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that there was not enough tin to repay European capital and labour

The recent abolition of the export duty is said to have stimulated the

production of the metal in Southern Tenasserim. Gold is found in

small quantities at Shwe-gyin, once noted for its gold diggings which

are now exhausted. A search made for the quartz reefs, from which

the gold in the river is derived, was unsuccessful. There is lead in

Shwe-gyin District which has drawn the attention of capitalists • and

antimony is found in the Toungwaing Hills at Maulmain, where it

occurs disseminated in small grains through the rocks.

Forists-to least 50,000 square miles of hill, valley, and plain in
British Burma are covered with forests and woods of one kind or
another. These forests yield ample supplies of timber, bamboos and
other products to the people of the country. But to the world outside
Burma the forests are chiefly known from the teak timber and the

ZT) ( f I- rt tannin ° btained by b0iHn S chi PP ed wood °f 'he Acacia
catechu) which they produce. Teak has been exported for many years

peTodfthfr ( ! 6 t^ " l8 ° 5 ^ £ *^> but in the U
periods the forests in Tenasserim and the Shan States were but little

worked. After the cession to the British of Arakan and Tenasserim

he forests were examined, and the Government directed that thw

should be reserved as State property. Although the price of teak has

risen 50 per cent., there has been no decrease in the demand The

SKT?,^ °K f teak timber from Burma ' for the fi - *»

about A ' ™ S 3 227 '°°° t0nS ' ° f Which '3S.OOO tons, worth

Z Zeinl:? ' T 6 eXPOrteA In l88l - 82 > the 0UMum of 'eak was
terr tf' "! f™ Gwe ^^ *""* ^ the im P 0rts from ^ign
m uZl 5 h 9 ° ' ° tal l85 ' 536 t0nS ; the ex P° rts from R^goon and
Maulmam being returned at 133> 75i tons. During the five yeafs ending
188,-82, 13 per cent . of the total ; wag > 8

th a ™ 7 m 8? ^ C6nt - b> ' f ° reStS b ^° nd th£ *»** ■• ^ "
tne total out-turn 23 per cent, was used in the country itself while the

™ P t eTtX" 6d ; °? the '^^ * ™? be ^Stte-fiS

?rom Z sfion ,V 7™* "^ ^ " BrWsh Bu ™ a > and { ™^
Stoune and T .! T ^f 0n * e Up P er Waters of the Salwin,
w Iprobablv onen 1 /"T Im P r ~ nts in **er communication
the lam and dZ H "T* ° f teak ^ in the u PP er alleys of

Th ^ Govern m^ , m ' ers - l0Calities which ha ^ ** A been tapped.

I he Government revenue derived from forests in British Burma for



BURMA, BRITISH. *°3

,881-82 was ;£ 2 23,.So, as compared with ,£77,24° « ' 8 7'"7=- The
expenditure in 1881-82 was ^1.5,0", showing a surplus of /,,oS,,,S.
TheT seems little chanee that the demand for teak will abate; .ts
employment for a variety of purposes in Europe and other countnesu.
tin steadily extending. In the trans-frontier forests there has hn en
been much waste, and no attempt at —vancy It has become
necessary, therefore, in view of the increasing demand for teak, Aatthe
forests of British Burma should be systematically conserved 1 he frst
t p n this direction was to protect from fire and from the axes of
Sle tribes the best teak-producing areas. The Karens and other 1 11
2s often prefer a teak forest for their ia««&as or nomadic cuh,
ation. As already explained, the nomadic cultivator cuts down the
o st on three to five acres early in the year, burns the timber and
brushwood when dry, sows mixed crops in the ^>^^Z
in the cold season. The following spring he goes on to another plot
of forest and treats that in the same way. Meanwhile bamboos and
unde wood pow up on the plot he has abandoned. After a period of
seven to fourteen ,-ears he returns to his first clearing, or to one of h s
neighbours' and begins the process over again; or he goes off to
fhe^lleyand cuts fresh taun^as there returning ; after 20 ^ -a,
vears to his old ground. It is not only the axe of the Karens that

