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Ta Mung


    The first mention of him cited by Professor Lacouperie occurs in the time of the Great Yu, who began to reign B.C. 2208,... In a geographical survey which goes under the name of this ancient ruler we hear of the "Ta Mung", i.e., the Great Mung, in what is now the northwestern part of Sze-ch'uan Province, or western central China. Now the name Mung does not sound much like Loa or Tai or Shan. Yet it is as truly one of the race-names as any of this.
    The mention of the Ta Mung in Chinese Annals as early as 2200 B.C. is therefore consonant with these historical certainties. The Mung belong to the Ai-Lao race; the Ai-Lao belong to the aborigines; the aborigines preceded the Chinese in the migration from the west; the Chinese themselves came earlier than 2200 B.C. - prabably much earlier.
    The Chinese seem to have come in touch with a Shan tribe called "Great Mung," at the time of the "geograpical survey which goes under the name of the Great Yu." The western part of Sze-ch'uan is given as their habitat, and the time is put at more than two thousand years B.C. M. Terrien says that they are "obviously of the same (Shan) race," and they may be the progenitors of the Shan of Tongking called by the same name at the present time. Two other Shan tribes of Sze-ch'uan are mentioned a little later (1917 B.C.), the Lung and the Pa. It may be form the former that the Kii-lung range of mountains takes its name. Kui is a Shan word that might even now be very properly used of a mountainous wilderness, and the name may mean "the Wilderness of the Lung" or the "Lung Wilderness." Still another branch of the Shan family (or another name for the same branch), the Lao, has already been mentioned. If these Shans had their early home "at the intersection of Honan, Hupeh, and An-hwei provinces," and later extended westward in the Kui-lung range, it would give us a belt of Shans (Mung, Lung, Pa, Pang and Lao) on the left of the Yangtse reaching from western Sze-ch'aun almost to the sea, bringing us up in Kiangsu, where we started in our linguistic survey. The Lao mountains may have taken their name from this latter Shan tribe.

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  • THE TAI RACE , by Dr. William Clifton Dodd, Thirty-three Years a Missionary to the Thai Peoples in Thailand, Burma and China, page 4-5.
  • THE SHANS, by W.W. Cochrane, Member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
  • THE TAI RACE RESEARCH, by Luang Vichitvatrakran, Colonel, Bangkok, Thailand, 1969