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Nanzhao as a Southeast Asian kingdom, c.738–902

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2021


This article sets out to demonstrate the Southeast Asian nature of Nanzhao as a Sinitic state similar to Dai Viet. Previous studies have focused on Nanzhao's relations with Tang China, and emphasised the heavy Tang influence on its political organisation. Examining Nanzhao's expansion of governance into the Upper Ayeyarwady and Upper Mekong river regions during the eighth and ninth centuries, I argue that it was a kingdom characterised by a combination of Sinitic-style bureaucracy with indigenous Southeast Asian allegiance ties. I demonstrate how Nanzhao utilised these features to broaden its entire power base by administering conquered peoples and maintaining trade routes in the Upper Ayeyarwady and the Upper Mekong from a network of walled-cities. Though Confucianism exerted limited influence at the local level, the elite invoked Confucian civilising ideology to morally justify their governance of conquered peoples. The authority of the king extended beyond the core area, and his bureaucracy was powerful enough to loosely administer regional areas and to shift subdued peoples to populate strategic points within the kingdom, while governing Mon-Khmer polities at the southern periphery indirectly through their own leaders.

Research Article
Copyright © The National University of Singapore, 2021

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The author would like to thank the two anonymous referees for their constructive comments, and Professor Sun Jingtao 孫景濤, my colleague in the Division of Humanities, for assistance with the reconstructed pronunciation of early middle Chinese. Financial support from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund No. 16642516 is gratefully acknowledged for fieldwork and research in Yunnan.


1 Sun Laichen postulates that the Yangzi River originally marked the boundary between ‘China’ and ‘greater Southeast Asia’ in 221 BCE. He conceptualises China's expansion south as occurring through: the spread of Han/Confucian China through Han migration and settlement; the extension of Chinese administration over non-Han populations; and the amplification of China's political, economic, and military influence in Southeast Asia. Pointing to the cyclical intensification of China's influence over the ages, Sun concludes that Ming China exerted the ‘most profound effects on Southeast Asia’ during the 15th century. See Laichen, Sun, ‘Assessing the Ming role in China's southern expansion’, in Southeast Asia in the fifteenth century, ed. Wade, Geoff and Laichen, Sun (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010), pp. 4479Google Scholar, esp. pp. 44–5, 61.

2 Evans, Grant, ‘The Ai-Lao and Nan Chao/Tali Kingdom: A reorientation’, Journal of the Siam Society 102 (2014): 234–8Google Scholar.

3 Nicholas Tarling, ed., The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia, vol. 1: From early times to c.1800 (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1992), does not include Nanzhao as an ancient state of Southeast Asia. Neither Victor Lieberman's Strange parallels, vol. 1; Integration on the Mainland: Southeast Asia in global context, c.800–1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), nor Michael Aung-Thwin's Pagan: The origins of modern Burma (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1985), included Nanzhao among the classical Southeast Asian states.

4 Aung-Thwin, Michael and Aung-Thwin, Matrii, A history of Myanmar since ancient times: Traditions and transformations (London: Reaktion, 2012), p. 81Google Scholar, points out that the northern frontier was ‘the traditional direction of invasion and the “front door” of Myanmar’. The Aung-Thwins cite the building of 43 forts along the northern stretches of the Ayeyarwady River by King Aniruddha (1044–77) as evidence.

5 For examples, see Stott, Wilfrid, ‘The expansion of the Nanchao Kingdom between the years A.D. 750–860 and the causes that lay behind it as shewn in the T'ai-Ho inscription and the Man Shu’, T'oung Pao, 2nd series, 50, 1/3 (1963): 190220CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Fujisawa Yoshimi 藤澤義美, Seinan Chūgoku minzokushi no kenkyū 西南中國民族史の研究 [Research on the ethnic history of southwest China] (Tokyo: Dai'an, 1969); Backus, Charles, The Nan-chao Kingdom and T'ang China's southwestern frontier (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981)Google Scholar; and Hayashi Ken'ichirō 林謙一郎, ‘Nanshōkoku no seiritsu 南詔國の成立 [The establishment of Nanzhao Kingdom]’, Tōyōshi kenkyū 49, 1 (1990): 87–114.

6 Evans, ‘The Ai-Lao and Nan Chao/Tali kingdom’, pp. 234–8, 250.

7 In China the Mekong River within Yunnan is known as the Lancang River 瀾滄江. For simplicity, I refer to it as the Mekong.

