossed so swollen that the ponies could scarcely stem the
current, which was over the saddles. By 6 P.M. we were safely housed in
our old quarters at Sanda, and the tsawbwa’s headman speedily arrived
with a supply of fowls, rice, and firewood sufficient for all our wants.


On awaking in the morning, we made the unpleasant discovery that two
packages had been stolen from our bedsides. One was only a fishing-rod
and bamboo pipe and stems, but the other contained the solid silver
pipe-stem given by the tsawbwa to Sladen, and some other presents.
The theft was duly reported to the tsawbwa, who at once offered two
hundred rupees’ reward for the recovery of the stolen articles. During
the day, many people crowded the khyoung, having clothes and ornaments
to sell. The priests were much scandalised to see women’s clothes sold
and exhibited in the sacred precincts, and at last procured an order
from the tsawbwa, forbidding the women to come for the purpose of such

We remained at Sanda till July 8th, being detained partly by the rain,
and partly by negotiations with the people of the Muangla district,
lying on the other side of the Tapeng, relative to our homeward route.
The chief persons, a village headman named Kingain, and the poogain
of Manhleo, a place opposite to Manwyne, through whose jurisdiction
the route lay, had both been hostile to us on the upward journey. The
Hotha tsawbwa himself proved to have had some dispute with the Sanda
people, which prevented his coming to meet us, while the Sanda headmen
were averse to our crossing over to Hotha, for fear any future trade
should be diverted from their town. In the course of the negotiations,
two Shan headmen of villages informed Sladen that they could conduct us
safely by a good and easy hill road to the Molay river, which could
be reached in two days, at a point whence it was navigable during the
floods, for large salt boats, down to the Irawady.

The skilful patience of our leader was at last rewarded by converting
Kingain and the Manhleo poogain into firm friends, and it was settled
that we should proceed to Manwyne, and cross the river at that place,
whence they would secure our safety. The son of the poogain arrived to
act as our conductor, and a letter was received from the Hotha tsawbwa,
promising to meet us at Manwyne.

During our stay we had unrestricted opportunities of viewing Shan
manners. Every fifth day the regular market was held, and the broad
street was crowded by the country folk. Stalls lined both sides of the
roadway, which seemed paved with umbrella-like straw hats. Besides
Kakhyens from the hills, Leesaws were numerous, bringing oil, bamboos,
and firewood for sale. Both men and women shave a circle round the
head, leaving only a large patch on the upper and back parts, from
which the hair is gathered into a short pigtail. Both sexes dress so
much alike that the boys and girls were almost indistinguishable from
each other. Some of them were induced to pay us a visit, and give words
and phrases of their language, which seemed to be quite distinct from
the Kakhyen tongue, and somewhat akin to the Burmese.

Seeing our interest in these people, a respectable old Shan, who had
already done some trade with us, invited us to his house, where he
professed to have some Leesaw clothing to dispose of. It turned out
that he proposed to pass off his own old clothes on the gullible
strangers; so our visit became one of politeness only. We were duly
seated, and his daughters served us with sliced mangoes and plums,
which were eaten with salt. Our host’s two wives were present, and
other matrons flocked in from the neighbouring cottages, their hands
blue with indigo. We asked if it was usual for Shans to have more than
one wife, and were told that it was not, but that every man pleased
himself. We also learned that the usual age for marriage is between
eighteen and twenty, and the consent of the parents alone is required
to make the contract binding, as there is no religious ceremony, and
the priests have no voice whatever in the matter.

The house, like all the Shan cottages, was enclosed in a courtyard, and
consisted of three rooms--a central living-room, with a sleeping-room
on either side. Against the wall of the “keeping-room,” facing the
door, stood the family altar, a small table having on it an incense
vase and an ancestral tablet. A broad verandah ran along the front of
the cottage, at one end of which stood a large indigo vat, hollowed
out of a solid block. From this house we visited the Shan and Chinese
khyoungs. Both were plain bamboo structures, built on the sites of
the former buildings, described as having been rich and splendid
structures, destroyed by the Panthays some years previously. The Shan
temple contained only one figure of Gaudama, and as the phoongyees were
seated at their rice, round a small bamboo table, we went on to that of
the Chinese, next door. Here there was one principal Buddha, clothed in
a yellow robe, and crowned with a nimbus resembling ostrich plumes. On
the altar were a few small Buddhas freshly gilded, and a number of old
pictures. On a small table was a wooden fish, such as was of frequent
occurrence in the Momien khyoungs. Tradition says that in one of his
former existences Gaudama was shipwrecked, but brought to land by a
large fish, which he afterwards fed during its life. A strange mixture
of Arion and Jonah pervades this legend; but the fish is probably a
mystic legacy from the more ancient religions to which Kwan-yin and
other deities belong. The chief phoongyee was very courteous, and had
seats brought covered with red rugs, while his waiting-man served
the guests with tea and fruit. He exhibited a number of pictures
representing the judgment and punishment of sinners. One figure,
evidently the judge, was seated at a table, with a book before him,
and pens and ink-horn at his side, while two figures stood on either
hand--one a hideous-looking monster, the other of more human and gentle
aspect. The latter was the good, the former the bad recording angel.
In front of the judge, the pious and wicked were depicted, in fleshly
forms, departing to their several destinations. Of the latter, some
were being dragged away by devils; while others in the foreground were
being subjected to torments appropriate to their failings in life. The
possessor of a false tongue was having it torn out by the roots, while
the slayer of animals was being hacked in two, with his head downwards
and his legs wide apart.

There was a grotesque humour about these horrible pictures, which made
even the priest smile, as he exhibited and described them; but he waxed
very grave as he told of the former splendour of the ruined religious
edifices of Sanda.

There was little to be done in the way of collecting zoological
specimens, and nothing in the way of sport. A thick grove of fir-trees,
marking the burial-place of the tsawbwa’s family, was the only covert,
but firing there was looked upon as certain to bring disease and death
upon the chief and his household. After one attempt, a formal request
was made that we would not shoot on the hills behind the town. A nat
is said to dwell in a cutting, which marks the entrenchments made by
the Chinese army in 1767, and the Shans believe that if a gun were
fired, the insulted demon would come down as a tiger and carry off
children. The chief himself came one day complaining of cough and
headache, and asking for medicine to dislodge the nat who had seized
him, but sulphate of magnesia proved too much for the demon. A Burman
assistant surveyor, who had been sent to make a survey of the river,
was prevented by the villagers, who pleaded a dread of the nats’
anger, and the tsawbwa, when appealed to, not only supported this view,
but privately asked the interpreter if we had not a secret object in
examining the country, and did not mean to return next year with a
strong force to take possession. We were perfectly free to stroll about
the environs, and one of the chief men undertook to guide us to visit
the hill whence the lime sold in the market was procured. The road lay
along the paddy fields, and was either knee-deep in mud or up to the
saddle-girths in water. We crossed the Nam-Sanda, a deep strong stream
flowing from the north through a short narrow glen, on the other side
of which the limestone hill rose in a gentle declivity. As we rode
through the fields of cotton, now in flower, and kept so clean that
not a weed was visible, Shan girls, dressed in dark blue, with short
trousers and petticoats with little aprons over them, looked up from
their field-work with mute astonishment depicted on their round chubby
faces. About four hundred feet up the grassy hill, on which not a tree
was to be seen, the bluish-grey masses of hard crystalline limestone
occur, lying in irregular heaps overgrown with long grass, as they have
fallen down from the rocky heights above. Some superstitious ideas are
attached to the occurrence of the limestone in this place, and it was
shown to us as a supernatural curiosity. The masses are dug out of the
ground, and carried to the villages, where they are calcined, grass
being used as fuel in preference to wood. An old kiln was shown us,
which had been formerly erected by some Chinese lime-burners, who had
come from Tali-fu. On our return, the tsawbwa was anxious to know if
the hill contained silver, the Shans having the impression that our
field-glasses enable us to see into the very heart of the mountains
and detect the precious metals therein concealed. In the bed of a
small stream running down the little valley, the hot springs occur,
consisting of two separate groups, separated by about a quarter of
a mile. In the most easterly, we found only one spring, in a basin
about six inches deep and a yard in diameter; the water bubbles up
through a gravelly bottom, over which a fine black micaceous mud has
been deposited. We found the temperature to be 204°, two degrees below
the boiling-point of Sanda, viz. 206°; but in the cold weather, when
undisturbed by floods, the temperature is higher. As a proof of this,
we saw the feathers of fowls and hair of kids, which had been cooked
in the spring, lying all about the banks of the rivulet. The natives
deepen the basin by piling stones round its margin, and use the spring
as a medicinal bath, and sometimes drink the waters. The other group
had five openings, through which the water bubbled up in the bed of
the stream, which had been diverted to expose them. All the basins
but one had been obliterated by the floods, and the temperature of
the water much reduced; but by inserting the bulb into the holes, the
temperature was found to be the same as that of the first spring. The
atmosphere round the springs was sensibly warm, and the ground so hot
in some places that our barefooted companions could not stand on it.
A peculiar heavy smell was perceptible, which was also perceived,
after boiling, in the water brought away by us. This is probably due
to the presence of some empyreumatic matter.[38] Our guide informed
us with a serious face that hell was in the immediate vicinity, and
that when Gaudama walked over this spot, the flames burst forth, and
endeavoured to devour him, but the springs issued forth and quenched
them, becoming heated in the contest. He also told us that a footprint
of Gaudama was visible close at hand, in a romantic glen, down which
flowed a mountain torrent called the Chalktaw. The stream was crossed
by a double-spanned bamboo bridge, supported in the middle of the
stream by a large boulder, and hung at either end to two bamboos
driven into the ground, so that the bridge is partly arched and partly
suspended. Many Kakhyen and Leesaw men and women were coming down the
hill on their way to Sanda market, bringing great loads of vegetables,
firewood, and planks of wood three feet long, fifteen inches broad,
and one inch and a half thick. A basket of vegetables and a plank so
heavy that one of us could scarcely lift it formed a mountain-girl’s
load down the steep hillside. About a quarter of a mile up the wild
glen, strewn with enormous waterworn granite boulders, we were shown
the giant footprint in a spot surrounded by some fine old banyan trees.
The print was on the end of a boulder looking up the glen, and it was
evident that the hollow representing the heel had been formed by the
friction of a superincumbent boulder. In time the river changed its
course, and the boulder was exposed to the view of some devout and
imaginative Buddhist. He, struck with the resemblance of the cavity to
a huge heel-mark, carved the outline of a human foot, and proclaimed
the wondrous discovery. Its great antiquity is shown by the existence
of two tablets on the other face of the rock; the carved outlines are
still traceable, but the inscriptions are so worn that it is impossible
to decipher the form of the characters. On our way back we passed a
Leesaw girl with a great display of beads, and succeeded in coaxing her
to part with four strings, and six hoops from her neck, for a rupee. A
little further on we met some more of her tribe resting under a tree,
who rose and offered us rice-spirit out of their bamboo flasks; in
exchange we gave them some watered whisky, which they seemed highly to
relish. These Leesaw women wore a peculiar turban with a pendant end,
of coarse white cloth patched with blue squares, and trimmed with
cowries. Their close-fitting leggings were made of squares of blue and
white cloth, and their ornaments consisted of large brass ear-rings,
necklaces of large blue beads and seeds, and a profusion of ratan,
bamboo, and straw hoops round the loins and neck. These resemble the
dress of the Moso women described by Cooper, and similar dresses and
ornaments are shown in Mons. Garnier’s illustrations of the Leisus in
North Yunnan.

At three o’clock in the morning of August 29th, we were all startled
from sleep by a loud outcry and a pistol shot. It turned out that a
thief had opened the door and stolen one of the handsome silver Panthay
spears, but the jingle of the ornaments had awoke Sladen, who fired
a shot in the dark after the retreating robber, and raised an alarm,
in vain. Suspicion at once fell on a phoongyee who slept in a room
close to the door; the sentinel on duty had heard the priest stirring
just before, and while he walked a few yards to consult a watch hung
up on a post, the robbery was effected. The tsawbwa and his headmen
showed great concern, and all agreed in suspecting the priest, whose
character, it appeared, was already bad. They taxed him with the theft,
and told him that it was a most disgraceful act, to steal a gift made
by one official to another; they also threatened, if the spear was not
restored, to degrade him from the priesthood, theft, even to the value
of six annas, being one of the crimes which, at his ordination, the
rahan is specially warned against, as depriving him _ipso facto_ of his
sacred character.

The tsawbwa was extremely incensed, and requested us to delay our
journey to enable him, if possible, to discover and restore the spear,
as well as punish the criminal. Early the next morning an old woman
came crying to the khyoung, and, as she entered, threw down her pipe,
and rushed up to Sladen with her hands clasped, and the tears streaming
down her wrinkled cheeks. The interpreter explained that she was the
mother of the suspected priest, and had come to intercede for him.
Another of her sons presently joined her, but they were advised to go
to the tsawbwa, in whose hands the matter rested. While she was being
shown the door through which the thief had entered, the phoongyee
himself came in, and the old woman, with a violent outburst of abuse,
struck him several blows with her clenched fist, and fairly beat him
out of the khyoung.

The ceremony of excommunication took place in due course, and was
brief enough, lasting only five minutes. He was brought in by all the
headmen, and attended by his mother and brother, the latter carrying
the clothes of an ordinary Shan, which the culprit, when degraded,
was to assume. All sat down, and the poor old woman made an affecting
appeal to her son to confess if he were guilty; but he preserved a
dogged silence, and commenced to take off his turban in front of the
altar. She then retired, departing with her hands clasped above her
head, and ejaculating prayers. The priest, having removed his turban,
took a water lily from an offering of flowers in front of the image
of Gaudama, and, placing it on a tripod, again deposited it before
the image. The chief priest now appeared on the daïs, and the culprit
knelt behind his lily muttering a few sentences, occasionally rising
from his knees, and bending in worship before the figure, and gradually
retreated after each prostration, until he was beyond the verge of the
daïs peculiar to the priests. He then knelt before the chief phoongyee,
and repeated some formula after him, after which he retired to his
room, and soon emerged dressed as a layman. He was then taken away
by the headmen, and some hours after was brought back led by a chain
secured to an iron collar round his neck. In the evening he was again
led by the chain, down to the khyoung, escorted by the headmen, who
stated that they had failed to find any clue to the missing spear, or
to establish the guilt of the prisoner. He was, however, during the
ensuing conference as to our departure, kept chained to a pillar and
guarded by two men. After another day of delay and barter with the
people, who crowded the khyoung, the only noticeable purchase being
some capital tobacco at the price of a rupee for three pounds and a
half, we took our departure on August 4th. The old tsawbwa and his
grandchild came with a parting present of cloth, and a request that
we would not mount until we had passed his house; and a silver watch
presented by Sladen to his adopted son gave immense pleasure to both
the chief and his heir. As we approached the haw, three trumpeters
blew a lusty blast, and the three saluting guns were fired as we
ascended the steps leading to the gateway, where the chief and his
grandson awaited us. After a hearty handshaking, and formal adieus, we
mounted under a second salute, and rode out of the town preceded by the
trumpeters in full bray.

The road at this season was carried along the embankments of the
paddy fields nearer to the base of the hills. The courses of the many
mountain streams showed the traces of the devastation caused by the
unprecedented floods of the past week; whole rice fields had been swept
away, and in others the crop had been hopelessly buried in silt. Roots
and stems of large trees everywhere blocked the channels, and the sides
of the mountains showed red patches, like wounds, where landslips had
occurred. These had been most destructive; nine villages were said to
have been overwhelmed in the Sanda valley, one, a village of forty
houses, being completely destroyed with all its inhabitants, save nine
who were absent. The nineteen miles to Manwyne were accomplished by 5
P.M., and we took up our quarters in the same khyoung as on the former
visit; some trouble and a little gentle violence being requisite to
exclude the pertinacious and curious Chinese, who went so far as to
hustle a sentry. These Manwyne people (not including the Shans), though
not so hostile as on our first visit, were evidently ill-disposed, and
can be only classed as “rowdies.” At sundown a bell was rung and a
huge candle lit in front of the altar, while the priests, kneeling on
the upper daïs, supported by choristers on the lower one, chanted their

Bell-ringing and matins woke us up early in the morning, and, as
before, the devout women trooped in with their offerings of rice and
flowers. The phoongyees and some others were very much interested
in hearing about railways, telegraphs, and other wonders of Western
civilisation. One of the Sanda headmen remarked that they were much
privileged to hear of such things, and that we must all have met before
in a previous existence, and would doubtless meet again. They were awed
by viewing the moon through a good telescope; and a prediction of the
coming eclipse of the sun evidently impressed them with a deep sense
of our astrological powers, the chief phoongyee, with bated breath,
inquiring whether it presaged war or famine.

Our first visitor was the “Death’s Head” pawmine of Ponsee, who
came with the idea that we should entrust ourselves to his friendly
guidance, and was chagrined at the information that we should return by
Hotha. The Hotha tsawbwa had been delayed by the difficulty of crossing
the mud left by the floods, and, when he at length appeared, was at
first inclined to magnify the difficulties, physical and otherwise,
of reaching his valley. When he found us resolute, he made light of
the difficulties, and arranged that the Manhleo poogain should take
charge of the baggage, while he himself preceded us to prepare for
our reception. In the meantime we were entertained at a dinner by the
tsawbwa-gadaw, the honours being done by the Hotha chief. We were
welcomed by the two Buddhist nuns, one a daughter of our hostess,
and the other a sister of Hotha, attended by a crowd of maids and
retainers, and were at once requested to take our seats at the table.
Tea was then served, followed by the dinner, consisting of well-cooked
fowls, roast and boiled, pork, &c., with small plates of onions, peas,
and sliced mangoes; then came rice and sauce, followed by another
service of tea. All the dishes were served on Chinese porcelain, and
the samshu was poured from a Birmingham teapot into tiny cups of jade.
We were waited on by men; but just as the dinner was placed on the
table, the hostess came in for a few minutes, and made a speech of
welcome, and apologies for having nothing better to offer; and when
it was over, she rejoined the party. The two rahanees and their maids
favoured us with their company all the time. Being struck with the
red-dyed nails of the ladies, I asked one rosy-cheeked damsel to show
me the dye. She volunteered to give a practical illustration, and at
once brought from an inner room a pulpy mass of the petals and leaves
of a red balsam beaten up with cutch. Having first begged for a small
ring as a memento of our visit, she proceeded to envelop the tip of my
little finger in a portion of the pulp, and covered it with a green
leaf neatly tied on with thread.

After dinner the Hotha chief entertained us with a performance on the
Shan guitar or banjo, for the instrument had only three strings, and
the sounding-board was made of a stretched snake skin. The chief was
evidently regarded, and justly, as a skilled performer, and under his
fingers the instrument discoursed sweet, pleasant tinkling, while the
airs, though simple, were melodious. After our return to the khyoung,
the two nuns and their maids arrived with some presents from the
tsawbwa-gadaw, and remained for two hours, asking intelligent questions
about our country and religion, and on leaving made us promise to
visit them at their own khyoung. The next afternoon a messenger came
to remind us of our promise, and two of the party went to the nunnery.
It consisted of two bamboo houses, side by side, enclosed by a fence.
One, used as a residence, was an ordinary Shan house of three rooms;
the other, used as a chapel, was a pavilion, twenty-four feet square,
raised on piles four feet above the ground, and closed in with mats on
all sides save that fronting the dwelling-house. The only decorations
were a few small images of Gaudama, and strips of white paper cut into
ornamental figures and suspended like banners from the roofs. The Hotha
nun was engaged in weaving, which was a breach of the Buddhist canons,
forbidding the religious to employ themselves in any useful labour.
We were invited into the dwelling-house, and served with mangoes and
women’s tobacco, and bidden to light our pipes. A long and interesting
conversation ensued, mainly on religious subjects. The nuns, especially
the young lady of Manwyne, evinced great interest in the subject of
Christianity, concluding by begging us to consider her as a sister.
Then we all adjourned to afternoon tea at the haw of her mother. The
old lady expressed a great desire to possess a portrait of our gracious
Queen, which we promised to send her from Rangoon. In the meantime, we
offered a temporary substitute in the shape of four brand new rupees,
with which she was greatly pleased.

August 9th found us ready for an early start from Manwyne, but the want
of porters delayed us till 8.30, when we set out for the Tapeng. A
farewell dish of rice and spirit, “to strengthen us for the journey,”
arrived from the tsawbwa-gadaw, while the chief phoongyee presented
some cloth to each of us, heartily expressing his good wishes for our
welfare. The townspeople waved their adieus, some calling out _Kara!
kara!_ and others the Shan equivalent for _Au revoir!_ It was noon
before the ponies were safely across the river, now six hundred yards
in breadth, on the other side of which a mud flat extended for two
miles. The smooth surface had been caked hard by the sun, but with
many a fissure, through which the legs of the ponies slipped into the
tenacious quagmire beneath. At last a veritable Slough of Despond
was reached, and the party was fairly bogged; the ponies floundered
and stumbled so much that it became necessary to dismount. The next
half-hour will not be easily forgotten, when, the reins in one hand
and my dog held fast in the other, I plunged and struggled through the
slimy ooze, which seemed to grasp the legs firmly at each step. At
one place the pony made a sudden stumble, and disappeared in the mud,
whilst the strain sent me rolling forwards until dragged to my feet
by two unincumbered natives. The stoutest of our party was literally
hauled through by men stimulated by rupees, while his pony had to
be dug out of the mud by some Shans. A blunder of our guide had led
us into this tract of mud, which had been recently deposited by the
overflow of the river; and the amount of alluvium brought down can be
imagined from the fact that the tract covered about six square miles,
with an average depth of four feet. Following the embankments of the
paddy fields for about two miles, we halted for breakfast on a grassy
slope at the foot of the hills, under the shade of wide-spreading
banyan and mangoe trees, amidst eager crowds of villagers staring at
the strangers.



 The mountain summit--A giant glen--Leesaw village--The wrong
 road--Priestly inhospitality--Town of Hotha--A friendly
 chief--The Namboke Kakhyens--The Hotha market--The Shan
 people--The Koshanpyi--The Tai of Yunnan--Their personal
 appearance--Costume--Equipment--The Chinese Shans--Silver hair
 ornaments--Ear-rings--Torques, bracelets, and rings--Textile
 fabrics--Agriculture--Social customs--Tenure of land--Old Hotha--A
 Shan-Chinese temple--Shan Buddhism--The fire festival--Eclipse of the
 sun--Horse worship--Ancient pagodas--Roads from Hotha.

At 2 P.M. we commenced to ascend the hills, which from Manwyne had not
appeared to be more than one thousand feet high, but proved to be three
times that altitude above the river. The rough bridle-path led straight
up the steep declivity, and in the blazing heat of an unclouded sun
the ascent was most trying to man and beast, already wearied by their
exertions in the quagmire. The mules were ahead, but our men soon
began to lag, although we went as slowly as was compatible with the
prospect of reaching Manloi, on the other side, before nightfall. A
short way up the mountain, bold cliffs stood out, of white crystalline
marble, weathering to a dull brown. This was succeeded by quartzose
rock; and, still higher, a blueish gneissose rock formed the upper
mass of the range. We passed through several Kakhyen villages, paying
a few rupees by way of toll to the headmen, who were sitting by the
roadside waiting for us. Near the summit, we had a splendid view of the
course of the Tapeng to the Burmese plain. A high curtain of clouds
to the westward hung over the entrance of the river into the gorge of
the hills, while below and beyond it the immense plain of the Irawady
was clearly discerned backed by high hills, and with the great river
winding through it like a broad silver band. To the right extended a
magnificent panorama of the valley as far as the spur above Sanda,
and we took a long farewell gaze at the lovely vale, walled in by its
guardian mountains, and rich in every variety of effect produced by the
grouping in sunset lights and shadows, of flood and fell, and verdant
fields. Having crossed the summit more than five thousand feet above
the sea, we looked down on the narrow Hotha valley, not a thousand feet
below, stretched out at our feet for twenty-five miles, the opposite or
southern range trending round to the north-east to join the mountain
wall of the Sanda valley, by a connecting ridge, much lower than the
height from which we looked across, and saw to the south successive
distant heights cradling valleys whose waters flow to the Shuaylee.

It is somewhat difficult to find an appropriate term for this lofty
mountain-cradled district. It is a giant glen, scarcely above two miles
wide, presenting no level ground, but a succession of broken surface
diversified by tossed grassy knolls of red soil, dotted here and there
with villages, each with its plantation of fruit trees. A narrow
stream, the Namsa, winds down on the southern side, till, through a
cluster of higher grassy hills covered with bracken, it forces its
downward way to the Tapeng. Such is the valley of Hotha as it lay
smiling before us in the fast fading light, with its hundred villages,
tenanted by forty thousand peaceful and industrious Chinese-Shans,
which compose the two states of Hotha and Latha, or Muangtha and Hansa.

Having commenced to descend the ridge, we met with some Leesaws
carrying a freshly killed deer, which an offer of ten rupees failed to
induce them to part with. Many tracts of temperate forest trees, such
as oaks and beeches, were seen, and below them extensive tracts of a
novel short and thin stemmed bamboo. We presently passed through the
village of our Leesaw friends, picturesquely perched on the face of a
steep spur among magnificent trees and enormous grey boulders, some of
which were as large as the houses, which latter differed altogether
from the Kakhyen habitations, being small square structures, with no
floor save the ground, which was kept dry by means of a trench cut
round the mud walls. We entered the village street by a wooden gateway,
and passed out under a long covered passage embowered in luxuriant

The sun had set almost as we commenced the descent, and darkness
overtook us halfway down. At a division of the path, a stubborn
muleteer insisted on choosing what proved to be the wrong road, and
half our party, including the Manhleo headman, were thus misled. We
blundered along a rough bridle-track covered with loose stones and
cut up by watercourses. In vain we shouted to attract the attention,
and learn the whereabouts, of the rest; no answer was returned save
the echoes from the hills, now shrouded in darkness. At last we
met some Shans, and learned that we were close to a village called
Mentone, in the Latha or western division, and some miles from Hotha.
A consultation was held as to which alternative was the worst, to
proceed in the dark to Hotha, or go dinnerless and supperless to bed.
The latter seemed the least evil; so we made for the village khyoung,
which was reached at 8.50 P.M. We could get nothing to eat; and,
thoroughly tired, we unsaddled the hungry and worn-out ponies, and,
taking their saddles for pillows, fell asleep on the floor in front of
the altar. Our slumbers, however, were soon disturbed by the phoongyees
squatting down close to our heads, and shouting out their evening
prayers. The chief phoongyee, a shrivelled old man, sat cross-legged,
with his prayer-book on a small stool before him, and a little acolyte
sat by his side, running a wooden pointer along the lines to keep the
priest’s eyes from wandering. Before him sat six choristers yelling
in different keys at the pitch of their voices. The devotions of the
phoongyee were interrupted by our Shan interpreter, who shouted to him
that he wanted to buy four annas worth of rice. The priest at once
stopped the service to bargain as to the quantity of rice to be given
for the coin, which was new to him; this being settled, he resumed his
office, but was again interrupted, as he had not sent any one to serve
out the rice.

Prayers being ended, we requested something to eat, and were told that
there were some pears on a tree outside, to which we were at liberty
to help ourselves, a generous offer which was politely declined. The
priest, however, gave us quilts to lie on; and being thus made at all
events warmer, though still hungry, we fell asleep, and, waking before
dawn, were well on the way to Hotha by sunrise.

The inhospitality of these phoongyees was in singular contrast to the
tenets and practice of the Burmese Buddhist priests, who hold it a
pious duty to receive and refresh the stranger. There was, however, an
ill feeling at work against us, which found vent in the question asked
by some of the villagers, “Why had we come to their valley to bring
flying dragons and other evils on them?” This was due to the malicious
reports that the Muangla people had spread. The unexampled inundations
were attributed to our presence, and it was declared that our stay had
been followed by death in each place. Even the Hotha chief was not free
from the superstitious dread thus produced; and his father-in-law, the
old Latha tsawbwa, though he accepted the presents sent him, utterly
declined a visit, as he feared the strangers would bewitch him and his
household. His dutiful son-in-law declined to press him, as he was “an
old buffalo,” which always went in the contrary direction to that in
which it was driven.

Turning our backs on the inhospitable village, we proceeded by an
excellent paved road carried along the end of the spurs, and in many
places cut out along the slopes. The mountain streams were crossed
by means of granite bridges, some of them adorned with dragons.
Numerous villages embowered among fine trees were passed; and a novel
feature was introduced by the occurrence, at intervals, of roadside
drinking-fountains, the wells being built over and cased in stone
ornamented with a white marble frieze. A gilded pagoda surmounting a
hillock opposite Manloi brought our thoughts back to Burma, as it was
the first pagoda of the Burmese type seen since our departure from the

At 8 A.M., August 10th, we arrived at the town of Hotha, consisting of
about one hundred and fifty houses, surrounded by a low wall, somewhat
ruined and dilapidated, the result, not of Panthay invasion, but of a
rebellion by the tsawbwa’s subjects, who a year before, exasperated by
the imposition of a new tax, rose and attacked his town. The tsawbwa
and his son, in state dresses, the former attired as a mandarin of the
blue button, received us at their residence, and a salute was fired
from four mortar-shaped guns embedded in the ground. Quarters were
assigned to us in the haw, close to the chief’s private apartments;
and all our people were assembled in the course of the day. The whole
of the baggage was brought in safely, although the party had been
divided in the descent of the mountain, and some of the followers had
been obliged to remain in the Leesaw village, the unsophisticated
mountaineers charging them two rupees a head for their night’s lodging!
The Manhleo poogain and Kingain, the Muangla headman to whom the convoy
of the baggage had been entrusted, were very proud of the encomiums
passed on their successful performance of their task, and requested a
certificate to that effect, and further promised to assist all future
travellers who might desire to cross from Manwyne to Hotha.

We remained until the 27th as guests of the courteous and accomplished
chief Li-lot-fa, or, to give him his Chinese appellation,
Li-yin-khyeen; and the recollection of our sojourn with him, and of his
pleasant valley, is the most agreeable of all the reminiscences of the
country beyond the Kakhyen hills. Not only did our host evince the most
hospitable desire to purvey all creature comforts, but he made us feel
thoroughly at home. We lived on terms of intimacy with his family,
and his two wives and two daughters manifested a charming freedom of
manners, combined with the most refined propriety, that would have done
credit to a drawing-room at home. The chief delighted to converse about
the various modern inventions of which he had heard reports from the
Chinese who had visited Rangoon. Their accounts, however, _more suo_,
had been full of marvellous exaggerations, including flying-machines,
telescopes that enabled the sight to penetrate mountains, and others
that divested people of their clothes! The chief had some vague ideas
about railways, steamships, and gas, and was most eager for fuller and
more accurate information.

We urged him to visit Rangoon and Calcutta, but he seemed to think
the disturbed state of the country an insuperable obstacle; but he
discussed, instead, the plan of sending his son, a lad of thirteen, to
Rangoon. Li-lot-fa could read and write Shan and Chinese, and he now
commenced to learn Burmese, and it was a curious sight to see him at
work with his note-book, which he had obtained from us, taking down
words and sentences as busily as if he had been a competition wallah
preparing for an examination.

The fact that this tsawbwa had succeeded in maintaining friendly
relations with both the Panthays and imperialist Chinese chiefs, with
whom his real sympathies lay, so that his valley had escaped the evils
of war, spoke well for his diplomatic tact. His conversation showed
that he had been from the first well informed about our progress and
difficulties, which he unhesitatingly attributed to the machinations
of the Bhamô Chinese. He asserted that the advance to Ponsee, and the
desertion of the muleteers at that place, had been part of a well
concerted scheme on the part of the Kakhyen chiefs to attack and
plunder our baggage. Our escape from this danger was attributed by the
chief to “a supernatural power against evil, given as a reward for good
deeds in former existences.”

As an energetic trader, he was most anxious to co-operate heartily in
reopening all the trade routes, his especial object, as was natural,
being the restoration of the central or embassy route, which had been
closed for some years by feuds between the Kakhyens of the hills on the
southern side of the Tapeng and the Burmese officials. The cause of
quarrel was stated to have been an unprovoked attack, on the part of
the Burmese, on a few Kakhyens.

The tsawbwa possessed great influence over the Kakhyen chiefs through
whose territory this route passes, an instance of which was speedily
given by the arrival of the chief of Namboke, accompanied by his
pawmines, and a strong armed guard, the chief and his officers being
mounted on ponies. As soon as he saw Sladen, he went down on one knee,
in the most respectful manner of greeting, and recalled himself to his
recollection as having visited us at Bhamô and received a present of
a head-dress. This chief scarcely resembled a Kakhyen, his naturally
Tartar-like cast of countenance being heightened by his Chinese
skull-cap and dress. After remaining one night and expatiating on the
advantages of the embassy route, he set out for home, bearing a letter
from Li-lot-fa to all the Kakhyen chiefs, which the pawmines were
to carry forward, inviting them to come in and arrange for our safe
progress to Bhamô.

The bazaar or market, which is held every fifth day, took place on
the 12th. There are no shops or shopkeepers, except where the Chinese
reside, among the Shans, and all sale or barter is necessarily
conducted at these regular markets or fairs, which are thronged by the
people of the valley and adjacent hills. The Hotha fair was held on a
grassy slope, about half a mile distant from the town. There were no
permanent or temporary stalls, the vendors simply sitting down in long
lines with their goods before them. One section was devoted to the
sale of sword blades, the manufacture of which is a speciality of this
valley, and another to the wooden scabbards and handles. After buying
two fine blades for four shillings each, I was assured that the vendor
had charged one-third over the value.

Another quarter was devoted to the sale of samshu, and close by it were
the _restaurants_, where the hungry customers refreshed themselves
with hot pork, vermicelli, or an article exactly like it, various
vegetables, and peas, all hot and nicely served in little white bowls.
The butchers’ quarter was amply supplied with pork and beef, and fowls
and ducks were plentiful. Long lines of Kakhyen women from the hills
offered for sale joss-sticks, pears, apples, plums, peaches, mustard
leaves, and a variety of hill vegetables, along with basketfuls of
nettles, as food for the swine, which are an invariable adjunct of a
Shan household.

In the centre of the market, on a double row of stalls, were displayed
various kinds of Shan cloth, Shan caps, Chinese paper, rice cutch,
flint, and lime, which are brought from Tali-fu, white arsenic, yellow
orpiment, &c. In another quarter, English green and blue broadcloth was
selling at twenty shillings per yard, along with red flannel, for which
the Kakhyens have an especial affection. It seemed to us, however,
that, although the price was high, a very few pieces would “glut the

Indigo, the universal dye of the dark blue-clad Shans, Kakhyens, and
Chinese of Western Yunnan, also had its own quarter. The fair was
thronged with people, the elder busy chaffering over their few wares,
and the younger strolling about and gossiping. Almost all were clean
and well-dressed, and there was an absence of the poverty-stricken
class, which had been so numerous in the various towns of the Sanda
valley, all appearing to be well-to-do, to judge from their appearance.
The women, as a rule, were little and rather squat, with round, flat,
high-cheek-boned faces, and slightly oblique eyes. Some of the younger
women, with fair skins and rosy cheeks, might have been accounted
good-looking, but were disfigured by the strange custom of dyeing the
teeth black, which is the fashion among Shans of the better class. The
dye is probably a preparation of cutch, and, according to the tsawbwa,
the custom originated in a desire to preserve the teeth from decay.

For the first time we noticed the peculiar and picturesque dress of the
Chinese Shan women. The men, with the exception of an occasional red
turban, were dressed in the universal dark blue. The costume of the
Hotha Shan women only differed from that remarked in the Sanda valley
in the prevalence of dark green jackets and the number of large silver
hoops worn round the neck.

