(WIP) A Brief History of the Wa people (佤族)

this article is a work in progress

Before there were Wa, there were tadpoles, Ya Htawm and Ya Htai, swimming in a lake. Of which was so cold and deep not a single fish lived in it, even the surrounding jungle was uninhabited for miles. They eventually grew from tadpoles into frogs, and from frogs into ogres (Hpi Hpai). And in an ogre-like fashion they settled down in a cave about 30 miles south of this mysterious lake. Ya Htawm and Ya Htai were at first satiated with the pigs, deer, and goats which roamed the jungle, however, whilst this was their diet, they bore no children. Eventually, like all ogres, they succame to the desire for human flesh, killing a local from a distance village, and carrying his head back to their cave. Shortly after they were flooded with offspring, all of which were of human form, this pleased the ogres, and they worshipped the skull from then on. These children were the first Wa, the nine sons went forth and multiplied in the nine Wa valley, and so too did the ten daughters, who settled on the fells. Ya Htawm and Ya Htai did not forget to impart the importance of the human heads on their children. For small favours, a pig or buffalo would suffice, but if pestilence and famine bestruck the village, an offering of a head was the only sure remedy. A marriage not built on the strong foundation of a human skull was bound to end without bearing any children. A war fought without a sacrificial skull was lost before it even started.

These practices of head hunting remained strong in the Wa people, making it the defining characteristic of both the Chinese and British who were brave enough to meet them. They had such a reputation for violence that the Sino-Anglo border lay undefined in the region inhabited by the Wa.

A clear distinction should be made of the Wa and other ethnic groups such as the Papuans The Wa did not collect skulls for their own amusement or satisfaction, it was purely for the greater good of the village.