Before 1949, the De'ang were under the rule of the Dai ruling class. The Dai ruler gave the De'ang village headmen official titles and appointments to collect tribute and tax. The position of a village head was often hereditary in Dehong, while in some areas of Lincang a village head was elected by villagers and approved by the Dai ruler. Moreover, several village heads elected a chief head from among themselves to handle the affairs between the villages and to be the representative of the villages in contacts with the Dai ruler. Since the Chinese Communist government was established in 1949, the national government has brought the administrative system in the De'ang areas into the national socialist system.