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This article has been extracted from
THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.
OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.
A chain of hills in Burma, to the east of the Irrawaddy, running north and south and forming the watershed be- tween the Irrawaddy and the Sittang, from about 17 20' to 20 N. Like the last-named river, its northern end is situated in the District of Yamethin and its southerly limit lies a little to the north of Rangoon; t in fact it may be said to extend, in the shape of undu- lating ridges, into Rangoon itself, one of its final mounds being crowned by the great golden Shwedagon pagoda, which lies to the north of the city. The total length of the chain is about 200 miles ; and its crests separate the Districts of Magwe, Thayetmyo, Prome, Tharrawaddy, and Hanthawaddy on the west from those of Yamethin, Toungoo, and Pegu on the east. From its eastern slopes flow the Pegu river and several of the tributaries of the Sittang, while to the west it sends down no stream of importance, but its more southerly hills hold the springs of the various watercourses that swell the volume of the Myitmaka or Hlaing river, upon the banks of which Rangoon is built.
The Yoma is of no great height, its loftiest peak being only about 2,000 feet above the level of the sea, but it is steep and rugged. Its geological structure is simple. The beds composing it have been thrown into gentle broad synclines and anticlines, and their sands and shales probably overlie conformably the Nummulitics on the eastern slopes of the ARAKAN YOMA. A portion of the range is no doubt of miocene age, but it is probable that representatives of other geo- logical groups are present in it. The forests are rich in teak and other valuable timber, the bulk of which is floated down the Myitmakca to Rangoon. The inhabitants of the Yoma are for the most part Karens ; but in the north, on the borders of Prome, Magwe, Toungoo, and Thayetmyo Districts, there are a few villages of Chins, the only known representatives of the race in any strength to the east of the Irrawaddy. They appear to have come from the Arakan Yoma, but the date of their migration is doubtful.