Burma image, WAP0096. Group of Mayo girls and boy.
Many of the peoples who lived within and across the borders of Burma were migratory communities who might at various times find themselves under different political authorities. The Miao were one of these peoples. The gradual consolidation of borders during the colonial period had a significant impact on their customs and social structures as they found their freedom of movement increasingly restricted.
***** "Reference may be made here to three tribes of Mon Khmer extraction whose habitat lies outside Burma but close to the Burma border and a few of whom have come to settle within British territory. The first of these, the Kamus, Kamets or Lamets are evidently closely connected with the Was. The Yaos and the Miaotzus, the other two of the three tribes aforesaid, are residents of China. Both are widely spread through south western China. The 1901 Census returns showed no Yaos or Miaotzus, but it is certain that up till recently at any rate there were two or three Yao villages in Kengtung. Such Miaotzu villages as there are in British territory are in the extreme north eastern corner of the Northern Shan States, in areas which were either omitted from the Census operations or 'estimated' only. The main feature of the Miaotzu women's dress are the pleated kilt and the jacket with what resembles a sailor collar." ['The Tribes of Burma', C. C. Lowis, Rangoon, 1910, pp.41-42]