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Mrú tribe as "wild men” living in a degraded state, and consider that it would be disgraceful to associate with them. The number of the Mrú tribe in Arakan amounts to about 2800 souls. Their language is unwritten. They call themselves Mrú. Toung Mrú* is a name given to some of their clans by the Arakanese. Mrú is also used by the Arakanese as a generic term for all the hill tribes of their country. The word Khyeng is occasionally used in the same sense.
This is a very small tribe mentioned by Buchanan in his paper On the Religion and Literature of the Burmese, “Asiatic Researches,” vol. vi. p. 229. He calls them “Thek” (that being the Burmese pronunciation of the word), and states that they are “the people inhabiting the eastern ” branch of the Nauf river, and are called by the Bengális Chatn and “ Chatnmas." Chatn is no doubt meant for Sák, which is the name these people now give themselves. Their language is unwritten.
There are other tribes in Arakan who have languages or dialects peculiar to themselves. They consist of but a few families, and some no doubt are the descendants of captives brought into the country several generations back by the Arakanese in their warlike expeditions against the adjoining countries. Of these, the language of the tribe called Dáingnák appears to be a rude corrupt dialect of Bengálí. The tribe called Mrúng state that their ancestors were brought as captives from the Tripúra hills. There is also a curious tribe called Khyau † in the Kuládán country, consisting of not
Toung means wild, uncultured, as “ hill-men” with us, and Pahari or Parbatia with Hindus. Mrú alias Myú = Myau of Chinese, which again = Kyáng.
+ Kyo aforesaid ? The tradition would ally them with the Kúki and Khyi, whence Kyo, Khyen, Khyi, and Kúki may be conjectured to be radically one and the same term, and to be an opprobrious epithet bestowed by the now dominant races of Indo-China upon the prior races whom they have driven to the wilds, for Kbyi, Kyi, Kí, Kú has the wide-spread sense of dog. Not one of these tribes is known abroad by its own name. Kami may be readily resolved into “men of the Ka tribe,” the Ka being a proper name or merely an emphatic particle. Ka, mutable to Ki and Kú, is a prefix as widely prevalent in the Himalaya and Tibet
more than from fifty to sixty families. I have not yet been able to obtain satisfactory vocabularies of the languages of these last-named three tribes, but they will be procured on the first opportunity. I regret that there are so few words of the Mrú and Sák languages given, but as some time might probably elapse before more could be procured, I considered it best to forward them in their present state.
e in yet.
Scheme of vowels, &c., &c., a to be sounded as a in America. á
a in father. i
i in in. í
i in police.
u in push.
oo in foot.
e in there.
ai in air. ei
i in mind.
ou in ounce.
o in note.
th in thin. th
the aspirate of t.
I have endeavoured to express the sounds of the Khyeng and Kami languages as near as I can, but there are a few which I could not exactly convey through any combination of European letters.
N.B.—In the next or Tenasserim series of words the system of spelling followed is the common English. I have not deemed it prudent to alter it. These words were taken down by Dr. Morton, not Captain Phayre, as above inadvertently stated. Valuable as they are, they lack the extreme accuracy of Captain Phayre's series, and hence I have not extended my comparisons over them.
as the word mí for man. The Kamís themselves understand the word in the latter sense—a very significant circumstance quoad affinities. Ka prefix is interchangeable with Ta (Ka-va or Ta-va, a bird in Kami, and so in most of these tongues), and Ta varies its vowel like Ka; and thus, in Gyarúng, Tir-mi, a man, answers to Kimi, a man. Ex his disce alia.
COMPARATIVE VOCABULARY OF INDO-CHINESE BORDERERS IN TENASSERIM.
Talien or Món,
dung * Jeng ?
nga ha nen ha