It will be well here to summarise, even at the risk of repetition,
our observations on the Shan inhabitants of these valleys, who belong
to the Tayshan or Great Shans of the Tai race, the branches of which,
under different names, are found extending to the eleventh parallel,
their various states being tributary to Siam, Burma, or China. The
Shan population where it has been absorbed into the Burmese kingdom
has become assimilated in language and customs with the dominant race,
from which they can scarcely be distinguished. Throughout the valley of
the upper Irawady above Bhamô, but with the Kakhyen hills interposing
their stratum of hill tribes between them and their brethren of the
Chinese states, the Shan element predominates, though contending with
the wilder Singphos to the west of the valley. The inhabitants, though
speaking Burmese, still preserve the Shan language, and retain the
physical and other characteristics of their race.

The little states of Manwyne and Sanda, Muangla, Muangtee, Muangtha,
or Hotha and Latha, and Muangwan and Muangmow, which lie on the right
bank of the Shuaylee, are the remains of the Koshanpyi or Nine Shan
States, forming the chief component parts of the Shan kingdom of Pong,
conquered by the Chinese in the fourteenth century. Bhamô or Tsing-gai,
with the country extending to Katha, or perhaps to Tsampenago, and the
upper part of the valley of the Irawady, with Mogoung as its chief
town, were the last remaining independent remnants of this state, and
have been included in Burma since the annexation by Alompra in 1752 of
the semi-independent state of Mogoung.

It seems most probable that the walled Chinese town of Muanglon
represents Muang Maorong, the ancient capital of the Pong kingdom,
and the Chinese Shan states of Sehfan and Muangkwan, and possibly the
state of Kaingmah, which is reckoned among the Koshanpyi, are under
the jurisdiction of its Chinese governor, as the states we visited are
dependent on Momien. Throughout Yunnan, and, according to Garnier, as
far as the confines of Tong-king, the Tai race is widely diffused.
The names of towns and districts seem to indicate that this region
of lofty hills and great valleys was formerly the seat of the Shan
kingdom, and still--though intermixed with the wild hill tribes, and
the descendants of the Chinese colonists, who were settled in the
newly acquired conquests--the Shans, under the name of Pa-y, hold their
ancient ground. Mons. Garnier mentions that at Muang-Pong he found
villages peopled with Tai-ya settlers, who had fled from the Mahommedan
ravages, and settled beyond the borders of Yunnan. His description of
their characteristic dress and silver ornaments would almost exactly
apply to the Chinese-Shans of the Hotha valley. He describes some
Tai-neua[39] refugees met with at Kiang-hung or Xien-hong itself, and
remarks on the resemblance between these two divisions of the Shans.
As soon as he had passed into the country where the Laotian language
ceased to be understood, on the confines of Yunnan, near Se-mao, “The
inhabitants presented an intermediary type between the Chinese and the
Tai race. This mixed type faithfully represents that of the ancient
population of Yunnan, or that of the Tai, who were conquered by the
Chinese.” And at Yuen-kiang he remarks: “The Tai, whom the Chinese call
Pa-y, are the ancient inhabitants of the country of Muong-Choung, which
is now called Yuen-kiang. They are more numerous and more independent
as the frontier of Tong-king is approached.” Thus the Chinese province
of Yunnan on the one side and the upper portion of the valley of the
Irawady on the other contain a largely preponderating element of
Shan population, their national characteristics, however, gradually
becoming obliterated by the influence of the ruling races respectively.
Owing to their local position, which has preserved their subordinate
independence, the little nest of valleys, cradled in the parallel
secondary ranges which lie between the Salween and the Irawady, has
preserved, almost unmixed, the relics of the ancient Shan kingdom, and
it is with their inhabitants, so far as our observations extended, that
we have to do. It is with some uncertainty that the terms Shans proper
and Chinese Shans are used; not so much as indicating a theory of race
as to serve as a practical distinction between the two divisions,
which, though claiming to be one in race as in language, will be seen
to present curious differences; while the Chinese-Shans, or Sino-Shans,
as some have called them, may, according to the evidence of the French
explorers, really represent the original Tai race more directly than
the Shans of the Tapeng valley and the Irawady valley.

The Shans proper of these valleys are a fair race, somewhat sallow
like the Chinese, but of a very faintly darker hue than Europeans, the
peasantry, as a rule, being much browned by exposure; they have red
cheeks, dark brown eyes, and black hair. In young people and children,
the waxen appearance of the Chinese is slightly observable. The Shan
face is usually short, broad, and flat, with prominent malars, a faint
obliquity and contraction of the outer angle of the eye, which is much
more marked in the true Chinese. The nose is well formed, the bridge
being prominent, almost aquiline, without that breadth and depression
characteristic of the Burman feature. The lower jaw is broad and well
developed; but pointed chins below heavy, protruding lips are not
infrequent. Oval faces laterally compressed, with retreating foreheads,
high cheek-bones, and sharp retreating chins, are not infrequent; and
the majority of the higher classes seemed to be distinguished from the
common people by more elongated oval faces and a decidedly Tartar type
of countenance. The features of the women are proportionately broader
and rounder than those of the men, but they are more finely chiselled,
and wear a good-natured expression, while their large brown eyes are
very scantily adorned with eyebrows and eyelashes. They become much
wrinkled by age, and, judging from the numbers of old people, appear to
be a long-lived race. They are by no means a tall people, the average
height for men scarcely reaching five feet eight, while the women are
shorter and more squat in figure. The only difference between the
Shans and Poloungs, so far as my limited observation went, seems to
be that the latter are darker and smaller; but the Chinese Shans, or
Sino-Shans, of the Muangtha valley differ widely from their congeners.
They are a much smaller race, their little, squat figures and broad,
short flat faces reminding one of Laplanders. The cheek-bones are very
prominent, and their faces are much flatter and shorter than those
of the other Shans. The breadth between the eyes, which are markedly
oblique, is considerable, and the mouths are heavy, with protruding
lips. In the women these characters are more pronounced, and their
complexion strongly resembles that of the Chinese.

In the ordinary attire the Shans, except the Chinese Shans, are almost
uniformly dressed in sombre dark blue, the dye being obtained from the
wild indigo. In full dress, however, the women display an appreciation
of colour which would delight an artist. The peculiar head-dress,
like an inverted cone, has been already alluded to. It consists of a
series of long blue scarves, a foot broad, and of a total length of
forty to fifty feet, wound round and round the head in a huge turban,
towering upwards with a backward slope, like that of the Parsee
head-dress. The folds are arranged in a crescent over the forehead
with most exact precision; the free end, embroidered in gold and silk,
and sometimes adorned with silver pendants, hangs gracefully down the
neck. The hair, left uncovered in the hollow of this structure, is
adorned with silver hairpins, the heads of which are richly enamelled
to represent flowers and insects. The jacket, of blue or green, and
sometimes pink, is short and loose, with a narrow and erect collar.
Thin square plaques of enamelled silver fasten it at and below the
neck, to which are sometimes superadded three rows of large round
silver bosses, enriched with birds and flowers enamelled in various
colours. The loose sleeves are folded back from the elbow, displaying
massive silver or silver-gilt bracelets. A tight thick skirt of cotton
cloth, deeply bordered with squares of embroidered silk or satin,
close-fitting leggings, and embroidered shoes, complete the toilette, a
richly variegated cloth being sometimes worn as a girdle. A Shan lady
thus attired is incomplete without a silver flask-shaped scent-bottle
about three inches across, adorned with silver studs and pendants
terminating in round silver bells, which jingle as the wearer moves.
Silver chatelaines are also worn, and a needlecase formed of a silver
tube, enamelled and studded, enclosing a cushion, which is attached
to the waist. Silver neck-hoops, ear-rings, and rings, which deserve
particular description, complete the adornments of the Shan _belle_,
who, moreover, is seldom seen without her long-stemmed pipe, with its
small bowl of glazed clay.

The male peasants wear a long double-breasted jacket of blue cotton,
buttoned down the right side, often with jade, amber, or silver
buttons. Of the same material are their short wide trousers and thick
turbans, with a long fringe at the free end, which is usually coiled
up with the pigtail on the outside. Long strips of blue cloth wound
round the shins serve as leggings, and their shoes are made of cloth
resembling felt, embroidered with narrow braid and soled with leather.
A very broad straw hat covered with oiled silk serves as an umbrella
against rain or a scorching sun.

The better classes, such as the headmen of the towns, wear long blue
Chinese coats reaching to the ankles, and black satin skull caps
ornamented with Chinese figures worked in gold braid. The little boys
don blue cotton caps, braided, with a red topknot, and garnished with
a row of silver figures of guardian nats. A silver chatelaine, with
a number of little instruments, such as tweezers to depilate the
face, ear and tooth picks, is frequently worn by the men. It hangs
from the button-hole by a long silver chain, ornamented with beads of
jade, amber, or glass, or with grotesque figures of animals carved in
jade or amber. Two essentials in a Shan’s equipment are his dah and
tobacco-pipe. The dah has a blade two feet and a half to three feet in
length, expanding from the hilt to the almost square point, which is
nearly three inches broad. The wooden handle is bound with cord covered
with silver foil, and ornamented with a tassel of goat hair. The wooden
half-scabbard is attached to a ratan hoop worn over the right shoulder.
These dahs are chiefly manufactured by the Muangtha Shans from iron
imported from Yunnan. They use charcoal as a fuel, and a bellows made
of the segment of a large bamboo, with a piston and valve at each end.
They supply all the hill tribes with weapons, and, as before remarked,
resort to Bhamô and elsewhere to work during the winter months. These
weapons exactly resemble those made by the Khampti Shans, and, like
them, are keen and well tempered. The tobacco-pipes are remarkable
on account of their elaborate silver stems, which are frequently a
yard in length, and enriched with enamelled flowers and silver twist.
Sometimes the stem swells at intervals into elongated silver spheres. A
long bamboo stem intervenes between the silver and the bowl of glazed
earthenware. The wealthier Shans frequently use the Chinese hookah, and
the poorer the Chinese brass or iron pipes with small bowls. Tobacco,
home-grown and of very excellent quality, is carried in small round
boxes made of buffalo hide covered with red varnish. They are made in
two halves, the upper overlapping the under, the hide being moistened
and stretched over a wooden mould.

The costume of the Chinese Shan women of Hotha and Latha differs in a
marked manner from that already described. They wear the Shan jacket
and loose trousers like the men, and usually are barefooted. The back
part of the jacket is prolonged to the knees in a half skirt, and
a double Chinese apron in front overlaps it, so as to complete the
dress. Besides the large silver plaques, epaulets are worn, of small
semi-spherical discs, connected by a line of silver buttons from
shoulder to shoulder. The broad waistband of the apron expands behind
into a richly embroidered piece, which is a peculiar characteristic
of this people. A still more distinctive mark is the head-dress, from
which the high turban is absent. The hair is divided and gathered up
on the crown of the head, when it is plaited into the ends of a flat
chignon encircled by a ratan hoop covered with red cloth. This is kept
in position by means of twenty-five to thirty silver pins headed with
thin plates of silver embossed or engraved with leaves and flowers, and
so disposed as to form a silver coronal. Outside this is wound a slight
blue turban, to the pendant fringes of which are suspended a number of
silver rings. In full dress four much larger hairpins, with elaborate
heads eight inches in length and three inches across, are worn. They
are overlaid with silver wire cunningly wrought to represent the stems
and leaves of plants, which are enamelled green, brown, and yellow,
and enriched with flowers in the same material, the petals formed
of red and blue stones, and little silver spheres representing the
unopened buds. Sometimes yet another inner circle of smaller pins, each
headed with a cluster of four small caps, is added; and an elaborate
head-dress forms a circle or an aureole of silver flowers fully a foot
in diameter. The various patterns of hairpins are of the most intricate
construction. The simplest are made chiefly of silver wire and flat
pieces of silver cut into fantastic figures or forms of trailing plants
in full flower, the colours being enamelled in green, blue, purple, and
yellow. Some are wrought in the finest filigree, one beautiful specimen
representing a swan-like bird resting on its outstretched wings among
a bed of flowers. The feathers of the wings are most effectively
wrought in silver wire, and among the leaflets stand up little coils of
silver wire, each terminating in two square cusped discs of silver.
These strongly resemble the capsuled stems of mosses; and the general
appearance of these pin-heads suggests that the artist has derived his
inspiration from the study of a grassy sward covered with flowers and
moss; indeed, the most fashionable form of this ornament consists of
two tiers of leaf-work, the uppermost supported on fine wire, while
through its interstices the capsuled stems rise from the lower tier, as
flowers rise above the grass.

This distinctive head-dress of the Chinese Shans seems to characterise
the Pa-y or Tai women in the south of Yunnan. M. Garnier describes
those of Yuen-hiang as wearing long silver hairpins, from the ends of
which hung a profusion of pendants. Their costume consists of a showy
corset with a little jacket over it, a petticoat with a broad coloured
border, and apron; and he particularly describes a high collar made
of red and black stuff, on which little silver studs are arranged in
patterns reminding him of the armed collar of a “bouledogue.” The front
of the vest is also thickly studded with similar ornaments. The Pa-y
ear-rings are of very delicate workmanship, the usual pattern being a
large ring supporting a small square plate with numerous pendants, much
resembling those of the Chinese Shans. The married women of the latter
especially invariably wear a silver or silver-gilt ring, overlaid
with studs or filigree work, to which is attached a jade or enamelled
silver disc. The Chinese Shan girls wear a tube of silver, from which
is suspended an inverted rosette set with a circle of club-shaped
pendants. From the centre of this flower-like ornament hangs a filigree
ball and rosette set with a garnet. The ear ornaments of the Shans
proper are of two kinds, only one of which, worn by the young girls,
can be called an ear-ring--the large circle of silver wire suspending a
flat spiral ornament resembling a favourite pattern of the Roman period
in Europe. There are three forms of the second or of the cylindrical
type, necessitating a large opening in the lobe of the ear, but by no
means so large as the ear ornaments of the Burmese beauties, which are
sometimes an inch and a half in diameter. The first are made of a piece
of bamboo, which is covered with silverfoil, one end being finished
by a piece of cloth, which is effectively embroidered with the green
wing-cases of a beetle, red seeds, and Chinese devices in gold thread.
The second form is a short cylinder of silver, with a cross piece
engraved with Chinese figures. The third is nearly two inches long,
widening into a disc fully an inch in diameter, and terminating in a
silver knob. The front is composed of open silver filigree.


  Fig. 1. Chinese Shan chignon encircled with silver hairpins.
       2. Shan silver bracelet.
       3.   ”    ”        ”    in filigree.
       4.   ”    ”        ”    enamelled.
       5. Chinese Shan girl’s ear-drop.
       6. 7. Shan woman’s tubular ear ornaments.
       8. Shan finger ring.
       9. Silver tube for enclosing a needle cushion.]

These silver ornaments will be seen to be thoroughly characteristic of
the Shans, who, it need not be said, are expert silversmiths, their
simple tools consisting of small cylindrical bellows, a crucible,
punch, graver, hammer, and little anvil. In the Sanda valley the
phoongyees are the chief artificers; but in Hotha the trade is still
confined to the laymen. Their enamels, of which we could not
discover the materials, are very brilliant, and employed with beautiful
effect in the floral patterns, which form the principal stock of
designs. The only other forms of ornamentation, the rope-shaped fillets
and rounded studs or bosses, singularly resemble those found on the
diadems and armlets of the early historical periods of Scandinavian
art. The plain torques or neck rings in use, especially among the
Hotha Shans, only differ from the ancient Irish type by their more
rounded form, and by the pointed ends being bent outwards, in lieu of
being expanded into cymbal-shaped faces. Another kind of torque is of
the same shape, but covered with leaf ornaments and cones in filigree
and enamel alternating with red and blue stones or pieces of glass.
Torque-like hollow rings, covered with floral enrichments, are worn as
bracelets; sometimes they are gilt with very red gold and enamelled, a
jewel being usually set in the centre. Another form is a silver hoop,
nearly two inches in breadth, with rounded edges and filigree borders,
most elaborately set with floral rosettes of three circles, rows of
leaves, brown, green, and dark purple, centred by a large silver stud.

The finger-rings are generally made of rope wire, either with conical
or flat spiral coils; but one curious type is formed of an oblong
ornamented silver plate an inch long, and as broad as the finger. A
half-circle from either side enables it to be worn on a finger of any
size. Many of the rings are jewelled with garnets, moonstones, and
pieces of dark green jade, but no valuable gems were observed. The men
commonly wear ordinary Chinese rings of jade or amber.

The women are constantly engaged in weaving and dyeing, for the yarn
from home-grown cotton is spun, dyed, and woven by their industrious
fingers. They are adepts at needlework and silken embroidery; and
all the clothes worn are made and ornamented by the women of each
household. Straw-plaiting is another of their industries, and the
broad-brimmed straw hats made in the valley would compete with the
finest Leghorn fabrics. Another art in which they excel, apparently
borrowed from the Chinese, is the manufacture of elaborate ornaments
for the hair from the sapphire blue feathers of the roller bird
(_Coracias affinis_). These are fastened on paper cut to imitate
wreaths and flowers; and with copper wire, gold thread, and feathers,
laid on with the greatest nicety, very pretty simple ornaments are
produced, which are often brightened by the addition of a ruby or some
other gem.

The stuffs woven in a loom similar to that in use by the Kakhyens are
of all degrees of texture, the finer kinds, used for jackets, being
very soft, and usually figured with large lozenge-shaped patterns
of the same colour. A marked feature of the textile fabrics and
embroideries of the Shans, and indeed of their ornamentation generally,
is the reproduction of conventional patterns, handed down from their
forefathers without any attempt to improve or vary them. The Shan
designs of the nineteenth century probably are identical with those of
the fourteenth, and are simple modifications of the lozenge, square,
and stripe; these modifications may be, and are, almost endless, and
the combinations of the elementary forms most intricate, while the
ground of the fabrics in which the patterns are wrought is usually
covered with numerous small truncated almond-rounded lozenges,
interspersed with figures of the sacred Henza, or Brahminical goose.
The chief beauty of their textile fabrics consists in the wonderful
grouping and harmony of the colouring; and in the employment of their
vivid full and half tints of blue, orange, green, and red, they are all
but unrivalled artists.

The great body of the Shan population is engaged in agriculture; and
as cultivators they may take rank even with the Belgians. Every inch
of ground is utilised; the principal crops being rice, which is grown
in small square fields, shut in by low embankments, with passages and
floodgates for irrigation. During the dry weather, the nearest stream
has its water led off, and conducted in innumerable channels, so that
each block, or little square, can be irrigated at will. In the valley
of the Tapeng, advantage is taken of the slope of the ground to lead
canals to fields several miles away from the point of divergence. At
our arrival in the beginning of May, the valley from one end to the
other appeared to be an immense watery tract of rice plantations
glistening in the sunshine, while the bed of the river was left half
dry by the subtraction of the water. Tobacco, cotton, and opium are
grown on the well-drained slopes of the hills, the two former for
home use; but the white-flowered poppy is cultivated to supply the
requirements of Chinese, Kakhyens, and Leesaws. A considerable quantity
of Shan opium finds its way to Bhamô, and thence to Mandalay, and also
to Mogoung, whence it is distributed among the Singphos.

The land is tilled by a wooden plough with an iron share, drawn by a
single buffalo. Men and women work together, but the heavy tillage is
done by the former, the weaker sex being only employed in weeding and
thinning. Vegetables are grown round every house, and form an important
article of diet. Numbers of fine cattle and pigs are reared and killed
for eating, their flesh, with all kinds of poultry, being largely
used, and sold freely in the markets, for the Shans have no Buddhist
prejudices. The milk, however, is not used. The entrails of animals, as
among the Burmese, are much used in Shan _cuisine_; a very fair soup,
made of the intestines of fowls, being a favourite dish of the Hotha
tsawbwa, who insisted, when dining with us, on substituting it for our
soup, which he did not approve. The large larvæ of a giant wasp, and
stewed centipedes, are Shan dainties which we could not appreciate.

Their principal stimulant is _samshu_, or rice-spirit; but during our
stay amongst them, we observed scarcely an instance of intoxication.
The vice of drunkenness and the licentiousness common amongst all their
neighbours seem almost unknown among this industrious self-supporting
race. They are social and good-humoured, but by no means as jovial as
the Burmese, compared with whom they are a quiet, rather sedate people.

As a rule, each man is content with one wife, but polygamy is allowable
to those who are wealthy enough; thus the Hotha chief had several
wives at various villages. All that is required to contribute a valid
union is the sanction of the parents, mutual consent, and interchange
of presents between the contracting parties, but no religious rite
whatever is observed on the occasion of the wedding.

They are a musical race, and possess many simple wild airs, which
they play on stringed and wind instruments. Of the former, which are
played like a guitar, one is about three feet in length, with three
strings and a broad sounding-board; another is only half the size, the
sounding-board being a short drum-like cylinder, with a snake skin
stretched across it. This instrument was also a great favourite with
the Momien people, and is probably of Chinese origin. The most usual
wind instrument is a sort of flute, made of bamboo, with a flask-shaped
gourd as mouthpiece, and the sound is full, soft, and pleasing. The
long brazen trumpets, which are a sort of state appendage of the
tsawbwa, are only blown to announce his arrival, or to do honour to his

The chiefs, although paying an annual tribute to the authorities at
Momien, exercise full patriarchal authority in their states; assisted
by a council of headmen, they adjudicate all cases, civil and criminal.
The tsawbwa is the nominal owner of all land, but each family holds a
certain extent, which they cultivate, paying a tithe of the produce to
the chief. These settlements are seldom disturbed, and the land passes
in succession, the youngest son inheriting, while the elder brothers,
if the farm is too small, look out for another plot, or turn traders;
hence the Shans are willing to emigrate and settle on fertile lands,
as in British Burma. The chiefs naturally do not approve of this,
and it is to be feared that the recent emigration of these Shans to
our provinces has in the last few years excited the ill-will of the
tsawbwas against the British officials, whom they accuse of inducing
their people to desert them. In ordinary times of peace and prosperity,
the inhabitants of these valleys must have been very thriving, and the
chiefs very wealthy, tokens of which appeared in their haws, though
most of them had been much injured before our visit; but at this
time they were certainly impoverished, and, without doubt, many of
the valuable articles of dress and jewellery offered to us for sale
belonged to the chiefs and their families. The great anxiety of the
peaceable Shans was for the restoration of order, and though they all
earnestly longed for the re-establishment of the imperial Chinese
_régime_, they were, in the meantime, most ready to befriend those
whose mission was to establish a route for commerce, necessitating
peace and order as the conditions of its maintenance.

We found it impossible to obtain a guide to the southern side of the
valley of Hotha beyond the Namsa, which is a very small mountain
stream. The tsawbwa declared that the bridge had been washed away, and
that the road was deep in mud; but he himself planned an excursion for
us to visit another house belonging to him at Tsaycow, some miles to
the east of Hotha. The chief set off early in the morning to prepare
for our reception, and we followed at midday. The road, paved with
boulders, and near the villages with long dressed slabs of granite,
wound over the grassy spurs, the slopes of which were cultivated
with tobacco and cotton. The mountain streams, running over rocky
channels encumbered by large boulders particoloured with green moss
and lichens, were spanned by bridges of gneiss or granite, those
over the larger streams being handsome arched structures, twenty to
twenty-five feet in span, with a rest-house at either end, and the
parapets often guarded by stone dragons. Each village was approached by
a long narrow lane arched by trees and feathery bamboos, terminating
in a picturesque gateway, and bordered by stone drinking fountains.
The houses were embowered in trees, pear, apple, chestnut, peach, and
sweet lime, forming orchards round the villages, and the triple roofs
of substantial khyoungs and occasional pagodas crowning the knolls,
completed the rural picture, with a background of green slopes of
grazing land running up to the rearward wall of mist-clad mountains.
One small pagoda, called Comootonay, differed altogether from the
ordinary Burmese type, in its peculiar shape and attenuated long spire,
which rose to a height of fifty feet. Five miles of pleasant riding
past a succession of thriving and picturesque villages, orchards, and
khyoungs, brought us to Tsaycow, or Old Hotha, a much larger place than
the present town of that name, embowered in trees, and delightfully
situated on a spur at the opening of a little dale, down which flowed
a fine mountain stream. The chief’s house, formerly his head-quarters,
which was built in the Chinese fashion, though smaller than our
residence, had the advantage of a better site and superior condition,
the private apartments especially being richly decorated with elaborate
carvings. In the inner reception hall we were welcomed by the tsawbwa,
and, after being refreshed with tea, were conducted by him to see two
khyoungs, one Shan and the other Chinese, built, after his own designs,
one above the other, on the hillside behind the village. The Chinese
temple, which occupied the highest site, was enclosed by a high wall,
with a gate leading into a courtyard bordered by cloisters on either
side, while a raised pavilion occupied the end, opposite to which,
and above all the other buildings, towered the shrine, crowning the
highest of two terraces faced with granite. Covered staircases led
from the cloisters to the higher level, each terminating in a little
rounded tower containing a large bell. The temple occupied the whole of
the terrace, with verandahs, paved with stone, to the front and rear.
A little stream bubbled up into a small basin in the front, and then
formed a cascade from terrace to terrace into the court below. Two
entrances led from the verandah into the temple, between which a large
window exactly faced the altar-piece. On a table in front of the window
stood vases with incense and flowers, and a number of boxes containing
the library. The altar-piece, an admirable example of open woodcarving,
about twenty feet high, resembled a huge triptych, containing three
recesses about ten feet from the ground. It was enclosed by a simple
wooden railing four feet high, and before it stood a small table,
whereon incense is burned, and at either end two others, with a wooden
fish and drumstick on each. The three recesses contained life-sized
figures, each with a gauze curtain in front. A beam projecting to the
front wall from either side supported two life-sized figures, and along
each side wall eighteen small figures were ranged on a platform, with
a vase and joss-sticks before each. The tsawbwa acted as cicerone,
and explained that the central figure was Chowlaing-lon, the king of
all nats, who had existed before Gaudama. The figures on either side
are called Coonsang, and act as his pawmines or agents, to execute
his orders; and the four standing figures are the rulers of the four
great islands or quarters of the globe, who keep a record of all the
actions of their subjects. After death each man is brought before
Chowlaing-lon, and by him consigned to the Coonsang, who, according
to the report given by the rulers, make them over to one or other of
the thirty-six nats representing the army of the Thagyameng, ranged in
order along the sides. One of these nats was represented with six arms,
armed respectively with a belt, bow, arrow, club, and dagger, while one
hand was empty as though ready to seize a victim. All the others were
in different attitudes, each holding some kind of weapon, and having
a long scarf-like band round his neck and shoulders, reaching to the
ground, to serve as wings, recalling to our minds the flying people
visited by Peter Wilkins.

The lower or Shan khyoung consisted of two oblong buildings on
different levels. A grim-looking nat or Beloo guarded the door leading
into the temple, where sat three colossal Buddhas, the Past, Present,
and Future. On either side were two guardian figures, one mounted on
a pigmy elephant, and the other on a mongrel monster, half lion and
half tiger. At the feet of the Buddhas was a well executed figure of a
tortoise; while vases of incense and sweet-smelling flowers placed on
a table sent up their sweet odours to the calm impassive faces above
them. At each side of the building, sat a row of life-sized figures,
cleverly executed, and one especially, representing a shrivelled old
man, with his chin resting on his knees, and the flesh tints admirably
given, displayed real artistic power. In the lower temple, which
was open in front, the middle of the central wall was occupied by a
figure of Kwan-yin holding the child, and surrounded by a number of
small adoring figures sculptured in relief; above her head a parrot,
holding a rosary in its bill, was perched on a twig. On the other side
of the wall, so as to be back to back with the Chinese goddess, sat a
colossal Buddha flanked by two gigantic figures, one of which held a
rat. The tsawbwa declared that all these temples had been erected in
honour of Buddha; and he narrated the history of Kwan-yin, who was the
daughter of an ancient emperor of China, but, assuming the white robe
of a rahanee, spent her days in a forest, devoted to pious meditation.
The mixture of ancient polytheism and Buddhism in the story was an
apt illustration of the confused form of religion represented in the

Our visit was concluded by a sumptuous dinner at the tsawbwa’s house,
the great point of etiquette apparently being to leave no part of
the table unoccupied by dishes, save a margin for the guests to use
their chopsticks. After dinner the tsawbwa introduced the subject of
religion, and was much surprised at our not believing the doctrine of
successive existences. Speaking of Gaudama, he distinguished him from
Buddha, and was anxious to learn from us in what country he, Gaudama,
was at present living.

The Buddhism of the Shans is, as has been already noticed, marked
by great laxity among the phoongyees, and the most active religious
feelings among the people belong to the belief in and worship of nats.
During our stay, on the 13th of August, the fire festival of the Shans
was celebrated, and about twenty bullocks and cows were slaughtered
in the market-place; the meat was all speedily sold, part of it being
cooked and eaten, while the remainder was fired out of guns at sundown,
the pieces which happened to fall on the land being supposed to become
mosquitoes, and those in the water leeches. Immediately after sunset
the tsawbwa’s retainers began to beat gongs and blow long brass
trumpets; after dark, torches were lit, and a party, preceded by the
musicians, searched the central court for the fire nat, who is supposed
to lurk about at this season with evil intent. They then prosecuted
their search in all the apartments and the garden, throwing the light
of the torches into every nook and corner where the evil spirit might
find a hiding-place. Three other festivals are annually devoted to the
nats of rain, wind, and cold.

The eclipse of the sun which happened on the 18th of August, commencing
at 9.5 A.M., had been predicted by us at various places, and here also.
The diminution of light was, as the Shans admitted, not sufficient
to have called their attention to it, unless forewarned. The tsawbwa
showed his usual intelligence by being able to use the telescope. As
soon as he had satisfied himself that the eclipse had really commenced,
he ordered his saluting guns to be fired, and the long trumpets to be
blown, while, at his earnest request, we were obliged to order out the
police guard to fire two volleys; all this was to terrify some monster
that was threatening to devour the sun. The chief, however, listened
attentively to our endeavour to explain the natural causes of the
phenomenon, and even imparted them to the excited crowd which flocked
eagerly about us.

Some of the khyoungs in the valley were altogether sacred to the
Chinese deities Kwan-yin and Showfoo, the Prah, or god of the Yunnan
Chinese, with various evil nats and famous teachers, such as Tamo, to
the utter exclusion of any trace of the Buddhistic creed.

At a dilapidated little temple close to Hotha, dedicated to certain
nats, the entrance was guarded by two horses, each with a horseman
standing at its head. Similar figures of horses, tended by a man in
Tartar costume, occurred in the khyoung at Muangla, and the reader may
remember that the Manwyne women paid daily offerings of rice to the
horse’s image in the khyoung at that town. The fact that the Shans are
a race of horse-breeders and horsemen may account for the preservation
of this curious relic of their pristine religion, along with the
primæval propitiation of the dangerous nats, or powers of earth, air,
and water.

The principal Buddhist khyoung of the valley, situated in the pretty
walled village of Tsendong, is perfectly free from any admixture of
their older superstitions. The tsawbwa, who acted as our cicerone,
seemed very proud of the temple, which was declared to be very old.
It is built on a low stone platform, surrounded by a narrow terraced
verandah, the whole of the outside being roughly but skilfully
carved. It contained richly gilt book cabinets, and elaborately
carved altar-pieces, and might have been transported entire from the
Burmese plains. The remains of an old and venerated phoongyee, who
had died two months previously, lay in state under a double-roofed
temporary pavilion, close to the khyoung. The sarcophagus, supported
on two dragons, was a handsome structure, surmounted by a richly
carved miniature pagoda. The ground had been levelled, and was kept
scrupulously clean, and the whole enclosure carefully railed off.
On a neighbouring terrace stood an octagonal zayat, enclosing a
small pagoda. It was built almost entirely of wood, with five roofs,
diminishing in size upwards, and capped by a golden htee. A series of
open windows of carved wood-work ran round the building, and over each
were two beautifully carved panels, representing a single object, as
a bird, deer, plant, or bat. Each roof was raised on three projecting
bearers, terminating in grotesquely carved heads. The enclosed pagoda
was a square structure, with a delicately tapered spire reaching to
the interior of the highest roof.

The presence of these purely Burmese buildings in the Hotha valley,
while pagodas are altogether wanting in the valley of the Tapeng, is
probably due to the vicinity of the ancient embassy route, but in 1769
the Burmese appealed to the existence of pagodas in this valley as a
proof of their ancient right to include it within their boundaries.

The heavy rains which continued during our stay at Hotha delayed our
progress, and at the same time prevented more complete explorations of
the neighbourhood.

As already mentioned, we were to proceed over the Kakhyen hills, at
the western end of the valley, the plan of crossing into Muangwan
being impracticable, so far as we were concerned, although a Burmese
surveyor was detached to examine the route. As before stated, we were
debarred from even visiting the southern heights, but Mr. Gordon and I
made an excursion to the eastern head of the valley, where it is closed
in by a transverse ridge connecting the two ranges. A good road led
to the ridge, which was crossed by a narrow track, the highest point
not being more than four hundred feet above Hotha. A steep declivity
led down into another valley, probably branching off from Muangwan.
To the east-north-east, another valley could be descried, leading in
the direction of Nantin, which lies one thousand one hundred feet
lower. Through the mist and heavy rain, glimpses of high hills were
dimly seen on every side, and we concluded that the Hotha valley, as a
thoroughfare to Momien via Nantin, would present more difficult heights
to be surmounted than the valley of the Tapeng.

We learned that from Old Hotha a road led to Muangla, reaching the
Sanda valley by a gorge of lower elevation and more gradual descent
on the northern slope than the route by which we had climbed up and
scrambled down in our passage from Manwyne. Even an excursion, however,
beyond the limits of the Hotha valley was rendered impossible by the
presence of Li-sieh-tai and his force in Shuemuelong. We accordingly
addressed ourselves to quit the pleasant quarters at Hotha, and recross
the Kakhyen hills to the Burmese plain, all the chiefs of the hill
tribes along the route having attended in person or by deputy at a
meeting on August 22nd, when satisfactory arrangements had been made
for our transit.

[38] _Analysis by Dr. Macnamara._

One gallon contains:--

  49·7 grains of solid matter;
   3·6    ”      salts of alkalies, chloride of sodium;
  19·7    ”      silica, earthy salts, and oxide of iron;
  Traces of sulphuric, carbonic, and phosphoric acids;
  No nitric acid.

[39] _Thaï-neua_ is applied to the northern Shans. ‘Voyage
d’Exploration,’ p. 409.



 Adieu!--Latha--Namboke--The southern hills--Muangwye--Loaylone--The
 Chinese frontier--Mattin--Hoetone--View of the Irawady plain--A
 slippery descent--The Namthabet--The Sawady route--A solemn
 sacrifice--A retrospective survey.

On the 27th of August we bade adieu to our friends at Hotha, the wife
and daughters of the chief coming out to “see us off”; while their
tears, and reiterated requests that we would soon come again, might
have been called forth by the departure of some near relatives or very
dear friends. We offered to shake hands, “English fashion,” which the
eldest daughter declined, as it was contrary to Shan etiquette, but the
young wife of the chief mustered up courage to defy public opinion.
The saluting guns were fired, and we started amidst the good wishes
of a large crowd. The tsawbwa rode with us as far as the boundary of
his domains; and all along the route his people turned out with many
demonstrations of goodwill to the departing strangers. On the borders
of Latha, our friend took leave of us with evident regret, and handed
us over to the care of the Kakhyen chief of Namboke.

