The legend from either the De'ang's neighbors or the De'ang themselves recounts that the De'ang were the first settlers in the Dehong region of Yunnan. Remains of old tea plantations, roads, towns, and so on have been found in local areas and scholars believe they were left by the ancestors of the De'ang. The "Pu" people, whose presence is recorded in Chinese historical documents from 2,000 years ago, are thought to be the ancestors of the De'ang and the other Mon-Khmer speakers in ancient China. However, the exact name of the De'ang first appeared in Chinese records as "Benglong" in the Qing dynasty. The De'ang have had close contact with Tai-speaking peoples at least since the Yuan dynasty, 700 years ago. There are some cases still remembered by local people of De'ang villages being assimilated into those of the Dai.