Minye Kyawswa I of Ava

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This article is about King Minye Kyawswa. See Minye Kyawswa for the crown prince and commander-in-chief of Ava. For other people named Minye Kyawswa, see Minye Kyawswa (disambiguation).
Minye Kyawswa I of Ava
မင်းရဲကျော်စွာ (အင်းဝ)
King of Ava
Reign May 1439 – January/February 1442
Predecessor Mohnyin Thado
Successor Narapati I
Born 18 December 1410
Thursday, 9th waning of Pyatho 772 ME
Died January/February 1442 (aged 31)
Tabodwe 803 ME[1]
Ava (Inwa)
Consort Min Hla Nyet[2]
Issue Min Mya Hnit
House Mohnyin
Father Mohnyin Thado
Mother Shin Myat Hla
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Minye Kyawswa I of Ava (Burmese: မင်းရဲကျော်စွာ (အင်းဝ), pronounced [mɪ́ɴjɛ́ tɕɔ̀zwà]; also spelled Minyekyawswa; 1410–1442) was king of Ava from 1439 to 1442. He spent all of his 3-year reign asserting his rule over his kingdom, and defending against raids by the Shan State of Mogaung. He recovered Toungoo, which had escaped Ava's orbit since the start of his father Mohnyin Thado's reign in 1426. He died at Ava in January/February 1442 while his forces were laying siege to Mogaung.[3] He was succeeded by his brother Narapati, the viceroy of Prome.[4]

Early life[edit]

Minye Kyawswa was born to Mohnyin Thado, then Governor of Mohnyin, and his wife (later chief queen) Shin Myat Hla on 18 December 1410[note 1] in Mohnyin (modern Kachin State). He was the eldest child of the couple's four children. He had a younger brother (later Narapati I of Ava) and two younger sisters. Later in his teenage years, he was made ruler of a small region in Mohnyin called Mo-Shwe by his father, governor of Mohnyin. When his father became king of Ava in 1426, Minye Kyawswa was made heir-apparent, and was given Salin, Saku, and Legaing districts in fief.[2]


Minye Kyawswa's short reign was the archetypal reign of the successive Ava kings in that each king would have to reestablish his rule over his territory. One of his first acts as king was to mediate in a conflict between the saophas (sawbwas, chiefs) of Kale and Mohnyin, and to reassert his rule over the two Shan States, which had been under Ava's suzerainty since the reign of King Minkhaung I. He sent an army to the north. When the expedition arrived at Myedu both chieftains submitted to Ava in fear that the other one would gain the upper hand by submitting first. He installed his brothers-in-law as new saophas.

After securing the loyalty of Kale and Mohnyin, the king quickly turned to the territories much closer to Ava. Toungoo (Taungoo) had been in revolt since 1426 with Hanthawaddy Pegu's backing, and the regions around Toungoo such as Taungdwingyi, Yamethin, and Pinle also raised rebellions when he became king. In late 1440, he sent his armies to reclaim the rebellious regions. They could not take well-defended Pinle and Yamethin but took Taungdwingyi. Most importantly, Ava recovered Toungoo in 1440 after a pitched battle in which the ruler of Toungoo, Saw Oo, was killed in an elephant duel.[5]

Pinle and Yamethin stayed out of Ava's control for the remainder of his reign as the king had to defend against renewed Shan raids starting in 1441. By the late 1430s, Thonganbwa, the saopha of Mogaung, had gained control of a large swath of territory between Chinese controlled Yunnan and central Burma. His capital Mogaung was just a short distance away from Ava-controlled Mohnyin. In 1440, Thohanbwa launched several raids into both Ava and Yunnan. In response, Minye Kyawswa sent his brothers-in-law, the Burmese governors of Mohnyin and Kale, to attack Mogaung. In 1441, Ava forces laid siege to Mogaung, which was heavily fortified. While the siege dragged on, the king died at Ava in January/February 1442.[3]



  1. ^ Zatadawbon Yazawin (Zata 1960: 76) says he was born on Thursday, 22nd nekkhat (24th day) of the 10th month (Pyatho) of 763 ME, which translates to Wednesday, 28 December 1401. But per Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 81), his parents were married only in late 1409/early 1410, and he was born in year 1410 (not 1401). Indeed, 9th waning of Pyatho 772 gives Thursday, 18 December 1410.


  1. ^ (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 80): Tabodwe 803 ME = 12 January 1442 to 9 February 1442
  2. ^ a b Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 61–62
  3. ^ a b Fernquest 2006: 61–63
  4. ^ Phayre 1967: 84–85
  5. ^ Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 30


  • Fernquest, Jon (Autumn 2006). "Crucible of War: Burma and the Ming in the Tai Frontier Zone (1382-1454)" (PDF). SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research. 4 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. 
  • Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd. 
  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. 
  • 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. 
  • Sein Lwin Lay, Kahtika U (1968). Mintaya Shwe Hti and Bayinnaung: Ketumadi Taungoo Yazawin (in Burmese) (2006, 2nd printing ed.). Yangon: Yan Aung Sarpay. 
Minye Kyawswa I of Ava
Born: 18 December 1410 Died: January/February 1442
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mohnyin Thado
King of Ava
May 1439 – January/February 1442
Succeeded by
Royal titles
Preceded by
Heir to the Burmese Throne
7 May 1427 – May 1439
Succeeded by