The Latha district is naturally even more picturesque than that of
Hotha. The hills are nearer, and the glen, as it might be called, is
more thickly wooded. The town of Latha, which we passed near at hand,
though separated from the road by the Namsa river, appeared to be the
largest and most populous in the whole valley. We were precluded from
visiting it by the unwillingness of the old chieftain to receive the
foreigners. A present and polite messages were, however, sent by our
leader _en passant_, and a return present and complimentary message,
personally dictated by the chief, were brought back by our messengers.
The message attributed his inability to receive us to the prejudices
of some of his subjects. He promised that, whenever we should come
again, he and his people would be prepared to welcome our presence. His
subjects seemed to be no less thriving than those in the other section.
All along the route, many-roofed khyoungs, rising above the rich
greenery, marked the whereabouts of villages, and pagodas of a very
striking type covered the rounded hills and thickly wooded knolls.

We crossed the Namsa by a long wooden bridge, and soon found ourselves
involved in a perfect maze of little conical grassy hills, which
blocked up the western end of the valley. The road turned to the left
from the narrow glen of the Namsa, and gradually ascended, following
the course of the Namboke stream, and, crossing a number of small
hills, attained the summit of the first spur of the easterly barrier
of the valley. From this point to Namboke, the road wound over a
succession of spurs, till the village was reached, lying among a group
of little wooded hills formed by the junction of spurs of the secondary
Hotha range with the great southern barrier of the Tapeng valley, which
here unite. After a march of fourteen miles, performed in five hours,
we arrived at 5 P.M. in a downpour of rain, which did not make the
roofless shed provided as quarters at all inviting. The tsawbwa then
conducted us to his house, where we alighted under a salute of three
guns, and were accommodated partly in the strangers’ hall and partly in
the portico, which latter proved populous with enemies to sleep. The
urgent hospitality of the Namboke chief compelled us to gratify him by
a day’s halt; and it was only by dogged determination that our leader
succeeded in effecting a start at midday on the 29th.

From Namboke we descended into a deep hollow, and thence gradually
ascended to the ridge of the main range bordering the Tapeng gorge,
along which we travelled to Ashan, eight miles distant, where we put up
for the night in Kakhyen houses. The footpath which did duty for road
had been recently cleared of jungle by the Kakhyens, the fresh marks of
whose dahs were visible on either side, as we wound through magnificent
virgin forest. From occasional points of vantage on open hill brows,
we looked down on a sea of foliage, unbroken by any clearing or sign of
human habitation. From the summit level of the ridge, we looked to the
right across the valley of the Tapeng, and saw Ponsee lying, a little
speck, on the opposite slope, halfway between the Tapeng and the summit
of the lofty Shitee-doung, also called Shitee Meru, as if after the
Sacred Hill. The territory of Ponsee extends from this summit to that
of Kad-doung, which rose behind us, so that Ashan with its dozen houses
lies within the Ponsee borders. Below us, to the left, two narrow deep
valleys ran east and west, separated by a low ridge, the termination
of the southern boundary of Hotha, which speedily lost itself in the
bewildering maze which results from the division and commingling of
the great spurs of the main lines of upheaval of these mountains. In
every direction, as far as the eye could reach, extended a sea of
hills, some rising in great dome-shaped masses six thousand feet above
the sea, clothed to their summits with dense forest, unbroken by any
cultivation. The greater number of the lesser hills had been evidently
cleared, and their abrupt slopes seemed, as it were, fashioned into
huge flights of broad steps, the terraces for the rice and maize crops,
while by the aid of a good field-glass little Kakhyen villages could be
detected dotting the slopes.

We left Ashan in heavy rain, and commenced to descend in a southerly
direction. The path led along the crest of a spur running down to a
village. The ponies and mules could not keep their feet on the wet,
slippery paths, and kept sliding down on their hindquarters. As steep
declivities bordered the path, the descent was not without risk, and
a pedestrian could only keep his footing by catching hold of the long
grass, and so lowering himself down.

Having crossed the Namkhong, swollen by the rains into a tempestuous
stream, which taxed the uttermost strength of the ponies, the path
lay over a wet and muddy alluvial flat into another valley and across
another torrent. We then made a very steep ascent up the mountain side,
passing the village of Lasee, perched on a lofty rounded peak. From the
height we gained a full view of the ranges to the southwards, running
nearly parallel to each other, east-north-east and west-south-west,
with intervening valleys, much broken up by spurs. A descent of a few
hundred feet brought us to the village of Muangwye, on the southern
slope of a hill covered with trees and enormous granite boulders.

Our halt here was a device of the local tsawbwa, who was anxious to
have the honour of entertaining us. The other chiefs had gone on to
Loaylone with the baggage and commissariat, expecting us to proceed
to that village as our resting-place for the night. The chief did his
best to reconcile us to his hospitable _ruse_ by a hearty welcome and
liberal supplies of sheroo and samshu.

The usual and direct route from Ashan to Hoetone, the last Kakhyen
village before descending to the plain, only occupies one good day’s
march; but the anxiety of the respective chiefs to entertain us caused
them to lead us from village to village, and make three marches instead
of one; and as the rain was almost incessant, and the path up and down
the hillsides slippery in the extreme, we found Kakhyen regard almost
as embarrassing as the former hostility.

The next day we crossed the Muangkah stream, about fifteen feet across,
and flowing in a deep nullah, which is the boundary line between the
Lakhone and Cowlee Kakhyens, into whose borders we now entered. The
glen was very narrow, but the rich black soil very fertile, judging
from the appearance of the small rice fields. The only bridge was a
felled tree, less than a foot broad, with a ricketty bamboo tied on as
a handrail, along which we scrambled, almost envying the animals, which
swam across. Ascending another ridge, we passed the remains of the old
Chinese frontier fort, commanding this route, as a custom-house, as
that above the Nampoung commands the Ponsee road. A hundred feet below,
the village of Loaylone occupied a steep slope, stretching out in an
amphitheatre. This was the largest and most thriving Kakhyen village
we had yet seen, and the chief’s house presented the unusual feature
of a high bamboo fence enclosing it. The chief was bountiful in his
supplies of fowls and sheroo; and in the evening his younger brother,
the tsawbwa of Mattin, paid us a visit, and proved to be the most
polished and intelligent Kakhyen we had met, his manners and style
being fully equal to those of any Burmese or Shan gentleman. His dress
was a mixture of Shan and Chinese, but his hair was arranged in Burmese
fashion. He proved to be perfectly acquainted with Burmese and Chinese,
and held a long conversation on the advantages of re-establishing
trade, in which he professed the utmost readiness to co-operate. He was
very anxious that we should become his guests at Mattin for several
days; and, after exhausting the pleas of the ill-health of some of the
party, the rains, &c., we were obliged to urge that delays on the way
would prejudice the minds of our rulers against the embassy route. It
was necessary to remain a day at Loaylone, as, according to custom,
the mules and porters had to be paid off here, and replaced by others
belonging to the Cowlee Kakhyens. The ordinary central route to Momien
is said to be from this place to Muangwan, a view of which valley can
be gained from the Chinese fort of Loaylone, whence the road leads to
Nantin, avoiding the Hotha valley. There was, of course, some trouble
with the muleteers, who invariably put forth extortionate demands, only
to be met by firm refusal. At the very moment of our departure, two of
the Namboke pawmines laid an embargo on a mule-load of luggage as a
pawn for payment for some rice, which they had already received.

The direct road to Hoetone is only six miles by a comparatively level
route along the paddy fields, but the necessity of accepting Mattin’s
invitation lengthened our march to fifteen miles, involving the ascent
of one of the highest ranges. In a glen below Loaylone we met a caravan
of mules from Bhamô laden with cotton and salt. From this point steep
ascents over a succession of spurs, and descents into shallow valleys,
brought us to the summit of the main ridge at an elevation of five
thousand feet. Close to our left, and five or six hundred feet higher,
rose the high dome-shaped hill which we had sighted from Ashan. To the
south-east and south rose a few still higher peaks, but none apparently
exceeding an elevation of six thousand feet. The summit of this ridge
was covered with fine turf and a few trees, and strewn with enormous
granite boulders, under the shelter of which were built the houses of a
small village named Loayline.

From this point we began to descend the main mass of the Kakhyen hills,
and soon arrived at the village of Mattin, situated on the ridge of a
spur. A salute of three guns and a musical clash of gongs and cymbals
announced our arrival, and we were ushered up a broad flight of stone
steps leading to a Chinese gateway in a substantial brick and stone
wall. Within this stood the chief’s house, of Kakhyen design, but, by
its construction and rich ornaments of carving, deserving the name of
a Kakhyen palace. After being duly presented to the chief’s family,
and admired by an enthusiastic crowd of his subjects, who, be it said,
were vastly superior both in their appearance and dress to their
compatriots of the northern hills, we were conducted into a small
external pavilion, and refreshed ourselves in privacy.

From Mattin a descent of two miles brought us to Hoetone, situated on
a flattened depression of the same spur, strewn with huge gneiss and
granite boulders. In front of the tsawbwa’s house three flat blocks of
stone, about three feet high, were fixed in the ground in line, which
were described as the altar whereon buffaloes were offered to the
nats. We had observed similar stones in a grove outside the village,
which the numerous skulls strewn about showed to have been the scene
of numerous offerings. In this place there was also a circular wall,
three feet high, with one of the standing stones built into it, and
the ground covered with the decaying skulls of sacrificed buffaloes.
The next morning we were visited first by the aged tsawbwa of Hoetone,
accompanied by his wives, children, and grandchildren, all in their
best attire, and laden with the usual presents of fowls, vegetables,
cooked rice, and sheroo. The next to appear were the tsawbwas of
Kadaw and Sakhiy, dressed in ancient black satin jackets, with their
womankind attired _à la_ Kakhyen, but decorated with a profusion of
Shan silver ornaments. The sub-chief who had followed us to Momien, and
died there of small-pox, was a son of Kadaw, and although he had come
to Momien of his own accord, Sladen considered it just to promise to
the old father that, when at Bhamô, he would consult with the other
chiefs as to compensation for his son’s death. With this assurance the
father departed well pleased; but a younger brother of the deceased
thought fit to bully and demand instant payment, and enlisted a few
of the muleteers on his side. The usual Kakhyen wrangle and bluster
ensued, but being met with firm expostulation, according to custom,
ended in nothing; but our departure had been thereby delayed till
midday, when we gladly recommenced our descent to the plains.

In dry weather it is usual to travel from Hoetone to Bhamô by Momouk,
across the plain, on the left bank of the Tapeng; but the low grounds
being now under water, it was necessary to proceed to the Tapeng below
its exit from the hills, and descend it in boats to Bhamô. A short
distance below Hoetone, we came to a division in the road, and a
discussion ensued with the Mantai tsawbwa, who was acting as guide to
the advance party of the cavalcade, as to the proper path to follow.
One road, along the spur which we had descended, appeared evidently
to be the direct route, as the other turned off to the left down a
deep hollow, towards another spur to the southward. This, the tsawbwa
insisted, was as good and as short as the other, and we perforce
followed him. From the brow of the spur a noble panorama of the
extensive plain of the Irawady burst upon our view.

The great river, now swollen to its fullest width, wound like a broad
band of silver through the plain, and our followers literally jumped
and shouted with joy at the prospect, realising the speedy termination
of their six months’ wanderings. Those of our party whose dignity
forbade such demonstrations rejoiced no less in spirit; for even this
grand hill scenery becomes wearisome when one has to scramble up the
steep mountain paths and slide down the counter slope in torrents
of rain. We could not grumble at the slight detour which the Mantai
chief had imposed upon us, for the whole population of his village was
eagerly awaiting our arrival, and saluted us with five guns. In his
house, which was enclosed with a bamboo palisade, mats were spread for
us, and his wife and daughters, two almost handsome maidens, vied with
each other in demonstrations of welcome and proffers of very excellent
sheroo. Leaving them highly delighted with a few bright silver coins
and compliments, we remounted, and began a slippery descent through
bamboo jungle, in which there was a fair chance of being impaled on the
fallen stems, as the ponies slid down on their haunches, utterly unable
to change their course. Having at least reached four thousand feet
below Hoetone, we had to cross at the bottom a roaring mountain torrent
by a newly constructed bridge. A large boulder lay in midstream, and
two large bamboos were placed from it to the banks on either side, with
smaller cross pieces to keep all secure; this primitive and rickety
bridge, about eighteen inches wide, sloped down to the stone, and
then rose up at a steep incline to the other bank. It was a perilous
path for man and beast, for to lose one’s balance meant being swept
down by the resistless current into the Tapeng. The level ground on
either side of the stream was closed in by high hills, which echoed
with the roar of the latter river; but the high grass which covered
the alluvial flat hid it from us, until, having crossed a low spur, we
came upon the banks of the foaming yellow flood, rushing down to the
plains in a magnificent torrent. About two miles further, we left the
Tapeng, and turned to the south-west, and, crossing a low spur, came
upon the right bank of a moderate-sized, deep-flowing stream, with a
very strong current, called Namthabet, which flows into the Tapeng, at
its exit from the hills. This stream had to be crossed by a raft, which
two Kakhyens had been sent from Hoetone to construct, but they had only
completed half their task when we arrived. We were therefore compelled
to bivouac, and all hands set to work to construct the small bamboo
huts thatched with grass, which the Burmese call _tai_. The night was
fine, but the sandflies proved utter foes to sleep, defying mosquito
curtains; and the morning brought a tremendous thunderstorm, followed
by torrents of rain, as if the hill nats wished to give us a farewell

As soon as the raft was completed, the jemadar and a number of
Burmans embarked, furnished with long bamboos to pole it across; but
the current swept it down stream, and it was only saved by the men
jumping into the water and pushing it to bank, where all held on by the
overhanging branches. The Kakhyen method of stretching a rope across
the stream was next resorted to, and under the experienced direction
of Captain Bowers a strong rope of the outer layer of the bamboo was
speedily improvised. This attempt also failed, for the rope broke in
two when the raft was in midstream, but the men kept firm hold, and
hauled themselves to the opposite bank. At last we succeeded, by means
of two ropes, in ferrying all the party across, drenched to the skin by
the rain and river water. On the left bank we were met by the choung-sa
of Tsitgna with an escort, sent to accompany us to Nampoung, on the
Tapeng. Before us lay a line of low hills, running nearly north and
south, dividing the valley of the Namthabet from the Burmese plain,
into which they fade gradually by long undulations. Their eastern face
is covered almost exclusively with bamboos, but the western slope is
thickly wooded with numerous species of forest trees, until the plain
is reached, when eng trees and tall elephant grass take their place. On
arriving at the Tapeng, after a march of five miles, we found two large
boats in readiness, one of them nicely carpeted, and carrying a band
of musicians beating gongs and tomtoms. All our party, including the
Kakhyen chiefs who had accompanied us, being embarked, we were towed by
two war-boats, each manned by thirty men, across the broad and quickly
flowing Tapeng, to the village of Tsitgna, where we were conducted
by the Woon’s private secretary to a small pavilion, comfortably
arranged for our reception. The Burmese officials were most attentive;
gratuitous supplies of eatables were brought in abundance, and even the
Kakhyen chiefs and their followers were supplied with all they needed.

On the 5th of September we settled the hire of the mules and porters
without the slightest disagreement, all the baggage having been safely
delivered, without the loss of a single article between Hotha and
Tsitgna. Even the load of the mule detained at Loaylone, which had been
divided into bundles for two porters, arrived safe, and, to the honour
of the Kakhyens be it said, without so much as even an opened bottle of
brandy being tampered with.

The next morning we embarked on boats constructed of two canoes,
carrying a platform and a canopy or roof of leaves overhead, and
glided down the broad deep Tapeng, which this season is one thousand
five hundred feet wide, and deep enough for an ordinary river steamer,
as far as the hills. On the way down, we looked back for a parting
glance at the Kakhyen hills. On either side of the river rose the two
lofty peaks, the Shitee-doung on the north and the Kad-doung on the
south, seeming to stand like sentinels, to guard the routes to China,
and in a very literal sense, for the old Chinese forts and frontier
custom-houses occupied strong positions on either mountain, and the
boundary line of the Flowery Kingdom is almost defined by these
heights. Near the mouth of the river we were met by the tsare-daw-gyee
with two war-boats, which towed us to Bhamô, where we landed at 2.30 in
the afternoon of September 5th, having left it on the 26th of February.

The Burmese surveyor who had been despatched from Hotha to examine the
route to Sawady had arrived at Bhamô on the 26th of August, having
accomplished his journey in ten days. He had travelled in the disguise
of a Shan, accompanied by a guide recommended by the Hotha chief, and
our own Kakhyen interpreter. Carrying no instruments except an aneroid
for measuring the heights, he had performed his task of observations
very satisfactorily. From Hotha he had crossed the intervening ridge,
seven hundred feet above the Muangtha valley, into the much larger
valley of Muangwan, lying at about the same level as that of Nantin.
This Chinese Shan state was governed by the grandmother of the youthful
tsawbwa, acting as regent during his minority. She and her headmen
agreed in promising safe conduct to all English traders adopting that
route. A constant stream of mules and pack bullocks was described as
passing from Sawady to Muangwan, whence they proceeded either to Nantin
or to Muangkun. The route was clear of all obstructions, and smooth
and even throughout. Two Kakhyen districts were passed through, named
Bhagon and Phonkan, in the latter of which the highest elevation
occurs. Both agreed to maintain the old Chinese tariff of one rupee for
mules and eight annas for bullocks, and the Phonkan chief expressed his
wish that English traders would adopt this route, and guaranteed their

Our old quarters in the town of Bhamô had been thoroughly repaired,
and were ready to receive us, while the tsawbwas, who had accompanied
us, to the number of thirty-one, all of whom ruled districts adjacent
to the central route, were housed by the Burmese in zayats outside the
stockade. The object of their attendance was to take part in a solemn
sacrifice according to their custom, and to enter into an engagement
ratified by the most binding oath, that they would afford safe conduct
and protection to all traders and travellers who might hereafter cross
their hills between Bhamô and the Shan states. The ceremony took place
on the 13th, after sundry open objections and hidden obstacles raised
by the Burmese, who, no doubt, were at first rather puzzled by the
transaction, but, after clear explanations by Major Sladen, raised
no further difficulty. A species of scaffold was erected, consisting
of strong posts sunk into the ground, with cross pieces, to which
the victim, a buffalo, was bound. An altar was reared twenty feet in
height, with a square platform of bamboos, on which the offering was
placed. Before the sacrifice, and again before the offering was made,
the nats or deities were duly invoked in a solemnly chanted prayer.
The buffalo was firmly bound by its horns to the scaffold, and then
thrown on one side, so that the whole weight of the body bore on the
partially twisted neck. A Kakhyen rushed forward, in one hand holding a
plantain leaf cup full of water, and brandishing his dah in the other.
Simultaneously the water was thrown over the victim, and the fatal blow
delivered in the neck with a force and effect as fatal as the stab of
the matador. The carcase was at once cut up, the blood being received
in a large vessel, while the entrails were laid as offerings to the
nats on the elevated altar. With the blood a quantity of samshu was
mixed, and stirred up with the points of dahs and spears, and each
chief in turn drank from the bowl, and uttered his vow of fidelity to
the common cause. Such was the rite that the three chiefs had joined in
at Ponsee when leagued for our destruction, and now thirty-one chiefs
bound themselves solemnly to maintain peace and give protection to
future travellers through their borders. This was the concluding act
which terminated our expedition, and it may be permitted to us to look
back with satisfaction to the fact, that of the whole party which set
out of Bhamô, with the exception of one sepoy and a native collector,
who succumbed to disease, all returned in safety. The natives of the
Kakhyen hills and of the Shan valleys had learned to regard their
at first suspected or dreaded visitors as friends and benefactors;
and if the advance had been slow, and in the opinion of some costly,
the return had been easily accomplished, and not without a wealth of
“golden opinions” won from the various chiefs with whom Englishmen for
the first time had been brought in successive relations.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is scarcely within the scope of this volume to review the political
aspect of the work performed, but it is impossible to refrain from some
comments. The term failure has been freely applied to the outcome of
this expedition, and the conduct of the leader has been, only recently,
most harshly criticised. Considering that his instructions, as received
from the Chief Commissioner of British Burma, were to investigate
thoroughly the causes of the cessation of trade, to discover the exact
political position of the Kakhyens, the Shans, and the Panthays, and to
influence these communities in favour of the restoration of commerce,
it can hardly be alleged that the prescribed objects were not fully
attained. While it had been considered by the superior authorities
desirable to advance to Yung-chang, or, if possible, to Tali-fu, the
leader had been strictly enjoined not to risk the safety of the members
of the mission. From Bhamô he had to feel his way, contending against
intrigues on the part of the Kakhyens and misunderstanding on the part
of the Shans, fomented by the misrepresentations of the jealous Chinese
merchants at Bhamô. The country to be traversed was unknown, and in an
abnormal state of confusion. Where Burma ended, and China commenced,
was a problem, for the ancient frontier lines had been temporarily
obliterated, the authority of the mandarins had receded into the
interior of Yunnan, and that of the usurping Mahommedan rulers was
only partially felt to the westward of Momien. Not till that town was
reached could the desired information be obtained, or the true relation
of the intervening valley states to Burma or China be discerned. Not a
step forwards had been taken without securing beforehand the consent,
and, as it proved, the welcome, of the various rulers, subordinate
or supreme; and care was especially taken to disown any political
partisanship, and to proclaim to all that our object was to explore in
the interests of commerce.

When, after a short stay at Momien, it became evident that further
progress was at once dangerous and in the existing state of things
liable to embroil us with Chinese constituted authorities, a return was
resolved on, and only retarded by uncontrollable circumstances. To have
obeyed orders, and in various and trying positions to have manifested
a patient endurance in order to reach the farthest possible goal, and
return thence with the wished for information, and thus prepare the
way for future travellers, may not be accounted brilliant exploits;
but these are the arduous duties of a careful scout and a successful
pioneer. The reader can form his own opinion as to whether these were
not worthily performed by Major Sladen.

Those who shared his journeyings, though not his responsibilities, and
witnessed his cautious and resolute bearing under novel and perplexing
conditions, cannot but record their opinion that he deserves a larger
meed of praise than has been as yet accorded to his conduct of the
first English expedition to Yunnan.



 Appointment of a British Resident at Bhamô--Increase of native
 trade--Action of the king of Burma--Burmese quarrel with the
 Seray chief--British relations with the Panthays--Struggle in
 Yunnan--Li-sieh-tai--Imperialist successes--European gunners--Siege
 of Momien--Fall of Yung-chang--Prince Hassan visits England--Fall
 of Tali-fu--Sultan Suleiman’s death--Massacre of Panthays--Capture
 of Momien--Escape of Tah-sa-kon--Capture of Woosaw--Suppression
 of rebellion--Imperial proclamation--Li-sieh-tai, commissioner
 of Shan states--Re-opening of trade routes--Second British
 mission--Action of Sir T. Wade--Appointment of Mr. Margary--Members of
 mission--Acquiescence of China and Burma.

The first active step taken by the Chief Commissioner of British Burma,
as a result of the expedition of 1868, was to recommend the appointment
of a British Resident at Bhamô. The various Shan and Kakhyen chiefs, as
well as the governor of Momien, had concurred in the opinion that such
an appointment would be beneficial to the future trade.

By the 6th article of the treaty of 1867 it had been provided that
British steamers should be allowed to navigate the Burmese waters, that
British merchants should be permitted to reside at Bhamô, and, lastly,
that British agents might be appointed at all customs stations, such
as Bhamô and Menhla. The government of India, however, while approving
of the appointment of a British Resident at Bhamô, declined to pass
final or definite orders until the king’s sentiments should have
been ascertained, and a distinct assent given by him. His Majesty
had already, when the matter was mooted, declared that he would take
care that his officer, the Woon, should co-operate with the Resident;
but, according to the instructions given, that the plan should be
laid before him as one “requiring a clear understanding, and a full
approval on the part of his Majesty,” it was made the subject of a
special audience. The king expressly declared that the appointment of
a Resident at Bhamô had his full consent and approval; but he hoped
that “obstinate or intractable officers, guided solely by their own
opinion, without regard to advice or reason,” would not be sent. He
further desired that the new official might be presented to himself,
when he would introduce him to the Woon of Bhamô, in order to arrange
their mutual relations. The spirit in which the king entertained and
acquiesced in the proposal may be taken as an illustration of the
manner in which the king of Burma has shown himself disposed to deal
with the formidable power which holds the seaboard of his kingdom.
Fully alive, as he must have been, to the possible embarrassments that
might arise from his relations to England on the one hand, and to his
suzerain, the emperor of China, on the other, it cannot be said that he
has failed to carry out his treaty obligations to our government; and
when the misrepresentation of which he has been the subject is taken
into account, it will appear that the king of Burma has some right to
complain of the treatment he has received at the hands of the British

In March 1869, Captain Strover was gazetted as the first British
Resident at Bhamô, and in due course the British flag was hoisted at
that ancient entrepot of Indo-Chinese trade. It is almost needless
to remark that, as regards direct British commerce, no considerable
results followed. In 1872 it was reported that not a single consignment
belonging to British firms had arrived at Bhamô during the three
previous years. The native trade increased considerably, and the
Chinese merchants of Rangoon and Mandalay had despatched large
quantities of cotton and salt, and other commodities, as well as a
moderate supply of piece goods. In the spring of 1870, the arrivals
at Tsitkaw averaged eight hundred mules a month. During the two
following years caravans of one thousand beasts of burden are recorded
as arriving from the Chinese territories. The river-borne trade
increased so much that the agents for the Irawady Flotilla Company
found that the monthly steamer service to Bhamô was insufficient,
and besides the extra steamers placed on the line by them, the India
General Steam Navigation Company despatched steamers and heavily laden
flats. To quote a correspondent of the _Times_, “in four years the
steam navigation developed itself into an almost regular fortnightly
service, which, during the year ending October 1874, carried cargo to
the value of about £200,000 to and from Bhamô.”

The king of Burma showed his anxiety to restore the trade of the Bhamô
route by erecting and garrisoning a line of guard-houses through the
Kakhyen hills, from the plain to the Nampoung, beyond which river, as
being the boundary line of China, Li-sieh-tai would not permit their

In 1872, no less than one hundred and fifty thousand viss of royal
cotton were stored at Manwyne under the charge of the king’s agents
there resident, and it is expressly noted that, so far as the Burmese
are concerned, British goods could have been forwarded with perfect
security. The Mandalay Chinese, however, were deterred (1871) from
buying cotton for the Yunnan market by the information that the
imperialist officers had laid an embargo on the caravans, to prevent
them from supplying the Panthays with provisions. The caravans were
not infrequently attacked by dacoits, especially near Nantin, and the
Kakhyen chief of Seray was accused by the Burmese of having intercepted
royal presents on their way to China. The tsare-daw-gyee of Bhamô,
by way of reprisal, seized thirty mules belonging to the Seray chief,
whence arose a feud, which was not forgotten at the period of the
second expedition. At this time, it resulted in the messengers sent by
the Resident to the governor of Momien being warned by the Seray chief
not to travel that road, as it was unsafe for any Burmese.

It was a necessary, but regretable, consequence of the reception given
to the first expedition by the governor of Momien that he maintained
friendly relations with successive Residents. It appeared desirable,
with a view to maintain the security of the trade route, to keep on
friendly, though strictly neutral, terms with the holders of the
commanding position of Momien. It is, doubtless, easy to look back, and
be wise after the event; but, rightly or wrongly, the intercourse once
begun could not be well abandoned; at all events, it was judged prudent
to maintain it. It certainly created in the minds of the Chinese at
Bhamô a distinct impression that the interests of their possible
commercial rivals and of their actual political foes were identified.
The Kakhyen chiefs of the southern route even complained that since
they and the Shans had become friends of the English the Bhamô Chinese
were no longer amicably disposed towards them. The presents sent by
the Residents from time to time were, doubtless, magnified by the
popular imagination, and neither side found it easy to believe that the
sole object was the assurance of safe and commodious transit. Thus at
least it may be conjectured from the study of the course of subsequent
events, as well as from the manifestations of feeling on the part of
both Panthays and Chinese.

The conflicting accounts and reports which were brought in, and
which enable us in some degree to trace the progress of events in
Yunnan, which led to the complete overthrow of the Mahommedan power,
all combined to show that, from the time of our visit to Momien, the
Chinese government would seem to have aroused itself to the necessity
of recovering the almost lost province. Whatever the real strength
of the Mahommedans may have been in 1868, it is certain that they
had gradually lost ground in 1869. The various reports furnished
were too contradictory, and, in truth, both the governor of Momien
and the Chinese were too much given to exaggeration to furnish any
trustworthy data. In 1870, as was well ascertained, Li-sieh-tai was the
acknowledged leader of the imperialist Chinese troops in the Momien
district, and had invested Momien, but had suffered a defeat, and
been obliged to retreat into the Shitee-doung range of hills. He soon
recruited his forces, and levied contributions from the Shans, and also
from the Chinese merchants both of Bhamô and Mandalay. The latter were
not moved by patriotism, but by the national feelings of affection for
their kindred, and respect for their ancestral graves in Yunnan.

Towards the end of that year, Momien had been again invested by the
Chinese, but a Panthay force from the north had succeeded in throwing
reinforcements into the city, notwithstanding which, entrenchments
were subsequently thrown up by the Chinese troops, who, under Li and
Li-quang-fang and another officer, pressed the place hard, but to no
purpose. The imperialists seem to have poured troops into the province,
and a proclamation signed by Li was posted in Bhamô, announcing that
ten thousand troops had surrounded Yung-chang. In the beginning
of 1871, the northern districts, which had been the cradle of the
rebellion, were held firmly by the Mahommedans, and the city of Tali-fu
was reported by two natives of India, who came to Bhamô, to have been
free two months before from the presence of imperialist troops. The
Mahommedan troops then were in great force, and had been despatched to
the relief of the threatened cities of Yung-chang and Shin-tin. The
imperialist troops were then attacking Yeynan-sin, to the north-east
of Tali-fu, and as they had cannon directed by three European gunners,
the Mahommedans, though fighting with their usual bravery, suffered
great losses, and could scarcely make head against them. Thus there
were three lines of attack, one army assailing Yung-chang and the
neighbouring cities south of the line between Momien and Tali; the
main force advancing on the holy city itself, and Li-sieh-tai with
his troops pressing the siege of Momien, where the governor doggedly
held out, though reported to have been severely wounded, and kept up
constant communication with the Residency at Bhamô. By the end of
1871, Yung-chang had been taken by the Chinese, and Tali-fu was said
to be closely invested. Around Momien constant fighting continued
with varied success, one Chinese leader having been killed and his
troops defeated; but the Mahommedans were bravely fighting a hopeless
battle against overwhelming numbers, and the more faint-hearted among
them were advising surrender, or meditating treachery. The Sultan
Suleiman resolved on sending his son and heir, Hassan, to solicit the
aid or interference of the British government, in order to avert the
threatened overthrow of his power, or secure tolerable terms of peace.
The young prince, as he may be called, made his way in disguise, with
a few attendants, to Rangoon, and thence proceeded to London, where he
arrived in the spring of 1872. It is needless to say that his errand
was bootless; but he was treated as a private guest of the government,
and remained for some time in this country. On his return he was
accompanied by Mr. Cooper, who was appointed in England to conduct him
to the frontier of our territory. The prince had himself proposed that
thence this well-known traveller should proceed with him to Tali-fu,
and thus accomplish the object of his former venturous journey. _En
route_ they visited Constantinople, where the Sultan received the
prince as a distinguished guest, and finally arrived at Rangoon. Here
they received the intelligence of the capture of Tali-fu, the death
of Suleiman, and the utter destruction of the Mahommedan power. This
necessarily put a stop to their further journey, and the unhappy Hassan
set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

During his absence in Europe, the Chinese generals had put forth all
their power to capture the head-quarters of the rebels. For some
months the natural strength of the position of Tali-fu, to which all
the Mahommedans of the surrounding country had retired before the
advancing Chinese armies, defied its assailants. Abundant provisions
were stored in the granaries; and the garrison, said to number thirty
or forty thousand Mahommedans, were determined to resist to the last.
The chief minister of the Sultan was entrusted with the command of
Shagwan, as the Burmese call the fort of Hia-kwang or Hsia-kwan, and
he was bribed to admit the Chinese forces and surrender to them the
granaries. The artillery of the Chinese, directed, as already stated,
by European gunners, rendered it impossible for the sultan to cope with
them in the field; but he held out within the walls of the city till
provisions failed, and approaching famine compelled him to enter into
negotiations. He was led to believe that, if he surrendered himself,
his people would be spared, and willingly agreed to sacrifice his own
life to save those of his followers. Knowing the fate which awaited
himself and his family, he administered poison to his three wives and
five children, and, having taken a fatal dose himself, proceeded in his
chair to the Chinese general’s quarters, but died on the road. His head
was cut off, and, preserved in honey, was forwarded to Pekin, and it is
said that his three youngest sons were sent as prisoners. The Chinese
general then demanded that the Mahommedans should surrender all their
arms and ammunition, which was done. The officers were then required
to repair to the Chinese head-quarters to pay their respects to the
general. Forty-one obeyed the summons, and on entering his presence
were at once seized and beheaded. Orders were then issued for a general
massacre of the disarmed and leaderless garrison, and an indiscriminate
slaughter of thousands of men, women, and children, completed the
conquest of Tali-fu. Thence the army marched to Chun-ning-fu and
Yin-chaw, which towns were successively captured, no quarter being
given to any of the Mahommedans.

Another version of the fall of Tali-fu narrates that the Mahommedans
invited the Chinese to a conference at one of the gates, having
previously mined the ground. The Chinese came in force, but, struck
with a sudden suspicion of doubt, retreated just before the explosion
of the mine, which destroyed the gate and part of the wall. The
Chinese then returned and stormed the city, but the citadel was too
strong for them, and held out till surrendered as above described. The
Mahommedans claimed in their version to have been successful in their
stratagem, and to have destroyed great numbers of the enemy, of whom
many panic-stricken rushed into the lake, and perished there. The fort
or position of Hsia-kwan was stated by the Chinese to have been stormed
by a night attack, headed by the Tartar general in person, who led the
way over rocky heights supposed to be inaccessible. At all events, it
is certain that Tali-fu fell in August 1872, and on the New Year of
1873 the governor-general of Yunnan sent forward letters to the king
of Burma announcing the fact, and requesting the king to assist in the
reopening of trade, as the rebellion was at an end; but, to use the
words of Sir Thomas Wade, “the rebellion died hard,” for Momien and
Woosaw still held out.

The governor of the former place had been visited by a high Panthay
official, who was secretly a traitor to the cause, and advised
surrender; whereupon the governor invited him into his Yamen, and
promptly beheaded him. In February three officers arrived from Momien
at Bhamô with letters addressed to the Chief Commissioner of Burma,
and were forwarded to Rangoon. The town was finally captured in May,
the strong south-western gate described in page 192 having been
successfully mined; but the victors found no one in the city. The
governor had succeeded in bribing the officer in command of the troops
to the north of the town, who had been a former adherent of his own,
and suffered his few remaining co-religionists to escape by night,
much to the disappointment of the Chinese, who could not consider the
country tranquillised while so brave and able a leader was at large. In
June a proclamation was posted throughout the Shan valleys, announcing
the marriage of the emperor and the fall of Momien, and inviting all
the people to return to their homes and cultivate their lands.

The ex-governor was heard of from time to time as lurking in the
mountains with a few faithful followers, and orders were issued
from the king of Burma that he should be seized if found on Burmese
territory, and surrendered to the Chinese. This order was issued in
compliance with a request sent by an envoy from the viceroy of Yunnan
to the king; but he managed to elude both Chinese and Burmese, and
succeeded in entering Hoothaw or Woosaw, the last remaining stronghold
of his party.

