Kyaukse District, 1908

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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.


Kyaukse District

Northernmost District of the Meiktila Divi- sion, Upper Burma, lying entirely in the dry zone, between 21° 12' and 22° \' N. and 95° 57' and 96° 54' E., with an area of 1,274 square miles. It is bounded on the north by the Myitnge river, which sepa- rates it from Mandalay District ; on the east by the Shan States of Lawksawk and Maw ; on the south by Meiktila District ; and on the west by Myingyan and Sagaing.

Physical aspects

Kyaukse consists of a strip of plain land running north and south parallel to the line of the Shan hills, and of a stretch of hilly country, known as Yeyaman, extending eastwards from the northern end of the level plain into the heart of ^^ct*

the Shan uplands. This latter tract, which is bounded on the north by the Myitnge river, and on the east and south by Lawksawk and Maw, has an area of about 711 square miles, or more than one-half of the total area of the District. It is, however, very rugged and mountainous, and deeply scored with ravines, and has a very sparse population.

Extending from the Yeyaman tract to the south runs the Kinle range, forming part of the eastern boundary of the District. Near the southern end of these hills is an eminence known as the Natteik, about 5,000 feet high, the highest point in the range, at the foot of which a pass leads into the Southern Shan States, used by caravans to and from Myittha, a village on the railway 12 miles south of Kyaukse. West of the Yeyaman tract and the Kinle range the sur- face of the country is generally level, except for some outlying groups of low hills, which rise abruptly from the surrounding plains east of the railway to heights ranging from 600 to 1,600 feet above the sea. These masses of rock, which are rough and steep, are covered with sparse jungle and stunted trees, and stand up like islands out of the cultivated level that encircles them. The plain covers an area of 565 square miles, and has a gentle slope from south to north.

The scenery of Kyaukse is varied and picturesque. In the irrigated plains, where crops of different kinds follow one another in quick succession, the breadth of view and blending of colours make a charm- ing and ever-changing picture. In the Yeyaman tract the prospect is rugged but fine. Thick forest clothes the hill slopes, and the villages are very few and widely scattered. The Myitnge, Nam Tu, or Dokta- waddy river, which forms the northern boundary of the District for 60 miles, rises in the Northern Shan States, and joins the Irrawaddy at Ava in Sagaing District. It flows from east to west, and is navigable up to the foot of the hills by small steamers and country boats of all descriptions. Its width is from 200 to 350 yards, and it runs between high, firm banks, studded with villages, gardens, and mango groves. The railway crosses it by a bridge in the extreme north of the District.

The Panlaung rises on the borders of Yamethin District and the Shan States, flows diagonally across the District from its south-eastern to its north-western corner, and empties itself into the Myitnge near where that stream enters the Irrawaddy. Its only affluent worthy of mention is the Samon, which comes in from Meiktila District, runs northwards, almost parallel to it, and joins it at Shabin in the north-west of the District. The Samon is navigable by small boats during the rainy season, but then only as far as Paukmyaing in the Myittha township. It is liable to sudden floods, and, its bed being low, it is useless for irrigation. The Zawgyi river waters the northern portion of the Dis- trict, and is not navigable. It rises in the Shan hills, reaches the plain near Taungdaw in the east of the Kyaukse township, flows in a north- westerly direction past the town of Kyaukse, and eventually empties itself into the Myitnge some distance to the east of its junction with the Irrawaddy. During the dry season it is very shallow, its water being taken off" by canals ; but in the rains it becomes swift and turbu- lent, and a constant source of danger to the railway line, which crosses it at two points.

Kyaukse contains no lakes properly so called ; but there are several large swamps, the chief of which are the Sunye and Minhla tanks, and the Paleik and Inhlya fisheries.

