Departmental Bulletin Paper 山地民パラウンの越境と仏教実践の独自性―ミャンマー・シャン州ナムサン周辺地域の事例から―
The Migration of Palaung Buddhists and the Uniqueness of Their Religious Practices: A Case Study from Namhsan, Northern Shan State, Myanmar

小島, 敬裕

53 ( 1 )  , pp.9 - 43 , 2015-07-31 , 京都大学東南アジア研究所
This paper will explore the relationship between the migration of Palaung Buddhists and the constructionof their own practices in Namhsan, northern Shan State, Myanmar. The Palaung are uplanders of this area, while the Shan are rulers of the valleys. Previous studies concluded that the Palaung simply imitated ShanBuddhist practices, citing how the Palaung would typically deliver teachings in the Shan language and usetexts written in the Shan script. However, conducting fieldwork in Namhsan, I found that the Palaung haverecently begun to translate Buddhist texts using the Palaung script and to deliver dharma teachings in thePalaung language. One factor of this phenomenon is that the social contacts between Burmese and Palaungpeople have become more intense, on account of the increasing of migration. As a result, influence fromBurmese Buddhism has become stronger. Yet elite monks try to make their own style of practice andcreate a “Palaung sect.” These developments demonstrate how the Palaung have exercised their owncultural agency and remade the ethnic connectedness in the articulation of Buddhist practices. Nonethelesswe must exercise caution in assessing the reality of the “Palaung sect.” Owing to the great differencesin language among the Palaung sub-groups, the Buddhist texts composed in Samloŋ language aredifficult to understand for other sub-groups. Therefore, there is great diversity in the Palaung texts of eachsub-group. This means that these sub-groups of Palaung still maintain a micro-regional community byremaking and reinforcing connectedness within the groups.

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