8 For instance, Wilfrid Stott (‘The expansion of the Nanchao Kingdom’) attributes Nanzhao's rise to power to the political acumen of Geluofeng. He cites Geluofeng's skilful utilisation of captured and disaffected Chinese officials to equip Nanzhao with a system of government modelled on the Tang Empire as major factors in Nanzhao's expansion. Charles Backus, while recognising that Nanzhao's political institutions may have drawn upon ‘local patterns of organisation’, postulates influence from Chinese institutions from the pre-Tang period (Backus, The Nan-chao Kingdom, pp. 78–9).

9 Indian and Sino-centric perspectives have been criticised for denying Southeast Asians agency in their own history by crediting political and cultural innovation to outsiders. For the debates on externalist and autonomous traditions of historiography in Southeast Asia, see Lieberman, Strange parallels, vol. 1, pp. 6–15.

10 For a discussion of theoretical issues with the conceptualisation and reconstruction of the ‘classical’ in Southeast Asia, see Aung-Thwin, Michael, ‘“Classical” in Southeast Asia: The present in the past’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 26, 1 (1995): 7591CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For the connection with modern nation-states, see p. 75.

11 Lieberman, Strange parallels, pp. 112–39, and p. 24, fig. 1.3.

12 Daniels, Christian and Ma, Jianxiong, ‘Introduction: The agency of local elites in the transformation of Western Yunnan during the Ming dynasty’, in The transformation of Yunnan in Ming China, ed. Daniels, Christian and Ma, Jianxiong (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 1237CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

13 Lieberman, Strange parallels, p. 341.

14 According to Lieberman (ibid., pp. 340–42), educated Vietnamese drew ‘a sharper cultural boundary between Vietnamese and their neighbours than was possible between peoples claiming the same Theravada allegiance’ from the 15th century onward.

15 Little evidence exists for Nanzhao rulers adopting the concept of the universal monarch in the kingdom's early period, but if we take the coupling of the terms maharajā and cakravartin as proof for the Mahayana tradition of kingship, then the NZTZ demonstrates its practice in the reign of Longshun 隆舜 (r. 877–?), the 12th Nanzhao monarch. Tateishi Kenji 立石謙次, ‘Nanshōkoku kōhanki no ōken sisō no kenkyū: ‘Nanshō zuden’ no saikaishaku’ 南詔國後半期の王権思想の研究−『南詔圖傳』の再解釋 [The ideology of kingship in the latter half of the Nanzhao period: A re-interpretation of the Nanzhao Tuzhuan]’, Tōyō Gakuhō 85, 2 (2003): 51–85, suggested that Avalokitesva Bodhisattva worship functioned as state ideology from the latter half of the 9th century.

16 Lieberman, Strange parallels, p. 362.

17 Ibid., pp. 355–6. James Anderson has pointed out similar patterns of dependence on clansmen for top leadership positions and similar internecine political conflict in the Dali Kingdom and Dai Viet state, see Anderson, James A., ‘Man and Mongols: The Dali and Dai Viet kingdoms in the face of the northern invasions’, in China's encounters on the South and Southwest: Reforging the fiery frontier over two millennia, ed. Anderson, James A. and Whitmore, John K. (Leiden: Brill, 2015), p. 107CrossRefGoogle Scholar. But this trait cannot be traced back to the Nanzhao period when the power of the king seems to have been wider-reaching than during the Dali period when a non-royal family and their clansmen dominated political power.

18 The Wu Man 烏蠻 are identified with today's Yi nationality 彝族 while the Bai Man 白蠻 are regarded as the forebears of the Bairen 白人and Boren 僰人, the reputed ancestors of today's Bai nationality 白族 (see Backus, The Nan-chao Kingdom, p. 50). Wu Man and Bai Man are exonyms that appear in Tang texts, Man (barbarians) being the common Chinese designation for non-Sinitic peoples in the south. The autonyms for the Wu Man and Bai Man remain unknown.

19 Backus, The Nan-chao Kingdom, p. 50.

20 The Liucao are regarded as being responsible for the routine administration of the military, taxation, foreign relations, punishments, personnel and public welfare (ibid., p. 79).