Little is known of the geology of the District ; but it includes the western edge of the Shan plateau, where crystalline rocks are largely developed, forming bands of crystalline limestone. In the hills, granite, marble, limestone, sandstone, and light clays predominate, and in the valleys rich alluvial leaf-mould and loam. The soil of the irrigated plains is chiefly black loam, with a layer of leaf-mould silt deposited by the canals. In the unirrigated tracts, in the strip of land border- ing the hills on the east, red clay or red clay mixed with gravel prevails, while to the west of the Samon river the levels are composed chiefly of black cotton soil.

Only shrubs and small trees are usually met with in the plains. Here bamboos are scarce, and such as are used come chiefly from the Shan hills and the Yeyaman tract. In the hills the vegetation is richer. On the higher ground pine and stunted oak occur, and on the lower slopes pyingado {Xylia dolabriformis) and a certain amount of teak.

Tigers are found, but only occasionally. Leopards, on the other hand, are fairly numerous in several parts of the District. Barking- deer, wild hog, thamin (brow-antlered deer), and sdmbar are sometimes met with in the uncultivated tracts. At the proper season the paddy- fields abound with snipe.

Kyaukse is situated in the centre of the dry zone, and its climate is hot and arid. The rainy season does not usually commence be- fore July, and generally ends in October, though occasional heavy downpours during April, May, and June bring temporary relief. The cold season lasts from about the middle of November to the end of February. The thermometer then ranges, as a rule, between 47° at night and 84° in the hottest part of the day. From March to July during the hot season a temperature of as much as 105^ in the shade is not uncommon. Strong winds throughout the day, however, render this heat less oppressive than it might otherwise be. During Novem- ber, December, and January the mornings and evenings are sometimes very cold, and heavy mists hang over the face of the earth. Fever of a very severe type, from which many deaths occur, is prevalent at this time.

During the ten years ending 1901 the annual rainfall averaged 29 inches over the plains of the District, being heaviest at Taungdaw, at the foot of the Shan hills. The rains are variable, however, and unevenly distributed. The lightest fall during the decade was 20^ inches at Paleik in the north, and the heaviest 40 inches at Kume in the south, registered in 1896 and 1899 respectively. In the hilly Yeyaman tract there is no registering station, but it is estimated that about 40 or 50 inches fall in the year.

The Zawgyi, Panlaung, and Samon rivers are all liable to overflow their banks during the rains. The most destructive flood recorded of late years occurred in August, 1898, when a great part of the District west of the railway line, which was breached south of Kyaukse town, was inundated by the Zawgyi. The town itself was flooded on this occasion, and great damage was done to standing crops.


The non-legendary history of the District prior to the occupation of Upper Burma presents no features of special interest. During t886, shortly after annexation, the Myinzaing prince, who had escaped the general massacre of Mindon Min's descendants ordered by Thibaw, and was at the time seventeen years of age, headed a rebellion, the quelling of which gave the authori- ties considerable difficulty. He was driven out of Mandalay District in January, 1886, and, after being followed to Kyaukse, took up his head-quarters at Yakaing-gyi, 23 miles to the south-east. He was forced back into the Shan States by the establishment of posts at Paleik and Taloksu, in the north of the District, and south of Kyaukse a line of posts was formed on the road to Pyinmana.

At Kume, one of the line of posts, Captain Wilbraham and a lance-corporal of the Somersetshire Light Infantry were killed early in 1886. The prince died in August of the same year ; but dacoits, frequently assuming his name, for some time made raids on the part of the District lying at the foot of the Shan hills, and infested the jungles along the Samon and Panlaung rivers, where the nature of the country was adverse to rapid movements of troops except in the hot season. In 1887 con- siderable trouble was caused by a band of dacoits, who took refuge in the adjoining Shan State of Maw. They were twice dispersed, only to unite again under the Setkya INIintha, a pretender from Man- dalay District, who appeared on the scene tc^wards the end of the year. They were dispersed by an expedition loyally aided by the Shan ruler of Maw, but again raided the District in 1888. However, their leader was eventually captured by the Lawksawk Sawbwa, handed over to the authorities, and duly executed. One of his lieutenants, Kyaw Zaw, continued to harry the wilder hill tracts in the north-east for some time ; but in due course he was forced to move into the Shan States, and the District may be said to have been finally settled in 1889, when the garrison of military police was considerably reduced.

