Talaing - Encyclopedia




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TALAING, more accurately called Mon, the name given to the remnant of the Peguan race, which for long strove with the Burmans for the ascendancy in what is now Burma. In the middle of the 18th century the Peguans were masters of the country from the Gulf of Martaban to far to the north of Mandalay. Now, however, the Talaing population is practically confined to the Tenasserim and Pegu divisions of Lower Burma, and even there it seems to be dying out. According to the census of 1901 they numbered only 321,898 persons, of whom 154,48 o spoke the Talaing language. The Talaings are, historically, the most important representatives in Burma of the MonAnnam linguistic family, who have left tokens of their presence from the Khasia Hills in Assam to the Gulf of Siam. The origin of the name Talaing is disputed, but it is most commonly believed to be a term of reproach, meaning "downtrodden," given by the conquering Burmans. The people call themselves Mons. They are lighter in complexion and more sturdily built than the Burmans and the face is rounder.

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