This place, three days’ march north-west of Momien, is described as
a town of one thousand houses, surrounded by a stone wall twenty
feet high, and defended on one side by a deep stream, and altogether
stronger and more flourishing than Momien. Its position must be at
a high elevation, as in winter the swamps are frozen hard enough to
bear men on the ice. Communication is carried on between this place
and Lay-myo, one hundred miles north of Bhamô, on the Namthabet, an
affluent of the Irawady, by which route the officers from Momien
reached Bhamô.

Woosaw was captured at the end of May 1874, but the ex-tah-sa-kon and
the principal officers succeeded in escaping to Chang-see, a town
south-west of Woosaw, and eight days distant from Talo, on the Irawady,
while his sons were at Tseedai assisting the tsawbwa in a fight with
the Wacheoon chief.

The Panthays, in their turn, had become dacoits, as they had formerly
termed Li-sieh-tai’s troops, and from their lurking-places on the hills
near Nantin attacked the caravans going to Momien; while the last news
of the ex-tah-sa-kon, who for a time was supposed to be dead, were
that he had joined the Shan rebel Tsan-hai, who was committing acts of
brigandage in the Burmese Shan state of Namkan, on the left bank of the

Thus in the middle of 1874 the Chinese authority had been thoroughly
re-established. As early as August 1873, an imperial proclamation had
been issued in the _Pekin Gazette_, in which the emperor congratulated
himself on the termination of the war, which had lasted eighteen years,
and in which the half of the prefectural and district cities had been
taken by the rebels. All arrears of taxes due up to 1872 were remitted,
and the _le-kin_, or special war tax, was declared to be no longer
required. Li-sieh-tai was appointed commissioner of the Koshanpyi or
Shan states; and Sie-ta-lin, the newly invested Chinese governor of
Momien, and the officials of the other strong towns, set themselves
to restore trade and resettle the country, which had been deserted
and left desolate for years. It can be well imagined that no little
hatred of the Panthays, not unmixed with fear, animated all the border
Chinese, and the constant rumours that the rebels were collecting for a
new attack combined with the actual robberies committed to keep all the
Chinese officials on the _qui vive_.

It has been already mentioned how the trade between Burma and China
increased from 1872, as soon as the head of the Mahommedan revolt was
crushed at Tali-fu. It is a significant fact that in 1873 the Chinese
governor of Muanglong, situated to the south-west of Momien, sent
orders to his feudatory, the tsawbwa of Sehfan, to open trade to Bhamô
at any risk; and the chief, in announcing the intended departure of a
large caravan, requested the Resident at Bhamô to send a deputy to meet
him at Hotha.

The routes were regularly open, and large quantities of cotton, &c.,
exported, both by Bhamô and Theinnee, although disorders still existed,
and straggling dacoits and lawless Kakhyens frequently attacked the
caravans. Under these circumstances, the Chief Commissioner of British
Burma, the Hon. Ashley Eden, conceived that the time had come for
renewing, under more favourable conditions, the opening of the overland
trade route to British commerce. In this he was strongly seconded by
the commercial community at Rangoon. The question of the establishment
of a British Consul at Tali-fu was also discussed. The first point to
be attained was to secure a safe transit from Burma into China. The
passage of a peaceful British expedition, which would on its journey
thoroughly examine the capabilities of the country beyond Momien, and
perhaps discover an easier and better route from Bhamô to Yunnan, was
still regarded as the direct method of preparing the way.

In 1874, Lord Salisbury, the Secretary of State for India, decided
to send a second expedition to penetrate China from Burma, and
pass through, if practicable, to Shanghai. To avoid possible
misunderstandings, and to make it plain to the Western Chinese
mandarins that the foreign visitors were of the same nation as the
English who lived and traded in the treaty ports, her Majesty’s
Minister at Pekin was instructed to send a consular official, duly
furnished with imperial passports, to meet the mission on the frontiers
of China. Having secured the full permission of the Pekin government,
Sir T. Wade selected Mr. Margary, a young but most promising member
of the consular service, thoroughly versed in Chinese language and
etiquette, to proceed from Shanghai to Momien. A plan had been at first
proposed of despatching a party by way of the Theinnee route from
Mandalay, but had been negatived by the king of Burma, on the ground
of a rebellion then existing in a Burmese Shan state on the road.
Consequently there was no other alternative but to proceed by one or
other of the routes from Bhamô. The consent of the king was secured
to this measure, although at first his Majesty objected to an armed
escort, as he was quite willing to send a sufficient force to convoy
the mission to the Chinese frontier; but when he understood that the
armed escort would only consist of fifteen Sikhs, he withdrew his
objection, and promised his full support and assistance. A considerable
quantity of valuable presents were prepared for distribution among the
chiefs and officials _en route_. These included a supply of edible
birds’ nests, jewellery, binoculars, musical-boxes, and silver-mounted
revolvers. Two valuable horses, one a magnificent Australian or Waler,
and the other an Arab, were destined as presents to the viceroy of
Yunnan, and a pair of large Australian kangaroo dogs were added to the

The command of the expedition was entrusted to Colonel Horace Browne,
of the Burmese Commission; the post of geographer was filled by Mr.
Ney Elias, whose successful and intrepid journey through Mongolia and
survey of the Yellow River had won for him the Gold Medal of the Royal
Geographical Society of London; and the remaining scientific duties of
medical officer and naturalist were entrusted to myself.

In November 1874, Mr. Elias, who was then Assistant Resident at
Mandalay, was commissioned to proceed to Bhamô, there to concert with
the Resident measures for providing carriage so as to avoid delay. He
accordingly visited the Kakhyens holding the route selected, and made a
contract with their chiefs for the conveyance and convoy of the mission.

The expedition was appointed to leave Burma in January 1875, in order
to accomplish the passage of the hill country before the setting in
of the rainy season. As it was possible that Mr. Margary, who left
Shanghai on September 4th, might not be able to reach Momien in time,
Mr. Allan, of the Chinese consular service, was sent by sea to Rangoon
to accompany the mission, and facilitate our intercourse with the
Chinese authorities. The preparations for ensuring the success of the
mission were thus rendered as complete as foresight could make them.
The respective governments of Burma and China had been fully informed
of the nature and purposes of the expedition, and had both given to
our diplomatic representatives their full consent and promises of safe
conduct. The personal goodwill of the border chiefs and mandarins
was expected to be conciliated, in the same degree as their official
co-operation had been secured by the passports furnished from Pekin;
and although there was an element of uncertainty arising from the
possible jealousy of the border Chinese and the plundering habits of
lawless factions among the Kakhyens, the precautions taken might be
well considered as enough to ensure success.



 Start of mission--Arrival at Mandalay--The Burmese pooay--Posturing
 girl--Reception by the meng-gyees--Audience by the king--Departure
 of mission--Progress up the river--Reception at Bhamô--British
 Residency--Mr. Margary--Account of his journey--The Woon of
 Bhamô--Entertains Margary--Chinese puppets--Selection of route--Sawady
 route--Bullock carriage--Woon of Shuaygoo--Chinese surmises--Letters
 to Chinese officials--Burmese worship-day.

In November 1874, Colonel Browne and myself arrived at Calcutta, having
left England on receipt of telegraphic instructions in the preceding
month. A short time was devoted to the purchase and preparation of the
various articles intended as presents; while the necessary equipment
of scientific instruments was completed under the personal supervision
of Colonel Gastrell, of the Surveyor-General’s office, and nothing was
spared by this well-known officer to make the fullest provision for all
scientific purposes. Fifteen picked men were selected from a Calcutta
regiment of Sikhs to form the guard, and all being thus ready, we
proceeded to Rangoon, and thence, in the _Ashley Eden_ steamer, began
our journey up the Irawady on December 12th.

At Prome we picked up a Chinese named Li-kan-shin, who proved to
be a nephew of Li-sieh-tai. He had been driven from his abode at
Hawshuenshan by the Panthays, and had lived at Prome, where he bore the
Burmese name of Moung Yoh. He now wished to return to Yunnan to visit
his mother; as he spoke Burmese fluently, in addition to writing and
speaking Chinese, he was taken into the service of the mission as an
interpreter. At first he hesitated, fearing to be punished for bringing
foreigners into Yunnan, but a sight of the imperial passport removed
all his scruples.

We arrived at Mandalay in the evening of December 23rd, 1874, and
were received on landing by officials sent from the palace with
royal elephants to carry us up to the Residency. Very different
was the reception accorded to the members of this mission from the
apparent neglect which had seemed to ignore our existence when on the
expedition of 1868. All the marks of honour that are usually conferred
on distinguished visitors were duly paid. Silver dishes loaded with
dainties were sent from the palace, and we were declared to be the
king’s guests, not only at the capital, but until we should have passed
his frontiers, and have been safely handed over to the Chinese. For our
delectation, also, the royal _corps dramatique_ appeared to perform a
_pooay_, or play, the most favourite amusement of the Burmese, even
to the very youngest, who will sit for hours, and night after night,
listening to the adventures of the royal heroes and heroines, and
enjoying the jokes which are freely interspersed. The performance takes
place under an open pavilion of bamboos erected for the occasion. There
is no stage, but a circular space covered with mats is reserved for
the performers, and the audience squat around the edge of the matted
portion. The only indication of scenery is a tree set up in the centre
to do duty for the forest, in which the scene of all Burmese dramas is
laid. By this tree a huge faggot is placed and a large vessel of oil,
and the blazing flame, fed from time to time with oil poured over it,
illuminates the performance with a lurid light, which gives a fantastic
appearance to the figures. A portion of the circle is reserved for
the orchestra, the leader taking his place inside a hollow cylinder
hung round with drums and cymbals, while the lesser musicians group
themselves around the noisy centre. No permanent theatre exists even
in the capital, nor are the performers paid by the audience. It is
the custom for those who desire on any particular occasion to “give
a pooay” to engage one of the various troupes of players, for whom a
pavilion is extemporised opposite the house, while the public form
regular rows around, and enjoy the gratuitous spectacle. Such an
enclosure was set up in the Residency compound. The first intimation
of the coming pooay was the early arrival of the orchestra some hours
before the performance was to commence, making their presence known by
a noisy rehearsal of the music of the play, which soon drew together
an expectant crowd. As in pooays generally, the actors and actresses
then by degrees dropped in, each accompanied by a friend or servant to
assist in the toilettes, which were made in public; the men and women
taking their places on opposite sides of the orchestra. The actors
arrayed themselves in robes stiff with tinsel, over which they placed
an apron of curious work and cumbrous form, and crowned their heads
with a species of tiara shaped like a pagoda. Each actress brought
with her a small box containing cosmetics, flowers for adorning her
hair, and a little mirror. Seating herself on a mat, she substituted
for her ordinary jacket a bespangled gauze coat over her richly woven
silken _tamein_, or skirt, which was tucked so tightly round her limbs
that it gave her a shuffling gait. The decorating of her hair with
sweet-smelling flowers, the powdering of her face, and the painting of
her eyebrows, constituted however the _chef-d’œuvre_ of her toilette,
requiring constant appeals to the mirror to ensure its success. She
then as a finishing stroke threw around her neck numerous strings of
imitation pearl beads, which reached down to nearly the knee, and
in each lobe of her ears inserted a solid cylinder either of gold,
jade, or amber, called a _nodoung_. She then smoked a cheroot while
unconcernedly awaiting her call. This occupation, indeed, was never
pretermitted during the performance, except while the actor’s lips
were occupied in declamation or song. The royal prima donna, whose
professional reputation is very high, and who sang sweetly, would
at the end of a passionate outburst coolly relight her cheroot at
the blazing faggot by the tree, and smoke it till her next speech or
song. Besides the dramatic performers, the royal tumblers and jugglers
appeared every afternoon, and executed surprising feats, which were
witnessed by an enthusiastic crowd. The agility of the tumblers was
remarkable. One man would, as it were, fly rather than spring over a
row of nine boys arranged as if for leap-frog. He also leapt through a
square formed by keen-edged knives held by two men, and disposed with
the edges at right angles to his progress, and giving barely space for
the passage of his body. One remarkable exhibition was that of a girl
of sixteen, who possessed most singular elasticity of body. She laid
herself on the ground, and, without apparent effort or distress, bent
her body backwards till her toes rested on her head, as shown in the
illustration taken from a photograph. She also possessed the power of
moving the muscles of one side of her face and body, while those of
the other side remained in a perfect state of repose. The feats of the
jugglers were even more puzzling than those of the Indian performers,
and seemed to be very popular with the crowd.


The day after our arrival, the foreign minister, or _kengwoon
meng-gyee_, paid us a visit, and invited us to a breakfast, which
was served with great profusion, and was almost English in its style.
At a separate table tea was prepared of two sorts; one the ordinary
infusion of tea leaves, the other from hard black cakes stamped with
Chinese letters, and exactly resembling tablets of Indian ink. These
are prepared by the Shans from the Chinese leaf tea, and produce a
liquor as pale as sherry, but of excellent flavour. The visit and
breakfast of the foreign minister was followed in due succession
by similar civilities on the part of the other meng-gyees; and a
day was appointed for our presentation to the king, an honour which
had been vouchsafed to the mission of 1868 neither on its outward
nor homeward journey. Accompanied by the British Resident, Captain
Strover, we proceeded on royal elephants, sent for our use, to the
palace enclosure, where we found the meng-gyees seated on carpets in a
small _hlot_, or open hall, outside the palace gate. Having doffed our
shoes, we seated ourselves on the carpets with feet carefully hidden,
according to court etiquette, and conversed with the ministers, while
attendants served tea, fruits, and cakes. At last we were informed that
the king was ready to receive us; so, having resumed our boots, we
proceeded through a small postern in the inner palace stockade into the
large open space, on the far side of which rose the lofty temple-like
structure with its nine roofs, topped by the golden htee which marks
the centre of the capital and state of Burma. Boots were again removed,
and we ascended the short flight of steps into a spacious open hall
with rows of gilded pillars, and filled with a numerous guard, all
prostrated on their knees before the august presence of the meng-gyees
who escorted us. Two more halls were successively passed through, and
then through a side passage the audience hall was reached. This was
a large apartment painted white, with a gilded railing cutting off
two-thirds of its area. In the wall opposite to the railing were a pair
of gilded folding-doors, and on the right and left a row of pillars.
From amidst the ranks of the body-guard, all dressed in spotless white,
and squatted on the ground, we entered within the railing, and imitated
in our own way the uncomfortable position prescribed by etiquette,
carefully turning our feet to the rear. Behind either side of us, were
the ministers of state duly crouching. Before the folding-doors, and a
few yards removed from us, was spread a gorgeous velvet carpet of red
and gold pattern, on which stood a golden couch richly bejewelled. A
square pillow, an opera-glass, and two golden boxes were laid ready for
the absent occupant, and by the head of the couch stood a betel box in
the form of a golden _henza_, or sacred goose, inlaid with jewels.

Presently the folding-doors were thrown open, disclosing a long vista
of golden portals, through which we saw his Majesty of Burma advancing,
accompanied by a little boy five or six years old. The Burmese
ministers, courtiers, and body-guard instantly bowed their faces to
the ground, and remained prone with hands held up in the attitude of
supplication. The Europeans bowed after their fashion, and the king, a
man of about sixty years, with a refined, intellectual face, quick eye,
and pleasing but dignified manners, reclined on the couch and saluted
us graciously. He then entered into a complimentary conversation,
looking at us through his opera-glass, though not twenty yards distant.
He expressed himself in the most friendly manner, and offered one of
his steamers to convey the party to Bhamô, which was politely declined
on the ground of all arrangements having been already made. All his
questions were duly repeated by one of the officials crouching at
our side, who rendered into courtly phraseology the somewhat laconic
replies of Colonel Browne. After the interview had lasted about fifteen
minutes, the king suddenly closed the conversation, the folding-doors
flew open, and he disappeared. The Burmese raised their heads, the
Englishmen stretched their legs, fruits and cakes were served on silver
salvers and cold water in golden cups, while the meng-gyees themselves
helped us and pressed us to eat.

Thence we were conducted to view the so-called white elephant in his
small but richly adorned dwelling, which, with the concomitants of
golden umbrellas and attendants, he does not deserve by his rarity, as
he is not whiter, except about the head, than many elephants I have
seen in India.

For the rest of the palace and the surrounding city, the short
description already given will still serve. The suburbs manifested a
decided increase in the number of buildings and population, and the
inhabitants seemed more busy and prosperous than ever, as a proof of
which we remarked a new bazaar, built two years ago, twelve hundred
feet long and five hundred broad. The beauty of the environs, as viewed
from the angle towers of the city wall, seemed as striking as when
first beheld, and was enhanced by the lake-like waters of the broad
moat which now surrounds the walls of the city. Besides this additional
defence, the king is engaged in the construction of a fort on the left
bank of the river between Ava and Amarapoora. When approaching the
capital, we had noticed the works, distant at this season more than a
mile from the channel, though in the rainy season the river must reach
almost to the walls. Immediately opposite, on the right bank, rise the
chimneys of an iron foundry erected to work the iron obtained from the
neighbouring Tsagain hills. Like other Burmese works, both are still
unfinished, and are likely never to reach completion.

The steamer _Mandalay_ arrived on January 2nd, bringing the numerous
and cumbrous boxes of presents, the Australian and Arab horses, and
the kangaroo dogs, all under the charge of the Sikh guard and Mr.
Fforde, superintendent of police, who was to bring the guard back from
the frontiers of China. A list of the fire-arms on board had been
forwarded to the royal officials, and the Burmese customs officers
had examined those brought at the frontier station of Menhla to see
that they tallied with the list. On the following day we embarked,
accompanied by Captain Strover and his medical attendant, Dr.
Cullimore, who, with a tsare-daw-gyee deputed by the king to look after
our wants, were to accompany us as far as Bhamô.

The cordial reception experienced at the capital, and the readiness
shown by all the officials to “comfort and assist” the mission, seemed
to prove from the first that the king of Burma was sincere in his
promise to secure us a safe passage through his dominions. Sinister
rumours of his real dislike to the mission were, it may be said, of
course, not wanting, some of which reached our ears in the capital
itself, and others at a later period. However, we felt more inclined
to regard actions than mere words, and there has been no reason
subsequently to doubt the king of Burma respecting the promises he
had made. A royal steamer, laden with cargo and passengers, left the
capital for Bhamô before we got our steamer and its flat under weigh.
The latter was a large barge, somewhat resembling a Thames shallop, the
hull loaded with three hundred tons of salt, and the main deck, over
which the upper deck, or rather story, was raised on iron uprights,
crowded with steerage passengers. Our party occupied the cabins in
the fore part of the flat, the forecastle of which served us as an
open-air saloon. The navigation of the Irawady in the dry season
is somewhat uncertain, and the voyage proved unusually long. We had
scarcely proceeded a few miles when it was discovered that the stores
for the guard had been unloaded at Mandalay, and it was necessary for
the steamer to cast off the flat, and return for the missing provender.
The next morning, soon after starting, some native boats, laden with
firewood, coming down the river, were swept by an eddy under the
paddle-wheels. The steamer had been stopped, but the crews, being
short-handed, were unable to pull their boats clear; they managed,
however, to save their lives, but boats and cargo were totally lost.
The next incident was the grounding of our too deeply laden flat on
a sandbank, where we were obliged to remain for four days, until the
steamer returned to Mandalay for a second flat, into which part of the
cargo was transhipped. Thus by the end of the first week, we had only
made twenty-five miles out of the two hundred and fifty to Bhamô.

From this point, no further delays were experienced, save those due
to the usual morning fogs; and our upward voyage was, in all other
respects, agreeable. We were received with every demonstration of
respect by the officials of all the towns _en route_. On approaching
the places of most importance, we were met by war-boats sent to escort
us for a mile or more to the landing, where the local militia was
arrayed as a guard of honour. Reception halls had been erected, and the
young women were assembled singing and dancing, or rather posturing,
as the performers do not stir from one spot, but sway the body and arms
in measured and not ungraceful movements. Sometimes, when unable to
stop, we saw the dance proceeding on the river bank. At Myadoung, the
“army” drawn up in our honour consisted of three hundred men, ranged
along the bank, who executed a serpentine manœuvre, as they marched to
receive us at the landing-place, apparently to make their array seem
more imposing; they wore no uniforms, and, besides dahs and spears,
carried very old and well-worn flint muskets. At this place a handsome
shed had been erected, where no less than sixty-four fair performers
were assembled, and in the evening we patronised, by request, the
performance of a regular pooay. All these entertainments had been
commissioned by royal order, which the local officials obeyed to the
best of their ability. Thus the Shuaygoo Woon came on board, and most
earnestly invited us to halt for an hour, and honour his pooay by our
presence, a request which, if we had known his real sentiments towards
English visitors, would scarcely have been complied with. Above the
second defile, we met the steamer which had preceded us coming down on
her return trip, with a large flat laden with cargo and passengers.

We did not complete our journey till January 15th, having spent
twelve days on the voyage, the last twelve miles of which, owing to
the difficulty of the channel, took ten hours to accomplish. As the
steamer neared the high river bank, the southern end of Bhamô, twelve
large war-boats, each manned by thirty men, and one of which contained
Captain Cooke, the British Resident, the Woon, and the other Burmese
officials, paddled out to meet us, with much beating of gongs, and,
passing in order, turned and followed in a long procession. The high
bank was crowded with the townspeople, Shan-Burmese and Chinese, with
an intermixture of Chinese Shans and Kakhyens. As soon as the steamer
and flats were moored, the Resident and the Woon, with his tsitkays,
came on board, and welcomed us to Bhamô. The Burmese had prepared a
house in the town for our accommodation, but the Resident pressed us to
take up our quarters in the Residency, whither we according proceeded.
This is a fine building of teak, which has been erected at a cost of
£1100, though a similar one at Rangoon would have cost at least £2000.
It occupies a commanding position on the site of an old Chinese fort
near the river bank, about a mile north of the town. This old fort,
at my first visit, was completely hidden in jungle; the moat is still
wonderfully perfect, and encloses a large area, of which the residency
compound, about two acres in extent, forms but a small portion. This is
surrounded by a fence or wooden framework, covered with mats. Outside
the gate a zayat has been erected, which at this period was occupied
by about fifty Kakhyens of the Mattin clan, whose chief had been
summoned to Bhamô in reference to the possible claims of the central
or embassy route. Living within the compound were a number of Shan
families from the Sanda valley, who were waiting for the arrival of the
_Mandalay_ to carry them down the river, on a pilgrimage to the shrines
of Rangoon. It was impossible to avoid regretting that the Residency
has been built so far from the town, and in a situation so exposed to
any sudden attack from Kakhyen or any other marauders. The jungle grows
to the very edge of the moat, affording complete cover for assailants,
while the interstices of the fence afford abundant opportunities for
intruding guns or spears. One would think that the selection of a
site within the town, and near the Woon’s house, would have seemed
to argue more confidence in the Burmese authorities, with whom the
Resident should be in constant and friendly intercourse, in order to
effectually look after the interests confided to him, without setting
up an _imperium in imperio_ over the Kakhyens of the hills. Recent
events have shown the insecurity of the present position, which, in the
case of any serious attack, could not be defended by the sepoys of the
Residency guard, who, at the time of our visit, could only muster eight
effective men.

At the Residency we were welcomed by Mrs. Cooke, who shares with
her husband the risks and banishment of life in this far-off place,
giving a striking proof of the pluck and devotion to their lords which
characterises our countrywomen. Here, too, we made the acquaintance
with our future travelling companion, Mr. Ney Elias, and received the
information that Mr. Margary had arrived safely at Manwyne, and might
be daily expected to make his appearance at Bhamô.

The day after our arrival, we decided that Colonel Browne, Mr. Fforde,
and myself, should reside in the town of Bhamô, for the greater
convenience of communication with the Burmese, and, as far as I was
concerned, with my staff of collectors. The Woon at once placed at
my disposal a small bamboo structure, built on the site of the house
tenanted by us in 1868. Opposite to it was the house, newly built, in
readiness for the present mission, in which Colonel Browne and Mr.
Fforde took up their quarters. The Woon was evidently much gratified by
this proceeding on the part of the officers of the mission, as showing
a friendly appreciation of his good offices. A temporary pavilion was
speedily erected over the street between the two houses, and on our
return from the Residency in the evening, a pooay was in full play
before an admiring audience. As soon as we had taken our seats in the
front of the verandah, trays of sweetmeats were set before us, and we
sat and viewed the performance till nearly midnight, as the jovial
laughter of the Burmese at the very broad jokes of the artists was not
conducive to sleep.

[Illustration: VIEW IN BHAMÔ.]

On the 17th, we were agreeably surprised by the arrival of Mr. Margary,
looking none the worse for his long overland journey from Hankow,
which he had left on the 4th of last September. But for a delay at
Loshan of six days, while waiting for new instructions, he would have
accomplished this tremendous journey in just four months. Starting
from Hankow, and passing the Tung-ting lake, on the Yang-tse, he had
ascended the Yuen river through Hoonan, and travelled by land through
Kweichow and Yunnan.

The only real difficulty he experienced was at a town called Chen-yuen,
in Kweichow, where the boat journey ended on October 27th. Here the
populace endeavoured to prevent the removal of his luggage from the
boat, and it was only by means of an appeal to the mandarin, who at
first was uncivil but speedily yielded to the power of the passports,
and the interference of an armed guard sent by that official, that
he was enabled to proceed. It was necessary for him to sleep at the
Yamen, and leave the town in the early morning. When the mob learned
his departure, they wreaked their vengeance on the boatmen, and
destroyed their boat. On his land journey the people were everywhere
civil, though intensely curious, and the mandarins polite. He described
the scenery in Kweichow as splendid, but the roads rough and ragged,
carried almost always at a high level along pine-clad hills overlooking
valleys far beneath. The province appeared to have been sadly
devastated--the cities reduced to mere villages, and the villages to
collections of straw huts; everywhere ruins of good, substantial stone
houses abounded to show the former prosperity of the region before the
Miaou-tse came down from the hills and butchered the whole population.
Although twenty years have elapsed since this incursion, the cities
still remain like cities of the dead--their extensive walls surrounding
acres of ruins, with a few of the wild hillmen dwelling in them.

His reception by the governor of the province at Kwei-yang-fu was very
cordial; and the latter promised to compensate the boatmen for their
loss in the destruction of their boat by the Chen-yuen mob. From this
city twenty days of steady travelling in a chair, twenty miles a day,
over fine mountains and through valleys almost deserted, brought him
to Yunnan-fu on November 27th. He met with civility everywhere; but
the acting governor-general of Yunnan, who was then _locum tenens_
of the absent viceroy, proved himself a most friendly and indeed an
unexpected ally. Not content with loading the Englishman with honours
and courtesies, he sent two mandarins to escort him the rest of the
way, and despatched an _avant-courrier_ bearing a mandate to all the
local authorities, which secured marked respect for the traveller, and
also sent a quick courier with orders to the mandarins on the frontier
to take care of the expedition in case he should not have met us before
our entrance into China. From Yunnan to Tali a dreadfully rough road or
track of deep ruts and jagged stones led over high mountains and into
deep valleys. The ascents were so steep as to require a team of eight
or ten coolies harnessed with ropes to drag the chair up the dangerous
incline, often skirting the edge of a precipice; and in the narrow and
dangerous path strings of mules and ponies laden with salt were often
met with, to the great risk of the traveller.

The state of the country is best described in his own words:--“It is
melancholy to see these fine valleys given up to rank grass, and the
ruined villages and plainly distinguishable fields lying in silent
attestation of former prosperity. Every day I come to what was a busy
city, but now only containing a few new houses inside walls which
surround a wide space of ruins. But the people are returning gradually,
and the blue smoke can be seen curling up here and there against the
background of pine-clad hills. It must take some few years to re-people
the country, rich as it is.”

The last four days’ travelling before reaching the plain of Tali passed
through a mountainous district devoid of cities. The authorities of
Tali were at first averse to his entering the city, pleading their
fear of the turbulent and dangerous populace, against whom he had
been already warned by the viceroy; but by an adroit appeal to the
laws of etiquette, which constrained him to pay his respects to the
high authorities, he got over the difficulty. The much dreaded city
populace treated him not only with courtesy but with profound respect,
calling him _Ta-jen_, or Excellency. The several officials received him
well, and the Tartar general, an enormously large man, who had been
foremost in the storming of the city, placed him in the seat of honour
by himself, asked innumerable questions about England and Burma, and
promised to invite the mission to stay a few days at Tali-fu.

Yung-chang was reached on December 27th, after passing through
“glorious scenery,” by a road leading over high mountain regions, but
with nothing so bad as “the horrid passes” previously encountered.
A daring robbery had been just committed on the highway, and a halt
was necessitated for the soldiers to scour the hills for fear of
lurking dacoits. The people were gradually returning to the villages,
and burning the jungle grass, which had overgrown the long abandoned
fields. The mandarins at Yung-chang were inclined to be obstructive;
but those at Teng-yue-chow, or Momien, which was reached in four days
from the former city, were “delightfully civil.” Here he received the
despatches informing him of the plans of the mission, and in accordance
with them he set out for Manwyne, arriving there after a journey of
five stages through the Shan country, which he described as a lovely
valley, and the people as sociable and amiable. At Manwyne he found
the Burmese guard of forty men, who had been sent forward from Tsitkaw
to escort him through the Kakhyen hills. Here also he met with the
redoubtable Li-sieh-tai, “now a Chinese general,” who was negotiating a
tariff of imposts on trade with the Kakhyen chiefs and Shan headmen. Li
received his first English visitor with the greatest honour, _kotouing_
to him before all the assembled chiefs and notables. The Burmese
officers requested a delay to recruit their men, after the march over
the hills, and Margary, who was anxious to press on, endeavoured vainly
to induce Li to give him a guard, under whose protection he could
advance, leaving his followers and baggage to follow with the Burmese.
He recorded his opinion that there were intrigues going on in this
district adverse to the advance of the mission, but notwithstanding he
relied strongly on the express commands of the all-powerful governor of
Yunnan in its favour.

His stay at Manwyne was marked by the most friendly intercourse with
the tsawbwa and his family, whose guest he was. He walked through the
town and shot over the banks of the river freely and unmolested; and,
as he writes, “I come and go without meeting the slightest rudeness
among this charming people, and they address me with the greatest

Under the escort of the Burmese guard he crossed the Kakhyen hills,
bivouacking one night in a clearing, as we had done on the former
journey, at Lakhon. He passed through eight or nine villages of the
Kakhyens, the savage appearance of these hill people striking him
forcibly after the civilised aspect of the Shans of the valleys, and
they treated him to a specimen of their bold impudence. His servant
Lin was menaced by one of these with a large stone, which he raised to
strike him with, and another drew his dah and made a daring attempt to
rob one of the men of his bag. After remaining a night at Tsitkaw, he
and his party descended the Tapeng by boat, and reached the Residency
early in the forenoon. It can easily be imagined with what feelings
we congratulated the first Englishman who had succeeded in traversing
“the trade route of the future,” as he called it, and with what
pleasant anticipations we heard of the accounts of his arduous but
successful journey, and the reception accorded all along the line of
route, crowned by the politeness shown by the dreaded Li-sieh-tai. The
astonishment and admiration of the Burmese was even greater. In their
own minds they had never realised the existence of English officials in
China, and now there appeared a veritable Englishman speaking Chinese
fluently, and versed in the use of chopsticks and all other points
of etiquette. This Petching _meng_, or Pekin mandarin, moreover, was
attended, besides the rest of his retinue, by a most imposing literate,
whose huge round spectacles gave him an aspect of wonderful wisdom, and
commanded the greatest respect from his countrymen at Bhamô.

This worthy man, whose real name was Yu-tu-chien, and whose office was
that of writer or Chinese secretary, was a Christian from the province
of Hoopeh, one of the many sincere converts made by the Lazarist
missionaries. His intelligence and anxiety for knowledge, with his
amiable and faithful disposition, made him justly a favourite with all.
From the Woon downwards, every inhabitant who could speak Chinese was
anxious to interview and pay respects to the new-comers from Pekin,
and devoutly believed that the writer was a lesser mandarin sent in
attendance on the great man, and it must be confessed that Yu-tu
evidently increased in self-respect as he realised the estimation in
which he was held by the Chinese-speaking people, including the tsawbwa
of Mattin and his followers.

The Woon, or governor of the town or district of Bhamô, was most
zealous in carrying out the royal orders, and was personally most
friendly. He was a short, elderly Burman, with prominent eyes and
good face, whose chief occupation seemed to be incessantly muttering
prayers, as he slid through his fingers the beads of the black amber
rosary which he invariably carried. His principal wife and his children
had been left in Mandalay as hostages for his good behaviour, according
to the usual Burmese policy; but his establishment was presided over
by a second or inferior wife, a stout elderly lady, whose acquaintance
I was privileged to make. This was on the occasion of an entertainment
given by him in honour of Margary, the day but one after his arrival.
We sat with him on carpets in his verandah, while about forty of the
prettiest and best dressed women of Bhamô, ranged in lines, postured
and sang in the covered courtyard below. The various officials formed
a background, and the crowd surrounded the performers. The infusion
of Shan blood is evident in the superior good looks and physique of
these daughters of the land. All were well dressed and adorned with
silver and some with gold bracelets and other jewellery; the older and
very much uglier women stood behind the last row of performers, and
led the singing. We squatted Burmese fashion, and smoked, while tea
and Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits were served with nuts and persimmons
dried in sugar, followed by the customary betel and pan. Fortunately,
etiquette did not oblige us to continue too long in the uncomfortable
posture, which Burmese adopt by habit, and we could come and go as
we liked during the two hours that the performance lasted. In the
evening we visited the Chinese temple, in which a ceremony or function
was proceeding on behalf of a Chinese townsman who had recently
become insane. One part of the ceremonial consisted of a theatrical
performance or puppet-show, viewed through a transparency, the actors
being represented by small figures cut out of leather, with talc heads;
they were moved by bamboos, one fixed at the back and another to one
of the arms. The figures were placed close behind the transparent
window, and a Chinaman in charge of each shouted the words of the part,
while he manipulated the figure with great skill. We were permitted
to go behind the scenes, and by a narrow wooden staircase ascended to
a lobby leading into a large room, which was full of Chinese, smoking
and drinking tea. Hundreds of the leather puppets were suspended round
the room from lines, as if they had been clothes hung up to dry. This
was at once the stage, green-room, and orchestra. The musicians were
seated along the walls on benches; the instruments were a flageolet and
a small violin, formed of a segment of bamboo, with a snake skin over
the opening, and two strings stretched to the end of the bamboo handle.
One man thumped two stones on a desk by way of drum; another played
the cymbals, and others small gongs. Behind the transparent windows,
at one end, stood a row of Chinese moving the puppets and shouting the
dialogue. All were amateurs engaged in a work of charity, though how
the patient was to be benefitted did not appear.

During this exchange of civilities, the preparations for as early an
advance as was possible were not pretermitted. With regard to the
route to be traversed by the expedition, the Woon had fully expected
that the embassy or central road would be selected, and the Mattin
tsawbwa, through whose territory it passes, had come to Bhamô to make
arrangements for our transit. The Burmese preferred this route, as they
had more influence over those Kakhyens, and declared that they could
guarantee our safe passage more certainly by this route than any other.
The line to be followed would correspond with that travelled over on
our return journey in 1868. A Burmese embassy, carrying tribute to
China, had recently gone by this road, but was reported to have been
detained in the hills for more than a month, the mountaineers having
barricaded the road, in order to effectually extort black mail. This
embassy, or some of their members, had been heard of by Margary, as
he was passing near Momien. The fact that the tribute-bearing Burmese
embassies were accustomed to travel by this route did not recommend
it as advisable for the passage of our expedition, and the Political
Resident, with Mr. Elias, acting under orders, had, before our arrival,
made arrangements for us to proceed by the Sawady route. From thence
the road leads to Mansay, ten miles distant, a Shan village under
Burmese and Kakhyen protection, which is the regular rendezvous for
all Kakhyens coming down to Sawady or Kaungtoung to barter their goods
for salt and _ngapé_. From Mansay, four marches through the country of
the Lenna Kakhyens conduct to Kwotloon, in the Shan state of Muangmow,
on the right bank of the Shuaylee. Thence the proposed route goes by
way of Sehfan, a Chinese Shan state, dependent on the governor of the
walled town of Muanglong, up the valley of the Shuaylee, and crosses
the watershed to Momien. Such information as was possessed had been
obtained by Moung Mo, the Kakhyen interpreter, who had been despatched
by the Resident, in 1873, to Muangwan, and thence to Sehfan. He
described the country between this and Muangmow as a cultivated plain,
studded with villages, and the Shuaylee as a deep river a hundred yards
wide. Sehfan is a small town of three hundred houses, surrounded by
numerous large villages. Its chief had been brought up by the Chinese
governor of Muanglong, and was a firm friend of the Chinese; he had
recently married the eldest daughter of my old friend, the Hotha chief,
with whom we had spent such pleasant days in 1868.