Some shrines of note are situated in the District, the most important of which are the Shwepwinlan, Pandingu, Mataingda, Shwezedi, Pyet- kaywe, Shwemoktaw, Shweminwun, Tonbo, Taungdaw, Shwesatthwa, and Shwethayaung pagodas. Most of these are said to have been built by king Anawrata in the eleventh century ; but the Shwemoktaw near Daing in the Myittha subdivision is attributed to king Thiri- dhammathawka, and is declared to be over 2,000 years old. The Shwemoktho pagoda at the foot of Kyaukse hill is said to have been originally erected by Asoka, and to have been rebuilt by king Anaw- rata of Pagan to commemorate the construction of the Kyaukse weir. It was kept in repair by the Burmese kings of the last dynasty. Annual festivals are held near the most important of these shrines, and are largely attended by the inhabitants of Kyaukse and other Districts.

Pinle and Metkaya in the south of the District were capitals of two of the Shan principalities which came into existence on the break-up of the Pagan kingdom, and lasted from the middle of the fourteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century. They were founded by three Shan brothers who dethroned king Kyawzwa, the son of king Narathi- hapade (nicknamed Tayokpyemin), in whose reign the Pagan dynasty collapsed. The history of two other cities, Hmaingmaw and Pyin- mana, has not been satisfactorily traced. Hmaingmaw is a Shan name, which suggests that this town also was built by Shans. Accord- ing to one tradition, the original founder of this city was a Karen Sawbwa who assumed the name of Thudanu. This chieftain was a man of grossly evil habits ; and the story runs that, as a punishment for his sins, the clouds rained sand till the city was buried and all its inhabi- tants were destroyed. The size of each city is about a mile square. The remains of the old walls are still visible, the bricks of which they were constructed having been very sound. The old city of Myingon- daing stood on the banks of the Panlaung to the north-east of Myittha, but only the walls are now in existence. When this town was built it is difficult to say ; but it has been abandoned for a very long time, and thick jungle has sprung up within the walls.


The population of Kyaukse District was 126,622 in 1891 and 141,253 in 1901. Its distribution in the latter year is shown in the following table : —


Kyaukse, the head-quarters, near the centre of the District, is the only town. The District is one of the most thickly populated in Upper Burma. The density varies enormously from tract to tract ; thus while the Kyaukse township exhibits the comparatively high figure of 258 persons per square mile, in Yeyaman the density is only about 2. Between 1891 and 1901 the population of the Kyaukse township decreased ; but the fall was confined to the town of Kyaukse, and the rural area showed an increase during the decade. Immigrants from Mandalay, Sagaing, Meiktila, and Myingyan are numerous ; but there has been no corresponding emigration to those Districts, nor has the emigration to Lower Burma been sufficient to cause a net decrease. This is to some extent due to the greater certainty of agricultural success in Kyaukse, owing to the protection afforded by canals. About 98 per cent, of the people are Buddhists. There were 3,400 Musal- mans and 700 Hindus in 1501, and the number of Christians was 438. Burmese is the vernacular of all the inhabitants except about i per cent., who chiefly speak Indian languages.

The number of Burmans in 1901 was 135,400, or just under 96 per cent, of the total population. There are a few Shans and Danus in the eastern part of the District, and the Indian, immigrants numbered 1,200 in 1 90 1. Only a portion, however, of the Musalmans and Hindus enu- merated in the District were pure natives of India. Several Musalman villages are inhabited by the half-bred descendants of Mughal mer- cenaries who settled in the country several centuries ago, and the total of these Zairbadis was returned in 1901 as 2,800. The population directly dependent on agriculture in 1901 was only 52 per cent, of the total. The very low figure is explained by the fact that a large number of field-labourers were treated for enumeration purposes as coolies, and entered in the census returns under a non-agricultural head.