aire d 3274 square miles of teak-producing forests have been m£ «**

belusettTrings le hardships, but chiefly because ,t puts =
on the boundless licence they have been wont to enjoy Theattude
of these people is thus described by the Pegu consent tor He * s^
'The Karens themselves say that once they were like ]<"**"£ "J*
where they liked, scratching the earth here and * He '^g? g _^K
of rice and eating what came of it if the nats (i.e. spirits) perm, a
but Sat now"he g Fores« Department put them into boundaries h „
and boundaries there, and that they feel like W» «^J^ ^
certain time has elapsed, they rarely deny that J"*«£^ $*«

work is constantly obtainable W rib the car, ^

made and privileges and rig tag* «d, ^f, (he st >„ t f
favourable results. This, it mus u Department. It

a forest officer, who naturally thinks weU of h* ^own I
would really appear, however, that owing to he J» r » C nonThc people of
able land, forest conservation does not press so hard upon I 1



204 BURMA, BRITISH.

Burma as it does in some of the densely-crowded Districts of the Indian
peninsula. Although the area of the reserves is now so large, there were
only two breaches of the rules and no prosecutions in the Tenasserim,
and only nine prosecutions in the Pegu Circle. Eventually these reserves
will cover an area of some 4000 square miles, out of which at least 2500
square miles will, within the next forty years, yield annually an average of
about 10 cubic feet to the acre, or 128 tons of teak per square mile. At
this rate the yield of the reserves ought to reach 320,000 tons per annum.
In addition to the protection of the reserves, small areas are regularly
planted with teak each year by the hill tribes in their taangyas, at a cost
of from Rs. 8 (16s.) to Rs. 14 (28s.) per each acre planted; and up to
1881-82 no less than 8000 acres were covered with teak plantations, at
a cost of ,£35,762, or £4, 12s. per acre. The average number of
seedlings per acre is 600. These plantations are being extended at the
rate of 1200 acres a year, and it is believed that they ought to be
yielding mature teak about 80 years hence. It has been calculated that
120,000 acres of plantation should yield at least 1000 tons of teak a
year, but it has still to be proved how far mature teak will come to
perfection in plantations. Sixty or seventy years hence, if teak con-
tinues to be in demand, the forest reserves of British Burma ought to
yield a revenue of ^500,000 a year.

Although teak is the most valuable produce of the Burmese forests
there are many other kinds of valuable timber with which the
people build their houses. The iron wood (pyin-gado) yields large and
durable house-posts, railway sleepers, and piles for timber bridges, while
other varieties of trees furnish good scantlings and planks. As teak a ets
dearer, these woods are coming into more general use, and something
has been done to introduce the more handsome Burmese woods into
the furniture trade of Europe.

The experimental cultivation of various exotics has been tried
at Mergui and Tharrawadi, with success. At Thandaung, some miles
to the north of Toung-gu, there are about 5 4, 000 plants of cinchona,
which, however, do not thrive so well as could be wished. The cultivation
of tea and coffee at Thandaung, undertaken recently as an experiment,
promises to be successful, as the plants of both are growing well

The interior Districts of the Tenasserim Division, owing to their
sparse population and the absence of communication, still remain

lL^ m ° St J** I ter ? inCOgnita ' Hundreds of S( l uare mile * of waste
land covered with valuable timber, grass, and bamboos, here await the

other Z^\°T\ 0i indUStdeS ' Wh ° haVG made Ce >' lon ' Assam > and
other parts of India the centres of a flourishing commerce. Almost all