In 1873, great disturbances were caused by the aggressions of a Shan
rebel from Namkhan, a Burmese Shan state on the left bank of the
Shuaylee; and the Maran Kakhyens, who were at feud with the next clan
of the Atsees, frequently attacked caravans and looted Sehfan villages.
Beyond Sehfan lay the populous Chinese Shan states of Muangkwan, with
two large towns of one thousand houses, and Muangkah on the Salween.
The Chinese towns of Muanglong and Muanglem were both described as
containing four thousand to five thousand houses, which is probably an

Agreements had been entered into with the Paloungto Kakhyen chief,
who had undertaken to provide two hundred bullocks for carriage,
mules not being procurable, and to escort the mission safely into the
Muangmow district. The necessity of employing pack bullocks extended
the time likely to be required for the journey to Momien to thirty or
forty days; as, however, it was a principal object to explore this
partially known route, which was universally admitted to present the
fewest physical difficulties, the time so expended and the slow rate
of travelling appeared likely to afford the scientific members of the
mission more ample time for inquiry and observations. In this view of
the case, the leader did not wholly concur, and though deciding to
proceed to Muangmow, he contemplated striking off thence via Muangwan
and Nantin.

It turned out to have been overlooked in the preliminary arrangements
that Sawady is not in the Bhamô district, but under the jurisdiction of
the Woon of Shuaygoo, to whom no orders had been sent from Mandalay.
The Woon of Bhamô was rather nonplussed by our decision to adopt the
Sawady route, but sent to request his colleague of Shuaygoo to come
and advise on the subject. This, however, the official, who, as it
afterwards appeared, is utterly hostile to Englishmen, altogether
refused to do; but the Bhamô Woon decided to send his own troops under
the command of a tsitkay, a veteran officer, to escort us as far as
Mansay; but he evidently considered the Kakhyens beyond that point as
refractory, though nominally in the Burmese territory. The Kakhyen
pawmines declared their willingness to be answerable for our safety
from Mansay if the Burmese would convoy us thus far, and then reviewed
our two hundred packages, at the size of which they shook their heads.
The boxes had all been carefully calculated to hold seventy-five pounds
each, half a load for a mule, which carries fifty viss, equal to one
hundred and fifty pounds, and had been constructed for package on the
cross-trees used in mule carriage. Bullocks, however, cannot carry so
much, and the goods are loaded on them in bamboo baskets, which, lined
with the bamboo spathes, are almost watertight. It became necessary,
therefore, to rearrange the cumbrous baggage, which was a work of some

Profiting by the experience of the former expedition, Colonel Browne
resolved not to be encumbered with a cash-chest. All the coined money
was exchanged for _sycee_, or lump, silver, at the rate of one hundred
rupees for seventy tickals of the finest quality, or seventy-three
tickals and a half of the more alloyed which passes among the Kakhyens,
and these ingots were distributed among the private boxes of the party.

Our inquiries about the several routes brought out the fact that the
Chinese fully believed us to be intent on making a railway, one man
remarking that the Sawady route was much the longest, but, “of course,
the best for the railway.”

It is hard to follow the workings of the Chinese mind, but it was plain
that the objects of our expedition were as far from being perfectly
understood by them as ever, and that they watched the movements of
the mission with a secret feeling that the objects contemplated were
somewhat beyond the peaceful pursuit of the interests of commerce and
scientific inquiry.

During the delay consequent on the alteration of the packages, our
friend the Woon got up _pooays_, or dances, for our amusement, and for
three hours at a time relays of women from the different quarters of
the town danced and sang.

Shan letters were sent to the tsawbwa of Muangmow, and Margary
despatched Chinese letters to the governor of Momien and to
Li-sieh-tai, who had sent Kakhyen messengers to Tsitkaw to carry them
forward. It subsequently appeared that the letter had not reached
Li, as he had left Nantin before the arrival of the messenger, and
proceeded to Muangmow to await our coming.

The 21st was a day of heavy rain, which seriously interfered with
packing arrangements; and as it was full moon, all amusement was
interdicted by the observance of the Burmese worship-day, which was
ushered in by the tolling of the Woon’s gong at seven, and at eight
o’clock we found him presiding over a congregation which assembled in
his house, the prayers being led by several priests. Our _tai_ was
quite free from the motley group of Burmese, Shan, and Kakhyen visitors
who had daily thronged it. This strict observance of what may be called
the sabbath was due to a recent revival of piety, stimulated by royal
orders on the subject.



 The _hun pooay_--Mission proceeds to Sawady--Visit from Woon--Rumoured
 opposition--The Woon as a musician--Sawady village--Royal
 orders--Baggage difficulties--Arrival of Mr. Clement Allan--Paloungto
 chief--Kakhyen pilfering--Abandon route--Adopt Ponline route--Reasons
 for change--Tsaleng Woon--Departure of mission to Tsitkaw--Elias and
 Cooke proceed to Muangmow--Dolphins--Up the Tapeng--Tahmeylon--Arrive
 at Tsitkaw.

On the following day the greater part of the baggage was stowed in
boats ready for departure to Sawady, which was fixed for the 23rd. The
Woon made his appearance at an early hour, bent on inviting Margary
and his writer, and all of us, to spend this the last day with him.
In the forenoon the usual _ying pooay_, or dance, went on, but in the
evening a _hun pooay_, or pooay acted by marionettes, was given. This
was a much more artistic affair than that of the Chinese puppets, the
marionettes being well made, regularly dressed figures about three feet
high. The stage on which they are presented is removed to a distance,
the proscenium forming, as it were, a frame proportioned to the size
of the figures; and the movers of the puppets stand behind a screen at
the back, and manipulate the little heroes and heroines by means of
strings. To the spectators they have a most real appearance, being very
cleverly handled, and the speeches are made by the invisible actors
with such art as to really seem as if proceeding from the puppets, so
as to suggest ventriloquism. This performance was evidently the most
popular form of entertainment. The Woon sat eyeing the puppets intently
through his binocular, just as his royal master had eyed us at the
audience, and the townspeople, squatted in rows, remained till midnight
eagerly watching the mannikins. The Woon produced an alarum clock which
had been rendered incapable of going, and amused himself tinkling the
alarum; but he was quite ignorant of the value of the hours, and even
after several lessons illustrated by a watch, he utterly failed to fix
the hands.

On the next day, most of our party rode to Sawady, to which place the
guard and all the baggage had preceded them. Mr. Elias and I, however,
remained behind until we should receive the _mot d’ordre_ from Browne,
as the operation of packing the bullocks was likely to occupy some
days. The Woon, whom I had not seen that day, came in the afternoon to
apologise for his apparent neglect, as he had been engaged in receiving
public subscriptions for the regilding of the Shuaykeenah pagoda. He
was delighted at my offering a small contribution, and waxed eloquent
on the _entente cordiale_ engendered by such conduct, and sent for
his wife to bring a large silver vase containing the collection, to
which my donation was duly added. We had a long talk on the archæology
of the district, the old cities of Tsampenago and Kuttha, and the
founder of the Shuaykeenah pagoda, whom he asserted to have been a
king of Ceylon, named Thee-yee-da-ma-thanka, a legend commonly current
regarding the more ancient pagodas of Burma. In the evening he sent
the tsare-daw-gyee and the two tsitkays to pay a visit, from whom I
learned that there existed ancient histories of the district in some
of the khyoungs, one of which they promised, if possible, to obtain.
When they were shown a photograph of the Soolay pagoda at Rangoon,
they expressed their regret that during the municipal improvements of
the town the site of the sacred building had become the junction of
cross-roads, which seemed in their minds a desecration. They were,
however, relieved by the assurance that this must have been done by the
British authorities in ignorance of the religious prejudices thereby

Two or three days passed without any incident of consequence, save that
on the 25th a Chinaman came to the Residency to report that he had
overheard some Yunnan Chinese talking in the bazaar, and had gathered
that an armed force had been despatched from Momien and Tali-fu to
Muangmow, under the command of Li-sieh-tai, to oppose our entrance
into China. His account, however, was very confused, and he had not
succeeded in hearing any very distinct statements, as the men had
evidently been suspicious of him. It is probable that this was merely
a garbled version of the fact that Li-sieh-tai had crossed from the
Tapeng valley to Muangwan with a few men _en route_ to Muangmow. The
same day letters arrived from Sawady to say that the departure of
the mission was fixed for the following day, upon which we went at
once to the Woon to secure boats, who most readily placed them at our
disposal. He afterwards paid us a visit, bringing his Burmese harp
of twelve strings, on which he showed himself no mean performer. He
was accompanied by a boy who played a sort of harmonicon, or musical
glasses constructed of slips of hard wood, which vibrated with a sweet,
full tone. Another performer clashed a pair of cymbals, and clicked
split bamboos like castanets. The airs were sweet and plaintive.
After the music we had a long conversation about England, Prussia,
France, and Persia, with the general relations of which governments
he showed himself to be well acquainted. Railways and the mode of
transit to England were also discussed; my interpreter, however,
though an educated Burmese and son of a native official, proving very
incompetent, and putting absurd statements into my mouth. The Woon had
brought a present of a fruit, which he said was a great rarity from
Yunnan. It was the size of an apple, of a bright yellow colour, with
a delicate skin enclosing a jelly-like pulp, the coolness of which he
expressed by a pantomimic passing of his hand from the throat to the
epigastric region. He called it _tsay-thee_; but inquiries from Elias
and Margary identified it as a persimmon. Of this fruit, quantities
in a dried form are imported to Burma, where they are a favourite
sweetmeat; but the fresh fruit is unknown.

On the 27th we were ready to take boat to Sawady, and I bade farewell
to my friend, the Woon, who charged me to write to him. Elias and
myself started from Bhamô about 11.30, and arrived at Sawady in a
little more than a couple of hours.

Sawady is a miserable village of about forty houses, though formerly
containing five times that number; but continual inroads by the
Kakhyens have reduced it to its present scanty dimensions. It is under
the protection of the Phonkan tsawbwa, who also, for a yearly payment
of salt, protects the village of Yuathet, situated about three quarters
of a mile to the north on the high bank of a small creek called
Theng-leng, which flows into the Irawady between high alluvial banks.
The village of Sawady is defended by a double bamboo palisade, and a
similar palisade runs along the narrow path dividing the two rows of
houses. As a further protection, boats, corresponding to the number
of houses, are moored to the river bank, and nightly the inhabitants
retire to them for sleep, and thus secure themselves against the not
infrequent nocturnal attacks of the Kakhyens. Sawady and Yuathet are
both small emporiums for trade, whither the Kakhyens resort to procure
fish and salt, and they bring bamboos to be floated down the river;
they are also ports for the trade to the interior. Around stretches a
vast plain, bounded by the distant hills, profusely covered with forest
and jungle, sometimes of underwood, sometimes of thick grass fifteen
feet high, with frequent swamps, which in the wet season are covered
with water. Before our arrival, Margary and Fforde had made expeditions
into the forest in search of game. Peafowl abounded there, perched at
inaccessible heights, on the highest trees, and they found the tracks
of tigers and other large game, but the solitudes were still as death,
and they returned without having started any animal. We found the
convoy of bullocks, under the charge of some hundred Kakhyens, encamped
outside the village. The Paloungto tsawbwa, a respectable-looking
man, clean and well dressed, with a huge roll of gold-leaf by way of
ear-ring distending the lobe of his ear, along with his pawmines, was
ready to receive the baggage. The Burmese guard encamped in hastily
improvised _tais_, while the Englishmen were accommodated in a rickety
zayat screened with curtains.

On the second day (January 24th), orders came from Mandalay that
the Burmese guard should escort the mission right up to the nominal
frontier of Burma and China or to Kwotloon, instead of Mansay, as
previously arranged and approved by the Kakhyens, whose opinion of the
change was not given. They continued to take over the packages, giving
receipts for each, and making panniers suitable for carriage on the
bullocks, into which the boxes were to be packed.

On the 25th, objections began to be raised to the size of the packages,
which had been previously altered at Bhamô, and next the tsawbwa
appeared to say that he had brought three hundred and thirty-six
bullocks, although we only required two hundred. He explained this,
by stating that Elias had doubted their ability to provide two
hundred bullocks. The chief, therefore, had brought three hundred and
thirty-six, to prove the contrary, and expected to be paid for the lot,
although he admitted that the Resident had contracted for one hundred
and fifty bullocks and twenty ponies. This proposal being got rid of,
the next demand was for payment of the hire in advance, which Colonel
Browne also negatived, but promised to pay him one-half the amount,
provided all was ready for a start in two days.

The next day was accordingly spent in transferring all the remaining
baggage, with the exception of the boxes containing the wardrobes of
the officers and the cash, which were placed under the immediate care
of the Sikhs.

The 27th found the preparations for starting still backward, a state
of things which was not improved by heavy rain, against which the
Englishmen and their followers were but slightly protected, and the
baggage not at all. The chief and his pawmines appeared to receive the
promised advance of hire, but he declined to fix a time for starting,
as he required salt wherewith to load the extra bullocks. When met
by a refusal to delay for this purpose, he departed in a bad temper,
leaving his pawmines to continue the discussion. They finally settled
to start the day but one after, on condition of receiving one viss
of silver in advance, and one hundred and forty rupees as demurrage
expenses, being ten rupees for each of the fourteen villages whence the
bullocks had come. This was a fair charge, as the men and their beasts
had been awaiting our arrival for some days. Elias and I arrived while
the payment was being made in lumps of sycee silver, one of which was
declared by a pawmine to be bad, and, being bitten, proved to be hollow
and filled with sand. Soothed by the receipt of the _compraw_, the
Paloungto chief declared that we were brothers, and he would be ready
to start “the day after to-morrow.”

The evening brought a pleasant surprise to our party by the arrival of
Mr. Clement Allan, who had come from Mandalay in ten days, in a royal
boat. While passing on the river, he heard one of the Sikhs talking to
a Chinaman on the bank, and, hailing them, discovered our whereabouts.
He was thus saved the journey to Bhamô, and all our party were now
assembled, and notwithstanding the heavy rain, we spent a pleasant
evening in anticipation of a speedy departure.

While at breakfast, we were disturbed by hearing a number of gun shots,
and learned that the Kakhyens had endeavoured to remove our clothes
boxes in order to add them to the general baggage. The Sikhs on guard,
having received orders not to lose sight of them, declined to permit
their removal, whereupon the indignant Kakhyens fired their muskets
in the air. The Burmese tsitkay expressed uneasiness as to the temper
of the Kakhyens, and seemed to fear a collision with them, as they
numbered about four hundred men armed with muskets. There evidently
existed some ill-feeling between the Kakhyens and the Burmese, and
it unfortunately happened that all interviews with the chief were
conducted in presence of the Burmese officials. It came out in the
course of the day that the Paloungto chief had not entered into any
convention with the other tsawbwas of the route. The Resident had
been assured that a passage through their territories was certain on
payment of the ordinary dues. The chief had declared that most of
them would support his arrangements, but that it would be necessary
at Mansay to agree with the Phonkan tsawbwa, who would not come to
Sawady. The inveterate curiosity and pilfering habits of the hillmen
were exemplified by their boring holes in several provision tins in
order to ascertain the contents, the holes being afterwards carefully
stopped with cotton; our sugar, salt, and bags of rice were taken
toll of, and sundry bottles of brandy had mysteriously disappeared;
and it was subsequently discovered that the screws had been drawn
out of the boxes. Still, when it is remembered that a number of wild
hillmen had been detained in this place for a fortnight, with scanty
provisions, allowance must be made for petty thieving, without arguing
a deliberate intention of plunder. Our leader, however, began to be
seriously anxious about the prospects of safe transit through the hills
by this route. To the difficulty arising from the known antipathy of
the Burmese to the Lenna Kakhyens, there was now added the declaration
of some Shans of Muangmow, that the hillmen would not be permitted to
cross their borders, and this tended to make Colonel Browne suspicious
of the real intentions of the Paloungto chief. The climax was reached
when the old interpreter, Moung Mo, announced in the evening that our
expected start was postponed _sine die_, and that the chief, displeased
at being refused the charge of our clothes boxes, declined to accompany
us, devolving our escort on his pawmines. Upon this, Colonel Browne
resolved to return to Bhamô, and make arrangements for proceeding by
the old Ponline route, instead of that by Sawady and the Shuaylee.
But I think it doubtful that the Paloungto chief had any dishonest
intentions. He could not have divined the presence of the specie in
the boxes, and it was natural that he should require all the baggage
to be made over on the eve of starting, and should resent the obvious
imputation on his honesty, implied in the refusal to surrender these

We rode to Bhamô through jungle grass fifteen feet high, interrupted
occasionally by hollows studded with trees. The intersecting creeks
were difficult to cross, as the path, or rut, through the high
sandbanks was steep, and barely wide enough for a passage, so much so
that one of the ponies, with his rider, rolled back into the water,
which was only about three feet deep. Having arrived at Bhamô, and
decided to go by the Ponline route, if practicable for the led horses,
the Resident started for Tsitkaw, to summon the Kakhyen chiefs, and
provide mules. The Woon, fearing that the Paloungto chief would not
surrender the baggage, despatched a reinforcement of armed men on board
of four war-boats, mounted with gingals. We returned to Sawady by
water, bringing several large boats for the baggage, which were left
at Yuathet, by way of precaution against alarming the Kakhyens. On the
30th the tsawbwa and his pawmines came in from their camp, and Browne
recapitulated the delays and broken promises of the past week as well
as the want of arrangements with the other tsawbwas of the route. The
chief replied that his refusal to start had been caused by his anger at
being refused the care of the boxes; that he was willing to start “the
day after to-morrow;” but if we refused to go by his route, he should
expect to be paid the agreed hire for the bullocks brought down. The
reply to this was that, whatever the Resident and pawmines, who had
made the original contract, agreed to as justly due should be paid.
Browne, however, offered a douceur of a viss of silver as soon as the
baggage was restored. This was agreed to; and the men at once set to
work to bring back the boxes, which were transferred to the large
boats, and on January 31st the entire mission, escorted by the Burmese
war-boats, returned to Bhamô, having definitely abandoned the route by
Sawady, and elected to travel by the northern or Ponline road.

Letters had been received from the Resident, written from Tsitkaw, to
the effect that plenty of mules were procurable, and that the Burmese
officials had summoned the Kakhyen chiefs. On our arrival at Bhamô, we
found a force of three hundred men in war-boats armed with gingals,
collected under the command of the Woon, who had been about to come in
person to Sawady to deliver us, if necessary, from the hands of the
Lenna Kakhyens. This was an additional proof, if any had been needed,
of the care of the Burmese for our welfare, and of the uncertainty
of their relations with the southern hill tribes. It was with great
reluctance that I for one turned my back on the Sawady route, the full
exploration and eventual establishment of which as the future trade
route had been proposed as a special object of our mission. It was
generally understood to be, though the longest, the one which presented
fewest physical difficulties; and of its actual employment we had
ocular demonstration in the trading parties, numbering many mules and
bullocks, which were continually coming and going during our stay at
its terminus.

The northern route had been thoroughly explored six years before,
and full information collected concerning its physical and social
conditions, while the change in the political relations affected all
routes alike. As was afterwards ascertained, we were expected by the
Chinese at Muangmow, whither, it appears, Li-sieh-tai had gone to meet
the mission, and, as far as may be judged by his conduct, without
hostile intentions; and besides all this, Mr. Elias, cooperating with
the British Resident at Bhamô, had visited the Lenna Kakhyens a month
before, and had made arrangements with them, according to which they
had brought down their beasts of burden for the conveyance of the
mission. Among various reasons assigned for abandoning the route were
the suspicious bearing of the Paloungto chief, and the possible, if not
probable, risk of delay in the hills. This would have been aggravated
by the chance that the provisions of the Sikhs, who were only supplied
with flour for thirty-five days, might run short. Another danger was
conceived to lie in the want of arrangements with the Phonkan chief,
who might prove as obstructive as he of Ponsee had done, and either
stop or fleece the mission. With regard to the behaviour of the Lenna
chief of Paloungto, it might have been expected that any lurking
ill-will would have been aggravated by the disappointment experienced
at losing the fair profits of a convoy, for which he had brought down
carriage and waited so long. At the time, the presence of the large
Burmese force may be thought to have restrained him; but the subsequent
reception given by him and his brother of Wurrabone to Mr. Elias and
Captain Cooke showed him to be thoroughly well affected, and almost
anxious to prove the absence of any ill-feeling. It was a generally
wise and proper policy to thoroughly conciliate the goodwill of the
Burmese officials, and to carry them with us in all our proceedings.
This line of conduct was carefully and consistently adopted by our
leader, but, consequently, there was no opportunity afforded to the
Kakhyen chief of expressing his sentiments as to the Burmese guard.
His only intercourse with our party was by interview held in presence
of the tsitkay, at which he was expected to take the position of an
inferior, squatting on the ground before men to whom he acknowledged
no subordination; and it is to be regretted that he did not find an
opportunity for confidential communication which might probably have
led to a better understanding. It must also be remembered that Kakhyen
chiefs do not comprehend the value of time, or share our notions as
to procrastination, and are not above “trying it on” in order to gain
a little more silver. As regards the possible complications with the
Phonkan tsawbwa, who six years before had announced his wish for the
passage of British commerce through his country, although he could not
or would not come into Sawady, he might have been induced to have met
and conferred with us at Mansay, while, if supplies of flour were not
procurable at Bhamô, yet, according to the experience acquired in 1868,
they were available in the Shan valleys and at Momien.

On February 1st, we were all assembled in our old quarters at Bhamô.
The Woon was rather nonplussed at the adoption of the Ponline route,
and anxious as to the dangers of attack to which the mission might be
exposed before reaching Manwyne, though no whit relaxing his efforts to
carry out our wishes. Another Woon, he of Tsaleng, arrived in the royal
steamer, and seemed to fill the post of counsellor to his colleague,
who was perplexed by the news which arrived from Cooke, that all the
tsawbwas were at Manwyne discussing the tariff, and could not return
for some days. The same steamer brought up from Mandalay two Kakhyen
chiefs of the central route, viz. Muangkha and Poonhya. In return for
services rendered to the recent Burmese embassy, these two chiefs had
been received with high honour, and presented with gold umbrellas and
gilded saddles. They rode through Bhamô on ponies decorated with the
gilded equipage, while each rider wore a golden head-band bearing his
titles, preceded by a man carrying the golden umbrella, and escorted by
others beating gongs and proclaiming his rank.

On the 3rd, the heavy baggage and guard were embarked in boats to
proceed to Tsitkaw, accompanied by Fforde and myself, leaving Colonel
Browne and Margary to follow by land, while Elias had arranged to
attempt the passage by the Sawady route, and join the rendezvous at
Momien. The flotilla started from the river bank at Bhamô, and poled
up the Irawady to the mouth of the Tapeng, our progress against the
rapid stream being slow, and impeded by numerous projecting snags and
occasional sandbanks, where the water was so shallow that the crew
were obliged to jump overboard and push or drag the heavily laden
boats along. Immediately outside the mouth of the Tapeng extended a
bar of sandbanks, beyond which the great river suddenly deepened to
about eighty feet of water. In this deep reach numerous round-headed
dolphins were sporting. This being the pairing season, the males were
chasing the females. Some were swimming with their heads half out of
water, and _jerking from their mouths_ large quantities of water to
some distance. One or two were noticed apparently standing erect in the
water, with their heads elevated straight above its surface, so that
nearly the whole of the pectoral fins was plainly visible; others, in
pairs, were rolling about on their sides. One was fired at, but simply
responded by a splutter and a dive. The boatmen, seeing our interest in
them, declared that they would come if called, and proceeded to utter a
peculiar sound of _hrr, hrr_, and to drum on the side of the boat with
a stick. They informed us that the dolphins do not proceed higher up
the river than a rocky headland in the first defile, called Labein-hin,
or Dolphin Point, because the nats have established a customs station
there to collect an impost, which the dolphins are not willing to pay.
The dolphin of the Irawady (_Orcella fluminalis_, Andr.) is the only
round-headed form as yet known to be found in fresh water, individuals
having been rarely observed much below Prome, three hundred miles
from the sea, or nearly so. The colour of the body is a dusky slate,
and the under part of a dirty white; they attain a considerable size,
individuals ten feet in length being not uncommon. Besides the round
head, they are distinguished from the long-snouted dolphin of the
Ganges (_Platanista gangetica_, Lebeck), which also inhabits fresh
water exclusively, by the much larger, fully proportioned eye. The
latter, as a tenant of the muddy water of the Ganges, which must be
almost impervious to vision, has a very minute eye. In the Yang-tze and
in the great lake of the Cambodia, dolphins are also found, and will
probably prove to be closely allied to those of the Irawady; but as
yet we have no knowledge of their characters. In the estuaries of the
Bay of Bengal there is a small, round-headed dolphin closely allied to
this Irawady cetacean, but it never ascends to the fresh water of the
rivers. Apart from the scientific interest of these large fluviatile
mammals, they form a striking feature in the river scenery of the
Irawady as they roll and tumble in long lines up the deep reaches, and
seem to delight in keeping pace with or outracing the steamers. They do
not appear to migrate through the whole distance of the river’s course,
but to confine themselves within certain districts. The fishermen of
the river regard them with a superstitious respect, and each village
is believed to be under the protection of a particular dolphin, which
guards the fishery. An offer of one hundred rupees altogether failed to
induce the people to catch a specimen; and it was only by the fortunate
acquisition of a dead carcass thrown upon the bank, and secured by
Captain Bowers, that I was enabled to make a thorough comparison of
the structure of this remarkable inhabitant of the river. It should be
added that the great black-headed gull is so regular a companion of
the dolphin that it is called by the fishermen the _labein-nuet_, or

The progress of the flotilla of six laden boats against the rapid
stream of the Tapeng was necessarily slow. The right bank presented a
wide stretch of level country studded with tall cotton trees and oil
trees. The highest leafless branches of the former furnish eyries for
the ring-tailed eagle (_Haliaetus leucoryphus_, Pallas), a pair of
which birds were perched on a tree close to the bank commanding the
river. One bird was added to our collection. The left bank was clothed
to the water line with an impenetrable forest of magnificent trees,
rising from a jungle with ratans and luxuriant musæ. Numerous peacocks
displayed their splendid plumage on the high branches, most provokingly
out of shot. Hornbills, brown doves with violet necks abounded, and in
the jungle, barking deer, hog-deer, and sambur. The exposed sandbanks
were covered with snake-birds; terns, black-headed egrets, plovers, and
Brahminy ducks and wild geese also were frequent. We moored for the
night at the village of Queyloon, in time for a short excursion to some
abandoned rice plantings, in search of wild ducks; returning from which
we observed numerous small owls, the soft eccentric flight of which
resembled that of the goat-sucker.

Soon after sunrise we were again _en route_, having waited some
time for a promised supply of buffalo milk, this being an almost
unattainable luxury in Burma; but the baby buffalo had anticipated our
demand, and disappointed our hopes. At the village of Tahmeylon, where
we had made a stoppage on the first ascent of the Tapeng in 1868, the
changes of the river channel were exemplified. At that time the water
ran deep under a high bank, but now a broad sandbank extended in front
of the village. We had landed on the other side of a neck of land which
caused a bend in the river, intending to strike the public path, which
we missed, and had to make our way by buffalo runs, which penetrated
the tall thick grass like tunnels. Along these we had to proceed nearly
doubled up, occasionally caught and almost choked by creepers, drenched
by the dank grass overhead, and knee-deep in miry clay. By dint of
keeping the sun before us, we succeeded in reaching Tahmeylon by noon.
Beyond this, the course of the river winds in a remarkable manner,
doubling successive long tongues of land, and enclosing a large island
overgrown with impenetrable jungle, until the village of Maloolah is
reached, on the left bank. The villagers warned us to moor our boats
for the night at some distance from the bank for fear of tigers, which
are numerous, and attack boats near the bank, and even the villages, at
night. In the neighbouring village of Tsitgna, ten of the inhabitants
had been killed by tigers in the preceding twelve months. We crossed
the stream in the morning in a dug-out, intending to shoot peafowl in
the forest which covered the rising ground on the right bank, but the
margin of the forest proved so swampy as to prevent all access. Jungle
fowl and squirrels were numerous, and our servants reported hog-deer.
We rejoined the boats at the outflow of the Manloung stream, having
breakfasted at the pagodas of Old Tsampenago. A labyrinth of streams
and swamps extends on the right bank to the place where a branch of
the Tapeng flows round and joins the Manloung stream. On the left
bank the forest is dense and high, and beyond it rises the irregular
outline of the Kakhyen hills, gradually becoming more distinct as
Tsitkaw is approached. At this village we found a khyoung outside the
stockade prepared for our accommodation, and the baggage was stored
in a large shed used for the storage of the royal cotton. A Burmese
guard, under the command of the tsare-daw-gyee, formed a cordon around
our residence, and by night had erected a number of huts, while their
fires formed a circle within which no robbers nor tigers were likely to

At five in the afternoon of the next day, Browne, Margary, and Allan
arrived from Bhamô, which they had left at 10.30. The necessity of
avoiding the network of streams and swamps had obliged them to cross
the river three times in boats, while the two led horses and the ponies
swam across.



 Residence at Tsitkaw--View from our house--The Namthabet--Junction
 of the rivers--Arrival of the Woon--Conference of
 tsawbwas--Hostages--Kakhyen women--Rifle practice--A night alarm--A
 curious talisman--We leave Tsitkaw--Camp at Tsihet--Burmese
 guard-houses--Lankon, Ponline--Camp on the Moonam--Hostile
 rumours--Camp on the Nampoung--Departure of Margary for
 Manwyne--Escape of hostages--Letter from Margary--We enter China--Camp
 on Shitee Meru--Burmese vigilance--Visit to Seray--Conference
 with Seray tsawbwa--Suspicious reception--Return to camp--Burmese

The village of Tsitkaw, which seemed little changed as to its dirty
poverty since my recollections of 1868, consists of about eighty huts,
built on piles, enclosed within a bamboo stockade, which was being
repaired. The western half of the village is occupied by Chinese, and
for the first time the Chinese women are seen, for there are none
in Bhamô. At this time the Celestials were busy erecting a wooden
temple outside the stockade. Their principal men came to our khyoung
to greet Li-kan-shin, otherwise Moung Yoh, who was known to them, and
had been supposed to be dead. In the Buddhist khyoung, two French
missionaries, Father Lecomte and another, whom we had met at Bhamô,
had taken up their abode. They professed to be engaged in opening
communications between their mission in Burma and that in Yunnan, and
had made interest to accompany our party. It now appeared that they
proposed proceeding to Manwyne by themselves; but the Woon of Bhamô
interfered, and refused to allow them to enter the Kakhyen hills on the
north of the Tapeng. We were rather puzzled to understand their exact
object or account for their sudden change of plans.


We had to remain at Tsitkaw some days, until the Kakhyen chiefs
assembled and the mules for carriage to Manwyne arrived. The air and
water are better than at Bhamô, and our sojourn, with its excursions,
was a pleasant time. Our residence consisted of two bamboo houses, as
it were, placed side by side, the drainage of the two roofs in the
centre being caught in a hollowed log of wood. A wooden ladder led up
to the first apartment, beyond which the sleeping room was shut off by
a _kalagah_, or curtain. To the rear a wide alluvial flat stretched
away to the dense jungles swarming with tigers, and beyond which lay
the Manloung lake and its adjoining swamps. From the front a charming
view presented itself. Below a grassy bank ran the swift, smooth
stream, one hundred and fifty yards broad, bordered on the other side
by yellow sandbanks, fringed by a high screen of rich verdure marking
the limit of the Tapeng in flood. Beyond this rose the wall of the
luxuriant forest, backed by the lofty, well wooded Kakhyen mountains.
Six miles distant, this wall appeared unbroken, for the gorge by which
this river debouches is masked by a low line of hills, round which
the Tapeng is deflected in a north-west direction, until it comes
round above Tsitkaw, to flow towards the Irawady. There were manifold
temptations for a sportsman or a naturalist; on the long alluvial flat,
in the morning, flocks of parrots, Sarus crane, and Brahminy ducks,
were seen feeding in numbers, and large snipe and glossy ibis abounded
in the paddy fields. On the sandbanks bordering the river, flocks of
wild geese were wont to settle, and afforded us some most literally
wild goose chases. In the great trees, as Margary said, the gorgeous
peacocks were as plentiful as magpies, and he was most anxious to
secure some of their feathered spoils, to send to General Chiang at
Momien, who wanted the plumage for his hat. We participated in most
enjoyable excursions, and, to quote his words again, led a regular
gipsy life. One was to Manloung lake, where our havildar shot a deer,
to the delight of the Sikhs, who expressed unqualified admiration of
the country, and a strong desire that we should annex it.

One day was devoted to a long walk to the Namthabet river, beyond the
detached range of low hills. From the village of Tsitgna, we crossed
in a dug-out to the opposite village of Kambanee, where we observed
some Kakhyen women, who seemed almost too frightened to raise their
eyes from the ground. The road, at first broad and good, led through
a level tract, covered by forest of _eng_ tree and high grass, of the
same character as that which extends between Bhamô and the hills. As
the land rose in long undulations, the character of the forest changed,
a variety of timber succeeded the _eng_ trees, and dense groves of
bamboos filled the hollows. The slopes soon led up to a tolerably high
ridge, covered with dense forest, except where patches had been cleared
for the cultivation of maize. The summit commanded an extensive view
of the Tapeng plain, and of the Manloung lake, which was seen to cover
a large area. We descended by a steep path, winding through bamboo
thickets and clearings. In traversing this richly wooded tract, which
seemingly contained all the essentials of a sylvan paradise, we were
impressed with the paucity of bird life; only a few parrots screeched
their surprise at the intruders. On a high tree, three pigmy hawks were
seen, one of which fell a victim to the exigences of science.

We presently came on the Namthabet, a clear, rapid stream, winding in
a rocky channel down a narrow valley, beyond which rose the mass of
the Kakhyen hills, clothed with dense forest. A Kakhyen woman was just
about to cross from the opposite side, but fled at our appearance, and
no persuasion on the part of our guide could induce her to return. We
descended the valley, passing a fire, on which rice was cooking in a
green bamboo, but the owner had hidden himself in the bush. We reached
the Tapeng at a place where a sort of slide had been cut in the banks,
down which the bamboos, when felled, are launched into the river, to
be floated into the Irawady, where they are made into rafts, and sent
down stream to the capital. A party of Kakhyens were seen busy at work
cutting bamboos, and we passed their temporary huts in a clearing; and
those of our party who were unacquainted with them seemed surprised
at their peaceful and friendly demeanour. A scramble over the rocky
left bank of the Tapeng brought us to the junction of the two rivers,
and the day’s march of fifteen miles was more than repaid by the
magnificent beauty of the gorge through which the Tapeng debouched from
the main range. The towering masses and walls of rock, clothed to their
summits with forest, at the base of which the river flowed deep and
slow, the exquisite foliage, and the rich colour of brilliant flowers,
made up an enchanting scene, very different from that which the same
river presented when last I viewed it, under lowering clouds and in
full flood, the height of which was now indicated by a faint brown line
on the rocks, thirty feet above its present level. The Namthabet flowed
out of a lesser gorge spanned by a ricketty bamboo bridge, which one of
us tried to walk over, but was speedily reduced to fall on hands and
knees and crawl across the vibrating structure. We made our way back
by a forest path through tangled vegetation, over the ups and downs
of the ridge, until the proper road was struck, by which Kambanee was
reached near sundown.