There were 346 native Christians in 1901, the majority of whom were Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic Mission has three village churches, served by lucal priests, in the Singaing township. At Chan- thagon are maintained a hospital and a boarding-school for Burmese orphans. The English Wesleyan Methodists manage an Anglo- vernacular school at Kyaukse town, where there is a missionary.


The main feature of Kyaukse from an agricultural point of view is its system of irrigation, which has been in existence, in a more or less modified form, for many years. Both the plain and the hills on the eastern border, from which vast quantities of detritus are washed down annually, appear to contain elements extraordinarily favourable for rice cultivation ; and a judicious use of the streams that water the country has converted portions of it into vast fertile stretches, which it is hard to recognize as forming a part of the dry zone of Upper Burma, and which, according to tradition, have never been fallow for centuries. The most important agricultural area is the extensive irrigated tract lying, for the most part, in the long wedge of land between the Zawgyi and Samon rivers, where the soil is watered chiefly by means of small distributaries, bringing the water to the fields from the main canals.

The land, enriched with the silt brought down by the early rains, is thoroughly ploughed, gener- ally by bullocks, but in the wetter tracts by the more powerful buffalo, and harrowed as early in the season as practicable. In a few of the best-irrigated lands kaukyin rice, sown broadcast in April and reaped in August, is followed immediately by kaukkyi rice, which has been sown in the nurseries in June and July and is transplanted late in August or in September, to be reaped in December and January. This rapid succession of crops naturally throws a considerable strain on the soil, and it is calculated that the out-turn of the second crop is reduced 33 percent, by having to follow closely on the first.

The earlier kaiikyln rice is often sown in nurseries in March, transplanted in May, and reaped in August. Mayin rice is planted in December when water is available, and reaped between March and June. Kaukkyi rice does not as a rule do well after mayin, but in a few cases three crops a year have been gathered on one holding. Manuring, which is , common, increases the out-turn by about 12 to 15 per cent. The place of the kaukyiti rice, as a first crop, is often taken by early sesamum {hnanyiti). When the irrigation is deficient or untimely, plantains are grown for two or three years, and then rice for two years. In the non-irrigated tracts, which lie for the most part to the west of the Samon river, cultivation depends directly on the timeliness of the rainfall, and here the harrow is used only when the rains have set in. On these lands tnogaung (rain-irrigated) rice is grown as well as various ' dry crops.' In the hill tracts taungya (shifting) cultivation prevails. Before the monsoon breaks, the jungle on the hill slopes in the taungya areas is cleared and burnt, and when the rains set in the seed is inserted in small holes made with pointed bamboos. The harvest is reaped at the end of the rains, and when the soil is exhausted the iaungya-zviXXQx flits to a new clearing.

The following table shows the main agricultural statistics of the District for 1903-4, in square miles: —


the area cultivated in 1903-4, the greater part, 187 square miles, was under rice, while early and late sesamum in nearly equal proportions covered 38 square miles. In the non-irrigated land in the south-west of the District, chillies are the standard crop, small portions of the holdings being devoted to late sesamum and tomatoes. The area under chillies amounts to 8,000 acres. Pulse has an acreage about the same as that of chillies, and orchards, covering 8,600 acres, are planted to a large extent on the richer irrigated lands. Of the total orchard area, 7,000 acres consist of plantains, which are very nume- rous on the banks of the Zawgyi.

Mango groves are plentiful along the course of the Myitnge river, and toddy-palms are common on the Samon. Wheat is increasing in popularity, and the area under this crop in 1903-4 (4,200 acres) exceeded that of Mandalay, and was smaller only than that of Sagaing. The greater part of the District is state land, the cultivators being the tenants of Government ; but there is a large amount of hereditary freehold known as bobabai/ig, i. e. ancestral or non-state land. Certain lands are held for life by members of the late Burmese royal family on special conditions. In some cases they enjoy exemption from both revenue and water rate ; in others revenue is not levied, but the land is subject to water rate, and on others again reduced revenue rates are assessed. The total area of these special life-term grants is, however, only 866 acres.

