nationality lives mainly in Northern Burma, in the northern part of Shan
Shan State is a state of Burma . Shan State borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma in the west. Largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km², almost a quarter of the total...
and eastern Kachin
Kachin State , is the northernmost state of Burma. It is bordered by China to the north and east; Shan State to the south; and Sagaing Division and India to the west. It lies between north latitude 23° 27' and 28° 25' longitude 96° 0' and 98° 44'. The area of Kachin State is . The capital of the...
States, near and along the border with China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...
. Their defacto capital is Pangkham in the unofficial Wa State
Wa State is an unrecognised state in Myanmar and is currently subsumed under the official Wa Special Region 2 of the Northern Shan State. The administrative capital is Pangkham . The name Wa derives from an ethnic group, who speaks a language in the Austroasiatic family of languages...
in North Eastern Shan state. The majority of the Va live in Burma. They were known as the 'Wild Wa' by British administrators.
In China, they live in compact communities in the Ximeng (in Va: Mēng Ka
or Si Moung
), Cangyuan, Menglian (Gaeng Līam
), Gengma (Gaeng Mīex
or Gaeng Māx
Shuangjiang Lahu, Va, Blang and Dai Autonomous County is located in Lincang Prefecture, Yunnan, China.-External links:*...
or Mēng Mēng
), Zhenkang, and Yongde counties in southwestern Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...
Province of China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...
. Their population in China is estimated at around 400,000.
The Va language belongs to Mon–Khmer group of the Austroasiatic family. In China, a written language was created for the Va people in 1956.
The Va are one of the 136 officially recognized ethnic groups in Burma. The Va are also one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by China.
In Burma, the Va have formed the United Wa State Army
The United Wa State Army is an ethnic minority army of an estimated 30,000 Wa soldiers of Myanmar's Special Region No. 2 led by Bao Youxiang . There is no recognised Wa State in Myanmar, which is divided into divisions, states, and special regions...
, a former communist rebel group that is in a fragile cease-fire agreement with the Burmese military government. They have been accused by Western governments of involvement in drug trafficking.
- G. E. Mitton and J. G. Scott, In the Grip of the Wild Wa. London, 1913.