Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 390.


Graphics file for this page
390


ARAKAN DIVISION


17 15' and 22 30' N. and 920 I' and 94 52' E., with an area of
18,540 square miles. It is the most westerly of the four Lower Burma
Divisions, and consists of a narrow strip of territory running down the
eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal, from the southern limit of
the Chittagong Division of Eastern Bengal and Assam to within
go miles of Cape Negrais, and bounded on the east by the Arakan
Yoma. The population has increased from 484,963 in 1872 to 588,6o0
in I88I, 673,274 in 1891, and 762,102 in 1901. The head-quarters
are at AKYAB TOWN, and it contains the following Districts:-


] ~ .I~ ~ Land revenue,
District. Area in square Population in 1903-4,
miles. 1901. in thousands
of rupees.


Akyab . . 5,I36 481,666 14,20
Nor thern Arakan 5, 33* 20,682 7
Kyaukpyu. . 4,387 168,827 2,37
Sandoway . 3,784 90,927 I,12
Total 18,540 762,102 t,776
Including unadministered tracts.
Of the total population in 1901, 511,635 were Buddhists, 70,872
Animists, 162,754 Musalmans, 15,367 Hindus, and 1,372 Christians.
The density of population was 41 persons per square mile, as compared
with 44 for Burma as a whole. The Division contains 4,143 villages
and 3 towns; but AKYAB (population, 35,680) is the only place of
considerable importance.
The majority of the inhabitants are Arakanese, descendants of the
race which inhabited the ancient kingdom of Arakan. The Arakanese
broke off from the Burmans in the early days of the Christian era, soon
after the foundation of the early dynasty of Tagaung, and were not
finally absorbed into the Burmese kingdom till towards the close of
the eighteenth century. In 1901, 405,143 persons in Burma were
returned as Arakanese, the number at the previous Census having
been 354,319. Of the total, 397,353 were in the Arakan Division.
Outwardly the Arakanese closely resemble the Burmans; what little
difference there is in the physical type has been brought about by the
closer contact the former have had with the Indian people of Chitta-
gong. The same circumstance accounts for the approximation of some
of the Arakanese customs (e.g. in the matter of seclusion of women) to
those of the Bengalis. The dress is the ordinary Burmese costume.
Tattooing is less frequently resorted to than among the Burmans.
Though there are some Musalmans among them, the great majority
of the Arakanese profess Buddhism. The Arakanese dialect is practi-
cally an archaic form of Burmese; in many cases it must be a close
approximation to the speech that was in the mouths of the remote



Previous Page To Table of Contents Next Page

Back to Imperial Gazetteer of India | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 16:20 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/text.html