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PAKOKKU, a district in the Minbu division of Upper Burma, lying west of the Irrawaddy river and south of Mandalay, with the line of the Chin hills as a general boundary on the west. It has an area of 6210 sq. m. and a population (1901) of 356,489. The part of the district along the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers is alluvial. Beyond this, however, the country rises gradually to the low Shinmadaung and Tangyi ridges, where it is very arid. To the westward there is a rapid drop to the wellwatered valley of the Yaw River, and then a rise o\-er broken, dry country before the valleys of the Myit-tha and Mon rivers are reached. The principal products are millet, sesamum and sugar produced from toddy-palms in the riverain districts, which also grow rice, grain, peas and beans. Tobacco and vegetables are also produced in some quantity, and maize is grown largely for the sake of the husk, which is used for native cheroot-wrappers, under the name of yawpct. The Yenangyat oil-fields, which produce quantities of petroleum, are in the south of the district, and iron used to be worked in a small way. There are 11 51 sq. m. of reserved forests in the district. A good deal of teak and cutch is worked out. The cutch of the Yaw country is particularly esteemed. The average rainfall does not exceed 35 in. annually, and in many places water has to be carted for miles. West of the Pondaung ridge, however, under the Chin hills, the rainfall exceeds 50 inches. The heat in May and June is very great, and the thermometer rises considerably above 100° F. in the shade.

The great majority of the population is Burmese, but in Yaw there is a pecuhar race called Taungthas, who claim to be quite distinct from both Burmese and Chins. In 1901 the Taungthas numbered 5700.

The headquarters town, Pakokku, stands on the right bank of the Irrawaddy, and has grown into importance since the British occupation. It is the great boat-building centre of Upper Burma. The population in 1901 was 19,456. It may be described as the emporium of the trade of the Chindwin and Yaw river valleys. The steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company call here regularly, and it is the starting-point for the vessels plying on the Chindwin.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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