Women of Kayan Lahwi tribe of Burma are the most renowned for their ornaments known as neck...

Women of Kayan Lahwi tribe

Women of Kayan Lahwi tribe of Burma are the most renowned for their ornaments known as neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck. The women wearing these coils are known as giraffe women to tourists. These coils are first applied to young girls when they are around five years old.

Women of Kayan Lahwi tribe
 Each coil is replaced with longer coil, as the weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. Contrary to popular belief, the neck is not actually lengthened; the illusion of a stretched neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle. Many ideas regarding why the coils are worn have been suggested, often formed by visiting anthropologists, who have hypothesized that the rings protected women from becoming slaves by making them less attractive to other tribes.

 According to Kayan tradition the Kayan settled in the Demawso area of Karenni State (Kayah State) in 739 AD. Today they are to be found in Karenni (Kayah) State around Demawso and Loikow, in the southern region of Shan State and in Mandalay’s Pyinmana and Karen’s Than Daung township.

There are three Kayan villages in Mae Hong Son province in Thailand. The largest is Huay Pu Keng, on the Pai river, close to the Thai Burma border. Huai Seau Tao is a commercial village opened in 1995. Many of the residents of Nai Soi Kayan Tayar moved into the Karenni refugee camp in September 2008, but a few families remain there.

Most of the Kayan people in Mae Hong Son are formerly from nine villages in Karenni State. The majority are from Rwan Khu and Daw Kee village. The people of Huay Pu Keng are mainly from Lay Mile village.



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