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Rise and fall of Kantu: A historical study of an ancient Tibeto-Burmese speaking group

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image of Frontiers of History in China

On the basis of Chinese records and previous academic achievements in and outside China, the author makes a deeper study on the history of Kantu. As an ancient Tibeto-Burmese speaking group, Kantu was likely to have developed from the Qiongdu (Kontu) of Xinan yi (ancient ethnic groups in southwestern China). During the 12th–13th centuries, the Kantu group resided in an extensive area expanding from the border area between present Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of China to Burma. In the late 13th century, the Yuan troops occupied the area of Kantu. Since then, there have been no more record about Kantu in Chinese annals, and they were likely merged into the groups of “Luoluo” (Lolo). In Burma, most of the Kantu people had been merged into the local peoples, with only a few remaining in remote mountain forests of northern Burma and still keeping their own name and customs. Thus, these people are just the living sources for our studies on ancient Kantu.


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