(also spelt Deang
) people are an ethnic group
. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups
officially recognized by the People's Republic of China
. They also live in Burma
(formerly Myanmar), where they are recognised by the government as an ethnic minority within the Shan
national race, as well as in Thailand
. They speak a Mon-Khmer language
of the Palaungic
group called Palaung
, those living in China received the name of Benglong and in 1985
were given present name of Ta'ang, at the request of the members of this ethnic group.
Most of the houses of the De'ang are of bamboo, with wooden structures. The doors of the houses are always opened towards the east. Each family has its own house which are usually two stories in height. The first floor is used as a barn and stable, while the second floor serves as living quarters.
The women dress differently depending on the area they reside in. Normally they dress in short jackets, black or white in color, decorated with velvet tassels of different colors. Skirts, with drawings in red targets are more commonly worn than trousers.
The men dress in blue or white short jackets with wide, long trousers. They cover their heads with white or black handkerchiefs. In some towns the men have tattoos on their body that represent tigers, birds or flowers.
The Palaung language belongs to the Palaungic
sub-group of the Mon-Khmer
group of languages and forms a bridge between Mon
(a language spoken in North-Eastern India).
Most De'ang are adherents of Buddhism
and Buddhist temples can be found in most of their towns. Buddhism is present in all of the daily activities of this ethnic group. As of age of 10, many children are sent to the monasteries. Most of them return to lay life years later.
- Palaung Women's Organisation. (2006). Poisoned flowers: the impacts of spiralling drug addiction on Palaung women in Burma. Tak, Maesot, Thailand: Palaung Women's Organisation.
- Ashley, S. (2006). Exorcising with Buddha palaung Buddhism in northern Thailand. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. ISBN 0494033096
- Howard, M. C., & Wattana Wattanapun. (2001). The Palaung in northern Thailand. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books. ISBN 9748832511
- Cameron, A. A. (1912). Notes on the Palaung of the Kodaung Hill tracts of Mong Mit State. Rangoon: Govt. Printer.
- Milne, Leslie. An Elementary Palaung Grammar, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1921).
- Milne, Leslie. A Dictionary of English-Palaung and Palaung-English, Rangoon (1931).
- Milne, Leslie. The Home of an Eastern Clan: A Study of the Palaungs of the Shan State, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1924).