The Pwo are found along the seacoast from Arracan to Mergui and are said to be found nowhere more than fifty miles inland.
The returns in 1911 showed a population of 1,102,695. Probably there are about half a million Sgaws in Burma and perhaps another 50,000 in Siam,[1-2] which would make them the most numerous branch of the race. The Sgaw dialect is not "driving out the Pwo" as rumor says, but is merely holding its own better against the Burmese.My own experience has been more intimate with this tribe, though I have known many of the other groups. Among the many Karen members of the mission staff who have helped in the gathering of materials, I can only mention Thras San Gyi San Kwe, Po Myaing, and Shwe Thee, of Tharrawaddy; Thra Pan Ya Se, of Shwegyin; and Thra Aung Gaing, of Insein, who gave me a full account of the Karen of Siam. P." are the work of a Karen schoolboy from Tavoy, Saw Day Po, who, to his credit it should be said, drew them without having had any instruction in drawing whatever. The necessity for careful observation and thorough investigation has not been without its benefits to me. After a while the Chinese came along and told them how to open the shells to get out the meat; and then, having eaten, they followed the old man, only to find that the plantain stalks he had cut off had shot up so high that it seemed impossible to overtake him. The patriarch went on, taking with him the magic comb which has never been discovered to this day.This circumstance, together with the fact that the Bwe and Taungthu peoples have already been described in the Upper Burma Gazetteer, as well as the limitations of space, has led me to limit my discussion to brief references to the other tribes. The undertaking has been exacting and quite instructive, even if it had benefited no one but myself. While this tradition is not confined to the Karen,[2-1] it has a bearing, I believe, on their origin.