The cultivated area has increased by more than 40 per cent, since 1893-4, the first year of supplementary survey. From time to time new varieties of seed have been tried locally, among others Havana tobacco, but so far little success has attended the experiments made. Large sums of money are advanced every year under the Agriculturists' Loans Act to cultivators, to assist them in purchasing plough-cattle and seed-grain. These loans are eagerly sought after, and are undoubtedly an important factor in the increase of cultivation. They are usually made repaable in two years by instalments, and


little or no difficulty is experienced in recovering them. During the four years ending 1904 they averaged over Rs. 30,000 per annum.

The Kyaukse buffaloes are inferior to the beasts ordinarily used in Lower Burma, but the bullocks are well-bred, handsome animals. Ponies are fairly numerous, but are mosdy undersized. There are a few flocks of sheep and numerous herds of goats belonging to natives of India, while in most villages hogs are kept by the Burmans.

Kyaukse is remarkable for its complete system of irrigation, which dates, if local tradition is to be believed, from the days of king Anawrata of Pagan. Several of the works have since been remodelled, weirs have been rebuilt, and proper regulators and sluices have been introduced ; but the credit for the initial scheme rests with the country's early rulers. The canals and their tributaries serve an area of nearly 400 square miles, covering the whole plain between the hills in the east and the Samon river in the west. The Panlaung, immediately after entering the District at its south-eastern corner, is crossed by the Kinda weir, from which starts a system of canals about 33 miles in length with 12» miles of distributaries, irrigating that part of the Myittha subdivision which lies to the right of the Panlaung, and commanding 78 square miles. So much of the Myittha subdivision as stretches between the Panlaung and the Samon is watered by canals starting from the Natlwe and Kyime weirs, lower down the Panlaung. The first system consists of one canal, 14 miles long, with a westerly course, which commands 23 square miles. The second includes one short water-cut and the Sama canal, which runs for 25 miles along the narrow strip of land between the Samon and the Panlaung, both together commanding 41 square miles. The Zawgyi soon after entering the Kyaukse sub- division is crossed by the Nwadet weir, whence the Nwadet canal starts from its left bank and follows the river to near Kyaukse. It is

27 miles long, has 45 miles of branches and distributaries, and com- mands 53 square miles. Below the Nwadet are two weirs where smaller channels branch off northwards from the right bank, at Ngapyaung and Thindwe. From the Minye weir at Kyaukse the Minye canal runs northwards past Bilin and the Tamok canal north- west towards the Panlaung, commanding between them 39 square miles. From the Zidaw regulator the Zidaw canal, 20 miles in length, zigzags across the line of the railway. With its Myaungzon branch, running north-west for 15 miles from the Sedo weir near Bilin, and 28 miles of distributaries, it serves in all 64 square miles. The Zawgyi thus irrigates the whole of the Kyaukse subdivision between the hills and the Panlaung. In 1903-4 these canals supplied 204 square miles, about two-thirds from the Zawgyi system and one-third from the Panlaung. Each system is controlled by an Assistant Engineer under the Executive Engineer in charge of the Eastern Irrigation division, whose head-quarters are at Kyaukse. The gross expenditure on the canals in 1903-4 was 3 lakhs, Rs. 49,000 being spent on establishment, Rs. 76,000 on repairs, and i-6 lakhs on works. The tract west of the Samon is irrigated to a limited extent by tanks, and, in the case of the fields at the foot of the hills, by small streams.