tracts' En' 5 , I""" gained f ° r thG StmitS a re P utation 8™ ^ these

t J !?' C ° ffee ' and dnch0na ' the conditions of success are said

to be as good as in Ceylon, Coorg, or Assam. On the other hand,



BURMA, BRITISH. 205

it is stated that the excessive rainfall counteracts the favourable
conditions of situation and climate. Repeated experiments can alone
settle the commercial success or failure of these crops in Tcnasscrim.
Grants of waste land have been announced as available in lots ranging
from 100 to 1200 acres, under the Burma Land Act of 1876, for the
planting of tea, cinchona, coffee, and spices in Tavoy District, at
altitudes varying from 100 to 6800 feet above the sea. The region of
waste land to be granted lies between the 13th and 14th parallels of
north latitude, where the rainfall ranges from 190 to 220 inches a year
The lands are chiefly within 30 to 50 miles of the steamer station of
Thavetchaung on the Tavoy river; and mail steamers ply between that
station and Maulmain or Rangoon, once a week, inwards and outwards.
A grantee must bring under cultivation one-third of his allotment
within 12 years from the date of obtaining his grant. The Government
reserve their right to all minerals and metals found upon the land.
Statement of the Revenue and Expenditure (Imperial, Local
and Municipal) of the Province of British Burma for
the Year 1881-82. ^^^___



Revenue.



Land Revenue, 1

Forests, .

Excise, .

Provincial rates,

Customs,

Salt, import duty, .

Salt, excise duty, .

Opium, .

Stamps, ._

Registration, .

Post-office,

Minor departments,

Law and justice,

Police, .

Marine, .

Education,

Medical,

Stationery and printing,

Interest,

Superannuations, .

Miscellaneous,

Railways, .

Irrigation and navigation.

Other public works,

Gain by exchange, .

Contributions,

Excluded local funds,

Municipalities,

Total, .



Expenditure.



Refunds and drawbacks,

Charges on collection, in

eluding interest for pro

ductive public works,

Interest on service funds

etc., .
Post-office,
Administration,
Minor departments,
Law and justice, .
Police, .
Marine, .
Education,
Ecclesiastical,
Medical services, .
I Stationery and printing,
I Political,

I Allowances, furlough, etc
Superannuations, .
Miscellaneous,
Irrigation and navigation
Other public works,
Loss by exchange, .
Contributions,
Excluded local funds,
Municipalities,



. ^2,995,40°



Total, .



^20,71



487,142

92 1
5,9l8

42,018

9,470

147,353

191,728

40,371

32,403

5,397

15,606

970
14.074

14-434

129,377
223,203



30,076



Including capitation taxT^-n. ««- «— ^ ^ °< ™ "



206 BURMA, BRITISH.

Revenue, etc. — The statistics given in the foregoing pages illustrate
the remarkable progress made by the Province since it came under
British administration. Its growing prosperity is not less strikingly
shown by the figures of the preceding table. The revenue of Arakan
expanded between 1826 and 1855 from ^23,225 to ^127,729 ; while
that of Tenasserim rose from £2676 in 1829 (three years after its
annexation) to ^83,300 in 1855. Between 1855 and 1882, the revenue
of the whole Province has increased from about a million sterling to
nearly three millions.

The proportion of gross revenue contributed by each Division of
British Burma is — from Arakan, 13-53 per cent; from Pegu, 45-96 •
from Irawadi, 25-37; and from Tenasserim, 15-14; and the average
incidence of taxation per head of population is 16s. The main sources
of imperial income are land, customs, excise, and forests. Speaking
roughly, the land-tax furnishes more than one-third of the total revenue
customs about one-fifth, and excise and forests in nearly equal
proportions more than one-tenth. Capitation tax and fishery rents form
special features of the administration. The former is levied on the
male population between the ages of eighteen and sixty, at the rate of
1 os. a head for married men, and half that amount for bachelors
Exceptions are made in favour of religious and other teachers'
Government servants, all persons unable to earn their own living and
all immigrants for the first five years. Traditional usage affords the
principal argument for maintaining this old-fashioned impost The
gross amount it realized in 1881-82 was ^295,670, levied on 732,988
persons Land-rate in lieu of capitation tax is imposed in the towns of
Akyab,kyauk-hpyu, Rangoon, Prome, Bassein,Thayet-myo, andToung-gu
The revenue demand on account of fisheries in 1881-82 amounted to
^133,774. The sea-fishing is mainly in the hands of natives of India •
and the fishermen are a class by themselves, and as a body not in verv
good repute. There is no general salt-tax in Burma as in India, and the
land-tax is kept very low.

