Writer Profile: N-Gan Tang Gun

Rev. N-Gan Tang Gun is non-fiction writer, oral collector and academic born in Umhta Ga village, Sumprabum Township, the cultural triangle of the Kachin people in Kachin State to the north of Myanmar. Rev N-Gan Tang Gun has spent a lifetime in service of the church and education of the Kachin…

He graduated with a BA History from Mandalay University in 1962, a Bachelor of Theology from the Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT) in Yangon in 1971, a Master of Divinity in 1981 from MIT, a Masters in Theology from Seoul University, and gained a Doctorate of Theology from Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. He has held various positions within the leading academic institution for the Kachin, the Kachin Theological College in Myitkyina, as Senior Professor and Acting Principle.

He is a leading figure in the renaissance of the Kachin language and literature, acting as an external advisor to the Kachin Culture and Literature Co-operation; is a board member of the Kachin Dictionary Committee which seeks to finally standardise the written Jinghpaw script and sits on the advisory panel for the Manau Cultural Festival.

He is the author of 6 Jinghpaw language non-fiction books on the history of the church in Kachin State and the author of two books in English on Kachin culture written under the pseudonym Umhta Brang.  He was banned from selling his many, if not all, of his Jinghpaw language books, stamped with restricted or for internal distribution only.  Only now can they be found in the bookshops.

He still lives in Myitkyina but travels widely across Asia and America educating the Kachin diaspora on their literary and cultural roots.

For more on Rev. N-Gan Tang Gun and other writers from the borderlands of Myanmar please take a look at my book ‘The People Elsewhere: Unbound Journeys with the Storytellers of Myanmar