HSENWI (Theinni) (Shan Princely State)

Title: Sawbwa/Sao Pha Religion: xx aReA: 22,654.35 km2 (before 1888)
State: Burma Population: xx
Predecessors and Short History: Also known as Theinni (ritual name: Sivirattha/Kawsampi), the state was traditionally founded before 650AD. In the general chaos after 1873, the Sawbwa of Hsenwi took refuge in the Mong Sit valley northeast of his capital. A commoner with a strong arm, Hkun Hsang Ton Hong, took possession of the main valley, while other usurpers set up in the Mongyai area. Eventually the son of the Sawbwa, Sao Maung, who had been held prisoner in Mandalay escaped and raised his standard. He had some successes but was no match for Hkun Hsang Ton Hong who now marched south and occupied Mong Yai as well. Then with the advent of the British, he returned to the capital and submitted as Chief of Hsenwi. After a conference held at Mongyai with the British in March 1888, Hkun Hsang Ton Hong, Sao Maung and Circle representatives present, it was decided to divide Hsenwi into North and South. The southern part, with its capital at Mongyai was given to Sao Maung while Hkun Hsang Ton Hong was confirmed as Sawbwa of North Hsenwi. Rulers were...
  • Saopha SAO HSWE CHENG [Kon], 47th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1778/1800 
  • REGENT, Hsup Pang in 1800
  • Saopha SAO HSÖ KAW, 48th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1800/1815
  • Saopha MOGAUNG WUN, 49th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1815/1819
  • Saopha SAO NAW MÖNG, 50th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1819/1821
  • Saopha HKUN HKAM HKAWT, 51st Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1821/1824
  • Saopha SAO HKAM PAK, 52nd Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1824/1827, he was the foster-brother of his predecessor. He was killed in the first Burmese War.
  • Saopha SAO HKAM NAN, 53rd Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1827/1831, brother of his predecessor.
  • Saopha SAO HKUN MAUNG LEK, 54th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1831/1838 (deposed)
  • Saopha SAO HKAM LENG [Hsö Hkan Hpa], 55th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1838/1845, he was executed in 1847 in Ava.
  • Saopha SAO HSENG NAW HPA, 56th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1845/1848, 1853/1855, 1867/1869, 1874/1875 and 1876/1879, died 1879.
  • Saopha SAO HSENG MAWNG HPA, 57th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1858/1860, 1861/1862 and 1863/1864, died 1864.
  • VACANT 1848/1853, 1855/1858, 1869/1873
  • REGENT, Pagyi Wun 1860/1861 and Bo Mau 1862/1863
  • Saopha SAO SHWE PYI BO, 58th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1864/1866
  • Saopha U MA NGA, 59th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1866/1867
  • Wundauk U SHWE KYU, 60th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1869/1870 (first time)
  • Wundauk U SAN MIN, 61st Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1870/1871
  • Wundauk U Shwe KYU, 62nd? Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1871/1873
  • Saopha WIN HMU, 62nd Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1873/1874
  • Saopha NATSU LETYA, 63rd Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1875/1876
  • Saohpa SAO HSENG NAW HPA, 64th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1876/1879 (abdicated), married and had issue. He died 1891.
    • Saopha Sao Naw Möng (qv)
    • daughter (Theinni Queen), married King Mindon
    • daughter, married Prince Hmethpya Mentha.
  • Saopha HKUN HSANG TON HONG, 65th Sawbwa of Hsenwi 1879/1888, born 1852, taking advantage of the disorder in that decade, he asserted his control over Hsenwi, but submitted to the British. He was confirmed in his possession of North Hsenwi only. (see below)


AREA: 16,395 km2
TITLE: Saopha POPULATION: 243,499
Present HEAD OF HOUSE:  Sao Kyemong Man Hpa

Predecessors and Short History: Founded in March 1888 as a result of a division of the parent state. The state ranked seventh in order of precedence, at the time of the British annexation of the Shan States. The capital of the state was at Hsenwi Town. Rulers were....
  • Saopha HKUN HSANG TON HONG K.S.M., 65th Sawbwa of North Hsenwi 1888/1915, he was an usurper of humble origin, unrelated to the ruling dynasty, who managed to assert his control over Hsenwi, only submitting to the British in 1888, who confirmed him in his possession of North Hsenwi only; he established a firm basis for the power of his family which expanded by plural marriages; he was awarded the K.S.M. in 1897; married and had issue. He died 1915.
    • Saopha Sao Hom Hpa (qv)
    • Sao Yape Hpa, installed as Administrator the state by the Japanese occupying forces in 1942.
    • Mahadevi Sao Nang Hearn Kham, born 26th May 1916 in Hsenwi Haw, participated in the Pang Long Treaty of 1946-1947; M.P. for the constituency of Hsenwi 1956/1960, after her husband was arrested in the 1962 military coup, she fled with her family to Thailand where she fought for the liberation of the Shan State; in 1964 she helped form the Shan State War Council (SSWC) and the Shan State Army (SSA); Chairwoman of the SSWC; married Sawbwa Sao Shwe Thaik of Yaunghwe, and had issue, five children. She died 17th January 2003 in Canada.
  • REGENT, Khun Sam Tun Oo 1915/1927, born 1856, died 1935.
  • Saopha SAO HOM HPA, 66th Sawbwa of North Hsenwi 1925/1952 or 1915/1959, born 1906, he was crowned as Sawbwa of North Hsenwi in May 1947; married and had issue.
    • Sao Kyemong Man Hpa, Heir Apparent of North Hsenwi (qv)
    • Sao Lern aka John Hpa, born 1947, died of lung cancer on 29th February 2008 and was cremated at the Loom Charoen Satha temple, Yannawa on 4th March 2008.
  • Saopha SAO KYEMONG MAN HPA, (67th) Sawbwa of North Hsenwi 19xx/-


AREA: 6,216 km2 TITLE: Saopha POPULATION: 82,672
Predecessors and Short History: Founded in March 1888 as a result of a division of the parent state. The state ranked sixth in the order of precedence, at the time of the British annexation of the Shan States. Its original Capital was at Hsang Hke Hpong from 1888 to 1897, then it moved to Mong Yai. Rulers were.....
  • Saopha SAO NAW MÖNG, 66th Sawbwa of South Hsenwi 1888/1913, born 1855, he was awarded the K.S.M., married and had issue. He died 1913.
    • Saopha Sao Song Kemeng (qv)
  • Saopha SAO SONG KEMENG, 67th Sawbwa of South Hsenwi 1913/1946, born 1888, died 1946.
  • Saopha SAO HSÖ HOM, Sawbwa of South Hsenwi 1946/1959, crowned as Sawbwa in May 1947, he was deposed on 29th May 1959; imprisoned by the Burmese Government from 1962 to 1968; married the eldest daughter of the Saopha of Lawksawk, by his wife, a daughter of Kengtung Saopha, and had issue, six daughters.

The help of John Duncan McMeekin, is gratefully acknowledged, July 2014.