SHANS, a collective name, probably from Chinese Shan-tse, Shan-yen (Shan = " mountain "), " Highlanders," given by the Burmese to all the tribes of Thai stock subject to the former kingdom of Burma (see SHAN STATES below). The Shans call themselves Tai or Punong; while the Chinese call them Pai or Pai-yi. Among them exist the purest types of the Thai race. They are found all over the province of Yunnan and in the borderland between China and Burma. Politically, where not under the direct control of Chinese magistrates, the tribes are organized under their own chiefs, who are recognized by the Chinese government and endowed with official rank and title. In Burmese such native chiefs are termed Smabwa.
For the history of the Thai race see TH Ais. See also LAOS, MlAOTZE, LOLOS. Also A. R. Colquhoun, Amongst the Shans (1885); E. Aymonier, " Les Tchaines," in Revue de I'histoire des religions for 1891.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)