There are two ' reserved ' forests, the Yeyaman and the Pyetkaywe- taung. The area of the Yeyaman Reserve is 306 square miles, about one-third of which is teak-bearing. The teak is found chiefly towards the sources of the streams, the tract in the immediate vicinity of the river being covered with dry scrub growth, gradually merging into dry hill forest, in which thitya (Shorea obtusa\ ingyin {Pentacme siatnensis), and padauk {Pterocarpus indicus) are characteristic species. Along the crest of the higher ridges are found the Khasya pine, the thitya, thitsl {Melanorrhoea usitata\ and other species. The Pyetkaywetaung Re- serve, which is on the southern border of the District, east of the rail- way, has an area of 38 square miles. Before this forest was reserved, the western portion was being denuded of forest growth by fuel-cutters. The chief trees are tha^i ( Terminalia Oliveri), ingyin, thitya, teak, and pyingado {Xylia dolabrifonnis), while the south-western portion contains various bamboos and a few padauk trees. In addition to these two Reserves, there are 281 miles of unclassed forest. A good deal of timber is floated through, but practically all of it comes from forests in Meiktila and Yamethin. Cutch is found chiefly near Sunye, Shangan, Zeywa, and Pyaukseikpin. The forest receipts in 1903-4 amounted to only Rs. 3.200.

Sandstone for the use of the Irrigation department and the railway is quarried in the hills close to Kyaukse and Bilin, the output in 1900 amounting to about 13,000 tons, valued at Rs. 48,000. Limestone is extracted from the hills east of the railway, and burnt in kilns near the villages in the neighbourhood. The lime is largely for export, but it is also used locally for the construction of masonry irrigation works and for white-washing pagodas, &c. A royalty of Rs. 10 per kiln is levied by Government. Brick and pottery clays are found in the District, also chalk in small quantities ; and soap-sand, mica, and marble exist in the hills to the east of the railway, but have not yet been worked.

Trade and Communication

The majority of the population being dependent on agriculture and petty trading, there are no manufactures of any importance. Cotton garments for daily wear are woven on hand-looms everywhere, and in a few villages silk pasos and ^o JmunicTtions. longyis are made for sale, but even in these villages the people depend mainly on agriculture for their livelihood. Two small rice-mills have lately been built at Myittha, but they receive little patronage and employ very few workmen.

A considerable trade passes between the District and the Southern Shan States, the greater part of which follows the Myittha route via the Natteik pass, or an easier and longer track by way of Dahatbin. The merchandise is carried on pack-bullocks or ponies, which are owned and driven by Shans. This trade, with that going to Kume from the Natteik pass, is registered at Langwa, 4 miles from Myittha. In 1903-4 the imports by the Langwa route were valued at 9-4 lakhs. Of this total, no less than 5 lakhs represented the value of silver treasure required to make up the balance of trade, which is very much against the Shan States. Unmanufactured articles are the chief imports, the most notable being cigar wrappers (thanatpef), and fruit and vegetables (valued at Rs. 50,000 in 1903-4). Other commodities brought in are apparel, Shan slippers, wood-oil {thiisi), paper, and ground-nuts. The exports to the Shan States were valued in the same year at 6^ lakhs, the chief articles being manufactured silk piece-goods (i^ lakhs), European cotton piece-goods (1-3 lakhs), salted fish, salt, European cotton twist and yarn, raw silk^ woollen piece-goods, and betel-nuts.

Another and more northerly trade route to the Shan States runs via Taungdaw eastwards to Myogyi in the Maw State. The trade by this route, which is registered at Taungdaw, is not very considerable, but shows signs of expansion. In 1 900-1 the imports were valued at Rs. 34,000, and the exports at Rs. 33,000, while in 1903-4 the corre- sponding figures were 2-2 lakhs and 2-1 lakhs. The chief imports are fruit and vegetables and lac, and the chief exports rice, paddy, and piece-goods. Merchandise by this route is usually carried in carts, though pack-bullocks are sometimes employed. The imported goods are taken to the railway station at Minzu, and thence by rail to Rangoon or Mandalay.

