Visiting The Village of Long-necked Women in Myanmar

Coming to Myanmar, visitors will have the chance to learn more about this strange custom of the Kayan tribe of Myanmar

Living on the border between Myanmar and Thailand are women whose neck is stretched by the bronze ring. Coming to Myanmar, visitors will have the chance to learn more about this strange custom of the Kayan tribe of Myanmar. Currently, the tribe has about 7,000 people. When the girls are 5 years old, they start to wear necklaces. The rings will gradually be worn overlap each other, making their neck longer and longer. All Kayan women can wear up to 25 neck rings but when they are removed, their neck can break at any time.



Unlike other women in the world, Kayan girls often prefer to beautify themselves in the traditional way of their tribe. For them, they always say that the higher the neck, the better demonstration of the noble and wealth of their family. Not only wearing neck rings, but they also wear a foot ring to keep the limbs small since the age of 5 and it is not enlarged. This is the eternal beauty.

Since ancient times, this tribe was called Kayan, also known as Khumlen, the Padaung tribe of the Kareni people, whose language is Burmese and has an ancient Burmese origin. This tribe is well known by the name of the long-necked people. The origins of this custom are that since the earliest times the patriarch had a dream and he was foretold that on the fourth day when the patriarch's child was born, a tiger appeared, the tiger attacked many people and broke their neck. Since then he has decided that all the newly born babies must wear a neck ring on their fourth day. Since then, the tiger has not come to the village anymore, so the Kayan believe the ring truly works.



Over time, this custom became popular, until today this custom has become the life of the Kayan people and it is considered a blessing. Many Kayan women try to have a baby in the middle of the week and if that is a girl, it will be a lucky child.

The neck rings weighing up to 10kg will be worn on the neck of girls in Kayan. Girls will wear the first necklaces from around the age of 2 to 5 years old. Every year passes by means the number of neck rings will increase.



In fact, these neck rings do not have the effect of stretching the neck, it only exerts a downward pressure on the shoulder blade and makes the outside feel like the women have longer necks. The ribs may be 45 degrees lower than the natural position because of the weight of the necklace is too heavy. But if you remove the necklace, the neck of the women will be very easy to break because their neck bone is too weak now.

Girls who have worn neck rings do not usually remove it because the neck rings have become familiar to them. And another special thing is the pinkish skin inside the ring layer will not be as rosy as before that it will be faded by due to being covered for too long. The Kayan also has a custom that if a woman betrays her husband and then her neck rings will be taken off as a punishment.

For more unique experiences in Myanmar, you can join cruise on Strand Cruise or the Belmond Road to Mandalay

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