|Reign||c. June 1542 – c. September 1545|
|Prime Minister||Yan Naung|
Tuesday, Wagaung 859 ME[note 1]
|Died||c. September 1545 (aged 48)
Hkonmaing (Burmese: ခုံမှိုင်း [kʰòʊɴ m̥áɪɴ], Shan: ၶုၼ်မိူင်း; 1497 – c. January 1546) was king of Ava from 1542 to 1546. The long-ruling saopha (chief) of the Shan state of Onbaung Hsipaw was the main ally of King Shwenankyawshin of Ava in their 20 years' war against the Confederation of Shan States led by Mohnyin. After Ava's fall, he became a member of the confederation and contributed to its war effort against the Kingdom of Toungoo in 1542.
Hkonmaing was elected to the Ava throne in 1542 despite the opposition by the House of Mohnyin. His efforts in 1544 to reclaim the former Ava vassal of Prome (Pyay) ended in failure. King Tabinshwehti of Toungoo ended up taking Ava territory up to Pagan. He died in 1545 and was succeeded by his son Mobye Narapati.
Saopha of Onbaung Hsipaw
Prior to ascending to the Ava throne, for over thirty years, he was saopha of the Shan state of Onbaung Hsipaw (Thibaw), with tributary Shan States of Yawnghwe (Nyaungshwe) and Mong Pai (Mobye), which covered an area the entire stretch of eastern Shan Hills west of the Salween river (Thanlwin).
Ally of Ava
Hkonmaing was a steadfast (thwethauk, blood brother) ally of King Shwenankyawshin of Ava. For over two decades, the two allies fought against the Confederation of Shan States led by Sawlon of Mohnyin and its allies. After Shwenankyawshin ascended the throne in 1502, Ava's former vassal states (Mohnyin and Prome) and nominal vassal state (Toungoo) attacked Ava from the north and the south. Hsipaw was the only ally of Ava that provided help. In 1507, Hsipaw's forces were driven back by the combined forces of Prome and Toungoo, and by 1512, Mohnyin seized 16 villages (including Bhamo) from Hsipaw's territory.
In the early 1520s, Sawlon assembled a confederation which included Mohnyin, Mogaung, Momeik and Bhamo (Hsipaw's former territory) as well as the southern kingdom of Prome, and invaded Avan territories from both directions. Hkonmaing with troops from Hsipaw and his vassal states of Yawnghwe and Mobye fought against the confederation. But the confederation sacked Ava in 1524, forcing the blood brothers Shwenankyawshin and Hkonmaing to flee the city. They returned to Ava after the confederation's troop left. In March 1527, the confederation armies laid siege to Ava again. On the eighth day of the siege, Shwenankyawshin on his war elephant was killed by a gunshot.
The Kingdom of Ava became a puppet state of the confederation with Thohanbwa, son of Sawlon, as "king".
Alliance with the Confederation
After the defeat at Ava, Hkonmaing retreated to Hsipaw. He later entered into a truce with the confederation although it is unclear when he did. It is likely that Hkonmaing agreed to a truce soon after as the confederation did not attack Hsipaw after Ava's fall. Nevertheless, the confederation ceased to be effective after Sawlon's death in 1533. The saophas of the confederation could not agree on Thohanbwa's claim as son of Sawlon to be the next leader of the confederation. It was not until 1541 when the Kingdom of Toungoo, a former vassal of Ava, which had conquered the Hanthawaddy Kingdom of Lower Burma in 1539, and turned to Prome (Pyay), a vassal state of Ava that Thohanbwa was able to galvanize his Shan allies. Hkonmaing contributed Hsipaw's troops to the war effort. But the Confederation's forces were driven back by Gen. Bayinnaung of Toungoo in 1542.
King of Ava
Hkonmaing was elected to be king of Ava in June 1542 after Thohanbwa, who was deeply unpopular among his subjects, was assassinated by his court ministers in May 1542 (Kason 904 ME).[note 2] The leader of the court insurrection, Yan Naung, was offered the throne, and Hkonmaing pledged his allegiance. But Yan Naung refused the offer, and instead gave the throne to Hkonmaing. The House of Mohnyin, which Thohanbwa belonged to, did not agree with Hkonmaing's ascension. Sithu Kyawhtin, lord of Salin and a younger brother of Thohanbwa, felt the throne was his as Mohnyin was the long-time leader of the confederation.
Nonetheless, with the Toungoo threat looming, Hkonmaing was able to assemble another confederation army (consisted of Mohnyin, Momeik, Mone, Hsenwi, Bhamo, Hsipaw and Yawnghwe) and attacked Toungoo-held Prome in 1544. The venture was a failure. The confederation armies were again defeated by King Tabinshwehti of Toungoo, who followed up to conquer up to the ancient city of Pagan (Bagan).
Hkonmaing died in 1545, and was succeeded by his son, saopha of Mobye, who ascended the throne of Narapati III. Sithu Kyawhtin of Mohyin openly rebelled, further weakening the kingdom, and making it an easy takeover target for Toungoo.
- (Zata 1960: 47) has entries for Hkonmaing and his son Mobye Narapati flipped since the son fell from power at age 43, four years after his father had died at age 36!
- (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 145): Kason 904 ME = 15 April to 14 May 1542. Waso 904 ME = 13 June to 11 July 1542
- Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 149
- Harvey 1925: 107–109
- Phayre 1967: 87–89
- Lieberman 2003: 135
- Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.
- Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7.
- Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma (1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta.
- Royal Historians of Burma (c. 1680). U Hla Tin (Hla Thamein), ed. Zatadawbon Yazawin (1960 ed.). Historical Research Directorate of the Union of Burma.
- Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar.
HkonmaingBorn: August 1497 Died: c. September 1545
|King of Ava
June 1543 – c. September 1545
||Saopha of Hsipaw
? – c. June 1542