A Palaungic Ethnolinguistic Ecology

Welcome to Palaungic.Org

The purpose of this website is to explore the ethnolinguistic and ethno-history of the various Palaungic people groups, the ancient aboriginal Mon-Khmer population of Northern Southeast Asia.

This site is in the initial stages of construction. We have a big dream of providing a place for the study and on-publication of academic and more anecdotal information about the various ethnolinguistic groups belonging to the Palaungic language family. To see the scope of the linguistic branch see the Ethnologue classification

What are the Palaungic Languages?

Communities, Forums and Publications

Dictionary of Wa (2 vols)

With Translations into English, Burmese and Chinese

Justin Watkins, SOAS, University of London

"The northern Mon-Khmer language Wa is a group of dialects spoken by about a million people on the China-Burma border. The Dictionary of Wa documents the lexicon of a digitised corpus comprising the majority of extant printed resources in the two closely related de facto standard Wa dialects. Approximately 12,000 headwords and compounds are translated and explained in Burmese, Chinese and English, with some 7,000 example sentences, similarly translated. The dictionary is alphabetised in the Wa orthography officially adopted by the authorities in the Wa Special Region in Burma, a revised and improved version of the spelling first devised for translations of the Bible in the 1930s; headwords are given also in the spelling devised for Wa publications in China."

[Brill Dictionary of Wa (2 vols)]

Merit and the Millennium: Routine and Crisis in the Ritual Lives of the Lahu People by Anthony Walker, 2003. Hindustan Publishing Corp.

The Lahu now reside among the Eastern Palaungic peoples, having migrated during the last 200-300 years into Palaungic regions of Yunnan, China and more recently to Eastern Burma and Northern Laos. Walker's discussion of Lahu village culture gives ethnographic insight as well to local Mon-Khmer habits. Walker is an anthropologist who has studied the Lahu for over 36 years and has lived in a Lahu village for more than 4 years. The book is 907 pages, plus maps, tables, photos and charts.

James Matisoff's review - "This massive work must surely rank as the best treatment of the spiritual life of any minority people of Southeast Asia. Although the book's chief focus is on Lahu religious beliefs and practices, Walker emphasizes that these can only be appreciated in the context of Lahu history and society in general, subjects on which his thirty-six years of research have made him the world's leading authority." The Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 124, 2004

Photo Gallery

Periodically we will try to feature pictures of various Palaungic peoples in their typical village environment.


News: You can check on events among various Palaungic people at:

Irrawaddy Online News

Burma News International

Shan Herald

Dr Paulette Hopple

Dr Paulette Hopple was the visionary behind the establishment of this website. On 18 Dec 2008 she passed away at the end of a 6 week field trip in China.

She will be sorely missed by her many friends and colleagues around the world.

Follow the link to a Memorial Page.