The Paths We'll Travel

Our goal? 7 distinct areas in 3 months. Our route will span the whole country -- north to south, east to west, and central. For each division, we will document the people in the capital city and two rural communities. Travel into these areas will allow us to interact with the majority Burman ethnic group along with many ethnic minorities. Here is a look at our itinerary and the places  we will be visiting:

Month 1: April 6 to May 3, 2015

1. Mon State

2. Yangon Region 

3. Rakhine State

Month 2: May 6 to June 2, 2015

4. Mandalay Region

5. Shan State

Month 3: June 5 to July 2, 2015

6. Sagaing Region

7. Kachin State


The People We are Visiting

Most ethnic groups in Myanmar are descended from just four ethnic families: the Mon-Khmer, Tibeto-Burman, Tai (Shan), and Karen (Kayin) - the last of which is considered a distant subgroup of Tibeto-Burman. The practice of Christianity did not come until the 20th century as a result of British and American missionaries. Ethnic groups have high concentrations in, but are not exclusive to, the corresponding regions.

Clarification: On this site, Burman is used for members of the majority ethnic group; Burmese refers to all citizens of the nation. 


Yangon and Mandalay Regions

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Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Burmese

Religion: Buddhist

Mon State


Origins: Mon-Khmer

Language: Mon

Religion: Buddhist



Karenni (Red Karen)

Origins: Karen

Language: Karen

Religion: Buddhist, Christian, Animist

Rakhine State

Rakhine (Arakan)

Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Burmese (many scholars believe the earliest form of the language)

Religion: Buddhist and Muslim


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Chin

Religion: Christian and Animist

Sagaing Region


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: East Naga

Religion: Christian and indigenous practices

Orange steps - Month 1; Red steps - Month 2; White steps - Month 3.

Orange steps - Month 1; Red steps - Month 2; White steps - Month 3.

Kachin State


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Jingpho (proper)

Religion: Christian


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Kachin (related Nung dialect)

Religion: Christian and indigenous practices


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Lisu (southern dialect)

Religion: Christian, Animist, Ancestral worship

Shan State


Origins: Tai

Language: Shan

Religion: Buddhist


Origins: Mon-Khmer

Language: Palaung (Wa-related language)

Religion: Buddhist and spirit worship


Origins: Mon-Khmer

Language: Wa

Religion: Buddhist, Christian, spirit worship


Origins: Karen

Language: Karen dialect

Religion: Christian and Animist


Origins: Tibeto-Burman

Language: Lahu

Religion: Christian and Shamanist