21 Fujisawa, Seinan Chūgoku minzokushi no kenkyū, pp. 393–8, 413–14.

22 Lin Chaomin argues that the distinction between Wu Man and Bai Man disappeared when Nanzhao changed its name to Da Fengmin Guo 大封民國 in c.877. Lin claims that the Bai emerged from the integration of ethnic groups as diverse as the Erhairen 洱海人, Kunming 昆明, Ailao 哀牢, He Man 河蠻, Bo 僰人, Hanxing 漢姓 and others. See Lin Chaomin 林超民, ‘Baizu xingcheng wenti xintan 白族形成問題新探 [New investigation about the formation of the Bai nationality]’, in Lin Chaomin Wenji 林超民文集 [Collected works of Lin Chaomin] (Kunming: Yunnan renmin chubanshe, 2008), pp. 151–2, and Lin Chaomin and Li Jing 李婧, ‘Baizu xingcheng xinlun 白族形成新論 [New conclusion about the formation of the Bai nationality]’, Yunnan minzu daxue xuebao 36, 2 (2019): 135–41.

23 Hou Chong 侯冲, Baizu Xinshi:‘Bai gu tongji'yanjiu 白族心史-《白古通記》研究 [The history of the mind of the Bai Nationality: Research on the Bai gu tongji (Comprehensive record of Bai history)] (Kunming: Yunnan minzu chubanshe, 2002), pp. 96–102.

24 Bryson, Megan, Goddess on the frontier: Religion, ethnicity and gender in southwest China (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), p. 88Google Scholar.

25 According to the Yunnan zhi (Yunnan Gazetteer, also known as the Man shu 蠻書) by Fan Chuo 樊綽 c.863, ‘Yongchang cut itself off and did not maintain contact with the Liu Zhao 六詔 [the six polities in the Lake Erhai core area] before the Kaiyuan period [713–741]’; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 56.

26 According to Fang Guoyu 方國瑜, Zhongguo xinan lishi dili kaoshi 中國西南地理考釋 [Textual research on the historical geography of southwest China] (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1987), p. 473.

27 YSC, vol. 2, p. 56. Shengluopi 盛羅皮 died in 728, therefore he must have established the walled-city of Zheyu between 713 and 728. See YSC, vol. 2, pp. 56–7, n.5.

28 Ibid., p. 40. According to Yunnan zhi of 863, the exonym Wangjuzi usually associated with the Wang Man 望蠻 included the Puzi Man of Pu Dan 撲賧: ‘The stock in Yue Dan 越賧 [Tengchong] and Puzi [Dan] west of the Mekong River are all Wangjuzi’; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 56. Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 331, identifies the Wang Man as the ancestors of the Wa.

29 YSC, vol. 2, p. 56.

30 Yunnan zhi, p. 27. YSC, vol. 2, p. 27. Both the JTS, p. 5280, and the XTS, p. 6267, recorded Mengshe polity rulers as ‘descendants of Ailao’. The JTS, p. 5280, stated: ‘The Nanzhao Barbarians are originally another stock of the Black Barbarians and have the surname Meng 蒙. The Barbarians call their king zhao 詔, and say themselves that they are descendants of Ailao and have lived in Mengshe zhou 蒙舍州 for generations as great commanders (jushuai 渠帥). It is east of the former Han [dynasty] commandery of Yongchang, and lies west of Yaozhou 姚州.’

31 HYGZ in YSC, vol. 1, p. 260.

32 Fang Zhongguo xinan lishi, pp. 22, 100. After submission, Emperor Mingdi 明帝 (r. 57–75 CE) incorporated Ailao territory into the newly established Yongchang Commandery 永昌郡, which administered eight subordinate counties with a total of 60,000 registered households in 69 CE; see HYGZ in YSC, vol. 1, p. 260. Alice Yao, The ancient highlands of Southwest China: from the Bronze Age to the Han Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 6, fig. 1.2, marks Yun xian 雲縣 in today's Lincang 臨滄市 as an archaeological site of the Ailao tribes.

33 Fan Ye 范曄, Hou Han shu 後漢書 (History of the later Han dynasty) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985), p. 2849. HYGZ cites the leader's name as Yilang 抑狼 (see YSC, vol. 1, p. 260) and not Liu Mao 柳貌.

34 YSC, vol. 1, p. 260.

35 Sakurai Yumio 櫻井由躬雄, ‘Tōnan Ajia zenkindai kokka no ruikei teki kōsatsu 東南アジア前近代国家の類型的考察 [An inquiry into the types of pre-modern states in Southeast Asia]’, ed. Ishii Yoneo 石井米雄, Tōnan Ajia sekai no kōzō to henyō 東南アジア世界の構造と変容 [The structure and transformation of the Southeast Asian world] (Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1986), pp. 208, 214.

