Meaning town, city, or an administrative jurisdiction in the Burmese (Myanmar) language, it originally referred to a fortified settlement with a wall, a permanent market (zay), and a shrine dedicated to the local spirit or nat. During the precolonial period, the myoza, or "town eater," was a member of the royal family or a highranking official to whom the king allocated the income of the myo, a kind of appanage. The myothugyi, or chief of the myo, was a member of the local gentry (not a clearly defined aristocratic class) whose post was generally hereditary, and who served as intermediary between the the myo and its adjacent villages and the royal court, for example, in negotiating taxation or "labor service." Deeming them untrustworthy, the British abolished the post of myothugyi, a measure that is said to have created major problems for their subsequent administration.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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