Maingtha

Maingtha ethnic tribes are known as the Achang or the Nga Ang. They live in Myanmar and China. The population of the Maingtha tribe is about 27.000. In China. they inhabit in the Yunnan Province. Their native language is known as Achang language. Sometimes. they use Chinese characters in writing. They live the northern Shan State in the Union of Myanmar.

There are legendary sayings about the Maingtha people in China. The ancestors of the Maingtha were some of the first inhabitants of the province of Yunnan. Their ancestors lived near the Lancang river and during the 12th century they began to emigrate towards the border the west of the river. By the 13th century. some of them settled down in the area of Longchuan. whereas others settled around Lianghe. During the Ming and Qing dynasties they were governed by local village heads.

Music is one of the mainstays of their culture. that usually it finishes to all the celebrations with songs and dances. The unmarried young people usually comb their hair with two braids that gather on their head. The typical clothes of the Achang very is varied according to village. The married women dress long skirts whereas the unmarried ones use trousers. The men usually use the colors blue. target or black to make its shirts. buttoned to a side. The unmarried men surround their head with a fabric of white color whereas the married ones use it of blue color.

In Buddhist funerals of the Maingtha. a long fabric tape of about 20 meters is tied to the coffin. During the ceremony. the monk in charge of the ritual. it walks in front as opposed to holding the tape. By doing this. the monk helps directs the soul of the decreased so that the soul of the deceased arrives at its final destiny. The deceased is buried without any metallic elements. not even jewels. since it is believed that those elements contaminate the soul for future reincarnation. Their religion is Hinayana Buddhism. Taoism. and a mixture of animism and ancestor worship.

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