36 Hayashi Ken'ichirō 林謙一郎, ‘Nanshōkoku kōhanki no taigai ensei to kokka kōzō 南詔國後半期の対外遠征と国家構造 [The campaigns abroad and state structure in the later Nanzhao period]’, Shirin 75, 4 (1992): 114–45.

37 Bonan county 博南縣 was situated in today's Yongping county 永平縣, the county seat being located at today's Huaqiao village 花橋村.

38 After Bonan county seat, travellers negotiated the Dingdang Pass 叮噹關, they then descended to the Shanyang 衫陽(揚) valley basin, and passed through Aidong 岩洞 before reaching the Lanjin crossing 瀾津渡. The mode of traversing the Mekong changed over the ages: from the use of boat ferries, pontoon bridges made by lashing boats together with bamboo ropes, wooden bridges and finally an iron chain bridge measuring 106 metres long and 3.7 metres wide. The latter, known as Jihong Bridge 霽虹橋, was completed c.1501 and was the longest iron chain bridge in Yunnan; see Zhang Zengqi 張增祺, Diancui Yunnan shaoshu minzu dui Huaxia wenming de gongxian 滇萃-雲南少數民族對華夏文明的貢獻 [The essence of Yunnan: The contribution of Yunnan's minority peoples to Chinese civilisation] (Kunming: Yunnan chuban jituan Gonggsi & Yunnan Meishu Chubanshe, 2010), pp. 184–6.

39 This ballad, known as the Lancang Ge 瀾滄歌 or Du Lancang Ge 渡瀾滄歌 [Song of traversing the Mekong], recalls the hardships experienced by the soldiers of Emperor Mingdi 明帝 (r. 57–75 CE) when crossing the Mekong River to establish the two counties of Ailao and Bonan c.69 CE. It is recorded in the Hou Han shu, p. 2849, and in the HYGZ; see YSC, vol. 1, p. 260.

40 Chen Xijin 陳熙晉, coll. and annot., Luo Linhai Ji Qianzhu 駱臨海集淺注 [Concise annotations on the collected works of Luo Bingwang], in Xuxiu Siku Quanshu Bianji weiyuanhui Weiyuanhuin 續修四庫全書 編輯委員會, ed., Xuxiu Siku Quanshu 續修四庫全書 [Further compilation of the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2002), 4:31b–32a, pp. 105–6.

41 For an account of the separation between inner China and the outer barbarians, see Wang Gungwu, ‘Early Ming relations with Southeast Asia: A background essay’, in The Chinese world order: Traditional China's foreign relations, ed. John King Fairbank (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), pp. 38–42.

42 BZ of 1396 Li Sicong 李思聰 version, p. 153, recorded: ‘From Jinchi [Baoshan] and passing through Pupiao, before arriving at the Salween River there is Mount Wuchuang. This is the demarcating line between Yunnan and the Baiyi [Tai] 自金齒過蒲縹,將至怒江,有屋床山,乃雲南、百夷界限也.’ The west bank of the Salween was controlled by the Dali Kingdom and Mongol-Yuan, but fell into the hands of the Sä dynasty of Mäng2 Maaw2 from 1383. The Ming dynasty only gained control at the end of the Hongwu reign period after the establishment of the Tengchong Independent Battalion 騰衝守御千戶所 in 1397; see Luo Yong 羅永, ‘Luchuan jueqi yu Mingchu Dianxi bianjiang jingying 麓川崛起與明初滇西邊疆經營 [Rise of Luchuan and the management of the border in western Yunnan]’, Baoshan xueyuan bao 保山學院報 4 (2015): 12.

43 The full name of this stele is the Mengguo dazhao dehua song bei 蒙國大詔德化頌碑 [Epitaph eulogising the Great King of Mengshe's transformation (of the Populace) through moral power]. It was erected in the walled-city of Taihe 太和城, the first capital of the kingdom, on the west side of Lake Erhai c.766 to explain the reasons for Geluofeng shifting allegiance to the Tibetans and to extol his meritorious achievements. See Fang Guoyu, Yunnan shiliao mulu gaishuo 雲南史料目錄概說 [An annotated catalogue of historical sources concerning Yunnan] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1984), p. 864.

44 DCJP, vol. 10, p. 4.

45 Lupi 祿郫 refers to the N'Mai Hka River 恩梅開江; see Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, pp. 481, 562, 566.

