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.
The part of the district along the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers is alluvial.
It may be described as the emporium of the trade of the Chindwin and Yaw river valleys.
First, there is the highland tract including the hilly country at the sources of the Chindwin and the upper waters of the Irrawaddy, the Upper Chindwin, Katha, Bhamo, Myitkyina and Ruby Mines districts, with the Kachin hills and a great part of the Northern Shan states.
It stretches along both sides of the Irrawaddy from the north of Mandalay to Thayetmyo, and embraces the Lower Chindwin, Shwebo, Sagaing, Mandalay, Kyaukse, Meiktila, Yamethin, Myingyan, Magwe, Pakokku and Minbu districts.