“Long – neck” Kayan woman of Myanmar
Once taking Myanmar tour to Inle Lake, tourists have chance to meet “long – neck” Kayan women, as one of top 10 things to see in burma. The girls of Kayan tribe wear a lot of cooper necklaces because it is said such would make them less attractive to other tribes and prevent them from human trafficking.
This is the local ehnic of Kayan or Pandaung long neck tribe, the oldest tribe in Myanmar. Currently, tribe has population of about 7,000. When the girl was in young age, they started to be worn bronze necklaces round their neck and rings on legs. They start to wear six to ten rings when they are five to ten years and then put on more rings a year for later years. The necklaces was worn overlap, making the girl’s neck longer and longer. There are many different interpretations of this strange custom. Having said that, they wear so to avoid being bitten in the neck by beasts. Some may argue that such wearing to make woman less beauty in the eyes of other tribes, preventing women from becoming victims of trafficking. Some girls said they wear as seeing her mother also worn. Indochina travel Myanmar
Today, the custom remains widespread. The Kayan girls wearing bronze necklace attract many tourists traveling to Myanmar, typically in Nai Soi Kayan villages, each year attract more than a thousand tourists to visit.
The girl once wearing cooper necklace will seldom take it off, because they become something very familiar to them, an integral part of their body. And another reason is that the neck skin inside has not ruddy complexion as before, but becomes pale because of being concealed for too long. Additionally, according the custom of the Kayan tribe, only women that betray their husband must take the necklace off as a penalty.
The long – neck tribe now become a beautiful symbol of preserved local culture, which attracts thousands of travelers to visit Myanmar. Anyone who come to the country has opportunity to witness the special women and learn about the interesting story of them.
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