Besides the trans-frontier commerce with the Shan States, there is a considerable trade with the neighbouring Districts and within the District itself. Large quantities of paddy are exported by rail from the Kyaukse, Myittha, and Kume Road stations, and smaller quantities also from Minzu. Chillies are sent from all the stations in the District, plantains from Minzu, lime from Minzu, Kyaukse, and Bilin, and pulse from Myittha ; but three-fourths of the bulky exports reach the railway at Kume Road. The internal trade is of a petty nature, carried on for the most part by itinerant sellers. Bazars have been built in most of the more important villages for their benefit.

The railway from Rangoon to Mandalay passes north and south through the centre of the District, with eight stations in its limits, all of them connected by feeder roads with the surrounding country. The principal highways are the road from Kyaukse southwards to Kume Road station and thence into Meiktila District ; that from Myittha to Ingon, used by trading caravans to and from the Shan States via the Natteik pass ; and that from Minzu to Taungdaw, employed by the Shan caravans that follow the Taungdaw route. Roads from Minzu to Dayegaung connect the villages to the west of Minzu with the railway, while others pass from Kyaukse to Dwehla, and on into Sagaing District, and from Singaing eastwards to Mogaung and westwards to Sawye. All these, with a few other tracks of less importance, are maintained from Provincial funds, their total length being 97 miles.

The District fund maintains 79 miles of road, the most important tracks being from Kyaukse to Bilin, from Myittha to Dayegaung, and from Kasun to Hmaingmaw. The District contains no metalled roads, except in the towns of Kyaukse and Myittha. During the dry season carts can make their way over the greater part of the plain, but while the rains last many of the tracks are impassable. A good deal of boat traffic is carried on the Myitnge and Panlaung rivers, as well as on a few of the irrigation canals. Ferries are provided wherever required for the public convenience, and the canals are all bridged at suitable intervals.


The District is divided into two subdivisions : Kyaukse, comprising the Kyaukse and Singaing tow^nships ; and the subdivision and town- ship of Myittha. These are under the usual executive officers. Ihe Yeyaman tract is m charge 01

a myothugyi, who is subordinate to the subdivisional officer, Kyaukse. Under these officials are 326 village headmen, the Yeyaman myothugy-i having ten villages under him. At head-quarters are an akiinwun, a treasury officer, and a superintendent of land records, with a staff of 6 inspectors and 45 surveyors. For ordinary public works purposes the District forms a subdivision of the Meiktila Public Works division, conterminous with the civil Division. As stated above, the canals are under an Executive Engineer at Kyaukse. The forests form part of the Mandalay Forest division.

The jurisdiction of the civil and criminal courts is identical with the administrative divisions already described, and the Deputy-Commis- sioner and the subdivisional and township officers have the usual civil and criminal powers. There are two other judicial officers : namely, the head-quarters magistrate, who is also an additional judge of the Kyaukse township court ; and the myothugyi in charge of the Yeya- man tract, who has third-class magisterial powers. Crime in the Dis- trict is light, and the civil work is not heavy, though it is steadily increasing.

Under Burmese rule the land revenue was always paid in paddy, which the cultivators had to cart themselves to certain specified landing-places, where it was loaded in boats for conveyance to Man- dalay. The contributions levied were very heavy, and were rendered still heavier by the dishonesty and malpractices of the receiving officers. To arrive at the demand a rough survey was made by running a rope round each holding, the area being calculated by squaring half the circumference thus obtained. No effective check was made of the surveyors' work, and they were at liberty to estimate the area as they pleased. From the estimated area the demand was from 6 to 20 bas- kets of paddy percent(i*75 acres) on irrigated crops, 3 to 6 baskets person 'dry' ya (upland) crops, 10 baskets from the second year's plantain crop, 40 baskets from the third year's, and 30 baskets from sugar-cane. There were fourteen revenue circles, each under a segyi, who collected the paddy revenue in his own canal tract with the assis- tance of village headmen and myothugyis.

