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Major RacesInteresting Tribes
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Major Races



The Kachin people are good at and famous for their weaving of cloths and bags. A woven shoulder bag and a silver sword in a sheath are essential components of a typical Kachin man's dress while women decorate themselves with silverware that covers half of their trunks.


Although traditional spirit worship is still practiced, significant number of Kayahs have converted to Christianity over the past century.


The term Kayin usually refers to the major sub-groups of the Pwo and Sgaw as well as the Bwe-speakders around Taungoo. Myanmar is home to around 4 million Kayins, half of whom live in the Delta region and the rest in the Thai borderlandds.


In previous centuries, the difficult terrain meant that there was little communication between villages, and the Chins had to rely on their lowland neighbours for food and supplies in times of emergency.


Today Bamars form the largest ethnic group in the country, with 30 million people about 60 per cent of the population speaking only their language, Bamar. The rich culture of the Bamars, who are staunch Buddhists, shows influences of Indian civilizations.


Although the Mons were once the dominant group in the region, today many have assimilated Bamar dress and customs. Nevertheless, red-coloured longyis remain popular among both Mon men and women.


The Rakhines speak a dialect of Bamar that many scholars believe is the earliest form of the language, and in culture and dress they are very similar to Bamars. Other minority groups include the Thet, Khami, Daignet and Maramagyi, who live in the hills.


They live mainly in Shan State, which is the biggest state in Myanmar with a population of over 4 million, and is a melting pot of over 35 races and tribes. Most Shans are valley-dwellers.