The Burmese Shan are a large group of civilized people who migrated south from China in the twelfth century and established three small states in Myanmar (Burma). Myanmar has a long history of coups, wars, and rebellions. Ethnic divisions and political unrest have been common since the first Burman kingdom in the eleventh century. Today, the Shan have their own army who fight against the current Burmese military regime.Agriculture is the driving force in the Shan economy. Rice is the major cash and family crop. Other crops include tea, soybeans, peanuts, coffee, and cotton. People living near larger villages or towns grow vegetables to sell in the market. Traditionally, rice is grown in irrigated fields, especially along the Salween River. Buddhism was introduced into Myanmar in the fifth century and the majority of the Shan are Buddhists.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography