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The Bulang

Name: Bulang, Blang, Palaung

Population: 91.900 (only in China)

Localization: In China, Yunnan Province, Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna and Lincang prefectures and Simao Zone. Also in Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

The Bulang people inhabit the southwest corner of Yunnan Province. Their communities, mountaionous islands sorrounded by falt lands of Dai and Han farmers, have preserved different cultural characteristics in each of their areas..

Basic Facts about Bulang Culture

Introductory Articles in Ethnic China

The Bulang: aborigines of Yunnan: The Bulang are one of the original inhabitants of Yunnan. They live in sharp mountains of humid forest and difficult life, in border areas, in lands located at more 1500 meters of altitude.

History of the Bulang: They are considered be one of the aboriginal peoples of southwest Yunnan.

The religion of the Bulang: The traditional religion of the Bulang was polytheism, expressed mainly in the worship to nature and ancestors.

Marriage among the Bulang: When Bulang young people are 15 or 16 years old, they carry out a rite of passage known as Poke

Bulang literature and myths: The legend of Gumiya is their most important myth. It tells the way the world was created and how mankind developed.

The festivals of the Bulang: The Bulang in the south of Yunnan have received cultural influences from the Dai and the Chinese.

Academic Materials about the Bulang

Anchalee Singhanetra-Renard.- The Palaung of Shan State:

The Palaung settlements here are constructed on ridge lines, not unlike their ethnic cousins the Wa, as far out of the way of lowlanders as possible.

Sean Ashley.- Exorcising with Buddha: Palaung Buddhism in Norgern Thailand.

While there are several Buddhist rites that take place throughout the Songkran Festival, this thesis focuses in the song krau ceremony, a village wide exorcism and blessing aimed at removing misfortune for the village and ensuring prosperity for the coming year.

Sean Ashley. Lowland Festivities in a Highland Society: Songkran in the Palaung Village of Pang Daeng Nai, Thailand. CMU Journal. 2005

While the Palaung have acquired both Buddhism and the Songkran festival from neighboring lowland populations, many practices and beliefs have taken on a local character in the process of transmission. In my paper, I discuss the similarities and differences between Palaung and lowland Tai Songkran ritual observances, particularly with regards to the annual song krau ceremony, a village-wide exorcism/blessing which coincides with the festival.

Chalermchai Chaichompoo. Segmental Features of the Palaung Language in Thailand.

The objective of this investigation was to study the Palaung phonological system as it is spoken at Nor Lae Village, Tambon Mon Pin, Fang District, Chiang Mai. The study covered the consonants and vowels of the language. The data were collected by using the Mon-Khmer Wordlist and from oral folk tales of the ethnic group. The results were presented descriptively.

Chalermchai Chaichompoo. A Phonological Description of Nor Lae Palaung.

The objective of this investigation is an attempt to describe the phonological system of Red Palaung, at Nor Lae village in Fang district of Chiang Mai province, Thailand. These Palaungs migrated from Burma in 1984 and settled in this border village under the supervision of the Royal Project.

Gerard Difflot. On the Bulang (Blang, Phang) languages.

The following is a brief account of the Bulang subgroup of languages, one of the least known of the little studied Palaungic branch of the Mon-Khmer family.

Jason Fasi. Lao Mang'e: A Bulang Village in Trasnformation.

A single Pu'er tea garden contains a library of cultural information about the family that tends the garden, and the broader society that purchases the tea it produces. The marriage of indigenous and scientific knowledge finds its expression in the maintenance and cultivation of Pu'er trees.

Yasuyuki Mitani. Palaung Dialects: A Preliminary Comparison. South East Asian Studies, Vol. 15, No.2, September 1977.

There are short word-lists of many other dialects, but in this paper I would like to compare these four dialects discussing the phonological correspondences between them. Each dialect shows certain characteristic developments, and Ta-ang is the most conservative in this point but it has also lost certain features of 'Proto-Palaung'.

Yasuyuki Mitani. Vowel correspondences between Riang and Palaung.

A comparison of Palaung and Rimei has revealed that an essentially identical proto-system would account for the majority of regular correspondences of palaung and riang vowels.

Wu Yunmei. Coordination Between Tradition and changes: Bulang Authority System.

the traditional authority system is still in charge of lots of affairs in Bulang villages of Menghai County.Another authority system is traditional one. It has two branches: one branch including“Zhaoman” and “Annai”, who are in charge of consecration; another branch including “Ah Zhang” and “Bakao”, who are in charge of religion affairs and Buddhist temple.

Thesis and dissertations

Sean Ashaley.- Exorcising with Buddha: Palaung Buddhism in Northern Thailand. Simon Fraser Univ. 2004

The focus of this thesis is the Songkran festival held in some Palaung villages, especially the song krau ceremony - a village wide exorcism and blessing aimed at remove misfortune from the village and ensure prosperity for the coming year.

Jie, Zhang .- Gender and identity in the Bulang migration system: the movement of Bulang labor from Yunnan province, People's Republic of China to Thailand

The third migration flow emerged in the late 1980s, and early 1990s. In this out-flow, the majority of workers (aged 15-39) migrated for employment in Thailand. My study for this thesis focuses on the third population flow in order to study current migration trends in this village and, further, to understand the causes of such migration and its impact on the community.

Books and references

Bibliographic materials

Basic Bibliography of the Bulang

Chinese Bibliography of the Bulang

The Bulang in the Art, art of the Bulang

Photo Exhibitions

Ethnic China photo exhibitions

Among the Bulang of Nongyang:

Nonyang lies only several kilometers off Menghun, Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Situated in the soft hills west of Menghun is one of the best communicated Bulang villages. After Nongyang, mountains and mountains until the Burma border constitute the heart of the Bulang territory.


Films and Video

Documentary Films about the Bulang: Some of the most interesting documentary films about the Bulang Nationality.

Image of the the Lahu in the cinema


Art Exhibitions


Travel to Bulang lands

Bulang people in Bulangshan
Bulang woman picking tea
bulang monks
Bulang monks in a village near the Burma border
bulang house
Bulang traditional house in west Xishuangbanna
bulang gate
Bulang village Gate
Book about the Bulang women

General -Achang - Bai - Baima - Baoan - Bulang - Buyang - Buyi - Chashan - Dai - Daur - Deang - Deng - Dong - Dongxiang - Dulong - Ersu - Ewenki - Gejia -Gelao - Hani - Hezhe - Jingpo - Jino - Kucong - Lahu - Lhoba - Li - Lisu - Manchu - Maonan - Miao - Mongols - Moso - Mulao - Namzi - Naxi - Nu - Oroqen - Pumi - Qiang - Sani - She - Shui - Talu - Tibetan - Tu - Tujia - Uygur - Wa - Xibe - Yao - Yi - Zhuang