Burma image, WA0568. A Malin (H &S)./A Taman elder from Tamanti on the upper Chindwin.
'The Tamans and Malins have now almost ceased to exist as separate tribes. They have become Shan-Burman, have adopted their dress and Buddhism and are intermarrying with them freely. In Tamanthi I found one old woman who still remembered something of the Taman language. In the small list of words I was able to collect quite one-half were Hkahku. The people have the Hkahku nose, but are otherwise heterogeneous. They refer to an ancient leader of the tribe called Ser Agi Yaw, Agi Yaw being a Hkahku headman's name. Although professing Buddhism they still erect nat shrines in a clearing outside of the village which is reminiscent of the Hkahku Numshang, and hold animal sacrifices of pigs to their guardian nat. Some of the meat of the sacrifice is placed upon the nat altar together with a pair of chop-sticks, the use of which in their homes is unknown. The pig is slain with a club by the nat priest who recites a formula propitiating the nat for the welfare of the tribe. Their tradition is that originally they came from China, then moved to what is now Indawgyi Lake. A flood which formed the Lake drowned most of them. The survivors fled to the Naga Hills where they adopted Naga customs. From there they again descended to the plains and settled near Tamanthi. The Malins appear to be a branch of the same people' [dissertation, 1934:278-279]