These people might be mistreated, but they might suffer even more if the only stream of their income is cut at all. Some women also wear these heavy rings around their forearms and shins, but that’s different from neck rings and is up to their own choice. I heard that often it was a show for tourists. But keeping in mind the goal to find out more, we stayed and asked questions. Their houses are made of wood and leaves, without electricity or proper sanitation and without ways to improve. I always find it quite shocking to hear about these kinds of stories. Good for you not wanting to treat them as a human zoo! You make some great points though. What hurts the most is how you say the neck ring tradition has carried on purely because of tourism. I had read about it in sixth grade, the long neck tribe is all about beautifying with age through the rings in the neck, longer the neck, elegant is the woman. Thank you for opening my eyes to the plight of the Long Neck women. The Karen long neck tribe is unique by the fact that their women are wearing heavy neck rings around their necks for most of their lives. The muscles covered by the coil become weakened. Additionally, the collar feels like an integral part of the body after ten or more years of continuous wear. According to U Aung Roe (1993:21ss) Kayan number about 40,000 in Shan State (around the Pekon Township area) and 20,000 in Kayah State (around Demawso and Loikaw). If the tiger bite theory is the true reason (I don’t believe it is), why are there no long neck men? The Kayan residents in Mae Hong Son Province in Northern Thailand refer to themselves as Kayan and object to being called Padaung. It has also been suggested that the coils give the women resemblance to a dragon, an important figure in Kayan folklore. If we want to be even more accurate, the Kayan tribe is actually part of the Kayan Lahwi tribe. One woman who had worn the rings for over 40 years removed them. After removing the rings, women report discomfort that fades after about three days. It is also an opportunity for Kayan from different villages to come together to maintain the solidarity of the tribe. The coil, once on, is seldom removed, as the coiling and uncoiling is a lengthy procedure. The education for children is only available by uneducated people within the tribe. [9] The coils might be meant to protect from tiger bites, perhaps literally, but probably symbolically.[10]. I think it is great that you wrote the story so people would be aware. I can’t imagine 25 rings, though… They must really hurt. Educated people of the tribe are allowed to work outside the village. However, as an adult, I see these women as victims of a physically torturous “tradition.” The fact that these women and their families are only refugees in a foreign land where they are treated as tourist attractions cements the pathos of their story. In late 2008, most of the young women who entered the refugee camp removed their rings. Great post! The guide explained that these people have no chance for a life in their home country Myanmar and here at least they can live in peace. Kayan’s tribe neck rings are actually called “Padaung”. They not only involve humans but also animals. . Thank you for sharing this, it was insightful (and also heartbreaking) to hear that the rings do not extend their necks, but instead crush their rib-cages and shoulders down, omg! Adding the pressure of being a refugee and then using this as a way to promote layers up more debatable questions. Have you thought about how ethical it actually is to go there to admire these long neck people? I wish Thailand would provide them tools for a better life like they should for REFUGEES. We visited a Karen village near Chiang Rai but did not meet the tribes people. It didn’t feel right at all. The story is very interesting and indeed intrigue. My expectation at the Karen long neck village pretty much was to see repressed people or in other words – visiting a human zoo. I never really thought ‘long-neck-tribe’ people were outcasted by their own people. Now, this is the question that bothered me the most when making the decision if to go and visit one of these villages. Some women also wear these heavy rings around their forearms and shins, but that’s different from neck rings and is up to their own choice. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but can appreciate their desire to do this for cultural reasons. If removed, the women do not die, but that threat has been used in the past to prevent the women from shedding their coils. The Kayan consists of the following groups: Kayan Lahwi (also called Padaung, ပဒေါင်[bədàʊɰ̃]), Kayan Ka Khaung (Gekho), Kayan Lahta, Kayan Ka Ngan. I haven’t really thought about the human impact of my travels before, but certainly will be a consideration going forward. Thanks for sharing your time with the long neck neck women. It has also been theorised that the coils originate from the desire to look more attractive by exaggerating sexual dimorphism, as women have more slender necks than men. In Thailand, the practice has gained popularity in recent years, because it draws tourists who bring revenue to the tribe and to the local businessmen who run the villages and collect an entry fee of 500 to 600 baht per person. I completely understand how you felt when you visited this place. This policy was relaxed in late 2008 and a small group of Kayan have left for New Zealand in August 2008. The tradition or neck rigs actually started as protection from tigers. However, the story of these Karen hill tribe people is quite sad. Many of them have chosen to flee to Thailand in search of a safer life, as there’s been a brutal military conflict in their home country for years. Wearing a long neck rings for fashion is okay but if imposed then it is a slavery. Being a conscious traveler is something that I have always tried to do, but mostly from an environmental or animal stand point. Such incredibly interesting subject. [5], Learn how and when to remove this template message, Karenni National People's Liberation Front (KNPLF), Thai Burma Border Consortium / A brief history of the Thailand Burma border situation, Burmese Border Consortium Relief programme: January to June 2003, BBC news / Burmese women in Thai 'human zoo', "The Dragon Mothers Polish their Metal Coils by Edith Mirante - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics", French Language page with introduction, notes and bibliography of Kayah, Kayan, Karenni et Yang Daeng by Jean-Marc Rastorfer,, Articles containing Burmese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2017, Articles using infobox ethnic group with image parameters, Articles needing additional references from November 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 October 2020, at 07:38. Others entered the main Karenni refugee camp (which is not open to tourists) in September 2008 and they are now eligible for resettlement. Children are technically allowed to go to school. Is it ethical to visit Karen Long Neck Village in Thailand? Being aware of the fact that Kayan people are refugees in Thailand and are allowed to stay in the country only if they would serve as tourist entertainers, made me very keen to hear what will the guide tells us.

neck ring tribe

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