Thanks for visiting! For some tourists, seeing the giraffe-like, long neck women Kayans may seem like just another stop on a Thailand adventure of a lifetime. Many tourist agencies stop by these hill villages between jeep rides through snake-infested jungles and tours of elegant temples. Visitors pile out for a quick photo opportunity with exotic-looking women before tour guides shuttle the group to the next destination.
The Ancient Tradition Of Neck Elongation, Explained
Neck Elongating Still Practiced Within This Indigenous Tribe - Medical Bag
Since , the year-old Los Angeles resident has attempted to extend her neck by encasing it in 11 copper rings. It is the latest attempt in a lifelong fascination with body modification sparked by the women of the Kayan Lahwi tribes of Thailand and Burma, who encase their necks in rings from an early age. In middle school, Smith's obsession led her to wrap cut-up coat hangers around her neck when she went to bed. After years of contemplating the possibilities, Smith put her neck on the line and had a tight-fitting necklace made with copper about three years ago.
Kayan people (Myanmar)
In southeast Asia, historians have been able to date the practice of using neck rings all the way back to the 11th century. However, no one has been able to discover a concrete reason for why they did it. One of the biggest legends surrounding the rings claim that villagers wore them as a defense against tiger attacks , which were most likely to be directed at the neck.
In the late s and early s due to conflict with the military regime in Myanmar, many Kayan tribes fled to the Thai border area. A estimate puts the population at approximately , Huai Seau Tao is a commercial village opened in