46 The Lishui 麗水 refers to the Ayeyarwady River. It was also known as the Dajinsha jiang 大金沙江 (lit., Great Golden Sand River); see Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, pp. 562–3.

47 According to Fang (ibid., p. 555), the Yangshan mountains 陽山 lay at the northern border of the Huichuan governor-generalship 會川都督府.

48 Butou 步頭 was a strategic area on the route southeast from Yunnan to today's Vietnam. Its exact location remains unknown, but generally regarded as situated in the area of today's Jianshui (建水).

49 According to the Yunnan zhi, several stands of Dongting trees 洞庭樹 grew on Biji Mountain 碧雞山 to the west of Lake Dian; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 17.

50 Younger Brother King (Zhong Wang 鐘王) referred to Geluofeng. XTS, p. 6271, recorded: ‘The Tubo 吐蕃 took [Geluofeng] as his younger brother. Because the Barbarians call younger brothers zhong 鐘, [Geluofeng] was named Zanpu Zhong 贊普鐘 and given a gold seal and the title of Eastern Emperor 東帝.’ The same passage with different wording appears in the JTS, p. 5281.

51 Btsan po (Chinese zan pu 贊普) was the Tibetan word for the king of the Tibetan Empire (Tubo 吐蕃) and literally means ‘strong man’.

52 DCJP, vol. 10, p. 4.

53 Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, pp. 486–7.

54 Fang Guoyu claims that Xunchuan 尋傳 was a mistake for Xunbo 尋博, the pronunciation of which he asserts is close to Jingpo 景頗; see Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 414. However, Fang's identification is not supported by the reconstructed pronunciation of early middle Chinese, which uses zim drwian for xunchuan 尋傳, zim pak for xunbo, and kiajng’ pha for Jingpo; see Pulleyblank, Edwin G., Lexicon of reconstructed pronunciation in early middle Chinese, late middle Chinese, and early Mandarin (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1991)Google Scholar.

55 DCJP, vol, 10, p. 4.

56 Da Qin refers to the Boluomen Kingdom 婆羅門國 of India.

57 Augustlord [Fu] Xi (Xihuang 羲皇) refers to Fu Xi 伏羲, the mythical emperor of the 3rd millennium BCE who taught mankind elementary writing and the institution of marriage.

58 The Luoxing Man, also known as the Wild Barbarians (Ye Man 野蠻), lived west of the Qixian Mountains 祁鮮山. Nanzhao built a timber-palisaded fort known as the Shenlong River Fort 神龍河栅 west of these mountains, so their officials must have possessed first-hand information about this ethnic group. See Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, pp. 39, 58.

59 The Yunnan zhi recorded the difficulties that malaria caused for lowland administration: ‘the officials of walled-cities and Defense Commands (zhucheng zhenguan 諸城鎮官) take refuge in other places, and do not perform official duties in person out of terror of malaria (zhangli 瘴癘)’, see YSC, vol. 2, p. 58.

60 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 58.

61 Geluofeng ‘opened up Xunchuan to the west, connecting with Piao guo 驃國 [the Pyū State] to the south’. See Yunnan zhi in YSC, vol. 2, p. 27.

62 XTS, p. 6271.

63 The Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, pp. 78–80, recorded Nanzhao raiding the Pyū and listed polities situated south of the kingdom.

64 XTS, p. 6281, describes the meaning of Piaoxin as ‘lord (jun 君)’. The text accompanying the figure of Emperor Longshun 隆舜 in the NZTZ scroll is marked with the words ‘Ruler of the Piao [Pyū], Menglonghao 驃信蒙隆昊’. Longshun stands reverently to the left of a statue of Acuoye Guanyin 阿嵯耶觀音 barefoot with his hair in a topknot and his hands cupped, waiting to be consecrated with water and pronounced a monarch; see NZTZ, p. 137.

65 Hkamti Long covers an area of nearly 777 km2 (56 km from north to south by 16 from east to west); see Frank Kingdon-Ward, In farthest Burma; The record of an arduous journey of exploration and research through the unknown frontier territory of Burma and Tibet, 2nd edn (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2005 [1921]), pp. 130–31.

66 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, pp. 56, 58.

