A troupe of Danu dancing girls in Pindaya (c. 1906)
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Around Pindaya Caves, Shan State, Myanmar
Danu, Burmese
Theravada Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Bamar, Arakanese, Intha

The Danu people (Burmese: ဓနု) are a government-recognized ethnic group in Myanmar, predominantly populating the areas near the Pindaya Caves in Shan State.[1] They speak the Danu language, which is closely related to Burmese.[2]


The name Danu derives from the Pali term dhanu, which means "archer" or "bow."[3] The term dhanu is a reference to the legend of Prince Kumarabhaya, whose bow and arrow rescued seven princesses trapped in the caves by a giant spider.[3]


Some oral traditions trace the ancestry of the Danu to the intermarriages of Burmese men and Shan women in the 16th century, coinciding with the expansionist policies of King Bayinnaung, who oversaw the establishment of Burmese administrative posts throughout the kingdom, including in Shan city-states.[3]

Notable Danu people


  1. ^ "Composition of the Different Ethnic Groups under the 8 Major National Ethnic Races in Myanmar". Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, Brussels. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  2. ^ "Danu". Ethnologue. 2019-06-04. Archived from the original on 2019-06-04. Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  3. ^ a b c Douglas, Gavin (2013). "Performing Ethnicity in Southern Shan State, Burma/Myanmar: The Ozi and Gong Traditions of the Myelat". Ethnomusicology. 57 (2): 185–206. doi:10.5406/ethnomusicology.57.2.0185. ISSN 0014-1836. JSTOR 10.5406/ethnomusicology.57.2.0185.