Administrative Satisfies .-There are at present i S3 Courts of Law
in the Province, besides a Judicial Commissioner and a Recorder at
Rangoon. The two last, when sitting together, exercise the powers
of a supreme appellate tribunal. There are also unpaid 'honorary'
magistrates ; i 55 courts have both civil and criminal jurisdiction. The
subordinate courts are almost entirely presided over by native officials
In criminal work during the year r88i, there were 30,353 cases reported
and ,„„ persons convicted out of 41,8x9 put on triab The total of
prisoners in the r 4 ia* .of the Province was l6 , 294 , only 2 -8 per cent of
whom were women. The daily average jail population was 4726 ; the total
expend, ure, .£33,533 ; and the average net cost per head ^ 3 s od
The police force of the Province during the year x88r cln isted of



BURMA, BRITISH. 207



m i officers and men ; equivalent to one policeman to every 10;; square
miles or to every 524 of population ; the total cost was .£168,693.

The Education of the people is under the care of a special department.
It is chiefly conducted through the agency of the indigenous lay and
monastic schools already described, the phtngyts or monastic order
being nearly all engaged in teaching. Direct Government effort is
mainlv confined to inspection and higher instruction. Missionary
schools are also liberally aided by the State. In the year 1880, the
number of seminaries under State control or inspection aggregated 30 1 2
and the pupils, 79,270. Of these, 2645 were monastic schools attended
bv 6; 320 pupils. The above figures are exclusive of the large number
of uninspected monastic schools, for which no statistics are available.
But according to the Census of 1880, there were in that year 2 1 5,237
hnvs and 31 os 7 girls receiving instruction of some sort in the
Province^" 7^,828 males and 31,740 females able to read
and write, but not under instruction; proportion of males able to
read and write, 46-05 per cent, of the male population, and of females,
r6 per cent, of the female population.

There is a Port Fund at each of the principal ports Rangoon,
Bassein Maulmain, and Akyab, the aggregate income of which for
!s T-82 amounted to £74,023. The effective *-£*<*£-£
of all arms stationed in the Province at the end of March 1882 w
5 ro6 officers and men. There were 2: printing-presses at work in
he Province. The only two institutions of note are the Agr.-Hort,.
cultural Society and the Rangoon Literary Society. Situated within the
gardens of the former is the Phayre Museum

There are 7 Munldpalities-K^goon, Maulmain, Akyab, Basse n.
HenTada Prome, and Toung-gu. Rangoon has a population double,
"nd a revenue four-fold, that of any other. Municipal institutions have
'been now some eight years in existence, and, as a rule, are working
Surah". The total 'income of the above 7 municipalities dunn
188T-82 was £248,452, of which £104,561 came from loans, £ 9 o,S ,
1881 82 was A z4 ,4b , f 1)r ov,ncial Rinds.

from local taxation, and ^,15,230 trom S™ 1 " t1l ' fmvn nonulation
The incidence of municipal taxation per head of the town populate

ranges from 3, 4*. m Rangoon to ^^^ Bllrma h
Medical Aspects, Climate, etc.— The annate soi



2 °8 BURMA, BRITISH.