67 According to Yunnan zhi, Dadan was solely occupied by Ye Man, who had no leader 悉皆野蠻,無君長也。. See YSC, ibid., p. 18.

68 Ibid., p. 18.

69 Ibid., p. 18.

70 Ibid., pp. 17–18.

71 Ibid., 66–7.

72 Ibid., p. 79. Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, pp. 591–92, identifies the Michen 彌臣 as Mon, taking Michen 彌臣 as a transliteration of Rmeñ. Stott, ‘The expansion of the Nanchao Kingdom’, p. 213, mentions gold as the kingdom's most important product.

73 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 50.

74 The HFS of the late 13th/early 14th century recorded the enfeoffment of Mount Mengle 蒙樂山 as the Southern Sacred Mountain (Nanyue 南嶽) by the Nanzhao ruling family; see YSC, vol. 3, p. 106. Mount Mengle marked the southernmost boundary of the Lake Erhai area. Now known as the Wuliang Range 無量山 (and also called Ailao Mountain 哀牢山), the tail end extends into Phongsali in northern Laos.

75 DCJP, vol. 10, p. 5, records Li Mai 李買口 (one illegible character) as ‘the great general of the walled-city of Kainan 開南城大軍將’.

76 The YSC, vol. 2, p. 57, reads: ‘The walled-city of Kainan is an eleven-day journey from the walled-city of Longwei 龍尾 [today's Xiaguan] and administers the walled-city of the commander-in-chief at Liuzhuihe 柳追和都督城. There are over one hundred salt wells in the jurisdictions of the walled-cities of Weiyuan 威遠, Fengyi 奉逸 and Lirun 利潤. The Mangnai Circuit 茫乃道 together with the ten tribes of the Heichi [Black Teeth] and other stock are subordinate to them.’

77 Steven Harrell named such state-sponsored projects as ‘Confucian civilising missions’. See his ‘Introduction: Civilising projects and the reaction to them’, in Cultural encounters on China's ethnic frontiers, ed. S. Harrell (Seattle: University of Washington, Press, 1994), pp. 4–7.

78 Yuan Jiagu pointed out that Nanzhao moved peoples to prevent them from rebelling if left in their homelands. See Yuan Jiagu 袁嘉穀 Dian yi 滇繹 [Stating my views on Yunnan (history)], Preface (n.p., 1923), juan 2, p. 50.

79 YSC, vol. 2, p. 51.

80 The Lake Erhai area seems to have been an exception. Forced migration here was small in scale and mainly intended to populate the walled-city of Baiya 白崖城 in today's Hongya of Midu county 彌渡縣紅崖. Geluofeng moved several thousand households from Dengchuan to this walled-city when he rebuilt it in 772 (see table 1, no. 1). Yimouxun exiled the king of the Shun Man 順蠻王 to this walled-city in 794 (table 1, no. 9).

81 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 40. The XTS, p. 6268, also recorded: ‘When military campaigns are launched, the Wangjuzi serve as vanguards 凡兵出,以望苴子前驅.’ Fang surmises that the Wangjuzi were military households and ancestors of the Wa; see Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 331.

82 The Yunnan zhi recorded that the Puzi Man from Pu Dan were included under the Wangjuzi, a sub-group of the Wang Ma 望蠻; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 56. According to the Yunnan zhi, the Wang Man Waiyu tribe 望蠻外喩 resided northwest of Yongchang; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 56. Fang Guoyu, Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 331, identifies the Wang Man as the ancestors of the Wa.

83 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 40. The Yunnan zhi also recorded that the Puzi Man from Pu Dan 撲賧 were included under the Wangjuzi, a sub-group of the Wang Man 望蠻: ‘The stock in Yue Dan [Tengchong] and Puzi [Dan 賧] west of the Mekong River are all Wangjuzi 自瀾滄江以西,越賧,撲子,其種並是望苴子.’; see YSC, vol. 2, p. 56. According to the Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 38, the Puzi Man: ‘wore trousers made of blue cloth spun from cotton trees (probably the floss of Gossypium arboreum Linn. 樹棉) that cover the whole body 以青婆羅段為通身袴’ and were ‘brave, strong, and fleet of foot 勇悍趫捷’ and adept at archery, ‘never missing a shot when shooting flying squirrels deep in the forests 善用泊箕竹弓,深林間射飛鼠,發無不中’. The c.1300 account of the Puzi Man by Li Jing 李京, a Mongol-Yuan official who served in Yunnan from 1301 onwards, closely follows that of the Yunnan zhi, but Li’ s version recorded the Puzi Man as bandits; see Yunnan zhilue 雲南志略 [A short gazetteer of Yunnan], in YSC, vol. 3, p. 130.