An armed party, preceded by a sonorous gong, were descried making for
Tsitkaw, and at Tsitgna we learned that our old friend the Woon had
arrived in person from Bhamô to expedite the arrangements for our
progress to Manwyne. A conference had been held some days previously
with the tsawbwas of the northern hills; among whom were conspicuous
our old friend or enemy, Sala, the Ponline chief, and the pawmine of
Ponsee whom we had nicknamed “Death’s Head;” with them were others,
whose names were unknown to us. It had been agreed that the hire to be
paid per mule to Manwyne should be seven rupees eight annas, besides
a fee, by way of tax or toll, of five rupees for each animal. The
final arrangements had been postponed for five days, when a buffalo
sacrifice was to be held, at which all the chiefs interested could be
present. They had been convened at Manwyne not by mandarins but by
merchants, who wished to remonstrate with them about the robberies of
caravans, which constantly occurred on the Ponsee route. An instance
of this was reported during our stay, by some Chinese, who came in and
averred that they had been fired on by Kakhyens, near Ponsee, and had
been compelled to pay two hundred rupees blackmail. The day following
the Woon’s arrival, the Seray chief was alleged to have brought in a
drove of mules. Colonel Browne, on the Woon’s invitation, attended a
second conference, at which all the chiefs were present, and signed
an agreement, drawn up in Burmese. It was stipulated that they should
convey us safely to Manwyne, at which place the agreed upon presents
should be distributed to them, and that the sons of the Ponline,
Ponsee, and Seray tsawbwas should be detained as hostages for the
fulfilment of the contract.

The son of the Seray chief was a young man whose demeanour and
countenance gave a most unfavourable impression; in fact, he appeared
to be a dissipated young ruffian, and decidedly unfriendly to the
strangers. Sala’s son was a lad of fourteen, much superior to his
father in appearance and manner; he was a frequent visitor to our
khyoung, and also a patient, as he suffered, like many of his
countrymen, from inflamed eyes, for the cure of which he seemed duly
grateful. He was rather a favourite of the old Woon, who took him to
Bhamô, and it is to be hoped that the better education and training
will fit him to be a better chief than his avaricious and treacherous

Consequent on the arrival of the tsawbwas, was a large influx of their
subjects, who flocked in in great numbers, both of men and women,
bringing presents of fowls and vegetables, and bamboo flasks of sheroo.
The members of our party who saw them in their native independence for
the first time were greatly interested in the “little scowling women”
and the half savage men. An unpublished letter, almost the last written
by Margary, graphically depicts them:--“We let them ascend to our ratan
floor, raised on stakes, and apart from the novelty, and indeed fun, of
trying to buy their various curiosities, it is by no means a savoury
infliction. The shocks of an electric machine produce a constant flow
of merriment, and we roar with laughter at the grimaces and contortions
of our savage guests. The women are getting bold by this time, and
come in considerable numbers, bringing us their simple offerings of
friendship. They are the queerest creatures imaginable, and dirty
beyond all description. Yet there is no small degree of coyness about
them, which makes them interesting, in spite of their red-stained lips
and unwashed legs. They wear the most marvellous girdles of loose rings
of ratan split to the thickness of a thread, and a belt covered with
cowries. The ears are pierced with big holes, in which they insert
silver tubes six inches long, adorned with tufts of red cloth. We have
been trying to-day to tempt them to sell these strange ornaments for
dazzling bead necklaces, but to no purpose. One creature permitted
me even to draw a tube out of her ear, but my attempts at bargaining
only produced good-humoured laughter from the men and giggles from the

The curious crowds became at last so troublesome that we were obliged
to close the mat screen in front of our entrance hall, to secure
ourselves from the intruders who wished to watch us at our breakfast.
The excitability of their nature was exemplified when the Sikhs were
paraded at rifle and revolver practice at a target. The Kakhyen
eye-witnesses shouted and flourished their muskets, and some sprang to
the front blowing their matches, and indicating that they wished to try
their skill. The Burmese officers had to restrain them, and afterwards
the pawmines came forward, and formally asked the tsare-daw-gyee to
permit them to fire at the targets, at the same distance, three hundred
yards. This was refused, and the excitement gradually subsided. The
Burmese said that it all arose from the fact that a Kakhyen cannot even
hear a gun fired without instantly discharging his own piece, if only
in the air.

On February 14th the Ponsee pawmine arrived to inquire when we would
start, and was informed that we were ready to set out at once.
Thereupon a conference of chiefs took place under a sort of cotton
tent or canopy, which had been erected by the Burmese, apparently
from mistrust of the ability of our floor to bear a crowd. It was
then decided that we should march on the 16th, as the Burmese wished
that a Chinese caravan should precede us. The tsare-daw-gyee remarked
that if the Kakhyens intended to attack either party, he would give
them the opportunity to do both, to avoid mistakes. He reported that
orders had been received at Manwyne, from the governor of Momien,
that the English mission was to be treated “according to custom,” of
which phrase no one could furnish any explanation. In the night we
were alarmed by what seemed to be an apparent stampede of mules, and
a prodigious shouting from the Burmese guard. It turned out that a
buffalo which the Kakhyens were slaughtering had broken loose, with its
throat gashed, and after a chase had been despatched just opposite our
khyoung, where in the morning they were cutting it up, having fixed
the head on a post of the zayat, probably in our honour as founders
of the feast. At noon, the tsare-daw-gyee appeared, accompanied by a
_tsitkay-nekandaw_, or deputy, from Bhamô, who had been sent by the
Woon to report progress. The official activity was stimulated by the
fact that the officer who had been sent up with us to Mandalay, and
had returned thither, had been condemned to banishment in chains to
Mogoung, because he had not waited to see us off. As the poor old man
had returned with our consent, and was in bad health, our leader wrote
to Mandalay to intercede for his pardon, which was subsequently granted
by the king. The tsitkay-nekandaw afforded a curious illustration of
a custom mentioned by Colonel Yule.[40] The upper part of his cheeks
was disfigured by large swellings, caused by the insertion under the
skin of lumps of gold, to act as charms to procure invulnerability.
Yule mentions the case of a Burmese convict executed at the Andaman
Islands, under whose skin gold and silver coins were found. The stones
referred to in the text of Marco Polo, as well as the substances
mentioned in the note by his learned editor, do not appear to have
been jewels. The custom prevails among Yunnan muleteers of concealing
precious stones under the skin of the chest and neck, a slit being
made, through which the jewel is forced. This, however, is not to
preserve the owners’ lives, but their portable wealth. While at
Mandalay, I examined some men just arrived from Yung-chang, and found
individuals with as many as fifteen coins and jewels thus concealed,
as a precaution against the robbers who might literally strip them to
their skin, without discovering the hidden treasure. But our Burmese
official regarded his disfiguring gold as a certain charm against

During our interview with the Burmese, some of the pawmines came to
receive an advance of one-third of the mule hire, which was paid them;
and then Sala appeared to definitely agree on the amount of toll. One
of the other chiefs was asked to be present, but he preferred leaving
it to Sala’s decision. The latter agreed to receive five rupees per
mule, and was most careful to keep off any inquisitive hillmen while he
was debating, and afterwards receiving the whole amount. As all baggage
was ready, save such articles of bedding, &c., as were daily in use,
the next day was fixed for the actual departure. Browne, as a final
preparation, distributed red turbans to the Burmese guard, which gave
something of a uniform appearance to the otherwise motley horde.

We rose at 6 A.M. on February 16th, and made all our personal baggage
over to the Kakhyens, who were slow in completing their preparations
for a start. The Ponsee pawmine first appeared, and the burden of
his complaint, conveyed in the strongest affirmatives, and with
most expressive pantomime, was that he had not received any of the
blackmail, all the payment having been appropriated by Sala. The
tsare-daw-gyee declared that the latter had been obliged to disgorge
his plunder, but as a precaution he should be kept as a hostage at
Tsitkaw. A difficulty then was occasioned by the size of the box of
edible birds’ nests, which no muleteer would take; settlement of this
was left by Colonel Browne to the Kakhyen chiefs. A sharp dispute
relative to the method of taking the tallies of the number of the mules
broke out between the “Death’s Head” pawmine of Ponsee and the Burmese
choung-oke. This ran so high that the pawmine threatened to shoot the
choung-oke, and the old Burman swore he would cut down the Kakhyen, but
the contest resolved itself into abuse, and the Burman prevailed by
strength of lungs. A discussion then arose between the Ponsee pawmine
and another, whose contingent of mules the former was desirous of
reckoning, wholly or in great measure, amongst his own.

The muleteers, having been delayed by the squabble, unloaded their
animals and drove them off to graze; the regathering of them was a
work of time, but they at last filed off, preceded by Margary and Allan
with a division of the Burmese guard. The rest of the mission, however,
was retarded by the difficulty of finding porters for the rejected
box of birds’ nests, the medicine chest, and photographic apparatus,
all of which had been left out in the cold, and had to be carried by
Burmese. At four o’clock, we finally cleared out of Tsitkaw, watched by
Sala, who waved an adieu from the porch of the house where he was to
reside as a hostage for our safety. We observed by the roadside several
women sitting with _carafes_ of water, each containing a flower, from
which they poured libations as they muttered prayers for our safety.
As we passed the succeeding villages of Hantin, Hentha, and Myohoung,
the road was lined with women similarly occupied. An hour and a half
of slow progress brought us to the hamlet of Tsihet, at the foot of
the hills, outside of which men awaited us with welcome draughts of
pure and cool water. There are two small villages, each within its own
stockade, separated by a space of thirty yards. We took up our quarters
in a rickety zayat within the northernmost village. The camp outside
presented a most busy scene. Burmans were cooking their dinners,
while others were erecting temporary huts of freshly cut bamboos, or
thatching them with bamboo leaves and long grass. Groups of Kakhyen
muleteers, who had arrived first, were sitting in their huts, smoking
and chatting; others were collecting and marshalling the mules in
lines between the baggage, each animal having one of its feet fastened
to a wooden peg driven into the ground. The Burmese had encamped in a
cordon enclosing the Sikhs and Kakhyens, and of course all the baggage;
and outposts had been established at the north and south of the village.

The locality of Tsihet, owing to the proximity of the hills, appeared
to be unhealthy, and the children looked very sickly. This is not to
be wondered at if the ordinary supply of water was to be judged by
that furnished to us in the evening, which seemed to have come from a
buffalo wallow. All the villagers assembled to watch the kalas at their
_al fresco_ dinner, and eagerly accepted our empty bottles, which were
regarded as precious prizes.

At eight o’clock next morning we were in motion, and almost immediately
began to ascend, crossing a succession of ridges, till at 9.30 the
first Burmese _kengdat_, or guard-house, was reached, called Pahtama
Kengdat. It is situated in a hollow, and, like the rest, consists of a
small house built of teak and bamboo, raised on piles, and surrounded
by a double bamboo stockade, with two poles bearing white pennants
raised in front. The garrison consisted of some half-dozen Burmese
soldiers. Still ascending, we reached the district of Singnew and at
a place where the road diverged, several Kakhyen men and women had
collected to see us pass. The second Burmese guard-house, or Lamen
Kengdat, and soon afterwards the village of Pehtoo, or Payto, were
passed, and we entered the territory of Ponline. From the first village
and the third guard-house, Tap-gna-gyee, we ascended to the principal
village and residence of Sala, called Lankon, where we spent our first
night in Kakhyen land in 1868.[41]

We halted at noon in front of the chiefs house, by which grew a fine
peach tree in full bloom. A few old Kakhyens were assembled, and among
them the tsawbwa-gadaw, who produced sheroo, and demanded payment,
receiving four annas, with which she seemed very dissatisfied. The
road, or rather track, no wise improved during the last seven years,
was marked on either hand by tufts of raw cotton which the lower
hanging branches had taken as toll from the frequent caravans. From
this village our route lay to the north of that formerly travelled
by us, and a descent of an hour brought us to a small stream called
Moonam, on the other side of which we found the camp formed on a slope
which had evidently been recently cleared for the site of the fourth
guard-house, named Tsadota Kengdat, surrounded by high hill spurs on
all sides. We put up in the guard-house, which occupies the highest
point of the slope, and the Burmese formed their usual line round the
Kakhyens. The tsare-daw-gyee made his appearance later, having followed
a different route, which brought him to the north-eastern end, where
he encamped his party. All around us during the evening we heard the
gongs answering each other, and the loud shouts, or “All’s well!” of
the Burmese outposts.

After a refreshing bath, we took a stroll up the hill under the
guidance of a Kakhyen to look for pheasants, from which we brought back
nothing but a portion of an enormous fungus. Before bedtime, Browne
announced that a Kakhyen had come to him with the information that
four hundred evil-disposed Kakhyens had assembled themselves beyond
Ponsee to dispute our advance. More friendly visitors were promised in
the shape of the tsawbwa-gadaw of Woonkah and her followers, who were
expected to arrive in the morning from her husband’s village, situated
on the mountain to the north of Ponline.

While waiting in the morning of February 18th for the arrival of our
expected visitors, the tsare-daw-gyee with his subordinate officers
appeared, and in a very serious tone repeated the information that
four hundred evil-disposed Kakhyens and Chinese hill dacoits had taken
obligations among themselves to attack us, probably for the sake of
plunder. The amount of credence to be given to the report was variously
estimated, both by Kakhyens and Burmese. Moung Mo and Moung Yoh
disbelieved it; but the former wretched old man became suddenly unwell,
to such an extent that he feared he would be unable to go forward. The
Ponsee pawmine scouted the story, and averred it to be an invention of
a worthless Kakhyen who met us yesterday. Our Sikh havildar promptly
volunteered to advance with his fifteen men, and clear the road of
any number of these mountaineers, whom his observations at Sawady and
elsewhere made him hold very cheaply. The tsare-daw-gyee declared
that he and his men were ready to fight, but that it was desirable to
advance peaceably if possible. It was finally decided that we should
proceed to the last Burmese guard-house on the banks of the Nampoung,
and the caravan set out about nine o’clock.

After a short, steep ascent, within hearing of the roar of the distant
Tapeng, the road descended to the Nampoung. Passing over two short
ridges, whence a magnificent view of the glen running south-south-west
to north-north-east is obtained, and then traversing a steep path in a
succession of narrow zigzags to the banks of the stream, we arrived at
the fifth Burmese guard-house by 10.30 A.M.

The valley of the Nampoung is a deep, narrow glen, bordered on either
side by high mountains, and in no place is it broader than two hundred
yards. The river is a rapid clear stream, flowing in a rocky channel
between rock-strewn flats edged by high grass on either side. The
banks rise abruptly, covered with lofty forest trees, tangled with
magnificent creepers and festooned with orchids. Some miles to the
north a rather treeless valley communicates with the glen, apparently
running in a direction behind Manwyne. The guard-house occupies a level
open space, covered with terraces of paddy cultivation. To the south
the glen terminates in a deep gorge, down which the river rushes to
the Tapeng. We found the encampment formed, and the people, as usual,
busily preparing their huts, as, notwithstanding the advice of the
Ponsee pawmine, that we should proceed to Shitee, it had been decided
that we should remain here.

Another Burman had arrived from Manwyne, confirming the report of
danger ahead, but Margary discredited it, and expressed his readiness,
if necessary, to proceed to Manwyne to inquire into the truth of the
rumoured opposition. The tsare-daw-gyee approved of this step, and it
was decided to send Margary forward, as he was known to the Manwyne
people from his recent stay at that town, and to all the Chinese
officers in the district as being under the protection of the viceroy
of Yunnan.

During the afternoon gongs and cymbals were heard beating high up the
hill on the Chinese or left side of the valley, and Kakhyens were
seen peering down at us from among the trees. These proved to be the
followers of the Shitee Meru tsawbwa, who, however, would not come
across into Burmese territory, and after some time distant shots
announced his return to his village. In the evening the encampment
presented a picturesque scene, the red turbans of the Burmese
combining with the rich greenery of the palm leaves which thatched the
numerous huts. The Ponsee pawmine had erected for himself a wigwam of
feathery palm fronds, and the gleam of the bright fire, round which a
group of men in blue were chatting and smoking, lit up a picture that
one longed to sketch.

We had a farewell dinner in the evening, to which Margary’s Chinese
writer was invited. Our discussion of the prospects of the mission,
though clouded by no anticipations of the fearful fate to which our
gallant comrade was about to set out, lasted till a late hour, while
the gongs of the watchful Burmese sounded as usual from various points
all round our position.

Margary started for Seray _en route_ for Manwyne early in the morning
of February the 19th. He was accompanied by his writer, Yu-tu-chien,
of whom I have already spoken, an intelligent Chinese Christian, who
during his stay with us had made himself both liked and respected.
The other attendants were his official messenger, or _ting-chai_,
Lu-ta-lin, from the consulate at Shanghai; his boy, Ch’ang-yong-chien,
known by the name of Bombazine; Li-ta-yu, a servant from Sz-chuen; and
his cook, Chow-yu-ting, a native of Hankow, all of whom had accompanied
their master in the journey across China. Besides his followers,
Moung Yoh, or Li-kan-shin, and a pawmine of Seray, of by no means
prepossessing appearance, and remarkable for a peculiar loud voice,
escorted him to Seray.

The morning was devoted by myself to an attempt under the guidance of
a Kakhyen to explore the valley, which was rendered difficult by the
dense jungle, and the unwillingness of the native to proceed more than
two or three miles from the camp.

The reports of threatened opposition were as rife as ever; but
some Chinese who arrived during the day professed ignorance of any
uneasiness among the hill tribes. A Kakhyen was brought in by the
Burmese to the guard-house, who had come from Manwyne on the previous
day on purpose to tell us, at some risk to himself, that a body of men
had been collected to attack us, by one Yang-ta-jen, in league with
the Seray tsawbwa. The messenger seemed half-witted, but was clear
in his story, which certainly agreed with the previous reports. News
arrived that all the hostages detained at Tsitkaw had escaped with the
exception of Sala. One of them was the son of the Ponsee pawmine, and
his father, who had been detailed to accompany Margary, was kept back
to be sent to Tsitkaw in place of his son. The tsawbwa-gadaw of Woonkah
duly arrived with her gift of fowls, eggs, and sheroo, and received
broadcloth and other presents, with which she speedily disappeared, not
without grumbling that she had not been paid in money for her fowls!

Nothing further occurred till next morning, when messengers brought
a letter from Margary, dated from Seray, announcing that so far the
road was unmolested, and all the people met with were civil, and that
he should proceed to Manwyne. He noted that when in the Seray chief’s
house, the Seray pawmine evinced his contempt for the Burmese by
spitting on the ground.

On the strength of this communication, although the tsare-daw-gyee
urged that no movement should be made until the news of Margary’s
reception at Manwyne reached us, Colonel Browne resolved to proceed
at once, and, if possible, reach that town in one march. The camp was
accordingly struck, and, crossing the Nampoung, we entered China.

The road we were to pursue led straight up a steep spur of the main
range dividing the Tapeng from the Nampoung, the highest point of
which, Shitee Meru, rises immediately to the north of Ponsee, the
position of the long detention of the first expedition of 1868.
I set out in advance of the rest, accompanied by my men and the
Kakhyen scout who had brought the information from Manwyne. The
ascent commenced directly from the Nampoung valley, and three hours’
climb of the hill-path brought us to the first Shitee village at
noon. The tsawbwaship has been divided among three brothers, each
having a village of his own, but the youngest, according to Kakhyen
rules, being the chief of Shitee Meru. At the first village we were
hospitably received and refreshed with sheroo, and the children were
delighted with beads and small coins. Here we found a native of India,
a slave, who had come from beyond Assam, and had forgotten most of
his language, but made himself known by calling out _pani_. On the
hillside I met the Shitee Meru tsawbwa coming down with two men, one
of whom escorted me some way; and next appeared the Wacheoon tsawbwa
with a party of forty armed followers, some of them mounted on ponies.
He was very friendly, and sent an escort back with us, one of whom
had brought a lizard for the Englishman. The road wound up and over
the spurs running down from the backbone of the Shitee-doung to the
Nampoung, which flows from the north-east along a valley lying below
the north-western slope of the main range that defines the right bank
of the Tapeng. The greatest height reached on Shitee Meru Doung was
about five thousand seven hundred feet above the sea, from which we
descended slightly to the site chosen for our encampment, the altitude
of which was found to be five thousand five hundred feet, where we
halted at 3.30, after a march of about eight miles.

Between two rounded ridges running down to the Nampoung, one in our
rear covered with forest, and the other with grass, about five hundred
yards distant to the north-east, extended two flat clearings, where
the caravans were accustomed to bivouack, the first and smaller
clearing being close to the western spur. On the second and larger
space, divided from the first by a mountain stream, and lying at a
somewhat higher elevation, immediately along the grassy spur, the camp
was pitched. Around and above the encampments the forest had been
cleared, and the open space was covered with high grass interspersed
with boulders. Just below the encampments the ground sloped abruptly
into a grassy hollow between the ridges, which served as a grazing
ground for the mules. The main mountain ridge, which rose to a
height of six hundred feet above us, was clothed to its summit with
dense forest, which formed a continuous covert, extending along the
projecting ridge in the rear, and thus enclosing and commanding our
position on the south and east. Below the hollow, the hillside, clothed
with impenetrable jungle, sank abruptly to the Nampoung. The country
over which the road wound along the slope, in the direction of Seray,
consisted of old clearings covered with jungle grass and patches of
uncut forest. The immediate exit of the road led through a depression
in the ridge, and descended the intervening hollow, and, thence
reascending, crossed the next spur.

We bivouacked in the open among the mules and baggage, and surrounded
by the fires, the smoke from which was at first most intolerable, but
no other annoyance or disturbance was experienced, and our Kakhyens
enjoyed themselves listening to the melodies of a musical-box, which
had become an especial favourite with them. The Burmese were as
vigilant as ever, and their sentinels seemed to be on the alert all
night. The tsawbwas of Wacheoon and Ponwah visited the camp, and they
had heard nothing of any suspicious movements of troops, and the other
Shans who brought fowls for sale confirmed this. Our interpreter,
Moung Yoh, returned to the camp in company with the Seray men, the
latter being remarkably well dressed and equipped, and evidently old
acquaintances of the Burmese. He reported that the Seray chief was
dissatisfied on account of the payment of the mule tax or dues to Sala,
which, however, had been done with the knowledge and approval of the
son of Seray. Moung Yoh then suggested that presents should be sent
to Seray, whom he had discovered to be a great friend of his uncle,
Li-sieh-tai, and to whose house he returned the same evening to await
our arrival.

We were in readiness to start by seven o’clock in the morning of
the 21st, but the tsare-daw-gyee intimated that he did not think it
prudent to move until the tsawbwas of Shitee Meru, Woonkah, and others
arrived. His real intention, however, was to remain in this camp
until definite news came from Mr. Margary; but as the arrangement had
been made with the latter that we were to advance if we did not hear
from him warning us to the contrary, Colonel Browne resolved to push
forward to Seray with the Sikhs, leaving the Burmese guard and caravan
to follow. I started with my men in advance, but in a short time was
overtaken by Browne, Allan, and Fforde, followed by the Sikhs and their
servants, with the two led horses, the camp having thus been left to
the Kakhyens, under the charge of the Burmese. Their cavalcade soon
outstripped my party, as we were shooting, and collecting plants. The
road lies over numerous spurs and through deep wooded hollows, and
then crosses the watershed dividing the Nampoung valley from the gorge
of the Tapeng; on the southern or Manwyne side of the ridge lies the
district of Seray. Here a Shan Burman, wearing the red turban of our
escort, accompanied by a Kakhyen, overtook us, and by signs gave me
to understand that the tsare-daw-gyee wished us to return. As none
of us could speak Burmese, I signed to him to proceed quickly and
communicate his news to Colonel Browne, which he did, and I ordered my
men to press forward to overtake the rest of the party, while I waited
behind for my groom and pony. The messenger on his return signified
that Colonel Browne was continuing his progress to Seray. The road
descended into a hollow, from which a steep ascent leads to Seray.
Here a difficulty arose about the road, as several paths diverged,
and there was nothing to indicate which had been taken by Colonel
Browne’s party. Unfortunately, I took a wrong one, and soon arrived
at a strange village, the inhabitants of which had, doubtless, never
before seen an European. According to Kakhyen custom, I dismounted
before entering, and, seeing some women standing at the door of the
first house, indicated by signs that I desired to know the road. They
sulkily waved to me to go on upwards. Imagining that the end of the
village was reached, I prepared to remount, but this was resented by a
number of men who rushed out of a house, and, shouting, drew their dahs
in a threatening manner. I tried to induce some of them, by the offer
of _compraw_, to show me the way, but none would do so. Proceeding
onwards, followed by the hillmen, I suddenly found my big dog by my
side. As his presence was evidence that some of my men were behind, I
turned my pony’s head, and all the Kakhyens bolted. After retracing my
steps for some distance, I discovered my collectors and servants hiding
for fear in a deep hollow. Presently I met a Kakhyen boy, who conducted
us to the village of Seray.

Seray, like the majority of Kakhyen villages, is finely situated on
the summit of a ridge, among lofty trees, enclosing a grassy glade
in its centre. The paths approaching the village are broad, and its
vicinity is indicated by groups of high massive wooden posts, with
simple devices in black, and by groves to the nats, and by small
circular walled enclosures devoted to the worship of the sky spirit.
On arriving, I found all the Sikhs ranged in front of the tsawbwa’s
house, also the chiefs of Woonkah and Wacheoon, and Allan’s Chinese
clerk. It was so dark on entering that at first I could not recognise
Colonel Browne, Allan, and Fforde, save by their voices. The chief, who
knew me again, was seated on the ground, and it was observable that
he and all his men were armed. The restlessness which he exhibited,
his withdrawing outside for private conferences with his pawmine, and
the fact that all the women had left the house, excited suspicion;
but when the latter returned, and the chief and his pawmine divested
themselves of their dahs, I concluded that any hostile intention that
might have been originally entertained against us had for the present
been abandoned. Then sheroo and hard boiled eggs were brought in and
set before us; but further parley with the chief produced no results,
and we adjourned to a grove of oak and hazel trees on the outskirts
of the village. Moung Yoh, or Li-kan-shin, the professed nephew of
Li-sieh-tai, who had been acting as our interpreter, and addressing
Seray as uncle as a mark of friendship, presently came to request
Colonel Browne to return to the chief’s house. There it was decided
that the Seray and Woonkah tsawbwas should proceed to Manwyne at once,
and ascertain the actual state of things, and take a letter to Margary.
Another Burman had arrived from the camp to request us to return, and
we mounted our ponies, and retraced our steps. On the road we met some
Kakhyens, one of whom seized the bridle of Browne’s horse, and signed
him to go back, as the road was beset, but as our friend was under the
influence of sheroo, we spoke to him pleasantly and proceeded. This man
was a pawmine of Shitee, who returned to the camp in the evening, and,
when taxed with having been intoxicated, admitted that he had started
with a bamboo flask full of sheroo, which he had finished. These
incidents showed that there was an uneasy apprehension of danger, but
that in the immediate vicinity the Kakhyens were friendly.

During our absence, the Burmese had thrown up barricades or breastworks
of stones and earth, at points above the camp, and commanding the
road to Seray. The tsare-daw-gyee announced to Browne that we should
certainly be attacked by the Chinese either that evening or on the
march the next day. Some men were observed peering down from among the
trees on the hill-brow, as if reconnoitring our position. The Burmese,
who were collecting firewood, came running down as fast as they could,
and the whole camp set up a fearful shout to scare the supposed
enemies, who disappeared, and the excitement gradually subsided.

[40] Yule’s ‘Marco Polo,’ vol. ii. (1875), p. 244.

[41] See page 73. The name of the village was understood by us, on that
occasion, to be the same as that of the district, viz. Ponline.



 Appearance of enemy--Murder of Margary--Friendly tsawbwas--Mission
 attacked--Woonkah tsawbwa bought over--The jungle fired--Repulse
 of attack--Incidents of the day--Our retreat--Shitee--Burmese
 reinforcements--Halt at guard-house--Retreat on Tsitkaw via
 Woonkah--Elias and Cooke’s visit to Muangmow--Li-sieh-tai--Return
 of Captain Cooke--Elias at Muangmow--Father Lecomte and the Mattin
 chief--A forged letter--The Saya of Kaungtoung--Reports regarding
 Margary--The commission of inquiry--Return of Elias--Visit to the
 second defile--Mission’s return to Rangoon.

We were all astir with early daylight on February 22nd, and prepared
our baggage for the advance to Manwyne; but about seven o’clock large
bodies of armed men were observed on the heights above us hurrying
downwards in the direction of Shitee, as if to cut off our retreat.
There was no mistaking their hostile purpose, and the Burmese
immediately detached parties to occupy the positions which they had
fortified, one being above the camp, and another thrown forward to a
point of the road leading to Seray, which commanded the next hollow
and the opposite ridge. The Woonkah tsawbwa came into the camp,
and communicated to Colonel Browne a report which received almost
instant confirmation. The tsare-daw-gyee appeared with a very serious
countenance, and produced two letters received from the Burmese agents
at Manwyne. They briefly narrated the horrible murder of Mr. Margary
on the previous day at Manwyne; his writer and other attendants were
also reported to have been killed. No particulars were given; but the
tsare-daw-gyee was warned that we were about to be attacked, and that
it would be for his own interest to detach himself by some miles from
the English, failing which precaution he would incur the same danger,
although the Chinese bore no ill-will to him and his party. The Burmese
officer, however, promptly addressed himself to the defence of the
camp, and we went up with him to the spur just above to reconnoitre,
while the Sikhs took up a position behind a long low boulder lying at
the western end of the camp, which served as a natural breastwork,
whence they commanded the road by which we had come. The friendly
Kakhyen tsawbwas of Woonkah and Wacheoon had hastened away to bring up
reinforcements, and the mules were driven down into the grassy hollow
below the camp. These preparations had not been completed when the
enemy opened fire from all sides but one. The assailants had descended
the ridge, hidden by the forest which, as already described, surrounded
our position on two sides. This had masked their advance, and served
as a perfect cover for them, the report and smoke of their fire-arms
alone showing their whereabouts; it was plain, however, that they were
in force to the south and east, and they evidently selected our party
as the object of attack, avoiding the Burmese, who, however, actively
returned the fire. Presently some of the assailants, led by a Chinese
brandishing a long trident, rushed out from the jungle to the smaller
open space. The Sikhs at once opened fire on them, which drove them
behind whatever cover could be found, and stopped any further advance
for a time. As soon as they were hidden, our men ceased firing. This
seemed to embolden the enemy, and a second detachment rushed down and
distributed themselves among the bushes. A brisk and well-aimed volley
drove them out in a mass, up the narrow entrance to the road. One man
at least was seen to fall dead, and others, wounded, were dragged up by
their companions. For some hours, firing from the men concealed in the
forest continued on all three sides. As these Kakhyens and Chinese only
raised their firelocks to the side of the head, looked for a second
forwards, and then fired, the bullets went over our heads. The steady
firing of the Sikhs at last seemed to be too much for the enemy, and
about 2 P.M. they were seen retreating along the ridge above, and the
firing to the south ceased. As they were retreating, we fired on them
at about a thousand yards’ range, and this evidently astonished them,
as they rushed past, stooping at the exposed points where the fire
told. When everything seemed quiet, and the road appeared clear, the
mules were brought up from the hollow, and the muleteers hastened to
get the loads ready. While this was being done, a party of our Kakhyens
made a rush to the open space, where one of the enemy had been seen to
fall, and returned with his head, which was tied up by the pig tail to
a tree. It was subsequently reported that he was a Chinese officer,
but his dress and appearance hardly indicated such rank. Before the
preparations for a start were completed, the enemy returned in much
greater force, and reoccupied the coverts, and it was estimated that
they were at least five hundred strong. Firing recommenced from
the heights and the forest around, and our position appeared to be
completely surrounded, except on the side of the descent to the
Nampoung valley. The question of abandoning the baggage and effecting
a retreat by this, the only line left open, was mooted, but the
tsare-daw-gyee urged delay, and his men as well as ourselves maintained
a steady fire on the enemy.

The Woonkah tsawbwa, with a number of his men, had returned to the camp
just before the first repulse of the enemy, and he informed Colonel
Browne that the Seray chief had offered him five hundred rupees if he
would join in the attack on us. The drift of this remark was at once
seen by Colonel Browne, who promptly offered him ten thousand rupees
if he could succeed in bringing off all the baggage. It was difficult
for the Kakhyen’s mind to conceive so large an amount of coin, and the
tsare-daw-gyee had to make him comprehend it by stating that he would
receive “three basketfuls of silver.”

Just as this arrangement had been concluded, we heard the shouts of
men, apparently coming up behind the southern spur, which was occupied
by the enemy. The Burmese at first thought that this indicated the
approach of a reinforcement which was hourly expected to arrive from
Bhamô. Presently, however, the forest in front of them burst into a
blaze, having been fired by the Shitee tsawbwa and his Kakhyens with
those of Woonkah. This manœuvre proved most successful, and the enemy
was speedily forced to retire, and as other coverts were successively
fired below the heights by the Burmese, they were soon in full retreat
along the heights, exposed to the fire of our rifles, which told on
them at several open places. Firing, however, continued for some time
below the heights, and on the side of the ridge commanding the Seray
road a desultory fire was also kept up. The Burmese guard were here
posted behind an earthwork, and kept the enemy at bay on that side; and
after the southern spur and eastern heights were cleared, we took the
Sikhs down to support the Burmese, and fired into the further hollow,
the only remaining covert of the enemy.

All firing had nearly ceased by about five o’clock. The jungle on all
other sides being now cleared and the road to Shitee open, the order
was given to reload the mules. They were speedily brought up out
of the hollow, where they had remained in safety, and all were soon
loaded. Some mules and drivers had disappeared, but willing Kakhyens,
either of Shitee or Woonkah, speedily shouldered the remaining loads,
and the vacant pack saddles were heaped up and burned before we left.
At the close of the day, though bullets had been flying about in
all directions, the casualties on our side only amounted to three
men slightly wounded, and a mule shot in the neck. The firing was
mainly directed at the officers of the mission, and whenever we moved
towards the baggage, bullets fell freely about us, while the Chinese
shouted to the tsare-daw-gyee that they did not wish to kill his
men, but the “foreign devils.” Our Burmese showed great spirit, and
the tsare-daw-gyee, from first to last, was deserving of the highest
praise. One of his men, while trying to drive out some Chinese, had
his red turban carried off by the prongs of a trident, but succeeded
in evading a more fatal thrust of the weapon. The loss of the enemy
was variously reported, and it is impossible to give an accurate
return. Some perished in the burning jungle, and so far as the reports
afterwards furnished could be relied on, of the assailants about eight
or ten were killed and thirty wounded. I noticed that young men not
more than twenty years of age, and even boys, were numerous among
their ranks. The well-known loud voice of the Seray pawmine was heard,
and the tsawbwa’s son as well as the tsawbwa of Ponsee were said to
have been present. The son of Seray was detected by the report of his
double-barrelled gun, a present to his father at the time of the former
expedition, both barrels of which were fired at once, making the double
report easily distinguishable.