abandoned in the rains, so incredibly rapid is the growth of vegetation
at this season. Attempts have also been made to establish seaside
sanitaria— at Dalhousie, near the mouth of the Bassein river and at
Amherst, near the mouth of the Salwfn river— but without 'success
Another site was tried at Thadaung-gyi, a hill 3900 to 4500 feet above the
sea, and within 23 miles of Toung-gu, to which place the railway will pro
bably be opened in 1884. Although this place is unsuited to Europeans
by reason of the constant rain and mist, it is still undergoing trial
Another higher ridge called Nattaung, about 70 miles from Toung-<m
has been suggested, and two sites from 6ooo to 7000 feet above sea'
level among the ranges behind Maulmain; but these three are difficult
of access. The Provincial death-rate in 1881 was, according to the
District returns, slightly over 16 per 1000. Such returns do not how-
ever, stand the test of statistical criticism, although the superior
physique, domestic comfort, and architectural contrivances of the
people would in some measure account for a low figure The
mortality among the jail population is 45-10 per rooo. The death-rate

al ages ^ ^ ° f * iS l8 P6r Cem ' ° f the totaI deaths *

In the year 1882, meteorological observations were taken at 10
stat.onsmthe Province. The rainfall in British Burma is very large
and varies from a total of 21 1 inches in the year at Kyauk-hpyu to 43 at
Prome the general average being about „, inches. The g eat Indian
ram-belt, stretching south from the Himalayas along the BaJ of Bentl
ncludes all the seaboard and delta of the Provincefbut themore inhnd
stations are comparatively dry. The greatest heat was during March

Kv \h nd Mi * " ran S ed from "9° F, at Thayet-myo to 89° at
Kyauk-hpyu Ihe lowest minimum at 10 a.m., viz. 55", occurred a
Toung-gu ,n January The thermometric mean range wa incon ider
able, varying from 25° at Thayet-myo to 14° at Tavoy

whfc e h er a an Bur b m r 1COmPlaintS ^ ** ° n ' y f ° rmS ° f P 1 ^ 1 **™*
which a Burman recognises, and he groups under the former head

all hat are manifestly not assignable to the latter. This faulty diamosh

explains the extraordinary proportion of deaths from fever E

are shown in the returns as constituting no fewer than 47 per cent

of the total mortality. As a fact, severe malarial poisoning is no"

"'a d e sm:l feVerS ^ f6briCUla and *» i~ tten

Sm the ^e^n't LTemgT 4 :™L ePid rf 1CS ' ? ?*"**
Leprosy , s There _ ^'PJ ££ ^^ofTe £

Census, constituting 0-69 per 1000 of the population tL E
very generally resort to inoculation; but vaccinal on £ h T7

introduced by Government agency and a mZT S ^"^

population were successfully Sated in Sz " "" IO °° ° f ^



BURMA, INDEPENDENT. 209

Cattle-disease has of late years assumed formidable proporl
Increase of work and decrease of pasturage, together with insuffi
food during the hot season, cause great ravages among the live st<>< k.
In 1876, 60,000 head of cattle perished in the Arakan Division j and
there was a decrease of 14,000 head in a single District. Since then
there has not been any serious epidemic. The majority of cases were
pure rinderpest, although dysentery, hoven, and foot-and-mouth di
often occur. In 1874, a school was established at Rangoon, where
Burmese pupils are specially instructed in veterinary science.

Burma, Independent. — A native kingdom beyond the mountainous
eastern frontier of Bengal, stretching eastwards towards China, and
southwards to British Burma. Independent Burma lies outside of
British India, but some account of it may be useful to those who
consult this book. It should, however, be clearly understood that no
official authority attaches to the present article, which is compiled for
the most part from materials already before the public. For the
historical section I am largely indebted to the article in the Encyclopedia
Britannica, and I beg to express my obligations to the author and the
publishers for permission to use that article.

Independent Burma was formerly of very great extent, but its limits
have been contracted by British conquest. On the west, the Burmese
empire is now bounded by the British Province of Arakan, surrendered
to us in 1826, the petty States of Hill Tipperah and Manipur, and the
British Province of Assam, from which it is separated by lofty ridges of
mountains; on the south by British Burma, acquired by us in 1853 ;
on the north by Assam and Tibet ; and on the east by China and the
Shan States. Its limits extend from 19° 30' to about 27 15' N. lat., and
from about 93° 52' to ioo° 40' e. long., with an estimated area of about
190,000 square miles.

