It is known that to the TibetoChinese modifications of the pure Mongolian type all the eastern Burmese tribes - Chins, Kachins, Shans, &c. - belong (as indeed do the Burmese themselves), and that a cognate race occupies the Himalaya to the eastern limits of Kashmir.
Owing to the great number of tribes, sub-tribes and clans of the Kachins, the part of the Kachin hills which has been taken under administration in the Myitkyina and Bhamo districts was divided into 40 Kachin hill tracts (recently reduced to five).
Beyond these tracts there are many Kachins in Katha, Ming Mit and the northern Shan States.
There were 64,405 Kachins enumerated at the census of 1901.
Of the Kachins or Chingpaw were the Indo-Chinese race who, before the beginnings of history, but after the Mon-Annam wave had covered Indo-China, forsook their home in western China to pour over the region where Tibet, Assam, Burma and China converge, and that the Chingpaw are the residue left round the headquarters of the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin after those branches, destined to become the Tibetans, the Nagas, the Burmans and the Kuki Chins, had gone westwards and southwards.
In the middle of the 19th century the southern limit of the Kachins was 200 m.
Now the Kachins are on both sides of the border of Upper Burma, and are a force to be reckoned with by frontier administrators.
The Kachins have been the object of many police operations and two regular expeditions: (I) Expedition of 1892-93.
The continued misconduct of the Sana Kachins from beyond the administrative border rendered punitive measures necessary.
The chief races of Burma are Burmese (6,508,682), Arakanese (405,143), Karens (717,859), Shans (787,087), Chins (179,292), Kachins (64,405) and Talaings (321,898); but these totals do not include the Shan States and Chin hills.
Beyond these tracts there are many Kachins in Katha, Mong-Mit, and the northern Shan States, but though they are often the preponderating, they are not the exclusive population.
Since 1894 the country has been practically undisturbed, and large numbers of Kachins are enlisted, and ready to enlist in the military police, and seem likely to form as good troops as the Gurkhas of Nepal.
There are missionary schools amongst the Chins, Kachins and Shans, and a school for the sons of Shan chiefs at Taung-gyi in the southern Shan States.
The miners are all Kachins, and the right to collect the jade duty of 331 is farmed out by government to a lessee, who has hitherto always been a Chinaman.
Amber is extracted by Kachins in the Hukawng valley beyond the administrative border, but the quality of the fossil resin is not very good.
More than half the total are Kachins, who inhabit the hills on both sides of the Irrawaddy.