This chapter outlines a context against which armed revolt in the Kachin region can be understood at a social level during the period 1961–94. It focuses on how the ideological justifications of this were resolved by Kachin ethno-nationalists within the mainstream KIA/KIO movement. It looks in detail at how the language of ethno-nationalism itself changed to promote a construct of Wunpawng as a local equivalent of Kachin, and the foundations of this term. It then considers this conflict in a broader regional perspective to understand better how the experiences of different parts of this borderworld were both interconnected and locally distinct, producing three distinctive identities of Singpho, Kachin, and Jingpo within the national systems of India, Burma, and China, respectively.
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