The revenue so collected amounted in average years to 758,000 baskets. In 1246 b. e. (a.d. 1884) king Thibaw farmed out the District for a stipulated sum to an official, who in turn sublet tracts to various contractors. Matters Avere found at this stage at the time of annexation. In 1888 temporary rates of assessment were sanctioned, as the District was almost depopulated, and had hardly begun to recover from the disturb- ances following annexation. They were considerably lower than those imposed by the Burmese, and the consequence was that a sudden and pronounced increase took place in the area brought under cultivation. The next year a cadastral survey and settlement were taken in hand, and rates were sanctioned in 1893.

All rice lands were divided into five classes, based on the relative facilities of irrigation, and the land rates were fixed at Rs. 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 per acre. For other crops the following special rates per acre were fixed : betel-vines, Rs. 20 ; sugar- cane and areca palms, Rs. 12 ; plantains (full grown) and Goa beans, Rs. 8 ; orchards, tobacco, onions, chillies, turmeric, yams, tomatoes, gram, and wheat, Rs. 3 ; and sesamum, plantains (young), and all other crops, Rs. 1-8 per acre. This settlement was sanctioned provision- ally for five years, subject to such revision as might be found necessary from time to time, and its rates are still in force.

Supplementary survey followed immediately on settlement, and in time accurate agri- cultural statistics became available. A revision survey and settlement was commenced in 1902, and has recently been completed. Revenue is assessed only on crops which have matured ; and where two crops of rice are taken off any field in one year, the revenue on that field for the second crop is assessed at one-half the full rate. On unirrigated non-state lands the rates of assessment are three-fourths, and on irrigated non-state lands seven-eighths, of the state land rates given above. The rates for irrigated lands include water rate.

The table on the next page illustrates the growth of the revenue of the District since 1 890-1. The figures are given in thousands of rupees.

After land revenue, tkathameda is the most important item of receipt. It brought in rather more than a lakh and a half in 1903-4.


The income of the District fund, utilized for the provision of various local needs, amounted in 1903-4 to Rs. 48,300, of which more than Rs. 40,000 was spent on public works. The only municipality in the District is Kyaukse.

The District Superintendent of police has a force of 3 inspectors, one chief head constable, 7 head constables, 16 sergeants, and 247 con- stables, who are distributed in 9 police stations and 2 outposts. The place of the rural police is taken by the village headmen, w-ho have certain powers under the Village Regulation and Excise and Opium Acts, and who may be said as a rule to afford the police loyal support in the detection and suppression of crime and the maintenance of order. There are two detachments of the Mandalay military police battalion in the District, one of 50 men under a subahddr at Kyaukse and the other of 30 men under a jemadar at Myittha, who are employed on general escort and guard duty. Kyaukse has no jail, and short-term prisoners are kept in the lock-up, while others are sent to the Mandalay jail to serve out their sentences.

When the absence of backw^ard hill tribes and the comparatively small number of Indian immigrants are borne in mind, the proportion of literate persons in 1901 (35 per cent, in the case of males, 2-3 per cent, in that of females, and 18 per cent, for both sexes together) appears low, though missionary enterprise has done a good deal to- wards furthering education. In 1904 the District contained 5 secon- dary, 97 primary, and 504 elementary (private) schools. These insti- tutions had in the same year an attendance of 6,212 pupils (including 927 girls), as compared with 3,062 in 1890-1 and 3,981 in 1900-1. The expenditure on education was Rs. 7,900, Provincial funds pro- viding Rs. 5,700, and fees and subscriptions Rs. 2,200.

There are two hospitals, with accommodation for 56 in-patients, in which 14,431 cases, including 579 in-patients, wxre treated in 1903, and 260 operations were performed. The income of these hospitals amounted to Rs. 8,900, towards which municipal funds contributed Rs. 4,200, Provincial funds Rs. 3,800, and subscriptions Rs. 600.

In 1903-4 the number of persons successfully vaccinated was 4,332, representing 31 per 1,000 of population. Vaccination is compulsory only within the limits of the Kyaukse municipality.

[S. Westlake, Settlement Report (1892).]

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