Saopha, Chaofa, or Sawbwa (Burmese: စော်ဘွား, pronounced: [sɔ̀ bwá]; Shan: ၸဝ်ႈၾႃႉ) was a royal title used by rulers of the Mong (Shan: မိူင်း, pronounced [mə́ŋ]) of the Shan States of Myanmar (Burma). The words are often taken to mean "king" and "kingdom" in the Shan and Tai languages. In some ancient Chinese literature it was recorded as 詔 (pinyin: Zhào; Modern Mandarin pronunciation: [tʂɑ̂ʊ̯]), for example Six Zhao and Nanzhao.
According to local chronicles, some dynasties of saophas date from as early as the 2nd century BCE; however, the earlier sections of these chronicles are generally agreed to be legendary.
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