The Burmese territory is watered by three great streams, namely, the
Irawadi and the Kyeng-dweng, which unite their courses at 21 50' n.
lat., and the Salwin. The first two rivers have their sources somewhere
in the northern chain of mountains in the interior, one head stream of
the Irawadi probably coming from Tibet; and the Salwin has us
source farther to the east in Tibet. The Myit-nge, a large affluent of
the Irawadi, drains the Shan States to the east of the capital ; the
Shweley, another large affluent rising in Yunan, flows south ot Bhamo.
Except the two last, which have a westerly direction, they all run in a
southerly course to the Indian Ocean. Another large stream, the Nam-
Kathe or Manipur river, drains the Lushai and Manipur Hills, and
flows into the Kyeng-dweng. The Irawadi and Salwin. in the lower
part of their course, overflow the flat country below their banks during
the season of the rains, and higher up force their way through magni-
ficent defiles. The former is navigable a considerable distance above

VOL. III.



BURMA, INDEPENDENT.



Bhamo ; but the latter is practically useless as a means of communica-
tion, owing to the frequent obstacles in its channel. The Burmese
empire with its present limits contains no maritime districts, and only
isolated tracts of alluvial plain ; it is in the main an upland territory
bounded at its southern extremity by a frontier line at the distance of
about 200 miles from the mouths of the Irawadi, in 19° 30' n. lat
From this point the country begins to rise, and thence for about 300
miles farther, it contains much rolling country intersected by occasional
hill ranges ; beyond, all is wild and mountainous.

Artfo ra //W«-&— Althoughinferiorinpointof fertility to the low-lying
tracts of British Burma, the upland country is far from unproductive
lhe chief crops are rice (of which the Burmese count 102 different
sorts), maize, millet, wheat, various pulses, tobacco, cotton, sesamum
mustard, and indigo. The sugar-cane appears to have been long known
to the Burmese; but, though the climate and soil are extremely favour
able, it is not generally cultivated. A cheap and coarse su-ar is
obtained from the juice of the Palmyra palm, which abounds in the
tract south of the capital. The cocoa-nut and areca palms are not
common. The tea-plant, which is indigenous, is cultivated in the hills
by some of the mountain tribes at the distance of about five days'
journey, and by others in still greater perfection at the distance of about
en days journey from Mandalay. It seems, however, to be another
plant probably the Eteodendron fersicum, which furnishes the principal
ingredient in the hlafet, or pickled tea, which forms a favourite Burmese
delicacy and is an essential accompaniment to every social or cere-
monial incident. Cotton is grown in every part of the kingdom and its
dependencies but ch.efly in the dry lands and climate of the Upp
Provinces. Indigo is indigenous, and is universally cultivated, but »

ThnY fi TT er; U " Stl " m ° re rudel y — Ltured, so as to be
wholly unfit for exportation abroad. The most common fruits in

Burma are the mango, the tamarind, the guava, the orange the

citron, the pine, the custard apple, the jack, th'e p^.nTZ \l „!

he common^ " Tl ^ "* ^ but »<* extensively;
the common potato is largely cultivated by the Kakhyens on the
Chmese frontier, where it is known by the name of foreign'
root. Onions are produced; and capsicum, which after salt,
t%Zl: TdmaTy C ° ndimeM US6d * the Burmese, ? cuSted

theSTa^/ " 5 ' 3 ° f EUrma ab ° Und in raluabIe *«* Among

tz^s:^^: £ e pt ough A r e t of the r st tJ

-Burmese-he,^^^



BURMA, INDEPENDENT. -mi

excellent quality is obtained in the woods, and rubber of late years has
been largely exported.

Minerals.— Burma is rich in minerals. It produces gold, silver,
copper, tin, lead, antimony, bismuth, amber, coal, petroleum, ail
natron,' salt, limestone, and marble, the jade or yu of the Chin,
sapphires, and other precious stones. Gold is found in the sands of
different 'rivers, and also towards the Shan territory on the eastern



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 25 of 56)