Chiang Hung

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Mueang Ho Kham Chiang Rung (Thai: เมืองหอคำเชียงรุ่ง, "Mueang of golden hall in Chiang Rung") or Lü Kingdom was a political entity of Tai Lü people centered on the city of Chiang Hung or modern Jinghong the capital of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. The kingdom, in its most powerful state in the 13th century, covered a large area of northern highlands before being overwhelmed by neighboring powers such as Yuan dynasty, Lanna kingdom, and Burmese Empire. Chinese dynasties recognized the local leaders as tusi of Cheli (Chinese: 車里宣慰使).[1] In the late 18th century, the Siamese went on the immense campaign to move the majority of the Tai Lue people into northern Thailand, the former Lanna kingdom. Nowadays, a large number of Tai Lue people can be found in the northern provinces of Thailand and Laos.


Early history[edit]

Phanya Coeng, Paya Jueang (Thai: พญาเจื่อง) or Chao Jueang Han (Thai: เจ้าเจื่องหาญ) was said to wage wars with the native Akha and other Tai peoples in the area and established the kingdom in favor of Tai Lü people at Chiang Hung or Heo Kam on the Mekong in 1180.[2] In the early 13th century, King Inmueng greatly expanded Heokam territories. The tributaries of Heokam kingdom includes Kengtung, Ngoenyang, Meuang Thaeng (modern Dien Bien Phu – the capital of Tai Dam people), and Xieng Thong (Luang Prabang), making Heokam the sole leader of Tai kingdoms in the north. The Tai Lü people then began scattering throughout Heokam’s area of influence.

However, Heokam then fell to the Mongol invasions in 1292 and became a tributary of Yuan dynasty. The Mongols granted the title Chao Saenwi Fa (Thai: เจ้าแสนหวีฟ้า) and the surname of Dao to the Kings of Chiang Hung. The power vacuum in the area was filled by newly formed Lanna kingdom evolving from Ngoenyang state. Mangrai the Great of Lanna put Chiang Hung under Lanna tributary. However, Lanna authority weakened in the early 16th century and Heokam enjoyed a brief period of autonomy until Lanna was conquered by Burmese Toungoo dynasty in 1558. The Burmese under Bayinnaung had already put the area under its control and Chiang Hung became a Burmese tributary. The Burmese divided Heokam into twelve pans (administration units), translated by the Tai Lü people Sipsong Panna (i.e. Twelve dictricts). Sipsong Panna served as the battlegrounds between Burma and the Qing dynasty.

Heokam faced three centuries of Burmese rule. In efforts to recover the manpower taken by Burma, Buddha Yodfa Chulalok ordered Prince Adthavorapaño of Nan to invade Kengtung and Chiang Hung to gather the Tai peoples there into Nan and other Lanna cities. Today, Nan hosts the largest Tai Lue community in Thailand. Also King Kawila of Chiangmai invaded Chiang Hung to get the people. The Tai Lue people and culture therefore surged into Lanna.

Dynastic struggle[edit]

A dynastic struggle in 1847 brought chaos to Chiang Hung. Siamese chronicles have the details about the event:

King Mahawan of Chiang Hung died in 1847, to be succeeded by his son Prince Sarawan. However, Mahawan's uncle Prince Mahakhanan took the throne. Prince Sarawan fled to Dali in dismay and sought supports from Qing dynasty. Sarawan returned and killed Mahakhanan, Mahakhanan's son, Prince Nokam, went to Ava to gain supports from Pagan Min. The Burmese invaded and took Chiang Hung - culminating a large Tai Lue emigration into Lanna.[3] Prince Nokam was then crowned but was later killed by his own nobles. Ava then re-installed Sarawan as the king.

Sarawan's brother, Oalnawudh, fled to Luang Prabang and proceeded to Bangkok in 1852. The Siamese nobles then saw this as an opportunity to gain control over Shan states and Chiang Hung and planned to take Kengtung on the way to Chiang Hung. The Siamese invaded the north but were unable to penetrate the mountainous highlands. In 1855, another attempt was made to march to Chiang Hung but yet failed.

Later history and legacy[edit]

Chiang Hung then came under the suzerainty of Qing dynasty for about a century. After the Chinese Empire was overthrown by the revolution, the kingdom status of Chiang Hung technically ended. However, Republic of China continued to recognize local leaders as tusi. The last chieftain of Jinghong, Dao Shixun (zh:刀世勋, 1928), attended the foundation ceremony of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and later became president of the Yunnan Minzu Institute. A Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Region was established in 1953 and became an autonomous prefecture in 1955. A former tusi, Shao Cunxin, was the head of Xishuangbanna government from 1953 to 1992.

Some members of the ruling family fled to northern Thailand in 1949. Dao Shixun visited them in 1986.


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  3. ^ดินแดนสิบสองปันนา