"Padaung women (long neck)" Myanmar (Burma) Local Custom Tip by hydronetta

Myanmar (Burma) Local Customs: 148 reviews and 218 photos

The Kayan also known as Padaung, is a well famed (and photographed) tribe for the coiling lengths of brass around the necks of the women. They are a tribe with turbulent history: in the 1990s, due to conflict with the military regime in Burma, many fled into neighbouring Thailand where they settled in the border area. In fact there, are more or less like a human zoo, as lots of tourists are willing to pay, in order to visit them and make photos..
The tribe wears rings or coils made of brass that are placed around the neck. The coils are first applied when the girls are about five years old. This results in the appearance of a very long neck. The rings, once on, are seldom removed but contrary to myth, the women do not suffocate. There are many explanations about why these coils are used: protect from tiger bites, protection them against slave trade by making them unattractive or more likely, it reflects the neck of a dragon.

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  • Written Jan 22, 2007
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