84 Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 331.

85 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 75, n.2.

86 Linguistic surveys by the Japanese linguist Shintani Tadahiko 新谷忠彦 demonstrate that ethno-linguistic differences among today's Ta'aang, Wa and Plang derive from their contact with Tai people over a long period of time. Their geographic distribution attests to these differences. Ta'aang residing west of the Salween have been influenced by Tai in southwestern Yunnan and the Shan states while the Plang residing east of the Mekong have been influenced by the Lue, and the Wa situated between the two rivers have been less affected. See ‘Preface’, p. ix, in Shintani Tadahiko, The Riang language (Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 2014), Linguistic survey of the Tay cultural area, series no. 101 and all subsequent volumes of this series.

87 The people in these Mon-Khmer polities were known as the Pu 蒲, Pu Ren 蒲人 and Pu Man 蒲蠻, exonyms which encompass the ancestors of the Ta'aang and Plang; see Jiang Yingliang 江應樑 ed., Zhongguo minzu shi 中國民族史 [History of China's nationalities], (Beijing: Minzu Chubanshe, 1990), vol. 2, p. 91. E.R. Leach writes that modern Chinese refer to modern Kachins as Pu Man; see Leach, E.R., Political systems of Highland Burma: A study of Kachin social structure (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1954), p. 239Google Scholar. He cites Siguret, J., Territoires et population des confins du Yunnan (Peiping, 1937), p. 122Google Scholar, as evidence. Luce, G.H., Phases of pre-Pagan Burma: Languages and history (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 101Google Scholar, claims that the Puzi Man and Pu Man refer to Proto-Burmans. As far as I know, no one in Yunnan refers to Tibeto-Burman speakers as Pu Man.

88 HYTZ juan 113, 8a. For an account of these five Pu polities, see Daniels, Christian, ‘The formation of Tai polities between the 13th and 16th centuries: The role of technological transfer’, Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko 58 (2000): 5868Google Scholar.

89 Tieqiao 鐵橋 or the Iron Bridge lay three days’ journey north of Jianchuan 劍川.

90 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, pp. 38–9. 撲子蠻:…開南,銀生,永昌,尋傳四處皆有。鐵橋西北邊延瀾滄江亦有部落。

91 As John Herman pointed out, the ethnic designation Pu 濮 ‘undoubtedly concealed significant cultural diversity’ and was replaced with the equally vague terms Manyi 蠻夷 and Xinan Man 西南蠻 (southwestern barbarians) from the beginning of the third century CE; see John Herman, ‘The kingdoms of Nanzhong China's southwest border region prior to the eighth century’, T'oung Pao 95 (2009): 248–9.

92 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 38.

93 Fang Guoyu, ‘Yuandai Yunnan xingsheng Daizu shiliao biannian 元代雲南行省傣族史料編年 [A chronology of historical sources concerning the Tai in the Yuan period Branch Secretariat of Yunnan]’, in Fang Guoyu, Fang Guoyu Wenji 方國瑜文集 (Kunming: Yunnan jiaoyu chubanshe, 2003), vol. 3, p. 52; Liam Kelley, ‘Tai words and the place of the Tai in the Vietnamese past’, Journal of the Siam Society 101 (2013): 143. After the 14th century, Chinese sources replaced the terms Jinchi and Baiyi with Greater Baiyi (Da Baiyi 大百夷, lit., Greater Hundred Barbarians) and Lesser Baiyi (Xiao Baiyi 小百夷, lit., Lesser Hundred Barbarians). See Daniels, ‘The formation of Tai polities’, pp. 72–3.

94 Yunnan zhi, YSC, vol. 2, p. 43. ‘茫是其君之號,蠻呼茫詔.’

95 Fang interpreted mang 茫 as mäng2 on the supposition that it appeared in toponyms in the same way as the Tai used mäng2 in later periods. I follow the Romanisation system for Tai words set out in Shintani Tadahiko 新谷忠彦, Shan (Tay) go in'onron to mojihō シャン (Tay) 語韻音論と文字法 [The phonology and writing system of the Shan (Tai) language] (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 2000).

96 Fang, ‘Yuandai Yunnan xingsheng Daizu shiliao biannian’, p. 52. This is an unusual Tai expression and looks like an inversion of the word order for caw5 mäng2.