The letters received from Manwyne had stated that the party about to
attack us was the vanguard of a force of three thousand men, whom the
governor of Momien had despatched to oppose our progress. The reader
will remember that our camp at Ponsee was menaced with attack, in April
1868, by the lawless Kakhyens of this very district, and, although on
the other side of the mountain, our position on this occasion was close
to that place. Numerous robberies had been previously reported in this
district, and the attacking party undoubtedly consisted largely of the
Ponsee and Seray Kakhyens. These belong to the Lakone tribe, while the
clans of the Woonkah, Wacheoon, and Shitee chiefs, who rendered such
faithful assistance, are offsets of the Cowlie tribe. With the Kakhyens
were associated a number of Chinese rowdies or perhaps soldiers; but
the assailants could hardly be reckoned other than local robbers, who
thought that the Burmese would not resist, and that our own guards were
too few, while the prospect of such a rich booty was enough to make
them encounter the risks of a fight. The staunch defence, the effect
produced by the long range of the rifles, and the bold diversion in
our favour directed by the Shitee and Woonkah chiefs, who fired the
jungle, combined to disappoint their expectations. It must not be
understood from this that the subsequent reports of the advance of
Chinese troops, and of hostility on the part of the Momien officials,
are discredited. The frontier Chinese were strongly prejudiced against
our entrance into Yunnan, and the Kakhyens and local robbers would be
stimulated by the reported or actual advance of troops to anticipate
any overt acts of hostility, and try to secure the rich booty for

When the baggage train had all moved safely off, escorted by some of
the Burmese guard, we set out on the return to Shitee, followed by the
Sikhs, the rear being brought up by the tsare-daw-gyee. Mr. Fforde,
with a few of his men, remained for a short time, while the Burmese
posted on the road to Seray held their position until all were clear
off, then followed slowly after us to cover the retreat. We started
at 5.30, and in half an hour reached Shitee, having met on the road
some of the Burmese reinforcements which had come up from Bhamô. The
baggage was all collected in a pile before the tsawbwa’s house, and
the tsitkay-nekandaw, who commanded the newly arrived detachment, was
posted with forty of his men behind an earthwork which they had thrown
up, covering the approach to the village. Both the tsawbwa and the
tsare-daw-gyee wished us to remain for the night at this place. The
chief feared that the Chinese would come down and burn his village
in revenge for his having aided us. The Burmese argued, that if the
members of the mission continued the retreat, it would appear as though
we were deserting the baggage, which could not be brought further
that evening. The position of the village, situated on the slope of
the mountain spur, and closely surrounded by dense jungle, seemed too
much exposed to a night attack, and Colonel Browne decided to push on
to the guard-house on the Nampoung. We started accordingly at 6.30,
accompanied by the tsare-daw-gyee and some of the Burmese. It soon
became very dark, and the descent down the rocky footpath, bordered
on one side by a steep declivity, was tedious and dangerous. We could
not see the stones or the edges of the track, and when passing through
thick groves of trees, even a white pony right in front of me was

For nearly four long hours we stumbled downwards, the latter part
of the journey being somewhat facilitated by the moonlight, which,
however, was obscured by the impenetrable forest and the surrounding
heights. Crossing the Nampoung, the guard-house was safely reached, and
we were comfortably housed. As four of the mules had brought on some
bedding, food, and cooking utensils, we were not so badly off as the
Sikhs, who had marched laden with ammunition besides packets of sycee
silver, which had been distributed among them for safety in the crisis
of the attack, and had only supplies of dry rice.

The next morning it was resolved that the Woonkah tsawbwa, who had
accompanied us, should return to Shitee, and bring down the remainder
of the baggage, while we should await his arrival. Two hours later
the tsare-daw-gyee reported that the Chinese were collecting in force
at the northern and southern ends of the Nampoung valley to renew the
attack. He therefore advised us to proceed at once to Tsitkaw by the
Woonkah road. In a short time we were toiling up the steep ascent
leading to the district and village of Woonkah, which lies on the
summit of the high ridge forming the western watershed of the Nampoung,
and must be at an altitude equal to that of Shitee. The tsare-daw-gyee
brought up the rear of the party, and during the march sent forward a
messenger to urge us to press on, because the Chinese were reported to
be rapidly assembling. The people of the first Woonkah village welcomed
us with evident satisfaction, and the tsawbwa-gadaw brought a grateful
supply of sheroo, which was most refreshing. Here we were joined by the
tsare-daw-gyee, and it was proposed to him that we should leave the led
horses behind, but he objected to this as unnecessary.

From Woonkah the descent of the hills commenced, the road passing
through a forest of very lofty trees clear of underwood. As we neared
the junction of a road from the north with the Woonkah track, our
advanced guard of Burmese beckoned us to follow quickly, and most
carefully reconnoitred the sides of a spur which sloped down towards
us, but nothing but dense jungle was visible. They evinced the same
anxious caution at the point where the Ponline road joined our route
before the third guard-house was reached. The Sikhs were beginning to
be much distressed, and we had to relieve them by giving up our ponies
for their use in turns. Tsihet was reached at 2.30, and, after a short
rest, we proceeded to Tsitkaw, where we arrived at sundown, and were
congratulated on our escape by the second tsitkay-nekandaw, who met
us outside at the head of a guard lining each side of the road. We
put up in our old quarters, but without any supplies, as no baggage
had arrived; and for bedding, we had straw and Shan felt coverlets.
Fortunately, some tins of preserved meat were forthcoming, but we had
to procure from the villagers some clay vessels for cooking, and a blue
bowl to serve instead of plates.

We remained two days at Tsitkaw expecting the baggage, the lighter
portions of which arrived in charge of the Burmese. Another detachment
of eighty-five men came from Bhamô, on the morning after our arrival,
and marched straight on to the hills. The indefatigable tsare-daw-gyee
also received orders from the Woon to return at once to Woonkah, and
remain there personally to oversee the despatch of all the baggage.
It is impossible to speak too highly of the care for our safety on
the march, and the general conduct, of this Burmese officer. Various
reports were brought in as to the loss suffered by the enemy; and both
Burmese and Kakhyens seemed to have been strongly impressed by the
“far shooting” of our rifles. The Kakhyen who had brought the earliest
information of the intended attack made his appearance, and was
delighted at finding his services recompensed with a handsome reward.
He was so elated that, Kakhyen-like, he returned with a “tail” of
followers, and, giving himself out as a tsawbwa, tried to get something
for his companions, in which he was unsuccessful. We were also rejoined
by our old interpreter, Moung Mo, who had disappeared at Shitee; but
of Moung Yoh, or Li-kan-shin, and Allan’s Chinese clerk, who had been
last seen or heard of at Seray, nothing certain could be ascertained.
Subsequent reports stated that they had both been murdered, but no
trustworthy intelligence was received either of their death or escape.

On the second day of our stay at Tsitkaw, letters were received from
the Resident at Bhamô in reply to the despatch announcing our repulse.
He had fortunately been on the point of sending some Lenna Kakhyens
with letters to Elias at Muangmow, and had promised them a reward if
they escorted our companion safely back. The Woon sent to request our
return to Bhamô, as he had heard of an intended attack on Tsitkaw by
the Khanloung Kakhyens, a most lawless race of robbers inhabiting the
hills above the Molay river. Extra guards were accordingly posted by
the choung-oke, and all the soldiers were ordered to be on the alert;
but the night passed off quietly. We all returned, some by road and
the rest by boat, to Bhamô, on February 26th, and were welcomed at the
Residency by Captain Cooke.

He had no news of Elias, who on the 17th instant was still at
Muangmow, and whose position, alone in the power of Li-sieh-tai,
seemed precarious and alarming. To explain it, I must again mention
that Captain Cooke and Mr. Ney Elias had started, under the convoy
of the Lenna chief of Paloungto, by the Sawady route, intending, if
possible, to meet us at Momien. They went from Bhamô to Mansay, and,
leaving the latter place early in the morning, arrived at the Kakhyen
village of Kara by nine o’clock. The chief Kara village, named Peetah,
lies a few miles distant. Two miles from this place, they entered the
country of the Lenna Kakhyens, and a march of seven miles brought them
to Wurrabone, a small village situated near the summit of a mountain.
This is the seat of the elder brother of the Paloungto chief, at whose
house they spent the night, being received with the utmost attention
that Kakhyen hospitality could show. From their observation, the Lenna
tribe appear to be a very superior race of Kakhyens, their houses and
manners evincing a higher degree of civilisation than is found amongst
the Kara or Lakone tribe. Starting at midday from Wurrabone, the party
arrived at sunset at Paloungto, a village of twenty houses. A march
of six miles over a rough hill road led to Namkai, the largest Lenna
village, containing forty houses, whence a road leads to Muangwan
and Hotha. Here the road, passing through a part of the Lakone
country, descended for nine miles to Pamkam, a small village lying
at the foot of the hills on the right bank of the Namwan or Muangwan
river. From this point, at which the Chinese frontier is crossed,
and the level valley of the Shuaylee is entered, Kwotloon, in the
territory of Muangmow, is only a mile distant. Arriving at sunset, the
travellers halted for the night, the Shan inhabitants proving sullen
and inclined to be uncivil. Their behaviour was a marked contrast
to the demeanour of the dreaded Lenna Kakhyens, through whose hills
the party had passed without any difficulty, while their expenses
had not amounted to five rupees, the hospitable tsawbwas insisting
on supplying everything required. The only chance of delay arose at
Paloungto, where the tsawbwa wanted to give a grand buffalo sacrifice
and feast in honour of his guests, and to propitiate the nats in
their favour. He postponed the ceremonial at Cooke’s request until
the return journey of the latter. After leaving Kwotloon, the Namwan
stream was crossed, and a day’s march on the left bank of twenty-four
miles in a south-easterly direction, and ascending the right bank of
the Shuaylee through an open, level country, brought the party to the
Shan town of Muangmow. This place, the residence of the tsawbwa, like
the towns of the Sanda valley, is surrounded by a brick wall sixteen
feet high, without bastions or embrasures, but backed by an earthwork.
Four gates, corresponding to the points of the compass, lead into
the town, which occupies a square of about six hundred yards, and is
inhabited by Shan Chinese. The travellers at once proceeded to call on
Li-sieh-tai, who was residing in a ruinous yamen, and commanded a force
of apparently about fifty Chinese soldiers, although said to number
three hundred. This redoubtable Chinese official received them with
great civility, addressing Elias as “his elder brother,” and assigned
them quarters in a khyoung close to the western gate of the town.

Li-sieh-tai is described as a little but broad-shouldered and powerful
man, with a large head and ugly visage, having an unusually wide mouth,
with thick and protruding lips. In conversation he looks straight at
his interlocutor, which is in marked contrast to the usually downcast
or shifting glance of the other Chinese. He showed his literary
acquirements by carefully perusing the imperial passports, which he
declared to be quite satisfactory, and amply sufficient to ensure the
bearer’s safety if once in the mandarins’ country beyond Sehfan. The
difficulty would be in the journey from Muangmow to Sehfan, as there
was a feud between the tsawbwas of these states.

Captain Cooke resolved to return to Bhamô, as his presence might render
it more difficult or tedious for Mr. Elias to proceed to Momien. When
he with his followers proposed to depart, he found the western gate
closed, and was told that it could not be opened without the leave
of some official. He had been already requested to sign a letter of
indemnity for Mr. Elias’ safety, which had, as a matter of course,
been declined, and the closing of the gate was intended as a species
of pressure. He outmanœuvred the officials by ordering his Kakhyens
to wait till the gate should be opened, while he took his departure
by another gate. They rejoined him outside the town, and all arrived
without further difficulty at Paloungto. Here the nat sacrifice duly
took place, and a bullock, pig, and fowls were slaughtered, a leg
of the first victim being presented to Cooke, which is a mark of
honour only paid to chiefs. A grand palaver was held in the tsawbwa’s
house, the occasion being a dispute between the chief and one of his
villages, the people of which had stolen a bullock from him. To atone
for this insult, a fine of ten bullocks was imposed, to be paid in
five yearly instalments. At least fifty Kakhyens were present, and
sheroo and samshu were liberally supplied, but the assemblage was
quiet and orderly. At midnight the English guest expressed a wish to
sleep, and all at once departed, while the chief produced for his
accommodation two carpets which he had recently received as a present
from the Residency. The chief explained the difficulties which had
arisen between himself and the leader of the mission at Sawady, by
the fact that he had only agreed to convoy the British mission, and
would not admit a Burmese guard into his country. It is certain that
no mention of the passage of a Burmese guard had been made during the
previous negotiations by Mr. Elias, who was at that time unaware of
and subsequently opposed to the plan. The tsawbwa complained bitterly
of the humiliation he had experienced in being obliged to squat on
the ground before the Burmese officials, and that he had not had any
opportunity of a private interview with the English officers. It is
very much to his credit that he asked for nothing beyond what he had
been promised; and his conduct and that of his brother, the chief of
Wurrabone, and their subjects, showed conclusively that, so far as the
Kakhyens are concerned, this route to Muangmow was unattended by any
real difficulty.

On the day after our arrival at Bhamô, our anxiety concerning the
position of Elias was relieved by the arrival of two Lenna Kakhyens,
bringing letters from him dated from Kwotloon on the 24th. The
messengers had thus accomplished their journey in two days, and were
immediately sent back with letters. As it was probable that Mr. Elias
would have received the letter of recall, his speedy arrival was
looked for; and all our suspense on his account was ended on March 2nd,
when he made his appearance, escorted by the Wurrabone pawmine.

Subsequently to Captain Cooke’s departure from Muangmow, Li-sieh-tai,
whose conduct and character had made a rather favourable impression
on Mr. Elias, held out hopes that he might be able to arrange for his
safe conduct to Sehfan. The tsawbwa, however, was more explicit, and
assured him that it was impossible in the then state of the country.
Subsequent observations, and refusals of access to the tsawbwa, on
various pretexts, convinced Elias that there was no intention to let
him proceed. He therefore bade farewell to Li, who accepted a rifle
as a parting present, and returned to Kwotloon, to which place two
Shans brought the news of the attack on our camp. The aged tsawbwa of
Wurrabone, with his pawmines, went to Kwotloon to escort him safely to
Mansay; and leaving Kwotloon on the 28th, they accomplished the journey
of sixty-four miles by a direct road, avoiding Paloungto, in two days.
While passing Peetah, the Lennas evinced some apprehension that the
Kara Kakhyens, who had previously grumbled about the smallness of their
gains, might prove troublesome; but the party passed through without

It is impossible to avoid the reflection that, if the murder of Margary
and the attack on our camp had been directed by Li-sieh-tai, he could
easily, by direct or indirect means, have disposed of his visitor;
and his civility and consideration for his safety by not allowing him
to advance are surely to be esteemed a strong argument in his favour.
Among the Lenna Kakhyens the opinion was freely expressed that the
opposition was due to secret tactics on the part of the Burmese. That
this idea prevailed among the hill tribes to the south of the Tapeng
was further confirmed by Father Lecomte, who returned from a visit to
Mattin at the time of our arrival at Bhamô. When he and his companion
reached the first Kakhyen village, there was an incessant discharge of
fire-arms, and the villagers appeared unwilling to receive them, until
they assured them that they were not Englishmen. Their sacerdotal garb
assisted to make the Kakhyens believe that they belonged to a different
race, and they were then entertained, but informed that at first the
people had said, “If these are kalas, let us kill them, because the
king of Burma does not wish them to enter our hills.” The tsawbwa
of Mattin, whose intelligence and general knowledge impressed them
strongly, told them that there was no chance of the mission reaching
Yunnan. He further remarked that the Kakhyens were glad to see the
Englishmen at Bhamô; but “what will become of the trade and occupation
of our people if they make a railway from Bhamô to Momien?” This
feeling, both among the Chinese merchants and the Kakhyens, especially
those under Burmese and Chinese influence, that our gain in the way of
open trade would prove their loss, must be largely taken into account
in estimating the difficulties of progress.

The opinion that the king of Burma was hostile to the mission owed
its origin to a forged royal letter, directing the Kakhyens to oppose
us. A copy of this letter was obtained by the Resident, and there was
no doubt that it had been widely circulated. The forgery was brought
home to no less a personage than the chief phoongyee, or _saya_,
of Kaungtoung. The Woon of Shuaygoo, whose district includes both
Kaungtoung and Sawady, it will be recollected, refused any co-operation
with his colleague at Bhamô. I personally experienced his hostility to
foreigners during a boat voyage through the second defile on the return
from Bhamô, when he not only refused a guide, but sent instructions to
the headmen of his villages to forbid my landing. He has been since
deprived of office, and the actual perpetrator of the forgery has
been tried by the ecclesiastical court of Mandalay, degraded from the
priesthood, and sentenced to carry one hundred loads of water into the
khyoung of the court. The sentence ran as follows:--“In the case of
rahans, if in a matter not ordered by our most excellent Lord Buddha,
one represents it to be a sacred order, he is guilty of _dakka-apat_.
In the case of laymen, if a person represents that which is not a
royal order as a royal order, the customary punishment is to widen
his mouth (by slitting the cheeks) or to cut off his hand. In the
present instance, Shin Thula Tsara, the Saya of Kaungtoung, without
orders from an ecclesiastical court, by making that which was not a
royal order into a royal order, was the one who ordered the obstruction
of the British mission proceeding to China. He accordingly has been
deprived of his office of bishop; but as a rahan and a soldier of the
Buddhist religion is not punishable according to the civil law, the
decision, in accordance with the rule given in the Wini, made by the
assembled members of the ecclesiastical court, is--Let him be punished
by carrying one hundred loads of water,” &c. This isolated case of
hostility on the part of Burmese officials in nowise detracts from the
good opinion which the zeal and energy displayed in our service by the
Bhamô authorities earned from all who witnessed and profited by them.

Upon our safe arrival, the Woon sent letters to the governor of Momien
to inquire into the causes of the opposition offered to the progress
of the mission and the murder of one of its officers. The report that
Chinese troops were still marching in great numbers from Momien to
Manwyne was also the subject of inquiry. He did not disguise his fear
that the Chinese would attack Bhamô; and the preparation of bricks for
the construction of a wall around the town, which had already begun,
was actively pressed forward.

During our stay, all opportunities for ascertaining, if possible,
the exact details of the murder of Mr. Margary and his followers
were eagerly availed of by us; but beyond the melancholy fact, though
various reports were current, it was impossible to collect evidence
either as to the perpetrators or the circumstances of this atrocious
crime. It seemed, however, agreed that there were Chinese officials and
troops at Manwyne. The muleteers and others who accompanied Margary had
fled for their lives into the jungle. One reported that he had been
examined as a friend of the foreigners, and had escaped by asserting
that he was a resident of the district, and not connected with us. The
most trustworthy account was furnished by two of the six Burmese who
were at Manwyne, and whom the Chinese officials threatened to kill.
The most intelligent one stated that he saw Margary walking about the
town, sometimes with Chinese and at other times alone. On the morning
of the 21st, the very day of his murder, some men invited him to go and
see a hot spring, and when he was outside the town, they knocked him
off his pony and speared him. His writer and messenger and two servants
were killed in the khyoung. This was only hearsay, and no one had seen
the heads of the victims, which were reported to have been affixed to
the town wall, or, according to another account, to have been sent to
Momien. Our informants had not seen any troops, though one had heard
them marching at night while he was concealed in the jungle.

Later accounts stated that the Chinese officers had been ordered back
in disgrace to Momien, because they had allowed our party to escape,
and that the Shans were at feud with the Chinese, as the phoongyee
complained that the khyoung had been desecrated by blood-shedding.

It is to be hoped that the commission of inquiry now traversing China
from the east will be able to elicit the facts, and to determine to
whom the guilt of the barbarous murder of a British officer attaches.
It is in no wise fitting to prejudge the case. Whether local marauders
or the Momien officials, actuated either by prejudice against
foreigners or commercial jealousy, or, it may be, a groundless fear of
encouragement to be derived by the Mahommedans from the presence of
the English, violated the rights guaranteed by treaty and the express
commands of an imperial passport, remains to be seen. It is possible
that the authority of the viceroy of Yunnan was prostituted to oppose
the entrance of the hated foreigners; and the recent reports seem to
indicate a determination in the Yunnan yamens at least to screen the

For my own part, I desire to record the deep sympathy entertained for
those who mourn for the loss of one so beloved. Our brief intercourse
lasted long enough to win for him the esteem and cordial friendship
of us all; and while we deplored the early loss to his country of the
services of one whose past career and talents promised to raise him to
high distinction, we lamented his untimely death as that of an old and
dear friend. To his family and those who looked forward to share his
future, the loss is irreparable; and the punishment of the guilty will
bring but little consolation. But he may be said to have bequeathed it
as a public duty--made more imperative by its being the most fitting
tribute to his worth--to establish in those border lands the right of
Englishmen to travel unmolested.

The death of this young officer and the repulse of the British mission
from the frontiers of China have left a marked impression on the minds
of the various populations. The question of opening trade routes may
be left to the future. Overland commerce cannot be forced, or even
stimulated, by extraordinary efforts. The existence of a channel of
trade between Burma and China has been demonstrated; and when the
restored prosperity of Yunnan shall create a demand, the steamers
of the Burmese rivers and the entrepot of Bhamô, where the British
flag assures protection to British interests, are ready to furnish
the supply. For the present, above and beyond the task of avenging
his murder on the guilty, of whatever rank they may be, the name of
AUGUSTUS RAYMOND MARGARY will be most fitly honoured by a party of
his countrymen formally asserting the right to traverse, in honour
and safety, the route between Burma and China, which he was the first
Englishman to explore, and which should be maintained as his most
durable monument.

By the arrival of Mr. Ney Elias, our chief cause of anxiety was
removed, and when on March 3rd the boats arrived from Tsitkaw freighted
with the baggage and stores which successive officials had been
despatched to expedite, there was no farther necessity for delay at
Bhamô. Everything, with very trivial exceptions, was delivered safely
according to the inventory which had been taken at Woonkah, and the
tsawbwa of that place received his promised reward of £1000, which
undoubtedly made him the richest chief among the northern Kakhyens.

As the steamer from Mandalay had not arrived, I hired a native boat, in
order to make a leisurely inspection of the second defile, and dropped
down to Sawady. The Woon of Bhamô had informed me that there was danger
to be apprehended from the Kakhyens on the hills of the defile, and
advised an application to the Shuaygoo Woon, who was at Sawady, for a
guide. After some delay, the Woon received me, but most ungraciously,
and declined the request, as the Bhamô Woon had sent no official letter
on the subject. Not content with this refusal, he sent a boat with
soldiers to convey orders to the villages not to allow me to remain
for the night, the result of which we experienced at a place called
Thembaw-eng, where the headman came down and compelled us to leave
our moorings. We were not assailed by Kakhyens, but had a nocturnal
alarm of a tiger, which the boatmen declared to be not a real tiger,
but the nat of the locality, who was enraged at their having cut down
some branches which interfered with my camera, when photographing the
great cliff. A more disagreeable incident was a violent storm, almost
amounting to a tornado, which overtook us in the river. The hurricane
was presaged by a most brilliant light seen, in the west, from which
quarter the wind soon after burst upon the river with tremendous
fury, lashing its surface into great waves, while incessant flashes
of lightning lit up the scene, which was one of terrific grandeur. A
pleasing incident of the trip was the arrival of a boat containing
our old friend and patient, the old tsare-daw-gyee, who had escorted
us from Mandalay, and who had arrived at Bhamô in chains on his way
to Mogoung a few days before. He expressed great pleasure at seeing
me safe, and I congratulated him on having regained his liberty. This
was due to royal orders brought by an express boat from Mandalay two
days previously. As he intended to halt at Shuaygoo-myo, he promised
to neutralise the malice of the Woon, by personal instructions to the
headman, which proved most useful.

The steamer _Colonel Fytche_, with the members of the mission, overtook
us at the wooding station of Yuathet on March 7th, and, after the
usual delays caused by grounding on sandbanks, we reached Mandalay on
the 10th, and found the steamer _Yunnan_ about to start for Rangoon.
We were almost amused to hear the various and contradictory rumours
which had been flying about this most gossiping of capitals as to
our dangers and escapes. An account of the attack, as being made by
Kakhyens and disaffected Chinese, had been published in a printed
Chinese broadsheet, which professed to give the most recent and
exact information concerning the mission, a curious illustration of
the interest which the subject possessed for the Chinese traders of
Mandalay. The _Yunnan_ conveyed us to Rangoon, where the welcome of
the Chief Commissioner and the hearty congratulations, on our safety,
of our other friends were not lessened by our having been compelled
to return _re infecta_, leaving the task, it is to be hoped, soon and
successfully to be accomplished by another mission.




Bells are common in Burma, and the people of that country are well
acquainted with the art of casting them. Most of the bells to be seen
in the pagodas are of small dimensions, and in shape differ from those
used in Europe. The inferior part is less widened, and there is a
large hole in the centre of the upper part. No tongue is hung in the
interior, but the sound is produced by striking with a horn of deer or
elk the outward surface of the lower part. No belfry is erected for
the bells; they are fixed on a piece of timber laid horizontally, and
supported by two posts, at such a height that the inferior part of the
bell is raised about five feet from the ground.

The largest specimens of Burmese art are the two bells to be seen, the
one at the large pagoda of Rangoon, called Shuay Dagon, and the other
at Mengoon.

The first was cast in 1842, as recorded by the inscription on it. The
weight of metal is 94,682 lbs.; its height, 9½ cubits; its diameter,
5 cubits; its thickness, 15 inches. But during the process of
melting, the well-disposed threw in copper, silver, and gold in great
quantities. It is supposed that in this way the weight was increased

The bell of Mengoon was cast at the beginning of this century. In shape
and form it resembles our bells of Europe. It is probable that some
foreigner residing at Ava suggested the idea of giving such an unusual
form to that monumental bell. Its height is 18 feet, besides 7 feet
for hanging apparatus. It is 17 feet in diameter, and from 10 to 12
inches in thickness. Its weight is supposed to exceed 200,000 lbs.[43]
In the interior, large yellowish and greyish streaks indicate that
considerable quantities of gold and silver have been thrown in during
the process of melting. No idea can at present be had of the power of
the sound, as its enormous weight has caused the pillars that support
it partially to give way. To prevent a final disaster, the orifice of
the bell has been made to rest on large teak posts sunk in the ground
and rising about 3 feet above it.

[42] From ‘The Legend of the Burmese Buddha,’ by Bishop Bigandet,

[43] It will be observed that these figures are in excess of those
given by Colonel Yule, which I have quoted in the text.



The chief queen of the emperor Tanwan adopted a child and called him
Anlaushan. In time the child developed into a man of extraordinary
comeliness and wonderful intellect.

The queen was enamoured; and the adopted son became her paramour.

Anlaushan soon rose to distinction. His abilities were of the highest
order, and raised him at once to fame and influence. The queenly
passion was not disclosed; but suspicion had been sufficiently roused
to make it prudent on the queen’s part to get rid of her lover, and
defeat all signs of illicit intercourse.

Anlaushan was accordingly accused of being privy to a conspiracy to
dethrone the emperor. The influence of the queen prevailed to obtain a
conviction, and her favourite was banished from the royal capital.

But the injustice of his accusation and a sense of wrongs roused
Anlaushan to action, and induced him to become in reality a leader
of rebellion. He lost no time in collecting a large force with which
he was able to make head against the government, and successfully
encounter the troops of the emperor. In time he had approached within
a league of the capital, and city and palace were alike threatened.

The emperor Tanwan in this emergency adopted the suggestion of his
vizier Kanseree, and despatched a mission to Seeyoogwet, and implored
foreign aid. A force of three thousand men was sent, under the command
and guidance of three learned teachers, who arrived in due time at
Tanwan’s capital. By their aid Anlaushan was defeated and eventually

The rebellion was at an end, and the foreign contingent left China, to
return to its own country. Here, however, a difficulty arose. Their
rulers refused them admittance, and alleged as a cause for doing so,
that it was against the constitution of the country to receive back men
who had come into contact with pork-eating infidels. They had herded
in fact with pigs and infidels, and could no longer be regarded as
unpolluted subjects, or as fit members of a society which held pork in
religious detestation.

They returned therefore to China, and became permanent sojourners in
a foreign land. They are the original stock from which Mahommedanism
has sprung up in China, in various communities, and under several
denominations, &c.



1. _Ngka_ nat; Burmese, _Me_ nat; Eng. God of Earth.--He is worshipped
on the occasions of digging gold or other mines, founding a village,
and sowing paddy. The offerings made are buffalo, hogs, fowls, dried
fish, and liquor (sheroo). The worship must be celebrated by the entire
population of a village, and for four days next ensuing no work nor
journey must be undertaken.

2. _Mooshen_ or _Mofitwa_ nat or nats. These are husband and
wife, called respectively _Sharoowa_ and _Modai-pronga_. Burmese,
_Thakya-meng_; Eng. the King of Gods.--Worshipped on the occasion
of clearing fields, cutting rice crop, and founding a village. The
offerings made are a young male buffalo or bull, hog, cocks, eggs,
rice, dried fish, and liquor, with gifts of a silk putzo and women’s
ornaments. The worship is celebrated by the tsawbwa and the whole
village, and cannot be offered by a private person.

3. _Numsyang_ or _Noon-shan_ nat or nats; Burmese, _Yuwa-saun_; Eng.
the Village Guardians.--These are male and female, the eastern portion
of a village being under the custody of the former, and the western of
the latter. They are worshipped twice a year; also on the occasion of
any epidemic or of war, and at the foundation of a new village. The
offerings are as already mentioned, but the victims must be male, and
the worship is celebrated by the tsawbwa with all his people.

4. _Chan_ nat; Burmese, _Me_ nat; Eng. the Sun.--Also two, husband and
wife. Worshipped by chief and people at the time of clearing fields and
harvesting. The offerings are red fowls, boiled rice, eggs, dried fish,
bread, and liquor, with gifts of one gong, a red putzo, and masculine

5. _Sada_ nat; Burmese, _La_ nat; Eng. the Moon.--Worshipped as
foregoing. Offerings, boiled rice, dried flesh and fish, eggs, and four
bamboo flasks of liquor, with gifts of feminine clothes and ornaments
and a silver pipe stem.

6. _Ning-foi_, or _Pomp-woi_; Burmese, _Le_ nat; Eng. the
Air.--Worshipped in sickness, time of war, when going on a trading
journey, clearing fields, or founding a village. Offerings, buffalo,
cow, hog, fowls, &c., with gifts of putzo, gong, and silver.

7. _Ning-gon-wa_ nat; Burmese, _Byama_ nat; the Hindoo Brahma.--Regarded
as the “chief tsawbwa after death.” Offerings, bread; gifts, flowers,
silk putzo, and eight bamboos of liquor.

8. _Boom_ nat; Burmese, _Toung_ nat; Eng. the God of
Mountains.--Worshipped in sickness, and when clearing fields or founding
a village. Offerings, buffalo, cow, hog, &c.

9. _Mŭm Sŭn_; Burmese, _Soba_ nat; Eng. the Rice God.--Worshipped for
growth of rice crop, and sometimes in sickness. Offerings the same as
to the Moon.

10. _Chegah_ nat; Burmese, _Lay-khyan-saun_; the Field and Garden
Keeper.--Invoked to protect them. Offerings of buffalo and cows, of
which the skin is burned and the flesh boiled. Propitiated also with
offerings of tobacco. Said to inflict disease in the skin and eyes.

11. _Waroom_ nat; Burmese, _Ana_ nat; Eng. the God of
Disease.--Worshipped during sickness, chiefly small-pox and cholera.
Offerings, buffalo, &c.

12. _Khakhoo Kha-nam_; Burmese, _Yei_ nat; the God of
Water.--Worshipped on the occasion of any one being drowned; sometimes
in sickness. Offerings, two buffaloes, two hogs, two fowls, &c.

13. _Tsethoung_ nat; Burmese, _Tou_ nat; Eng. the God of
Forest.--Worshipped on the occasion of founding a village, clearing
fields, war, and sickness. Offerings, a hog, a goat, &c.

14. _Ngkhoo_ nat; Burmese, _Aing_ nat; the Home God, or God of
Ancestors.--Worshipped in all cases of sickness. Any one wishing to
migrate to another state hangs a bamboo of liquor on a post and invokes
him. New rice is also offered him at harvest. Offerings, buffalo, cow,

15. _Ndong_ nat; Burmese, _Aing-peen_ nat; the God of the Outside of
Home.--Believed to reside in the house, but worshipped outside if one
of the family is killed in war, or by drowning, fall from a tree, or
the bite of a tiger or snake. Offerings, buffalo, &c.

16. _Mo_ nat; Burmese, the same; the God of Heaven.--Four brothers,
viz. Moung-lam, Khreenwan, Seen-lap, Mou-sheeing, and a sister,
Boung-fwoy, the Thunder Goddess. A very high god of the Kakhyens,
worshipped by those who desire profit in trade, victory in war, or
children; also on occasion of founding a village and of sickness.
Sacrifice, buffalo, cow, hog, and fowls--all which must be white--dried
fish, eggs, and liquor.

17. _Lessa_ nat; Burmese, _Tesey_, or _Tuhsai_; the ghost of a person
murdered by the dah, supposed to cause disease.--Offerings, buffalo,
&c., and boiled rice, curry, liquor, exposed in baskets.

18. _Needang_ nat; Burmese, _Meima Tesey_; the compound spectre of
mother and unborn child.

19. _Hau-saing_ nat; Burmese, _Taroup_ nat; the Chinese god.

20. _Khokhamla_; Burmese, _Sing-buring_; the last king.

21. _Phee Lomoon_; Burmese, _Soung_; the witch, believed to be able to
destroy life.



The objects of worship contained within the walls of this temple are
well worthy of note, more especially as they illustrate the curious
manner in which the deities representing the various faiths of
Chinamen--Buddhist, Taouist, and Confucianist--are often intermingled.
As the subjoined list shows, Buddhas, Buddhisatwas, Devas, Arhans, and
Buddhist patriarchs, stand side by side with “True Men,” “Masters of
Heaven,” and princes of the Taouist faith; while Confucianism finds a
solitary representative in the Deva of Scholarly (i.e. Confucianist)
Youths (No. 15). This grouping together of the deities of the “Three
Religions” might appear strange to those unacquainted with the phases
which these faiths have assumed in China. From the first, however,
Taouism was but another form of Buddhism, and the gradual weakening,
which has been going on for centuries, of the distinctive doctrines
of the two sects, together with the introduction of purely Chinese
superstition into both, have tended to obliterate the uncertain line
of demarcation which originally separated the one from the other.
Indeed, the power of absorption, whether of races or of creeds, which
so peculiarly belongs to the Chinese, has served to fuse together the
dogmas of Buddha and Lao-tsze with the teachings of Confucius to such
an extent that, as far as the masses are concerned, they may be treated
as the foundations of a common faith, and the objects set apart by each
for worship are to be found not unfrequently standing in positions of
equal honour--as in the present instance--in the national Pantheons.

