Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Mon (Mong, Mangar), a widespread people of Indo-China and north-east India, and found also in scattered groups in Yunnan, the Tonking highlands, and the Vindhya Mountains of Central India. All are rude, wild tribes except the Mons of Pegu, Lower Burma, whom the Burmese call Talaings, and who were civilised by the introduction of Buddhism in the 5th century of the new era. These were formerly the ruling people throughout the whole region watered by the Lower Irawady, Sitang, and Salwen rivers, but were reduced about the middle of the 18th century by the Burmese. Their language resembles that of the Mundas and other Kolarians of Central India, and all the Mon tribes are now regarded as originally of Kolarian stock. Most of the Mons of Lower Burma now speak Burmese, but their settlements may still be recognised in Pegu by the cocoanuts and red or yellow bannerets attached to the gables of the houses, in honour of the Shway Yoe, or "Protecting Spirit."