There are three main Kadu varieties: Mawteik, Settaw, and Mawkhwin. The Settaw Kadu and the Mawkhwin Kadu live in Banmauk Township and the Mawteik Kadu live primarily in Indaw Township. The Mawkhwin are a small group, living in five villages between the Settaw Kadu and the Kanan. The Settaw and Mawteik groups are very large (over 30 villages each). However, language vitality among the Mawteik is very low. Burmese is the first and best language of most Mawteik people. Burmese is widely spoken among the Mawteik Kadu people, while the Settaw and Mawkhwin Kadu speak Kadu in almost every situation of their daily life.
What Are Their Lives Like?
All the Kadu subjects interviewed from the different varieties (Settaw, Mawkhwin, and Mawteik) identify themselves as belonging to the Kadu people group. However, they also reported that there are vocabulary and tone differences among the Kadu varieties. Overall, the Settaw variety was viewed as the most prestigious by the Kadu subjects.
The population of the Kadu in Banmauk Township has been estimated at several thousand. The Kadu population in Indaw Township, where the Kadu people live among other people groups, is unknown. The population of the Kadu reported to be living in other townships is also unknown. Thus, the Kadu population as a whole cannot be calculated yet. Some Kadu people living in Indaw Township identify themselves as Burmese or Shan-Kadu, even though both of their parents are Kadu. This identification seems to be because they themselves cannot speak Kadu.
All of the Kadu people can speak Burmese well. In fact, in all the Maw-teik villages visited, it was evident that Burmese culture is being chosen over the Kadu traditional lifestyle and cultural norms. All of the Mawteik Kadu people said that they speak Burmese as their first and best language. However, in the Settaw Kadu villages and the Mawkhwin villages, Kadu is widely spoken. The Kadu people in Banmauk Township speak Kadu as their first and best language.
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