The following is a list of the eighty deities who are enthroned in the

1. Yun lai tseĭh teen = the Deva of the Gathering Clouds.

2. Jĭh kung tsun teen = the honoured Deva of the Sun Palace.

3. To wăn tsun teen = Vaishravana.

4. Keen-na-lo Wang tsun teen = the honoured Deva, the King of the

5. Ta hĕh tsun teen = Mahâ Kala.

6. Sing kung tsun teen = the honoured Deva of the Star Palace.

7. Tae suy tsun teen = the Chinese Cybele.

8. Luy shin tsun teen = the honoured Deva of Thunder.

9. Hoo-kea-lo Wang tsun teen = the honoured Deva, King Hoo-kea-lo.

10. Po-kiĕh-lo-tsew (?) tsun teen = the honoured Deva Po-kiĕh-lo-tsew
(?) (Bhaskaravarna?).

11. Same as No. 8.

12. Lŭh chai pă Wang tsun teen = the honoured Deva, the Eighth King of
the Six Fasts (?).

13. Hing ping kwei Wang tsun teen = the honoured Deva, the
Disease-transmitting Demon King.

14. Hwa-kwang-meaou-keĭh-tseang tsun teen = Manjusri.

15. Joo tung te teen = the Imperial Deva of Scholarly (i.e.
Confucianist) Youths.

16. San chi tsun teen = the Glory-scattering honoured Deva.

17. Mi-tseĭh-kin-kang tsun teen = the Vajra-holding honoured Deva.

18. Mo-le-che tsun teen = Maritchi.

19. Să chin jin = the True Man Să (Taouist).

20. Kŏ chin jin = the True Man Kŏ (Hang?) (Taouist).

21. Yuh te = the Jade Ruler (Taouist).

22. Chang Teen sze = the Master of Heaven Chang (Taou-ling?) (Taouist).

23. Heu chin keun = the Prince Heu (Taouist).

24. Ho-le-te-nan tsun = Hariti.

25. Yen-lo te teen = Yama.

26. Kwei tsze moo teen = the Demon Terrestrial Deva.

27. Poo-te-shoo teen = Buddhisatwa Druma.

28. Keen-lo te teen = the Firm and Strong Terrestrial Deva.

29. Mo-he-lo tsun teen = Maheshvara.

30. Kwang mŭh tsun teen = Virupaksha.

31. Tsăng chang tsun teen = Virudhaka.

32. Chĭh kwŏ tsun teen = Dhritarashtra.

33. Same as No. 8.

34. Kwan shing te teen = the God of War.

35. Te shĭh tsun teen = Buddha.

36. Ta fan tsun teen = Brahma.

37. Tsze tung te teen = the Deva of the Tsze and Tung Trees.

38. Ta peen teen = the Great Deva of Disputation.

39. Kung tĭh tsun teen = the honoured Deva of Good Works.

40. Hoo fa tsun teen = Dharmarakshita.

41. Heuen teen shang te = The Sombre-Heaven God.

42. Pin-too-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan[44] Pin-too-lo.

43. Choo-cha-pwan-to-kea tsun-chay = the Arhan Choo-cha-pwan-to-kea.

44. Fa-na-po-sze tsun-chay = the Arhan Fa-na-po-sze.

45. Na-kea-mow-na-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan Na-kea-mow-na-lo.

46. Pwan-to-kea tsun-chay = the Arhan Pwan-to-kea.

47. Fa-chay-fŭh-to-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan Fa-chay-fŭh-to-lo.

48. Po to-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan Po-to-lo.

49. Soo-pin-to tsun-chay = the Arhan Soo-pin-to.

50. Peen-nŏ-kea-fa-tso tsun-chay = the Arhan Peen-nŏ-kea-fa-tso.

51. Kan heen = the Watching-the-Righteous (Deity).

52. Kea-che = Kâsyapa.

53. Chay-nŏ Fŭh = the Protecting and Answering Buddha.

54. Shŭh-kea Fŭh = Sakya Buddha.

55. Pe-loo Fŭh = Vairoshana.

56. A-nan = Ananda.

57. Wăn choo = Mangusri.

58. Pin-tow-loo-to-chay tsun-chay = the Arhan Pin-tow-loo-to-chay.

59. Kea-kea-po-tĭh-to tsun-chay = the Arhan Kea-kea-po-tĭh-to.

60. Nŏ-keu-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan Nŏ-keu-lo.

61. Kea-le-kea tsun-chay = the Arhan Kalika.

62. Shoo-foo-kea tsun-chay = the Arhan Shoo-foo-kea.

63. Lo-hoo-lo tsun-chay = the Arhan Lo-hoo-lo.

64. Yin-këĕ-to tsun-chay = the Arhan Yin-këĕ-to.

65. A-she-to tsun-chay = the Arhan Asita.

66. King-yew tsun-chay = the Arhan King-yew.

67. Tă-ma tsoo sze = the Patriarch Dharma.

68. Kea-lan Poo-să = the Sam̃ghârâma Buddha.

69. Same as No. 41.

70. Kwan-yin Poo-să = Avalokites’vara.

71. Wăn-chang te keun = the God of Literature.

72. Hoo-fă Wei-to = Veda, the Defender of the Law.

73. Tsëĕ yin Fŭh = Amita.

74. Same as No. 3.

75. Same as No. 30.

76. Same as No. 32.

77. Same as No. 31.

78. Has no name attached.

79. Shwuy ho kin kang = the Water and-Fire-Varja-(throwing Deity) [an
impossible title].

[44] _Arhan_, Professor Douglas informs me, has the same signification
as the term _rahan_, used by me in the text.--J. A.



  |    English.  |    Kakhyen.    |    Shan.     |
  |One           | Langai         | Loong        |
  |Two           | Lakong         | Song         |
  |Three         | Masoam         | Sam          |
  |Four          | Malee          | Si           |
  |Five          | Mangah         | Ha           |
  |Six           | Kroo           | Hoak         |
  |Seven         | Sanet          | Saet         |
  |Eight         | Matsat         | Pyet         |
  |Nine          | Tsikoo         | Kow          |
  |Ten           | Shi            | Sheep        |
  |Eleven        | Shilangai      | Sheepate     |
  |Twenty        | Koon           | Sow          |
  |Twenty-one    | Koonlangai     | Sowate       |
  |One hundred   | Latsa          | Packlaing    |
  |One thousand  | Hainglangai    | Hainglaing   |
  |I             | Ngai           | Kow          |
  |We            | Antaing        | Mowshoe      |
  |You           | Nongtaing      | How          |
  |He            | Torawah        | Mung         |
  |Of me         | Ngaihome       | Kowlai       |
  |Of us         | Antainglo      | Howhalai     |
  |Of you        | Nangtainglo    | Mowsoo       |
  |Of him        | Keyraiĕh       | Hongmyoon    |
  |Of them       | Kangtengraiĕh  | Myonhowlai   |
  |Above         | Lata           | Kāneh        |
  |Below         | Lawoo          | Kantow       |
  |Far           | Nowtsanai      | Kaiyow       |
  |Near          | Aneesharengai  | Cowalaí      |
  |Alone         | Nanaisha       | Yonlai       |
  |Inside        | .. ..          | .. ..        |
  |Behind        | .. ..          | .. ..        |
  |Before        | .. ..          | .. ..        |
  |North         | .. ..          | Kaneu        |
  |South         | .. ..          | Kantow       |
  |East          | .. ..          | Wanoak       |
  |West          | .. ..          | Wantoak      |
  |Best          | Kajai          | Leesubinah   |
  |Bad           | Inkajah        | Yunglee      |
  |Worse         | .. ..          | .. ..        |

  |   Hotha Shan.   |     Leesaw.     |   Poloung.  |
  | Ta              | Ti              | Lay.        |
  | Seuk            | Hnuit           | Eh.         |
  | Soom            | Sa              | Ooay.       |
  | Mee             | Li              | Pone.       |
  | Ngwa            | Ngaw            | Pohn.       |
  | Ho              | Chaw            | Taw.        |
  | Huit            | Tshe            | Ta.         |
  | Het             | Hay             | Poo.        |
  | Kaow            | Koo             | Teen.       |
  | Takkhay         | Tsi             | Kew.        |
  | Khayta          | Tsili           | Kewlay.     |
  | Sow             | Meetzee         | Ehkew.      |
  | Sowta           | Meetzeeti       | Ehkewlay.   |
  | Tabac           | Teengha         | Oobooyaw.   |
  | Tahaing         | Titoo           | Oohaing.    |
  | Ngaw            | Nga             | Ow.         |
  | Ngawtookay      | Ngaeuh          | Nuibey.     |
  | Kewtakah        |  ..  ..         | Ee.         |
  | Mong            |  ..  ..         | Pĕh.        |
  |  ..   ..        |  ..  ..         | ..  ..      |
  |  ..   ..        |  ..  ..         | ..  ..      |
  |  ..   ..        |  ..  ..         | ..  ..      |
  |  ..   ..        |  ..  ..         | ..  ..      |
  |  ..   ..        |  ..  ..         | ..  ..      |
  | Attaw           | Khanashee       | Kiggo.      |
  | Loongbaw        | Meekhya         | Kirroi.     |
  | Vaylai          | Oorăh           | Loong.      |
  | Neenăy          | Tialah          | Puloang.    |
  | Notah           | Nwaday          | Mowloutsay. |
  | Ahhow           | Nagwah          | Kaffan.     |
  | Noongbah        | Kanashee        | Howlaybonow.|
  | Numram          | Jugushee        | Howlaiow.   |
  | Hobah           | Meetloakhew     | Keyko.      |
  | Oobah           | Meegoakhew      | Keyroi.     |
  | Meetope         | Wadashee        | Keygo.      |
  | Neekcoam        | Godashee        | Makkayroi.  |
  | Soobudaykhaybaw | Loosoometsighaw | Tsika.      |
  | Makhay          | Magee           | Putzee.     |
  | Highmakhay      | .. ..           | .. ..       |

  |                 VOCABULARY.                     |
  |    English.  |    Kakhyen.     |      Shan.     |
  | Worst        | Toomsa inkajah  | Moataykhew     |
  | High         | Tsawah          | Ansoong        |
  | Higher       | .. ..           | Aykhera soongsa|
  | Highest      | Lata            | .. ..          |
  | .. ..        | .. ..           | .. ..          |
  | Low          | Nemai           | Tumalai        |
  | False        | Nangmasonai     | Monlonlai      |
  | Fine         | Tsomai          | Sanay          |
  | True         | Raiai           | Lonlai         |
  | Thin         | Kasherai        | Yongmai        |
  | Fat          | Kubai           | Peaeh          |
  | Thick        | Tatday          | Lalai          |
  | Oily         | Toesa           | Hackaylai      |
  | Pretty       | Tsomai          | Hanglilai      |
  | Ugly         | .. ..           | .. ..          |
  | Beautiful    | Tsomai          | Hanglilai      |
  | Clean        | Tsomai          | Senshitnai     |
  | Dirty        | Shoeshakai      | Hangwheylai    |
  | Dusty        | .. ..           | .. ..          |
  | Cheap        | .. ..           | Mouwai         |
  | Dear         | Matzanneh       | Paneh          |
  | Rich         | Soneh           | Me-eh          |
  | Poor         | Matzaneh        | Panyon         |
  | Old          | Toonglasa       | Tonalai        |
  | Young        | Kacheeai        | Onyou          |
  | Tall         | Sawai           | Soongai        |
  | Little       | Indehkacheeai   | Onzalai        |
  | Small        | Kacheecheeai    | Onzeesee       |
  | Big          | Kubai           | Yanalai        |
  | Tight        | Teetai          | Kapai          |
  | Wide         | Koocabai        | Quangai        |
  | Close        | Meesa           | Kowai          |
  | Painful      | Matzeeai        | Sipai          |
  | Pleasant     | .. ..           | .. ..          |
  | Red          | Khrenai         | Aneng          |
  | Yellow       | Somai           | Anaing         |
  | Green        | Chitai          | Anhew          |
  | Blue         | Chitai          | Anpyah         |
  | Orange       | .. ..           | .. ..          |
  | Black        | Changai         | Anam           |
  | White        | Prongai         | Angpuck        |
  | Hand         | Lata            | Mew            |

  |                   VOCABULARY.                           |
  |        Hotha Shan.     |   Leesaw.     |   Poloung.     |
  | Highmakhayaw           | Oumamagee     | Putzee.        |
  | Mahanglai              | Moodah        | Ko.            |
  | Soobudaymahanglaí      | Akkeymo       | Kokakai.       |
  | Soobudayma-hanglaibaw  | .. ..         | Hoakmureemurra.|
  | Mahlawhoonlai          | Kula          | Quoikaroi.     |
  | Manhay                 | Mungaw        | Owmow.         |
  | Tomelai                | Byeedah       | Tseah.         |
  | Pēybaw                 | Ghooleeaw     | Hawhoi.        |
  | Hyamlai                | Battah        | Mangah.        |
  | Powlai                 | Tsuddah       | Kalana.        |
  | Kanlai                 | Guadah        | Nakakoi.       |
  | Kokklai                | Khuddah       | Kaiaw.         |
  | Tomelai                | Bheda         | Tsi.           |
  | .. ..                  | Mabyee        | Putzee.        |
  | Tomebaw                | Bheda         | Tsikaw.        |
  | Peubaw                 | Phaw          | Lweehaw.       |
  | Tseetbaw               | Neemughoondah | Highai.        |
  | Soodah                 | Shenggew      | Peevunay.      |
  | Polai                  | Noodah        | .. ..          |
  | Kolai                  | Kaddah        | Gnaw.          |
  | Chodo                  | Tsobo         | .. ..          |
  | Panlai                 | Saddah        | Anpan.         |
  | Mungsaw                | Tsomaw        | Takkaw.        |
  | Thoay                  | Lanew         | Taheelay.      |
  | Mangbah                | Moakkaw       | Onyou-haw.     |
  | Asaw                   | Wablaneu      | Konou.         |
  | Moonmoonsaw            | Runurraw      | Konlay-lay.    |
  | Khuybaw                | Woodaw        | Langhaw.       |
  | Shinglai               | Tsodah        | Pakkaw.        |
  | Quanglabaw             | Haydaw        | Loomhaw.       |
  | Naygawsabaw            | Thyeedaw      | Chamhaw.       |
  | Atoohenlai             | Goodoonnuddah | Toeowsayowlow. |
  | Kneelawkaybaw          | Teeanaw       | Khyenhaw.      |
  | Omnah                  | Yeenee        | Yow.           |
  | Aloom                  | Yeeshee       | Eela.          |
  | Akkew                  | Yeneetshee    | Eevong.        |
  | Amyauh                 | Lasay         | Lenay.         |
  | Aloongasaw             | Attew         | Quonlaylay.    |
  | Annaw                  | Yeenah        | Eewong.        |
  | Appew                  | Yeepoo        | Eelooee.       |
  | Taw                    | Lapah         | Tai.           |

  |   English.   |    Kakhyen.     |    Shan.     |
  | Foot         | Lagong kheytai  | Ting         |
  | Nose         | Indee           | Hunglan      |
  | Eye          | Me              | Waydah       |
  | Mouth        | Iucoop          | Soap         |
  | Tooth        | Wa              | Shew         |
  | Ear          | Na              | Mayloho      |
  | Hair         | Karah           | Hoonhoẃ      |
  | Head         | Pong            | Ho           |
  | Tongue       | Shinglet        | Lin          |
  | Belly        | Khan            | Tong         |
  | Rock         | Shemah          | Lung         |
  | Iron         | Phee            | Lĕh          |
  | Gold         | Tsa             | Hum          |
  | Silver       | Comprong        | Goom         |
  | Copper       | Makree          | Tong         |
  | Lead         | Masoo           | Chun         |
  | Tin          | Pheyprong       | Laypuck      |
  | Brass        | Makree          | Tonglung     |
  | Earth        | Kah             | Lunglean     |
  | Father       | Kowah           | Paw          |
  | Mother       | Gnoo            | Ma           |
  | Brother      | Apoo            | Tsailoong    |
  | Sister       | Mongsow         | Nongsow      |
  | Man          | Chingpaw        | Khoon        |
  | Woman        | Noom            | Pahying      |
  | Wife         | Mashanoom       | Meh          |
  | Child        | Mang            | Laon         |
  | Son          | Kashah          | Look         |
  | Daughter     | Mawhonkashah    | Looksow      |
  | Slave        | Kashahpyeelai   | Loogyonow    |
  | Cultivator   | Toangnaiai      | Toangla      |
  | Shepherd     | Peinamremai     | Sowpalingpeh |
  | Hunter       | Mounwhomai      | Sowmonso     |
  | God          | Shingrawah      | Sowpara      |
  | Devil        | Nateabai        | Peahighloong |
  | Sun          | San             | Wan          |
  | Moon         | Ladah           | Lhun         |
  | Star         | Lagree          | Laow         |
  | Fire         | Wan             | Phai         |
  | Water        | Intzin          | Nam          |
  | House        | Indah           | Huhn         |
  | Horse        | Comerang        | Māh          |

  | Hotha Shan. |  Leesaw.  |  Poloung.   |
  | Hkay        | Khaypah   | Ronaw.      |
  | Nayhong     | Nahbay    | Koorookmoo. |
  | Knoydzee    | Myetzoo   | Nigh.       |
  | Myoot       | Malay     | Moay.       |
  | Khoway      | Tsitshee  | Shang.      |
  | Neeshaw     | Nabaw     | Choak.      |
  | Oo          | Oochay    | Heuckhyn.   |
  | Owgong      | Oodew     | Khyn.       |
  | Whaw        | Latchay   | Latah.      |
  | Oondow      | Hickhay   | Vot.        |
  | Wholoong    | Kamah     | Yahow.      |
  | Shan        | Hhew      | Tsigh.      |
  | Say         | Keypah    | Yoang.      |
  | Noway       | Poo       | Reun.       |
  | Toangwah    | Gishshee  | .. ..       |
  | Keway       | Tsew      | Pachat.     |
  | Shanphew    | Hoepew    | Leckleway.  |
  | Tungpur     | Yeguw     | .. ..       |
  | Me          | Nayhew    | Katai.      |
  | Apaw        | Baba      | Koon.       |
  | Aggah       | Mama      | Ma.         |
  | Among       | Aiyee     | Peeow.      |
  | Ham         | Mala      | Peenangow.  |
  | Chow        | Latchoe   | Taee.       |
  | Inggnaw     | Lamurah   | Yeban.      |
  | Aymaw       | Lameuh    | Peeow.      |
  | Tsoee       | Lunay     | Yebanay.    |
  | Tsalooalisa | Tsobahla  | Eemeilay.   |
  | Eengnawsa   | Lameungla | Eebanay.    |
  | Khyun       | Chobah    | Myeh.       |
  | .. ..       | .. ..     | .. ..       |
  | .. ..       | .. ..     | .. ..       |
  | Muso        | .. ..     | .. ..       |
  | Oorah       | Whŏo      | Chuprah.    |
  | Tam         | Gnay      | Canom.      |
  | Poee        | Neemee    | Lata.       |
  | Pulaw       | Habackhee | Takkew.     |
  | Khew        | Coosah    | Law.        |
  | Poee        | Attaw     | Nigh.       |
  | Tea         | Yeghaw    | Em.         |
  | Een         | Ghnee     | Krep.       |
  | Mang        | Amho      | Myong.      |

  |    English.     | Kakhyen.  |   Shan.   |
  | Cow             | Toomsoo   | Bow       |
  | Dog             | Quhay     | Mah       |
  | Cat             | Ningyoueh | Myew      |
  | Cock            | Oorang    | Kiephoo   |
  | Duck            | Oopyaet   | Pyet      |
  | Ass             | .. ..     | .. ..     |
  | Bird            | Nhoopyen  | Loak      |
  | Mule            | Latsayla  | Mālaw     |
  | Bamboo          | Kawah     | Myēh      |
  | Stone           | Loong     | Heen      |
  | Elephant        | Maguay    | Tsang     |
  | Buffalo         | Ngā       | Why       |
  | Flea            | Wahkaree  | Mat       |
  | Louse (body)    | Sakhep    | Mien      |
  | Louse (head)    | Chee      | How       |
  | Deer            | Po        | Pangdai   |
  | Goat            | Painam    | Pay-yah   |
  | Sulphur         | Khan      | Khan      |
  | Salt            | Tsoom     | Khu       |
  | Sugar           | Tsantang  | Khuwan    |
  | Milk            | Tsoo      | Loam      |
  | Sheep           | .. ..     | Toe       |
  | Turban          | Poonkaw   | Khynhoe   |
  | Jacket          | Polong    | Seu       |
  | Trousers        | Teboo     | Pa        |
  | Woman’s Jacket  | Polong    | Sou       |
  | Woman’s Turban  | .. ..     | Klynhoe   |
  | Petticoat       | Soomboo   | Shin      |
  | Shoes           | .. ..     | Whyepteen |
  | Earring         | Lakan     | Pehwho    |
  | Rice            | Shat      | How       |
  | Opium           | Yeepyen   | Phey      |
  | Serpent         | Laboo     | Moo       |
  | Frog            | Shoo      | Koap      |
  | Grass           | Nam       | Yāh       |
  | Tree            | Poonsaw   | Tonemai   |
  | Leaf            | Poonlap   | Mowmai    |
  | Wood            | Poon      | Mytsing   |
  | Fish            | Nga       | Pa        |
  | Cold            | Kachee    | Kat       |
  | Warm            | Katetai   | Oonai     |
  | Ice             | Tsin      | Ghonlam   |

  |  Hotha Shan.   |   Leesaw.    |   Poloung.    |
  | Nochoanatsaing | Anyemah      | Muckamah.     |
  | Quhoee         | Annah        | Sŏw.          |
  | Kollaw         | Urrah        | Yewh.         |
  | Capaw          | Urupah       | Yehcrow.      |
  | Pāy            | Ah           | Pyet.         |
  | Mahlee         | Khyamyeh     | Myonglee.     |
  | Ghnaw          | Nga          | Ngow.         |
  | Mālaw          | Teemee       | Tolelaw.      |
  | Chewgen        | Wahmah       | Khyang.       |
  | Leekaw         | Takhee       | Maou.         |
  | Khyang         | Hamāh        | Chang.        |
  | Noloway        | Annaga       | Kha.          |
  | Ghlu           | Catteuh      | Khang.        |
  | .. ..          | Chinutah     | Oo.           |
  | .. ..          | .. ..        | .. ..         |
  | Twing          | Myloo        | Ahjaw.        |
  | Pa             | Utchee       | Mēh.          |
  | Khanteuk       | Khang        | Khan.         |
  | Khaw           | Tsabow       | Sĕh.          |
  | Saow           | Shantah      | Mahmoilooay.  |
  | Nonow          | Atchee       | Emboo.        |
  | .. ..          | Atchumew     | Atchaw.       |
  | Wootoop        | Wootew       | Kameh.        |
  | Tsay           | Bucheu       | Kayeup.       |
  | Ghlaw          | Meekee       | .. ..         |
  | Eenawtsay      | Samen buchee | Kayeup yebaw. |
  | Eenaw ootoop   | Samen wootew | Kameh yebaw.  |
  | Eenaw tungaw   | Meekyee      | Kalang yebaw. |
  | Khyapteen      | Khynee       | Khypteen.     |
  | Kneechaw       | Knockaw      | Paywhoo.      |
  | Tsen           | Dthapoo      | Lakow.        |
  | Yappingyen     | Yappay       | Yapping.      |
  | Mowee          | Who          | Hhan.         |
  | Pāw            | Oopah        | .. ..         |
  | Sieaw          | Shi          | Mat.          |
  | Tsidsaing      | Shidzee      | Hoi.          |
  | Skihow         | Tsibeeyah    | Phooan.       |
  | Shake          | Tsidzee      | Hoi.          |
  | Mushaw         | Ngwa         | Kā.           |
  | Kamlai         | Gyaddah      | Kaw.          |
  | Poolai         | Tsaddah      | Myahcaeeai.   |
  | .. ..          | .. ..        | .. ..         |

  |        English.        |       Kakhyen.       |        Shan.       |
  | Snow                   | Khen                 | Lie                |
  | Rain                   | Marangto             | Phoontoak          |
  | Wind                   | Umboong              | Loom               |
  | Thunder                | Mahmoomooai          | Phasowai           |
  | Lightning              | Meeprap              | Phamypai           |
  | Sky                    | Moo                  | Bhă                |
  | Day                    | Sheenee              | Khangwan           |
  | Night                  | Shenah               | Khanghŭm           |
  | Light                  | Shenee               | Phalaing           |
  | Darkness               | Insin                | Lapsing            |
  | Cloud                  | Soomoay              | Moay               |
  | River                  | Mereeha              | Lamkew             |
  | Hill                   | Boom                 | Loiloo             |
  | Insect                 | .. ..                | Pieta              |
  | Heart                  | Mashin               | Hosow              |
  | Go                     | Samo                 | .. ..              |
  | Eat                    | Shamo                | .. ..              |
  | Sit                    | Domo                 | Laugda             |
  | Come                   | Wamo                 | Mada               |
  | Beat                   | Tookmo               | Tainda             |
  | Stand                  | Rotmo                | Lookda             |
  | Lie                    | Karengmo             | Einlengda          |
  | Die                    | Seesa                | .. ..              |
  | Call                   | Shegah               | Ma                 |
  | Throw                  | Shedeng              | Tim                |
  | Drop                   | Hatsa                | Toak               |
  | Place                  | Sherah               | Teayou             |
  | Lift                   | Ta                   | Yōng               |
  | Pull                   | Rung                 | Teat               |
  | Smoke                  | Loo                  | Lŭt                |
  | Love                   | Nheyrai              | Hachlai            |
  | Hate                   | Neimcome             | Hhanhau            |
  | What is your name?     | Nung meing ganging   | .. ..              |
  |                        |   sagaieh            |                    |
  | How old is this horse? | Daiee comerang kadeh | .. ..              |
  |                        |   tinglaeh goon      |                    |
  | I do not know          | Ngai inchengai       | Cow mhahow shay    |
  | How far is it to       | Sanda mying kadeh    | Muang Sanda kai    |
  |   Sanda?               |   sanai              |   halow            |
  | It is a journey of one | Intwey langai toosa  | Lam wan qua        |
  |   day                  |                      |     tenglai        |

  |    Hotha Shan.      |    Leesaw.    |    Poloung.     |
  | .. ..               | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  | Mowrowbaw           | Mahă          | Qnoi.           |
  | Ghli                | Mayhee        | Koo.            |
  | Mowrow              | Mooggoo       | Polong.         |
  | Shapmyng            | Bhyyeh        | .. ..           |
  | Annyow              | Kneerueetchee | La.             |
  | Knee                | Myeemalaw     | Tsungai.        |
  | Tmoot               | Yeetah        | Keisin.         |
  | Mowbowbaw           | Kneeowmah     | Qneh.           |
  | Mowchootbaw         | Nayaw         | Tsaymawchoak.   |
  | Hangeen             | Mookoo        | Mok.            |
  | Kaw                 | Yeegyah       | Emhongfie.      |
  | Boom                | Kneekee       | Panang.         |
  | .. ..               | Biddee        | .. ..           |
  | .. ..               | See           | Hogiow.         |
  | Kawda               | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  | Kneeah              | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  | .. ..               | La            | .. ..           |
  | Tayda               | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  | Yapda               | Hatesa        | .. ..           |
  | Ayda                | Yeeta         | Ee.             |
  | Lawah               | Kooyay        | Tayau.          |
  | Koondah             | Law           | Vuneh.          |
  | Tahyoudab           | Tsayloho yeuk | Oonsayau.       |
  | Anhedah             | Takyah        | .. ..           |
  | Koobawdah           | Qnaw          | Tayan.          |
  | Shãybawdah          | Gho           | Tutanlaybeneen. |
  | Gnawsheubawdah      | Yehbeckshe    | Owkynowkuloak.  |
  | Nawnoilawdah        | Nguanah       | Owingau.        |
  | Cachencachaw        | Kneemahandau  | Owchungkakai.   |
  | Nong day pay cainay | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  |                     |               |                 |
  | Myang honehyay      | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  |   mang laybounay    |               |                 |
  | Ngaw masa           | .. ..         | .. ..           |
  | Chanda quhonhay     |               |                 |
  |   wenenay           |               |                 |
  | Tanyen samhet tah   | .. ..         | .. ..           |


    Kakhyen, 129
    Shan, 299

  Alekyoung, 22

  Amulets, 409

  Ashan, 316

  Attack on mission of 1868, 167, 185

  Attack on mission of 1875, 429

    Early notices, 5
    Town, 41
    Old, 69
    Chinese, 56, 337, 377

  British Residency, 333, 362

  Burma, king of, 335, 347, 357, 359

    Treaty, 6
    Costume, 10
    Pooay, 352, 379
    Sabbath, 378
    Bells, 455
    Frontier guard-houses, 336, 413

  Chalktaw river, 263

  Chang-see, 344

    Frontiers, 80, 318, 416, 441
    Plays, 198, 372
    The, of Bhamô, 42, 377
    The, of Mandalay, 454
    The, of Manwyne, 159, 268

  Chinese Shans, 285, 293, 374

  Chowkyoung, 30

  Climate of Bhamô, 40

  Climate of Momien, 206

  Coal mines, 25

  Deebay mountains, 187

  Divination, 79

  Dolphins, 395

  Eclipse of the sun, 1868, 308

  Elias’, Mr., journey to Muangmow, 440

  Fish, sacred, 24

  Fishes of the Irawady, 29

  Forged royal letter, 447

  French expedition, the, 238

  Gaudama, footprints of, 33, 263, 264

  Hantin, 412

  Hawshuenshan, 186, 213

  Hentha, 68, 412

  Hlepét, 15

  Hoetone, 321

  Horse worship, 309

  Hot springs of Nantin, 182

  Hot springs of Sanda, 262

    Valley of, 244
    Town, 279
    Old, 303
    Chief of, 176, 280

  Hteezeh, 22

    First defile of, 36
    Second defile of, 33, 452
    Third defile of, 23
    Steamers on, 20, 335
    Dolphins of, 395
    Fishes, 29

  Jade manufacture, 201

  Kabyuet, 25

  Kad-doung mountain, 316, 326

  Kakhyen hills, 67, 315, 369, 402, 413

  Kakhyens, 32, 45
    Manners and customs of, 125-150
    Deities of, 457
    Language of, 464

  Kambanee, 405

  Kara Kakhyens, 440

  Karahokah, 167

  Katha, 31

  Kaungtoung, 35, 447

  Kethung, 22

  Khanloung Kakhyens, 439

  Khyan-Nhyat, 26

  Khyto, 244

  Kingdoung, 157

  Kowlie Kakhyens, 126, 434

  Kuttha, 48

  Kwotloon, 441

  Lakone Kakhyens, 126, 434

  Lakong mountain, 85

  Lankon, 414

  Lasee, 317

  Latha, 314

  Lay-myo, 344

  Leesaws or Leisus, 257, 265, 276

  Lenna Kakhyens, 440

  Li-sieh-tai, 28, 338, 368, 442

  Loayline, 320

  Loaylone, 318

  Mahommedans, Chinese:--
    Origin of, 224
    Revolt of, 233
    Conquest of, 338

  Makouk, 22

  Malé, 3

  Maloolah, 4

  Mandalay, 11, 351, 358, 453

  Manhleo, 256

  Manloi, 279

  Manloung lake, 63, 399

  Mansay, 374

  Mantai, 323

  Manwyne, 159, 268, 368

  Margary, A. R.:--
    Overland journey of, 365
    Murder of, 429, 449

  Mattin, 320, 446

  Mawphoo, 177, 252

  Mengoon, 18

  Mentone, 16

  Molay river, 54, 256

  Momeit, 30

    Valley of, 187
    Town of, 190
    Capture of, 343

  Momouk, 322

  Moonam river, 414

  Muang-gan, 157

  Muangkak, Shan state, 375

  Muangkha river, 318

  Muangkwan, 375

  Muangla, 173, 253

  Muanglong, 346, 374

  Muangmow, 374, 442

  Muangtee, 179, 252

  Muangtha, 289

  Muangwan, 311, 327

  Muangwye, 317

  Myadoung, 30, 361

  Myait-loung hills, 19

  Myit-ngé river, 16

  Namboke, 315

  Namkai, 441

  Namkhan, 375

  Nampoung river, 80, 416, 421

  Namsa river, 276, 314

  Namthabet river, 324, 344, 403

  Namwan river, 441

  Nantin, 179, 250

  Nantin valley, 182

    Sacrifice to, 329
    Shan fear of, 260, 308
    _See_ Kakhyens.

  Nattoung hills, 22

  Opium, 135, 300

  Overland trade, 1, 335, 391

  Pagan, Old, 28

    Seebyo, 18
    Stone, 23
    Votive, 52
    Yethaycoo, Sessoungan, 34

    Shuaybaw, 33
    Shuaykeenah, 51
    Hotha, 310, 380

  Paloungto, 441, 442

  Paloungto chief, 384

  Pamkan, 441

  Panthays, _see_ Mahommedans.

  Payto, 413

  Peetah, 440

  Phonkan, 327, 387

  Ponline, 71, 414

  Ponline chief, 57, 87, 405

  Pong, 286

  Ponsee, 85, 316

  Ponwah, 422

  Potatoes, 209

  Queyloon, 394

  River steamers, 359

  River terraces, 182

  Routes (_see_ Map):--
    Theinnee, 2, 16, 347
    Shuaylee, 35
    Ancient, 4
    Embassy, 3, 250, 319, 373
    Sawady, 374, 390
    Ponline, 56, 393
    Sprye’s, 2

    Town, 168
    Valley, 255
    Temples, 259

  Sawady, 35, 383

  Sehfan, 374

  Seray, 425

  Seray chief, 98, 419

    States, 286
    People, 287
    Manners and customs, 288-300
    Buddhism, 65, 306, 308

  Sheroo, 138

  Shienpagah, 21

  Shitee Meru, 316, 420

  Shuaybaw, 33

  Shuayduay, 210

  Shuaygoo, 32, 361

  Shuaykeenah, 62, 381

  Shuaylee river, 30, 345, 374

  Shuay-mein-toung hills, 29

  Shuemuelong mountains, 177

  Silver currency, 44, 377

  Silver mines, 105

  Singnew, 413

  Singpho, _see_ Kakhyens.

  Stone celts, 204

  Tagoung, 27

  Tagoung-toung-daw hills, 30

  Tahmeylon, 398

  Taho river, 172
    Suspension bridge, 178, 252
    Fall of, 208

  Tai, _see_ Shans.

  Tali-fu, 235, 367

  Tali-fu, capture of, 341

  Talone, 71

  Tapeng river, 47, 103, 394
    Gorge of, 324, 404
    Valley of, 158, 272
    Source of, 175
    Floods of, 270

  Tayshan mountains, 187

  Teng-yue-chow, _see_ Momien.

  Theehadaw, 23

  Thigyain, 30

  Thingadaw, 24

  Thubyo-budo hills, 22

    Burma and China, 2, 7, 335
    Of Rangoon, 1
    Of Momien, 199
    In salt, 21

  Tsagain hills, 19

  Tsampenago, 26

  Tsampenago, Old, 48

  Tsaycow, 303

  Tsihet, 69, 412

  Tsing-gai, _see_ Bhamô.

  Tsingu, 22

  Tsinuhat, 26

  Tsitgna, 326, 398

  Tsitkaw, 60, 400, 438

  Wacheoon chief, 422, 429

  Woonkah chief, 431

  Woonkah village, 437

  Woosaw, 344

  Wurrabone, 440

  Yay-law, 210

    Present state of, 366
    Minerals of, 202



Transcriber’s Notes

In a few cases, obvious errors in punctuation and spacing have been

Some inconsistent hyphenization has been corrected.

Page xii: “Friendly tsawbas” changed to “Friendly tsawbwas”

Page 41: “built of sun-drie bricks,” changed to “built of sun-dried

Page 94: “Ponline tswabwa” changed to “Ponline tsawbwa”

Page 72: “stream of the Tpeng” changed to “stream of the Tapeng”

Page 238: “a treaty of partitition” changed to “a treaty of partition”

Page 277: “and, thorougly tired,” changed to “and, thoroughly tired,”

Page 308: “on the the 13th of August” changed to “on the 13th of August”

Page 460: “found not unfrequantly” changed to “found not unfrequently”

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mandalay to Momien: A narrative of the two expeditions to western China of 1868 and 1875 under Colonel Edward B. Sladen and Colonel Horace Browne" ***

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