Historical Background

The Tibeto-Burman Chin peoples entered the Chin Hills sometime in the first millennium AD, as part of the wider migration of Tibeto-Burman peoples into the area. The first confirmed political entity in the region was the Shan city state of Kale (Kalay), founded by the Shan after the fall of Pagan Kingdom in 1287. The entire Chin Hills came under the authority of Myanmar kingdoms between 1555 and 1559 when King Bayinnaung of Taungoo Dynasty conquered all of Upper Burma and its surrounding regions stretching from the eastern and northern Shan states to the western Chin Hills and Manipur. The British acquired the Chin Hills after the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885. The ensuing Chin resistance to the British was suppressed only by 1890. American missionaries began arriving in the 1890s and by the middle of 20th century, most of the Chin people had converted in to Christianity.

The Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma montane forests are a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion in western Myanmar. Surrounded at lower elevations by moist tropical forests, this ecoregion is home a diverse range of subtropical and temperate species, including many species characteristic of the Himalayas, as well as many endemic species. The ecoregion covers an area of 29,700 square kilometers, encompassing the montane forests of the Arakan Mountain Range. The Chin Hills, which cover most of Chin State, and extend south along the ridge of the Arakan Mountains forms the boundary between Rakhine State on the west and Magway Region, Bago Region, and Ayeyarwady Region to the east. The ecoregion includes (Mount Victoria) in southern Chin State, which rises to 3071 meters above sea level. Home to many different ethnic groups who possess their own specific tattoo designs. The groups are historically related but speak divergent languages and dialects and have different cultural identities Chin tribe women wearing various pattern of tattoo on their face and attractive amber necklaces.

The British first conquered Myanmar in 1824, established rule in 1886, and remained in power until Burma’s independence in 1948. The 1886 Chin Hills Regulation Act stated that the British would govern the Chins separately from the rest of Burma, which allowed for traditional Chin chiefs to remain in power. Burma’s independence from Britain in 1948 coincided with the Chin people adopting a democratic government rather than continuing its traditional rule of chiefs. Chin National Day is celebrated on February 20, the day that marks the transition from traditional to democratic rule in Chin State.

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