97 According to Hans Penth, ‘On the history of Chiangrai’, Journal of the Siam Society 77, 1 (1989): 11, mang was a prefix of Mon origin meaning king or kingdom. It first appeared in the Yunnan zhi of 863 CE and was used by King Mang Rāi (1238/39 to 1311/1317 CE) and his son Mang Khrām in the Lanna polity. Penth notes that soon after 1300, the term phayā replaced mang in Lanna, though both words were used during the 14th century as in Phayā Mang Rāi. According to Penth, mang was used over a broad area from southwest Yunnan to Chiang Mai and to Prome/Pagan and the northern Shan States. He wrote: ‘In Thai-speaking areas, the word appears as mang in Pali texts, möng, müang, in Chinese sources as meng, and in Burmese sources as min or meng (although spelled/man).’

98 See Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit, A history of Ayutthaya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), p. 79.

99 The relevant passage in YSC, vol. 2, p. 57, reads: ‘The walled-city of Kainan is an eleven-day journey from the walled-city of Longwei [Xiaguan at Dali] and administers the walled-city of the commander-in-chief in Liuzhuihe There are over one hundred salt wells within the jurisdictions of the walled-cities of Weiyuan, Fengyi and Lirun. Mangnai Circuit encompasses the ten tribes of the Heichi [Black Teeth] and other stock who are all subordinate to them.’ 又開南城在龍尾城南十一日程。管柳追和都督城。又威遠城,奉逸城,利潤城,內有鹽井一百來所。茫乃道并黑齒等類十部落皆屬焉。 The walled-cities of Weiyuan, Fengyi and Lirun must have administered salt production.

100 Fang identified the locations of these walled-cities according to the distribution of salt wells, situating Weiyuan 威遠 in Jinggu county 景谷縣 and Fengyi 奉逸 and Lirun 利潤 in Pu'er 普洱, Yibang 倚邦, Yiwu 易武 or Mengla 猛臘; see Fang, Zhongguo xinan lishi, p. 487.

101 XTS, p. 6275.

102 The earliest painting and text of the NZTZ was executed by order of Shunhuazhen 舜化貞 (r. 897–902), the 13th and last emperor of Nanzhao, and presented to the throne in 899, but the surviving scroll is a handwritten copy dating to later times.

103 NZTZ, p. 144. The original line reads: ‘reached the territory (jie 界) of Li Mangling 李忙靈, the great leader of the Mang Circuit’ 聖僧行化至忙道大首領李忙靈之界焉. The Avalokitesva Bodhisattva made seven transformations and appeared in Kainan Commandery 開南郡 from the direction of the Mekong River in the guise of an Indian monk.

104 The scroll also depicted Li Mangqiu in the same coiffure and dress as Li Mangling at the coronation of Emperor Longshun 隆舜; compare paintings in NZTZ, pp. 135, 136 and 137 and refer to the text on pp. 146–7.

105 Mixed stock is zaleizhong 雜類種 and zazhong 雜種 in the sources. YSC, vol. 2, p. 56, recorded: ‘Mixed stock includes the Jinchi 金齒, the Qichi 漆齒, the Yinchi 銀齒 (Silver Teeth), the Xiujiao 繡腳 (Tattooed Legs), the Chuanbi 穿鼻 (Pierced Noses), Luoxing 裸形 (Naked Form), Mosuo 磨些, Wangwaiyu 望外喻 and others. Their languages must undergo three or four translations to be understood by the Hedan 河賧.’ 又雜種有金齒,漆齒,銀齒,繡腳,穿鼻,裸形,磨些,望外喩等,皆三譯四譯,言語乃河賧相通。

106 YSC, vol. 2, p. 56.

107 Ken Kirigaya 桐ヶ谷健 ‘The early Syām and rise of Mäng Mao: Western Mainland Southeast Asia in the “Tai century”’, Journal of the Siam Society 103 (2015): 242. Tatsuo Hoshino hypothesises that Tai ethno-linguistic stock already inhabited Isan and the upper reaches of the Chao-Phraya Basin by the eighth century on the basis of toponyms; see Tatsuo Hoshino 星野龍夫, ‘Wen Dan and its neighbours: The Central Mekong Valley in the seventh and eighth centuries’, in Breaking new ground in Lao history: Essays on the seventh to twentieth centuries, ed. Mayoury Ngaosyvathn and Kennon Breazeale (Chiangmai: Silkworm, 2002), pp. 38–46.

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